By: Brock Smith
It was another perfect day in the Premiership for the two Manchester clubs. The giants pulled away from the pack as leaders City defeated Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 and United won 2-1 at Arsenal.
Manchester City 3 – 2 Tottenham Hotspur
It was a last-gasp penalty from Mario Balotelli that gave City all three points, after squandering a two-goal lead earlier in the match against third-placed visitors Spurs.
Arsenal 1 – 2 Manchester United
Second-placed United piled on the misery for North Londoners, as goals from Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck were enough to guarantee victory at the Emirates after a strike from Robin van Persie had given the host’s hope.
The results have City still three points ahead of cross-town rivals United with 54 points, while Spurs continue to nip at their heels, remaining in third on 46 points.
Chelsea’s dimming hopes of winning the Premier League title took a major hit on Saturday after being held to a 0-0 draw at Norwich City. The day of Davids over Goliaths continued, as Bolton earned an impressive 3-1 win over Liveprool, while five-goal Fulham blasted Newcastle at Craven Cottage.
Bolton 3 – 1 Liverpool
Bolton pulled clear of the relegation zone for the first time in months after defeating the giants of Merseyside. Mark Davies and Nigel Reo-Coker put the hosts up by two within the half-hour mark, and while Craig Bellamy notched for Liverpool, Gretar Steinsson scored the insurance marker for the Trotters, who tallied their first points against Liverpool since 2006.
Everton 1 – 1 Blackburn Rovers
Despite taking a well earned point at Goodison Park, Blackburn finished the weekend in the relegation zone. The Rovers fought back from a goal behind, with David Goodwillie’s strike nullifying Tim Cahill’s opener.
Fulham 5 – 2 Newcastle United
The Cottagers baffled the Toon with five second-half goals in what was the match of the day. Newcastle boss Alan Pardew was left to rue his side’s lacklustre defending, as Danny Murphy’s penalty negated Danny Guthrie’s first-half strike for the travelling club. It was goals galore afterwards, as U.S. international Clint Dempsey tallied a hat-trick and Bobby Zamora earned a late penalty, with a Hatem Ben Arfa goal proving only consolation for the Magpies.
Norwich City 0 – 0 Chelsea
Chelsea are now 13 points off the pace following a goalless draw at Carrow Road. £50-million flop Fernando Torres continued to fail to impress, and his Chelsea side failed to convert despite barraging the Canaries with 19 shots.
Queens Park Rangers 3 – 1 Wigan Athletic
Heidar Helguson and Akos Buzsaky gave the Londoners a two-goal lead, but the Latics got back into the match with a free-kick strike from Hugo Rodallega. However, Tommy Smith’s insurance marker sealed three points for QPR. The win makes it back-to-back successes for new bench boss Sparky Hughes, following an FA Cup victory over MK Dons.
Stoke City 1 – 2 West Bromwich Albion
The Baggies widened their spread over the relegation zone, now seven points between themselves and the bottom three after an away win at Stoke. Cameron Jerome looked to have rescued a point for the Potters with four minutes remaining as his goal cancelled out James Morrison’s opener, but WBA stunned the Britannia faithful as Graham Dorran’s injury-time free-kick insured the points would head back to the Midlands.
Sunderland 2 – 0 Swansea City
Stephane Sessegnon and Craig Gardner’s goals condemned the Welsh outfit to their seventh away league defeat of the campaign, and ensured Martin O’Neill’s impressive start to life with the Black Cats continues.
Wolverhampton Wanderers 2 – 3 Aston Villa
Robbie Keane, on loan at Villa from the Los Angeles Galaxy, scored twice as the Birmingham club earned an important win on the road. Darren Bent got the ball rolling with a penalty, before Michael Kightly and David Edwards vaulted Wolves back into the lead. However, it would be for naught, as Keane’s second-half brace settled the game. Keane has now tied a Premier League record, scoring for six clubs in the top flight (Wolves, Leeds, Coventry, Liverpool, Spurs).