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Saturday 15 March 2014

Saturday review: Villa stun Chelsea to throw title race open

Read all the match reports and stats and watch the press conferences after Saturday's action

The Barclays Premier League title race took a surprising turn as Chelsea suffered a 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa after Manchester City had beaten Hull City earlier in the day to move up to second place and put the pressure on Jose Mourinho’s leaders.

Fabian Delph's late winner dealt a blow to the west Londoners’ title hopes, with the midfielder showing a brilliant piece of ingenuity with eight minutes remaining to turn in substitute Marc Albrighton's centre and hand Paul Lambert's side a memorable victory at Villa Park.

Chelsea looked to be getting into their stride after the break until Willian was shown a red card for a second bookable offence midway through the second half and an evening to forget was compounded by a red card for Ramires in injury time following a crude challenge on Karim El Ahmadi and the subsequent dismissal of Mourinho.

Chelsea still retain a six-point lead over second-placed City, although Manuel Pellegrini's men have three matches in hand to cut the gap, while Villa's win lifts them to 10th. The result is also a boon for Liverpool and Arsenal who can move to within four points of the Blues with victories on Sunday at Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur respectively.

Earlier in the day, Manchester City overcame the early dismissal of Vincent Kompany to beat Hull City 2-0. The Man City captain was sent off in the opening 10 minutes after hauling down Nikica Jelavic as the striker looked set to race through on goal, but David Silva's superb curling effort handed the visitors the lead just four minutes later.

Pablo Zabaleta hit the crossbar before the break as Manuel Pellegrini's reorganised charges continued to underline their attacking prowess, and although Hull also had their moments, Edin Dzeko struck in stoppage time to ensure Man City moved into second in the standings.

At the other end of the table Fulham boosted their survival hopes with their first win under the guidance of Magath as Ashkan Dejagah’s second-half effort condemned Newcastle United to a 1-0 defeat at Craven Cottage. Newcastle manager Alan Pardew missed the match as he began his three-match stadium suspension and four-match touchline ban by the FA and his assistant John Carver was unable to inspire the visitors to a third consecutive win.

It was a mistake from one of Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul that proved the difference, the Dutchman allowing a long-range effort from Dejagah to creep into the bottom corner and hand Magath his first win since taking over last month. Fulham remain bottom, four points from safety but are a point behind Cardiff immediately above them.

A first win in charge for Mel also helped West Brom’s prospects of avoiding the drop as his side battled back from a goal down to secure a 2-1 success at Swansea City. The hosts went ahead at the Liberty Stadium within the opening two minutes, Roland Lamah cutting inside to bury the ball in the bottom right corner, and dominated possession throughout the first half, but Garry Monk’s team had their lead cancelled out seven minutes into the second half when Stephane Sessegnon found the net from 20 yards.

The West Brom comeback was complete in the 85th minute when Youssuf Mulumbu guided the ball into the bottom right corner to earn the visitors their first win in 10 attempts in all competitions.

Seamus Coleman's stoppage-time strike gave Everton a seventh consecutive home win as Cardiff City were beaten 2-1 at Goodison Park. The Republic of Ireland defender's sliced shot stunned Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, who have suffered eight consecutive away defeats.

Juan Cala's first goal for Cardiff looked to have secured a precious point in their battle to avoid the drop after fellow Spaniard Gerard Deulofeu had put Roberto Martinez's side in front, but Coleman had the final say as Everton moved above Manchester United into sixth place in the Barclays Premier League. Cardiff remained second from bottom.

Southampton held off a late Norwich City rally to win 4-2 and add to the relegation fears of Chris Hughton's side. The hosts looked set for a straightforward win when they led 3-0 with 15 minutes remaining but Norwich scored twice in a minute to set up a nervy finish until Sam Gallagher's first Barclays Premier League goal settled the match, leaving Norwich winless in seven away matches.

Morgan Schneiderlin fired Southampton ahead after five minutes, with Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez netting after the interval to put Mauricio Pochettino's men in control. But Johan Elmander and Robert Snodgrass scored in quick succession to give the visitors hope late on, only to see it dashed by Gallagher, a substitute.

Peter Odemwingie netted twice as Stoke City came from behind to beat West Ham United 3-1 at the Britannia Stadium. The Nigerian striker cancelled out Andy Carroll's opener when he deflected a Peter Crouch strike into the back of the net and went on to score his side's third after 79 minutes with a powerful effort. Stoke found themselves behind after five minutes when Carroll headed home from close range, but Odemwingie's brace either side of Marko Arnautovic's effort turned the contest around. 

Sunderland remain in the bottom three of the after a goalless draw with Crystal Palace at the Stadium of Light. Gus Poyet's men dominated proceedings, but were unable to find the goal that would have lifted them out of the relegation places. The result means the Black Cats have won only twice in eight Barclays Premier League home matches, while Tony Pulis's side are winless in five top-flight matches on the road.

Scroll down to read all the match reports and to watch the managers' post-match press conferences on premierleague.com

Remember you can access live.premierleague.com to follow all the reaction to today's Barclays Premier League action. The Carlsberg Live Match Centre brings you updates from our team of bloggers, match facts and stats, manager press conference videos,  action images, as well as the latest Fantasy Premier League points for your team.

Saturday 15 March

Hull City 0-2 Manchester City   | #HULMCI  |  Matchday Live page >>

Everton 2-1 Cardiff City |  #EVECAR  |  Matchday Live page >>

Fulham 1-0 Newcastle United  |  #FULNEW  |  Matchday Live page >>

Southampton 4-2 Norwich City  | #SOUNOR  |  Matchday Live page >>

Stoke City 3-1 West Ham United   | #STKWHU  |  Matchday Live page >>

Sunderland 0-0 Crystal Palace | #SUNCRY  |  Matchday Live page >>

Swansea 1-2 West Bromwich Albion | #SWAWBA  |  Matchday Live page >>

Aston Villa 1-0 Chelsea | #AVLCHE  |  Matchday Live page >>

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