Newcastle move into fourth; Rovers claim vital victory

Saturday Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea Aston Villa 0-0 Sunderland Blackburn 2-0 Norwich Bolton 1-1 Swansea Fulham 2-1 Wigan Newcastle 3-0 Stoke
Newcastle were looking to capitalise on Chelsea's draw with Arsenal and step up into fourth spot with a win against Stoke.  Net photo.
Newcastle were looking to capitalise on Chelsea's draw with Arsenal and step up into fourth spot with a win against Stoke. Net photo.

Saturday
Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea
Aston Villa 0-0 Sunderland
Blackburn 2-0 Norwich
Bolton 1-1 Swansea
Fulham 2-1 Wigan
Newcastle 3-0 Stoke

Today
Man United vs Everton 13:30 SS3
Liverpool vs West Brom 17:00 SS3
Wolves vs Man City   

LONDON – Newcastle climbed to fourth in the Premier League with victory over Stoke, Blackburn claimed a precious victory against Norwich and Wigan’s resurgence was halted by Fulham.

Arsenal and Chelsea cancelled each other out in a stalemate at Emirates Stadium, Bolton came from behind to draw at home to Swansea and Sunderland were unable to find a way past Aston Villa.

Newcastle climbed above Tottenham and into fourth place, for a couple of hours at least, with a comprehensive victory over Stoke at St James’ Park.

Yohan Cabaye nodded the Magpies in front in the 14th minute when he was in the right place at the right time to convert after Papiss Cisse’s initial header from Hatem Ben Arfa’s cross had come back off the crossbar.

And the duo combined again to make it 2-0 soon after with French midfielder Cabaye’s astute through-ball slotted home first time by the Senegal striker, who has now equalled Micky Quinn’s Premier League record of the most goals in his first 10 games, by netting 11 times.

Cabaye then put the Magpies further in front with a measured finish into the bottom corner from outside the box after the Potters had failed to clear their lines.

Spectacular

Junior Hoilett curled home a spectacular strike to lift Blackburn level on points with QPR in 17th as Rovers claimed a priceless 2-0 success at home to Norwich.

Mauro Formica had put Steve Kean’s men in front shortly before the interval when he slotted home from close range at the far post following Morten Gamst Pedersen’s inviting cross from the left.

There were more protests against owners Venky’s prior to the kick-off in the wake of five successive defeats, but this success gives the Ewood Park side renewed hope of beating the drop.

Wigan were back in London just days after their memorable success over Arsenal but suffered late heartache as they went down 2-1 to Fulham at Craven Cottage as Philippe Senderos headed home the winner in the closing moments.

Emmerson Boyce drilled home from outside the area to give the Latics the lead in the 57th minute, but just seconds later Pavel Pogrebnyak levelled with an equally impressive striker after neat link-up play with Clint Dempsey.

Disappointing

Arsenal and Chelsea played out a disappointing goalless draw at Emirates Stadium which did neither side any favours in their quest for a top-four finish.

Roberto Di Matteo’s much-changed starting XI suggested he had one eye on Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg against Barcelona, while Theo Walcott limped out of the action with a hamstring problem which will rule him out for the remainder of the season, but not Euro 2012.

Bolton remain in the relegation zone and have slipped to 19th as they claimed their first point in three games after a 1-1 draw with Swansea, although Owen Coyle’s men have games in hand on their rivals.

Scott Sinclair fired the Swans ahead in spectacular fashion with only six minutes on the clock when he cut inside from the left flank and unleashed a superb strike into the top corner which left Adam Bogdan grasping at thin air.

But Chris Eagles had the Trotters back on terms soon after when he turned home from close range after being set up by Martin Petrov.

Martin O’Neill’s return to Aston Villa as Sunderland manager ended in frustration with the Black Cats playing out a 0-0 draw in the Midlands.

Nicklas Bendtner had one shot cleared off the line and another effort ruled out for offside, while Alex McLeish saw stand-in skipper Gabriel Agbonlahor leave the action after sustaining a shoulder injury.

And it was an unhappy return to his former club for midfielder Craig Gardner, who was given his marching orders in the closing moments for a second bookable offence.

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