Newcastle defeated Stoke 3-0 to continue a late-season move up the standings in English soccer’s Premier League, as Queens Park Rangers beat Tottenham 1-0 to improve its chance of staying in the top division.
Johan Cabaye scored two goals as Newcastle won its sixth straight league game. The victory lifts the Magpies into fourth place, the final qualifying place for European soccer’s Champions League.
Adel Taarabt scored the only goal and was later sent off as QPR held on to beat Tottenham and move three points above of the relegation places at the bottom of the standings.
Third-place Arsenal tied 0-0 with Chelsea, Blackburn beat Norwich 2-1, Bolton and Swansea tied 1-1, Fulham rallied to beat Wigan 2-1 and Aston Villa drew 0-0 with Sunderland.
Newcastle has 62 points, three less than Arsenal, which has played one more game, and three more than fifth-place Tottenham. The top four teams in the league qualify for Champions League.
Cabaye opened the scoring in the 14th minute when he headed in the rebound after Pappis Cisse hit the crossbar. Cisse made it 2-0 just four minutes later and Cabaye closed the scoring in the 57th minute with a low, curling shot from outside the area.
QPR’s fourth straight home win boosted its Premier League hopes and damaged Tottenham’s Champions League chances.
Taarabt scored with a free kick in the 24th minute. He was then sent off after receiving his second yellow card in the 78th minute, forcing Rangers to hang on for the victory.
The win lifts QPR to 16th in the 20-team league, where the bottom three teams are relegated to the second-tier Championship, with three games left. Tottenham would have moved into fourth ahead of Newcastle on goal difference with a victory.
Arsenal and Chelsea, which is now just one point back of Tottenham in sixth place, both lost ground in the Champions League race with their draw.
Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny hit the crossbar with a header in the first half and top scorer Robin van Persie missed several chances. Chelsea’s best scoring opportunity came when John Terry sent a first-half header over the goal.
Chelsea was playing its third game of the week after beating Tottenham 5-1 in an F.A. Cup semifinal on April 15 and defeating Barcelona 1-0 in their Champions League semifinal opener three days later. The Blues play the return match with Barcelona on April 24.
Mauro Formica and David Hoilett scored as Blackburn ended a five-match winless run but remained in the relegation zone. Rovers have 31 points, three fewer than Wigan and QPR directly above it in the standings.
Bolton’s home tie with Swansea dropped it to 19th, one point behind Blackburn. Chris Eagles scored for Bolton in the 14th minute, erasing a goal from Scott Sinclair eight minutes earlier.
Wigan remained in the relegation fight after its loss at Fulham. Emerson Boyce scored for the Latics, before Pavel Pogrebnyak and Philippe Senderos answered for Fulham.
Aston Villa improved its chances of staying up with a home draw against Sunderland, which had a Nicklas Bendtner goal disallowed for offside. Villa, which one win in its past 12 matches, moved five points clear of relegation.
League leader Manchester United hosts Everton, West Bromwich visits Liverpool and Manchester City is at Wolverhampton in tomorrow’s games.
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