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Crystal Palace earn much-needed win as Moyes suffers defeat on Goodison return

Here’s what happened in this afternoon’s Premier League games.

Patrick Van Aanholt celebrates scoring the winner at Selhurst Park.
Patrick Van Aanholt celebrates scoring the winner at Selhurst Park.

CRYSTAL PALACE BOOSTED their Premier League survival hopes with a 1-0 win against Middlesbrough at Selhurst Park on Saturday to complete a double over their fellow strugglers.

Patrick van Aanholt’s first goal for the club, 11 minutes before half-time, proved the difference in a nervy match that was typical of the relegation battle.

Both sides had endured miserable league runs heading into this clash, with Boro winless in eight, but it was Palace who secured a rare victory – just their third since September.

Van Aanholt’s effort ensured Sam Allardyce’s side headed into the break in front, and it had appeared at that stage as though the home side would cruise to a crucial three points.

But Boro rallied, with Cristhian Stuani missing a huge chance to equalise, and Palace had to battle hard to see out a spell of sustained pressure and move out of the bottom three, level on points with the visitors.

Meanwhile, it was an unhappy return to Goodison Park for David Moyes as Romelu Lukaku wrapped up Sunderland’s 2-0 defeat at Everton and prevented them from lifting themselves off the bottom of the table.

Moyes, who spent 11 and a half years managing Everton, found himself back at Goodison for the first time since a 2-0 defeat in April 2014 resulted in his Manchester United dismissal, but his current charges rarely looked capable of recording an upset and their lack of luck was summed up by Jermain Defoe striking the crossbar just before Lukaku’s late clincher.

Everton v Sunderland - Premier League - Goodison Park Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Everton controlled what was a one-sided first half and, although Sunderland did improve as it progressed, the hosts deservedly led at the break thanks to Idrissa Gueye’s fine strike.

The visitors looked a greater attacking threat after half-time, though their lack of creativity meant Everton remained relatively comfortable at the back – Joel Robles rarely finding himself involved.

The previously anonymous Defoe was finally presented with an opening 12 minutes from time, only to see his effort come back off the frame of the goal.

And Lukaku took full advantage of that let-off, finding the net on the break shortly after to secure an Everton win with his 17th league goal of the season and keep the pressure on in the race to finish in the European places.

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Elsewhere, Michael Keane went from villain to hero as he conceded a penalty then scored the equaliser in Burnley’s 1-1 draw at Hull City.

Tom Huddlestone fired home from the penalty spot with 18 minutes to play after Keane was whistled for handball.

Hull’s lead only lasted four minutes, however, as Keane levelled the match with a low shot at the back post.

Hull City v Burnley - Premier League - KCOM Stadium Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Finally, a Gareth McAuley strike after some unconvincing goalkeeping from Artur Boruc saw West Brom beat Bournemouth 2-1 at The Hawthorns to further pile the pressure on Eddie Howe.

The former Celtic shot-stopper flapped at a corner midway through the first half and McAuley was on hand to take advantage, with Craig Dawson earlier cancelling out Joshua King’s opener.

Defeat means Bournemouth have now gone seven Premier League games without a win, with Howe’s men losing their last four to slip into the battle to avoid relegation.

The Cherries still sit 14th in the table with 26 points from as many games, but they are just five points clear of the drop zone following this weekend’s results, with 18th-placed Leicester City in action against Liverpool on Monday.

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Ryan Bailey

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