Wigan Athletic remained in the Premier League relegation zone after Emmerson Boyce’s last-minute own-goal gifted Tottenham Hotspur a 2-2 draw on Saturday, while Liverpool put the Luiz Suarez saga behind them with a 6-0 thrashing of Newcastle United.
Having earlier canceled out Gareth Bale’s opener for Spurs with an 11th-minute header, Boyce inadvertently diverted Tom Huddlestone’s free-kick into his own net in the dying stages at the DW Stadium.
A left-foot howitzer by Callum McManaman early in the second half had looked set to heave Wigan out of the bottom three, but the FA Cup finalists now trail fourth-bottom Aston Villa by two points with four matches to play.
The dropped points were similarly damaging for Spurs, who squandered an opportunity to move back into the UEFA Champions League places and could fall further off the pace if third-placed Arsenal and fourth-placed Chelsea won their games yesterday.
Liverpool proved there is life after Suarez by romping to a crushing win at St James’ Park to deepen Newcastle’s relegation fears.
Suarez is beginning a 10-match Football Association ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, but he was not missed as Newcastle slumped to their heaviest home defeat since 1925.
Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson each scored twice, with Daniel Agger and substitute Fabio Borini also on target.
Newcastle, who lost Mathieu Debuchy to a late red card, sit five points above the bottom three, but they had played a game more than all four teams below them.
Unlike Wigan and Newcastle, Stoke City can start thinking about another season among the English elite after a 1-0 win at home to Norwich City sent Tony Pulis’ side soaring up to 12th place, eight points clear of the bottom three.
Charlie Adam scored from a Peter Crouch knockdown early in the second half at the Britannia Stadium to leave Norwich six points above the relegation zone in 14th place.
Everton improved their chances of European soccer next season with a 1-0 win at home to Fulham that left them three points behind fifth-placed Spurs, albeit having played a game more.
South African midfielder Steven Pienaar scored the only goal of the game in the 16th minute at Goodison Park, sweeping the ball into the bottom-left corner from Seamus Coleman’s cutback.
Meanwhile, Marc-Antoine Fortune scored one goal and made another, but was then sent off as West Bromwich Albion won 3-0 at Southampton, who ended the game with nine men.
Fortune forced the ball over the line from a corner in the sixth minute and then released Romelu Lukaku to add a second with 23 minutes remaining.
Shane Long claimed a late third, but by that stage Fortune had been shown a straight red card for slapping Southampton’s Gaston Ramirez.
The Uruguayan had angered Fortune by catching Long with an elbow and he was also dismissed for that offense, with teammate Daniel Fox following Ramirez down the tunnel after he fouled Steven Reid.
KEY GOAL: Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei is now free to focus on taking her fourth doubles title of the year with Barbora Strycova; they are due to face Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya Taiwanese No. 1 Hsieh Su-wei on Monday returned to the court for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the WTA Tour, falling to a 6-3, 6-1 defeat to US Open quarter-finalist Elise Mertens, who made a solid transition from the hard courts in New York to the clay at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. “I’m not sure how well I adapted, to be honest,” Mertens told the WTA Web site. “I just feel like I might still be struggling a little. It was also [Hsieh’s] first match of the week, so that was a bit of an
‘GREAT EVENING‘: In the women’s singles in Rome, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova advanced, while Rafael Nadal swept into the quarters in the men’s singles Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Friday had to dig deep to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. The top seeds, who did not drop a game in their opening match on the clay courts at the Foro Italico, battled to a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory over sixth seeds Veronika Kudermetova and Katerina Siniakova in 1 hour, 39 minutes. The reigning Wimbledon champions saved nine of 11 break points and converted three of eight, winning 56 percent of points on their second serve and sending down two aces
‘FUN TIME’: Denver’s Nikola Jokic said that his team would not accept that anyone else is better than them and the opposition need to play much better than they do Just about everyone had LA versus LA written in for the NBA’s Western Conference finals, but the resilient Denver Nuggets have crashed the party. Behind Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets advanced to the conference finals for the first time since 2009 to face LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Game 1 is scheduled to be played tomorrow. This was no ordinary road. The Nuggets fell behind 3-1 in their first-round series against the Utah Jazz before bouncing back with three straight victories. Then they went down 3-1 to the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round before winning in Game 7
‘GREAT COMPETITOR’: Former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza was tested by American teenager Coco Gauff, before the Spaniard advanced in three sets Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic on Thursday cruised into the quarter-finals of the women’s doubles at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia by handing their Japanese opponents a rare “double bagel,” a feat matched by US Open losing finalist Victoria Azarenka in the women’s singles. Top seeds Hsieh and Strycova took just 49 minutes to see off the challenge of Japanese duo Nao Hibino and Makoto Ninomiya 6-0, 6-0 on the clay courts at the Foro Italico in Rome. The Taiwanese-Czech duo saved both break points they faced and converted six of 14, winning 62 percent of their first