Newcastle move out of drop zone
Less than 24 hours before the global football spotlight falls on Leicester in their bid to win the top tier for the first time, Newcastle came out best in the scrapping at the other end of the English Premier League yesterday.
The Magpies moved out of the drop zone for the first time since February after midfielder Andros Townsend's superb free kick gave Newcastle a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.
"The victory means a lot. It gives us momentum, confidence and a connection with the fans," said Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez.
Sunderland again had to rely on its top scorer Jermain Defoe, with the striker grabbing a last-minute equaliser from the penalty spot in a 1-1 draw against Stoke, who took the lead through striker Marko Arnautovic.
"Where would we be without Jermain Defoe?" said Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce before answering his own question. "Relegated probably."
Despite drawing, Sunderland dropped into the relegation zone, one point behind 17th-place Newcastle and one point ahead of 19th-place Norwich, who lost 1-0 at Arsenal after Danny Welbeck's goal in the 59th.
"The last thing you can do down in the dogfight is feel sorry for yourselves," said Norwich manager Alex Neil. "We didn't get what we deserved."
Both Sunderland and Norwich have three games left while Newcastle have two.
At the top, leaders Leicester can win the title by beating Manchester United today.