Awoniyi can’t stop scoring as Forest hold Palace
Super Eagles’ midfielder, Alex Iwobi, was ecstatic as Everton escaped relegation on a dramatic final day of 2022/23 English Premier League season.
Everton needed a win to ensure another stay in the elite division of English football no matter what happened at Leeds and Leicester City.
The Liverpool-based side, which has the second-longest residence in the upper division, saw their hopes threatened early in the first half when news filtered in that Leicester City had taken the lead against West Ham through Harvey Barnes.
But the Merseysiders’ nerves were calmed in the 57th minute when Abdoulaye Doucoure released an unstoppable shot to give the home team the lead.
Thereafter, Sean Dyche knew that all Everton needed to do to remain a Premier League team was to defend their advantage and they went about the job tenaciously.
Even with 10 minutes added time, Everton stuck to their task until the referee called off the game.
The win made Leicester City’s 2-1 defeat of West Ham meaningless, as they became the second team after Blackburn Rovers to win the title and then go down shortly.
That means that Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi will play in the second-tier English Championship next season.
Leeds had no hopes of survival after surrendering to a 1-4 home defeat by Tottenham.
It means they, alongside Leicester and Southampton will play in the lower division next season.
Elsewhere, Taiwo Awoniyi continued his unstoppable form in front of goal when he netted Nottingham Forest’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace.
With Forest having secured their Premier League status last weekend and Palace long since safe, there was a celebratory atmosphere at Selhurst Park before kick-off.
Awoniyi kept the away fans in good spirits when he raced on to Morgan Gibbs-White’s superb through ball, twisted and turned before firing into the bottom corner on 31 minutes.
It came just a minute after Eberechi Eze had seen his close-range effort blocked on the line by his own team-mate, Jordan Ayew, at the other end.
Palace were on top for much of the second half and found the equaliser after 66 minutes when Will Hughes headed in from Michael Olise’s cross.
Neither side was able to find a winner and both teams can begin their plans for next season in earnest, although for Palace it remains to be seen whether that will be with Roy Hodgson at the helm.
At the Emirates, Arsenal defeated Wolves 5-0 with the departing Granit Xhaka netting twice. Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Jesus and Kiwior scored the other goals.
Relegated Southampton drew 4-4 with Liverpool, Man United defeated Fulham 2-1, Chelsea drew 1-1 with Newcastle, Aston Villa beat Brighton 2-1, while Brentford beat champions, Man City 1-0.