Leeds 1 Southampton 0
Junior Firpo struck a second-half winner as Leeds beat Premier League relegation rivals Southampton 1-0 to climb out of the bottom three.
Left back Firpo’s first top-flight goal halted Leeds’ 10-game winless league run and ensured a winning start for new boss Javi Gracia in his first game in charge.
Leeds appointed former Watford manager Gracia on Tuesday after last week’s defeat at Everton left them in the relegation zone and his side responded with their first league win since November.
There had been the prospect of Leeds’ former boss Jesse Marsch returning to Elland Road in charge of Southampton for this key relegation match.
But talks between the club and the American broke down last week and the Saints then won at Chelsea before appointing interim boss Ruben Selles until the summer.
Everton 0 Aston Villa 2
In-form Ollie Watkins scored for the fifth successive match in a 2-0 victory over Everton which ended new manager Sean Dyche’s 100 per cent home record and dropped the club back into the Premier League relegation zone.
The 27-year-old’s 63rd-minute penalty saw him become the club’s first player to achieve the feat in the top flight since Paul Rideout in January 1985.
Substitute Emi Buendia made the game safe eight minutes from time to halt Villa’s three-match losing run.
In a game of two goal-line clearances by Villa’s Tyrone Mings and Everton’s James Tarkowski, the first goal was always going to be decisive and while it was one of Watkins’s quieter games Dyche must have looked on enviously.
The Toffees boss, who had overseen wins over Arsenal and Leeds in his previous two games at Goodison, started with Neal Maupay – with one goal in his last 28 league matches – and later replaced him with 22-year-old Ellis Simms for just his sixth top-flight appearance.
The folly of ending the January transfer window without strengthening up front was laid bare as the toothless hosts, who have scored just 17 times in 24 league matches, dominated the game but just had no threat in the penalty area.
Their woes were compounded as wins for West Ham and Leeds plunged them back into trouble just when it looked they were edging their way out of it.
West Ham 4 Nottingham Forest 0
Danny Ings scored twice on his first start for West Ham as they climbed out of the relegation zone with a thumping 4-0 win over Nottingham Forest.
The 30-year-old striker appeared to be a distinctly panicky signing for the struggling Hammers when he joined from Aston Villa for £12 million last month,
But Ings found the net twice in two second-half minutes to lift both his new side out of the bottom three and the mood at the London Stadium.
Declan Rice added a fine third and substitute Michail Antonio rounded off a much-needed win for boss David Moyes.
All the goals came in the final 20 minutes after a cagey first 70 between two goal-shy sides.