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Rose blooms for Spurs against 10-man Stoke Swansea almost safe as Shelvey stunner downs Villa

STOKE-ON-TRENT, United Kingdom, April 26, (AFP): Danny Rose was the key man as Tottenham Hotspur enjoyed a first away win for more than two months with a 1-0 victory against 10-man Stoke on Saturday. The defender scored his first Premier League goal of the season in the 33rd minute and was then fouled by Ryan Shawcross in the incident that saw the Stoke captain sent off minutes after half-time for a second bookable offence. Victory saw north London side Tottenham move to within three points of fifth-placed Everton, and a Europa League place, following the Merseysiders’ 2-0 defeat by Southampton earlier on Saturday. Prior to kick-off, plenty of attention had been devoted to the Potters’ Charlie Adam, with Spurs boss Tim Sherwood insisting his players would shake the Scotland international’s hand. Adam became a hate figures for fans of north London side Spurs because of a controversial tackle on Paulinho in the reverse fixture which sidelined the midfielder for a month.

But the issue of a handshake with Adam didn’t arise after Stoke manager Mark Hughes kept him on the bench as an unused substitute. A niggly match at the Britannia Stadium saw Shawcross angry early on after what he felt was a forearm in the face from Spurs striker Emmanuel Adebayor went unpunished by referee Andre Marriner. Adebayor was heavily involved in creating the only goal of the game, beating Glenn Whelan on the right of the area before sending in a pinpoint cross for Rose, who headed past Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic. Stoke’s Marko Arnautovic fired wide at the start of the second half and home hopes of getting back on level terms then suffered a setback when Shawcross was dismissed. Already booked for a first-half foul on Christian Eriksen, the centre-back caught Rose on the shin with his studs.

Initially, Marriner let play continue and did not give a free-kick but, with Rose still on the turf, sent off Shawcross to the fury of Stoke supporters. Rose was subsequently booed every time he touched the ball by home fans and the full-back was booked himself for pushing Geoff Cameron in the chest after being brought down by the Stoke defender. Sherwood, clearly keen for Spurs to maintain their man advantage, took Rose off moments later and replaced him with Zeki Fryers. Stoke had several efforts on goal, the best six minutes from time when Austria’s Arnautovic burst through only to shoot weakly at Spurs and France international goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Swansea 4, Villa 1
Jonjo Shelvey produced a goal of the season contender to inspire Swansea to a 4-1 rout of Aston Villa that all but secured their Premier League survival. Former Liverpool midfielder Shelvey beat Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan with a stunning 45-yard volley at the Liberty Stadium to put his side 2-1 ahead in the first half. Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony had opened the scoring for Swansea before Gabriel Agbonlahor levelled. Inspired by Shelvey’s moment of magic, Swansea dominated the second half and were rewarded with Pablo Hernandez’s strike before Bony added to his tally with a stoppage-time penalty. Barring a remarkable mathematical swing against them over the final two weeks, Swansea’s second successive win has effectively secured their top flight status. Villa, meanwhile, are now without a win in six matches and only four points above the relegation zone with a tough run-in.

Bony opened the scoring in the 10th minute when he latched on to a through-ball from Shelvey that pierced Villa’s high defensive line. Centre-back Nathan Baker appealed for offside, but the flag stayed down and Bony side-footed past Guzan with ease to bag his 14th league goal of the season. Villa equalised in the 22nd minute thanks to some slick football down the right. Karim El Ahmadi slipped the ball down the flank to Marc Albrighton, whose curling cross was converted by Agbonlahor from close range. The goal ended a Premier League drought of three hours and 42 minutes for Lambert’s team. But Shelvey’s wonder-strike put Garry Monk’s side back in front three minutes later.

After chesting down Villa captain Ron Vlaar’s clearance, he hit a missile of a volley from 45 yards that cleared the stunned Guzan and curled into the top corner. Jonathan De Guzman should have extended Swansea’s lead when he shanked the ball wide from a Wayne Routledge cross on the hour. Monk’s men continued to probe and press and were rewarded for their dominance when Hernandez made it 3-1. The Spaniard was free at the back post when Shelvey crossed, cut in field and scored via the head of Ryan Bertrand, who was back defending the goal-line. Villa’s misery was compounded in stoppage-time when Baker pushed substitute Marvin Emnes in the back and conceded a penalty which Bony slammed home.

WBA 1, West Ham 0
West Bromwich Albion boosted their bid for Premier League survival as Saido Berahino’s goal sealed a vital 1-0 win against West Ham. Berahino’s first half strike gave Pepe Mel’s side their first victory on home turf at the Hawthorns since the Spaniard took over from the sacked Steve Clarke in January. Baggies goalkeeper Ben Foster clawed away an Andy Carroll header in the 19th minute and the Hammers striker also had another headed effort hit the woodwork in the second half. But the hosts hung on for a vital win that takes them five points clear of the relegation zone with three games to play. The Hammers, meanwhile, are six points above the bottom three but may not be entirely at ease after their fourth consecutive defeat. Albion were ahead against the run of play in the 11th minute as Stephane Sessegnon burst forward and slid the ball to Morgan Amalfitano, who had plenty of time and space on the right of the box to tee-up Berahino to finish. The England Under-21 international was just inches from the line as he prodded the ball over for his ninth West Brom goal of the season, in his first start in eight games.

West Ham continued to push forward, with Carroll seeing a volley take a deflection and cleared behind, before bringing a great diving save out of Foster with a firm header from Mohamed Diame’s cross. Albion were back on the attack as Sessegnon and Graham Dorrans broke forward, but the latter could only fire wide from the edge of the area. They enjoyed a spell of pressure after the interval, with Sessegnon twisting and turning before striking into the side netting, Adrian getting down to save Billy Jones’ low shot and Dorrans dragging an attempt wide. West Brom were almost left to rue those missed opportunities when Carroll met a corner and powered a header against the crossbar. With the last two home games for Albion ending up as 3-3 draws, due to the concession of late equalisers, Baggies fans were taking nothing for granted in the closing stages. But they were celebrating come the final whistle and their top-flight safety should soon be sealed as well.

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