Lazar Markovic

PL Sunday preview: WHL’s final game; West Ham-Liverpool

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A selection of bounties on the line on Sunday: Hull City could be officially relegated from the Premier League; Liverpool’s hopes of a top-four finish; Tottenham Hotspur’s first second-place finish since 1963, and one final fond memory at White Hart Lane.

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Crystal Palace vs. Hull City — 7 a.m. ET, on CNBC and NBCSports.com

Swansea City’s win over Sunderland on Saturday was extremely bad news for Hull: the Tigers now sit four points adrift of the Swans in the first place outside the relegation zone, meaning a loss to Palace on Sunday would see Marco Silva‘s side head back to the Championship after one season in the PL (Palace currently sit one place ahead of Swansea, level on 38 points). If there exists an ideal side for Hull to face in this moment, it’s Palace, who have lost three straight league games and slipped right back into the relegation battle. A win or draw on Sunday would secure their PL status for another season. A loss, on the other hand, would make things very interesting ahead of next Sunday’s finale.

INJURIES: Crystal Palace — OUT: Mamadou Sakho (knee); QUESTIONABLE: Yohan Cabaye (knock), James Tomkins (ankle), Scott Dann (knee) | Hull — OUT: Lazar Markovic (ankle), Ryan Mason (head), David Meyler (knee)

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup — Arsenal alive and fighting for 4th ]

West Ham United vs. Liverpool — 9:15 a.m. ET, on CNBC and NBCSports.com

At the other end of the table, Liverpool’s scoreless draw with Southampton left the door wide open for Arsenal, who now sit just a single point back of Jurgen Klopp‘s Reds in the race for fourth. A trip to the London Stadium, where West Ham shocked Tottenham last weekend, is hardly the ideal fixture given the precarious position in which they currently find themselves.

“We all know about the situation and the players want to qualify, want to play in this fantastic tournament, as I want,” Klopp said at his Friday news conference. “The players we are talking to, because they are all good players, I know they have offers from other clubs (and) maybe they play Champions League or not, or whatever.

“It’s important — how it is always important — for the club. Everybody knows it’s a lot of money in the Champions League, it’s not only the sports challenge, even though it’s really exciting, it’s also the money you can earn and as a football club we have to do this too.”

INJURIES: West Ham — OUT: Mark Noble (abdomen), Cheikhou Kouyate (wrist), Diafra Sakho (back), Andy Carroll (groin), Pedro Obiang (ankle), Michail Antonio (hamstring) | Liverpool — OUT: Sadio Mane (knee), Jordan Henderson (foot); QUESTIONABLE: Roberto Firmino (lower body)

[ MORE: Fulham, Reading level after leg 1 of promotion playoffs ]

Tottenham Hotspur vs. Man United — 11:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

After standing tall in North London for 118 years, Sunday’s clash between Tottenham and Manchester United will be the final time a ball is kicked at White Hart Lane. Beginning next week, demolishing will begin to make room for the completion of the club’s brand new, 61,000-seat stadium. We already know Spurs will be in the UEFA Champions League next season, but a win on Sunday would clinch a second-place finish for the first time in 54 years (a draw would all but do the same, with Manchester City needing to overturn 14 goals in the goal differential column).

“(Sunday’s game) will be special for the people who love Tottenham, and at the same time it will be exciting to go to the new stadium,” Mauricio Pochettino said. “But the soil and the smell of White Hart Lane will still be there.”

INJURIES: Tottenham — OUT: Erik Lamela (hip), Harry Winks (ankle); QUESTIONABLE: Danny Rose (knee) | Man United — OUT: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (knee), Marcos Rojo (knee), Luke Shaw (foot), Marouane Fellaini (suspension), Timothy Fosu-Mensah (shoulder), Ashley Young (hamstring)

Hull City 2-0 Watford: Heroic win for 10-man Tigers

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  • Niasse sent off in 25th minute
  • Markovic, Clucas score in second half
  • Tigers win fourth-straight at home
  • Hull stay two points above drop zone

10-man Hull City secured a miraculous win against Watford as Marco Silva’s men battled for over 65 minutes a man down and grabbed a vital three points in their battle against relegation.

After Oumar Niasse was harshly sent off in the first half, Hull regrouped and scored twice in the second half through Lazar Markovic and Sam Clucas with Watford wasting numerous chances.

With the win Hull stay two points above the drop zone, while Watford stay on 40 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

Early on Hull’s skipper Harry Maguire made a real mess of a back pass but Watford failed to make the most of it.

The Hornets looked dangerous on the break in the first half as plenty of long balls were placed behind Hull’s defense.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Before half time Hull’s hopes of picking up three points took a massive blow as Niasse went in for a challenge with M’Baye Niang and referee Bobby Madley believed the Hull forward went in recklessly as he brandished a red card.

Eldin Jakupovic made a superb save to deny Sebastian Prodl from a corner and then Daryl Janmaat‘s shot was deflected over by his teammate Tory Deeney. Before the break Miguel Britos headed wide at the back post, then Maguire almost scored an own goal as glorious chances came and went for Watford.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

In the second half Hull unexpectedly took the lead as they soaked up pressure and then hit Watford on the break to go 1-0 up.

Kamil Grosicki‘s cross found Markovic and his header looked to have gone over the line but he made sure by smashing home.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

Clucas then curled a free kick inches wide of the post as Hull searched for a second goal and soon after it arrived with a stunner.

The ball popped out to the edge of the box and Clucas chested the ball under control and sent a fine volley into the top corner to make it 2-0.

Stoke City 3-1 Hull City: Shaqiri stunner highlights big win (video)

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  • Shaqiri buries long range goal
  • Crouch, Arnautovic also scored
  • Hull still two points safe

Xherdan Shaqiri‘s absolute stunner put an exclamation point on Stoke City’s 3-1 win over Hull City at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday.

Marko Arnautovic and Peter Crouch also scored for the Potters, who sit 11th with 39 points. Harry Maguire had Hull’s goal, and the Tigers finish the day two points ahead of Swansea in 17th.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Mark Hughes saw his side go up 1-0 with a bullet, as Arnautovic held off the mark of Harry Maguire to dribble across the top of the box before unleashing a vicious bar-down strike past Eldin Jakupovic.

The Austrian almost had two when Xherdan Shaqiri chipped him in on goal, but Arnautovic’s side volley was hit with too much power and flew over the frame.

Saido Berahino thought he had a Stoke goal from a Ryan Shawcross pass, but the latter’s stop-start before playing the ball had Berahino offside.

Oumar Niasse was stopped from action by Lee Grant‘s presence on a should-have-been equalizer in the 22nd minute, a cross left wanting through the six. Grant then made a two-handed stop of Lazar Markovic in the 25th.

Stoke wasn’t moved by the moments of worry, and Arnautovic had yet another chance to score only to cut his shot wide of the frame from an acute angle.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Maguire found the equalizer just after the break, after Stoke came out of the break in dodgy fashion. Positioned at the back post, Maguire ran onto a loose ball and punched it behind Grant to make it 1-1.

Jakupovic slapped away a strong diving header from Jon Walters in the 60th minute, and Peter Crouch couldn’t get over the rebound to restore Stoke’s lead.

Crouch was the man to make it 2-1 after all, the giant veteran rising to head a terrific Walters cross beyond the reach of a flying Jakupovic.

Shaqiri would finish the scoring off a feed from Arnautovic, burying a goal of the year candidate from well beyond the 18. Laser.

Hull City 4-2 Middlesbrough: Tigers claw to safety

Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images
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  • Four scorers lead Tigers
  • Maguire gets first PL goal
  • Boro in big trouble

Hull City is out of the drop zone for the first time since October after winning a massive relegation six-pointer over Middlesbrough on Wednesday at the KC.

Lazar Markovic, Abel Hernandez, Harry Maguire and Oumar Niasse scored for the Tigers, who move ahead of Swansea City by one point with the 4-2 home win.

Alvaro Negredo and Marten De Roon scored for Middlesbrough, which is now eight points back of safety.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The fifth minute saw Boro with a rare early goal, as Adama Traore collected a long ball and cut it across the 18 for a sliding Negredo to lash into the side panel.

The equalizer came within 10 minutes, as Oumar Niasse’s flying chest trap of a deflected cross bobbled between legs of both teams before Markovic scored from eight yards away. The play began with fine work from Alfred N'Diaye and Andrew Robertson.

Niasse then raced onto a bouncing ball and navigated poorly reacting Boro defenders to belt a side volley behind Valdes. 2-1, 28′.

Harry Maguire blasted a pinpoint through ball to Kamil Grosicki, who swept the ball across the six for Hernandez to hammer home. Wow. 3-1.

Marten de Roon scored in the first minute of added time, heading home off a corner kick before winding his arm like a windmill in celebration. Both De Roon and Traore were offside on the goal, but it stood after debate.

Maguire put it to bed in the 70th minute when he scored his first Premier League goal, heading a cross home from the back door.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Premier League AT HALF: Goals everywhere but the Emirates

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Liverpool, Tottenham, and Manchester City are all losing as wild first halves have engulfed the Premier League this fine Wednesday in April.

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Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City

Eden Hazard didn’t need long to reassert the Blues’ title pace, beating Wily Caballero to the delight of Stamford Bridge. But Thibaut Courtois made a far bigger error with a poor clearance that allowed David Silva and Sergio Aguero to combine for a goal.

Hazard would add a penalty conversion after Fernandinho took down Pedro in the box.

Swansea City 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur

Jordan Ayew set up Wayne Routledge for a goal that will no doubt have Spurs stunned at the Liberty Stadium.

Liverpool 1-1 Bournemouth

A woeful back pass from Georginio Wijnaldum gifted an early goal to Benik Afobe, but Roberto Firmino found Philippe Coutinho for a 40th minute equalizer at Anfield.

What were you doing, Gini?

Arsenal 0-0 West Ham United

Not much cooking in this London Derby.

Southampton 1-1 Crystal Palace

Wilfried Zaha has been the key to so much of what Palace has done well recently, and the Ivorian international was again the key to a goal when he drew in the defense before Jason Puncheon and Andros Townsend helped cue up Christian Benteke for another goal. Saints answered just before half, with Nathan Redmond reminding Palace it isn’t safe just yet.

Hull City 3-2 Middlesbrough

Abel Hernandez, Oumar Niasse, and Lazar Markovic have all scored for the Tigers, who are absolutely flying at home.

Boro’s trailing after leading 1-0 on a nice bit work from Alvaro Negredo (see below). Marten De Roon scored in the first minute of added time, heading home off a corner kick before winding his arm like a windmill in celebration. Both De Roon and Adama Traore were offside on the goal, but it stood after debate.