x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Wolves plunge deep into relegation trouble

Newcastle beat Wolves 4-1, while Carlo Ancelotti admits that Chelsea's title hopes have all but vanished after they are held at Stoke.

Newcastle 4 // Wolves 1

Alan Pardew, the Newcastle manager, was delighted with the response he got from his team as they dumped Wolves deeper into relegation trouble by easing their own fears.

A 4-1 home win was just their second in 10 league games after a 4-0 loss at Stoke City two weeks ago.

"The performance at Stoke just started ringing a few alarm bells. But we were back to what we are about today," Pardew said.

Birmingham 2 // Bolton 1

Birmingham manager Alex McLeish hailed a "big, big result" for his side after they beat Bolton 2-1 to catapult themselves out of the relegation zone.

"It was a game we felt we really had to win," McLeish said. "I don't like to use that term 'must-win' because what if you don't?"

He added: "When everyone knows that to win will be a big result, it heaps the pressure on, but they responded magnificently."

Everton 2 // Aston Villa 2

Under-pressure Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier believes his team are showing the qualities needed to avoid relegation despite being denied victory at injury-hit Everton after Leighton Baines struck a late penalty.

"I would say it is two points lost because we were in a winning position, but in terms of attitude, it was a hard-fought point and we deserved that, minimum," Houllier said.

Stoke 1 // Chelsea 1

Chelsea's hopes of retaining the Premier League title all but vanished when they were held to a 1-1 draw at Stoke City.

Jon Walters put the hosts ahead with an eighth-minute breakaway goal, but Didier Drogba headed an equaliser in the 33rd minute.

The result leaves Chelsea 11 points behind leaders Manchester United with just eight games to play. "I think it is very difficult [to win the league]," said the manager Carlo Ancelotti.