Chelsea, Man City big winners as Southampton let points slip

BY foxsports • February 11, 2015

Manchester City and Chelsea were the big winners on a night that saw Southampton let points slip, and Manchester United slide up to third in the table. Also, Aston Villa relieved manager Paul Lambert of his duties to send the American-owned club into uncertainty.

Chelsea downed a dogged Everton 1-0 thanks to a late, late goal from Willian that caught American keeper Tim Howard flat-footed. Shot through traffic, there still will be questions about Howard's response on the play, which came immediately after Gareth Barry had been sent off for two yellows.

Burnley looked impressive in the first half and still managed to go in at the interval down 2-1 to Manchester United thanks to two goals from a player who wasn't even supposed to be on the pitch.

After Phil Jones had to come off injured early, Chris Smalling came on and immediately scored off a corner kick. Smalling would add another header right before the break before Robin van Persie sealed the points from the spot in the second half. Danny Ings scored for the Clarets.  

Manchester City improved substantially after the interval to secure a 4-1 victory over Stoke City.

Sergio Aguero calmed the early City nerves with his angled opener just after the half-hour, but Peter Crouch -- cruelly denied a penalty inside the first 10 minutes when James Milner appeared to handle his goal-bound header -- responded seven minutes before the break to draw the home side deservedly level.

Aguero had a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside on the stroke of halftime before Milner nodded home the eventual winner after 55 minutes. Aguero snatched his second from the penalty spot to confirm the result in the 70th minute, but he subsequently exited through injury minutes later. Samir Nasri supplied the gloss with a late fourth to keep City seven points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea.

Ten-man West Ham United held out for the final half-hour to claim a scoreless draw at Southampton.

Adrian received his marching orders just after the hour for handling outside his penalty area under pressure from Sadio Mane. The numerical advantage prompted the home side to push numbers forward in search of a winner, but West Ham defended doggedly in the waning stages to thwart those efforts.

Substitute goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen produced late blocks on Jose Fonte and Dusan Tadic to ensure the Hammers received a point for their exertions. The draw saw Southampton drop to fourth place on 47 points after Manchester United's 3-1 victory at Burnley, while West Ham stayed in eighth. 

Tony Pulis got another solid win on Wednesday night as West Bromwich Albion downed Swansea City 2-0 thanks to goals from Saido Berahino and Brown Ideye.

West Brom have clambered out of the drop zone thanks to Pulis' touch, and his decision to play with two strikers paid off as after the Baggies' second-half flurry, Swansea never could muster a response. The result left Swansea in 9th on 34 points, and the Baggies in 14th on 26. Berahino ran Ideye through on the hour for the first goal, a sloppy bit of play that resulted in a fine strike to the lower left corner.

The combination was then reversed 14 minutes later when Ideye ran the give and go with Berahino to set up a curling strike to the near top corner.

Crystal Palace and Newcastle shared the spoils after a 1-1 draw that was probably less than the Toon deserved.

A tepid first half ended with Pappis Cisse fnding the back of the net thanks to a great cross from Darryl Janmaat on the endline. But Palace would recover in the second, with Frazier Campbell sliding home from six yards off service from Yannick Bolasie. Tim Krul also had to make a fine stop late in the match on Brede Hangeland to preserve a share of the points.

Crystal Palace are 13th on 27 points while Newcastle remain in 11th on 32.

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