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April 09, 2016

Saturday's EPL action brought a bit of clarity to the race for the league title, and also brought the relegation picture further into focus. It began with Andy Carroll's hat trick and a wild draw between Arsenal and West Ham, and ended with Manchester City's clash with West Brom at the Etihad. 

Read up on all of Saturday's results below. 

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LONDON (AP) — West Ham striker Andy Carroll scored an eight-minute hat trick to dampen Arsenal's slim Premier League title hopes in a rollercoaster London derby which finally ended 3-3 on Saturday.

The draw also reduces West Ham's Champions League football chances in their inaugural season at the Olympic Stadium.

Arsenal midfielder Alex Iwobi set up Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez for the visitors to go 2-0 ahead at Upton Park but Carroll, making his case for England's European Championship squad, pulled two back before halftime.

The powerful forward put West Ham ahead in the 52nd, before Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny poked home the equalizer in the 70th as both teams attacked endlessly in search of the win.

West Ham remains 6th and Arsenal stays third, 10 points behind leader Leicester.

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MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City recovered from going behind early on to beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1 on Saturday in the English Premier League.

Stephane Sessegnon gave West Brom the lead in the sixth minute with a powerful near-post finish. In the 19th, however, Sessegnon turned from hero to villain as he brought down Alexander Kolarov inside the penalty area, gifting Sergio Aguero a goal from a well-taken penalty kick.

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poking in from close range after a scramble in the penalty area.

City's slim title hopes remain alive for now. It remains in fourth place, provisionally four points clear of fifth-place Man United, which visits second-place Tottenham on Sunday.

West Brom is 13th.

The incoming Pep Guardiola will have a lot to think about over the summer, despite his future side winning for the second week in a row. As has been the case for much of this season, City had the better chances in its match against West Brom, but was able to convert very few of them. Kevin de Bruyne's return from injury seems to be sparking life into City's attacking game, but Guardiola will likely seek to strengthen the side up front, given its recent lack of potency.

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In a largely uneventful game, West Brom took the lead early on when Sessegnon lashed the ball past Joe Hart for a shock lead.

The goal seemed to kick Man City into life and it was able to equalize not long after with a beautifully struck penalty from top-scorer Aguero.

Man City grabbed a winner after a scramble in the West Brom penalty area produced an easy tap-in for Nasri. After this, Man City was able to shut out West Brom with little difficulty, and current manager Manuel Pellegrini will be pleased with the way his side fought back to win.

"It is a very important result because Arsenal and West Ham drew today. We knew it would be a difficult game," said Pellegrini.

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BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) — Aston Villa's relegation from the English Premier league was all but confirmed Saturday after a 2-1 loss against Bournemouth.

The first goal of the game came from Steve Cook at the stroke of half-time on a back-heel finish. Josh King scored Bournemouth's second in the 73rd minute, giving the south coast side the win. Aston Villa scored a rare consolation goal from Jordan Ayew in the 85th minute.

The result means that barring a miracle, Aston Villa will be relegated at the end of the season due to a 15-point gap between itself and safety with only five games to go and a far inferior goal difference.

With the win, Bournemouth climbs to 11th place.

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SOUTHAMPTON, England (AP) — Relegation-threatened Newcastle put in another lackluster performance on Saturday as Southampton easily won their English Premier League match 3-1.

An early goal from Shane Long in the fourth minute set the tone of a match in which Newcastle failed to make much impact.

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Graziano Pelle and Victor Wanyama added the second and third goals in the 38th and 55th minutes respectively to condemn Newcastle to its eighth straight away defeat. Andros Townsend scored a fine consolation goal on 65 minutes, but it did nothing to alter his side's fortunes.

Newcastle stays 19th in the league, six points from safety with relegation looking increasingly likely.

Southampton remains seventh.

Newcastle's performance typified what has been a woeful run of form for Rafa Benitez's team. There was very little to cheer for the travelling supporters, as they watched their side fail to deal with the attacking threat from a far superior Southampton.

"Newcastle are in relegation trouble, so we knew they were going to throw everything," said Southampton midfielder Wanyama. "We needed to stay in the game. We did it well."

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Benitez's appointment as manager on March 11 has done little to change his side's fortunes. It is still without a win under the Spaniard, and this latest performance won't have given fans any reason for optimism. Newcastle now has just six games to turn its season around.

"It important that everybody continues to believe," Benitez said. "The anxiety is killing us sometimes. If we can control these things then things will change."

Southampton's first-half goals highlighted Newcastle's weaknesses, both coming after avoidable defensive errors. Newcastle's goals-conceded record is the second worst in the league after Aston Villa, having kept just one clean sheet in its last 17 league games.

A fine 25-meter strike from Newcastle's Andros Townsend gave a glimpse of the skill that some of its players possess, but his side continues to look like a group of individuals, rather than a strong team unit.

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SWANSEA, Wales (AP) — Chelsea experienced its first English Premier League defeat under interim manager Guus Hiddink in a 1-0 loss against Swansea on Saturday.

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The only goal came in the 26th minute, with a fine volley by Gylfi Sigurdsson after Jefferson Montero's run.

On-loan Chelsea striker Alexandre Pato had the ball in the net early in the second half, but it was disallowed as the striker was penalized for handball in the build-up.

The result ends Chelsea's 15-game unbeaten run in the league and it remains in 10th place.

Resurgent Swansea is now 13th.

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LONDON (AP) — Crystal Palace collected its first win of 2016 by beating Norwich 1-0 in the English Premier League on Saturday, boosting its hopes of preserving its top-flight status and keeping last-place Aston Villa up for at least another week.

Jason Puncheon curled home a shot into the far corner for a 68th-minute winner as Palace ended its winless run of 14 games, stretching back to Dec. 19, and moved 10 points clear of the relegation zone.

Norwich stayed fourth from bottom, four points clear of third-to-last Sunderland having played two games more.

Villa is 15 points behind Norwich.

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WATFORD, England (AP) — Watford and Everton ended their English Premier League losing streaks with a 1-1 draw on Saturday.

Watford had lost its last four league matches, and Everton its last three.

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Everton dropped to 14th, one spot above Watford. Both teams are in the FA Cup semifinals.

James McCarthy scored his first goal of the season just before halftime at Vicarage Road after a long header forward from John Stones.

Jose Holebas responded almost immediately when his header hit Seamus Coleman on the way into the roof of the Everton net before the interval.

Leighton Baines kept his place after apologizing to Everton manager Roberto Martinez for saying the Toffees lacked chemistry after losing to Manchester United.

Two banners held by Everton fans said "Baines is one of us," and "Martinez out."

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