Blues go four clear as Gunners slip up
Arsenal's Premier League title challenge suffered a blow as Jon Walters' second-half penalty saw them condemned to a 1-0 defeat at Stoke.
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Walters stepped up in the 76th minute to slot home a spot-kick he had won when his flick struck the arm of Laurent Koscielny in the Arsenal box.
Stoke were certainly good value for their victory, only their second in 11 Premier League fixtures, as they claimed another notable scalp for the season -- following on from home triumphs against Chelsea and Manchester United --and once again proved to be Arsenal's bogey side. Since Stoke were promoted to the top-flight in 2008, they have hosted Arsenal seven times and lost only once.
That result allowed Liverpool to move up to second above the Gunners, on goal difference, as they cruised to a 3-0 victory over Southampton.
Luis Suarez ended a run of five games without a goal after steering the ball home from the edge of the box on 16 minutes when Jose Fonte diverted it straight into his path. It was the striker's 75th goal for Liverpool on his 100th league appearance.
Adam Lallana was unlucky not to draw the home side level shortly before half time, but his effort came back off the base of the post and was cleared to safety.
Second-half substitute Raheem Sterling then scored with his first touch after coming off the bench, firing Suarez's low cut-back pass into the net from 10 yards shortly before the hour.
Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, who was looking to score in his ninth consecutive league game for Liverpool, continued to cause problems before Steven Gerrard saw his effort tipped wide by Artur Boruc. However, Gerrard completed an impressive victory for Brendan Rodgers's side when scoring from the penalty spot in added time.
Chelsea's 3-1 win at Fulham means Arsenal, and Liverpool, are now four points adrift of Jose Mourinho's side with 10 top-flight matches left to play each.
Chelsea’s victory came courtesy of a 16-minute second-half hat trick from Andre Schuerrle. The visitors took the lead in the 52nd minute. Eden Hazard lifted the ball over the Fulham backline and, after beating the offside trap, Schuerrle raced clear and slotted the ball.
Hazard continued to dominate proceedings with a cheeky "rabona" cross which Torres headed wide, but it would not be long before the Belgian helped seal the points. Another perfect through ball was met by Schuerrle, who wasted no time in smashing in his second of the afternoon.
Schuerrle completed his hat trick after he was put clean through for a third time, this time by Torres, and placed his shot past Maarten Stekelenburg. Johnny Heitinga grabbed a late consolation, his first ever goal for the club, but by then cause was a lost one.
Alan Pardew is facing a lengthy ban and a hefty fine after being sent off for headbutting Hull's David Meyler in Newcastle's 4-1 win at the KC Stadium.
The incident occurred in the second-half with Pardew sent to the stands and Meyler booked following an altercation on the touchline.
Newcastle took the lead after just 10 minutes with Mathieu Debuchy cutting the ball back to Moussa Sissoko who swept home into the top corner. Hull went close to levelling when Nikica Jelavic's free-kick took a nick off the wall and hit the bar, before Newcastle then doubled their lead just before half time. Maynor Figueroa mis-hit a back pass straight to Loic Remy, who rounded Allan McGregor and slotted the ball into the net.
But Hull got back into the match a minute after the restart, Curtis Davies beating Tim Krul to Tom Huddlestone's free kick and heading in. However Newcastle didn't take long to restore their two-goal lead, Sissoko exposing some poor Hull defending again to sweep home the rebound from Yoan Gouffran's spilled shot on 55 minutes.
Vurnon Anita then wrapped up the scoring for Newcastle late on.
Elsewhere, Everton handed West Ham their first defeat in six games after substitute Romelu Lukaku's strike gave them a 1-0 win at Goodison Park.
Leighton Baines picked out Lukaku in the box, and the striker lashed the ball home from 10 yards for his first goal since December.