- Premier League Round-Up
Newcastle profit from Stoke implosion
An implosion from Stoke City at St James' Park enabled Newcastle to come from behind in emphatic fashion, while there were also vital victories for Sunderland, Southampton, Fulham and Crystal Palace on a busy Boxing Day of action.
The day had started badly for Newcastle as Liverpool loanee Oussama Assaidi had put Stoke ahead in the north-east, before a bizarre sequence of events destroyed their hopes. First Glenn Whelan was sent off for chopping down Yohan Cabaye, his second bookable offence.
Manager Mark Hughes exploded on the sidelines and was sent to the stand, and his mood would only get darker as Marc Wilson was next to get sent off as he brought down Loic Remy in the area. The Frenchman then saw his weak penalty saved by Thomas Sorensen, however Stoke's lead lasted only a few moments more, and it was Remy who finally converted when set up by Hatem Ben Arfa, albeit with the aid of a deflection.
It took just three minutes of the second half for Newcastle to take the lead. Ben Arfa provided the cross, Sorensen managed to get a fist to it but only as far as Yoann Gouffran who drove the ball home. Remy then claimed his second of the match on 56 minutes as Newcastle began to overwhelm their short-handed opponents, and Cabaye made it 4-1 with a beautifully placed shot from 20 yards.
The torment was not over for the visitors, however, as Ben Arfa was tripped in the box by Erik Pieters for another penalty on 79 minutes, with Papiss Cisse making no mistake from the spot.
Everton suffered a setback as they fell to a 1-0 defeat by Sunderland at Goodison Park, although they remain ahead of Newcastle in fifth spot in the Premier League.
The match turned on a 25th-minute moment to forget for Everton. Leon Osman was short with a backpass, and Ki Sung-Yueng beat Howard to the ball before being tripped by the goalkeeper. A red card was produced, and Ki then converted the penalty past substitute keeper Joel Robles. That was enough for Sunderland to earn just their third league win of the season.
A first-half blitz from Southampton ensured they took all three points from their trip to Cardiff . The visitors took the lead after 14 minutes, when Adam Lallana sprung the offside trap and his low cross picked out Rodriguez to score. Rodriguez had his second six minutes later when he volleyed in Rickie Lambert's pass, and the match was effectively over when Lambert made it 3-0 on 27 minutes. However, they remain ninth in the table.
Rene Meulensteen enjoyed just his second win as manager of Fulham as they came from behind to defeat Norwich 2-1 at Carrow Road. Gary Hooper put the hosts ahead on 13 minutes thanks to a heavy deflection off Aaron Hughes to extend his home scoring streak to four consecutive matches.
Scott Parker had ball in the net shortly after following a charge down of a clearance but was penalised for handball, but within minutes Pajtim Kasami had levelled the scores. It looked set to end 1-1 all the way up to the 87th minute, when Parker drilled home from 25 yards to snatch all three points for the visitors.
It looked all but certain that there would be no goals in the match at Villa Park between Aston Villa and Crystal Palace , until Dwight Gayle struck in the 90th minute with a great strike from the edge of the area. It means Palace move out of the bottom three, with West Ham falling to second bottom after their defeat at home to Arsenal.
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