Match of the Day running order: Difficult viewing for Crystal Palace fans as relegation battle heats up

Tom Doyle
Evening Standard
Getty Images
Getty Images

FA Cup semi-final weekend has led to a reduced Premier League schedule, but there was still plenty of drama on Saturday as the relegation battle looks set to go down to the wire.

Ten-man Hull and Swansea both boosted their survival hopes with crucial victories, while at the same time compounding Middlesbrough's chances of escaping the drop and also putting Crystal Palace under pressure despite their recent fine form.

Boro, who had Gaston Ramirez sent off after 20 minutes, lost 4-0 at Bournemouth to leave them nine points from safety with just five matches remaining.

While the Teessiders were woeful, extending their winless run in the top flight to 16 matches, their relegation rivals were the opposite with Hull in particular showing they have the stomach for a fight.​

FULL MOTD RUNNING ORDER (10.20pm - 11.20pm)

Hull 2 Watford 0

Swansea 2 Stoke 0

Bournemouth 4 Middlesbrough 0

West Ham 0 Everton 0

Hull, Oumar Niasse was somewhat harshly sent off for a foul on Watford's M'Baye Niang after 25 minutes, but they refused to buckle and Lazar Markovic's goal just after the hour was followed by a brilliant volley from Sam Clucas to extend manager Marco Silva's unbeaten personal home record to 41 matches.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

It also ensured they remained two points ahead of Swansea, who easily got the better of a Stoke side who appear to be treading water in mid-table.

Fernando Llorente headed in Gylfi Sigurdsson's cross after just 10 minutes and Swansea got the stroke of luck they needed 20 minutes from time when Marko Arnautovic blazed over a penalty.

Less than a minute later Tom Carroll's long-range strike doubled the home side's advantage and secured a 2-0 victory.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Middlesbrough, by contrast, were never in their game on the south coast as Josh King and Benik Afobe gave the home side a 2-0 lead inside 16 minutes;

(AFP/Getty Images)
(AFP/Getty Images)

Ramirez's second yellow card, having received his first for diving, left Boro in dire straits and Marc Pugh and Charlie Daniels completed the rout midway through the second half.

Seventh-placed Everton's hopes of pressing home their claims for a shot at fifth foundered with a goalless draw at West Ham.

(REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Burnley host Manchester United in the first of Sunday's two games, before Palace travel to Anfield to face Liverpool.

EPL Table | Premier League standings after Gameweek 34

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

GD

Pts

1

Chelsea

32

24

3

5

38

75

2

Tottenham

32

21

8

3

46

71

3

Liverpool

33

19

9

5

29

66

4

Man City

32

19

7

6

28

64

5

Man United

31

16

12

3

25

60

6

Everton

34

16

10

8

23

58

7

Arsenal

31

17

6

8

23

57

8

West Brom

33

12

8

13

-3

44

9

Southampton

31

11

7

12

-3

40

10

Watford

32

11

7

14

-15

40

11

Stoke

33

10

9

14

-11

39

12

Bournemouth

34

10

8

16

-14

38

13

West Ham

34

10

8

16

-15

38

14

Leicester

32

10

7

15

-12

37

15

Burnley

33

10

6

17

-14

36

16

Crystal Palace

32

10

5

17

-8

35

17

Hull City

34

9

6

19

-31

33

18

Swansea City

34

9

4

21

-29

31

19

Middlesbrough

33

4

12

17

-20

24

20

Sunderland

32

5

6

21

-32

21

What to read next

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes