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Everton move out of drop zone, Leeds in trouble after losing to Arsenal

Everton climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone with a hard-fought 2-1 win at Leicester City after defenders Vitalii Mykolenko and Mason Holgate scored at the King Power Stadium yesterday

Alex Iwobi celebrates with Everton goal scorer, Mason Holgate (left), during their 2-1 defeat of Leicester City…yesterday.

Gunners open a four-point lead over Tottenham in top-four battle
• Man City thrash Newcastle to tighten grip on title

Everton climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone with a hard-fought 2-1 win at Leicester City after defenders Vitalii Mykolenko and Mason Holgate scored at the King Power Stadium yesterday, reports AFP.

Frank Lampard’s side moved up two spots to 16th on 35 points, one point above the drop zone, as Leeds United slipped to 18th after a 2-1 defeat at Arsenal. Watford and Norwich City have already been relegated to the second-tier Championship.

It was Everton’s only second league win on the road this season, having last won an away league game in August against Brighton & Hove Albion.

Holgate nodded in a rebound to put Everton back in front at the half-hour mark after Leicester striker Patson Daka cancelled out Mykolenko’s early opener.

The unmarked Holgate scored from close range after Richarlison’s header was beaten away by Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel following a corner.

Meanwhile, Leeds United suffered a huge setback in their battle for survival as a 2-1 loss at Arsenal, yesterday, plunged them into the relegation zone and the hosts took another step towards securing a top-four finish.

An early quickfire double from former Leeds loanee, Eddie Nketiah, put Arsenal in firm control before the visitors were reduced to 10 midway through the first half when Luke Ayling was sent off for a two-footed challenge on Gabriel Martinelli.

Leeds did not have an attempt at goal until Diego Llorente’s header beat goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale in the 66th minute but Arsenal weathered a nervy finish to close out their fourth successive victory and solidify their hold on fourth place.

Arsenal, on 66 points with three games remaining, opened up a four-point gap on north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in fifth ahead of Thursday’s derby and moved to within a point of third-placed Chelsea.

A second straight defeat for Leeds left them in 18th place with 34 points, behind Burnley on goal difference, after Everton’s 2-1 victory at Leicester City lifted the Merseyside club out of the bottom three.

In the day’s late game, Manchester City shrugged off the crushing disappointment of their Champions League semifinal exit at the hands of Real Madrid to open a three-point advantage at the top of the Premier League with an emphatic victory over Newcastle United.

The reigning champions took advantage of Liverpool being held to a draw by Tottenham Hotspur with an impressive response that not only strengthened their position at the Premier League summit but also vastly improved their goal difference.

Chris Wood wasted a glorious early chance for Newcastle to add to City’s nerves and his side paid the price when Raheem Sterling headed Pep Guardiola’s team in front after 19 minutes.

Aymeric Laporte added a second before half-time after Newcastle keeper Martin Dubravka fumbled Ilkay Gundogan’s volley and Rodri effectively wrapped up the contest with a near-post header from Kevin de Bruyne’s corner just after the hour mark.

City, with Newcastle, deflated and outclassed, improved their goal difference even further when substitute Phil Foden struck in the closing moments, turning him Oleksandr Zinchenko’s touch before Sterling completed the rout with a close-range finish in added time.

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