Another exciting weekend in the Premier League saw more goals and more drama to match that of Spain’s El Clasico.
Arsenals’ Robin Van Persie once again saved the Gunners at Emirates Stadium as they beat Everton. The match was a constant start-stop tie, with Theo Walcott, Gervinho and Aaron Ramsey squandering the best of the opportunities for the hosts. But in the 70th minute, Van Persie was on hand to score a sensational volley following Alexandre Song’s cross. The win moves Arsenal above Chelsea into fourth whilst the Toffees drop to 12th. Full time at Emirates Stadium: Arsenal 1-0 Everton.
Manchester United put their Champions League woes behind them after they comfortably beat Wolverhampton Wanderers. Winger Nani opened the scoring for the Red Devils when he cut inside and unleashed a terrifying strike into the corner. Wayne Rooney doubled United’s lead with a low shot before Wolves striker Steven Fletcher pulled one back after the break. But Nani was again on hand for the hosts – tapping in Antonio Valencia’s cross – before the latter set up Rooney for his second of the game. United were in control from the off and the win should brighten the mood a little around Old Trafford. Full time at Old Trafford: Manchester United 4-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers.
In Merseyside, Liverpool avoided a fifth successive home draw as they beat Queens Park Rangers. Luis Suarez knicked the only goal of the game 69 seconds into the second half when he met Charlie Adam’s cross with a powerful header. However, QPR had stand in goalkeeper Radek Cerny to thank as he produced some fabulous saves throughout the game, but was almost beaten by his own man as Shaun Wright-Phillips hit his own bar. The three points move Liverpool up into sixth whereas their opponents move from 12th to 13th. Full time at Anfield: Liverpool 1-0 Queens Park Rangers.
Norwich City handed Newcastle United their second defeat in as many matches at Carrow Road on Saturday afternoon. City’s Wes Hoolahan’s deflected shot put the home side a goal ahead, but for Newcastle top scorer Demba Ba to reply just before from the interval. In the second half, the strike force of the Canaries proved too strong for injury-hit United as both Grant Hold and Steve Morison headed past goalkeeper Tim Krul. Dan Gosling then saw red for the visitors, but Demba Ba gave them hope with another strike. Although, the points were soon wrapped up eight minutes from time thanks to another Holt header. Norwich climb to ninth with Newcastle dropping to seventh. Full time at Carrow Road: Norwich City 4-2 Newcastle United.
In Wales, Swansea City ended their poor run with another home win as they overcome Fulham. It proved to be a bad day for Fulham’s Clint Dempsey who first deflected Scott Sinclair’s shot into his own net before having his second half penalty saved by City stopper Michel Vorm. Danny Graham then bundled in his fifth goal of the season to all but end the Londoner’s chances. But credit goes to goalkeeper Vorm who, without him, City would not have picked up maximum points. Full time at Liberty Stadium: Swansea City 2-0 Fulham.
Bolton Wanderers continued their miserable run of form as they slumped to defeat at the hands of Aston Villa. Marc Albrighton scored his first League goal of the season when he turned in Gabriel Agbonlahor’s cross before captain Stiliyan Petrov found the net from 30 yards just six minutes later. Bolton improved in the second half and halved the deficit through top scorer Ivan Klasnic, whose turn and shot was ruled out with a late injury to the Croatian. The Trotters fall to the bottom of the league with only nine points from 15 games. Better news for Villa fans as their team climb up one spot. Full time at Reebok Stadium: Bolton Wanderers 1-2 Aston Villa.
Finally on Saturday, Wigan Athletic earned three valuable points away to West Bromwich Albion. Steven Reid’s sublime 33rd minute free-kick put the home team ahead, but only for four minutes as Victor Moses curled in. And the two goalscorers were involved in the final goal as Reid bought down Moses in the box for Jordi Gomez to slot the resulting penalty home. The win moves Athletic out of the relegation zone and leaves struggling West Brom in 15th. Full time at The Hawthorns: West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Wigan Athletic.
On Sunday, a fantastic late turn around saw Sunderland steal the points under Blackburn Rovers’ noses. But it was Rovers who took the lead in the first half when Simon Vukcevic headed in after goalkeeper Keiren Westwood could only parry Christopher Samba’s shot. And after Sunderland struck the post, David Vaughan was on hand to equalise for the Black Cats and new manager Martin O’Neill. And a decent home debut turned into a dream as Sebastian Larsson curled in a peach of a free-kick in stoppage time. There’s no doubt that loss would pile the pressure back on manager Steve Kean, who also saw injuries to Gael Givet, Martin Olsson and Jason Lowe in defence. Sunderland edge further away from the drop zone in 16th whilst Blackburn edge closer to the bottom at 19th. Full time at Stadium of Light: Sunderland 2-1 Blackburn Rovers.
A thoroughly entertaining match saw Stoke City end Tottenham Hotspur’s eleven game unbeaten run. Former Spurs player Matthew Etherington turned in Peter Crouch’s cross early in the first half before doubling his and Stoke’s tally two minutes before the half time whistle. However, after being camped in their own half, City eventually conceded a penalty which was dispatched by loanee striker Emmanuel Adebayor. Tottenham pushed for an equaliser as Luka Modric and Rafael Van Der Vaart went close, but it was too little too late when Younes Kaboul saw a second yellow. Full time at Britannia Stadium: Stoke City 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur.
Frank Lampard scored on his 350th appearance as Chelsea overturned Manchester City. The visitors got off to the perfect start when Mario Balotelli capitalised on a hole in the Chelsea defence to coolly slot into an empty net. And after Sergio Aguero and Balotelli went close, Chelsea got an undeserved equaliser when Daniel Sturridge’s cross was met by Raul Meireles in the 34th minute. In the second half, the West Londoners were rejuvenated and when City’s Gael Clichy was shown a second yellow card, Chelsea turned the heat up. And their pressure eventually told when Sturridge’s shot was handled in the box and substitute Frank Lampard stepped up to send the home supporters crazy. That loss was City’s first of the league season and moves Chelsea seven points behind them in third. Full time at Stamford Bridge: Chelsea 2-1 Manchester City.