In a game where Aston Villa, desperate for points, and Sunderland out of sorts at the moment, it was never going to be a classic encounter - which is exactly what was served up at Villa Park. Lots of scrappy football, interspersed with a few moments which may have swung the game one way or another didn't do any favors for either side. Nicklas Bendtner had a goal disallowed for a marginal offside, while Villa will feel aggrieved that Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet remained on the pitch after it was adjudged he handled outside the area. Craig Gardner was sent off for a second yellow card in the dying embers of the game.
Steve Kean's side moved up from second bottom to third bottom, level on points with Queens Park Rangers (prior to their evening game against Tottenham Hotspur) as the bottom of the Premier League tightened up. Goals came just either side of half time from Mauro Formica and Junior Hoilett to condemn Norwich to defeat, giving the home side a deserved victory as the away side never seemed up for this one.
A result which will leave fans of both sides disappointed. Scott Sinclair had the away side in front after just six minutes, however Chris Eagles equalized for the home side less than ten minutes later. Eagles could have won it for the home side in the 83rd minute when he flashed a shot narrowly wide, but it all means now that the game between Wanderers and Villa on Tuesday suddenly becomes massive in the race for Premier League survival.
Fulham 2-1 Wigan Athletic
Form team Wigan suffered defeat at the hands of Fulham at Craven Cottage today, severely denting their chances of survival in the Premier League. Things looked good for the Latics when Emmerson Boyce slammed thte ball home in the 57th minute from the edge of the penalty area, but only 71 seconds later Fulham equalized through Pavel Pogrebnyak's neat finish. Swiss defender Philippe Senderos broke the visitors hearts when he nodded in a free-kick with just a minute left on the clock. Further bad news for Wigan is that Franco Di Santo left the game early in the first half through injury.
Newcastle United 3-0 Stoke City
The Magpies dominated Stoke City today to move into fourth position in the Premier League, giving themselves an excellent chance of Champions League qualification this season. Yohann Cabaye grabbed a double, while goal scoring machine Papiss Demba Cisse added another in what turned out to be a very comfortable and routine victory. Stoke were quite awful, and will have to return to the drawing board if they are to ensure their season doesn't go out with a whimper. Newcastle meanwhile will be hoping this incredible run their on continues, and can cap a magnificent season with European competition next year.