EPL: Misery piles on for Newcastle, Aston Villa

While Newcastle and Aston Villa inched closer to Premier League relegation, Crystal Palace extended their unbeaten run and Andy Carroll helped West Ham end their eight-match winless streak.

Aston Villa's Ashley Westwood looks dejected after Norwich scored their second goal.   -  Reuters

Newcastle United manager Steve McClaren must have feared more bad luck would scupper his plans when goalkeeper Rob Elliot was forced to pull out after feeling unwell just before kick-off, giving Karl Darlow his first Premier League start.   -  AP

Newcastle and Aston Villa plunged deeper into relegation trouble. Newcastle’s rookie goalkeeper Karl Darlow’s howler gifted West Bromwich Albion a 1-0 win on Monday, whereas Jonny Howson and Dieumerci Mbokani ushered Aston Villa a step closer to relegation as Norwich City recorded a 2-0 victory at Carrow Road on Monday.

Darlow allowed Albion midfielder Darren Fletcher's header to slip through his grasp in the closing stages at the Hawthorns. The 25-year-old's mistake leaves Steve McClaren's third-from-bottom side two points adrift of safety after a second successive defeat.

For Norwich, Howson volleyed home in the 24th minute and Congolese striker Mbokani struck three minutes from time as the home side drew three points clear of the relegation zone.

Villa manager Remi Garde had warned his side that they had to win one of their next two games, but ahead of Saturday's trip to Sunderland, they are 11 points adrift of safety at the foot of the table and look increasingly doomed.

Villa are now without a win in a club-record 18 league matches, but they could count themselves unfortunate to be trailing at half-time, having started the match on the front foot.

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Carroll caps Hammers fightback to down Saints

Andy Carroll ended West Ham's eight-match winless run as the striker came off the bench to score the late goal that clinched a 2-1 success against Southampton.

Slaven Bilic's side looked as though they would have to settle for a sixth successive draw after Michail Antonio's bizarre equaliser cancelled out a Carl Jenkinson own goal in the first half at Upton Park.

But former Liverpool and Newcastle forward Carroll, who is just back from another injury lay-off, buried a header to secure a first win for the east Londoners since they beat Chelsea in October.

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Palace extend unbeaten run with Swansea stalemate

Crystal Palace stretched their unbeaten run in the Premier League to six matches following an uneventful 0-0 draw at home to Swansea City.

It was a second straight stalemate for Alan Pardew's side after they were held at Bournemouth on Boxing Day, as the result kept Palace fifth in the table ahead of Monday's later games.

Swansea, who recorded a first win in eight matches when they beat West Brom 1-0 on Saturday, continued their mini-revival as they pulled two points clear of the bottom three.

Moroccan striker Marouane Chamakh made his first start for Palace in the league this season, while Swansea caretaker boss Alan Curtis shuffled his pack as he made eight changes to the side that defeated the Baggies.

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