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Saturday 12 April 2014

Saturday review: Everton stride into fourth

Read all the match reports, stats, photos and reaction to Saturday's matches

Matchweek 34: Saturday's best photos

Everton moved up to fourth in the Barclays Premier League thanks to a 1-0 away victory at Sunderland on a day when Crystal Palace and Cardiff City secured vital wins and Tottenham Hotspur battled back from three goals down to earn a 3-3 draw with West Bromwich Albion.

Everton moved into the final UEFA Champions League place, two points above Arsenal, with a hard-fought victory over Sunderland that came courtesy of a Wes Brown own goal. On a day when relegation rivals Cardiff City and Fulham both picked up victories, Brown was the unfortunate party in a largely stoic Sunderland defence at the Stadium of Light.

The Black Cats had appeared set to keep out an Everton side who scored three against Arsenal on Sunday but the former Manchester United defender turned home Gerard Deulofeu's cross 15 minutes from time to leave the Wearside club four points adrift at the bottom, albeit with two matches in hand.

Crystal Palace made it three successive Barclays Premier League wins for the first time since 1994 as they overcame Aston Villa 1-0 to edge towards safety. Jason Puncheon proved the match-winner with 14 minutes remaining when he fired a shot in off a post following fine work from Yannick Bolasie.

Puncheon's third goal in two matches, ensured Palace's impressive revival under Tony Pulis continued as the London club, who have kept four clean sheets in their last five matches, lie seven points clear of the relegation zone. Villa, on the other hand, could yet be dragged into the relegation dogfight as they are just four point above the danger zone on 34 points.

A Juan Cala strike against the run of play was enough to snatch a precious away victory for Cardiff City at Southampton. The home side dominated possession throughout the contest at St Mary's and could easily have gone in at half-time with the lead after Gaston Ramirez hit the crossbar. Paulo Gazzaniga in the Southampton goal was rarely called into action, but was beaten 20 minutes into the second half as Cala found the net from 20 yards.

Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall made a pair of important saves late on to safeguard the visitors' lead, but with bottom-placed Sunderland losing to Everton, the result, which was Cardiff's second away league win of the season, lifts Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side to within three points of safety and opens up the battle for survival.

Fulham continued their own bid for a great escape with a 1-0 win over fellow strugglers Norwich City at Craven Cottage. Hugo Rodallega was rewarded with a start by Fulham manager Felix Magath after sealing last weekend's 2-1 win at Aston Villa. The Colombian striker repaid the faith as he stole in to score the only goal five minutes before half-time.

Fulham were indebted to goalkeeper David Stockdale for a pair of magnificent saves, while Norwich, playing for the first time under club stalwart Neil Adams after Chris Hughton's exit last Sunday, also struck the crossbar through Robert Snodgrass. But Magath's men played with greater assurance after taking the lead and are just two points behind fourth-bottom Norwich, who face a daunting final four matches against Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

Tottenham Hotspur produced another stirring fightback to deny West Bromwich Albion as a thrilling encounter at The Hawthorns finished 3-3. Tim Sherwood’s side fell 3-0 behind after 31 minutes, but the visitors, despite missing a penalty, battled back to claim a draw as West Brom were unable to put distance between themselves and the relegation battle, where they stand just three points above the bottom three.

Matej Vydra put the hosts in front after only 30 seconds and a shell-shocked Spurs were two goals down four minutes in, when Chris Brunt marked his return from injury by scoring a sweet left-foot volley. Emmanuel Adebayor had a penalty saved by Ben Foster and was made to pay when Stephane Sessegnon made it 3-0 to Mel's men.

But Jonas Olsson's own goal before half-time gave the visitors hope and Harry Kane pulled another back as the visitors dominated the second half. Christian Eriksen denied the Baggies their first home win since New Year's Day three minutes into time added on.

Erik Pieters' first Barclays Premier League goal secured a 1-0 win for Stoke City as they condemned Newcastle United to a fourth straight defeat. The Dutchman found the net when his overhit cross from edge of area looped over the head of Tim Krul just before the break. Peter Crouch might have extended the lead, spurning a flurry of headed chances, while Dan Gosling passed up Newcastle's best opening early on.

The result continues the 10th-placed Potters' impressive run at home, where they are six unbeaten, and three points behind the Magpies, for whom this represented a fourth consecutive reverse.

Remember you can follow all the Barclays Premier League action in our Carlsberg Live Match Centre at live.premierleague.com. The Carlsberg Live Match Centre brings you match facts and stats, manager press conference videos, action images, as well as the latest Fantasy Premier League points for your team.

Crystal Palace 1-0 Aston Villa  | #CRYAVL |  More on the Live Match Centre >>

Fulham 1-0 Norwich City  | #FULNOR | More on the Live Match Centre >>

Southampton 0-1 Cardiff City  | #SOUCAR | More on the Live Match Centre >>

Stoke City 1-0 Newcastle United  | #STKNEW | More on the Live Match Centre >>

Sunderland 0-1 Everton  | #SUNEVE | More on the Live Match Centre >>

West Brom 3-3 Tottenham Hotspur  | #WBATOT | More on the Live Match Centre >>

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