Premier League Weekend in 20 Pictures: Liverpool Stay Top, Norwich Sack Hughton
This weekend, Liverpool showed great determination and persistence to see off a dogged West Ham United to regain top spot from closest rivals Chelsea.
With just five games to go, Brendan Rodgers' men know the destiny of the title is in their hands, and this result against a resilient Hammers may prove pivotal come May 11th.
Here's a look back at the weekend's key action through pictures.
Early Toure Penalty Sets Foundation for City Victory
Samir Nasri, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic added to their tally after Rickie Lambert's 37th-minute equaliser, also from the spot, to keep Manuel Pellegrini's men in touch with leaders Liverpool and second-placed Chelsea.
Rodriguez Doubtful for World Cup with Knee Injury
However, one of the main talking points after the game was the injury picked up by Southampton's England World Cup hopeful Jay Rodriguez.
Rodriguez, who has scored 15 league goals this season, more than any other England striker apart from Daniel Sturridge (20) and Wayne Rooney (also 15), was stretchered off to a standing ovation in the 26th minute after falling awkwardly on his right knee in front of the concerned gaze of Three Lions manager Roy Hodgson.
Rodallega Strikes Late to Give Fulham Victory over Villa
Kieran Richardson opened the scoring for the visitors only for Villa to respond through Grant Holt. However, Rodallega headed home Lewis Holtby's cross with just four minutes remaining to give Fulham a potential lifeline in their battle to avoid relegation.
Magath Rewards Fulham Players with Two Days off
Fulham boss Felix Magath was so impressed, and perhaps a little relieved, with his side's dramatic late win at Villa Park that he promised his players two days off.
According to www.football.co.uk, Magath admitted: "You can imagine now the players in the locker room are happy, happy and they forced me to give them two days, so I have. They deserved it today."
Puncheon Stars with Brace in Vital Palace Win
Jason Puncheon was in inspired form in Crystal Palace's emphatic 3-0 win away to relegation rivals Cardiff City, scoring twice to help move the Eagles up to 14th spot, seven points clear of the bottom three.
Puncheon's second was one of the goals of the weekend, a sweetly struck curling drive from 20 yards to seal all three points and condemn City to their 19th defeat of the season.
Solskjaer Admits Cardiff Need a 'Miracle'
While the Cardiff City fans remained in full voice in support of their team, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted it will take a miracle for the club to avoid an immediate return to the Championship.
According to BBC.com, the Norwegian said: "We need to produce a miracle to stay up now. It was a big game for us and I am very disappointed for the fans and players that we ended up with a performance like this."
Boyd Heads Hull to Victory over Swans
Steve Bruce's men gained a valuable three points against their fellow relegation candidates, to climb to 12th in the table, nine points clear of the drop zone.
Two-Goal Mata Inspires United Rout of Newcastle
Mata opened the scoring with an exquisite 20-yard free-kick in the 39th minute, while he also netted the second in the 50th minute to set the visitors up for a comfortable victory.
Mata Salutes United Fans After Opener
The former Chelsea man salutes the visiting Manchester United fans after the first of his two goals at Newcastle.
Amalfitano Strike Piles Pressure on Hughton
Morgan Amalfitano's superb 16th-minute strike gave West Bromwich Albion a rare away victory against Norwich City in yet another relegation six-pointer at Carrow Road.
The hosts struck the bar twice in the second half as their luck in front of goal deserted them, to increase the pressure on boss Chris Hughton.
Hughton's Reign at Norwich Comes to an Abrupt End
Norwich City's patience with under-fire manager Chris Hughton finally ran out after Saturday's 1-0 defeat at home to fellow strugglers West Bromwich Albion.
Sections of the home support called for Hughton's dismissal during the game by chanting "we want Hughton out" and it was confirmed on Sunday that Hughton had been sacked to "give the club the maximum chance of survival," according to the club's website.
Youth coach and former player Neil Adams has been handed the reins for the remaining five fixtures, which sees them play Fulham, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Lampard Nets 250th Goal in Chelsea Success
The 35-year-old scored at the second attempt to put the Blues 2-0 up in the 61st minute, following up after Asmir Begovic had saved his initial penalty to reach an impressive 250 career goals.
Torres Endures Another Goalless 90 Minutes
Chelsea striker Fernando Torres endured yet another fruitless 90 minutes against a resilient Stoke City rearguard as he failed to add to his four Premier League goals and prove to boss Jose Mourinho that he could be the "real striker" the Blues boss said he was looking for.
Lukaku on Target as Everton Eye Fourth
In the 34th minute, Lukaku picked up the ball on the right and charged towards goal before unleashing an unstoppable shot past Wojciech Szczesny in the Gunners goal to build on Steven Naismith's 14th-minute opener.
Fourth place and Champions League qualification is in Everton's hands with just six games to play, although both Manchester City and Manchester United have yet to visit Goodison Park.
Classy Coleman Leaves Cazorla for Dead
Everton's marauding right-back Seamus Coleman has received significant attention and praise for his attack-minded performances this year.
On Sunday, the Irishman gave another glimpse of his unique talent with an impressive moment of improvised skill to outfox Arsenal's Spanish international Santi Cazorla on the right wing.
Tomkins Handball Breaks West Ham's Resolve
Title-chasing Liverpool looked like they might fail to break down West Ham United's teak-tough defence at Upton Park on Sunday afternoon until the threat of a probing Luis Suarez coaxed a handball from Hammers defender James Tomkins in the 44th minute.
Brendan Rodgers' men struggled to open their hosts up until then, and captain Steven Gerrard put the Reds ahead with a calm finish to send goalkeeper Adrian the wrong way.
Adrian Catches Flanagan to Hand Reds Second Penalty
West Ham United goalkeeper Adrian conceded a controversial 71st-minute penalty against Liverpool, catching Reds right-back Jon Flanagan to give the visitors their second spot-kick of an incident-packed game.
Gerrard Plays Captain's Role in Liverpool Victory
Skipper Steven Gerrard kept his nerve to net his second penalty of the afternoon to ensure Liverpool left Upton Park with all three points and their slender lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League intact.
The two goals also edged the midfielder one ahead of Kenny Dalglish on the club's all-time scoring list, with 173 goals.
And with just five games to go, the title is Liverpool's to lose, and Gerrard is a step closer to guiding his side to their first championship since 1990.
Adebayor Salutes Sherwood as Spurs Heighten Sunderland's Woes
The striker opened the scoring in the 28th minute with an opportunist finish from Christian Eriksen's cross, before poking home his second four minutes from time as the hosts ran out comfortable winners over Sunderland, who remain bottom, albeit with two games in hand.
Eriksen Masterclass Inspires Spurs
Christian Eriksen produced an attacking masterclass to inspire Tottenham's 5-1 win over Sunderland.
The Dutch attacker scored one and set up two to put him ahead of Roberto Soldado as Spurs' most productive in front of goal, playing a part in 13 of his side's goals this season.
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