West Brom 2-3 Leicester
A revitalised second-half performance and Jamie Vardy’s stoppage-time winner earned Leicester City three vital point at West Brom as Nigel Pearson’s men continue their push for Premier League survival.
West Brom twice pulled in front in the first half through Darren Fletcher and Craig Gardner, either side of David Nuggent’s leveler, but Vardy came up with the joker to take the Foxes to within three points off 17th place.
The match was used to commemorate the life of former striker Jeff Astle, who died 13 years ago, with the Baggies wearing a replica of their 1968 FA Cup final jersey- Astle scored the winner in that game.
Captain Darren Fletcher pulled Tony Pulis’ side in the lead after 8 minutes, getting in front of his marker to head Chris Brunt’s corner from the right over the line before a Leicester defender could react to hack the ball clear off the line.
Nuggent silenced the Hawthorns in the 20th minutes, getting on the end of a Leonardo Ulloa’s flick-on to calmly slot past Welsh goalie Boaz Myhill.
West Brom’s goal cushion was restored six minutes later, as another cross from Brunt is met by Brown Ideye’s header against a defender only for Gardner to shoot the loose ball past Kasper Schmeichel in goal for the Foxes.
Robert Huth drew Leicester level ten minutes from time, heading Marcin Wasilewski’s headed-on pass into Albions net.
Jamie Vardy then robbed Craig Dawson of possession on the halfway line, narrowed in on goal and smashed his left-foot shot into the bottom corner to send the traveling supporters into delirium.
Leicester boss Nigel Pearson: “We’ve still got a lot of work to do – back-to-back wins are important but we’ve got to make it three now. We’ve had a tough season in many ways, but I can’t do anything other than praise the way we got back into it today. The players continued to work hard and we got better as the game went on. We deserved to win it once we got that equaliser.”
Southampton 2-0 Hull
Southampton secured a 2-0 win at home to Hull City courtesy of James Ward-Prowse and Graziano Pelle’s goals, as the Saints move up to fifth in the table with Liverpool having a game in hand against Newcastle United.
Pelle came up with the best attempt of the first half, but his effort was neatly gathered by veteran goalkeeper Steve Harper in the Hull goal.
Substitute Ward-Prowse broke the deadlock on 56 minutes from the penalty spot after Alex Bruce brought down Shane Long inside the vital area.
Pelle calmly stroke past Harper from a Morgan Schneiderlin assist, the striker’s first league goal since December 20.
West Ham 1-1 Stoke
Aaron Cresswell’s brilliant early free-kick handed West Ham a narrow advantage at the break, but Marko Arnautovic’s injury-time leveler salvaged a draw for Stoke City.
The Hammers took the lead on their first asking as left-back Cresswell curled his stunning free-kick into the top corner from 25 yards.
Charlie Adam came close with a superb shot from 35 yards which nested on the roof of the net.
Arnautovic snatched a solitary point for Stoke City in injury time via a superb solo effort. The Austrian forward buried his low shot past Adrian into the corner of the hosts’ goal after a skillful run from 40 yards out.
Spurs 0-1 Aston Villa
Tim Sherwood’s Aston Villa saw off his former employers Tottenham Hotspur to boost their fight against relegation.
Christian Benteke’s goal was enough to move Villa up to 15th, six points clear of relegation zone. Spurs slipped to seventh.
A wonderful header from the in-form Belgian handed the visitors the initiative, with Gabriel Agbonlahor almost doubling Villa’s lead at the break only to watch his effort from the edge of the box rebound back off the post.
Carlos Sanchez was sent off for a challenge on Danny Rose, leaving the Villans to finish the match with ten men but they sure held on to a vital three point.
Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood: “There’s a lot of hard work still to be done but this was a massive step towards survival today. To be fair, I was quite calm. It was obviously satisfying for me to win, but first and foremost its three points for this football club. We always had a threat, we knew we could come to White Hart Lane and put pressure on them.”
Sunderland 1-4 Palace
After an evenly-poised first half, a dominant second-half display by Crystal Palace dealt Dick Advokaat his heaviest defeat since taking over the reins of the Stadium of Light.
Whatever Alan Pardew told his players at half-time worked to effect with Glen Murray and Yannick Bolasie twice scoring in five minutes to place the match beyond the hosts.
Murray headed home the opener from the back post three minutes after the break- his sixth goal in six matches from a Bolalsie deflected cross-shot.
Bolasie doubled Palace’s lead three minutes later, combining with Murray to finish between the legs of Costel Pantilimon.
The DR Congo international made scores 3-0 in the 53rd minute, dinking over the onrushing Pantilimon after beating John O’Shea to a Mile Jedinak cross.
Bolasie completed his eleven-minute treble, again receiving a pass from Murray who outran a defender to tee up with the winger, who rounded Patilimon to bundle home his first Premier League hat-trick.
Connor Wickham pulled one back for the Black Cats, converting Patrick van Aanholt’s cross on the nick of full-time.
Burnley 0-1 Arsenal
Aaron Ramsey’s early goal put paid to Burnley’s job for Arsenal and move them to within four points of leaders Chelsea at the top of the Barclays Premier League, with the Blues having two matches in hand.
The Gunners became the first team to secure eight consecutives wins in the 2014-15 season in the English top flight.
Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker: “We knew it was going to be a tough, but the confidence and the winning streak is so great. It has been a fantastic journey throughout the whole season but now we are quite sharp. At the moment we can’t learn from defeats, we have to learn from victories. Chelsea have been amazing this season. We have tried to compete with them and now it is not in our hands.”