EPL Matchday 26: Man United loses to Sunderland; more results
Week 26 of the English Premier League kicked off with a surprising result, as Manchester United was beaten 2-1 by Sunderland to dent the Red Devils' Champions League hopes and give Sunderland a boost in its fight against relegation.
Below are all the results from the latest Premier League slate of games:
Late own goal dooms Man United to loss at Sunderland
SUNDERLAND, England (AP) — A late own goal by goalkeeper David de Gea consigned Manchester United to a 2-1 loss at relegation-threatened Sunderland in the Premier League on Saturday, dealing another blow to the team's ambitions of finishing in the Champions League qualification places.
Anthony Martial, who had equalized for United, cleared a header from Lamine Kone off the goal line but the ball ricocheted off De Gea's back and went into the net in the 82nd minute.
Wahbi Khazri put Sunderland ahead in the third minute when his curling free kick eluded everyone in the penalty area and bounced into the net. Martial made it 1-1 with a close-range finish in the 39th.
United's first ever loss at the Stadium of Light piles the pressure on its manager Louis van Gaal, whose team is fifth — six points off the top four having played a game more.
"It will be very difficult now," Van Gaal said of United's chances of qualifying for the Champions League through its league placing. "It's too much at this time.
"I think after this match, (winning the Europa League) is the best route but that's not so easy. There are many very good teams participating in this event."
Asked about his own future, the Dutchman said: "I have to do my work and I do my work to my utmost best and I cannot do more."
His team had 66 percent of the possession but managed only half as many shots as a Sunderland side that remains in the drop zone.
United, which — with 41 points — has its lowest points haul in a Premier League campaign after 26 games, was outplayed and outfought in the second half after coming back into the game late in the first half.
"I think Sunderland had more aggression than us and we could not cope with that aggression," Van Gaal said. We don't keep the ball too much in our possession."
Van Gaal, who has spent $375 million in his 1½-year tenure, finished the game with 21-year-old Premier League debutant Donald Love and striker Will Keane — making his second Premier League appearance and first since the 2010-11 season — in the team.
Chelsea slams Newcastle 5-1 ahead of Champions League date
LONDON (AP) — Chelsea prepared for its Champions League trip to Paris Saint-Germain by routing Newcastle 5-1 on Saturday, the biggest win of a miserable Premier League season for the champions.
Chelsea climbed to 12th place but the London club remains 14 points from fourth place. Winning the Champions League is the only way back into Europe's elite competition next season and the challenge resumes in Paris in the round of 16 on Tuesday.
Confidence will be high after this emphatic win over relegation-threatened Newcastle which saw Pedro Rodriguez score twice after Diego Costa's fifth-minute opener while Willian and Bertrand Traore also netted.
There was a blow for Chelsea, with captain John Terry coming off before halftime with a "small muscular problem" that will be assessed on Sunday, manager Guus Hiddink said.
Hiddink remains unbeaten since replacing fired manager Jose Mourinho in December.
"We tried to press from the first minute to surprise them and I think we did," Hiddink told British broadcaster BT Sport. "We had an early goal and an early second goal so that made them very unstable.
"What, for me, is important is the good organization defensively and not dropping back."
Chelsea raced into a 3-0 lead inside 17 minutes and looked like champions, but that was mainly down to Newcastle's calamitous defending as Steve McClaren's team lost for the sixth straight away game to fall into the relegation zone below Norwich on goal difference.
Andros Townsend did score his first goal since joining Newcastle in the 90th minute but it was a mere consolation.
"We got punished severely," McClaren said. "We have been exposed tonight by a very good team."
Costa showed no ill effects after breaking his nose in training on Thursday. Hiddink joked Chelsea had a "Zorro team" after Costa joined Cesar Azpilicueta in requiring a face mask. Nemanja Matic and Gary Cahill have also recently worn the protection.
"(Costa) wanted to play desperately," Hiddink said. "The way the first goal was scored was typically a striker who is in a good shape."
In the fifth minute, Costa pounced in the box after Willian burst down the right channel and fed the striker. He stretched out a leg, beat Steven Taylor to the ball and flicked it across goalkeeper Rob Elliot and into the far corner.
Next Pedro intercepted Rolando Aarons' pass toward Daryl Janmaat and executed a fine finish in the 9th. Chelsea had a third when Costa beat Fabricio Coloccini to the ball and set up Willian to score in the 17th.
Terry felt the back of his leg and hobbled away after an aerial challenge with Aleksandar Mitrovic. The pair exchanged words soon afterward and Terry was replaced by Baba Rahman.
But Newcastle barely tested Chelsea's reshuffled defense as the hosts had further chances.
Branislav Ivanovic had a shot blocked and Pedro fluffed a shot after Jonjo Shelvey gifted the ball to Costa.
Having lost Terry, it appeared Chelsea might also have to withdraw Eden Hazard when Janmaat caught the Belgian from behind. But Hazard, on his first Premier League start since Jan. 3, continued.
Mitrovic was caught by Cesc Fabregas on the edge of Chelsea's box, but no foul was given and Cahill blocked Shelvey's effort before Mitrovic fired wide across goal.
The brief flurry of attacking activity early in the second half amounted to a purple patch for the visitors, who soon conceded a fourth in the 59th. Taylor failed to reach Fabregas' ball over the top and Pedro tucked in with ease.
"The fourth goal really killed us and that's what can happen when you come here," McClaren said.
A fifth followed when Traore tucked in Azpilicueta's cross for his first Premier League goal in the 83rd. Hazard managed to miss from close range before Townsend struck late on, firing low into the net.
Loss to Southampton pushes Swansea City close to relegation zone
SWANSEA, Wales (AP) — Swansea goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski was unable to stop a 69th-minute header from Shane Long as Southampton won 1-0 on Saturday, pushing the Welsh club closer to the drop zone.
Long connected with a cross from James Ward-Prowse at the Liberty Stadium, sending the ball into the bottom left corner despite Fabianski getting his hands to it.
Southampton is still chasing a European spot next season while Swansea is only three points clear of the relegation zone.
WBA survive Everton onslaught in 1-0 win
LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — West Bromwich Albion scored from its sole shot on target to beat Everton 1-0 Saturday for only its 2nd Premier League win this year.
Baggies' top scorer Solomon Rondon struck home from close range in the 14th minute after Jonas Olsson's flick on.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez will be left wondering just how his midtable team failed to score given its almost total dominance of possession.
West Brom's first league win in six matches moved the club eight points above the relegation zone.
Stoke ends losing run with win over Bournemouth
BOURNEMOUTH, England (AP) — Stoke ended a run of three consecutive 3-0 defeats in the Premier League with a morale-boosting 3-1 win at Bournemouth on Saturday.
Newly-signed from Porto, French midfielder Giannelli Imbula gave Stoke the ideal start, volleying home from 25 yards (meters) in the ninth minute.
Bournemouth tried to respond in the second half but came off worse from three goals scored in the space of five minutes.
Ibrahim Afellay struck his first Premier League goal in the 52nd minute and Xherdan Shaqiri provided a superb cross for Joselu to make it 3-0 just a minute later.
Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie smacked a left shot past Jack Butland in the 57th and then came close to a second, but Mark Hughes' side held on for the victory.
Payet keys West Ham comeback in draw vs. Norwich City
NORWICH, England (AP) — Dimitri Payet scored one goal and set up another to inspire West Ham's comeback from two goals behind in a 2-2 draw at Norwich in the Premier League on Saturday.
Two days after signing an improved deal with West Ham, the France midfielder again showed his worth by slotting home from close range in the 74th minute to make it 2-1, before laying the ball off for Mark Noble to equalize from the edge of the area in the 76th.
Norwich ended a six-match losing streak but it will feel like two points dropped after Robbie Brady's opener in the 54th was added to by Wes Hoolahan in the 65th.
Third-from-bottom Norwich stayed in the relegation zone with 12 games left.