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Payet inspires fightback

Premier League round-up

IN THE week that he signed the contract that reportedly makes him the highest paid player in the club’s history, goalscoring midfielder Dimitri Payet was at the heart of an extraordinary comeback by West Ham in which they snatched a point against ailing Norwich.

The Frenchman, whose 5½-year deal is said to break down to around £125,000 a week, scored West Ham’s first goal and set up the second as Norwich let a 2-0 lead slip in two frantic minutes.

It was a dazzling, match-turning contribution from the 28-year-old former Marseille player to underline why West Ham value him so highly and why manager Slaven Bilic is delighted to have secured his future.

Norwich looked to have victory in their grasp after goals from Robbie Brady (54) and Wes Hoolahan (65) in what has turned into a relegation battle for Alex Neil’s team in their first season back in the top flight. However, Payet scored with a neat finish from a tight angle on 74 minutes before Mark Noble silenced the home supporters when crashing in a equaliser two minutes later.

Stoke won their first Premier League match since January 13 with a 3-1 victory at Bournemouth.

The away side took the lead on nine minutes when £18.3million signing Giannelli Imbula cracked in a 25-yard volley. Stoke scored again early in the second half through a close-range finish from Dutch midfielder Ibrahim Afellay.

Before Bournemouth could regroup, they were 3-0 down when substitute Joselu, having only just come on, headed in on 55 minutes.

The hosts this time quickly hit back through half-time substitute Matt Ritchie, but Stoke went on to close out a comfortable victory.

Southampton won 1-0 at Swansea with a header from Shane Long on 69 minutes to extend their unbeaten league run to six matches, and without conceding a goal.

Troy Deeney scored twice as Watford secured a 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace, who remain without a Premier League win since December 19.

The visitors went ahead after 16 minutes when Deeney converted a penalty. Palace levelled in first-half stoppage time through a looping header from Emmanuel Adebayor, the much-travelled Togo frontman’s first Premier League goal since October 2014. However, with eight minutes left, it was the Hornets who secured all three points when Deeney swept home.

Palace midfielder Yohan Cabaye hit the post in stoppage time, before defender Pape Souare was shown a straight red card for a two-footed challenge on Valon Behrami.

West Brom returned to winning ways with a battling 1-0 victory at Everton.

The winner came after 14 minutes when Salomon Rondon bundled the ball in.





Daily Telegraph