LONDON: Tottenham lost ground in the race for Champions League places when they could only draw 2-2 away to relegation-threatened Wigan. Even then they need a late equaliser to snatch the one point.
Spurs took an early lead when PFA Player of the Year nominee Gareth Bale punkshed defensive confusion but that goal was cancelled out almost immediately when Emmerson Boyce headed in Shaun Maloney’s corner,
A second-half drive from Callum McManaman offered Wigan the prospect of a vital three points. However, Boyce’s afternoon ended on a sour note when Aaron Lennon’s cross rebounded into the net off the defender’s shins.
Tottenham thus missed a chance to move above Chelsea and instead remained in fifth place while Wigan remained in the relegation zone, two points behind Aston Villa, who play Sunderland on Monday.
Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure lifted the gloom for deposed champions Manchester City with two outstanding goals to defeat West Ham 2-1 at Eastlands.
Aguero swept in a low ball from Samir Nasri for the first before Toure drove powerfully past Jussi Jaaskelainen from the edge of the area in the 83rd minute.
Liverpool loanee Andy Carroll scored West Ham’s last-minute consolation goal.
Everton kept their chances of achieving European football next season alive as they beat Fulham 1-0 at Goodison Park. Steven Pienaar gave the Toffees the lead with a 16th-minute strike after good work by Seamus Coleman on.
Carroll may not be needed back at Liverpool when his loan expires at the season’s end. Liverpool did not miss suspended Luis Suarez one iota as they won 6-0 away to Newcastle. Much-criticised midfielder Jordan Henderson scored twice with the other goals coming from Daniel Sturridge (two), Daniel Agger and Fabio Borini.
West Bromwich consolidated their place in the top half of the table and left Southampton one point adrift of the mythical 40-point safely mark with a 3:0 win as both sides had players sent off at St Mary’s.
West Brom claimed an early advantage thanks to Marc-Antoine Fortune after Romelu Lukaku headed the ball on in the sixth minute. Lukaku claimed a goal of his own after the break on an assist from Fortune. However Fortune and Southampton substitute Gaston Ramirez were both shown straight red cards for violent conduct by 27-year-old referee Bobby Madden, making an eventual Premier League debut. Ramirez caught Shane Long with his elbow and Fortune reacted by slapping the Saints midfielder around the head.
Long scored West Brom’s third goal six minutes later before Southampton ended the game with nine men when Daniel Fox was dismissed for a two-footed challenge on Steven Reid.
Charlie Adam scored 49 seconds into the second half as Stoke eased their relegation fears with a 1-0 win over Norwich. Adam ended a 14-game league drought when he converted Peter Crouch’s knock-down. Stoke thus reached 40 points while Norwich remained two points adrift in 14th place.