Another exciting Saturday in the Premier League, and a couple of unexpected results keeps the battle in the bottom of the table alive. At the top half of the table, Manchester United has taken a firm grip on the fourth spot after a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace.
Sunderland traveled to Everton and left Goodison Park with three vital points after a 2-0 win. Danny Graham and Jermain Defore scored in the second half for Sunderland and with the win, the Saints are now in 16th place with 36 points, two points from the drop zone. Everton sits in 11th place with 44 points and doesn’t have anything left to play for as their fans must just be waiting for this disappointing season to end.
Tom Cleverly got the lone goal in Aston Villa’s win over West Ham at Villa Park in Birmingham. Cleverly, who is on loan from Manchester United, scored in the 31h minute after Jack Grealish made a nice run into the penalty box and dished a nice pass to Cleverly that easily slotted it home from close range. The win means that Villa now sits in 14th with 38 points, four points ahead of Hull City in 18th.
Hull had the opportunity to get out of the relegation zone with a win over Burnley, but they failed to get a win at home and it was Burnley that left the Kingston Communications Stadium with a 1-0 win after a goal by Danny Ings. Even though Burnley won, the other results on Saturday meant that Burnley will be relegated. Their Premier League adventure only lasted a season, but even if they win both the remaining games they can’t go any higher than 18th.
Riyad Mahrez scored a brace as Leicester grabbed a 2-0 victory over Southampton and the team’s run of good form continues as they have won six out of the last seven. The fact that they are in 15th place with 37 points tells you just how poor they were before this run started and they were pretty dead in the water around Christmas and no one, except Leicester fans and players, thought that they would be able to stave off relegation. They are still at risk, but seeing how they are playing at the moment, they should be able to see it through and stay up. The final two games for Leicester is against Sunderland and Queens Park Rangers, two teams that are below them in the standings.
Newcastle and West Bromwich Albion played a 1-1 draw, after goals by Victor Anichebe for WBA and Ayoze Perez for Newcastle. Newcastle have now gone nine games without a win and the draw against WBA broke an eight-game losing streak. Since former manager Alan Pardew left the club to take over Crystal Palace, the team has dropped from 10th place to 17th, and they are only two points ahead of Hull City in the relegation zone. WBA sits in 13th place with 41 points, so they are safe from getting relegated.
Stoke took a surprising 3-0 win over Tottenham at home. Charlie Adam and Steven Nzonzi scored in the first half, while Erik Lamela had a header go off the bar for Tottenham. Early in the second half, Vlad Chiriches got a second yellow card and was sent off. With the Spurs down to 10 men, Stoke added a third goal through Mame Biram Diouf. Tottenham sits in 6th place, three points behind Liverpool. Stoke passed West Ham up moved up to 9th with 50 points. Hugo Lloris in the Spurs net had a busy game as Stoke had 11 shots on net.
In the final game of the day we saw Manchester Untied squeeze out a narrow 2-1 victory away to Crystal Palace. United took the lead in the 19th minute after Juan Mata scored from the penalty spot after a handball by a Palace player inside the box. United left back Luke Shaw had to leave the game in the 38th minute after he looked to have suffered a concussion. At halftime, United were forced to make another substitution as Wayne Rooney limped off and he was replaced by Falcao. Jason Puncheon tied the game in the 57th minute with a very nicely struck free kick just outside the left corner of the penalty box. Marouane Fellaini scored the game winner with a header in the 78th minute and United broke a three-game losing streak and sits in 4th with 68 points.