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Abena Alice|myghanalinks - With three of the top teams on the EPL log idle on Saturday, Arsenal kept their faint Premier League title hopes alive with a narrow 1-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor thanks to Aaron Ramsey's first-half strike that left them firmly entrenched in the second spot of the EPL.

Crystal Palace stunned Sunderland with three goals in five minutes at the start of the second half on their way to a 4-1 victory at the Stadium of Light, stalling the latter's search for safety from the relegation zone.

Elsewhere, Southampton defeated Hull City and bottom dwellers Leicester strengthened their survival campaign with a stunning stoppage time victory over West Brom.

And on Sunday, Leaders Chelsea opened a 7 point lead atop the EPL over their closest competition following a hard fought lone goal victory over QPR whilst Manchester United outclassed Manchester City in the Manchester derby, trouncing the latter 4-2 and effectively ending whatever hopes City had of defending their title.

Liverpool will take on Newcastle on Monday.

 

Swansea City 1 - 1 Everton

Jonjo Shelvey's penalty cancelled out Aaron Lennon's first-half opener as Swansea and Everton drew 1-1 at the Liberty Stadium.

On-loan Lennon grabbed the second goal of his loan spell from Tottenham after a flowing move in the first half, before Shelvey slotted home from the spot in the 69th minute after Seamus Coleman had handballed in the area.

The point for Swansea means they have equaled their best points haul in the Premier League (47), while Everton are now four games unbeaten and safe in mid-table after being just four points above the relegation zone in February.

 

West Ham 1 - 1 Stoke City

Marko Arnautovic struck in the final minute of added time to earn Stoke City a 1-1 draw at West Ham and break a run of three consecutive defeats.

Aaron Cresswell's sweet seventh-minute free-kick had looked like it was going to be enough to secure a Premier League victory for the Upton Park hosts, but Stoke are nothing if not dogged.

The pressure mounted in the home defence as the clock wound down and Arnautovic had already seen two efforts chalked off before he embarked on one final surging run and slid the ball across Adrian into the bottom corner.

The result leaves both teams safely ensconced in mid-table where they began the day - West Ham in ninth and Stoke in 10th.

 

Southampton 2 - 0 Hull City

James Ward-Prowse scored his first-ever Premier League goal from the penalty spot as Southampton beat Hull 2-0 at St Mary's.

The England Under-21 international struck just before the hour mark after Shane Long had been fouled in the area by Alex Bruce.

Pelle then struck his first league goal of 2015 as the Saints recorded a comfortable victory that lifted them up to fifth, while the result sees Hull teetering precariously in 17th place in the table, just above the relegation zone.

 

Burnley FC 0 - 1 Arsenal

Aaron Ramsey earned the Gunners their eighth straight league win.

Ramsey scored the game's only goal after 12 minutes, smashing in from 10 yards after the Gunners had twice been denied from close range.

Burnley's George Boyd miscued the hosts' best chance in a second half lacking clear-cut opportunities, and Arsene Wenger's side held on for an eighth straight Premier League win.

The result leaves the Gunners four points off league leaders Chelsea, who have two games in hand, while Burnley remain two points from safety in the relegation places with six games remaining.

 

Sunderland 1 - 4 Crystal Palace

Yannick Bolasie scored a hat-trick, becoming the first Palace player in Premier League history to achieve the feat, with Glenn Murray getting the other as the visitors plunged the Black Cats back into the Premier League relegation mire.

Connor Wickham scored a late consolation but few Sunderland fans had stayed around to see it after the Eagles blew their side away in the opening stages of the second period.

Firstly, Murray continued his fine goal scoring form with a thumping header at the far post, his sixth goal in as many games. He had initially flicked on a long ball before darting to the far post, arriving just in time to convert Bolasie’s deflected shot.

Bolasie got on the scoresheet Two minutes later, another long ball was flicked on by Murray and the winger ran clear to stab past Pantilimon in the Sunderland goal.

No sooner had the away supporters settled down from that and they were celebrating again as Bolasie got his second with a delicate lob over Pantilimon. Once again a long ball undid the hosts. They allowed it to bounce and Bolasie stole in.

His hat-trick came just after the hour. Murray made it as he bullied John O’Shea off the ball before squaring to Bolasie. The DR Congo international went past Pantilimon, stumbled and then swept the ball into the empty net as two Sunderland defenders desperately attempted to get the ball clear.

 

West Brom 2 - 3 Leicester City

Leicester City boosted their hopes of Premier League survival as Jamie Vardy's stunning stoppage-time strike earned a 3-2 victory over West Brom at the Hawthorns.

Albion appeared to have strengthened their own survival hopes, while denting those of Leicester, when Darren Fletcher’s eighth-minute strike and Craig Gardner's deflected volley had given them a half-time lead despite David Nugent’s equaliser on 26 minutes.

Robert Huth’s 80th-minute header levelled things up for the visitors who dominated the second half, but Vardy out-muscled Gareth McAuley, ran half the length of the pitch and fired past Boaz Myhill as Leicester claimed back-to-back victories in the league for the first time since September.

Despite victory, Leicester remain bottom, but move to within three points of safety, while Albion stay 14th on 33 points.

 

Tottenham 0 - 1 Aston Villa

Christian Benteke headed Aston Villa to a 1-0 win over Tottenham, as Tim Sherwood enjoyed a successful return to White Hart Lane.

The Belgian striker’s eighth goal in his last six Premier League games was enough to see off a below-par Spurs and move Villa six points clear of the relegation zone.

Gabby Agbonlahor could have doubled Villa’s advantage when he hit the woodwork in first-half injury time but, despite seeing midfielder Carlos Sanchez sent off late on, the visitors held on to earn a vital win in their battle for survival.

The result sees Tottenham slip to seventh, seven points off the Champions League-qualifying places, ahead of Manchester City’s trip to Old Trafford on Sunday.

 

Sunday April 12

QPR 0 - 1 Chelsea

Cesc Fabregas' 88th-minute strike dealt a significant blow to Queens Park Rangers' survival hopes as Chelsea moved to within 11 points of the title with a 1-0 win at Loftus Road.

With the game destined for a goalless draw after a spirited display from Rangers against the below-par Premier League leaders, Fabregas converted Eden Hazard's cross to shatter the home side and restore the Blues' seven-point lead at the top of the table.

Willian struck the woodwork in the opening exchanges, while Charlie Austin and Matt Phillips drew Chelsea 'keeper Thibaut Courtois into fine saves in each half, before Fabregas decided the outcome of the game.

Chelsea now require just three wins and two draws in their remaining games to win a fourth Premier League crown, while Rangers remain in the bottom three, two points from safety.

Manchester United 4 - 2 Manchester City

Manchester United snapped their losing run against Manchester City in convincing style with a 4-2 victory over their rivals at Old Trafford.

City were bidding for a fifth successive derby win and took the lead in the eighth minute as Sergio Aguero tapped in David Silva's cross.

But United responded well, leveling in the 14th minute through Ashley Young before going ahead just before the half-hour mark when Marouane Fellaini headed home.

Juan Mata made it 3-1 midway through the second half and Chris Smalling extended the advantage further not long afterwards.

Aguero pulled a late goal back for City but it was nothing more than a consolation as United recorded their sixth consecutive Premier League win and moved four points ahead of their rivals in the table.

For City, it is their sixth defeat in their last eight matches in all competitions and puts an emphatic end to their dominance over United in recent years.

The defeat left City in fourth, 12 point adrift the top spot, 5 points off the second spot, United on the hand are 8 points off the top spot and just one point away from the second.

Monday April 13

Liverpool 2 - 0 Newcastle

Liverpool closed the gap on Manchester City to just four points after goals from Raheem Sterling and Joe Allen handed them a 2-0 win against Newcastle.

It took Brendan Rodgers’ side just nine minutes to take the lead as Jordan Henderson’s pass found Sterling, who fired past Tim Krul for his 11th goal of the season.

Liverpool wasted a host of first-half chances and could have paid the price as Newcastle thought they should have been handed a route back into the match when Dejan Lovren appeared to foul Ayoze Perez in the penalty area, but referee Lee Mason waved the claims away.

The hosts eventually went on to seal all three points thanks to Joe Allen’s smart finish in the 72nd minute before Moussa Sissoko saw red for two yellow cards for the visitors.

The result sees Liverpool reignite their challenge for Champions League qualification before they head to Wembley for next weekend’s FA Cup semi-final against Aston Villa.

 

 

 

 

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

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