- Premier League Round-Up
Sunderland do the double over Newcastle
Sunderland secured another vital three points in their bid to stave off relegation by dominating local rivals Newcastle 3-0 at St James' Park, but just eight points separate the bottom 11 clubs in the Premier League after a fluctuating afternoon of action.
In the early kick-off, Sunderland took the lead on 20 minutes as Vurnon Anita clumsily clattered into full-back Phil Bardsley, gifting the visitors a penalty. Fabio Borini stepped up to smash a right-footed shot high into the net for his second goal of the season against Newcastle.
It got worse almost immediately for Newcastle as Adam Johnson extended his incredible scoring streak to seven goals in seven games by reacting quickest when Jack Colback's curling shot was saved by Tim Krul.
Johnson came close to adding to the scoreline in the second half as his shot cannoned back off the post before Colback wrapped up all three points 11 minutes from time by stealing possession from Hatem Ben Arfa, exchanging passes with Borini and finishing with aplomb.
West Ham also gathered three crucial points as Andy Carroll played a pivotal role in their 2-0 victory over Swansea at Upton Park.
West Ham punished some slack defending by Swansea on 27 minutes, as Andy Carroll was afforded the freedom of the penalty area to head down to Kevin Nolan who fashioned a superb low volley into the bottom right corner of the net.
Swansea had barely threatened before suddenly creating an opportunity that could have turned the game on its head. Wilfried Bony latched onto a long ball and with just the keeper to beat was challenged by James Tomkins. Referee Howard Webb decided Tomkins played the ball before bringing down Bony when he could just as easily have deemed it a penalty and a red card.
It got worse for Swansea in first-half stoppage time, as more horrible defending allowed Carroll another free header at the back post from a corner and Nolan nudged the ball over the line past Jonjo Shelvey, who had drifted from his station on the post.
Webb was at the centre of another controversial refereeing decision just before the hour mark as Carroll tangled with Chico Flores and appeared to swing an arm at the defender, who crumpled to the ground. Webb showed Carroll a straight red card, but West Ham's 10 men held on without any serious alarms.
Everton scored twice in the final 16 minutes to come from a goal behind and beat Aston Villa, capped off by a brilliant Kevin Mirallas free kick.
Villa scored against the run of play on 34 minutes when Fabian Delph stole the ball from Ross Barkley, passed to Christian Benteke and he set up an overlapping Leandro Bacuna for his second goal in as many games.
With 16 minutes to go, Everton equalised as Steven Naismith notched just his second league goal of the season, and his first since the winner against Chelsea in September. And Mirallas completed the comeback with a brilliantly executed free kick from 25 yards.
Craig Bellamy and Kenwyne Jones helped Cardiff come from behind to beat Norwich 1-0 in Wales. Robert Snodgrass put Norwich in front after just five minutes when he converted from close range from a Martin Olsson assist.
However, Cardiff hit back early in the second half with two goals in three minutes. Craig Bellamy equalised with a goal that made him the first player to score for seven different Premier League clubs having been beautifully set up by Wilfried Zaha's weighted pass, and two minutes later Kenwyne Jones marked his Cardiff debut with a hooked finish.
Fulham are now bottom of the table after a worrying collapse at home against Southampton. Adam Lallana scored on his 250th appearance for Southampton midway through the second half, and Rickie Lambert added a second soon after.
Fulham's sudden collapse was complete on 75 minutes when Jay Rodriguez cut inside Brede Hangeland and curled a fine shot into the top corner.