Jordan Ayew

Newcastle United 1-1 Swansea City: Level at St James’

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  • Newcastle one loss in six
  • Swans score just 14th goal of season
  • Super sub Joselu levels

Joselu played the role of super sub to deny the visitors a rare win as Newcastle United drew Swansea City 1-1 at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

Jordan Ayew gave the Welsh visitors a surprise lead, but the concession has Carlos Carvalhal’s club last in the Premier League with 17 points. Newcastle moves three points above the drop before its visit to Manchester City.

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The hosts were all over the basement dwellers to start the match, but time and again the final pass was a bit off the mark.

When it was on, like when Ayoze Perez did dynamite work in the 12th minute to cue up a point-blank header, the finish was missing: Dwight Gayle headed nowhere near the goal.

Perez was very good early, denied by Lukasz Fabianski following a delightful feed from Matt Ritchie.

Christian Atsu was ripped down atop the 18, dead center, in what was dangerously close to a penalty area. Jonjo Shelvey ripped his effort over the goal, and it was Newcastle who were off the hook for a PK when a Mohamed Diame handball was deemed acceptable at the other end.

After a rare Swans chance, a lazy Gayle was offside to nod in what would’ve been an opener.

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Perez intercepted a Sam Clucas miscue and set Gayle up for a 49th minute chance but the Englishman missed yet another opportunity.

Of course, Swans found the opener. Karl Darlow stopped Jordan Ayew’s opening header with a fantastic palm save, but cold only get a finger to the rebound on its way to goal.

Joselu tied the score through traffic at an acute angle after Shelvey sent Perez over the top with a diagonal ball. Fabianski was tight to his post and missed the shot.

Fabianski then thwarted Perez’s bid for a back post goal, and the ball went off the Spaniard for a goal kick.

It was mostly Newcastle without incisive threat for the final 20 minutes. That changed when Ritchie and Atsu lorded over an 88th minute free kick, but no one followed his offering to the back post.

Yet a stoppage time counter nearly defied the Magpies dominance but for Karl Darlow’s aggression and a DeAndre Yedlin clearance off the line.

Watford 1-2 Swansea: Carvalhal gets shock comeback W

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  • Swans win Carvalhal’s debut
  • Watford led 1-0 into 85th
  • Ayew, Narsingh score late

Luciano Narsingh was on the doorstep to poke home a late rebound as Swansea City came back to beat Watford 2-1 in Carlos Carvalhal’s first match as Swans manager.

Andre Carrillo put Watford ahead at Vicarage Road, but the Hornets found another way to lose when Jordan Ayew and Narsingh both scored in the final five minutes.

Swansea is in 19th place with 16 points, just two back of safety, while Watford’s 25 points have them 10th.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

It didn’t take long for new boss Carlos Carvalhal to feel what Paul Clement, Bob Bradley, and Francesco Guidolin have felt: concession.

Richarlison forced Lukasz Fabianski into a save, but Carrillo was right there to deposit the rebound for 1-0 after 11 minutes.

 

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[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Molla Wague looked to have a goal in his second-straight match, but his headed goal was nullified by a borderline foul in the 18.

And Richarlison cued up Andre Gray for a late 1v1 that he cranked directly at Fabianski.

That’s about when Swans started Hornets heads spinning, with Ayew tapped in from Oliver McBurnie‘s assist and Narsingh passing a rebound home four minutes later.

Swans 1-1 Crystal Palace: Spoils split at Swansea

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  • Palace converts penalty
  • Swans level through Ayew beauty
  • Swansea remains 20th

Jordan Ayew scored a sensational second half goal to give Swansea City a share of the points in a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

Luka Milivojevic converted a penalty for Palace’s lone goal.

Swans finish the day four points back of 17th place West Ham, while Palace is two points ahead of the drop.

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Tammy Abraham thought he’d played Luciano Narsingh in for a penalty kick, but the referee was unmoved when Jeff Schlupp‘s challenge took down the Dutchman.

An uncharacteristic bumble from Wilfried Zaha in the Swans’ box stopped Palace from a 34th minute lead. And the Ivorian just missed with a toe poke redirection in the 41st.

Yohan Cabaye lorded over a stoppage time free kick, but a training ground routine for Zaha did not yield a dangerous cross.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek sold a penalty kick, and Palace had a chance to go ahead in the 59th minute. Milivojevic finished with power.

Swans started to buzz as the half wore on, and Ayew gave Swans a deserved equalizer on a day his brother scored back in London. Ayew worked around a defender and let fly an arrow to level the score.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa: Villans still winless since opening day

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With more than five months of the 2015-16 Premier League season still to play, Aston Villa are in big, big trouble. Their total of six points won (from 16 games) heading into Saturday’s relegation six-pointer with Newcastle United meant they began the day a whopping 10 points from safety.

On the other hand, only Newcastle’s recent form (two straight wins in the league) made Steve McClaren‘s side, perennial strugglers themselves, anything more than token favorites. In the end, Saturday’s proceedings at St. James’ Park ended in a 1-1 draw.

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Relegation-threatened clubs typically face such a fate because they put forth poor footballing sides week in and week out. Along with failing to produce results, they also pretty typically fail to entertain their own supporters. On paper, Newcastle versus Villa should have been a double dose of terrible. In reality, it was two desperate sides fighting and scrapping for their PL lives, which is throughly entertaining.

After an opening half-hour that saw just two shots in total, the game sprang to life. Newcastle opened the scoring on 38 minutes (below video), when captain Fabricio Coloccini shanked home a right-footed shot to complete a clever set-piece routine. Siem De Jong whipped in the corner kick to the far post, where the Argentine defender was waiting. His effort on goal was scuffed and deflected into the back of the net by Brad Guzan.

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The two sides headed to the halftime break with the score 1-0 in favor of the home side, but Villa very nearly equalized barely 30 seconds into the second half, whe Jordan Veretout unleashed a left-footed screamer from outside the penalty area. The ball swerved through traffic, nearly wrong-footing Rob Elliott, but the deputy ‘keeper made the diving save at the last moment.

Newcastle’s best chance to double their lead came and went in the 57th minute. De Jong was left shaking his head, wondering how he’d managed to miss a header from three yards out with no one marking him or defending the back post. The shocking miss of the weekend.

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The inevitable equalizer from Villa came four minutes later (above video). Jordan Ayew created a yard of space wide left in the Newcastle penalty area, put the ball onto his powerful right foot and rifled the ball past Elliott and just inside the far post, signaling the first sign of life in Remi Garde’s (and Tim Sherwood‘s) side in many months.

With a handful of late chances failed to be taken by either side, a point apiece is just about is just about right, but will please one side, Newcastle, much more than the other, Villa, given the current league table.

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With the result, Newcastle remain in 17th on 17 points, while Villa stay bottom, five points off Sunderland in 19th and 10 points off Newcastle one place outside the relegation zone. Villa are winless since the opening day of the season and have won just four points from their last 16 league games.

Tottenham 3-1 Aston Villa: Dembele, Alli, Kane send Spurs 5th

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  • Dembele scores in back to back PL games
  • Alli’s 2nd career PL goal
  • Kane’s 5th PL goal (4 in two games)
  • Spurs up to 5th; Villa stay 20th

Sunday’s North London Derby (Watch live at 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra) is officially a meeting of the Premier League’s two most in-form sides following Tottenham Hotspur’s (14 points from last six league games; Arsenal – 15 points from six games) 3-1 victory over Aston Villa on Monday.

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Moussa Dembele gave Tottenham an early lead, three minutes on the clock, with a bullish run and fortunate finish. Danny Rose played the Belgian down the left touchline, where Ciaran Clark made his initial challenge. Dembele held off the challenge from Clark, bullying his way past the defender and into the penalty area with only Brad Guzan ahead of him. Dembele’s left-footed finish nutmegged Guzan and bulged the back of the net.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Dele Alli doubled Spurs’ lead shortly before halftime. Rose sent in a cross from the left wing, which was headed away by Joleon Lescott, but only as far as Alli at the top of the 18-yard box. His first touch was with his thigh to control and settle the ball, the second was a low, volleyed strike to the far post that left Guzan rooted to the ground.

Villa pulled their goal back through Jordan Ayew, whose long-range strike took a severe deflection off Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen, wrong-footing goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and sneaking just inside the Frenchman’s right-hand post.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Harry Kane scored Spurs’ third goal, curling a right-footed blast into the top corner of Guzan’s far post. Christian Eriksen freed Erik Lamela down the right wing in the build-up, Lamela cut the ball all the way across the penalty area and Kane rifled the ensuing shot into the back of the net for a comfortable final score.

With their victory, Spurs (20 points) are up to fifth in the league table, five points back of Arsenal, their north London rivals and joint-leaders of the PL. One point separates Spurs from fourth-place Manchester United in their bid to once again claim an UEFA Champions League place. Spurs remain one of two teams (Leicester City) to have lost just once on the season (opening day defeat away to Manchester United). Meanwhile, Villa remain bottom of the league, two points off the pace of 19th-place Sunderland and four points from safety in 17th (Bournemouth).