LONDON: Burnley have been relegated after only one season in the Premier League – and they may just drag Hull down with them after a 1-0 win at the KC Stadium.
Danny Ings’ 10th goal of the season – Burnley’s first in more than 10 hours – earned the Clarets a fifth successive away win over the Tigers but it was not enough to save them from the drop after Sunderland and Leicester secured victories and Newcastle claimed a precious point.
It was Burnley’s first win since March but they are seven points from safety with just two matches left and Ings admitted they have paid the price for their recent goal drought.
“The lads were unbelievable today,” Ings told Sky Sports. “The fight in the team was phenomenal from start to finish. I thought we were the stronger team and played some great stuff but it’s come a little too late.
“Obviously the goals dried up towards the end of the season but the lads are fighting until the end and I’m extremely proud of them.”
Ings scored after a rebound on 62 minutes and Ashley Barnes almost doubled the lead only to have his goal disallowed for a foul on Steve Harper, while Robbie Brady was twice denied by the crossbar as Hull battled to the end.
The Tigers, who have still never won a Premier League game in May and have failed to score in 15 of their last 28 matches, dropped into the relegation zone and look set join Burnley in the Championship with games against Tottenham and Manchester United to come.
Burnley’s win meant QPR drop to the bottom of the table and they will also be relegated if they fail to win at Manchester City on Sunday.
Riyad Mahrez enhanced his growing reputation by scoring both goals as Nigel Pearson, this week named Manager of the Month for April, celebrated a sixth victory in seven matches.
A fourth straight away defeat looks to have finally ended Southampton’s hopes of catching Liverpool in fifth spot.
Sunderland climbed out of the bottom three with a 2-0 win at Everton in Saturday’s early game.
The Black Cats’ first goal from Danny Graham – his first in his 28-month spell at the club – had a huge slice of fortune as the striker deflected Jordi Gomez’s shot, and when Toffees midfielder James McCarthy’s effort beat goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon but rebounded off the post there was a feeling it was to be the away side’s day.
Jermain Defoe then diverted home Adam Johnson’s deflected shot for the second goal and a vital win which lifted the side to 36 points.
Ayoze Perez ended Newcastle’s eight-game losing streak as they picked up their first league point since February in a 1-1 draw with West Brom at St James’ Park.
The Magpies had briefly slipped into the bottom three when Victor Anichebe headed home Craig Gardner’s 32nd-minute free-kick, but Perez levelled four minutes before the break with a sweetly-struck shot to hand head coach John Carver a little respite.
However, the home fans among a crowd of 47,894 left the stadium knowing there is still work to be done if their team is to avoid the drop with a trip to QPR next weekend and a final-day clash with West Ham on Tyneside to come.
Tom Cleverley handed Aston Villa a massive survival boost as they hung on to beat West Ham 1-0.
The midfielder scored his third goal in three games to move Villa four points clear of the drop zone in a pulsating relegation scrap.
Tottenham‘s Champions League hopes were extinguished in embarrassing fashion as the lost 3-0 to Stoke to suffer their heaviest defeat against the Potters in 80 years.
Charlie Adam scored a close-range header and Steven Nzonzi made it 2-0 before Vlad Chiriches was sent off for a second yellow card.
Spurs had won four of their previous five league matches at the Britannia Stadium but their misery was complete when Mame Diouf rounded off the very one-sided hammering late on.
In the Saturday Night Football clash, Manchester United moved closer to a Champions League return with a 2-1 win at Crystal Palace.
United arrived at Selhurst Park on the back of three defeats, keeping alive Liverpool’s slim hopes of finishing fourth.
There will have been a renewed sense of optimism on Merseyside when Jason Puncheon cancelled out Juan Mata’s dubious opener, yet United rode their luck to triumph as Marouane Fellaini capitalised on a collision between Julian Speroni and Damien Delaney.
The 78th-minute header was a sucker punch for Alan Pardew’s side, who had responded so impressively after Mata coolly slotted home a first-half penalty.