Six things we learnt this weekend in the Barclays Premier League

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So often the weekends talking points revolve around the teams at the top of the table but this weekend the big stories came from the relegation battle.

Jason Puncheon is a risk to low flying aircraft

With Heathrow airport in the vicinity the skies over London are a busy place and with with this is mind it would be irresponsible to let Jason Puncheon take anymore penalties in the nations’ capital. His attempt from 12 yards for Crystal Palace against Tottenham was one of the worst penalty kicks the Premier League has ever seen.

With only eight minutes on the clock Spurs gave away a penalty and up stepped the 27 year old to attempt to convert the kick into a lead at White Hart Lane. He blazed the kick very high and very wide of the Hugo Lloris’ goal. Rumour has it the ball is now in orbit.

It is the first penalty all that has not at least hit the target.

Johnson leads Sunderland to victory in the battle at the bottom

This weekend’s game at home against bottom of the table Sunderland was an opportunity for stuttering Fulham to get some points on the board after their dire form in recent games. It was an opportunity that they dramatically passed up.

When the full time whistle came what should have been an evenly matched contest by two sides struggling for points had become a one sided thrashing as Sunderland scored four. Adam Johnson helped himself to a hat trick to lift Sunderland off of the foot of the table.

Ten man West Ham hold on

Points have been hard to come by recently for West Ham but this weekends win away at fellow relegation battlers Cardiff has relieved the pressure on under fire boss Sam Allardyce. Carlton Cole continued his good run of form to put the Hammers ahead, they were reduced to 10 men when James Tomkins saw red but Mark Noble made the points safe in stoppage time.

There was more good news for the London as summer signing Andy Carroll made his return from an eight month absence with injury. The points lift West Ham clear of the relegation zone and end a five game losing run on the road.

There’s life in Defoe yet

After the announcement this week that Jermain Defoe would leave Tottenham for Toronto FC at the end of February the England striker started his long goodbye with the Spurs fans this weekend.

He thanked them for their support the only way he knows how, with a goal. Defoe’s came off the substitute’s bench to score Tottenham’s second goal against Crystal Palace and make the points safe for the North London club.

The goal extends the 31 year old’s remarkable goal scoring record as a substitute, he now has 22 goals from off the bench more than any other player in the history of the Premier League. The goal also means Defoe has scored in each of the last 13 Premier League seasons.

Torres on song as Cech breaks records

During his time at Chelsea Fernando Torres has not been the most regular name on the scoresheet however, at the moment he is enjoying a good run of form. The Spaniard scored Chelsea’s second to make the points safe at Hull, it’s the first time he has scored in consecutive League games since December 2012.

As well as boasting an impressive attacking line up the blues aren’t looking too shabby in defense either, this weekends clean sheet means that Petr Cech has 150 in the Premier League and 209 overall for Chelsea, overtaking Peter Bonetti’s club record.

The offside rule, again

With Manchester City in the lead at St James Park Cheick Tiote hit a strike from outside the box which zipped through the crowd and into Joe Hart’s net. The Newcastle fans erupted at the spectacular strike, as did the players, it took them a whole 60 seconds to realise that the goal would not count.

Referee Mike Jones deemed that not only was Newcastle player Yoan Gouffran in an offside position when the ball was struck, he was also interfering with play by blocking the vision of Hart. Replays would show that, while Gouffran was offside, he was blocking no one’s view and not interfering with play at all and the that the goal should have stood.

The Newcastle players and manager Alan Pardew was furious and City went on to 2-0, securing the points with a goal in the last minute.