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Newcastle Closing In On Champions League Spot

Arsenal were held to a goalless draw at home by Chelsea, while Newcastle United staked their claim for a Champions League berth with a routine 3-0 win against Stoke City as Tottenham Hotspur lost at Queens Park Rangers 1-0.

Chelsea coach Roberto Di Matteo made eight changes from the side that beat Barcelona in midweek, but third-placed Arsenal failed to take advantage. Laurent Koscielny and Robin van Persie came closest to breaking the deadlock in the first half when they struck the bar and post respectively. A week ago, Arsenal seemed a shoo-in to finish third, but after losing at home on Monday to Wigan and drawing with Chelsea today, they have left the door open for Newcastle United to leap-frog past them into third.

Newcastle are now just three points back of Arsenal, with a game in hand, after they picked up their sixth consecutive win today. Yohan Cabaye (14, 57) scored either side of Papiss Demba Cissé’s ninth goal since signing in January, as Newcastle comfortably beat a poor Stoke side.

Spurs free-fall continues as they lost 1-0 to QPR. The defeat, Spurs have picked up only five points from their last six games and are in real danger of falling out of the Champions League places. Spurs are now in fifth place, three points behind Newcastle.

The win for QPR was huge as it moved them three points above the relegation zone with three games to go.

Blackburn Rovers beat Norwich2-0 win today, a result that leaves them in the bottom three, but they are now only three points behind Wigan, who lost 2-1 at Fulham.

One point behind Rovers is Bolton Wanderers who could only draw 1-1 at home to Swansea. Bolton have tow games in hand over the teams around them, but they need to be able to turn those games into wins, something they have done infrequently this season.