Manchester United‘s Champions League hopes took another dent as they lost 2-1 at relegation-threatened Sunderland.
Sunderland took a surprise lead after only three minutes through January signing Wahbi Khazri. The Tunisia international scored his first goal for the club after his free kick from the left wing went through everyone and sneaked into the net at the far post.
United were level in the 39th minute. Vito Mannone got down well low to his right to keep out Juan Mata’s effort, but Anthony Martial was quickest to the loose ball and scored with a fine lifted finished over goalkeeper from a tight angle.
Sunderland got a deserved winner eight minutes from time. A corner was delivered from the right flank, and another of Sam Allardyce’s window signings was left unmarked. Lamine Kone, brought in from Ligue 1 side Lorient, headed towards goal and the ball squirmed through David De Gea and Martial before eventually going in off the back of the goalkeeper.
The result leaves Louis van Gaal’s men six points adrift of fourth place with an extra game played.
But Sunderland’s bid to stay up, courtesy of a first Premier League win over United at the Stadium of Light, is boosted and they move just one point behind Norwich and safety.
Chelsea cruised to an emphatic 5-1 win over a poor Newcastle United side to send the Magpies back into the relegation zone.
They stormed into a 3-0 lead within the opening 20 minutes as Newcastle contributed to their own downfall.
Diego Costa opened the scoring after five minutes, slotting home Willian’s superb through ball from close range. And within four minutes, Rolando Aarons played a risky square pass inside his own half, allowing Pedro to race through before planting a fine finish past Rob Elliot from outside the box.
And with 17 minutes on the clock, Costa set up Pedro to strike past the demoralised Elliot.
The Magpies were four down before an hour had gone when Pedro was played through by Fabregas and chested the ball down before finishing low for his second goal of the game.
Bertrand Traore wrapped up the win in the 83rd minute, guiding home a pass from Cesar Azpilicueta for his first-ever Premier League goal.
Newcastle’s consolation came through Andros Townsend in the final minute.
West Ham United missed the chance to climb above the Red Devils as they drew 2-2 at Norwich City — but it could have been far worse as the Canaries again threw away a two-goal advantage at home.
Brady broke the deadlock 10 minutes after the interval as he won possession and shot past Adrian with his weaker right foot. And the lead was doubled in the 65th minute, Steven Naismith’s shot deflecting into the path of Wes Hoolahan who made no mistake.
Dimitri Payet gave the Hammers hope of a comeback with a goal in the 74th minute. Victor Moses burst through from the half-way line only to see his shot saved by Ruddy, but he could only push the ball out as far as Payet who made no mistake. Two minutes later the visitors were level through skipper Mark Noble, who scored via yet another assist for Payet.
West Ham pushed for a winner but had to settle for a hard-fought point and drop a place to seventh. Norwich did later climb out of the relegation zone courtesy of Newcastle’s heavy loss at Chelsea.
Southampton moved above the Hammers into sixth with a 1-0 win atSwansea City.
It was a dismal first half only brought to life in the closing moments when Gylfi Sigurdsson fired over the bar.
The only goal of the game came in the 69th minute as Shane Long’s good run of form continued. James Ward-Prowse was the architect and he picked out Long in the box to head past Lukasz Fabianski.
Troy Deeney scored twice as Watford beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at Selhurst Park to move back into the top half in eighth.
Watford took the lead from the penalty spot on 16 minutes after Mile Jedinak tugged back Troy Deeney in the box. Deeney took the spot-kick himself and sent goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey the wrong way.
The home side were level on the stroke of half-time as Emmanuel Adebayor netted his first goal for the Eagles. Connor Wickham produced a fine cross to the back post and Adebayor outjumped Craig Cathcart to head home.
Watford found the winner in the 82nd minute as Deeney took two touches to control and score past Hennessey.
Pape Souare was sent off late on after leaving the ground two-footed in a challenge with Valon Behrami.
Stoke City recovered from the heavy home defeat to Everton last week by claiming the points in a 3-1 win at AFC Bournemouth.
Mark Hughes’ side took the lead in the ninth minute as new signing Giannelli Imbula paid back the first installment of his record £18.5 million transfer fee after joining for Porto. He picked the ball up, moved forward and then fired into the far corner from outside the area.
It was 3-0 just 10 minutes after half-time as Stoke scored a quickfire double. First, Glenn Whelan played Jonathan Walters through on goal, and the Republic of Ireland forward then unselfishly set up Ibrahim Afellay to slot past Artur Boruc for his first-ever Stoke goal.
Shaqiri claimed the assist for the third, with substitute Joselu heading in just seconds after coming off the bench.
Bournemouth gave themselves a chance moments later through a Matt Ritchie long-range special, but there was to be no way back. Stoke moved up to ninth in the table while the Cherries are now just four points off the drop zone.
Everton‘s season of inconsistency continued as they suffered a 1-0 loss at home to West Bromwich Albion.
West Brom went in front after 14 minutes, though there was some uncertainty about who scored it. The credit went to Salomon Rondon, but Jonas Olsson looked as though he might have got the final touch after Stephane Sessegnon’s corner.
Everton cranked up the pressure in a desperate search for an equaliser. Ramiro Funes Mori saw his header cleared off the line, then Ben Foster had to tip Aaron Lennon’s deflected effort over the bar. Ross Barkley also had an effort that hit the post as the Toffees got closer.
Roberto Martinez’s side had 14 shots in the first half, but only two were actually on target.
The second half was less eventful and while the Toffees continued to be on top they couldn’t find a way through.