The race for survival and the Champions League in the Premier League really hotted up on Saturday, as a number of teams recorded what could be vital victories for their respected aims this season.
Big result at the bottom
One of the biggest results of the day saw Swansea record a 4-1 victory over fellow strugglers West Ham at the Liberty Stadium. The win moved the Swans out of the relegation zone, three points clear of the bottom three.
The Welsh side took the lead on eight minutes, as Sung-Yueng Ki’s low effort from 20 yards out somehow beat Adrian in the Irons goal. Carlos Carvalhal’s side added a second on 32 minutes. Dutch centre-back Mike van der Hoorn headed home from close-range after a pinpoint cross from Ki.
The Welsh side extended their lead just after the break. Adrian kept out Andre Ayew’s header, but Andy King prodded home the rebound. The home side scored a fourth goal on 63 minutes.
Cheikhou Kouyate brought Andre Ayew down in the area and his brother Jordan Ayew stepped up to score with the spot kick. Substitute Michail Antonio scored a consolation goal for the Hammers with 12 minutes left on the clock, but the goal meant very little.
The victory moved the Swans above the Irons in the table on goal difference. Both teams are still just three points above the dreaded drop zone. However, the two teams are in very different form, so the Irons will be the more nervous of the two sides.
Another relegation battle at St Marys saw Southampton and Stoke draw 0-0. The result helped neither team much in the fight for survival, although the point did move Southampton out of the relegation zone. Stoke remain in the drop zone, although they are only one point behind the Saints in that very tight relegation battle.
Top-four streaking clear of the rest
At the other end of the table, Tottenham recorded a 2-0 home win over Huddersfield to strengthen their position in the Champions League spots.
Spurs took the lead on 27 minutes, as Dele Alli’s pass released Heung-min Son behind the Huddersfield defence and the South Korean rounded Jonas Lossl before firing into an open goal. Son doubled his and his team’s goal tally on 54 minutes. England striker Harry Kane produced a superb cross and the winger got up well to head home.
The win means that Tottenham are now five points ahead of fifth-place Chelsea, who face a tough trip to runaway leaders Manchester City later today. The north London side are now favoured over the Blues to claim a Champions League spot this season.
Elsewhere, Liverpool won 2-0 against Newcastle at Anfield to consolidate their position in the Champions League spots. In fact, the win moved the Reds up to second place, although the Merseysiders could drop down to third on Monday if Manchester United records a win at Crystal Palace.
This victory was a rather routine one for Jurgen Klopp’s side. The home side took until the 40th minute to make the breakthrough. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain found Mohamed Salah on the right of the area and the Egyptian fired home. The goal was the winger’s 32nd of the season in all competitions.
The Reds doubled their lead ten minutes into the second half. Roberto Firmino produced a superb ball to Sadio Mane fired past Martin Dubravka in the visitor’s goal. The home side should have had a penalty in stoppage-time, as Jamaal Lascelles looked to have brought down Salah in the area. However, the incident meant little to the final outcome of the game and the Merseysiders recorded a comfortable three points.
Saturday’s other Premier League results:
Burnley 2-1 Everton
Leicester 1-1 Bournemouth
Watford 1-0 West Brom
Who pulled off the biggest victory in the Premier League on Saturday?