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Premiership MatchDay 36 -- Review

last updated Tuesday 29th April 2014, 10:41 PM

Premier League matchday 36 saw Ryan Giggs enjoy the perfect start to his interim Man United career with a big win at home to Norwich, but Everton's Champions League hopes took a big knock and Fulham threw away the chance to move out of the relegation zone.

Premier League MatchDay 36
Saturday 26th April 2014
DateK.O.HomeRes.AwayRefereeVenue Att.
26:0412:45Southampton(2) 2-0 (0)EvertonMichael OliverSt Mary's Stadium 31313
26:0415:00Fulham(0) 2-2 (0)HullLee MasonCraven Cottage 25700
26:0415:00Stoke(0) 0-1 (1)TottenhamAndre MarrinerBritannia Stadium 26021
26:0415:00Swansea(2) 4-1 (1)Aston VillaMark ClattenburgLiberty Stadium 20701
26:0415:00West Brom(1) 1-0 (0)West HamMike DeanThe Hawthorns 26541
26:0417:30Man Utd(1) 4-0 (0)NorwichLee ProbertOld Trafford 75208
Sunday 27th April 2014
DateK.O.Home AwayRefereeVenue  
27:0412:00Sunderland(2) 4-0 (0)CardiffPhil Dowd Stadium of Light 42397
27:0414:05Liverpool(0) 0-1 (2)ChelseaMartin AtkinsonAnfield 44726
27:0416:10C. Palace(0) 0-2 (2)Man CityHoward Webb Selhurst Park 24769
Monday 28th April 2014
DateK.O.Home AwayRefereeVenue  
28:0420:00Arsenal(2) 3-0 (0)NewcastleNeil Swarbrick Emirates Stadium 60023
Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata both scored twice as Man United cantered to a 4-0 win over Norwich City. Giggs assumed temporary control of United on Tuesday following the sacking of David Moyes.

Once United had put a slightly cumbersome first half behind them, they strolled to victory. Steven Whittaker pulled Danny Welbeck down in the box four minutes before the interval and Rooney made no mistake from the spot to open the scoring. Rooney added a second soon after the restart before Juan Mata came off the bench to score twice from close range as United coasted home.

Hull City fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Fulham at Craven Cottage and stop the hosts from moving out of the relegation zone.

Premiership table - after 28th April
Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 Liverpool 36 15 1 2 51 17 10 4 4 45 29 50 80
2 Chelsea 36 15 2 1 43 11 9 4 5 26 15 43 78
3 Man City 35 15 1 1 57 13 9 4 5 36 22 58 77
4 Arsenal 36 12 5 1 35 11 10 2 6 30 30 24 73
5 Everton 36 13 3 2 36 16 7 6 5 21 20 21 69
6 Tottenham 36 10 3 5 27 23 10 3 5 25 26 3 66
7 Man Utd 35 8 3 6 26 19 10 3 5 34 21 20 60
8 Southampton 36 8 5 5 31 22 6 5 7 21 23 7 52
9 Newcastle 36 7 3 8 20 28 7 1 10 19 19 -18 46
10 Stoke 36 9 6 3 23 16 2 5 11 16 34 -11 44
11 C. Palace 36 8 2 8 15 20 5 2 11 13 23 -15 43
12 Swansea 36 6 5 7 33 25 4 4 10 18 27 -1 39
13 Hull 35 7 4 7 20 19 3 3 11 16 26 -9 37
14 West Ham 36 6 3 9 23 26 4 4 10 15 23 -11 37
15 West Brom 35 4 9 5 23 25 3 6 8 19 29 -12 36
16 Aston Villa 35 5 3 10 19 28 4 5 8 17 25 -17 35
17 Sunderland 35 4 3 10 18 24 4 5 9 19 33 -20 32
18 Norwich 36 6 6 6 17 16 2 2 14 11 44 -32 32
19 Fulham 36 5 2 11 22 36 4 2 12 15 43 -42 31
20 Cardiff 36 5 5 8 19 33 2 4 12 12 36 -38 30
Ashkan Dejagah broke the deadlock on 55 minutes, cutting inside and curling the ball into the top corner from the edge of the area. Then just three minutes later, Fernando Amorebieta guided in a glancing header from Kieran Richardson's cross. However, Nikica Jelavic pulled one back for Hull, nodding in a rebound from a David Stockdale save, and Shane Long then headed in Sone Aluko's cross with three minutes remaining to leave Fulham a point from safety with two games remaining.

Swansea City eased any lingering relegation fears by securing a 4-1 win at home to Aston Villa, who slumped to a fifth defeat in six games and are now just four points above the drop zone. Wilfried Bony put Swansea in front after 10 minutes, slotting Jonjo Shelvey's ball past Brad Guzan for his 23rd goal of the season.

Gabriel Agbonlahor brought Villa level on 22 minutes, meeting Marc Albrighton's cross from six yards. However, Shelvey quickly restored Swansea's lead with a goal-of-the-season contender, sending a dipping shot from the edge of the centre circle over the back-tracking Guzan. Pablo Hernandez then added his side's third, controlling Shelvey's cross at the far post and curling home, before Bony converted a late penalty after Marvin Emnes was bundled over in the box by Nathan Baker.

West Bromwich Albion, meanwhile, continued their survival charge with a vital 1-0 win at home to West Ham United, with Saido Berahino converting from Morgan Amalfitano's cross early on. The result moved them five points clear of 18th-placed Fulham.

Two calamitous own goals put a serious dent in Everton's bid for Champions League football as they fell to a 2-0 defeat at Southampton. Making just his sixth appearance this season alongside John Stones at centre-back, Antolin Alcaraz headed past Tim Howard into his own net with 53 seconds gone at St Mary's.

Seamus Coleman then followed suit on 31 minutes, steering Nathaniel Clyne's cross from the right past Howard into the bottom corner. Everton have now lost two of their four games since beating Arsenal 3-0 at Goodison Park earlier this month.

Premier League MatchDay 37
Saturday 3rd May 2014
DateK.O.HomeAwayRefereeVenue TV
03-0512:45West HamTottenhamPhil DowdUpton Park BT1
03-0515:00Aston VillaHullMike DeanVilla Park  
03-0515:00Man UtdSunderlandHoward WebbOld Trafford  
03-0515:00NewcastleCardiffMartin AtkinsonSt James' Park  
03-0515:00StokeFulhamChris FoyBritannia Stadium  
03-0515:00SwanseaSouthamptonAnthony TaylorLiberty Stadium  
03-0517:30EvertonMan CityLee Probert Goodison Park Sky1
Sunday 4th May 2014
DateK.O.HomeAwayRefereeVenue TV
04-0513:30ArsenalWest BromMike Jones Emirates Stadium Sky1
04-0516:00ChelseaNorwichNeil SwarbrickStamford Bridge Sky1
Monday 5th May 2014
DateK.O.HomeAwayRefereeVenue TV
05-0520:00C. PalaceLiverpoolMark ClattenburgSelhurst Park Sky1
Tottenham Hotspur tightened their grip on sixth place and qualification for the Europa League with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium. Spurs' winner came from an unlikely source when defender Danny Rose headed home Emanuel Adabayor's cross at the far post.

Sunderland thrashed 10-man Cardiff to climb out of the Premier League's bottom three and push the Bluebirds closer towards relegation.

Cardiff have the worst away record in the division and their survival prospects look bleak. The Bluebirds are two points from safety and are at Newcastle before ending the season at home to Chelsea.

Chelsea blew open the race for the Premier League title by ending leaders Liverpool's 11-game winning streak with a deserved victory at Anfield. Demba Ba gave the Blues the lead at the end of the first half after Steven Gerrard's slip and Willian capped the win with a breakaway goal in stoppage time.

The result ends Liverpool's 16-match unbeaten streak that had seen them march to the top of the table and means the title is no longer in their control.

Manchester City beat Crystal Palace to capitalise on Liverpool's defeat by Chelsea and move within three points of the Premier League leaders. Yaya Toure crossed for Edin Dzeko to head City into an early lead before the Ivorian curled a second from 15 yards.

Third-placed City have a game in hand over both Liverpool and second-placed Chelsea as well as a superior goal difference.

Arsenal are on the brink of securing Champions League football for next season after strolling to a resounding victory over a sorry Newcastle side. Arsenal are on the rise, having responded to their defeat by Everton on 6 April by winning their next three games to climb four points ahead of the Toffees with two games remaining.

The season cannot end soon enough for Newcastle and their fans, who have watched a Champions League challenge evaporate in a dismal 2014, during which they have scored fewer goals - 10 - than any team in the division.

Premier League ~ Saturday 26th April March 2014

Premier League ~ 12:45 Southampton (2) 2-0 (0) Everton ~ BTSports 1  

Everton's bid for Champions League qualification suffered a huge setback as they went down 2-0 at Southampton to stay behind Arsenal, who can now move four points clear in fourth place with a win over Newcastle United on Monday. Southampton produced an impressive performance but much of the damage was self-inflicted by Everton, with Antolin Alcaraz scoring an own goal inside the opening minute at St Mary's as he headed in a Rickie Lambert cross.

Seamus Coleman repeated Alcaraz's mistake in the 31st minute when Nathaniel Clyne swung over a cross from the right and he inadvertently nodded past Tim Howard, leaving Southampton firmly in control. Everton battled back after the break and thought they should have had a penalty when Leon Osman went down in the box under a tackle from Dejan Lovren, but referee Michael Oliver felt it was a dive and yellow carded the midfielder.

Southampton: Boruc 6, Clyne 7.5, Shaw 8, Wanyama 7, Fonte 7, Lovren 8, Davis 7 (Do Prado 90), Cork 7, Lambert 8, Gallagher 8 (Ward-Prowse 76), Lallana 8 (Reed 86)
Subs not used: Chambers, Gazzaniga, Hooiveld, Targett

Scorers: Alcaraz og 1, Coleman og 31

Everton: Howard 6, Coleman 5, Baines 6 (Garbutt 90), Barry 6, Stones 5.5, Alcaraz 4.5, Naismith 5.5, McCarthy 6, Lukaku 5, Barkley 6 (Osman 45), Deulofeu 5 (McGeady 58)
Subs not used: Robles, Hibbert, Browning, Ledson

Booked: Barry, Osman

Referee: Michael Oliver 5

Attendance: 31,313

Premier League ~ 15:00 Fulham (0) 2-2 (0) Hull

The battle to avoid the drop took several twists and turns in a key game at Craven Cottage as Fulham surrendered a two-goal advantage and were pegged back to 2-2 by Hull to remain in the relegation zone. A tight first half finished goalless, although Hull had a strong penalty appeal waved away when referee Lee Mason decided that Fernando Amorebieta had not brought down Shane Long.

Felix Magath's side then opened the scoring in the 55th minute as half-time substitute Ashkan Dejagah weaved away from a couple of defenders to drift in from the right and curled an exquisite shot into the top corner. Amorebieta's doubled Fulham's advantage just three minutes later with a glancing header from Kieran Richardson's inviting cross, but Hull responded brilliantly to salvage a point. Nikica Jelavic reduced the arrears when he reacted quickly to beat David Stockdale after Sascha Riether had deflected the ball on to his own bar, and Shane Long headed home Sone Aluko's cross three minutes from time to deny Fulham a precious victory which would have lifted them out of the bottom three.

Fulham (4-3-2-1): Stockdale 5; Riether 5, Heitinga 6.5, Hangeland 6.5, Amorebieta 7; Parker 6.5, Sidwell 6.5 (Bent 53, 6.5), Diarra 7; Holtby 5 (Dejagah 46, 7.5), Riise 5 (Richardson 46, 6.5); Rodallega 6.
Subs not used: Stekelenburg, Kasami, Roberts, Woodrow.

Scorers:Dejagah 55, Amorebieta 58,

Booked: Diarra (65,f)

Hull (3-5-2): Harper 6; Bruce 6 (Aluko 67, 6), Chester 6, Davies 6.5; Elmohamady 6, Rosenior 6.5 (Boyd 82); Meyler 6 (Sagbo 82), Huddlestone 7, Livermore 7; Jelavic 6.5, Long 6.5.
Subs not used: Jakupovic, Koren, Fryatt, Quinn

Scorers: Jelavic 75, Long 87

Booked: Elmohamady, Livermore, Jelavic

Referee: Lee Mason (Bolton) - 6

Attendance: 25,700

Premier League ~ 15:00 Stoke City (0) 0-1 (1) Tottenham

Danny Rose had an eventful afternoon as he scored the only goal of the game at Stoke to keep Tottenham on course for a European spot. Rose powered in a header on 33 minutes after Emmanuel Adebayor had cleverly skipped away from Glenn Whelan, poking the ball one side of his opponent and darting past him on the other before pulling back an accurate cross.

Stoke's chances of mounting a comeback were severely hit early in the second half when Ryan Shawcross was dismissed for a second bookable offence after a foul on Rose, which riled the Britannia Stadium crowd but looked a fair decision by referee Andre Marriner. The Stoke fans booed Rose's every touch and he pushed Geoff Cameron in frustration after a foul to earn himself a booking before eventually being replaced, and Spurs had to withstand a late onslaught against 10 men to emerge triumphant.

Stoke: Begovic 6; Cameron 6, Shawcross 5, Wilson 6, Muniesa 6; N'Zonzi 7, Whelan 6; Odemwingie 6, Ireland 6 (Pieters 55, 7), Arnautovic 7; Crouch 5 (Assaidi 61, 5).
Subs not used: Palacios, Adam, Walters, Wilkinson, Sorensen.

Booked: Arnautovic, Shawcross.

Sent off: Shawcross

Tottenham: Lloris 6; Naughton 6, Kaboul 6, Dawson 7, Rose 8 (Fryers 69, 5); Lennon 6 (Townsend 78, 6), Chadli 5 (Sigurdsson 73, 5), Paulinho 6, Eriksen 7; Kane 6, Adebayor 6.5.
Subs not used: Soldado, Friedel, Sandro, Bentaleb.

Booked: Naughton, Rose.

Scorers: Rose, 33.

MOM: Danny Rose.

Referee: Andre Marriner.

Attendance: 26,021.

Premier League ~ 15:00 Swansea City (2) 4-1 (1) Aston Villa

Aston Villa slipped deeper into trouble as they lost 4-1 to Swansea at the Liberty Stadium in a match which featured a remarkable Shelvey goal from about 45 yards. Swansea eased their own relegation fears with a win at Newcastle United last weekend and took the lead against Aston Villa after just 10 minutes as Wilfried Bony beat the offside trap to latch on to Shelvey's pass and calmly slot home for his 14th league goal of the season in all competitions. Gabriel Agbonlahor turned in Marc Albrighton's excellent right-wing cross from just a couple of yards out to equalise in the 22nd minute, but Villa were back on level terms for just four minutes before Shelvey produced his moment of magic.

With a strike reminiscent of Rooney's goal against West Ham United last month, Shelvey controlled the ball on his chest just inside the centre circle and spotted Brad Guzan off his line before unleashing a dipping, swerving volley which flew into the top corner. Pablo Hernandez's calm finish extended Swansea's lead in the 73rd minute and Bony added a late penalty after Nathan Baker had clattered into Marvin Emnes. The result leaves Garry Monk's side on 39 points, while Villa are just four clear of the drop zone.

Swansea (4-2-3-1): Vorm 6; Rangel 6 (Taylor 77), Amat 6, Williams 6.5, Davies 6; Britton 6, Shelvey 8.5; Routledge 7 (Emnes 87), de Guzman 6 (Fulton 83), Hernandez 7; Bony 7.5.
Subs not used: Tremmel, Alvaro, Bartley.

Scorers: Bony 10, Shelvey 26, Hernandez 73, Bony 90 pen,

Booked: Amat.

Aston Villa (4-3-3): Guzan 4; Bacuna 4.5 (Lowton 46 5), Vlaar 4.5, Baker 4, Bertrand 4.5; Westwood 4.5, Delph 4.5, El Ahmadi 4.5 (Holt 75 5); Weimann 5 (Robinson 67), Agbonlahor 6, Albrighton 5.5.
Subs not used: Clark, Steer, Sylla, Tonev.

Scorers: Agbonlahor 22.

Booked: Baker, Albrighton, Westwood.

Referee: M Clattenburg (Durham)

Attendance: 20,701.

Premier League ~ 15:00 West Brom (1) 1-0 (0) West Ham

West Brom boosted their survival hopes with a 1-0 win over West Ham at The Hawthorns. Saido Berahino made the crucial breakthrough in the 11th minute with a close-range finish from Morgan Amalfitano's cross, after great work from Stephane Sessegnon to lead a swift counter-attack and burst through a couple of challenges. The Hammers were unable to find an equaliser but results elsewhere leave them with a six-point cushion over the bottom three, while West Brom are now just a point further back.

West Brom: Foster 7, Reid 6 (Morrison 47, 6.5), Dawson 7, Olsson 7, Billy Jones 6, Mulumbu 6.5, Dorrans 6.5, Amalfitano 6.5, Sessegnon 7.5 (Anichebe 81), Brunt 7, Berahino 7 (Yacob 90).
Subs not used: Myhill, Lugano, Vydra, Thievy.

Scorers: Berahino 11.

West Ham: Adrian 6.5, Demel 6, Tomkins 6 (Collins 33, 6), Reid 6.5, McCartney 6, Diame 5.5, Noble 6, Jarvis 5.5 (Carlton Cole 79), Nolan 5, Downing 6 (Joe Cole 67), Carroll 5.5.
Subs not used: Armero, Vaz Te, Jaaskelainen, Nocerino.

Booked: Collins.

Referee: Mike Dean.

Attendance: 26,541.

Premier League ~ 17:30 Manchester United (1) 4-0 (0) Norwich City ~ SkySports 1  

Norwich City are now just a point above the bottom three after losing 4-0 to Manchester United in a game which marked the start of Giggs' temporary reign. Having sacked David Moyes in midweek and denied reports on Saturday morning that a deal to bring in Louis van Gaal had already been agreed, the spotlight was on Giggs in the dugout after he was handed the job on an interim basis until the end of the season. It was Giggs' opposite number,

Neil Adams, though, who most desperately needed to deliver a result to push Norwich up the table, and it was to prove a frustrating night at Old Trafford as Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata scored two apiece in a convincing home win. The England striker made it 1-0 from the penalty spot four minutes before half-time after Danny Welbeck had been pulled back by Steven Whittaker, and added a second on 48 minutes as he drove a shot into the bottom corner from 25 yards despite slipping as he struck the ball. Mata came on in the 60th minute and found the net just three minutes later as he steered home a Phil Jones cross, before nodding in United's fourth from point-blank range after 73 minutes.

Manchester United: De Gea 6, Jones 6, Ferdinand 7, Vidic 7, Evra 6, Valencia 6.5, Carrick 6, Cleverley 5 (Hernandez 71, 6), Kagawa 5 (Young 65, 6), Rooney 8, Welbeck 7 (Mata 60, 7).
Subs not used: Smalling, Lindegaard, Nani, Fletcher.

Scorers: Rooney pen 41, Rooney 48, Mata 63, Mata 73.

Booked: Evra.

Norwich: Ruddy 7, Whittaker 6, Martin 5.5, Turner 6, Olsson 5.5, Snodgrass 6, Howson 5.5, Johnson 6, Redmond 6 (Hooper 69, 5), Fer 7 (Tettey 80, 5), Van Wolfswinkel 5 (Elmander 57, 5).
Subs not used: Bunn, Gutierrez, Ryan Bennett, Murphy.

Booked: Howson.

Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).

Attendance: 75,208.

Premier League ~ Sunday 27th April March 2014

Premier League ~ 12:00 Sunderland (2) 4-0 (0) Cardiff City ~ SkySports 1

Sunderland climbed out of the bottom three with a controversial 4-0 win over 10-man Cardiff in their relegation showdown at the Stadium of Light. Connor Wickham sent Sunderland on their way with the opening goal and Cardiff suffered a double blow right on the stroke of half-time when Juan Cala was sent off for conceding a penalty for a foul on Wickham and Fabio Borini scored from the spot. The defeat means Cardiff replace Sunderland at the bottom of the table and two points adrift of safety with only two games remaining.

Sunderland: Mannone 6.5, Vergini 6, Alonso 6, O'Shea 6, Brown 6.5, Cattermole 7.5, Larsson 7 (Giaccherini 73', 6.5) , Colback 7 (Bridcutt 84'), Johnson 7.5 (Gardner 84'), Borini 7, Wickham 8.
Subs not used: Bardsley, Altidore, Scocco, Ustari

Scorers: Wickham 26, Borini pen 45, Giaccherini 76, Wickham 86

Booked: Vergini, Larsson, Giaccherini, Borini, Gardner

Cardiff City: Marshall 7; Theophile-Catherine 5.5, Caulker 6.5, Cala 4.5, Fabio 5 (Jones 64', 6); Cowie 5 (Zaha 45', 6), Medel 6, Whittingham 6, Daehli 5.5; Mutch 5.5, Campbell 5.5 (Bellamy 74')
Subs not used: Lewis; Turner, Eikrem, John

Booked: Mutch, Medel, Fabio

Sent off: Cala

Referee: Phil Dowd

Attendance: 42,397

Premier League ~ 14.05 Liverpool (0) 0-2 (1) Chelsea ~ SkySports 1

Demba Ba capitalised on a slip by Steven Gerrard as Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield to hit the Reds' title hopes. Ba's opener came just before the break when Gerrard slipped following Mamadou Sakho's pass. Ba latched onto the ball and ran at goal before nutmegging the advancing Simon Mignolet. Willian then made sure of the win after a pass from fellow substitute Fernando Torres for a breakaway goal in injury time. The victory saw the second-placed Blues halt Liverpool's 11-match league winning run and move to within two points of their opponents at the top with Manchester City also in a position to take advantage as the title race looks set to go right to the wire.

Liverpool: Mignolet 7, Johnson 7.5, Skrtel 7.5, Sakho 6.5, Flanagan 6.5 (Aspas 81), Lucas 5.5 (Sturridge 58), Gerrard 7, Allen 7, Sterling 5, Suarez 5, Coutinho 5.
Subs not used: Brad Jones, Toure, Agger, Alberto, Cissokho.

Chelsea: Schwarzer 7, Azpilicueta 8, Ivanovic 8.5, Kalas 8, Cole 8, Mikel 8, Matic 9, Salah 6 (Willian 60), Lampard 7, Schurrle 7 (Cahill 77), Ba 7.5 (Torres 84)
Subs not used: Van Ginkel, Ake, Hilario, Baker.

Scorers: Ba 45, Willian 90

Booked: Salah, Lampard, Torres, Cole

Referee: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

Attendance: 44,726

Premier League ~ 16:10 Crystal Palace (0) 0-2 (2) Manchester City ~ SkySports 1

Manchester City took the opportunity to get their title bid back on track with a 2-0 victory away to Crystal Palace. Liverpool's loss to Chelsea earlier on Sunday left City knowing they could become champions by winning their four remaining games, and goals from Edin Dzeko and Yaya Toure sealed success at Selhurst Park.

Palace had been looking to claim another big scalp after climbing into the top half on the back of five straight wins, but Dzeko opened the scoring after just four minutes when he headed home from Toure's cross. Toure added a second with an excellent finish into the top corner two minutes before half-time after a strong run from midfield, and City held firm after the interval to close to within three points of leaders Liverpool with a game still in hand and a superior goal difference.

Crystal Palace: Speroni 5.5, Mariappa 6, Dann 6, Delaney 5, Ward 6, Puncheon 5, Jedinak 6, Ledley 5.5, Bolasie 5 (Ince 73, 6), Jerome 5 (Murray 69, 6), Chamakh 5.5 (Gayle 69, 6).
Subs not used: Parr, Dikgacoi, Gabbidon, Hennessey.

Booked: Delaney, Dann, Ward.

Manchester City: Hart 6.5, Zabaleta 7, Kompany 7.5, Demichelis 7, Kolarov 7.5, Milner 7, Javi Garcia 7, Toure 8.5 (Fernandinho 66, 6) , Nasri 7, Dzeko 6.5 (Negredo 88), Aguero 6.5 (Jovetic 79, 6).
Subs not used: Richards, Lescott, Clichy, Pantilimon.

Booked: Zabaleta.

Scorers: Dzeko 4, Toure 43.

Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire), 5.

Attendance: 24,769.

Premier League ~ Monday 28th April March 2014

Premier League ~ 20.00 Arsenal (0) 0-0 (0) Newcastle United ~ SkySports 1

Arsenal closed in on another shot at Champions League qualification with a 3-0 victory over Newcastle to inflict a sixth straight defeat on Alan Pardew. The Gunners are now four points ahead of Everton in the race to secure a top-four finish, with just two matches remaining, as club-record signing Mesut Ozil delivered an inspired display, scoring one and creating another. Newcastle, though, continue their slide down the Premier League following another lacklustre display - which left the 2,000-strong travelling support venting their anger on Pardew, whose long-term future is in doubt, despite returning to the touchline after his seven-game ban for headbutting Hull's David Meyler.

Arsenal: Szczesny 6.5, Sagna 7, Mertesacker 7, Koscielny 7.5, Monreal 6.5, Arteta 7, Ramsey 8.5 (Rosicky 74), Cazorla 7, Ozil 8 (Flamini 74), Podolski 7, Giroud 7 (Sanogo 84).
Subs not used: Vermaelen, Fabianski, Jenkinson, Kallstrom.

Scorers: Koscielny 26, Ozil 42, Giroud 66.

Booked: Koscielny, Ramsey, Sagna.

Newcastle: Krul 6.5, Debuchy 6.5 (Yanga-Mbiwa 84), Williamson 6, Coloccini 6.5, Dummett 6, Tiote 6, Anita 6, Sissoko 5.5, Gouffran 5 (Armstrong 89), Gosling 5.5 (Shola Ameobi 69), Remy 5.
Subs not used: Haidara, Elliot, Obertan, Steven Taylor.

Booked: Sissoko, Tiote.

Referee: Neil Swarbrick (Lancashire).

Attendance: 60,023.

Source Sky/ Sporting Life
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