Fulham and Cardiff win to help fight against relegation
Premier League strugglers Fulham and Cardiff boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation with important 1-0 wins on Saturday.
Hugo Rodallega hit the winner for Fulham as the Londoners edged their battle with another side in the scrap at the bottom, Norwich, at Craven Cottage.
Rodallega struck five minutes before the break from a Lewis Holtby free-kick with Norwich having threatened when Robert Snodgrass hit the crossbar from a free-kick.
The result tightened the table just outside the relegation zone, leaving Norwich – who spurned numerous other opportunities in their first game since parting company with manager Chris Hughton – just two points above 18th-placed Fulham.
Juan Cala was the Cardiff hero, scoring the only goal of the Welsh side’s victory at Southampton.
Cardiff were on the back foot for much of the game, not least when a deflected Gaston Ramirez shot crashed back off the crossbar.
But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men, who remain 19th, held firm and went ahead after 65 minutes when Cala struck from just outside the box.
Crystal Palace claimed another three crucial points in their survival battle as Jason Puncheon secured a 1-0 win over Aston Villa at Selhurst Park.
Puncheon fired in off the post from a Yannick Bolasie cross 14 minutes from time after Cameron Jerome had earlier squandered a fine chance by hitting the bar from close range.
Puncheon hit the woodwork late on as Villa suffered their fourth successive defeat, leaving them with work still to do to secure their top-flight status.
Newcastle were also beaten for a fourth straight game as they went down to a fluke Erik Pieters strike at Stoke.
Pieters appeared to be crossing when he found the top corner after 42 minutes, a strike that proved the only one of the game.
Stoke had earlier hit the post through Peter Crouch.