Premier League round-up: Dismal Sunderland slip further into the mire
Crystal Palace slipped further down while Middlesbrough and West Ham picked up points
Sunderland manager David Moyes looks dejected as his side were beaten 4-0 by Southampton. Photo: Lee Smith/Reuters
Sunderland 0 Southampton 4
Manolo Gabbiadini rekindled memories of his namesake Marco on Wearside as Southampton cruised to a 4-0 Premier League victory at bottom-of-the-table Sunderland.
It will be 30 years in September since Marco Gabbiadini arrived at Roker Park in an £80,000 switch from York and forged a partnership with Eric Gates which brought him 87 goals and a permanent place in the hearts of Black Cats’ supporters.
But Southampton’s £14.6million January signing from Napoli left the locals among a crowd of 39,931 cursing his surname as he scored a first-half double to set the visitors on the road to just a second league win in eight attempts, with Jason Denayer’s own goal and a fourth from substitute Shane Long completing the rout.
Sunderland boss David Moyes and his players are due to head off on a team-bonding trip to New York next week, but there are certain to be a few restless nights for them in the city that never sleeps.
Buoyed by their resounding 4-0 win at Crystal Palace last weekend and sensing an opportunity to climb from the foot of the table as the Saints arrived at a wintry Stadium of Light with one eye on the EFL Cup final, the home side started in promising fashion.
Darron Gibson, making his first start for the club, and Didier Ndong drove them on as they pushed the visitors back, and, had 14-goal striker Jermain Defoe been able to react quickly enough to convert Adnan Januzaj’s near-post driven 15th-minute cross rather than stab his effort wide of the post, they might have had some reward.
But Southampton gradually eased themselves into the game with full-back Ryan Bertrand enjoying the space he was afforded down the left, and that particular avenue proved profitable on the half-hour.
Bertrand’s teasing cross sent defender Lamine Kone and Gabbiadini — who had earlier scuffed a shot across goal — into battle at the near post and the ball ended up in the net with replays suggesting it had done so via the striker’s shoulder.
But there was no doubting who had got the final touch when the Saints extended their lead as the clock ticked into first-half stoppage time with the Black Cats visibly wilting.
Dusan Tadic picked out 25-year-old Gabbiadini’s run inside the penalty area and the frontman turned defender John O’Shea expertly before firing past goalkeeper Vito Mannone.
O’Shea was replaced by midfielder Steven Pienaar at the break, but things might have got worse within seconds of the restart when Gabbiadini volleyed straight at Mannone.
Sunderland were bereft of ideas and found themselves under unrelenting pressure with Mannone beating away a stinging 63rd-minute Tadic drive after he was allowed time and space to cut inside.
Saints goalkeeper Fraser Forster made his first save with 66 minutes gone when he fielded Ndong’s speculative effort, but Mannone had to palm away Long’s header and a shot from Nathan Redmond as time ran down.
However, the Italian was powerless to resist when Denayer turned Bertrand’s 88th-minute cross past him, and Long added to the hosts’ misery in stoppage time.
West Ham 2 West Brom 2
West Brom secured a stoppage-time goal to rescue a 2-2 draw at West Ham.
The hosts felt Nacer Chadli’s early goal should not have stood and were unhappy one of their own was disallowed — but they appeared to have secured a fourth win with goals from Sofiane Feghouli and Manuel Lanzini.
However, substitute Jonny Evans headed a late equaliser to earn the visitors a Premier League point.
A groin injury had ruled Andy Carroll out of a fixture attended by England manager Gareth Southgate and forced West Ham boss Slaven Bilic to play Michael Antonio as his lone striker.
For the third game in succession, West Brom took a sixth minute lead. Amid the hosts’ appeals for a foul by Chris Brunt on Feghouli, Chadli took advantage of their lack of focus and static defending to beat Cheikhou Kouyate before calmly finishing between goalkeeper Darren Randolph’s legs from close range.
Robert Snodgrass threatened when he forced the diving Ben Foster to tip the ball around the far left post — but thereafter their inability to replace the focal point of Carroll was clear.
The influence of Salomon Rondon, as physically imposing as Carroll, demonstrated that further. Teeing up Matt Phillips’ header with few options in the 15th minute, the striker was unfortunate not to double their lead when he powerfully struck the crossbar from the edge of the area.
Only two minutes later, Feghouli felt he had equalised — but his effort was instead rightly ruled offside by referee Michael Oliver. Foster had unconvincingly punched another delivery from Snodgrass no further than Lanzini when the midfielder’s pass found the Algeria international, whose close-range finish was disallowed with Antonio in an offside position.
The influential Feghouli also dragged a shot wide of the far left post from the edge of the area, and ended a counter-attack led by Antonio because of a heavy touch, before being rewarded for his perseverance in the 63rd minute.
Lanzini aimed towards the top corner and after his curling shot was tipped onto the bar by Foster, Feghouli raced onto the rebound to score from close-range and level the scores.
Lanzini appeared to have secured all three points for the hosts in the 86th minute when he again created space on the edge of the area and curled a shot into the bottom left corner beyond Foster.
However, the visitors earned a final set-piece in the fourth minute of added time — and Brunt brilliantly crossed towards Evans, who headed from the back post inside the far right corner of the net.
Stoke 1 Crystal Palace 0
Second-bottom Crystal Palace were beaten for a sixth time in eight Premier League matches under Sam Allardyce as Joe Allen’s second-half strike condemned them to a 1-0 defeat at Stoke.
Palace were in considerable need of a boost a week on from the humiliating 4-0 home loss to basement boys Sunderland.
But they found themselves on the end of another defeat after Allen fired into the bottom corner in the 67th minute following good work from Ramadan Sobhi.
In a game that was pretty low on entertainment, Stoke had gone close to scoring just before the break when the impressive Bruno Martins Indi’s header was cleared off the line by Andros Townsend.
Allardyce’s men, who rarely threatened, remain two points adrift of 17th-placed Swansea and 16th-placed Leicester, whose game in hand over Palace comes when they play each other at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday. Stoke, meanwhile, are up two places to ninth.
Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, beaten four times before half-time on his last outing, produced a decent save in the ninth minute as he got down to block a strike from the edge of the box by Marko Arnautovic.
The visitors then registered their first goalscoring attempt eight minutes later when Townsend delivered a cross and James McArthur headed wide.
A shot at the Stoke goal from Patrick van Aanholt followed as Lee Grant dealt with comfortably, but it was the hosts who were applying more pressure, with Peter Crouch and Allen sending headers off-target and Arnautovic seeing another low effort saved by Hennessey.
Mark Hughes’ men then almost had the lead in the last few moments of the half as Martins Indi nodded a corner goalwards, Townsend getting there to make the last-ditch clearance.
Nine minutes into the second half, the ball squirmed through to Palace frontman Christian Benteke in front of goal via a Jason Puncheon shot, but the Belgian was unable to react quickly enough and the danger passed.
The game then went into something of a lull, before the deadlock was broken when Arnautovic’s long ball forward was held up well by Sobhi, who then provided the tee-up from which Allen drilled into the corner.
Palace struggled to muster much in their search for an equaliser, with a shot from James Tomkins and late free-kick from Townsend both being blazed into the stand.
At the other end, Stoke substitute Ibrahim Afellay was almost played in by an attempted one-two with Arnautovic but was beaten to the return pass by the out-rushing Hennessey.
Middlesbrough 0 Everton 0
Late substitute Rudy Gestede was denied by a brilliant late save from Joel Robles as Middlesbrough were frustrated in their efforts to clamber clear of the relegation dogfight at a freezing Riverside Stadium.
Gestede rose to meet an 88th minute cross from Calum Chambers and powered a header which Robles tipped over the bar to deny Boro a first win in eight Premier League games.
Captain Ben Gibson also had a second-half header cleared off the line for Aitor Karanka’s men while Romelu Lukaku and Ademola Lookman both missed earlier chances for Everton.
Boro had spent part of last week on a mid-season break in Benidorm and it took them time to re-acclimatise to the plunging north-east temperatures as the visitors had the better of an open first period.
Fresh from his four-goal haul against Bournemouth last week, Lukaku missed the best chance to equal Duncan Ferguson’s club record of 60 Premier League goals when he fired straight at Boro keeper Victor Valdes on the half hour.
Tom Davies had created most of the visitors’ chances up to that point, narrowly failing to reach Ross Barkley’s third minute cross from the right then just beaten by Valdes in a race to reach an Idrissa Gueye’s through-ball.
Adama Traore presented Boro’s most likely early threat, with his lofted shot from the right almost catching out Everton keeper Joel Robles in the 10th minute, but it was Adam Forshaw who missed the home side’s best chance when he hesitated in the box after being played in by Marten de Roon, allowing Robles to clear.
After Lukaku missed the best chance of the half, it was the turn of Lookman to try to break the deadlock, with Valdes blocking his effort from point-blank range after Seamus Coleman’s deep cross.
Lookman also lashed a right-foot shot into the side-netting two minutes before the break but it was Boro who started the second period with more purpose, with Cristhian Stuani heading into Robles’ arms from a Forshaw free-kick.
Everton looked short of ideas at the start of the second period and it took until the hour mark for them to present any kind of threat, as Lukaku’s low cross in front of goal was cut out by Adam Clayton with Lookman lurking.
Boro went close four minutes later when Gibson met Bernardo’s corner from the right and directed the ball goalwards only for Baines to head off the line and away to safety.
But moments later it was Everton’s chance to grab the opener when Barkley threaded a fine low ball through to Lookman, who stabbed a poor shot which was nevertheless well blocked by Valdes.
Alvaro Negredo was inches from connecting with a deep cross from the left by Fabio in the 82nd minute then Gestede, who replaced the Spaniard eight minutes from time, came closest of all.