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Premier League Review: Southampton And West Ham In Top Four

SamAllardyceSouthampton beat Stoke 1-0 to jump into second place in the Premier League table as Manchester City lost 2-1 to West Ham. Elsewhere, Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez scored twice as they beat Sunderland 2-0 and Liverpool were held to a 0-0 draw with Hull with Mario Balotelli missing a sitter in the final minute.

Morgan Amalfitano gave Sam Allardyce’s men a deserved first-half lead and Diafra Sakho, signed from Metz in the summer, made it 2-0 with the assistance of the Goal Decision System. A downward header by the Senegal forward, who went off with a shoulder injury, dropped over the line and was awarded after City goalkeeper Joe Hart had clawed the ball out inside the far post.

David Silva hit back to set up a grandstand finale, but City missed the chance to narrow the gap to leaders Chelsea, who visit Manchester United on Sunday, and slipped behind Southampton into third place. Saints, 8-0 winners over Sunderland last weekend, climbed to second, three points behind the Blues, with a 1-0 win over Stoke City at St Mary’s Stadium.

Sadio Mane tucked in the rebound after Graziano Pelle’s strike had hit the woodwork and it was enough to give Ronald Koeman’s men seven wins in eight games in all competitions, the only blip coming at Tottenham Hotspur earlier this month.

Gus Poyet’s Sunderland were unable to respond positively to the thrashing by Saints as Arsenal won 2-0 thanks to more calamitous defending. Alexis Sanchez punished mistakes by Wes Brown and then goalkeeper Vito Mannone to give the Gunners just a third league win of the season and take Arsene Wenger’s men to fifth in the standings.

Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony bagged a brace as Swansea City cruised to a 2-0 victory over Leicester City. Bony put Garry Monk’s team ahead late in the first half at the Liberty Stadium and he struck again soon after the interval to lift the Swans up to sixth.

The 25-year-old has now scored four times in his last three appearances after failing to find the net in his first seven games this season. Bony’s goals ended Swansea’s barren run of five league matches without a victory and left Leicester, without a win in four matches since their famous triumph against Manchester United, hovering just above the relegation zone.

Mario Balotelli, retained in the starting XI by manager Brendan Rodgers, missed a late opportunity as Liverpool endured a frustrating goalless draw with Hull City. The Reds are sixth, while Hull, who extended their unbeaten run to three games, are ninth.

West Bromwich Albion came from two goals down at half-time to draw 2-2 with Crystal Palace after Saido Berahino’s stoppage-time equaliser from the penalty spot. Brede Hangeland and Mile Jedinak’s penalty put the Eagles in front, but Victor Anichebe pulled a goal back and visiting goalkeeper Julian Speroni went off with a head knock. The delay to treat Speroni resulted in six minutes of stoppage time and Berahino converted from the spot after Anichebe had been fouled by Jedinak.