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BPI/Michael Zemanek

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With second placed Manchester City's title defense hopes on the line and set to play on Monday Night (MNF), Arsenal not only dealt Liverpool’s top-four hopes a substantial blow with an emphatic 4-1 victory at the Emirates Stadium but also moved into the second spot of the EPL log, sending a strong signal of their intent to contend for the second spot as Manchester dropped to fourth.

Chelsea extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points after a 2-1 win over Stoke in which they were given a scare by Charlie Adam’s 59-yard strike and QPR gave their Premier League survival hopes a massive boost with a stunning 4-1 victory at West Brom, featuring a goal-of-the-season contender from Bobby Zamora.

Manchester United, Leicester and Everton were all winners on Saturday.

And on Monday Night (MNF),  Manchester City's hope of defending their title was dealt a severe blow at Selhurst Park; losing 2-1 to Crystal Palace.

Arsenal 4 - 1 Liverpool

Three goals in the final eight minutes of the first half stunned Liverpool as Hector Bellerin’s curled strike on 37 minutes, Mesut Ozil’s exquisite free-kick three minutes later and Alexis Sanchez’s thunderous effort on the verge of half-time took the game away from Brendan Rodgers’ side.

Jordan Henderson converted a penalty 15 minutes from time after Raheem Sterling was brought down by Bellerin but Emre Can’s dismissal for a second bookable offence 10 minutes later all-but ended the contest.

Olivier Giroud bagged his seventh strike in six Premier League games in stoppage-time with a well-taken, left-footed effort as Arsenal moved up to second in the table.

The result, which leaves Arsenal 7 points behind leaders Chelsea, is the Gunners’ seventh consecutive league victory as well as their seventh consecutive win in all competitions.

Everton 1 - 0 Southampton

Phil Jagielka’s first-half goal was enough for Everton to beat Southampton 1-0 at Goodison Park and clinch a third successive league victory.

The England defender slotted home a loose ball on 16 minutes after the Saints failed to clear a corner and Seamus Coleman found his captain with a cut-back from the byline.

Southampton book-ended the game with impressive spells and went closest through James Ward-Prowse and Graziano Pelle in the first half.

But Everton held on to lift themselves to their highest league position since the turn of the year - 11th - and further away from relegation danger.

 

Southampton missed the chance to leapfrog Liverpool into fifth in the table, and they will feel hard done-by after arguably having the better of the game.

Leicester 2 - 1 West Ham

Andy King came off the bench to give Leicester City's survival hopes a huge lift as his late winner secured a 2-1 victory over West Ham at the King Power Stadium.

Esteban Cambiasso had fired in a brilliant half-volley with just 12 minutes on the clock but David Nugent missed the chance to double the advantage, his penalty saved by Adrian, and Cheikhou Kouyate instead equalised for the Hammers after 32 minutes.

Kouyate went close to scoring his second after the break but struck the post and West Ham were made to pay when substitute King pounced with just four minutes remaining.

The win was Leicester’s first in the Premier League for almost three months and means they are now just four points from safety with eight games remaining, five of which are at the King Power.

Manchester United 3 - 1 A Villa

Ander Herrera scored twice as Manchester United saw off Aston Villa to move above rivals Manchester City - who dropped to fourth - with a 3-1 win at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Herrera’s low finish gave United the lead just before half-time after a dominant opening 45 minutes and Wayne Rooney’s superb strike 11 minutes from time doubled their lead.

But though Christian Benteke provided a scare when he pulled one back within a minute of Rooney's volley, Herrera grabbed his second of the match to seal victory in stoppage-time.

It was a sixth Premier League win in succession for United and puts more pressure on City, who take on Crystal Palace on Monday Night Football before a huge Manchester derby clash with United next weekend.

Swansea 3 - 1 Hull City

Swansea heightened Hull's relegation fears after earning a 3-1 victory over the 10-man relegation candidates at the Liberty Stadium.

Ki Sung-Yueng had given the Swans the lead against the run of play after 18 minutes, before Bafetimbi Gomis acrobatically doubled the Welshmen’s lead on 37 minutes.

 

Hull pulled one back through Paul McShane’s close-range strike five minutes after the break, but their task was made even tougher when David Meyler saw red card for a reckless lunge on Kyle Naughton, who limped off as a result.

Swansea looked in control from that moment on and made sure of the points in stoppage-time through Gomis, Garry Monk's side just two points off bettering their Premier League points record after another win.

West Brom 1 - 4 QPR

QPR arrived in the Midlands having lost 13 of their 14 Premier League away games this season but raced into a 3-0 half-time lead thanks to goals from Eduardo Vargas, Charlie Austin and Zamora.

Albion threatened a revival after the break and lively substitute Victor Anichebe pulled a goal back with just over half-an-hour remaining.

But the hosts had Youssouf Mulumbu sent off just 11 minutes after he had come off the bench and an injury-time Joey Barton goal wrapped it up for QPR, who go 18th in the table - just a point from safety.

Chelsea 2 - 1 Stoke City

League leaders Chelsea battled their way to victory despite Charlie Adam's wonder goal.

Eden Hazard gave Chelsea the lead from the penalty spot in the 39th minute after Philipp Wollscheid’s late challenge on Cesc Fabregas, but they were pegged back by one of the goals of the season.

Adam produced arguably one of the best goals in Premier League history from inside his own half to catch Thibaut Courtois off his line and give Stoke a lifeline just before the break.

But Chelsea, who lost second-half substitute Diego Costa to another hamstring injury, responded as Hazard pounced on Asmir Begovic’s error to give Loic Remy a tap in.

The win means Chelsea are just 16 points away from Premier League glory and it moves them seven points clear of nearest rivals Arsenal, eight ahead of Manchester United and nine better than Manchester City, who play Crystal Palace in the Monday Night Football.

 

Sunday

Burnley FC  0 - 0 Tottenham Spurs

Burnley remain in the relegation zone after a dour 0-0 draw with Tottenham at Turf Moor.

Harry Kane was named captain for Tottenham but had little effect in a scrappy game as Danny Ings had the best chance in the first half, but he struck straight at Michel Vorm after being put through one-on-one by George Boyd.

The draw moves Burnley above Queens Park Rangers into 18th place, two points behind Aston Villa.

Sunderland 1 - 0 Newcastle

Jermain Defoe’s moment of first-half brilliance in the Wear-Tyne derby sent Sunderland to a fifth straight win over Newcastle and three points clear of the relegation zone.

Sunderland dominated Newcastle from the first whistle but it took until the 45th minute for the deadlock to be broken and it was sure worth the wait as Defoe fired a superb left-foot volley into the top corner.

Dick Advocaat’s men continued to pile on the pressure during the second half but could not find a second goal and they were nearly made to pay as Remy Cabella forced Costel Pantilimon into action for the first time in the match.

The hosts dropped deep in the closing stages as they looked to protect their lead as Ayoze Perez went close but that was all the visitors could muster as Sunderland once again went onto claim the Wear-Tyne bragging rights and a huge boost in their fight for Premier League survival.

Sunderland are unbeaten in their last seven Premier League games against Newcastle but this fifth win will have felt especially sweet.

 

Monday Night

Crystal Palace 2 - 1 Manchester City

Goals from Glenn Murray and Jason Puncheon helped Crystal Palace to a 2-1 win which put a huge dent in Manchester City's title challenge.

Yaya Toure responded for the visitors at Selhurst Park, but it was Alan Pardew's men who held on to claim another big scalp and virtually guarantee their place in the top flight for next season.

Joel Ward pumped the ball back into the danger area after City had cleared a corner, Joe Ledley flicked it on and Dann's shot was blocked by Hart only for Murray to tap in the rebound for his fifth goal in as many matches to put CP ahead and three minutes after the interval, Jason Puncheon stepped up to curl a stunning free-kick over the wall and beyond the despairing dive of Hart to give CP a 2-0 lead.

Toure's ferocious curler 12 minutes from the end halved the deficit but they could not find an equaliser, with the final whistle sparking wild celebrations in south London - and probably parts of west London as well.

The defeat leaves City nine points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea, who have a game in hand, with the small matter of the Manchester derby to come on Sunday.

 

 

 

 

Match reports from skysports, eurosports and prosports were used in this compilation

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