Newcastle charge ahead

Newcastle charge ahead

 Newcastle United surged towards Champions League qualification with a 3-0 home win over Stoke City to move into fourth spot in the Premier League on Saturday as rivals Arsenal and Chelsea ground out a 0-0 draw and Tottenham Hotspur lost 0-1 at lowly Queens Park Rangers.

Two goals by Yohan Cabaye and one from Papiss Cisse gave Newcastle a sixth straight victory to put them three points above Tottenham Hotspur and three behind third-placed Arsenal with a game in hand.

Chelsea, who held on for a point at Arsenal despite making eight changes from the side that beat Barcelona in midweek, are now four points behind Newcastle with four games left and struggling to qualify for next season's Champions League.

Blackburn Rovers gave themselves fresh hope of avoiding relegation with a 2-0 home defeat of Norwich City although they stay in the bottom three while fellow strugglers Bolton Wanderers drew 1-1 at home to Swansea City.

Wigan Athletic came down to earth after back-to-back wins against Manchester United and Arsenal by losing 2-1 at Fulham while Aston Villa remain looking over their shoulder after drawing 0-0 at home to Sunderland.

Tottenham's former player Adel Taarabt scored QPR's winner with a free kick before halftime to lift them three points clear of the relegation zone.

Newcastle took full advantage of the stalemate with Cabaye heading them in front from close range before Cisse, whose goals have fired Newcastle upwards, combined with the Frenchman to make it 2-0. Cabaye curled in Newcastle's third after the break.

In the battle to finish in the top four, Arsenal have 65 points from 35 matches, Newcastle have 62 from 34 while Tottenham have 59 from 33. Chelsea  are in sixth spot, with 58 points from 34 games.

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