United falters at Stoke City

Stoke-on-Trent, England ( - Manchester United's push for a top-four spot took a hit on Saturday as Charlie Adam scored a pair of goals in a 2-1 win for Stoke City over United at the Britannia Stadium.

Adam was a bit fortunate to score in the 38th minute when his shot took a wicked deflection off of United's Michael Carrick on its way into the net.

Robin van Persie equalized early in the second half for United, but Adam fired home the winning goal just five minutes later with a fantastic strike, moving Stoke three points clear of the relegation places.

United, meanwhile, remains six points back of fourth-place Liverpool, which travels to West Bromwich on Sunday.

The Red Devils lost two defenders to injury in the first half as both Jonny Evans and Phil Jones had to be substituted.

In between the injuries, United had another bit of luck go the wrong way as Adam's free kick deflected off of Carrick at the edge of the penalty area and left goalkeeper David De Gea stranded as the ball settled inside the left post.

The visitors answered in the opening minutes of the second half when Juan Mata took advantage of a failed clearance to pick out Van Persie inside the area, where he curled the ball home past goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

But Stoke regained its lead only five minutes later when Adam made the most of the ball falling to his feet 25 yards from goal by lashing it into the top corner.

Rooney had a chance to take a point for his team in stoppage time, but his free kick was tipped onto the post by Begovic, preserving three valuable points for the Potters.

Sunderland 3, Newcastle 0

Newcastle, England - For the second consecutive season, Sunderland claimed a 3-0 derby win over Newcastle at St James' Park on Saturday, moving the Black Cats two points clear of the relegation zone.

First-half goals from Fabio Borini and Adam Johnson put Sunderland in control, while Jack Colback capped the win with a goal 10 minutes from time to hand Sunderland its third straight derby win over Newcastle for the first time since 1922-23.

Sunderland went in front after 19 minutes when Phil Bardsley went down inside the penalty area under a challenge from Vurnon Anita, allowing Borini to fire home the spot kick.

Four minutes later it was 2-0 as a deflected shot from Colback was parried by goalkeeper Tim Krul straight into the path of Johnson, who easily knocked home his seventh goal of the campaign.

Colback then found the net himself in the 80th minute with a clinical finish that capped off a splendid day for the visitors.

West Ham 2, Swansea City 0

London, England - A pair of first-half goals from Kevin Nolan helped to boost West Ham's relegation woes as the Hammers claimed a 2-0 win over Swansea City at Upton Park on Saturday.

Andy Carroll had a hand in both of Nolan's goals, which came 20 minutes apart, but he also picked up a red card on the hour mark, leaving his side to finish the final 30 minutes with 10 men.

Swansea was unable to take advantage of Carroll's early dismissal, however, as the Swans hardly troubled West Ham goalkeeper Adrian.

Carroll got things started for West Ham midway through the first half when he knocked down a cross from George McCartney which Nolan finished easily.

West Ham's second goal came in first-half stoppage time from a corner kick was Carroll got on the other end of Stewart Downing's cross to nod the ball into the path of Nolan, who headed it home from six yards.

Carroll was sent off with 30 minutes to play when he appeared to elbow Swansea's Chico Flores, but the visitors struggled to find the target and have now won just once in their last 10 matches.

Cardiff City 2, Norwich City 1

Cardiff, Wales - Cardiff City got second-half goals from Craig Bellamy and Kenwyne Jones to complete a 2-1 comeback win over Norwich City in Wales that moves the club to within a point of safety.

Robert Snodgrass handed the visitors the lead after just five minutes when he arrived at the back post to tap in a deflected cross from Martin Olsson.

Cardiff began to work its way back into the match and the home side equalized in the 49th minute when Wilfried Zaha cut out a pass from Gary Hooper and picked out the run of Bellamy, who beat goalkeeper John Ruddy.

Just one minute later Cardiff seized the lead when Jones scored on his second attempt after his initial header was blocked by Norwich defender Russell Martin.

The Canaries almost equalized through Bradley Johnson, but Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall tipped the ball onto the crossbar, while the post came to Cardiff's rescue again in the closing minutes when Snodgrass headed the ball against the woodwork.

Everton 2, Aston Villa 1

Liverpool, England - Steven Naismith and Kevin Mirallas scored in the final 15 minutes to help Everton secure a 2-1 comeback win over Aston Villa at Goodison Park.

Leandro Bacuna handed Villa a 1-0 halftime lead with his goal in the 34th minute, but Naismith and Mirallas turned things around late in the contest to move the Toffees into fifth place.

Aiden McGeady nearly gave Everton the lead in the opening few minutes when he curled a shot off the post, but it was Villa that took the lead before halftime when Bacuna played a one-two with Christian Benteke and beat goalkeeper Tim Howard after taking the return pass.

Naismith came into the match as a substitute in the second half and had a quick impact when he scored following a flick from Steven Pienaar to level the contest.

Mirallas then netted the winner five minutes from time when he was fouled 30 yards from goal and stepped up to hammer home the subsequent free kick.

Southampton 3, Fulham 0

London, England - Fulham dropped to the bottom of the Premier League on Saturday after yielding three goals in the second half of a 3-0 defeat to Southampton at Craven Cottage.

After enjoying the better of the play in the opening 45 minutes, Fulham fell behind in the 64th to a goal from Adam Lallana, who made a nice run through midfield and got on the other end of a pass from Rickie Lambert to fire a low shot past goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

Southampton added to its lead a few minutes later when a low cross from Nathaniel Clyne reached Lambert after nice stepover from Jay Rodriguez, allowing the forward to net his seventh goal of the campaign.

Lambert returned the favor in the 75th by knocking the ball forward to Rodriguez, who cut inside and hammered a shot into the upper corner of the net.

Hull City 1, Tottenham 1

Hull, England - Tottenham slipped to sixth place after Spurs needed a 61st- minute goal from Paulinho to salvage a 1-1 draw against Hull City at the KC Stadium on Saturday.

Tottenham had won its last three away games under manager Tim Sherwood, but the visitors found themselves down a goal after 12 minutes when a clever flick from Nikica Jelavic in midfield released Shane Long. The forward got in behind the defense and calmly slotted his shot past goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

The visitors started to push back after the break and found the equalizer just after the hour mark when a shot from Danny Rose deflected into the path of Paulinho, with the Brazilian smashing a powerful shot beyond the reach of goalkeeper Steve Harper.

Hull was now being pressed into its own half, but the home side managed the best chance to separate the teams when Jelavic struck the post after some play with Long.