Ukraine striker Yarmolenko notches home win for West Ham, fans go wild
Sports Desk, Mar 13 (EFE).- Ukraine’s Andriy Yarmolenko, a striker for West Ham, triggered warm and strong positive emotions at the London stadium on Sunday, where he shone for his stellar and decisive play in the team’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa.
The crowd was also ready to hail him after for the past two weeks seeing in real time everywhere on the news and social networks the gritty fight his countrymen are putting up against the massive Russian military invasion of Yarmolenko’s homeland.
He took the pitch early in the second half with the contest locked at nil, replacing Jamaica’s Michail Antonio, with David Moyes’ home squad having been unable to break through Aston Villa’s defense and pull out ahead.
Yarmolenko’s key move came in the 70th minute, when he took a pass from Said Benrahma and beat Aston Villa goaltender Emiliano Martinez from the penalty spot, whereupon he fell to his knees, looked up at the sky and broke down in tears, covering his face with his hands while most of his teammates crowded around and embraced him, the fans went wild and even the rival squad applauded the tally.
It was Yarmolenko’s first goal so far this season.
Pablo Fornals added the second tally for Chelsea 12 minutes later, also on a set-up by Algeria’s Benrahma, while Jacob Ramsey’s hit for Aston Villa was too little too late.
Meanwhile, Chelsea downed Newcastle 1-0, extending its run as it sits comfortably in the No. 3 spot on the Premier League table, 10 points behind league leader Manchester City and seven in back of No. 2 Liverpool.
A late goal by Kai Havertz was what it took to get Chelsea over the top, although the team has been in dire straits after Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the British government after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, miring the squad in a serious crisis, given that it cannot hire new players and may have to fold up shop unless its desperate search for a new owner turns something up, and soon.
Newcastle came to Stamford Bridge with three consecutive wins in its pocket, and Eddie Howe’s men made life difficult for Thomas Tuchel’s squad until Havertz put one away – albeit not until the 90th minute.
It was a great pass from Jorginho to Havertz within the area that enabled the latter to smash one past goaltender Martin Dubravka, thus snatching the win from the jaws of the scoreless draw.
And Arsenal blanked Leicester 2-0 on goals by Thomas Partey and Alexander Lacazette to keep its fourth place spot in the Premier League and remain within Champions League territory.
Mikel Arteta’s men, who had lost their Champions League berth after Manchester United defeated Tottenham on Saturday, recovered it on Sunday with their fifth consecutive win.
Arsenal, with three matches still to go, was in great form for Leicester’s visit to Emirates Stadium in the final stretch of a season with nothing much else on the horizon, given that it’s far from both Europa League play and from relegation.
Partey opened the scoring in the 11th minute on a header that beat Kasper Schmaichel but fans had to wait until after the break for the second tally when a handball by Caglar Soyuncu was detected via VAR inside the area, resulting in a penalty kick that Lacazette transformed into the 2-0.
Leicester, meanwhile, seemed resigned to their fate against a clearly superior rival, and with the win Arsenal is eight points behind Chelsea while Leicester is 12th down in Nowhere Land.