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Saturday 11 January 2014

Saturday review: Johnson lifts Sunderland off bottom

Winger hits hat-trick in 4-1 victory over FUlham while West Ham earn key win over Cardiff

Adam Johnson's hat-trick inspired Sunderland to a 4-1 win at fellow relegation contenders Fulham as they took a giant step towards survival, rising off the bottom of the Barclays Premier League, while Chelsea leapfrogged Arsenal at the top with an away victory at Hull City.

After coming off the bench to devastating effect in Sunderland's Capital One Cup semi-final first-leg win over Manchester United in midweek, Johnson made his first league start since early December and produced a match-winning display. The winger gave the visitors the lead when he expertly converted a free-kick before he was involved again just before half-time as he assisted Ki Sung-Yong in scoring Sunderland's second.

The hosts were resurgent at the start of the second period and quickly pulled a goal back through Steve Sidwell, but Johnson grabbed his second of the match with 21 minutes left to effectively wrap up the three points. Second-half substitute Jozy Altidore's quick feet in the final stages earned the away side a penalty to put gloss on the scoreline, and Johnson dispatched the spot-kick to ensure he claimed the matchball as Sunderland took a giant leap towards safety.

Earlier in the day Chelsea reached the Barclays Premier League summit as Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres scored in a 2-0 victory at Hull. After a goalless first half, Hazard broke the deadlock 11 minutes into the second period with a low drive beyond Allan McGregor, who had an otherwise impressive game in Hull's goal.

Torres then got the better of Alex Bruce three minutes from time to burst into the danger area and slide the ball beyond the Scotland goalkeeper to make sure of the points. The win is Chelsea's fifth in a row in all competitions and, with Manchester City and Arsenal not playing until Sunday and Monday respectively, puts them atop the English top flight.

West Ham United moved out of the relegation zone with a 2-0 win at Cardiff City to ease the pressure on manager Sam Allardyce after a run of seven Barclays Premier League matches without a win. Carlton Cole scored shortly before half-time at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday, before Mark Noble sealed the points in second-half stoppage time to ensure Cardiff replace Allardyce's men in the bottom three on goal difference.

West Ham had to dig deep for the victory as James Tomkins was sent off for a second bookable offence 18 minutes from time, and they also lost Guy Demel to what appeared to be a serious injury in the first half. They were not to be denied three precious points, though, and Andy Carroll also made his first appearance of the season as a second-half substitute, the striker and record signing setting up Noble's goal as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was beaten in his first home match in charge of Cardiff.

Crystal Palace replaced Sunderland at the bottom as Jermain Defoe began his month-long farewell from Tottenham Hotspur with a first Barclays Premier League goal this season in the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

The striker's February move to MLS side Toronto FC was confirmed on Friday, and he was greeted warmly by the White Hart Lane faithful before an assured finish secured a fourth victory in five unbeaten league outings under new head coach Tim Sherwood.

Jason Puncheon had missed from the penalty spot in a first half that Palace dominated, their front two of Marouane Chamakh and Cameron Jerome providing a constant threat. But Christian Eriksen's third goal in four league games settled the nerves of the home fans, who were then able to salute their soon-to-be-departed striker.

Everton climbed to fourth place in the table with a 2-0 win over Norwich City at Goodison Park. Gareth Barry's 50th Barclays Premier League goal and Kevin Mirallas's effort allowed Everton to claim all three points and move above Liverpool, who travel to Stoke City on Sunday.

Barry's powerful strike, his third goal since arriving on a season-long loan from Manchester City, sailed in from 25 yards midway through the first half, and Mirallas sealed his side's win with an exquisite free-kick in the 59th minute. Everton presented new signing Aiden McGeady to fans before the match.

Pepe Mel watched on from the stands as his West Bromwich Albion side lost 1-0 to Southampton thanks to Adam Lallana's second-half strike. The former Real Betis coach, who signed an 18-month contract at the West Midlands club on Thursday, took a watching brief on Saturday as his new side's unbeaten Barclays Premier League run of four matches came to an end.

Lallana struck the only goal of the game midway through the second half, collecting Gaston Ramirez's clipped pass to slot home and hand Southampton just their second win in 10 league games.

In the late kick-off Manchester United ended their three-match losing streak by overcoming Swansea City 2-0 at Old Trafford. Michael Laudrup's side knocked Man United out of the FA Cup last Sunday but there was no repeat shock as goals by Antonio Valencia, two minutes after the restart, and Danny Welbeck's eighth Barclays Premier League goal of the campaign just before the hour-mark, earned the seventh-placed hosts a victory that lifts them to within two points of Liverpool, who travel to Stoke on Sunday.

You can follow how the matches unfolded, check out the best photos from all the grounds and get match stats with our Matchday Live service. You can also read our full match reports, the post-match reactions and view the manager press conferences. To see more, click on the Matchday Live links below.

Saturday 11 January

Kick-offs 3pm unless stated.

Hull City 0-2 Chelsea   |  #HULCHE  Matchday Live >>

Cardiff City 0-2 West Ham United   |  #CARWHU  |  Matchday Live >>

Everton 2-0 Norwich City   |  #EVENOR   |  Matchday Live >>

Fulham 1-4 Sunderland  | #FULSUN  | Matchday live >>

Southampton 1-0 West Bromwich Albion   |  #SOUWBA  |  Matchday Live >>

Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Crystal Palace   |  #TOTCRY  |  Matchday Live >>

Manchester United 2-0 Swansea   |  #MUNSWA  |   Matchday Live >>

Sunday 12 December

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