LONDON (AP) — Roy Hodgson's position at Crystal Palace is looking increasingly shaky after another poor result and the latest display of anger and frustration from the club's fans on Saturday.
A 4-1 loss at rival Brighton in the Premier League was made even worse by seeing star player Michael Olise limp off just eight minutes after coming on as a substitute, supporters raising another banner protesting the club's leadership and some of the players then exchanging words with the angry fans after the final whistle.
The 76-year-old Hodgson may not have endeared himself more to fans after the game by taking the side of Palace's co-owner and chairman Steve Parish.
“I think it is harsh, I think it is wrong," the Palace manager said of the protests, which started during a 5-0 drubbing to Arsenal two weeks ago. “We understand the fans are unhappy, we got beaten heavily at Arsenal and came here and our fans expected us to win the game and lost 4-1. It would be unrealistic to expect them to go home happy after that and unrealistic also to think the fans aren’t going to protest. All I can say is we are doing our best.”
It was Brighton’s biggest win since 1956 in the so-called M23 derby, after the highway that connects south London and Brighton. But on a high-scoring day in the Premier League filled with late comebacks, it mainly stood out for its lack of drama.
In the early game, Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite headed home a stoppage-time equalizer to salvage a 2-2 draw with Tottenham after Richarlison had scored twice against his former team.
Newcastle came from two goals down in the second half to rally for a wild 4-4 draw at home against Luton, and relegation struggler Burnley also erased a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 against visiting Fulham with David Datro Fofana netting twice.
Aston Villa then routed last-place Sheffield United 5-0 to climb above Tottenham into fourth place.
Palace is just five points above the relegation zone, and Hodgson's decision-making was also questioned after Olise only lasted eight minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute when his team was already 3-0 down. Olise had been struggling with an injury, but Hodgson defended the decision to put him on and said the team's medical staff had cleared him to play 45 minutes.
“We were told it is not a good idea to start him but he is okay for the bench and you can use him from the bench and that is what we did,” Hodgson said. “There is no point me standing here and talking about hindsight."
It's advantage Aston Villa again in the tight race for a top-four spot.
After a run of just one win in five league games, Unai Emery's team entered the day below Tottenham in the table despite being level on both points and goal difference. But Villa's comprehensive win meant they leapfrogged Spurs into fourth — level on points with third-place Arsenal.
Villa was rampant at last-place Sheffield, going 4-0 up after just 30 minutes and finishing with five different scorers. Ollie Watkins added two assists to go with his goal, which made it 2-0 in the 16th.
Tottenham forward Richarlison's double at his former team earlier in the day looked like it would keep Tottenham in fourth, but Branthwaite was on hand to head in Everton's equalizer from a yard out in the fourth minute of injury time.
It ruined a perfect return to Goodison Park for Richarlison, who spent five seasons at Everton before joining Tottenham in 2022. The Brazil striker didn’t celebrate either of his goals — instead pulling his shirt up to hide his face.
Jack Harrison was credited for Everton's first equalizer after Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s close-range header came off his leg on the way into the net in the 30th.
BARNES RETURNS WITH A GOAL
After four months out with a foot injury, Harvey Barnes made an immediate impact on his return for Newcastle.
Barnes came off the bench with Luton leading 4-2 and netted the equalizer with a left-foot drive in the 73rd minute to settle an end-to-end encounter at St. James' Park.
Sean Longstaff put Newcastle ahead twice in the first half, with Gabriel Osho and Ross Barkley replying for the visitors before the break.
Carlton Morris and Elijah Adebayo put relegation-battling Luton on course for a victory with goals in a three-minute span in the second half but Kieran Trippier pulled one back before Barnes' equalizer.
“I have been out for a long time and it has been a tough period for me,” Barnes said. “I have got a bit of making up to do. Making up for lost time. ... There will be a little bit of rust for a little bit but that goal will give me the world of confidence going forward.”
Fofana couldn't have made a much better impression on Burnley supporters after joining the club on loan from Chelsea.
Fulham took a 2-0 lead inside 21 minutes against Vincent Kompany's team through goals from Joao Palhinha and Rodrigo Muniz and looked on course for its first away win since the opening day of the season. But Fofana came on as a substitute and got Fulham back into the game with a 71st-minute header before bundling in the leveler in the first minute of stoppage time.
“It was amazing for me. It was perfect,” Fofana said. "We are happy right now with one point.”
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