With Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United not playing until today, the focus shifted to the bottom of the table yesterday in what is an enthralling relegation dogfight. We round up all of the weekend’s games.
In today’s earlier game, Everton cruised past Manchester United 3-0 at Goodison Park. Although the visitors dominated, they were pegged back from the offset as James McCarthy scored after just five minutes. That sent the Toffees on their way to their fifth win from their last six league games, and the three points were sealed when John Stones headed in the second after 35 minutes and Kevin Mirallas scored after 71 minutes. Roberto Martinez’s side are now unbeaten at home in 2015, and United have lost their third game in a row at Goodison Park, with manager Louis van Gaal saying his side “lacked aggression.”
Leicester took a huge step to Premier League survival as they beat fellow strugglers Burnley 0-1 at Turf Moor. After a cautious first half, Burnely were given a penalty jus before the hour mark. Matty Taylor stepped up, but hit the post. The Foxes then went down the other end, and Jamie Vardy bundled the ball home to score his third goal in five games and win Leicester their fourth win in a row. Leicester jump out of the bottom three, but Burnely are now all but doomed.
Hull fans will also breath easier tonight as they beat Crystal Palace 0-2. Hull had only scored four times in their last 10 games before today, but after Dame N’Doye missed some half chances in the first half, he atoned for his errors by scoring a brace in the second half. The Tigers will now how to follow up their win at Selhurst Park, as four of their last five games are at home.
Sunderland scrapped a hard-earned point against Stoke, with Connor Wickham scoring after just 59 seconds. But, they were pegged back at the Britannia, Charlie Adam scoring yet another long range strike. The Black Cats are now in 18th place, with their last five games including trips to Arsenal and Chelsea.
QPR are now also on the verge of playing Championship football next season after only getting a point in a 0-0 draw with London rivals West Ham. Charlie Austin had a penalty saved in the first half and in the second half, Richard Dunne had a goal disallowed after Steven Caulker fouled Hammers keeper Adrian. The Loftus Road side are now four points off safety whilst West Ham stay 10th.
In the league’s other games, Southampton and Tottenham played out an entertaining 2-2 draw at St. Mary’s. Graziano Pelle scored twice, but the Saints were pegged back twice through two closeErik Lamela and Nacer Chadli. It’s a valuable point for both sides in the race for European football, with the away side staying above their rivals in the table.
Newcastle have suffered their worst top-flight run in 38 years after going down 2-3 against Swansea. Despite going a goal up through Ayoze Perez, the Swans equalised through Nelson Oliviera’s headed goal in first half stoppage time. Strikes from Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jack Cork in the second half was enough to seal the win, but Siem de Jong pulled a goal back in his first appearance since August. The Toon have now lost their last seven games.
West Brom and Liverpool played out a dour 0-0 draw at the Hawthorns, in Steven Gerrard’s 500th appearance. The first half went by without any incident but Phillippe Coutinho forced a fingertip save from Baggies keeper Boaz Myhill, and James Morrison had his header cleared off the line by Dejan Lovren as both sides had chances to win the game.
In the evening game, Manchester City survived a late scare against Aston Villa, winning the game 3-2 at the Etihad. Sergio Aguero scored his 27th goal this season after just three minutes after a Brad Guzan error, and Aleksandar Kolarov doubled the lead just after the hour mark with a beautiful 25-yard freekick. However, five minutes later, Tom Cleverley pulled one back. Carlos Sanchez then equalised with a 15-yard volley five minutes from time. But, after 89 minutes, Fernandinho tapped in from close range to take all three points. Villa are now only two points abound the relegation zone.
First placed Chelsea play second placed Arsenal tomorrow at the Emirates,