Jonathan Cook’s World Game Wrap-Up

Everton sink into drop zone

Never relegated from the Premier League, Everton are on the cusp of dropping out of England’s top division for the first time since the 1950s.

The Toffees slipped to third-from-bottom after a 2-0 Merseyside derby defeat to Liverpool, while Burnley climbed out of the relegation zone with a 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers secured by Matej Vydra.

After more than an hour of stubborn resistance at Anfield, Everton’s hopes of getting something out of the match were ended by Andrew Robertson’s goal before Divock Origi completed the scoring late on.

Everton were last relegated from the topflight in 1950-51 and returned in the 1954-55 season.

Burnley are two points ahead of Everton, who have a game in hand.

Four goals for Jesus

Gabriel Jesus reminded Manchester City of his value to the club with four goals in a 5-1 thrashing of Watford. But that doesn’t mean he will still be at City next season.

With Pep Guardiola lining up Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, Jesus could look to greener pastures.

The 25-year-old was at his sharpest against Watford with two goals in each half.

City’s victory has kept them one point ahead of second-placed Liverpool in the race for the title.

Big job for United’s new man

Erik ten Hag was confirmed as the next Manchester United manager during a week in which the current crop of players were twice beaten by two of the club’s biggest rivals.

A 4-0 mid-week thrashing by Liverpool hadn’t been entirely unexpected but losing 3-1 to Arsenal just days later showed just how much work Ten Hag faces at Old Trafford.

Confirmation that the current Ajax manager will take over at the end of the season came on Thursday, two days after goals from Mohamed Salah (two), Luis Diaz and Sadio Mane had eased Liverpool to victory.

Despite five changes to the team for the clash with Arsenal, including leaving out Harry Maguire and the return of Cristiano Ronaldo, United suffered their fourth League defeat in their past seven matches.

Gunners on the climb

Arsenal have moved into pole position for England’s last automatic Champions League place after snapping a three-match losing streak.

Defeats to Crystal Palace, Brighton and Southampton had put a dent in Arsenal’s hopes of finishing fourth before two timely victories.

A 4-2 win over Chelsea on Wednesday, which included two goals from Eddie Nketiah, got the Gunners back on track before Saturday’s win over Manchester United.

Brentford also did Arsenal a favour on Saturday by holding Tottenham Hotspur to a goalless draw. Spurs are two points behind the Gunners with five games to play.

Third-placed Chelsea moved five points clear of Arsenal with a 1-0 win over West Ham that came courtesy of a 90th-minute Christian Pulisic goal.

Fulham ready to return

Aleksandar Mitrovic added two more goals to his season tally to help Fulham earn a return to the English Premier League next season.

Mitrovic scored twice as Preston North End were beaten 3-0 at Craven Cottage to give Fulham fans that yo-yo feeling, yet again.

Mitrovic’s 41 goals this season have been key to the Cottagers’ return to a league they rarely seem to last long in.

Fulham have experienced either the joy of promotion to the Premier League, or the pain of relegation from it, in each of the past five seasons.

Glory hit rock-bottom

Perth Glory will finish last on the A-League table for the first time in the club’s history after Nestory Irankunda’s piledriver sealed a 2-0 win for Adelaide United yesterday.

With two games to play, Glory are eight points behind second last Brisbane Roar, who also have the benefit of an additional two matches still to play.

A string of injuries to senior players and the impact of COVID on travel schedules haven’t helped Glory, who have been forced to test young players in difficult circumstances.

The club’s gamble on former Liverpool, Chelsea and England striker Daniel Sturridge being able to have an impact backfired spectacularly as he featured just five times, amassing just over 90 minutes on the pitch.

Mariners’ on fire

Central Coast Mariners scored four times for the second time in as many matches to climb into A-League finals contention.

A week after beating Wellington Phoenix 4-0, the Mariners scored a 4-2 win over Newcastle Jets to move into sixth place.

The Mariners were 3-0 up at the break thanks to goals from Moresche and a double from Jason Cummings. But the Jets were back in it early in the second half through Lucas Mauragis and a Jacob Farrell own goal before Garang Kuol made the points safe.

The Jets had Daniel Penha sent off in stoppage time.

Macarthur, who were beaten 4-1 by Melbourne Victory on Friday, are now seventh, a point behind the Mariners.

Milan strike late

An injury-time winner from Sandro Tonali earned AC Milan a dramatic 2-1 victory over Lazio that lifted them back to the top of Italy’s Serie A.

Milan went behind after just four minutes when Ciro Immobile scored his 26th goal of the season but Olivier Giroud equalised just after half-time. Substitute Zlatan Ibrahimovic set up Tonali for the winner.

Inter had moved to the top on Saturday with a 3-1 win over Roma, who had been 12 games unbeaten going into the match at the San Siro.

Milan, who have played a game more than Inter, are two points above their city rivals.

Third-placed Napoli slipped five points adrift of Inter after a 3-2 loss at Empoli.

Coman’s winning feeling

Most players can only dream of winning a league title in a top European competition. Kingsley Coman has no idea how it feels not to be a champion.

The French winger helped Bayern Munich wrap up a 10th successive German Bundesliga title as they earned a 3-1 win over Borussia Dortmund.

Coman, 25, has won a league title in each of the nine seasons he has been a professional, including six in a row with Bayern Munich.

He made just one appearance in his first senior season in 2012-13 and only two the following season as Paris St Germain won Ligue 1 titles.

In 2014-15, he joined Juventus and helped them romp to the Italian Serie A title before signing for Bayern Munich.

Coman helped Bayern wrap up the latest German title with three games to play, as second-placed Dortmund slipped 12 points behind.

League success no big deal

Winning France’s Ligue 1 has become such a routine for Paris St Germain that the players didn’t even bother with the traditional lap of honour after claiming a record-equalling 10th title.

A 1-1 draw with 10-man Lens put PSG 13 points above second-placed Marseille and should’ve been reason to celebrate. St Etienne is the only other team to have won 10 French league titles, the last of which came in 1981.

But after Lionel Messi had given PSG the lead midway through the second half, some fans headed for the exit and didn’t even see Corentin Jean’s late equaliser.

PSG fans are frustrated with their club’s Champions League exit to Real Madrid. After holding a 2-0 aggregate lead, PSG conceded three goals in 17 minutes to bow out in the round of 16.

PSG have won eight of the last 10 Ligue 1 titles.

Betis win Copa del Rey

Veteran captain Joaquín Sánchez lifted Spain’s Copa del Rey after Real Betis claimed their first major trophy in 17 years.

Betis beat Valencia 5-4 on penalties after the game had finished 1-1 after extra time. The goals came early with Borja Iglesias’ 11th-minute opener for Betis cancelled out by Hugo Duro on the half hour.

It was a fairytale end for 40-year-old Joaquín, who was also part of the Betis team that won the cup in 2005.

Just three months short of his 41st birthday, Joaquín came off the bench late in the game and scored one of the penalties to seal victory.

Six years and counting

Iniaki Williams is the very definition of endurance. The 27-year-old has not missed a La Liga game for more than six years for Athletic Bilbao.

The last time he was not in the team was due to a thigh injury in April 2016. When he lined up for Bilbao in a 3-2 win away to Cadiz it was his 228th successive appearance.

Williams provided the assist for Raul Garcia to send Bilbao on their way to a victory that keeps them eighth in Spain’s La Liga.