EPL: Manchester City return to winning ways, Tottenham beat Newcastle
Manchester City strengthened their grip on fourth place in the Premier League with a 2-0 win at home to West Ham on Sunday, but at the cost of seeing David Silva carried off on a stretcher.sports Updated: Apr 20, 2015 17:52 IST
Manchester City strengthened their grip on fourth place in the Premier League with a 2-0 win at home to West Ham on Sunday, but at the cost of seeing David Silva carried off on a stretcher.
Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur's bid for European football next season was boosted by a 3-1 victory away to Newcastle United.
Influential Spanish playmaker Silva was on the receiving end of what appeared an accidental elbow from West Ham's Cheikhou Kouyate midway through the second half and needed lengthy treatment on the field before being taken off amid fears he could miss the rest of the season.
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero and Tottenham's Harry Kane were both on target on Sunday - the pair are joint top-scorers in the Premier League with 20 goals apiece.
Reigning champions City's hopes of a successful title defence were all but over before last week's 4-2 derby defeat by Manchester United.
But this win saw them move to within a point of United and, significantly, go seven clear of fifth-placed Liverpool, beaten 2-1 by Aston Villa in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Sunday.
Only the top four clubs at the end of the season enter the Champions League, with the Premier League's fourth-placed side having to first take part in a qualifying round.
Spurs's win saw them climb into sixth position, level on points with Liverpool.
Silva in hospital
City's win was timely for their under-pressure manager Manuel Pellegrini, but afterwards he was more concerned about Silva than his own future.
"At this moment, he (Silva) is in hospital and they are checking if he has a broken bone in his cheek," Pellegrini told Sky Sports.
Reflecting on the result, Pellegrini said: "It was important to win because we come from two defeats."
As for his own job prospects, the Chilean simply added: "No comments about that."
City went ahead in the 18th minute when West Ham defender James Collins sliced Jesus Navas's cross over the head of goalkeeper Adrian, the ball bouncing off the underside of the crossbar for a spectacular own-goal.
But there was no denying the quality of City's second goal, nine minutes before half-time.
Yaya Toure won the ball from West Ham and England winger Stewart Downing to launch a rapid counter-attack.
Aguero took the ball forward and then exchanged passes with winger Navas, collecting a superbly-weighted return ball, before sliding a precise shot under Adrian.
Defeat meant mid-table West Ham have won just two of their last 16 league matches, with this reverse doing little to calm the speculation surrounding the future of manager Sam Allardyce at the London club.
"We gifted them two goals," Allardyce said. "You can't make the mistakes we made and expect to get anything out of the game."
At St James' Park, some Newcastle fans boycotted the match in protest at what they see as owner Mike Ashley's mismanagement of the north-east club.
The mood of those Magpies supporters who did turn up wasn't improved when Nacer Chadli gave visitors Spurs a 30th-minute lead with a 25-yard shot - his 11th goal of the season.
But just 18 seconds after half-time, Newcastle were level when Jack Colback followed up after Ayoze Perez's initial effort was blocked.
However, Newcastle were level for a mere seven minutes before Christian Eriksen's free-kick into the box beat everyone, including home goalkeeper Tim Krul, on its way into the net.
England forward Kane put the result beyond doubt with a counter-attack goal in stoppage-time as Newcastle suffered a sixth straight league defeat, leaving the Magpies just seven points above the relegation zone.