The Premier League’s relegation dogfight continued Saturday with five pivotal matches down at the bottom of the table. And there was one clear, undisputed winner on the day: Newcastle United.
The Magpies, in the thick of the battle just a few weeks ago, went 10 points clear of the bottom three and all the way up into the top half with a massive 2-1 victory at Leicester City.
And they were the only ones who could hold onto potentially crucial points. Last-place West Brom threw away two points in a 1-1 draw at home with Swansea. Crystal Palace did likewise in a 2-2 draw at Bournemouth. And Stoke, despite a valiant effort, came up empty against Tottenham.
Here’s the rundown:
Leicester 1-2 Newcastle
Jonjo Shelvey and Ayoze Perez helped Newcastle ascertain its place in the Premier League next season with goals either side of halftime at Leicester.
The Foxes pulled one back through Jamie Vardy late, but Newcastle held on.
West Brom 1-1 Swansea
West Brom appeared to have secured a lifeline when Jay Rodriguez gave it a second-half lead against Swansea. Had it held on for three points, there would have been eight between it and 17th-place Crystal Palace at day’s end. Not an insurmountable deficit.
Instead, there are 10, and the Baggies are almost surely bound for the Championship. Tammy Abraham nicked an important point for Swansea:
Stoke City 1-2 Tottenham
Mame Biram Diouf had canceled out Christian Eriksen’s early second-half opener. But Harry Kane put Tottenham back in front shortly thereafter:
And Diouf spurned one glorious counterattacking opportunity to potentially draw Stoke level again. The Potters are four points from safety with five weeks to go.
Bournemouth 2-2 Crystal Palace
Brighton 1-1 Huddersfield
Watford 1-2 Burnley
Early in the day, Liverpool and Everton finished level in a Merseyside Derby defined more by who didn’t play than who did.
Southampton (18th place) and West Ham (14th) travel to Arsenal and Chelsea, respectively, on Sunday.