Chelsea ruin Shearer's managerial debut, Stoke boost
Chelsea ruined Alan Shearer's debut as Newcastle United manager with a 2-0 win at St James's Park on Saturday to keep their league title hopes alive, dpa reported.
Goals from Frank Lampard and Florent Malouda moved Chelsea to second on goal difference from Liverpool, who can go top above Manchester United if they win at Fulham later on Saturday.
Newcastle remain in deep trouble, third from bottom and three points from safety, while bottom side West Bromwich Albion look doomed after they were beaten 2-0 at home by fellow strugglers Stoke City.
Shearer, who this week was installed as Newcastle's manager until the end of the season, received a hero's welcome from the home fans, but his day was eventually ruined by a professional display from Chelsea.
The two sides went into half-time goalless, but Lampard headed into an empty net on 56 minutes after Nicolas Anelka's shot was deflected onto the woodwork and Malouda secured the points with the second nine minutes later.
Arsenal cemented fourth place as two Emmanuel Adebayor goals gave them a 2-0 win over Manchester City.
Ricardo Fuller and James Beattie scored to give Stoke City three vital points and lift them away from trouble, at the same time, leaving West Brom eight points away from safety with time running out.
Middlesbrough remain only three points better off after they were hammered 4-1 at Bolton Wanderers.
Blackburn Rovers also improved their chances of avoiding the drop as they came from behind to beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1.
Goals from Benni McCarthy and Andre Ooijer gave Blackburn a precious three points that had looked unlikely when Robbie Keane put Spurs ahead from the penalty spot on the half-hour mark.
The match turned when Wilson Palacios was sent off 12 minutes from time for a second yellow card, and after McCarthy equalised (82), Ooijer took advantage of a Spurs defence all at sea to score a crucial winner in the 89th minute.
The win moved Blackburn up to 14th place, five points above the relegation zone.
West Ham United beat Sunderland 2-0, while Portsmouth survived the second-half sending-off of Glen Johnson to draw 0-0 at Hull City.