Monday 22 January 2018

Leicester and Hull out of bottom three

Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson celebrates with Jamie Vardy at the end
Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson celebrates with Jamie Vardy at the end

Leicester and Hull were the significant winners in the Premier League relegation battle, with respective wins at Burnley and Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The Tigers and the Foxes both earned some breathing space, while others failed to do likewise on Saturday in a clutch of matches with a major bearing on who will drop out of the top flight next month.

Dame N'Doye missed a first-half sitter but put Hull in front seven minutes into the second half, and for good measure it was he too who made it 2-0 in injury time at Selhurst Park.

Leicester looked briefly in trouble against their bottom-of-the-table hosts at Turf Moor, where Matt Taylor had the chance to give Burnley the lead from the penalty spot just before the hour mark.

Instead, he hit the post - and within seconds Nigel Pearson's men snatched the points at the other end as Jamie Vardy (inset with Pearson)appeared to get the final touch, after the ball deflected goalwards off the Clarets' Michael Duff.

Sunderland drop into the bottom three after a 1-1 draw at Stoke.

Dick Advocaat's visitors were in front after just 58 seconds, thanks to Connor Wickham but Charlie Adam (27) made it all square at the break, and that was how it stayed.

Newcastle's losing run extended to seven matches, 3-2 at home to Swansea.

Ayoze Perez gave the Magpies the lead in the 20th minute but Nelson Oliveira equalised in first-half injury time, and then Swansea were in front thanks to Gylfi Sigurdsson four minutes into the second half.

Jack Cork (71) deepened the gloom for the home supporters at St James' Park - and even though the fit-again Siem de Jong (87) got one back, Swansea hung on.

QPR are still in big trouble after a goalless draw at home to West Ham.

The hosts did not make it easy for themselves when Charlie Austin's first-half penalty was saved by Adrian, but their own goalkeeper Robert Green did well to stop an Aaron Cresswell shot soon after the break.

It was 0-0 too between West Brom and Liverpool, Tony Pulis' side therefore banking another point to stay clear of worry and the Reds still in fifth.

In the lunchtime kick-off at St Mary's, Tottenham twice came from a goal down to earn a point in a 2-2 draw against Southampton.

Mauricio Pochettino was indebted to equalisers from Erik Lamela (43) and then Nacer Chadli (70) to eke out a point in the scrap with his old club to stay on the fringes of European qualification.

Graziano Pelle scored in each half for the Saints, in the 29th and 65th minutes.


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