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Dublin: 10 °C Friday 26 April, 2019
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It was a huge day at the bottom of the Premier League and things just got interesting

Leicester scored a dramatic injury-time winner and Tim Sherwood enjoyed his return to White Hart Lane.

Benteke was the hero again as Villa took a significant step towards survival.
Benteke was the hero again as Villa took a significant step towards survival.
Image: John Walton

CHRISTIAN BENTEKE MAINTAINED his fine goalscoring form to give Aston Villa a 1-0 win over Tottenham as manager Tim Sherwood enjoyed a victorious return to White Hart Lane.

Sherwood’s positive six-month spell in charge of the North London club finished at the end of last season and the former Spurs boss saw his current side pick up three vital Premier League points despite a late Carlos Sanchez red card.

Belgium striker Benteke hit a hat-trick in Tuesday’s 3-3 draw with QPR and again underlined his importance to Villa’s survival bid when he made the most of a rare first-half opportunity on Saturday.

Benteke glanced Leandro Bacuna’s delivery past Michel Vorm to register his 10th league goal of the season, with Gabriel Agbonlahor then coming within a post’s width of doubling the lead before half-time.

Harry Kane – given his first regular run in the Spurs line-up under Sherwood last term – had the second half’s best chance but neither the Tottenham skipper nor his team-mates could find an elusive equaliser.

While Sherwood saw Ciaran Clark and Agbonlahor limp off prior to Sanchez being dismissed, the Villa boss was able to celebrate a result made all the more important by defeats for Sunderland and Hull City beneath them.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Sunderland v Crystal Palace - Stadium of Light Sunderland fans vented their anger once again as their side slumped to another heavy defeat Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Sunderland endured another damaging afternoon as a stunning 11-minute hat-trick from Yannick Bolasie helped steer Crystal Palace to a resounding 4-1 win over the struggling Black Cats at the Stadium of Light.

Glenn Murray bagged his sixth goal in as many games to break the deadlock for Palace before Bolasie took centre stage to send Sunderland slumping to another emphatic home defeat following the setback against Aston Villa by the same scoreline last month.

Bolasie had scored just once in the league this season prior to his treble on Saturday, but ruthlessly put Sunderland to the sword as Dick Advocaat’s side were emphatically brought back to earth after beating local rivals Newcastle United last weekend.

Connor Wickham did pull one back in the 90th minute for the hosts, but it was a scant consolation.  The result leaves Advocaat’s men still hovering just three points above the drop zone, while Palace are pushing for a top-10 finish.

Hull’s top-flight status is in serious jeopardy as they began a daunting run-in with a 2-0 defeat at Southampton.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Southampton v Hull City - St Mary's Are Hull starring down the barrel now? Source: Chris Ison

Alex Bruce was left to rue a clumsy challenge after conceding the penalty that sent the Saints on their way to a routine victory on Saturday.

Hull had shown signs of picking up a much-needed result in the first half, with Sone Aluko proving a constant nuisance to the Southampton back line.

However, Bruce lunged in on former Hull striker Shane Long to concede a 56th-minute spot-kick, and James Ward-Prowse – previously without a league goal to his name – made no mistake in finding the net.

James Chester came agonisingly close to restoring parity soon after when he saw a header cleared off the line by Ryan Bertrand, but Graziano Pelle made sure of maximum points with his first Southampton goal of 2015 nine minutes from time.

The result leaves Hull two points clear of the drop zone with just six matches left to play, including clashes with Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United. Wins for Burnley or QPR, who face Arsenal and Chelsea respectively this weekend, would see Hull slip into the bottom three.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - West Bromwich Albion v Leicester City - The Hawthorns Vardy's late strike has given Leicester a lifeline Source: Jon Buckle

Meanwhile, Leicester City gave themselves a chance to pull off the great escape as Jamie Vardy scored a last-gasp winner to Nigel Pearson’s side a survival lifeline

The Premier League’s bottom club fought back three times to win 3-2 at West Brom.

Darren Fletcher gave the Baggies an early lead with a close-range header only for David Nugent to equalise from 12 yards. The hosts, though, quickly regained their advantage as Craig Gardner slotted home in a frantic opening 26 minutes.

A tame second half followed until Robert Huth latched on to a Nugent flick-on to power a header of his own home before Vardy stunned the home crowd with a vital winner in injury time.

screenshot.1428769419.84710 Source: www.the42.ie

Elsewhere, West Ham drew with Stoke City at Upton Park with Aaron Creswell’s first-half free-kick cancelled out by Marko Arnautovic’s late strike.

Saturday’s Premier League results:

  • Swansea City 1-1 Everton
  • Southampton 2-0 Hull City
  • Sunderland 1-4 Crystal Palace
  • Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Aston Villa
  • West Bromwich Albion 2-3 Leicester City
  • West Ham United 1-1 Stoke City
  • Burnley v Arsenal (5.30pm)

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