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Swansea's new head coach Garry Monk

Swansea's new head coach Garry Monk

Stu Forster/Getty Images

Wayne Routledge scores the opening goal

Wayne Routledge scores the opening goal

Stu Forster/Getty Images

Swansea striker Wilfried Bony, right, celebrates with Chico Flores after scoring his side's third goal

Swansea striker Wilfried Bony, right, celebrates with Chico Flores after scoring his side's third goal

Stu Forster/Getty Images

Kevin Nolan celebrates after scoring West Ham United's first goal at Villa Park

Kevin Nolan celebrates after scoring West Ham United's first goal at Villa Park

Clint Hughes/Getty Images

Aston Villa's Christian Benteke attempts an overhead kick

Aston Villa's Christian Benteke attempts an overhead kick

Joe Giddens/PA Wire

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 8:  Aston Villa's Leandro Bacuna is tackled by West Ham United's Mark Noble

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 8: Aston Villa's Leandro Bacuna is tackled by West Ham United's Mark Noble

Clint Hughes/Getty Images

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Swansea's new head coach Garry Monk

Garry Monk's audition to become Swansea's next manager got off to the perfect start with a handsome victory over local rivals Cardiff in a frenetic south Wales derby.

Monk, installed as head coach following Michael Laudrup's dismissal, watched Wayne Routledge give his side the lead just after the break before Nathan Dyer and Wilfried Bony secured the bragging rights late on.

Kenwyne Jones missed two excellent first-half chances while the superb Craig Bellamy rattled the crossbar for the visitors.

It may take time for the role to become a good fit for Monk, but he will not care one jot after claiming such a valuable three points which moved the club he has served for a decade four points clear of the relegation zone and into the top half of the Premier League table.

Cardiff, who missed the chance to record the first league double in this fixture, have now lost four of the five league games Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has taken charge of and they remain 19th, three points adrift of safety.

Aston Villa 0 West Ham 2

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce hailed super skipper Kevin Nolan for banishing his own red-card blues and that of Andy Carroll.

For the second successive weekend Nolan scored a match-winning brace, with his double inside the opening three minutes of the second half enough to sink Aston Villa at Villa Park.

It has been a remarkable turnaround for midfielder Nolan who was sent off twice in four matches in early December and January. "He (Nolan) knew he had let himself down, as well as the players and the club. He was pretty down," said Allardyce.

"But he has come back with renewed vigour, proven himself and what he means to the team, as a captain and as a player."

Crestfallen Villa boss Paul Lambert said: "The two goals were really disappointing. You cannot defend that way at this level."

Crystal Palace 3 West Brom 1

West Brom head coach Pepe Mel labelled the decision to award a second-half penalty against his side as "laughable" as the Baggies succumbed to defeat at Crystal Palace.

The Eagles led 2-0 at half-time courtesy of goals from debutants Tom Ince and Joe Ledley before West Brom's own new man Thievy Bifouma pulled a goal back at the start of the second half.

Marouane Chamakh was then played through on goal and the on-rushing Ben Foster slid in to tackle the Morocco international, with Chris Foy deeming the England goalkeeper had committed a foul before pointing to the spot. He decided against showing a card to Foster, who was sent the wrong way by Chamakh, but Mel was left fuming.

"The penalty decision was laughable," he said. "If it was a penalty then it would have been a red card. It prevented us from getting anything from the game."

Southampton 2 Stoke 2

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino bemoaned his side's lack of aggression after they were held to a draw by Stoke.

Tough conditions made for a grizzly encounter at St Mary's, where the visitors twice came from behind to eke out a draw.

Saints took an early lead through a wonderful Rickie Lambert free-kick, only to be pegged back by Peter Odemwingie's first goal for Stoke. Steven Davis' fortuitous effort saw Saints retake the lead soon after, but they again relinquished control when former Southampton frontman Peter Crouch bundled home.

"It is not frustrating, but disappointing," the Saints boss said. "After that [Lambert goal] we were not aggressive enough to go on and get a second and that would have put the game to bed." The result brought an end to Stoke's four-game losing streak away from the Britannia Stadium. "It was an important game for us," manager Mark Hughes said. "We showed great character."

Sunderland 0 Hull 2

Steve Bruce saluted January signings Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic after they handed him a precious Premier League victory on his return to Sunderland.

The Tigers invested £13.5m in the two strikers last month and both scored in a 2-0 win at the Stadium of Light. "All credit to the people who employ me to have the vision to go and do it," said Bruce. "It's paid its reward today. I have always said you are only as good as your strikers."

With just four minutes gone Wes Brown was sent off for felling Long after he had intercepted Phil Bardsley's ill-advised back-pass.

It took Hull until the 16th minute to make their numerical advantage tell when Long flicked Jake Livermore's scuffed shot into the roof of the net. The game was over as a contest when Jelavic headed past 'keeper Vito Mannone on 62 minutes.

Irish Independent