Sunderland secured what could be a vital three points in their quest against relegation thanks to an Adam Johnson hat-trick against Fulham. The Black Cats entered the day fresh from a shock Capital One Cup semi-final win over Manchester United and took the lead within the opening half an hour through Johnson. The winger fired in an excellent free-kick which left David Stockdale helpless in the hosts’ net. Ki Sung Yueng then made it 2-0 minutes before half-time to pile the pressure on the home side, as he poked home from a set-piece. Fulham responded through Steve Sidwell after the break, but Sunderland secured all three points as Johnson hit another two – the latter from the penalty spot – to seal a vital win and move his side off of the foot of the table.
Everton moved back into the top four with a solid home win against Norwich. The Toffees started the day by unveiling new signing Aiden McGeady, but it was a summer arrival who opened the scoring in the shape of Gareth Barry. The on-loan Manchester City ace fired an unstoppable left-footed effort from outside of the area past John Ruddy to end a frustrating opening 23 minutes for the Merseysiders. Even with Leighton Baines back in the starting XI, Kevin Mirallas was on free-kick duty, and popped up with an excellent effort with an hour gone to complete the scoring.
On the South Coast Adam Lallana netted the only goal of the game as Southampton secured all three points against West Brom – whose new manager Pepe Mel was in the stands. After a forgettable opening first-half, Lallana coolly slotted home with just over 20 minutes left to play to win Mauricio Pochettino a much need three points.