Palace improves survival hopes


LONDON — Crystal Palace boosted its bid for Premier League survival with a crucial 2-0 win at Huddersfield, but West Bromwich Albion look destined for relegation after an agonizing 2-1 defeat at Bournemouth on Saturday.

With several of the Premier League's big guns on FA Cup quarterfinal duty this weekend, the focus in a reduced top-flight fixture list turned to the battle to avoid relegation.

After four successive defeats, Palace climbed out of the relegation zone with a victory that carried the added bonus of dragging Huddersfield back into trouble.

Palace took the lead in the 23rd minute at the John Smith's Stadium when James Tomkins struck from close range after his first effort was blocked by Jonas Lossl.

Roy Hodgson's team wrapped up the points in the 68th minute when Luka Milivojevic stroked home a penalty after Andros Townsend was fouled by Mathias Jorgensen.

Palace's first win in eight league games leaves it two points above the bottom three.

Huddersfield is three points clear of Southampton, which dropped into the relegation zone.

While Palace remains hopeful of retaining their lucrative top-flight berth, bottom-of-the-table West Brom appears certain to slide into the Championship.

Albion went in front in the 49th minute at Dean Court when Kieran Gibbs crossed to Salomon Rondon, whose header was met by Jay Rodriguez with a fierce finish for his first goal since January.

But Jordon Ibe leveled for Bournemouth in the 77th minute with a fine strike that curled past Ben Foster.

Albion was wilting and Junior Stanislas gave Bournemouth their first win in five league games with an 89th-minute free-kick.

West Brom's seventh successive defeat equals their longest losing streak in the Premier League.

It has won just one of their 17 league matches under Alan Pardew and lie nine points from safety with only seven matches left.

Cenk Tosun's double pushed Stoke deeper into the relegation mire as Everton won 2-1 at the bet365 Stadium.

Hamburg in trouble

Salomon Kalou broke Hamburg hearts as he came off the bench to secure a 2-1 reverse victory for Hertha Berlin Saturday.

Crisis-stricken Hamburg was trying for a fresh start under new coach Christian Titz, but Kalou's second-half winner stretched its winless run to 14 games, and it remains on course for a first relegation in its history.

Hamburg's defeat keeps it second from bottom, seven points behind Mainz, which was outclassed in a 3-0 defeat to local rival Eintracht Frankfurt.

Elsewhere, Werder Bremen moved further away from the bottom three with a clinical 3-1 win over Augsburg, while Matthias Ginter saved a late point for Borussia Moenchengladbach in a six-goal thriller with Hoffenheim. — AFP