With Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea all busy with the FA Cup there was a smaller selection of games this weekend. Nevertheless, we saw plenty of excitement, particularly during a thriller at Anfield on Sunday afternoon. Here’s our roundup of this weekend’s Premier League games:
Newcastle 2 – 1 Stoke
Papiss Cisse broke Stoke hearts with a winner in injury time in Tyneside after Yohan Cabaye had brought Newcastle level following Jonathan Walters’ 67th minute penalty. Cisse, who has been off form for much of this season, smashed the ball in from close range to take all three points for Newcastle and help bring them out of relegation trouble. Tony Pulis was incensed as he didn’t believe Cisse should have been on the pich after twice raising his arms to Stoke players. This result has gone a long way to making Newcastle safe this season and they now reside in 13th on the same number of points as Stoke.
Liverpool 3 – 2 Tottenham
Tottenham certainly seem to be involved in exciting matches at the moment, and Sunday afternoon’s clash with Liverpool was no different. The pendulum swung on several occasions with Liverpool drawing first blood through none other than Luis Suarez before Belgian international Jan Vertonghen leveled things up. Vertonghen went on to score a second and Spurs looked to be cruising before Stewart Downing equalized. A late penalty from Steven Gerrard following a Benoit Assou-Ekotto sealed Spurs’ fate and they’ll be disappointed not to have got at least a point from the game. Spurs still sit on third but will now have to wait anxiously to see how Chelsea perform in their game in hand, while Liverpool are also making a late rally for the Champions League spots.
Norwich 0 – 0 Southampton
Southampton keeper Artur Boruc was the hero in this one as he saved a stoppage time spot kick from Norwich striker Grant Holt. Despite the lack of goals, Southampton looked to be the livelier of the two sides and although a point away at Carrow Road must be looked on as a good result considering their current predicament; if they end up going down, Southampton will look back to this game as a missed opportunity.
QPR 3 – 1 Sunderland
Queens Park Rangers kept their survival hopes alive with an emphatic win against the Black Cats at Loftus Road while the loss leaves Sunderland perilously close to the drop zone. Harry Redknapp looks to have completely rejuvenated QPR and although they are still 4 points from safety things are looking a whole lot rosier than they were a couple of months ago. Goals from Loic Remy, Andros Townsend and Jermaine Jenas cancelled out Steven Fletcher’s opener and while Sunderland still look to be in a position of safety they definitely need to get a few points under their belt to allow them to sleep easier than they undoubtedly are at the moment.
Reading 1 – 2 Aston Villa
Goals from Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor sealed a massively important 3 points for the struggling Midlands side against Reading on Saturday. Villa played themselves out of the drop zone while Reading are now joint bottom with QPR. It won’t get any easier for Reading – they’ve now got to hit the road to play Man Utd and Arsenal in their next two fixtures while QPR play Villa and Fulham. Given how tough their next two fixtures are, Reading will certainly rue not picking up any points from this fixture at the Madejski.
West Brom 2 – 1 Swansea
West Brom kept their Europa League hopes alive with a good win at the Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon but Swansea boss Michael Laudrup was unimpressed at the standard of officiating. Laudrup complained that Swansea had a goal unfairly ruled out and obviously with one goal separating the two sides, that one goal could have made all the difference. Romelu Lukaku struck on the 40 minute mark to cancel out Luke Moore’s opener before Jonathan de Guzman inadvertently turned the ball into his own net to hand the advantage to West Brom. Swansea’s next two games are against North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham and realistically Europa League football may be beyond them. West Brom play Stoke and West Ham and must feel confident that they can push on up the league.