Southampton third again after Elia brace in Newcastle

Crystal Palace’s stirring comeback denies Burnley, Eriksen hits later winner for

 Eljero Elia of Southampton celebrates with manager Ronald Koeman after his first goal at St James’s Park. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Eljero Elia of Southampton celebrates with manager Ronald Koeman after his first goal at St James’s Park. Photograph: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

 

Eljero Elia scored twice to fire Southampton back into third place in the Barclays Premier League with a hard-fought victory at Newcastle.

The Dutchman, on loan from Werder Bremen, scored his first goal for the club with 14 minutes gone and then after Yoan Gouffran had cancelled out his strike with a fortuitous 29th-minute equaliser, restored the visitors’ lead 17 minutes into the second half.

Both goals came against the run of play as Newcastle, who have now played four games under caretaker manager John Carver and won none of them, dominated possession for long periods. However, they lacked the cutting edge.

The hosts were aggrieved not to be awarded an injury-time penalty when substitute Emmanuel Riviere’s shot appeared to hit Jose Fonte’s arm — but referee Robert Madley waved away their appeals.

That will matter little to the Saints, who maintained their push for an unlikely top-four finish in front of a crowd of 49,307 at St James’s Park.

By contrast, Carver and his players will head off on a mid-season training break in Dubai with the search for a new head coach ongoing and their season threatening to unravel.

Jermain Defoe’s return to his former club proved an unhappy one as Christian Eriksen’s late finish gave Tottenham a 2-1 win over Sunderland at White Hart Lane.

New signing Defoe was handed a start by boss Gus Poyet but it was the hosts who made the brightest start with Jan Vertonghen hitting a third-minute opener after a mistake by Santiago Vergini.

Sebastian Larsson equalised with a brilliant free-kick on the half-hour and Sunderland could have grabbed a late lead when Danny Graham scuffed a shot straight at Hugo Lloris.

But the Black Cats were made to pay three minutes from time when Eriksen netted from close range, and Vertonghen had a later effort denied for offside.

Dwight Gayle scored twice as Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace surged back from 2-0 down to beat Burnley 3-2 at a snowy Turf Moor.

Goals from Ben Mee and Danny Ings had got the Clarets off to a flying start in the first quarter-hour before Gayle’s 28th-minute effort gave the Eagles hope. Jason Puncheon stroked home the equaliser three minutes into the second half then Gayle pounced three minutes from time with a superb left-foot finish to claim a valuable win.

A second half goal from Bojan gave Stoke a hard-fought 1-0 victory at bottom club Leicester.

The Potters had the better chances in a dour encounter with Marko Arnautovic firing into the side-netting before Bojan’s brilliant finish earned the win the visitors just about deserved.

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