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.