Sports Desk, Jun 20 (efe-epa).- Crystal Palace beat Bournemouth 2-0 Saturday to climb to ninth place in the Premier League, one ahead of Arsenal, who fell 2-1 to Brighton & Hove Albion and may have lost their starting goalkeeper for the final eight matches of the coronavirus-disrupted season.
Enjoying a good run of form when play was halted in March due to the pandemic, Palace gave no sign of having deteriorated during the layoff.
Despite having only 44 percent possession and conceding 11 corners, Roy Hodgson’s men needed less than half an hour to dispatch relegation-threatened Bournemouth.
Luka Milijojevic scored with a direct free kick in the 12th minute and Jordan Ayew, with an assist from Patrick van Aanholt, added a second goal in the 23rd.
Their fourth victory on the trot lifted Palace to 42 points, level with Tottenham Hotspur and just 4 points back of Manchester United.
Bournemouth, now winless in their last five matches, are 18th with 27 points.
In Wolverhampton’s return to action, Mexico international Raul Jimenez picked up where he left off in March, delivering his 14th goal of the season to lead Wolves 2-0 over West Ham United.
The sixth-leading scorer in the Premier League broke a 0-0 deadlock at London Stadium with a header in the 73rd minute off Adama Traore’s cross.
Wolves closed the door on the Hammers with six minutes left in regulation, when Pedro Neto beat keeper Lukasz Fabianski to make it 2-0.
The result brought sixth-place Wolverhampton level on points with Manchester United at 46, but the Red Devils are fifth based on better goal difference.
West Ham, who find themselves fighting to avoid relegation for second time in three seasons, are 17th with 27 points.
Arsenal, meanwhile, saw their woes deepen Saturday with a 2-1 loss to Brighton & Hove Albion in a match that may also cost the Gunners the services of starting keeper Bernd Leno, who left the pitch on a stretcher after a collision with Brighton’s Neal Maupay.
Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta said after the match that the German suffered a hyper-extension of the knee, telling reporters: “Bernd’s injury doesn’t look good.”
Arsenal were the better team for most of the contest at Amex Stadium and backup keeper Emiliano Martinez was steady between the posts after replacing Leno in the 36th minute.
Nicolas Pepe gave the Gunners the lead in the 68th minute with a magnificent strike and the London side looked poised for a strong rebound after last Wednesday’s 3-0 loss to Manchester City.
Seven minutes later, however, Brighton’s Solly March sent the ball into the ball into the six-yard box and Lewis Dunk nudged it in from close range to bring the hosts level.
The score was still 1-1 in the 5th minute of stoppage time when Maupay got the winner for Brighton.
Arsenal, with 40 points, are 10th in the table. Brighton remain in 15th on 32 points, 5 above the drop zone.
Saturday’s action began at Vicarage Road in suburban London, where Watford and visiting Leicester City ended 1-1 on a pair of late goals.
Ben Chilwell surely thought he’d sealed the match with his 90th-minute rocket of a shot that curved into the top right-hand corner out of the reach of the Watford keeper.