Liverpool produced this Saturday’s most emphatic result, with a 4-0 win at Anfield over Martin Jol’s Fulham. An early goal from Martin Skrtel put the Reds in early control and from there they never looked back against a lacklustre Fulham, whose away form comes back to haunt them once again.
A fantastic Stewart Downing may have rejuvenated his Liverpool career, despite reports of a January move back to Middlesbrough, as he produced an assist for Steven Gerrard’s goal before half time to make it 2-0 and then scored one of his own to make it 3-0 early in the second half.
Luis Suarez got his name on the score sheet in added on time and help Liverpool move to eighth in the table and drop Fulham down to thirteenth.
West Bromwich Albion returned to winning ways as they came from a goal down to beat Norwich 2-1 at the Hawthorns. Despite a fantastic Robert Snodgrass free kick in the first half, the Canaries saw their ten match unbeaten run come to an end, thanks to goals from Zoltan Gera and Romelu Lukaku.
Gera’s equaliser came just before half time after Norwich goalkeeper Mark Bunn succumbed to the Albion pressure on his goal. The Baggies winner came courtesy of on-loan Chelsea forward Lukaku, who repaid Steve Clarke’s decision to start him as the lone striker with a headed goal eight minutes from time to give West Brom their first three points after going behind in any game this season and end Norwich’s impressive unbeaten run.
Everton moved to fourth in the Premier League table as they defeated West Ham 2-1 at Upton Park in a game which saw both sides end the game with ten men. Carlton Cole grabbed the opening goal of the game with a powerful finish to beat Tim Howard in the Everton net for his second goal of the season. The goal proved to be worth nothing however, as a Victor Anichebe header and a fortunate Steven Pienaar goal gave David Moyes’ side all three points.
The two red cards of the game were both for high feet and went the way of Carlton Cole on the 67th minute and Darren Gibson in the 92nd minute. They were however both dubious decisions.
Champions Manchester City once again left it extremely late to claim a vital three points against bottom side Reading at the Etihad Stadium.
In the opening hour of the game, Manchester City were not looking likely to break down a resolute Reading defence and it took the introduction of “super-sub” Edin Dzeko to give Mancini’s side a real lease of life and threat towards Adam Federici’s goal.
The longer the match went on the more pressure City applied and even though it took until the 93rd minute, they managed to find the all important breakthrough, courtesy of Gareth Barry, to keep themselves within breathing distance of leaders, and local rivals, Manchester United.
Arsenal played out a fortunate 1-0 win over Wigan at the DW Stadium in which Mikel Arteta’s third successful penalty of the season proved the difference between Roberto Martinez’s team and Arsene Wenger’s.
First half chances for Arouna Kone and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain were both spurned and it took until the start of the second half for either side to find a real impetus. It was Arsenal who found the opening they were looking for, when Theo Walcott felt a push from Jean Beausajour to go down and give Arteta the chance to earn the Gunners all three points and move his side into third in the table, a chance which he confidently took.
Stephen Fletcher scored his eight Premier League goal of the season to give Sunderland a valuable 1-0 win over Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium. The win moves Sunderland up to fifteenth and eases pressure on manager Martin O’Neill, who has already conceded his side are in a relegation battle this season.
Saints manager Nigel Adkins has also admitted his side are in a relegation battle as they stay dangerously above the relegation zone on goal difference.
Newcastle moved up to fourteenth in the table as a Shola Ameobi strike ensured a 1-0 victory over QPR at St James’ Park. In an otherwise dyer game, Ameobi’s goal showed fantastic technique and power to send QPR back to losing ways after their first victory of the season last week against Fulham.
Harry Redknapp still has a lot of work to do to get Rangers out of relegation to the Championship, as this performance once again showed.
Stoke left Andre Villas Boas’ Tottenham extremely frustrated at White Hart Lane as they were held to a goalless draw in a game where chances were few and far between.
Stoke have officially the best defence in the League this season, only conceding thirteen goals, and they showed exactly why with a spirited, well organised showing which limited Tottenham to long range efforts. The stalemate nudges Spurs down to fifth and Stoke holding firm in ninth.