Liam Rosenior

Aston Villa 3-1 Hull City: Villa have likely saved themselves (video)

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Had Hull won at Villa Park on Saturday, they’d have been safe – and Aston Villa would’ve been in serious trouble. Instead the hosts put in one of their most impressive home performances this season and, although they’re yet to be mathematically deemed safe, they almost certainly saved their season.

The game got off to a fantastic start for the hosts, who scored with less than a minute played. Despite what appeared to be a defensive setup from Paul Lambert, Villa were off and running from the start. Gabby Agbonlahor burst down the left, putting in a cross that fell perfectly to Marc Albrighton. The wideman wiffed it, but Ashley Westwood was there to put in the goal.

Injury struck Agbonlahor once again, before thirty minutes were up. Lambert put on Jordan Bowery in his place, perhaps thinking him more experienced than U21 star Callum Robinson. Andi Weimann very nearly created a goal for Bowery minutes after his introduction, but the Austrian failed to get in the pass.

Villa were left ruing the missed opportunity when Hull equalized shortly thereafter. Ron Vlaar’s foul on Shane Long gave the visitors a free kick, which Tom Huddlestone took short. Liam Rosenior’s shot took a deflection off Bowery and landed in the back of the net.

The Tigers, knowing that a win would ensure their own safety, pressed on to find another goal. Brad Guzan did well to ensure his side stayed level, flying to his right to keep out a long-range effort from Huddlestone.

It took the hosts some time to regain their footing, but in the 39th minute, it was Steve Harper’s turn to take center stage. The Hull keeper made two fine saves in quick succession, first denying a shot from Weimann, then keeping out a strike from Bowery.

Villa continued to press forward. A series of corners saw two headers from Nathan Baker, the first blocked, the second saved by Harper. The third try was the charm: Weimann managed to put in his header, nudged in from close range.

The Austrian was determined to silence those who’d critiqued his performances this season, calling for him to be benched. In injury time, Weimann put in another, a sharp header into the bottom corner. Credit to Bowery, too, as his work down the left ensured Villa went into the break up 3-1.

Villa looked determined to close out their home games on a good note. Rather than allow Hull City back into the game, the hosts kept pressing, with Bowery making a convincing argument for more playing time. The forward, once again combining with Weimann, nearly added a fourth for Villa, but Harper managed to push his shot over the bar.

While Steve Bruce made an attempt to change up the visitors’ attack, replacing Nikica Jelavić with Yannick Sagbo, the Villa defense, surprisingly, held firm. Huddlestone forced a save from Guzan in the 75th minute, but that was about the last action seen in this one.

LINEUPS

Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Bertrand, Westwood, Delph, Albrighton (El Ahmadi 76), Agbonlahor (Bowery 24), Weimann (Bacuna 82)

Goals: Westwood 1′; Weimann 41; 45+3′

Hull City: Rosenior, Figueroa, Chester (Bruce 43), Davies, Meyler (Quinn 45), Huddlestone, Livermore, Jelavic (Sagbo 69), Long, Elmohamady

Goals: Bowery o.g. 28′

Hull City 1-0 Swansea City: Boyd’s header enough for the Tigers (video)

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Hull City battled to a 1-0 win over Swansea on Saturday at the KC Stadium as Hull are all but safe from relegation, while the Swans are still only six-points clear of the drop.

The game-winning moment arrived just before half time, as George Boyd rose like a salmon at the back post and headed in a looping cross to give the Tigers a deserved lead. Swansea spurned several good chances to equalize in the second half, as Hull held on for a valuable win that sees them leapfrog Swansea and leave the South Wales side with still flirting with the relegation zone.

Hull moved up to 12th on 36 points after the win, while the Swans dropped to 15th on 33 points.

(MORE: Latest Premier League standings)

An early cross from Figueora on the left found Shane Long in the box and Michel Vorm made a superb save at the far post to keep the score level inside the first 10 minutes. Hull continued to press the Swans, and in the 17th minute George Boyd hammered a low shot towards goal following Long’s knockdown but Vorm saved well down to his right.

After that the game evened out, but Swansea’s Wayne Routledge got clear of Hull’s defense but took the winger too much time to have a shot and saw his effort blocked.

Just after the half hour mark Nikica Jelavic curled a free kick just over for Hull, as a nervy encounter played out in the sunshine in East Yorkshire. Then in the 38th minute Hull took the lead, as Liam Rosenior’s looping cross from the right saw Boyd rise highest and beat Angel Rangel to head home the opener. The Tigers pushed for another after half time, as Steve Bruce’s men aimed to stave off any lingering threat of relegation.

In the second half Swansea pushed hard for an equalizer, as Nathan Dyer spurned a glorious chance to put the Swans level but hit his effort tamely on target.Garry Monk cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines, as the rookie manager still has the threat of relegation breathing down his neck.

Jonjo Shelvey had another effort which failed to worry Steve Harper in goal for Hull, as the Tigers held on to their slender advantage and grabbed a crucial three points which has likely sealed their top-flight status for next season.

LINEUPS

Hull City: Harper, Rosenior, Figueora (Koren, 75′), Chester, Davies, Meyler, Livermore, Boyd, Jelavic (Sagbo, 91′), Long (Aluko, 64′), Elmohamady

Goal: Boyd (38′)

Swansea City: Vorm, Rangel, Chico Flores, Williams, Davies, Britton (Lita, 83′), Shelvey, De Guzman (Dyer, 45′), Routledge, Michu (Hernandez, 66′), Bony

Premier League Roundup: Goals galore as Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool bag huge wins

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Another exhilarating day of action in the Premier League played out on Saturday, as 32 goals poured in across the eight games.

Chelsea blitzed Arsenal 6-0 to get things rolling, then Liverpool went to Cardiff and won 6-3, while elsewhere Manchester City knocked five past Fulham.

Yeah, it was a goalfest in the PL.

In case you missed anything, don’t fret, we’ve put together a neatly wrapped package of recaps, analysis and video highlights from all the games on Saturday so you can catch up. We’re good like that.

Here’s everything you need to know about what went down in the PL on Saturday.

Cardiff 3-6 Liverpool

Liverpool twice fought back from losing positions in the first half, as Cardiff’s goals from Jordon Mutch and Fraizer Campbell were cancelled out by Luis Suarez and Martin Skrtel. After the break Suarez and Skrtel both scored again to make it 4-2, then Daniel Sturridge added another to make it 5-2. Mutch scored another to make it 5-3, but then Suarez popped up in stoppage time to bag his hat trick as Liverpool are four point behind leaders Chelsea with a game in hand. Pulsating clash in South Wales.

Chelsea 6–0 Arsenal

An incredible win for Jose Mourinho’s Blues, as Chelsea recorded their biggest-ever win over Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. Samuel Eto’o curled in a beauty then Andre Schurrle doubled the lead after seven minutes. After that came a moment of madness, as a Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain handled the ball on the line to give Chelsea a penalty, but referee Andre Marriner sent off the wrong man, Kieran Gibbs. Eden Hazard scored the PK, then Oscar scored to make it 4-0 at half time. Late goals for Oscar and Mohammed Salah rubbed salt into Arsenal’s wounds, as Arsene Wenger failed to show up for his post-match press conference after being humiliated in his 1,000th game in charge of the Gunners.

Everton 3-2 Swansea

The Toffees went ahead through a Leighton Baines penalty, but Swansea hit back through Wilfried Bony to make it 1-1 at the break. After the interval Everton went 3-1 up thanks to Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley, but then a late goal from Ashley Williams made it interesting. However Everton held on to tighten their grip on the Europa League spots.

Hull City 2–0 West Bromwich Albion

Hull bagged a massive win at home, as goals from Liam Rosenior and Shane Long in the space of seven first half minutes was enough to keep West Brom in the race against the drop. The Baggies failed to create much, and old boy Long was the man who came back to haunt them at the KC Stadium. Safety almost secured for the Tigers.

Manchester City 5–0 Fulham

It was the Yaya Toure show at the Etihad, as the big Ivorian netted his first-ever hat trick with two penalty kicks and a stunning long-range effort. Martin Demichelis and Fernandinho rounding off the scoring, as basement boys Fulham were handed a real hiding away at title-chasing City. With the goals flowing once again, maybe the Citizens can charge to the top of the standings once again?

Newcastle 1–0 Crystal Palace

Not much happened in this game… until the final few seconds. Papiss Demba Cisse scored right at the death to deal a cruel blow to Crystal Palace, who had battled hard throughout the match. The Eagles looked to be taking a valuable point back to Selhurst Park with them, until Cisse popped up to send the Gallowgate End wild.

Norwich 2–0 Sunderland

If you watch one goal this weekend, make sure it is Alex Tettey’s strike for Norwich. The Canaries midfielder blasted a volley into the top corner from 25-yards out with a goal of the season contender. Robert Snodgrass have Norwich the lead, as the home side blew a poor Sunderland side away in the first half. Gus Poyet’s Black Cats are still in trouble, while Norwich move closer to safety.

West Ham United 0–2 Manchester United

Okay… maybe if you watch one goal you should watch Wayne Rooney’s first strike, as the Manchester United striker scored a goal from around the halfway line. Yeah. You read that right. Rooney, scored an absolute stunner and then added another before half time. That was enough to see off West Ham, who spent the majority of the second half looking rather listless.

Watch Live: Hull City vs. Southampton (Lineups and Discussion)

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Coming off a win in his return to the Stadium of Light, Steve Bruce looks to take 11th place Hull City Tigers into the league’s top half when they host Southampton at the KC Stadium. The action kicks off at 2:45 p.m. ET, with the game available for streaming via NBC Sports Live Extra.

Despite returning home, Hull will find today’s game much more difficult than Saturday’s, with the Saints defense unlikely to bless the Tigers with a third minute red card as Wes Brown did at Sunderland. Instead, Bruce will have to stall a Southampton side that’s unbeaten since Jan. 1 – a five-game streak that’s allowed the team to pull within one point of eighth place Newcastle.

That five game streak has featured three draws, however, with the Saints giving up two leads this weekend when Stoke visited St. Mary’s. Despite first half goals from Ricky Lambert and Steve Davis, Mauricio Pochettino’s men were left with only one point after former Southampton striker Peter Crouch equalized just before halftime.

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Having only scored 25 goals this season (in 25 games), Hull will find it difficult to match Stoke’s output, with their two-goal effort at Sunderland marking their first multi-goal game since routing Fulham 6-0 on December 28. Given the Tigers gave up four to Southampton in the teams’ first meeting of the season, Bruce faces significant challenges at both ends of the park.

He’ll meet those obstacles without wingback Liam Rosenior, who will miss today’s match with a thigh problem. Starting goalkeeper Allan McGregor will join him on the sidelines as he continues a red card suspension.

For Southampton, Dejan Lovren and Gaston Ramirez are expected to be out with ankle injuries.

LINEUPS

Hull City: Harper; McShane, Figueroa, Bruce, Davies; Elmohamady, Huddlestone, Livermore, Meyler; Long, Jelavic

Subs: Aluko, Brady, Koren, Jakupovic, Boyd, Sagbo, Quinn

Southampton: Boruc; Chambers, Yoshida, Fonte, Shaw; Schneiderlein, Cork; Lallana, S. Davis, Rodriguez; Lambert

Subs: Clyne, K. Davis, Wanyama, Ward-Prowse, Guly, Hooiveld, Isgrove

Watch Live: Liverpool vs. Hull City (Lineups and Discuss)

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Looking to get back on track in the friendly confides of Anfield, Liverpool host Hull (watch live online via NBC Sports Live Extra) with Brendan Rodgers’ side aiming to rack up yet another home win.

But Hull have already shown how good they are this season after already beating Liverpool 3-1 at the KC Stadium, and plenty of other scalps along the way.

Liverpool lost two tight games away at title contenders Manchester City and Chelsea over the festive period, as the Reds came up short when it mattered most. After those defeats they now sit six points off top spot, so they desperately need a win to keep the pressure up on the sides above them. Another masterclass from Luis Suarez would go a long way.

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In team news Liverpool have captain Steven Gerrard on the bench, while Iago Aspas comes into the staring lineup.

While Hull’a manager Steve Bruce makes two changes as his son Alex Bruce and David Meyler come in for Liam Rosenior and George Boyd.

LINEUPS

Liverpool: Mignolet, Johnson, Cissokho, Skrtel, Agger, Lucas, Henderson, Coutinho, Aspas, Sterling, Suarez. Subs: Jones, Rossiter, Kelly, Toure, Moses, Alberto, Gerrard

Hull City: McGregor, Figueroa, Bruce, Chester, Davies, Meyler, Huddlestone, Koren, Livermore, Sagbo, Elmohamady. Subs:Harper, Rosenior, Graham, Fryatt, Boyd, Faye, Quinn