Leicester continued their stunning run of form to leap out of the bottom three on a day when Newcastle lost their seventh in a row to slide back towards trouble.
Draws for QPR and Sunderland did little to alleviate their relegation fears and the two end the day in the relegation places alongside Burnley.
But Hull chose a great day to rediscover their away form, beating Crystal Palace to ensure they ended the day out of the drop zone. Steve Bruce’s team were matched at [32.0] to win by the 2-0 scoreline.
Both Burnley and QPR will rue missed penalties in their games – Charlie Austin‘s first half spot-kick saved by West Ham goalkeeper Adrian while Matt Taylor was able to beat Kaspar Schmeichel but not the post. QPR at least kept West Ham at bay, but Burnley conceded less than three minutes later. The 0-1 scoreline was matched at 11.
At St James’ Park, Newcastle fans saw their team score the opener to give hope that they could break a six game losing streak. But carefree Swansea have not yet signed off for the season and scored three in return to take all three points. John Carver‘s men registered a second of their own but it was nothing more than a consolation – though backers of the 2-3 final score at [75.0] will have been delighted by Siem de Jong’s late effort.
On 35 points Newcastle still have a decent advantage over their rivals for the drop, and are accordingly priced at [20.0]. Leicester, from a low of [1.12], are now [5.5] to go down. QPR ([1.12]), Burnley ([1.2]) and Sunderland ([1.51]) are the teams judged most likely to drop out of the top-flight. Hull can be backed at [3.0] while Aston Villa are [8.0] ahead of their 17:30 kick-off with Manchester City.
Neither Liverpool, Spurs or Southampton were able to make up any significant ground on the top four – Liverpool held 0-0 at West Brom, Tottenham drawing 2-2 with Saints on Mauricio Pochettino’s return to St Mary’s. All three teams are now double figures to finish in the top four.
In the late kick-off Manchester City survived a late scare before beating Aston Villa 3-2 in a thrilling game at the Etihad Stadium.
Sergio Aguero put the Citizens in front early in the game following a Brad Guzan error, and Aleksandar Kolarov extended the home side’s advantage in the second half. But goals from Tom Cleverley and Carlos Sanchez levelled matters up, giving a huge fright to those who had backed City at just [1.01] to win the game.
But with just a few minutes remaining Manuel Pellegrini’s men did find a winner through Fernandinho, rewarding those who backed City at a high of [6.8] in the Match Odds market when the scores were level. The 3-2 Correct Score was matched at the massive price of [250.0].