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Published: 12:47 | 18/12/15

Premier League round-up


Crystal Palace continued their march up the Premier League table after Yohan cabaye helped the Eagles to an entertaining 1-0 win over Southampton at Selhurst Park.

Although the scoreline suggests a dull encounter, this was anything but as both sides threw men forward throughout and really should have scored more.

It was Palace who started on the front foot as they poured forward from the off and they went close to an opener after 20 minutes.

Yannick Bolaise cut in from the right and curled an effort goalwards but his strike was superbly tipped around the post by Paulo Gazzaniga in the Saints goal.

It was all hosts in the opening exchanges, but they were almost undone ten minutes before the break when Sadio Mane released Cedric Soares.

Soares raced down the wing and whipped in a good ball that was met by Steven Davis, but his header was sensationally saved by Wayne Hennessy.

And this save proved even more vital seven minutes before the break when Bolasie found Yohan Cabaye inside the area and the Frenchman slotted home to send the Eagles in 1-0 up at the break.

The second half continued in the same vein as the first with Palace attacking and they should have wrapped up the game up ten minutes from time.

Bolasie cut in from the right and pulled the ball into the path of Wilfired Zaha 12-yards from goal. The winger steadied himself but blasted over when he really should have wrapped up the points.

And Palace were almost punished for their missed chances in injury time when Shane Long latched onto a loose ball and hit a powerful half-volley goalwards but Hennessey was up to the challenge as he stood tall to secure the three points for his side.

A tenth goal of the season from Odion Ighalo helped Watford continue their fine away form as they beat Sunderland 1-0 at the Stadium of Light.

The Hornets started with a real tempo and they were ahead after just four minutes when Ighalo met a cross from Allan Nyom and poked home at the near post to make it 1-0.

And it was almost two six minutes later when the lively striker nipped past John O’Shea, but his strike was cleared off the line, before Jurado followed up and rattled the bar as Sunderland clung on.

The tempo rather stalled after this as the pitch at the Stadium of Light, which was covered in parts with surface water, continued to deteriorate.

This seemed to help the hosts as they grew into the game and made it a midfield battle, but they were unable to really threaten Heurelho Gomes as the visitors went in ahead at the break.

The second half started much like the first had finished, with the game developing into a real battle and it wasn’t until the final ten minutes that Sunderland began to push forward and take chances.

And they were almost rewarded with eight minutes remaining when substitute Jermain Defoe cut in from the left and fired a cracking strike goalwards, but his effort was brilliantly tipped around the post by a stretching Gomes.

The hosts threw everything forward in the dying minutes as they looked for an equaliser, but they were unable to find a way past a stubborn Watford defence as they held on to move seventh in the table.

Stoke produced an impressive defensive display as they held West Ham to a scrappy 0-0 draw at Upton Park on Saturday afternoon.

After a rather dull opening 45 minutes, in which Michael Antonio threatened for the Hammers and Marco van Ginkel went closest for the visitors, the second half failed to sparkle until the final 20 minutes.

The game seemed to open up as the clock ticked by and it was Stoke who threatened when Marko Arnautovic’s free-kick deflected off Cheikhou Kouyate and rattled the crossbar.

This let off seemed to spark some life into West Ham and they were next to hit the wood work with ten minutes left when Mauro Zarate skipped across the box and whacked a strike of gaol that hit the crossbar.

However, it was the visitors who looked the more dangerous in the dying minutes and they really should have netted a winner when Mame Diouf raced through one on one, but his disappointing strike was easily saved as the game ended 0-0.

Kelechi Iheanacho netted an injury-time winner, as Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League table with a 2-1 win over Swansea City at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

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