Premier League Results: Analysis for Stoke vs. Tottenham and All the Matches
Saturday's matches were dominated by events at the bottom of the table, with almost every side in action at 3 p.m. still fighting to ensure their Premier League survival.
There were huge games taking place at Liberty Stadium, Craven Cottage and The Hawthorns, but there were also key games taking place at the other end of the table, with Everton bidding to maintain their challenge for Champions League qualification and Tottenham looking to finish the campaign on a high.
Saturday's late game, meanwhile, sees Ryan Giggs make his managerial debut as Manchester United face Norwich City. Details from that game will be added to this article at full-time.
Crystal Palace 0-2 Manchester City
Manchester City closed to within three points of the top of the Premier League table with a straightforward 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Edin Dzeko broke the deadlock after just three minutes to give City an early boost before Yaya Toure sealed the points shortly before half-time with a glorious finish.
With Liverpool losing earlier in the day to Chelsea, City’s win means Manuel Pellegrini’s side are now three points behind the Reds with a game in hand and a superior goal difference.
The title, once again, is a strong possibility for City, as long as they win their remaining three fixtures.
That will not be too much of a problem if the start those games as well as they did at Selhurst Park, with Dzeko scoring with almost City's first real chance as he met Toure's perfect cross.
Toure then doubled the advantage two minutes before the break after running into the box and blasting past Julian Speroni, as Manuel Pellegrini's side picked up the three points with the minimum of fuss.
On target: 2-6
Pass completion: 76%-80%
Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea
Chelsea defended deep and then punished on the counter-attack as they beat Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield on Sunday, opening up the title race in the process.
The Blues are now just two points behind Brendan Rodgers’ side after goals from Demba Ba and Willian sealed the three points, a result that means Manchester City can go top of the Premier League table on goal difference if they win their games in hand.
Liverpool dominated possession and territory for large parts of the contest but were twice punished for mistakes—with Steven Gerrard slipping on the ball to gift Ba the opener on the stroke of half-time.
The home side pushed hard for an equaliser—with Gerrard particularly determined to make amends—but found Jose Mourinho’s side particularly obdurate defensively. And they were eventually put to the sword in injury time, as the stranded Simon Mignolet was unable to prevent Willian tapping home after every outfield player had committed himself forward.
Afterwards, Rodgers and Mourinho seemed to get into something of a disagreement about their respective managerial methods.
Mourinho said (via the Telegraph):
My thoughts are simple: my players were amazing, they played a fantastic match. It was a big performance and a beautiful victory.
We deserved to win, no doubt about it. It's as simple as this. We were always comfortable and were never in trouble against a fantastic team that has beautiful players and score a lot of goals, who has smashed everyone else here.
I don't think it's a tactic to have players behind the ball—anyone can do that. It's the nature of how Chelsea play. They've got some wonderful players but they play a defensive game.
We were disappointed with the goal, it's just one of those things. We don't blame Stevie, he slipped. He's been a wonderful player for this football club and he's been a massive part of why we are where we are. There's certainly no blame. He's a monumental player for this club.
On target: 8-4
Pass completion: 86%-67%
Manchester United 4-0 Norwich City
Manchester United kicked off life under Ryan Giggs with a comfortable 4-0 win over Norwich City at Old Trafford.
Following the departure of David Moyes, Giggs has been asked to lead the team until the end of the season, and his tenure began in fine style.
United took time to warm up, but the breakthrough came on 40 minutes when Wayne Rooney slotted home from the spot after Danny Welbeck had been felled in the box.
Rooney made it two shortly after the interval, curling home a fine, low shot from 20 yards.
Giggs threw on Juan Mata just past the hour and within a minute, the Spaniard found his way into the scoresheet when volleying him Phil Jones’ cross.
It was a fine attacking display from United, with WhoScored.com confirming that the Red Devils had more shots on target (11) against Norwich than any other game this season, and Mata put some gloss on the scoreline with a late fourth.
On target: 11-2
Pass completion: 88%-76%
Southampton 2-0 Everton
Everton know they need a major slip-up from Arsenal if they are to qualify for the Champions League next season, after they lost 2-0 to Southampton in Saturday's early match.
The defeat was partly of the Toffees' own making, as first-half own goals from Antolin Alcaraz in the first minute and Seamus Coleman in the 31st consigned the side to defeat. Everton were denied what appeared to be a strong penalty shout after Dejan Lovren brought down Leon Osman, as Mauricio Pochettino took full advantage of some good fortune.
The visitors could hardly have too many complaints, however, as the Saints continued to impress in the second half on the way to three points that effectively secures a top-eight finish this season.
Everton, meanwhile, remain a point behind Arsenal with just two games remaining. The Gunners also have a game in hand on the Toffees, and they face Newcastle United at the Emirates on Monday.
Afterwards, Everton boss Roberto Martinez told BT Sport (h/t Daily Mail):
I think it's quite clear the two goals we gave away were very, very rare to see in a game. From that point on, we got a affected a little bit. We got a bit frustrated, we weren't our normal selves.
Everything that could have gone wrong defensively, it did, and it was very difficult from that point on.
Not at all, from our point of view it doesn't change at all. We have had eight wins in 10 games, that's a phenomenal return and allows us to go into the next two games trying to get maximum points.
We are working towards the biggest points tally that we can get and at the end of the season, we will see where that takes us.
On target: 4-2
Pass completion: 84%-82%
Fulham 2-2 Hull
Fulham were denied the chance to move out of the relegation zone for the first time since January after Hull City came from 2-0 down to grab a 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage.
Felix Magath's side were on course to leapfrog Norwich into 17th with the victory, after Ashkan Dejagah and Fernando Amorebieta scored in a three-minute second half spell to lift spirits around the club.
However, after Nikica Jelavic got one back for Steve Bruce's side with 15 minutes remaining, the stage was set for a nervy finish. Shane Long equalised with just three minutes remaining to leave the Cottagers still one point off the Canaries with a significantly worse goal difference.
Injuries and tactical changes forced Magath into making all three of his substitutions before the 50-minute mark, but it was a gamble that appeared to have paid off when Dejagah powered home from range and Amorebieta followed up minutes later with a header from a corner.
But Hull would not give up and were given a way back into the match after Jelavic hit the net. The Tigers continued to pile the pressure on, with David Stockdale making a couple of fine saves, and would not be denied—Long eventually heading home from Sone Aluko's delivery.
There was still time for more drama, as a late penalty shot for the hosts was turned down. With two games remaining, they still have much work to do.
On target: 3-4
Pass completion: 79%-81%
Sunderland 4-0 Cardiff
Sunderland jumped out of the relegation zone with a 4-0 win over Cardiff City at the Stadium of Light on Sunday, a result that saw the Welsh club replace the Black Cats at the foot of the table.
Goals from Connor Wickham (two), Fabio Borini and Emanuele Giaccherini sealed the points for Gus Poyet’s side, who still have a game in hand on their nearest rivals and will now have a renewed confidence that they can stay up.
They were helped in their quest somewhat by a critical refereeing decision, however, as Cardiff defender Juan Cala was sent off and conceded a penalty after a tussle with Wickham just before half-time.
Cardiff were already 1-0 down to Wickham’s header when the striker went clean through on goal. Cala tugged his opponent back but the referee played advantage, eventually bringing the action back after Wickham’s attempt to round the goalkeeper had fizzled out.
Cala was then shocked to be given his marching orders—as the referee awarded a penalty despite television replays subsequently showing contact had taken place outside the box.
That left Cardiff a man short and two goals behind, after Borini made no mistake from the spot. In the second half things then only got worse, as substitute Giaccherini sealed the points before Wickham completed his brace.
Sunderland, with three games remaining, now can almost taste safety. But for Cardiff—effectively three points from safety with just two games remaining—their survival prospects look horribly bleak.
On target: 7-1
Pass completion: 88%-79%
West Brom 1-0 West Ham
Saido Berahino scored the only goal of the game as West Brom took a huge step towards ensuring their Premier League status for another season, dragging West Ham back down into the relegation fray in the process.
Berahino found the net after just 11 minutes to secure the points for Pepe Mel's side, with both sides going on to push forward in an open and entertaining contest without managing to find a second goal.
Berahino, Stephane Sessegnon and Billy Jones were guilty of wasting a number of good openings for the home side, while Andy Carroll hit the post in what was arguably his side's best chance of the match.
The Baggies are now five points above the relegation zone with two games remaining, with the Hammers just one point better off. Both sides will be confident of survival, although they could yet be dragged firmly into a scrap if Cardiff or Sunderland win their games in hand.
On target: 6-3
Pass completion: 80%-78%
Swansea City 4-1 Aston Villa
Swansea all but guaranteed their Premier League status for another season with a 4-1 win over Aston Villa on Saturday, a result that leaves the Villans still in a precarious position.
Jonjo Shelvey's spectacular long-range strike was the pick of the goals either side of finishes from Wilfred Bony and Pablo Hernandez at the Liberty Stadium—strikes that ensured Gabriel Agbonlahor's 22nd minute equaliser was ultimately left somewhat meaningless. Bony added his second and Swansea's fourth from the penalty spot in injury time.
Villa are now just three points above the relegation zone, depending on the outcome of Norwich's game with Manchester United later, with two games remaining.
Swansea, now four points better off than their vanquished opponents, can breathe a lot more easily.
On target: 8-3
Pass completion: 76%-79%
Stoke City 0-1 Tottenham
Danny Rose popped up with a rare goal to give Tottenham a 1-0 victory over 10-man Stoke at the Britannia Stadium.
In something of a reversal of roles, Rose arrived at the far post to head home Emmanuel Adebayor's 33rd minute cross to give Tim Sherwood's side victory, with Stoke unable to muster a response after defender Ryan Shawcross was dismissed shortly after half-time after picking up a second yellow card.
The result means Spurs are now three points behind Everton, giving them an outside chance of overhauling the Toffees to finish fifth in the table.
On target: 3-4
Pass completion: 74%-79%
Still to Come Later This Weekend
There is one more important game still to be played.
All times BST.
Arsenal vs. Newcastle United (8 p.m.)