Newcastle’s Loic Remy scored twice to help manager Alan Pardew heave a sigh of relief after a difficult start to the 2013/14 Premier League season.
The Frenchman, who joined the ‘Magpies’ on loan from Queens Park rangers in the summer, helped the host take the lead in the hour mark and extended the margin eight minutes later.
The 26-year-old Newcastle striker cut in to fire in a powerful effort into the visitors’ net, and added a second with a cool finish.
Nigeria international Osaze Odemwingie got his first Premier League goal for Cardiff, which was not enough to avert another defeat to coach Malcky Malkay’s team.
Fulham 1 Stoke City 0
Fulham striker Darren Bent came on for the injured Dimitar Berbatov to score the match winner for Martin Jol’s side with seven minutes of normal time left at Craven Cottage.
A shot from Pajtim Kasami deflected into the path of Bent and he expertly cut inside Robert Huth before slotting home.
“Relieved, emotional, whatever you want to call it, we needed those three points for sure. We realise we didn’t play our best match but there is a lot of relief because we needed the points,” an exited Jol said after the match.
Both sides had had first-half penalty appeals turned down by referee Roger East.
Jol, who was booed after last week’s 2-1 home defeat by Cardiff, was elated his side have ended a run of four defeats in five league games after final whistle.
“They could have a penalty and we could have had one as well,” the manager added.
“We need wins and wins will give us more stability. I can cope with the pressure. The players realise that and, if the manager can cope with it, they can cope as well. Today we showed a great team spirit and fought like lions.”
Hull City 0 Aston Villa 0
Aston Villa, without their injured striker Christian Benteke, played a scoreless draw against ‘The Tigers’ which succeeded in securing their unbeaten home record.
In a flat-dull encounter, both side’s effort to claim a third consecutive league win failed to materialise due to lack of clear-cut chances.
Gabriel Agbonlanhor had an early strike saved and spunned the game’s only clear chance when unmarked from 12 yards.
A long-range Tom Huddlestone strike was Hull’s best effort of the day with both team eventually settling for one point apiece.
Liverpool 3 Crystal Palace 1
Manchester City 3 Everton 1