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Premier League Review - 15th and 16th October

last updated Tuesday 18th October 2011, 10:36 AM

Manchester United left Anfield with something to show for their efforts, for the first time in four years, but they now find themselves chasing Manchester City after the in-form Blues clambered to the Premier League summit.

For all the talk of Manchester dominance this term, Chelsea remain ominously placed just behind the frontrunners.

Outside of the top two, Newcastle remain the only other unbeaten side in the top flight, while Wolves are on a serious slide after coming unstuck in Sunday's Black Country derby.

Liverpool (0) 1 Man Utd (0) 1

There is no love lost between Liverpool and Manchester United and they rekindled their age-old rivalry at Anfield on Saturday, as the Premier League weekend started with a bang.

The eyes of the world descended on Merseyside for 90 minutes, and they were treated to a typically full-blooded encounter.

Wayne Rooney's omission from United's starting XI surprised many, even when taking his red card for England into account, while Liverpool's cause was aided considerably by the welcome return of Steven Gerrard, following a couple of substitute appearances.

The Reds' talismanic skipper broke the deadlock on 68 minutes as he whipped a free-kick through the United wall - with Ryan Giggs kindly stepping out of the way.

The Red Devils refused to lie down, though, and snatched a share of the spoils nine minutes from time when goal-poacher extraordinaire Javier Hernandez stepped off the bench to nod home a late leveller.

Liverpool Reina, Kelly, Carragher, Skrtel, Jose Enrique, Kuyt, Lucas (Henderson 57), Adam, Downing, Gerrard, Suarez.
Subs Not Used: Doni, Agger, Carroll, Spearing, Bellamy, Robinson.

Booked: Lucas.

Goals: Gerrard 68.

Man Utd De Gea, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Young (Nani 69), Jones (Hernandez 76), Fletcher, Park (Rooney 69), Giggs, Welbeck.

Subs Not Used: Lindegaard, Anderson, Carrick, Valencia.
Booked: Young, Ferdinand, Evra.

Goals: Hernandez 81.

Att: 45, 065

Ref: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).

Chelsea (2) 3 Everton (0)

Chelsea are now just a point behind Manchester United and three adrift of City after seeing off Everton at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues have found the Toffees to be a tough nut to crack in recent years, but put in a thoroughly professional performance to quietly keep themselves in the title race.

Andre Villas-Boas' hosts were far from their fluent best during the opening 45 minutes on Saturday, but were still able to head into half-time two goals to the good - with the in-form Daniel Sturridge heading them in front after half-an-hour and skipper John Terry doubling that advantage seconds before the break.

Ramires put the tie to bed shortly after the hour mark, meaning Apostolos Vellios' late effort, with his first touch after stepping the bench, was little more than a consolation.

Chelsea Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Mikel (Romeu 76), Lampard, Ramires (Malouda 65), Sturridge, Drogba, Mata (Anelka 76).

Subs Not Used: Turnbull, Meireles, Lukaku, Alex.
Booked: Cole, Sturridge.

Goals: Sturridge 31, Terry 45, Ramires 61.

Everton Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Coleman (Drenthe 61), Fellaini, Rodwell, Osman, Cahill (Neville 72), Saha (Vellios 80).
Subs Not Used: Mucha, Heitinga, Bilyaletdinov, Stracqualursi.

Booked: Fellaini, Baines.

Goals: Vellios 81.

Att: 41, 789

Ref: Mike Jones (Cheshire).

Man City (1) 4 Aston Villa (0) 1

Having seen United drop two points on the road, Manchester City made the most of the opportunity put in front of them as they crushed Aston Villa 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

Mario Balotelli's opener separated the two sides at the interval and City eased into top gear after the break.

Seven minutes into the second half they were three goals up and out of sight, with Adam Johnson and Vincent Kompany having netted.

Stephen Warnock pulled one back for Villa, but James Milner had the final say against his former employers to put the seal on a comfortable afternoon's work for Roberto Mancini's men - who now hold a two-point lead at the top of the table.

Man City Hart, Richards (Toure 66), Lescott, Kompany, Clichy, De Jong, Barry, Milner, Johnson (Hargreaves 77), Toure Yaya (Silva 66), Balotelli.
Subs Not Used: Pantilimon, Dzeko, Kolarov, Nasri.

Booked: Barry.

Goals: Balotelli 28, Johnson 47, Kompany 52, Milner 71.

Aston Villa Given, Hutton, Dunne, Clark, Warnock, Delph (Albrighton 76), Petrov, Ireland (N'Zogbia 55), Heskey (Bannan 63), Agbonlahor, Bent.
Subs Not Used: Guzan, Cuellar, Weimann, Herd.

Booked: Bannan.

Goals: Warnock 65.

Att: 47, 019

Ref: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire).

Norwich (2) 3 Swansea (1) 1

Premier League new boys Norwich and Swansea went head-to-head at Carrow Road and it was the Canaries who were able to land a knockout blow.

They edged in front with just 49 seconds on the clock, with Anthony Pilkington catching the Swans rearguard sleeping.

By the time the clock reached the 10-minute mark, Norwich had doubled their lead courtesy of Russell Martin's first Premier League goal.

Danny Graham handed the visitors a lifeline two minutes later, but they were unable to kick on from there.

Instead, it was the Canaries who grabbed the fourth goal of the game on 63 minutes as Pilkington made absolutely sure that they picked up their third victory in their last four outings.

Norwich Ruddy, Naughton, Russell Martin, Barnett, Tierney, Bennett, Pilkington, Fox, Johnson, Hoolahan (Crofts 79), Morison (Holt 67).
Subs Not Used: Rudd, Jackson, Surman, Wilbraham, De Laet.

Goals: Pilkington 1, Russell Martin 10, Pilkington 63.

Swansea Vorm, Rangel, Monk, Williams, Taylor (Richards 74), Dyer (Lita 69), Allen, Routledge (Dobbie 60), Britton, Sinclair, Graham.
Subs Not Used: Tremmel, Moore, Gower, Moras.

Booked: Monk.

Goals: Graham 12.

Att: 26, 567

Ref: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire).

QPR (1) 1 Blackburn (1) 1

Saturday also saw Queens Park Rangers held 1-1 at home by rock-bottom Blackburn.

Heidar Helguson fired Neil Warnock's side into a 16th-minute lead with a speculative cross-shot, but they were unable to defend or build on that advantage and Chris Samba's towering header on 24th minutes restored parity.

QPR are still looking for their first victory on home soil since returning to the top flight, while Steve Kean remains under immense pressure at Ewood Park as Rovers find themselves propping up the rest of the division.

QPR Kenny, Young, Ferdinand, Hall, Traore, Derry, Faurlin, Wright-Phillips (Smith 83), Barton, Mackie (Taarabt 64), Helguson.
Subs Not Used: Murphy, Orr, Bothroyd, Buzsaky, Puncheon.

Booked: Hall, Wright-Phillips, Traore.

Goals: Helguson 16.

Blackburn Robinson, Salgado, Samba, Dann, Givet, Lowe, Petrovic, Nzonzi, Olsson, Hoilett, Roberts (Goodwillie 67).
Subs Not Used: Bunn, Formica, Rochina, Yakubu, Vukcevic, Hanley.

Booked: Nzonzi, Lowe.

Goals: Samba 24.

Att: 16, 487

Ref: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).

Stoke (0) 2 Fulham (0) 0

Stoke are considered to be among the most consistent sides in the Premier League and a 2-0 victory over Fulham on Saturday has them sat seventh.

Tony Pulis' side go about their business in understated fashion, but they continue to churn out performances and results.

They left it late before picking up the points over the weekend, with the Cottagers having held out for 80 minutes at the Britannia Stadium.

Their resistance was finally broken by Jon Walters and Rory Delap made sure it was the Stoke fans that would be celebrating at the final whistle when he converted a Matthew Etherington cross three minutes from time.

Stoke Begovic, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Upson, Wilson, Pennant (Whitehead 82), Delap, Whelan, Etherington (Diao 90), Walters, Crouch.
Subs Not Used: Sorensen, Huth, Jones, Shotton, Jerome.

Booked: Delap, Pennant, Whelan, Upson.

Goals: Walters 80, Delap 87.

Fulham Schwarzer, Baird, Hughes, Hangeland, Riise, Dembele (Duff 36), Murphy (Etuhu 80), Sidwell, Dempsey, Johnson (Orlando Sa 84), Zamora.
Subs Not Used: Etheridge, Kelly, Kasami, Briggs.

Booked: Duff, Murphy, Zamora, Baird.

Att: 26, 890

Ref: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).

Wigan (1) 1 Bolton (2) 3

Six straight defeats had left Bolton languishing at the foot of the table, but they dragged themselves off the canvas on Saturday with a much-needed 3-1 win at fellow strugglers Wigan.

Nigel Reo-Coker's first goal for the Trotters got Owen Coyle's side off to the perfect start on four minutes, but the Latics looked like heading into the interval all square when Mohamed Diame crashed home a 25-yard thunderbolt.

There was, however, still enough time left in the half for David Ngog to edge Bolton back in front.

Coyle watched on nervously for the next 45 minutes as his side held onto their slender lead, but was able to relax in stoppage-time when Chris Eagles finally dashed Wigan's hopes of staging a dramatic fightback.

Wigan Al Habsi, Gohouri (Rodallega 46), Boyce, Caldwell, Alcaraz, Watson (Figueroa 46), McCarthy (Maloney 75), Diame, Jones, Di Santo, Moses.
Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Crusat, McArthur, Sammon.

Booked: Di Santo, Figueroa, Caldwell, Alcaraz.

Goals: Diame 40.

Bolton Jaaskelainen, Boyata, Cahill, Wheater, Robinson, Eagles (Mark Davies 90), Reo-Coker, Pratley, Petrov (Gardner 88), Kevin Davies, Ngog (Klasnic 84).
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Sanli, Knight, Kakuta.

Booked: Pratley, Robinson, Boyata, Petrov.

Goals: Reo-Coker 4, Ngog 45, Eagles 90.

Att: 17, 261

Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral).

Arsenal (1) 2 Sunderland (1) 1

Two fabulous free-kicks entertained the masses at the Emirates on Sunday as Arsenal just about managed to put Sunderland to the sword.

The Gunners burst out of the blocks and Robin van Persie drilled them in front after just 29 seconds to record the fastest goal of the Premier League season so far.

As has often been the case with Arsenal this season though, they took their foot off the gas thereafter and Sunderland hauled themselves level on 31 minutes.

Former Gunner Sebastian Larsson enjoyed a moment to remember as he curled a spectacular free-kick past the despairing dive of Wojciech Szcesny.

Arsenal's keeper was able to get his hands to a Lee Cattermole header moments later, though, as he produced a brilliant point-blank stop.

Arsenal kept prodding and probing in the second 45 and were rewarded eight minutes from time when influential club captain Van Persie lashed home a perfectly-placed set-piece of his own.

Arsenal Szczesny, Jenkinson, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs (Andre Santos 50), Song, Arteta, Rosicky (Benayoun 76), Walcott, van Persie, Gervinho (Arshavin 67).
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Park, Djourou, Frimpong.

Booked: Song, Koscielny, van Persie.

Goals: van Persie 1, van Persie 82.

Sunderland Mignolet, O'Shea, Turner, Brown, Richardson, Elmohamady, Vaughan, Colback, Cattermole (Gardner 87), Larsson (Ji 67), Sessegnon (Wickham 79).
Subs Not Used: Westwood, Meyler, McClean, Laing.

Booked: Vaughan, Larsson, Brown.

Goals: Larsson 31.

Att: 60, 078

Ref: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).

West Brom (1) 2 Wolverhampton (0) 0

West Brom claimed local bragging rights against arch-rivals Wolves at the Hawthorns, with a 2-0 win stretching their unbeaten run to three matches and piling pressure on their Black Country neighbours.

Goals either side of half-time from Chris Brunt and Peter Odemwingie settled a keenly-fought encounter in the Midlands.

West Brom, following a slow start, are now heading in the right direction, but Wolves have now suffered five defeats in a row and have tumbled down the Premier League standings.

West Brom Foster, Reid, Olsson, McAuley, Jones (Shorey 84), Brunt, Mulumbu, Scharner, Thomas (Morrison 81), Long, Tchoyi (Odemwingie 72).
Subs Not Used: Fulop, Dorrans, Dawson, Cox.

Goals: Brunt 8, Odemwingie 75.

Wolverhampton Hennessey, Stearman, Berra, Johnson, Ward, Jarvis (Guedioura 74), Milijas (Ebanks-Blake 55), O'Hara, Henry, Hammill (Hunt 69), Doyle.
Subs Not Used: De Vries, Craddock, Vokes, Zubar.

Booked: Berra.

Att: 24, 872

Ref: Chris Foy (Merseyside).

Newcastle (0) 2 Tottenham (1) 2

The final game on a busy weekend of top flight action lived up to what had gone before it as Newcastle and Tottenham played out a four-goal thriller.

Clear-cut chances were few and far between early on at St James' Park and it appeared as though a mistake would be required to break the deadlock.

So it proved, with Steven Taylor's mistimed tackle on Emmanuel Adebayor allowing Rafael van der Vaart to calmly stroke home from the penalty spot.

Demba Ba bundled the Magpies level within three minutes of the re-start, before substitutes from both sides stole the show.

First, Jermain Defoe fired low into the bottom corner to restore Spurs' lead.

Then, with four minutes remaining, Shola Ameobi found a yard of space on the edge of the area and crashed a shot across Brad Friedel to send the Toony Army into mass hysteria.

Both sides could have won it in the dying seconds, but Newcastle will be happy to remain unbeaten and Tottenham are still well-placed to launch a top-four challenge.

Newcastle Krul, Simpson (Santon 77), Steven Taylor, Coloccini, Ryan Taylor, Obertan, Cabaye, Tiote, Gutierrez, Best (Shola Ameobi 71), Ba (Ben Arfa 71).
Subs Not Used: Elliot, Lovenkrands, Gosling, Marveaux.

Booked: Tiote.

Goals: Ba 48, Shola Ameobi 86.

Tottenham Friedel, Walker, Kaboul, King (Bassong 30), Assou-Ekotto, Livermore, Parker, Modric, Bale, Van der Vaart (Defoe 63), Adebayor (Pavlyuchenko 89).
Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Giovani, Rose, Townsend.

Booked: Parker, Modric.

Goals: Van der Vaart pen 40 , Defoe 68.

Att: 46, 420

Ref: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).

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