|Yohan Cabaye scored two and assisted one as Newcastle continue playing a merry Toon [GALLO/GETTY]|
Alan Pardew would be forgiven for feeling rather proud of himself after his team won their sixth game in a row against Stoke on Saturday.
The comprehensive 3-0 victory moved Newcastle into fourth position, behind leaders Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal.
It has been a fantastic season for the club and few fans would have predicted the consistency they have showed under Pardew. Newcastle will now be fancied to claim a place inside the top four and compete in Champions League football next year.
Newcastle tore into their opponents with two goals inside twenty minutes. Yohan Cabaye opened and closed the scoring with Papiss Cisse claiming the second.
“It’s been a great season,” said Pardew.
“We targetted the last 10 games and said if we could be in and around it. Now we’ve just got four left and we’ll try and
win every one of them.”
|Results and fixtures|
Saturday April 21
Arsenal 0-0 Chelsea
Sunday April 22
Man Utd v Everton
In the early kick-off, Arsenal and Chelsea did little to boost their Champions League ambitions sharing the points after a dreary goalless draw at the Emirates.
Tottenham slipped out of the Champions League places and into fifth with a 1-0 defeat to Queens Park Rangers.
Former Tottenham midfielder Adel Taarabt scored the winner in the 24th minute with a free kick awarded for a Sandro tackle but was sent off for a second yellow card in the 78th after petulantly kicking the ball away.
It was QPR’s fourth consecutive home victory in the league and moves the west London side three points clear of the relegation zone.
Blackburn boosted their hopes of surviving relegation with a 2-0 win over Norwich.
Mauro Formica opened the scoring in the 41st minute and Canadian forward Junior Hoilett added another with a stunning 30-yard strike four minutes after halftime, allowing Rovers to climb above Bolton into third to-last place.
Blackburn remain in the relegation zone but are within striking distance of safety with three matches left.
Bolton, another team battling for survival, could only manage a 1-1 draw with Swansea.
They slipped below northwest neighbour Blackburn to second bottom despite coming from behind.
Chris Eagles earned the hosts a point with a 14th-minute equaliser at Reebok Stadium, cancelling out the opener scored by Scott Sinclair eight minutes earlier.
Swansea had the better of the chances to steal a winner, with top scorer Danny Graham hitting the bar with a powerful shot in the second half.
Wigan’s bid to avoid relegation was frustrated by a 2-1 defeat to Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Philippe Senderos met John Arne Riise’s free kick to score a late winner for the home side in the 89th minute as Fulham extended their league unbeaten run against Wigan to 11 matches.
|Hangeland celebrates Fulham’s victory against Wigan [GALLO/GETTY]|
After a scoreless first half, the game came to life after the break and it was the visitors who struck first through Emmerson Boyce in the 57th.
Wigan’s lead did not last long though as the home side equalised a minute later when Russia international Pavel Pogrebnyak scored from just outside the penalty box.
Despite the defeat, Wigan remain three points clear of the relegation zone.
Aston Villa inched farther away from relegation drawing 0-0 with visiting Sunderland.
Martin O’Neill, returning to his old club with Sunderland, was welcomed with boos. Despite leading Villa to three top-six finishes, he walked out on the club just before last season.
Villa had the better first half despite dealing with injuries to James Collins and Gabriel Agbonlahor, who were substituted around halftime. Villa tired in the second half and Sunderland looked to set pounce, but found the home side’s defence just as willing.
Former Villa midfielder Craig Gardner was sent off in injury time for his second yellow card, and Villa held on for a deserved 15th league draw.