QPR 0 Tottenham Hotspur 0
Harry Redknapp won his personal duel with Andre Villas-Boas as Queens Park Rangers held free-scoring Tottenham Hotspur to a goalless draw in their clash at Loftus Road.
It was an ugly spectacle but relegation-threatened Rangers will celebrate a point against the club that fired Redknapp last June and appointed Villas-Boas as his successor.
The build-up to the London derby saw Redknapp play down the existence of animosity with Villas-Boas and the rivals embraced after emerging from the tunnel for kick off.
While it was not quite the complete revenge QPR’s manager may have privately sought, the draw meant his side have taken four points from their last two matches against top four opposition following their 1-0 victory over Chelsea on January 2.
Sunderland 3 West Ham 0
Sebastian Larsson’s stunning goal set up a comfortable victory for Sunderland as they moved further clear of the relegation zone.
The Sweden international set the Black Cats on their way with a 12th-minute, and the game was effectively over when Adam Johnson scored from close range after taking advantage of poor defending by West Ham two minutes after the restart, before James McClean wrapped up the win 16 minutes from time.
Norwich City 0 Newcastle 0
The need for Newcastle and Norwich to add quality to their squads was laid bare at Carrow Road, which played host to potentially one of the most boring draws of the season. Both teams passed the ball very poorly and the finishing at either end was even worse.
Without Demba Ba up front, Newcastle looked toothless, and the unfit Grant Holt was consigned to Norwich’s substitutes’ bench for most of the match.
Aston Villa 0 Southampton 1
Aston Villa’s season suffered another damaging blow as a controversial penalty – converted by Rickie Lambert, right – earned Southampton a win at Villa Park.
Villa defender Enda Stevens appeared to make no contact when Jay Rodriguez went to ground just inside the box but stand-in referee Mark Halsey – a late replacement for the ill Chris Foy – thought otherwise.
It completed a miserable week after the League Cup loss to Bradford for the Midlands side.
Everton 0 Swansea City 0
Vincente del Bosque, the Spain manager, got no goals from Michu but saw an accomplished defensive showing from Chico Flores as Swansea City claimed a draw at Everton.
Michu went closest to scoring of the two sides when he forced Tim Howard to tip a shot onto the bar.
The Welsh side are now unbeaten in seven matches in all competitions, while Everton – boosted by the return of Leighton Baines – will be frustrated to lose more ground on the top four.
Fulham 1 Wigan Athletic 1
Franco di Santo’s thumping effort earned Wigan a point as Fulham’s struggles at Craven Cottage continued.
The West Londoners have now failed to win in four home matches in all competitions.
Giorgos Karagounis, who opened his account for Fulham last weekend in the FA Cup, scored with a fierce drive in the first half.
After Di Santo’s equaliser he was denied a winning goal by Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.
Reading 3 West Bromwich Albion 2
Reading breathed new life into their Premier League survival bid when two late goals from Adam le Fondre and Pavel Pogrebnyak completed a stunning comeback victory over West Bromwich Albion.
“I’m looking forward to watching the last eight minutes of that game,” said Brian McDermott, the Reading manager.
“It just sums up the atmosphere around the Madejski Stadium, the crowd really got us back into the game. Once Jimmy [Kebe] scored, they were fantastic.”
Stoke City 0 Chelsea 4
Jon Walters scored an unfortunate brace of headed own goals and missed a late penalty as Chelsea won 4-0 at Stoke City to reclaim third place in the Premier League yesterday.
Stoke’s long unbeaten home run was brought to a shuddering halt as Chelsea chalked up a much-needed victory – with a helping hand – or head – from Jonathan Walters.
Juan Mata sent in a corner and the Stoke striker got his head to the ball just ahead of Frank Lampard.
Three minutes later Lampard netted a penalty after Mata went down and Eden Hazard rounded off the scoring with a long-range screamer 17 minutes from time.
Follow us @SprtNationalUAE