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Premier LeagueSport

Benteke strikes again as Villa sink Spurs

By Toby Davis

Aston Villa took another step towards Premier League safety after Christian Benteke’s goal secured a 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday as manager Tim Sherwood enjoyed a winning return to his former club.

The Belgian striker’s eighth goal in his last six games helped Villa move up to 15th on 32 points, six clear of the relegation zone.

Villa, who face Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final next week, are a place above Sunderland, whose own battle to avoid the drop suffered in a stinging 4-1 home defeat by Crystal Palace at the Stadium of Light where Yannick Bolasie completed an 11-minute hat-trick for the visitors.

Bottom club Leicester City continued their improbable escape act after a 90th-minute goal from Jamie Vardy completed a rousing fightback to beat West Bromwich Albion 3-2, a second successive victory that moved them to within three points of 17th-placed Hull City.

Steve Bruce’s Hull missed the chance to put clear water between themselves and danger following a 2-0 defeat by Southampton, who are doggedly clinging on to hopes of European qualification.

Ronald Koeman’s side moved up to fifth on 56 points, above Liverpool and five behind fourth-placed Manchester City who take on local rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Stoke City’s Marko Arnautovic scored in the 90th minute to snatch a 1-1 draw with West Ham United who had taken the lead through a seventh-minute free kick from Aaron Cresswell.

Swansea City equalled their highest ever points tally in a Premier League season following a 1-1 draw with Everton in the early game at the Liberty Stadium.

Swansea stayed eighth in the table on 47 points, matching their biggest haul with six matches still to play. Everton are 12th on 38.

In-form Arsenal could cut Chelsea’s lead at the top of the table to four points when they travel to Burnley later on Saturday, before Jose Mourinho’s side visit Queens Park Rangers on Sunday.

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