Premier League roundup: Gerrard’s disappointing farewell; Leicester, Aston Villa now safe

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Do you feel that? It’s the impending doom of realization that the 2014-15 Premier League is practically finished. Just one more week to go, somehow.

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On Saturday, the final Saturday of the season (all Matchweek 38 games will be played at the same time on Sunday), Steven Gerrard bid farewell to the Liverpool faithful one last time, as the legend, and one-club man — until July — played his final game at Anfield.

Elsewhere, a pair of teams clinched safety from relegation and confirmed their top-flight status for the 2015-16 Premier League campaign.

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For recaps, reaction and analysis on every game, look no further than below.

Liverpool 1-3 Crystal Palace — RECAP

There was no fairytale ending for Gerrard. No late winner, no goal, not even a victory for his beloved Reds. Alan Pardew’s Palace spoiled the party and made it mathematically impossible for Liverpool to qualify for next year’s Champions League. Goals scored by Jason Puncheon, Wilfried Zaha and Glenn Murray canceled out Adam Lallana’s opener.

Southampton 6-1 Aston VillaRECAP

Sadio Mane recorded the fastest hat trick in Premier League history (three minutes apart from the 13th to 16th minutes), which set Saints well on their way to victory. Shane Long added a pair of goals before halftime and Graziano Pelle’s 81st-minute tally made six. Christian Benteke’s goal was the only bit of consolation for Tim Sherwood’s Aston Villa, who despite the result, are now officially safe from relegation.

Sunderland 0-0 Leicester CityRECAP

What’s a 0-0 draw doing this far up the running order, you ask? A point was all Leicester needed to clinch their own safety from relegation. Not a terrible result for Sunderland either, who need just a point themselves next week, or a single point dropped by either Newcastle United or Hull City on the season’s final day.

Queens Park Rangers 2-1 Newcastle UnitedRECAP

The fear of relegation continues to get more and more real for Newcastle, who lost to already-relegated QPR on Saturday, thanks to goals scored by Matthew Phillips and Leroy Fer. Emmanuel Riviere was the visitors’ lone goalscorer. A Hull victory coupled with a Newcastle draw or defeat will see the Geordies relegated next Sunday.

Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Hull CityRECAP

Goals by Nacer Chadli and Danny Rose kept Hull in the bottom three. The Tigers host Manchester United next week, which means it’s not looking good for Steve Bruce’s boys.

West Ham United 1-2 EvertonRECAP

Everton leapfrogged West Ham for a place in the Premier League’s top half, thanks to a 2-1 victory on Saturday. Leon Osman and Romelu Lukaku (93rd-minute winner) were the Toffees’ goalscorers, following Stewart Downing’s opener.

Burnley 0-0 Stoke CityRECAP

Stoke City clinched a ninth-place finish with a 0-0 draw away to Burnley, which will go down as their highest top-division finish in the club’s history.

West Ham United 1-2 Everton: Toffees come back to beat Irons

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Stewart Downing’s 62nd-minute opener was quickly canceled out by Leon Osman, and Romelu Lukaku scored in stoppage time to lift Everton to a 2-1 win at the Boleyn Ground.

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Everton pulls into a tie with West Ham with the win, as both clubs have 47 points and a minus-1 goal differential. The Toffees are in 10th place.

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Alex Song fed a through ball to Downing, who buried the chance to make it 1-0 to the Irons in an exciting match that featured 34 attempts (though just eight went on goal).

source: Getty Images

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It wouldn’t last long, as Lukaku crossed into the box, and Osman converted the chance with his right peg less than six minutes later.

The match nearly went into Splitsville, but substitute Aiden McGeady’s cross found Lukaku, who left little doubt in sending Everton 10th.

LINEUPS

West Ham United: Adrian, Reid, Cresswell, Kouyate, Downing, Noble, Jenkinson, Collins (Burke, 14′), Cole (de Carvalho, 70′), Song, Valencia.

Goal: Downing (62′)

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Stones, Galloway, Lennon (McGeady, 78′), Barry, McCarthy, Osman, Barkley (Mirallas, 70′), Lukaku. Fer, Austin. Subs: Robles, McGeady, Kone, Mirallas, Naismith, Besic, Garbutt.

Goals: Osman (68′), Lukaku (90′)

Everton 0-2 Sunderland: Black Cats grab massive win as the “great escape” is on

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Sunderland beat Everton 2-0 at Goodison Park on Saturday, as Dick Advocaat’s side breathed new life into their battle against relegation.

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Two second half goals, both courtesy of lucky deflections, from Danny Graham and Jermain Defoe did the damage as Everton dominated play but came up against a Sunderland side who were resolute in defense as goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon plus Wes Brown and Lee Cattermole were rocks at the back. The Toffees had 73 percent of possession but the closest they came was James McCarthy’s shot which cannoned off the post in the second half.

With the win Sunderland moves up to 14th place on 36 points, while Everton remain in 11th on 44 points.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Early on it was all Everton as the Toffees were patient in possession and in the seventh minute Leon Osman found some space in the box but slipped just as he curled his effort wide of the far post.

Everton continued to press for the opener and Ross Barkley had an effort blocked in the 20th minute following a great surging run down the right from Seamus Coleman. Before half time Sunderland finally showed some attacking intent but both Defoe and Connor Wickham fired effort off target.

In the 41st minute the Toffees had the best chance of the first half as Osman played in Romelu Lukaku but Pantilimon smothered the ball at his feet and then saved Osman’s follow up after Aaron Lennon had put the ball back into the danger area.

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In the second half Sunderland came out fighting and had a chance through Graham as he threw himself as Sebastian Larsson’s effort but side-footed over. Everton then went close as Wickham headed clear from danger as Lukaku looked to pounce and then the first goal of the game arrived. In the 53rd minute Larsson’s cross from the right found Jordi Gomez and his goalbound effort was deflected into the net by Graham as Sunderland’s fans rejoiced.

The goal was Graham’s first in 28 appearances for the Black Cats since arriving from Swansea last season and it was the first goal Everton had conceded in 434 minutes at home in the PL. Everton responded well to going behind as Seamus Coleman dribbled through Sunderland’s defense as he juggled the ball and slammed just wide, while soon after McCarthy came closest for the Toffees as he slammed a shot against the foot of the post. Late on Everton had a huge shout for a penalty kick waved away as Coleman arrived at the back post to slot home but Defoe appeared to clip the right back as he tracked back. No penalty, and moments later Defoe wrapped up the win.

In the 85th minute John Stones was caught in possession and substitute Steven Fletcher ran into the box before laying it off to Adam Johnson who hit a shot across goal that deflected in off Defoe. 2-0 to Sunderland, as the great escape is well and truly on.

LINEUPS

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Baines (Garbutt, 74′) , Stones, Jagielka, McCarthy, Barry (Mirallas, 62′), Lennon (McGeady, 87′), Barkley, Osman, Lukaku

Sunderland: Pantilimon, Jones, van Aanholt, Brown, Coates, Cattermole, Gomez, Larsson (Bridcutt, 84′), Defoe, Wickham (Fletcher, 84′), Graham (Johnson, 74′)

Goals: Graham (53′), Defoe (85′)

Watch Live: Everton vs. Sunderland (Lineups and Live Stream)

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Everton welcome Sunderland to Goodison Park on Saturday (Watch live, 7:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) with the Toffees protecting an eight-game unbeaten run at home.

As for Sunderland, their situation is dire as the Black Cats remain in the bottom three with four games left. Their final two games of the season are away to Arsenal and Chelsea, so Sunderland’s boss Dick Advocaat knows they must get something from their trip to Merseyside if they want to boost their survival hopes.

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Two games without a defeat, including last weeks win over Southampton, have lifted the Mackems but they must record a win at Everton to pile the pressure on the other clubs battling against relegation.

In team news Everton bring in Leon Osman and Ross Barkley for Steven Naismith and Kevin Mirallas. Sunderland bring in Wes Brown to replace injured captain John O’Shea and continue to play in a more attacking 4-3-3 formation.

LINEUPS

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Baines, Stones, Jagielka, McCarthy, Barry, Lennon, Barkley, Osman, Lukaku. Subs: Robles, Garbutt, Besic, Naismith, McGeady, Mirallas, Kone

Sunderland: Pantilimon, Jones, van Aanholt, Brown, Coates, Cattermole, Gomez, Larsson, Defoe, Wickham, Graham. Subs: Bridcutt, Fletcher, Johnson, Reveillere, Vergini, Buckley, Mannone

Everton 3-0 Manchester United: Toffees score early, snuff out visiting attack

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A pair of early goals saw Everton comfortably ahead, and they snuffed out Manchester United the rest of the way to earn their third straight victory over the Red Devils at Goodison Park.

James McCarthy and John Stones both hit strikes in the opening 45 minutes, and Everton extinguished every United chance before it developed as Kevin Mirallas delivered the deathblow late.

Everton appeared to be on the back foot early, but they would strike first just four minutes in. Following the clearance of a Manchester United corner, Everton forayed into the Red Devil half for the first time on a furious counter. McCarthy darted down the middle and a cutback meant for Romelu Lukaku fell at his feet. The 24-year-old slipped through poor tackles from Daley Blind and Paddy McNair, and slotted an off-balance shot into the back of the net.

United jumped right back onto the ball and got an opportunity for Marouane Fellaini but he fired over the bar with Tim Howard falling on the shot. Fellaini was again the focal point of an opponent’s strategy, as this time Everton looked to wind him up, and it worked, earning the big Belgian a 12th-minute yellow card for taking down Ross Barkley.

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United wouldn’t get too many more good chances as the first half dragged on, and Everton again would pick its spots. A corner swung in from Leighton Baines and Stones met it at the near post, delivering a pinpoint header across the face and into the far corner for the home side’s second 10 minutes before the break, and the 20-year-old’s first Premier League goal.

With Fellaini neutralized, Louis van Gaal made a halftime substitution to bring on Radamel Falcao in an attempt to give United a bigger attacking threat. It didn’t do much right away, as United continued to possess but do little with it. Luke Shaw had a nice pullback for Juan Mata  just after halftime but the Spaniard flubbed his shot.

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Van Gaal then brought on Angel Di Maria just after the hour mark with Falcao and Wayne Rooney still receiving little service. With United searching for a way back into the game, the visiting defense shut off and Everton sealed the win.

Ross Barkley on a counter delivered a ball over the top for Lukaku. With the Belgian striker clearly offside, the entire Manchester United defense shut off expecting a flag. Instead, Lukaku stopped before the ball reached him, and having removed himself from play, the whistle never came. The ball went through to Kevin Mirallas, who came on with 20 minutes to go for Leon Osman, and he slotted home Everton’s third to seal the win. He nearly had a second with five minutes to go, but David de Gea produced a stellar save to keep him out.

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Manchester United had nothing left after Everton’s third, and the home side easily saw it out despite the expensive talent in red. The win gives Everton its sixth match in a row without a loss, including five wins. Manchester United, meanwhile, fall to its second straight defeat following a strong run of form through 2015. The Red Devils, more importantly, remain eight points above Liverpool in the final Champions League spot, and fail to take the opportunity to jump above either Manchester City or Arsenal in the table.

LINEUPS:

Everton: Howard; Coleman, Stones, Jagielka, Baines; McCarthy, Barry; Lennon, Barkley, Osman (Mirallas 69′); Lukaku.

Goals – McCarthy 5′, Stones 35′, Mirallas 74′

Manchester United: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, McNair, Shaw, Blind, Herrera, Mata (Di Maria 63′), Fellaini (Falcao 46′), Young, Rooney.