Premier League

Saints earn gritty win at Hull City

Hull City v Southampton
Hull City's Jake Livermore and Ahmed Elmohamady battle Southampton's Jay Rodriguez.
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Jose Fonte's second-half strike saw Southampton extend their unbeaten run to six Barclays Premier League matches with a 1-0 victory at Hull, who remain within touching distance of the relegation scrap.

Saints were good value for three points, maintaining a fierce tempo throughout at the KC Stadium and creating a host of fine chances. Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez were both in profligate mood, raising Hull's hopes of a battling draw, but Fonte settled things in the 69th minute when he stabbed over the line at the second attempt.

The Portuguese defender needed the Goal Decision System to claim the goal, with Lambert rifling home on the follow-up after Maynor Figueroa tried in vain to clear the danger. Lambert had earlier missed a pair of wonderful chances in the opening seven minutes, while Rodriguez struck the crossbar from 20 yards.

Hull were far from passengers in the contest, striking the woodwork first when Shane Long's header kissed the inside of the post, but they could not match Saints' energy around the park and tired visibly as the game progressed. Having taken four points from Tottenham and Sunderland this month, their attempts to pull clear of the strugglers were duly stalled.

West Ham claimed a crucial 2-0 win over fellow strugglers Norwich, with James Collins and Mohamed Diame both scoring late goals.

The Canaries created most of the better openings in the game but Collins arrived just in time to head home an 84th-minute chance - with Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy culpable of coming to collect the delivery and getting caught out. With the visitors chasing a late equalizer they were then exposed at the back, allowing second-half substitute Diame to wrap up the win late in stoppage time.

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Cardiff and Aston Villa played out a 0-0 draw which does far more good for the visitors' hopes of survival than their hosts.

Cardiff dominated the opening half and struck the woodwork through Fraizer Campbell and a deflected Craig Noone shot, but could not find the net. Villa offered no threat during the opening 45 minutes but could have taken all three points had Leandro Bacuna and Gabriel Agbonlahor shown better composure in front of goal.

Ultimately this was a game Cardiff needed to win, and one Villa were happy enough to avoid losing, and there is no question this result will be more warmly welcomed by Paul Lambert than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Villa climb five points clear of the drop zone, but Cardiff remain 19th with just two wins from their last 17 league games.

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