Cabaye carries Newcastle past Stoke

Newcastle climbed into the top four on Saturday after securing a 3-0 win over Stoke City at Sports Direct Arena which moves the club to within three points of third-place Arsenal.

The Magpies scored twice inside of 20 minutes as Yohan Cabaye netted the first goal and then set up Papiss Cisse to double the lead.

The France international capped his superb day with a second goal shortly before the hour mark to wrap up Newcastle's sixth straight win.

It took 14 minutes for the hosts to seize the advantage as Hatem Ben Arfa's cross was headed against the crossbar by Cisse, leaving a rebound chance for Cabaye to head home from a few yards.

The two players combined on the second goal four minutes later when Cabaye slid a tidy pass into the path of Cisse, who slotted home his 11th goal of the campaign.

Newcastle was in total control and Cabaye added another goal in the 57th minute to cap the scoring with a rocket into the bottom corner.

Arsenal 0, Chelsea 0

London, England - Chelsea and Arsenal produced a 0-0 draw at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, a result that keeps Arsenal in a good position to claim a Champions League place.

Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo made a number of changes from the side that beat Barcelona in the Champions League in midweek. And although Arsenal was denied by the woodwork twice in the first half, the Gunners were unable to press on and claim a win which would have just about locked up third place.

Robin van Persie hit the outside of the post from close range after Theo Walcott's free kick, while five minutes before halftime, Van Persie's cross was nodded off the crossbar by Laurent Koscielny.

Chelsea was content to dig in and defend in the second half and the result leaves them four points back of fourth-place Newcastle.

Aston Villa 0, Sunderland 0

Birmingham, England - Aston Villa edged closer to safety on Saturday with a 0-0 home draw against Sunderland that moves the Villains five points clear of the drop zone.

Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill was making his return to Villa Park, and although his team was the more threatening side in the second half, O'Neill's Black Cats were unable to leave with more than a point.

The visitors should have gone in front in the 55th minute when James McClean put a shot over the net from six yards, while Villa's Stephen Ireland denied Sunderland a goal when he cleared a shot from Sebastian Larsson off the goal line.

Sunderland has drawn four of its last five games and is sitting comfortably in the middle of the table.

Blackburn 2, Norwich City 0

Blackburn, England - Blackburn's survival hopes were lifted on Saturday at Ewood Park as the club secured a 2-0 win over Norwich City with goals from Mauro Formica and David Hoilett.

Rovers had lost their last five games to slip to 19th, but Formica eased some nerves when he volleyed home a cross from Morten Gamst Pedersen five minutes before halftime.

Hoilett then doubled the lead shortly after the break with a wonderful strike from 25 yards that left Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy with no chance.

The win moves Blackburn to within three points of safety.

Bolton 1, Swansea City 1

Bolton, England - Bolton and Swansea City traded goals early in the first half to hand each side one point in a 1-1 draw at the Reebok Stadium.

Scott Sinclair had Swansea in front after six minutes when he took the ball on the left and carried it toward the top of the penalty area before driving it into the top corner.

But Bolton answered back within eight minutes as Martin Petrov dashed into the area on the left and pulled the ball back for Chris Eagles to finish off.

Bolton is now four points back of both Wigan and QPR, but has two games in hand.

Fulham 2, Wigan 1

London, England - Wigan's good run of form was slowed on Saturday at Craven Cottage as a last-minute header from Philippe Senderos handed Fulham a 2-1 win over the Latics.

Wigan had won four of its last five games entering the match, including wins over Manchester United and Arsenal. And things started well with the club going in front in the 57th minute through Emmerson Boyce.

Pavel Pogrebnyak quickly replied for Fulham to level the contest, and he had a shot five minutes later strike the crossbar and another come back off the post.

It looked like luck was not on Fulham's side, but Senderos got up to head home John Arne Riise's free kick to hand his team a third win in four games.

QPR 1, Tottenham 0

London, England - QPR climbed three points above the relegation zone on Saturday with a vital 1-0 win over Tottenham at Loftus Road.

Adel Taarabt provided the lone goal midway through the first half with a free kick that not only boosts QPR's survival hopes but also puts a dent in Tottenham's Champions League aspirations.

Taarabt was sent off 12 minutes from time after picking up his second yellow card, and although Spurs kept goalkeeper Paddy Kenny busy, the home side held out for the valuable win.

Tottenham has now won just once in its last nine games.