• Premier League

Rodallega strikes late to give Fulham hope

ESPN staff
April 5, 2014
Hugo Rodallega scored four minutes from the end of normal time © PA Photos

Fulham's slim hopes of Premier League survival were boosted by Hugo Rodallega's late goal to earn them a 2-1 victory at Aston Villa.

Fulham had the first chance as 19-year-old striker Cauley Woodrow headed over the bar, before the youngster was denied by Brad Guzan's hand after he pounced on Joe Bennett's poor pass.

Following a quiet end to the first half, Leandro Bacuna almost had the home crowd on their feet at the start of the second but David Stockdale palmed his effort onto the post.

However, the visitors took a surprise lead when Kieran Richardson hammered a shot into the roof of the net to silence Villa Park on the hour mark.

The lead did not last long as Grant Holt was allowed space at the back post to head in an equaliser for Paul Lambert's side.

Lewis Holtby was denied by goal-line technology as Matthew Lowton somehow slid to keep the ball out, but Rodallega's late glancing header claimed all three points for Felix Magath's side.

Cardiff City's chances of avoiding the drop took a major blow as they slumped to a 3-0 defeat at home to relegation rivals Crystal Palace.

Kagisho Dikgacoi wasted a glorious chance to put Palace ahead as he blasted over from inside the box, before Cardiff's Fraizer Campbell saw his deflected header tipped over by Julian Speroni.

However, the travelling Palace fans were soon jubilant as Jason Puncheon expertly found the bottom corner to claim his first away goal of the season.

Cardiff's woe continued after the interval as one of their old boys came back to haunt them. Marouane Chamakh was forgotten at the back post but his header was pushed out by David Marshall only for former Bluebirds' midfielder Joe Ledley to stab home and double the lead.

Puncheon sealed the points and inflicted further misery on Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a superb 25-yard strike in the dying minutes.

West Brom's difficult week ended in joy as they rallied to a 1-0 victory against Norwich in the relegation six-pointer at Carrow Road.

West Brom started well as both Graham Dorrans and Morgan Amalfitano put their efforts wide after good, before Johan Elmander shot high over the crossbar for the home side.

Amalfitano, who scored a wonder goal in the 3-3 draw with Cardiff last week, was at it again when he took full advantage of Martin Olsson's untimely slip and hammered into the far corner to put Pepe Mel's side ahead.

Norwich almost levelled shortly before the break but Ben Foster tipped away Elmander's header to keep the Canaries at bay.

The home side started well in the second as they hit the crossbar twice in ten minutes; first Gary Hooper was unlucky not to convert before Foster tipped Robert Snodgrass' free-kick onto the woodwork.

However, West Brom held on to move five points clear of the bottom three and level on points with Chris Hughton's side.

Hull's fears were eased as George Boyd scored the only goal in a 1-0 win at home to Swansea.

Following a quiet start at the KC stadium, Swans' goalkeeper Michel Vorm was in fine fettle to push Shane Long's early volley wide of the post and keep the scores level.

Wayne Routledge should have put Garry Monk's side ahead when he latched onto Wilfried Bony's through ball but the winger's lob was easy pickings for Steve Harper.

It was a chance missed as Hull soon took the lead through Boyd; the attacker out-jumped Angel Rangel to head in Liam Rosenior's cross for his first goal of 2014.

Neither side could find the breakthrough and Hull stayed firm to earn all three points.

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