Havertz stays on for winner
Kai Havertz was the beneficiary of a Video Assistant Referee decision before snatching a winner for under-performing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Newcastle were furious that Havertz was not sent off in the first half for a swinging arm that left defender Dan Burn bleeding from contact to the side of his head.
Chelsea, who struggled to create opportunities, also survived a penalty shout as Trevoh Chalobah pulled back Jacob Murphy.
But there was no doubt about Havertz’s brilliant, late winner, as he used one touch to control Jorginho’s pass and a second to fire home.
Victory extended to 12 matches Chelsea’s unbeaten run in all competitions and snapped Newcastle’s seven-match run without defeat.
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) March 13, 2022
Tears for Hammers goal
An emotional Andriy Yarmolenko scored the opening goal as West Ham United saw off Aston Villa to stay in touching distance of a Champions League place.
The Ukrainian striker came off the bench at the London Stadium to open the scoring before dropping to his knees and clutching his face.
“It was so emotional for me because of the situation in my country,” he said after being applauded by both sets of fans.
Pablo Fornals doubled West Ham’s lead and Jacob Ramsey scored a late consolation for Villa.
West Ham are sixth, three points behind fourth-placed Arsenal.
A moment which was bigger than football 💙💛 pic.twitter.com/VEPLtB4r67
— West Ham United (@WestHam) March 13, 2022
Brave Diaz on target
Luis Diaz added “brave” to the list of adjectives that describe his talents after heading Liverpool towards a 2-0 win over Brighton.
Diaz, signed from Porto in January, scored Liverpool’s opener by beating goalkeeper Robert Sanchez to the ball and heading into an empty net just 19 minutes in.
The Colombian was flattened by the goalkeeper in the process but after scrutiny from the VAR there was no sanction for Sanchez.
Diaz picked himself up and completed the match, which was made safe for Liverpool by Mohamed Salah’s 61st-minute penalty.
Salah, who was replaced four minutes later, is yet to agree a new deal with Liverpool, with his current contract to expire next year.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 12, 2022
Ronaldo bags hat-trick
Cristiano Ronaldo’s talismanic effect continued at Old Trafford on Saturday when he scored a hat-trick in Manchester United’s 3-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur.
The Portuguese star has now scored 12 league goals for United since his return to the club. And when Ronaldo scores in the Premier League for United, they inevitably win, as has been the case on all eight occasions this season.
Victory over Spurs came just a week after Ronaldo was left out of the United squad for their 4-1 derby loss to Manchester City – a result which was heavily criticised by United legends and pundits.
His return to the starting line-up triggered his first United hat-trick since a 6-0 thrashing of Newcastle in 2008.
After temporarily climbing to fourth place, United slipped back to fifth after Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Leicester City.
OUT. OF. THIS. WORLD. 🚀
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 12, 2022
Glory’s slide continues
The return of former Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones failed to halt Perth Glory’s slide as Sydney FC moved to sixth place in the A-League with a 2-0 win at HBF Park.
Glory have now won just one of their past eight matches and have slipped to last place on the 12-team table.
With eight games to play, it would take a remarkable turnaround in form for Glory to make up the lost ground and sneak into the finals.
The rescheduled fixture against Sydney gave Jones an opportunity to make just a third appearance for Glory. His last outing was in a 1-0 loss to Western United in November.
But the ex-Feyenoord, Middlesbrough and Socceroos goalkeeper was unable to deny Kosta Barbarouses a seventh-minute opener and Patrick Yazbek’s second-half finish.
To make matters worse for Glory, who continue to be without the injured Daniel Sturridge, captain Brandon O’Neill was forced out of action with a shoulder injury.
O’Neill is unlikely to be available for Glory’s clash with Central Coast Mariners at HBF Park on Tuesday.
Spoils shared at the top
Melbourne City stayed top of the A-League after fighting back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw against Western United.
Second-placed United, who are level on points with City and have two games in hand, were 2-0 up within half an hour thanks to goals from Leo Lacroix and Rene Krhin.
But Conor Metcalfe pulled back a goal before half-time and Jamie Maclaren’s 12th goal of the season earned a point for City.
Adelaide United moved to third with a 2-1 win over Newcastle Jets, while Macarthur are fourth following a 3-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers.
At the other end of the table, Brisbane Roar climbed off the bottom with a 2-1 win that ended Wellington Phoenix’s seven-game unbeaten streak.
“I just saw the space, that’s 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙄 𝙙𝙤.” 🔥 @MelbourneCity forward Jamie Maclaren was at it again on Saturday, with his equaliser against @wufcofficial sending him four clear in the race for the Golden Boot! #WUNvMCY #WeAreAleagues @isuzuute_aus pic.twitter.com/7GOkpsnNn2
— Isuzu UTE A-League (@aleaguemen) March 13, 2022
Juventus staying in touch
While a trio of teams have been wrestling for top spot in Italy’s Serie A, 36-times champions Juventus have been quietly building momentum that might yet turn into a title challenge.
AC Milan remain top of the table, on 63 points, following a 1-0 win over Empoli. Napoli, who beat Verona 2-1, are second on 60 points, and Inter (59 points) slipped to third after being held 1-1 by Torino.
Fourth-placed Juventus continued to keep pace with the leaders with a 3-1 win away to Sampdoria that extended their Serie A unbeaten streak to 15 matches.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side, who have not been beaten in any competition since defeat to Atalanta in November, are seven points off the leaders with nine games to play.
A UEFA Champions League second-leg match against Spain’s Villarreal is Juve’s focus this week before they take on last-placed Salernitana in league action next weekend.
An April 3 clash with Inter looms as an important fixture for Allegri’s men.
Benzema blows away PSG
Veteran Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema over-shadowed Kylian Mbappe and dumped Paris St Germain out of the UEFA Champions League with a stunning second-half hat-trick at the Bernabeu last week.
Star-studded PSG took a 1-0 lead into the second leg and looked to be cruising when Mbappe doubled their advantage late in the first half.
The 23-year-old, who scored PSG’s first leg goal, had two other efforts ruled out for offside against the club he is expected to join at the end of the season.
But the match belonged to 34-year-old Benzema, who scored three times in just 17 minutes to secure a 3-2 aggregate victory that took Real into the quarter-final draw.