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Awoniyi’s goal pushes Nottingham Forest out of relegation zone

Nigeria forward Taiwo Awoniyi scored the only goal as Nottingham Forest beat Southampton to climb out of the Premier League relegation zone late Wednesday. The…

Nigeria forward Taiwo Awoniyi scored the only goal as Nottingham Forest beat Southampton to climb out of the Premier League relegation zone late Wednesday.

The precious 1-0 victory heaped more misery on the basement club.

Taiwo Awoniyi’s fifth goal of the season earned his team a first top-flight away success of the season to strengthen their survival hopes.

Awoniyi had bagged the ‘Man of the Match’ award when Forest held Chelsea to a 1-1 draw in a Premier League encounter last Sunday.

With the win against Southampton, Steve Cooper’s resurgent side have now taken 11 points from the past 21 available, having only managed six from the previous 33, and fully merited a significant triumph on the south coast.

“It’s better to be out of the bottom three than in it for sure but it’s one step at a time,” Cooper told the BBC. “I really challenged the players to get the first away win and challenged myself and the staff. We’re all in it together.”

He added: “The objective is not just to stay out but move up the table, but that’s easier said than done and we will do everything we can to get results.”

Kane’s magic
Harry Kane lifted the gloom at Tottenham on Wednesday, scoring twice in a convincing 4-0 win against Crystal Palace.

Antonio Conte’s inconsistent Tottenham, who finished fourth last season, had taken just one point from two matches after the Premier League resumed following the World Cup.

Spurs were second best in the first half at Selhurst Park, lacking zip in attack and had goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to thank for keeping the score at 0-0 but it was a different story after the break.

England captain Kane scored twice in five minutes in his 300th Premier League appearance to move just two goals behind Jimmy Greaves’ all-time record of 266 goals for Spurs.

Tottenham broke the deadlock in the 48th minute when Ivan Perisic crossed to Kane from the left and he neatly nodded past Vicente Guaita at the near post.

Kane doubled Spurs’ lead when the ball fell to Bryan Gil on the right and he flicked a pass to the England forward, who sent a low strike unerringly into the bottom left corner.

Matt Doherty made it 3-0 midway through the second half and Son Heung-min completed the scoring four minutes later, lifting Spurs to 33 points – just two behind fourth-placed Manchester United.

West Ham were on course for their first league win since October when they took a 2-1 lead against Leeds at Elland Road but Spain international Rodrigo equalised in the 70th minute.

David Moyes’ side, who had lost their previous five matches in the Premier League, remain perilously placed, outside the bottom three only on goal difference.

Daniel Podence fired Wolves into the lead at Villa Park but Danny Ings levelled in the 78th minute to ensure Wolves remained in the relegation zone.

Wednesday’s results also sucked Frank Lampard’s Everton into the bottom three.

Manchester City take on Chelsea on Thursday, bidding to close the gap to leaders Arsenal to five points.

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