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Okore return a boost for Villa

Aston Villa about an hour ago
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff
Feb 1, 2014

Stoke stun United, Spurs held at Hull

Charlie Adam inspired Stoke City to their first home victory over Manchester United in the Premier League, scoring twice in a 2-1 win at the Britannia Stadium.

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Adam opened the scoring after 38 minutes when his free kick from 30 yards was deflected off Michael Carrick, leaving goalkeeper David de Gea stranded.

United's woes continued as Phil Jones and Jonny Evans were both substituted in the first half, with Jones being stretchered off after an accidental clash of heads, forcing Carrick to drop into one of the centre-back positions.

Robin van Persie grabbed the equaliser for United two minutes into the second half with a neat left-footed finish after being fed by Juan Mata.

However, just five minutes later, Adam scored his second of the game with a wonder strike that flew past De Gea from 25 yards. United pushed for a second equaliser, with Ashley Young squandering an opportunity and Wayne Rooney's free kick being tipped onto the post by Asmir Begovic, but Stoke held on to climb out of the relegation zone.

Tottenham Hotspur battled back from a goal down to rescue a 1-1 draw from their trip to Hull City to stay in the hunt for a Champions League place.

Spurs, still reeling from their 5-1 midweek hammering at the hands of Manchester City, fell behind early to a goal from Shane Long on his home debut and second appearance for Hull.

That lead was cancelled out by Paulinho, who reacted quickest to a mishit Danny Rose shot and clinically rifled the ball high into the net on 61 minutes.

The result leaves Tottenham two points behind fourth-placed Liverpool, having played a game more, and a point behind Everton in fifth.

Everton scored twice in the final 16 minutes to come from a goal behind and beat Aston Villa 2-1 courtesy of a brilliant Kevin Mirallas free kick.

Villa scored against the run of play on 34 minutes when Fabian Delph stole the ball from Ross Barkley and passed to Christian Benteke, who set up the overlapping Leandro Bacuna for his second goal in as many games.

With 16 minutes to go, Everton equalised as Steven Naismith notched just his second league goal of the season and his first since the winner against Chelsea in September. Mirallas completed the comeback with a superbly-executed free kick from 25 yards.

Sunderland secured another vital three points in their bid to stave off relegation by dominating local rivals Newcastle United 3-0 at St James' Park.

Sunderland took the lead on 20 minutes as Vurnon Anita clumsily clattered into full-back Phil Bardsley, gifting the visitors a penalty which Fabio Borini smashed home.

It got worse almost immediately for Newcastle as Adam Johnson extended his incredible scoring streak to seven goals in seven games by reacting quickest when Jack Colback's curling shot was saved by Tim Krul.

Johnson came close to adding to the score in the second half as his shot cannoned back off the post before Colback wrapped up all three points 11 minutes from time, stealing possession from Hatem Ben Arfa, exchanging passes with Borini and finishing with aplomb.

West Ham also gathered three crucial points as Andy Carroll played a pivotal role in their 2-0 victory over Swansea at Upton Park.

The Hammers punished some slack defending by Swansea on 27 minutes, when Carroll was afforded the freedom of the penalty area to head down to Kevin Nolan, who fashioned a superb low volley into the bottom right corner of the net.

It got worse for Swansea in first-half stoppage time as more horrible defending allowed Carroll another free header at the back post from a corner and Nolan nudged the ball over the line. Just before the hour mark, though, Carroll tangled with Chico Flores and appeared to swing an arm at the defender. He was shown a straight red card.

Fulham are bottom of the table after a 3-0 drubbing at home against Southampton.

Adam Lallana scored on his 250th appearance for Southampton midway through the second half, and Rickie Lambert added a second soon after.

Fulham's sudden collapse was complete on 75 minutes when Jay Rodriguez cut inside Brede Hangeland and curled a fine shot into the top corner.

Craig Bellamy and Kenwyne Jones helped Cardiff City come from behind to beat Norwich City 1-0 in Wales. Robert Snodgrass put Norwich in front after just five minutes when he converted from close range following a Martin Olsson assist.

However, Cardiff hit back early in the second half with two goals in three minutes. Bellamy equalised with a goal that made him the first player to score for seven different Premier League clubs, having been beautifully set up by Wilfried Zaha's weighted pass, and two minutes later Jones marked his Cardiff debut with a hooked finish.

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