Newcastle surge on as Chelsea hold Arsenal


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The Independent Football

Newcastle United's charge towards Champions League qualification gathered pace on Saturday with a 3-0 home win over Stoke City which moved them into fourth spot in the Premier League as rivals Arsenal and Chelsea could only draw 0-0 at The Emirates.

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.

Tottenham can reclaim fourth spot if they beat Queens Park Rangers later on Saturday (1630 GMT).

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.

The battle for the Premier League title continues on Sunday when leaders Manchester United host Everton and second-placed Manchester City go to bottom club Wolverhampton Wanderers who will be relegated if QPR beat Tottenham.