Leicester’s survival bid continues with victory over Swansea

Burnley back on bottom as Barnes sees red; Stoke hole Saints’ Champions League hopes; West Brom beat Palace

 

Premier League round-up: Leonardo Ulloa grabbed his first Premier League goal since St Stephen’s Day Day as Leicester climbed off the bottom of the table with a vital 2-0 win over Swansea.

The striker ended his goal drought to claim his 10th of the season before Andy King’s late strike clinched the Foxes’ third straight win.

It is the first time they have won three in a row in the top flight since September 2000 and are now only in the relegation zone on goal difference.

Leicester deserved victory with a passionate, swashbuckling display with the superb Esteban Cambiasso at the heart of their efforts.

But they needed Kasper Schmeichel to deny Nelson Oliveira in the second half to ensure victory.

Midfielder Ashley Barnes’s recklessness cost Burnley the chance of salvaging a point at Everton as the struggling Clarets dropped to the bottom of the Premier League after a 1-0 loss at Goodison Park.

Barnes may have controversially avoided punishment for a wild tackle on Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic back in February but there was no escape as two ill-advised challenges – one which did not even connect with an opponent – saw him sent off in first-half added time at Goodison Park.

Burnley were already trailing to Kevin Mirallas’s goal and with 10 men they could not claw back that deficit.

Manager Sean Dyche previously defended the 24-year-old after Jose Mourinho described the studs-up lunge at Matic as “criminal” but the way the player threw himself about in the opening 45 minutes was not indicative of someone displaying good judgement or the necessary control.

Burnley’s manager and players complained about Barnes’s first booking for a wild swipe at James McCarthy as the Republic of Ireland midfielder raced away from him midway through the half but referee Mike Jones, who allowed play to continue before returning to show a yellow card, was in no doubt about the intent.

So when Barnes slid into Seamus Coleman just seconds before the break the official had no option but to issue another yellow card followed by a red, meaning he misses next week’s crucial encounter at home to Leicester.

That Mirallas appeared fortunate to receive only a booking for a studs-up challenge on George Boyd early in the second half only increased Dyche’s frustration, already unhappy that Ross Barkley’s penalty saved by Tom Heaton with the score at 0-0 had come from a David Jones tackle just outside the area.

Southampton’s Champions League hopes suffered a big blow as they were condemned to defeat by a late strike from Stoke goal hero Charlie Adam as they lost 2-1 at the Brittania Stadium.

Kelvin Davis’s error allowed Mame Diouf to equalise Morgan Schneiderlin’s first league goal since September and Adam delivered the knockout blow for Stoke six minutes from time.

Two weeks ago Adam scored a stunning long-range strike from his own half against Chelsea. On Saturday he fired in from much closer range to seal victory.

That is not to say the winning goal lacked quality. The Scot, who came off the bench at half-time, swivelled cleverly away from his marker and fired a low strike under Davis after the ball had bounced around the box.

The win, Stoke’s first in five matches, means they edge to within four points of a 50-point tally for the season. They have no goal left to aim for in their final five matches, but manager Mark Hughes can take great encouragement from the heart his men showed.

For Southampton, their dreams of qualifying for the Champions League appear remote. They remain in sixth, five points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, who play against West Ham on Sunday, and one point behind Liverpool.

And Ronald Koeman’s problems worsened at the death when key defender Toby Alderweireld was carried off on a stretcher with a leg in a brace after suffering what looked like serious injury after falling awkwardly.

West Brom eased any lingering relegation doubts as boss Tony Pulis enjoyed victory over his former club Crystal Palace as the Baggies ran out 2-0 winners at Selhurst Park.

Pulis left Selhurst Park on the eve of the new season and there was no mention of the Welshman in Palace chairman Steve Parish’s programme notes.

But any remaining bitterness felt by Pulis over his exit was eased as James Morrison headed home unmarked with 100 seconds on the clock and Craig Gardner thrashed home a trademark effort in the second half to seal a 2-0 win for West Brom – their first on the road since November.

In response, Yannick Bolasie almost added to the hat-trick he scored in Palace’s 4-1 thrashing of Sunderland last weekend but saw an audacious overhead volley saved, while substitute Dwight Gayle hit the crossbar and Yaya Sanogo rightly had a goal chalked-off for offside.

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