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Premier League MatchDay 15 Review

last updated Sunday 02nd December 2012, 8:41 PM

Premiership Results up to 2/12/12
Saturday 01 December 2012
KO Home   Away Ref TV
12:45 West Ham 3-1 Chelsea M Atkinson Sky 2
15:00 Arsenal 0-2 Swansea M Clattenburg  
15:00 Fulham 0-3 Tottenham C Foy  
15:00 Liverpool 1-0 Southampton M Oliver  
15:00 Man City 1-1 Everton L Probert  
15:00 QPR 1-1 Aston Villa H Webb  
15:00 West Brom 0-1 Stoke K Friend  
17:30 Reading 3-4 Man Utd M Halsey ESPN
Sunday 02  December 2012
16:00 Norwich 2-1 Sunderland P Dowd Sky1
Monday 03 December 2012
20:00 Newcastle v Wigan M Jones Sky1
Premier League Match Day 15 saw the two Manchester clubs open a 7 point gap over the third placed club. While at the bottom QPR are now at least 7 points away from safety and second from bottom Reading are some 4 points from safety.

Manchester United prevailed in a seven-goal thriller against Reading, with both sides' defending leaving a lot to be desired with seven goals in a breathless opening 45 minutes, but United emerged triumphant thanks to two goals from Wayne Rooney.

However, United were twice forced to come from behind as they conceded the first goal for the 14th time in all competitions this season Manchester City were given a scare by Everton, but remain unbeaten, although trailing United by three points after they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Everton.

City, who lost Aleksandar Kolarov early to a groin injury, fell behind after half-an-hour with the visitors having enjoyed the best of the early exchanges.
Premiership table - after 1st Dec 2012
Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 Man Utd 15 6 0 1 19 9 6 0 2 18 12 16 36
2 Man City 15 6 2 0 19 6 3 4 0 9 5 17 33
3 Chelsea 15 4 3 1 14 7 3 2 2 11 9 9 26
4 Tottenham 15 4 2 2 13 10 4 0 3 15 13 5 26
5 West Brom 15 6 0 2 14 6 2 2 3 10 13 5 26
6 Everton 15 3 4 0 12 8 2 4 2 13 11 6 23
7 Swansea 15 3 4 1 13 10 3 1 3 10 7 6 23
8 West Ham 15 4 3 1 14 7 2 1 4 5 10 2 22
9 Stoke 15 4 3 0 7 2 1 4 3 7 10 2 22
10 Arsenal 15 3 2 2 16 10 2 4 2 8 6 8 21
11 Liverpool 15 3 3 2 9 7 1 4 2 10 11 1 19
12 Norwich 15 4 2 1 8 7 0 5 3 5 14 -8 19
13 Fulham 15 3 1 3 13 10 1 4 3 12 16 -1 17
14 Newcastle 14 3 1 3 7 9 0 4 3 7 12 -7 14
15 Wigan 14 2 2 4 11 15 2 0 4 4 10 -10 14
16 Aston Villa 15 2 3 2 8 8 1 2 5 4 15 -11 14
17 Sunderland 14 1 3 2 5 7 1 4 3 8 11 -5 13
18 Southampton 15 2 3 3 13 12 1 0 6 8 20 -11 12
19 Reading 14 1 4 2 12 14 0 2 5 7 13 -8 9
20 QPR 15 0 4 3 5 13 0 2 6 6 14 -16 6
However, the Toffees' lead was shortlived as Carlos Tevez levelled from the penalty spot.

Rafael Benitez and Chelsea endured another afternoon to forget searching for his first win as Chelsea manager as West Ham came from behind for a 3-1 win at Upton Park.

The Blues found their first goal under the Spaniard's stewardship but the Hammers kept probing and Mohamed Diame fired home with four minutes remaining. As Chelsea chased the game, West Ham pounced and Modibo MaĆ­ga clinched the points.

Tottenham moved into the Champions League places after an impressive 3-0 win against Fulham.

Clint Dempsey was booed on his return to Craven Cottage, but the former Cottagers forward will not be too concerned after two quickfire goals from Jermain Defoe clinched a convincing victory for Andre Villas-Boas' side.

It was Fulham who enjoyed the better of the early exchanges the home side were left to rue their failure to convert their chances.

Arsenal did little to silence their critics Arsenal and lost more ground on the leaders after they were stunned 2-0 by Swansea City at Emirates Stadium. Two late strikes from Michu snatched all three points for the Swans, who were the better side for much of the 90 minutes after a tame performance by the Gunners.

Harry Redknapp was given a stark reminder of the challenge facing him at Queens Park Rangers as he saw his side take a point from an entertaining 1-1 draw with Aston Villa at Loftus Road although the home side's fragility at the back was all too evident and Redknapp was unable to work his magic and secure QPR's first win of the season.

Liverpool picked up a welcome three-point haul on home soil when Daniel Agger secured victory as they bounced back from their defeat to Tottenham in midweek with a 1-0 win over Southampton at Anfield. The Reds hit the woodwork on a number of occasions before Agger nodded home shortly before the break.

West Brom were condemned to back-to-back defeats against Stoke but the Baggies are still up in 5th spot.

On Sunday afternoon Norwich withstood a second half onslaught from Sunderland to secure a 2-1 win and move up to 12th in the Premiership, seven points clear of the drop zone.

Saturday 01 December 2012

12:45 - West Ham (0) 3 Chelsea (1) 1 - Sky 2

Problems continue to mount for interim Chelsea boss Benitez after he saw his side suffer a 3-1 derby defeat at West Ham. The Spaniard was finally able to celebrate a goal, but he has taken just two points from his opening three games in charge and now faces a make-or-break week in the UEFA Champions League.

Things appeared to be going Chelsea's way during the first half at Upton Park, with Fernando Torres teeing up the opening goal of the contest for countryman Juan Mata on 13 minutes. The Blues were unable to add to that effort before the interval, though, and saw half-time changes by Sam Allardyce turn the tie in the Hammers' favour.

Mohamed Diame's introduction proved to be pivotal, with the energetic midfielder helping to haul West Ham back into a game which had been slipping away. Carlton Cole, in for the injured Andy Carroll, restored parity on 63 minutes, despite appearing to clamber all over Branislav Ivanovic, and Diame then struck four minutes from time to leave Benitez fearing the worst.

A third from another substitute, Modibo Maiga, in stoppage-time means Benitez has it all to do if he is to convince a sceptical Stamford Bridge fan base that he is the right man to steer Chelsea through stormy waters.

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Collins, Reid, O'Brien, Tomkins (Taylor, 46), Noble, O'Neil (Diame 46), Nolan, Jarvis, Cole (Maiga 87).
Subs not used: Spiegel, Spence, Fanimo, Moncur.

Booked: Noble.

Goal: Cole 63, Diame 86, Maiga 90+1.

Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Ivanovic, Cahill, Cole, Mikel, Ramires, Moses (Marin 78), Hazard (Oscar 73), Mata, Torres.
Subs not used: Turnbull, Ferreira, Bertrand, Romeu, Piazon.

Booked: Cech, Mikel.

Goal: Mata 13.

Referee: Martin Atkinson.

Attendance: 35,005.

15:00 - Arsenal (0) 0 Swansea (0) 2

The murmurings of discontent at the Emirates are in danger of becoming a roar, with Arsenal suffering another defensive nightmare during a 2-0 defeat to Swansea. The Gunners, coming off the back of consecutive draws in which they had mustered just one goal, would have been aware of the threat posed by the Swans prior to kick-off, but must have felt that familiar surroundings would favour them.

That was definitely not the case as Arsene Wenger saw his team put in a toothless display before shooting themselves in the foot late on. Michu, who is fast becoming the bargain of the season, was the Gunners' chief tormentor as he netted twice in the final two minutes - benefitting from errors on each occasion - to leave Wenger tearing his hair out and unable to hide from the deafening boos which rang around a North London arena which is fast running out of patience.

Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Cazorla, Arteta, Wilshere (Rosicky 78), Walcott, Gervinho (Oxlade-Chamberlain 66), Podolski (Giroud 67).
Subs not used: Mannone, Ramsey, Squillaci, Coquelin.

Bookings: Vermaelen

Swansea: Tremmel, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies, Dyer, Britton, Ki, de Guzman (Tiendalli 73), Schechter (Moore 67), Michu.
Subs not used: Cornell, Monk, Agustien, Richards, Donnelly

Goals: Michu 87, 90

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear)

Attendance: 60,098

15:00 - Fulham (0) 0 Tottenham (0) 3

There were plenty of intriguing sub-plots on show at Craven Cottage, with Fulham and Tottenham including players looking to make a point against former employers within their ranks. In the end, the likes of Dimitar Berbatov, Mousa Dembele and Clint Dempsey filled supporting roles in a game which will be remembered more for what went wrong than what went right.

The unfortunate Michael Dawson picked up yet another injury for Spurs, while Andre Villas-Boas will have been concerned to see Gareth Bale clutching his hamstring after previously being booked for diving. Fulham also picked up a knock of their own, with Sascha Riether forced off during the first half. Martin Jol would have been hoping for more against a side he bossed between 2004 and 2007, but the Dutchman ended the game empty-handed.

The reason he did so is that the normally reliable Mark Schwarzer was unable to deal with a 35-yard drive from Sandro which dipped in front of him and bobbled over his body. That effort arrived on 55 minutes and Fulham never recovered.

Spurs wrapped up the points with two goals in the space of five minutes from Jermain Defore, with the in-form forward turning home a Gylfi Sigurdsson centre on 72 minutes and calmly stroking a Dempsey through-ball into the bottom corner shortly after.

Fulham : Schwarzer, Riether (Kelly 28), Senderos, Hughes, Riise, Frei (Duff 61), Diarra, Sidwell, Dejagah, Berbatov, Petric (Rodallega 78).
Subs not used: Etheridge, Baird, Karagounis, Richardson.

Tottenham: Lloris, Naughton, Dawson (Gallas 16), Caulker, Vertonghen, Lennon, Dembele (Carroll 83), Sandro, Bale (Sigurdsson 61), Defoe, Dempsey.
Subs not used: Friedel, Falque, Walker, Livermore.

Goals: Sandro 55, Defoe 72, 77

Booked: Bale, Gallas

Referee: Chris Foy

Att: 25,426

15:00 - Liverpool (1) 1 Southampton (0) 0

Liverpool's troubles at Anfield in 2012 have been well-documented, but the Reds were able to enjoy home comforts in their latest outing. Brendan Rodgers' side edged out Southampton 1-0, but could have run out more convincing winners were it not for the fact that fate is still refusing to smile on them - with Jonjo Shelvey seeing one well-struck effort crash off the inside of the post.

Luis Suarez unsurprisingly looked like being the man most likely to make the difference on Saturday, and he was involved in the only goal of the game. The Uruguayan saw a free-kick cannon off the crossbar and when Glen Johnson returned the ball to a crowded penalty area, Daniel Agger was able to rise through the crowd and convert a looping header.

As is often the case for Suarez, he had to level out the good with the bad and must now serve a suspension after picking up his fifth booking of the season for a needless hand-ball.

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique, Lucas, Allen (Henderson 69), Shelvey, Gerrard, Sterling, Suarez.
Subs not used: Jones, Sahin, Downing, Carragher, Fernandez Saez, Wisdom.

Booked: Suarez.

Goal: Agger 43.

Southampton: Gazzaniga, Clyne, Yoshida, Fonte, Shaw, Puncheon (Rodriguez 78), Cork (Steven Davis 70), Schneiderlin, Lallana, Ramirez, Lambert.
Subs not used: Kelvin Davis, Hooiveld, Ward-Prowse, Mayuka, Reeves.

Referee: Michael Oliver.

Attendance: 44,525.

15:00 - Man City (1) 1 Everton (1) 1

It came as no surprise to see Marouane Fellaini take centre stage during Everton's trip to Manchester City, with the Belgian involved in the two major talking points as an entertaining encounter ended 1-1. City, who knew they would take to the summit for a few hours at least with a positive result, saw their plans rocked early on by an injury blow to Aleksandar Kolarov.

Roberto Mancini's mood was then soured further on 33 minutes when Fellaini met a pinpoint cross from Leighton Baines and bundled the ball past Joe Hart after the England keeper had done brilliantly to parry his initial header. The Toffees talisman then went from hero to villain in the space of 10 minutes, as he was adjudged to have tugged Edin Dzeko to the deck inside the box.

Carlos Tevez stepped up to take the resulting spot kick and sent an audacious effort straight down the middle, levelling matters and keeping City's unbeaten start to the season intact.

Man City: Hart, Maicon, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov (Zabaleta 7), Toure, Barry, Silva,Tevez (Aguero 68), Nasri, Dzeko (Balotelli 80).
Subs Not Used: Pantilimon, Javi Garcia, Sinclair, Toure.

Yellow cards: Lescott, Zabaleta.

Scorer: Tevez 43 pen.

Everton: Howard, Hibbert, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Gibson,Osman, Naismith (Oviedo 73), Fellaini, Pienaar,Jelavic (Heitinga 90).
Subs Not Used: Mucha, Hitzlsperger, Gueye, Barkley, Vellios.

Yellow card: Fellaini.

Scorer: Fellaini 33.

Att: 47,386

Ref: Lee Probert (Wiltshire)

15:00 - QPR (1) 1 Aston Villa (1) 1

Harry Redknapp is another Premier League manager to have been drafted in and charged with the task of fire-fighting, at rock-bottom Queens Park Rangers. If he was not aware of the size of the task he faces at Loftus Road prior to checking in, one of the most experienced coaches around surely is now.

QPR were at least able to take a share of the spoils from a home date with Aston Villa on Saturday, as an early effort from Brett Holman suggested it could be another long day for the locals. Robert Green hardly covered himself in glory with just eight minutes on the clock, with the England international helping a 20-yard effort from Holman into the back of the net via the inside of the post.

Redknapp will have been pleased to see his side drew level 10 minutes later, as Samba Diakite crossed for Jamie Mackie to nod home, but a serious injury to Stephane Mbia and a seven-point gap to top-flight safety has left him with plenty to ponder.

QPR: Green, Traore, Hill, Nelsen, Bosingwa, Diakite (Park Ji-sung 69), Taarabt, Wright-Phillips, Granero (Park Ji-sung 46), M'bia (Derry 39), Mackie
Subs not used: Murphy, Ferdinand, Fabio, Cisse, Hoilett

Booked: Derry

Goal: Mackie 18

Aston Villa: Guzan, Clark, Lichaj, Baker, Lowton, Westwood, Bannan (Delph 67), Herd (Williams 65), Agbonlahor, Holman (El Ahmadi 70), Benteke
Subs not used: Given, Ireland, Bent, Weimann

Booked: Baker, Lowton

Goal: Holman 8

Referee: H Webb

Attendance: 17,387

15:00 - West Brom (0) 0 Stoke (0) 1

Critics will start to question whether the wheels are in danger of falling off West Brom's bandwagon, with the Baggies condemned to successive defeats by Stoke. A game which produced plenty of graft but little guile was settled on 75 minutes when Michael Kightly burst into the box and delivered for Dean Whitehead to send a controlled half-volley past Boaz Myhill.

Defeat for West Brom means they drop out of the UEFA Champions League places, with Spurs, for all their inconsistencies, replacing them inside the top four.

West Brom: Myhill, Reid, Olsson, Popov, McAuley, Yacob (Brunt 81), Dorrans, Mulumbu, Gera (Odemwingie 64), Rosenberg (Lukaku 64), Long
Subs not used: Daniels, Ridgewell, Tamas, Morrison

Stoke City: Begovic, Cameron, Huth, Shawcross, Shotton, Whelan, Nzonzi, Adam (Whitehead 65), Etherington (Kightly 59), Jones, Walters
Subs not used: Sorensen, Upson, Wilkinson, Palacios, Edu

Booked: Huth, Shawcross, Adam

Goal: Whitehead 75

Referee: K Friend

Attendance: 24,739

17:30 - Reading (3) 3 Man Utd (4) 4 - ESPN

Manchester United strengthened their grip on top spot following a thrilling encounter at Reading, with all of the goals at the Madejski Stadium arriving during a breathless first half. A tie which swung wildly from one extreme to the other offered an early indication as to what was in store when struggling Reading upset the form book by breaking the deadlock on eight minutes, with Hal Robson-Kanu showing great composure to take the ball on his chest and crack a volley high into the top corner.

United levelled matters with a fine strike of their own on 13 minutes, as Anderson lashed past Adam Federici at his near post, and the Red Devils were in front three minutes later when Jay Tabb bundled into Jonny Evans and Wayne Rooney made no mistake from the spot. Sir Alex Ferguson would have expected his side to kick on from there, but United were pegged back by two headed goals from corners in the space of four minutes, with Nicky Shorey providing the ammunition for Adam Le Fondre and Sean Morrison.

United have made a habit of coming from behind to pick up wins this season, though, and they had their noses back in front before the break. Rooney swept in his second of the game on the half-hour mark and four minutes later Robin van Persie beat the offside trap to roll in a fourth and send the Red Devils three points clear of the title-chasing pack.

Reading: Federici, Shorey, Mariappa, Morrison, Cummings, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Tabb, Robson-Kanu (Hunt 83), Le Fondre, Roberts (Pogrebnyak 69)
Subs not used: Taylor, Pearce, Harte, Guthrie, McCleary

Scorers: Robson-Kanu 8, Le Fondre 19, Morrison 23

Booking: Tabb

Manchester United: Lindegaard, Rafael (Smalling 31), Evra, Ferdinand, Evans, Anderson (Jones 45), Carrick, Young, Fletcher, Rooney, Van Persie (Welbeck)
Subs not used: De Gea, Giggs, Cleverley, Hernandez

Scorers: Anderson 13, Rooney 16 (pen), 30, Van Persie 34

Booking: Rafael Referee: Mark Halsey

Attendance: 24,095

Sunday 02 December 2012

16:00 - Norwich (2) 2 Sunderland (1) 1 - Sky1

Norwich survived a second-half assault from Sunderland to secure their fourth straight home Premier League win and condemn the Wearsiders to a 2-1 defeat. A second goal in eight days from former Newcastle defender Sebastien Bassong and a smart finish from Anthony Pilkington gave the home side a well-deserved two-goal lead.

But Craig Gardner pulled one back just before the break for Sunderland, who then wasted numerous chances in a second half they dominated without managing to secure a much-needed result.

The win moves the Canaries up to 12th in the table, with Sunderland still only one place and one point above the relegation zone.

Norwich: Bunn, Whittaker, Bassong, Ryan Bennett, Garrido, Snodgrass (Elliott Bennett 77), Tettey, Johnson, Pilkington, Hoolahan (Howson 88), Holt.
Subs Not Used: Rudd, Martin, Jackson, Morison, Barnett.

Goals: Bassong 8, Pilkington 37.

Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley, Kilgallon, Cuellar, Rose, Johnson, Gardner, Larsson (Vaughan 90), McClean (Campbell 85), Sessegnon, Fletcher (Wickham 46).
Subs Not Used: Westwood, McFadden, Colback, Bramble.

Booked: Kilgallon, Bardsley.

Goal: Gardner 44

Attendance: 26,228

Referee: Phil Dowd

Monday 03 December 2012

20:00 - Newcastle (14) v Wigan (15) - Sky1

In Monday night's Premier League game between Newcastle and Wigan the injury roll-call reads like a cast list for Holby City, so it remains to be see which team is weakest on the night.

Newcastle's worrying dip has turned in to a 'crisis' as they looking worryingly over their shoulders to the relegation trap door.

Wigan, though, have lost three of their last four and, in six Premier League visits to St James' Park, they have never won, losing four.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew will be without suspended utility man James Perch but boss Alan Pardew will still be unable to call upon central defender Steven Taylor (hamstring), midfielders Hatem Ben Arfa (hamstring), Gabriel Obertan (toe) and Yohan Cabaye (groin surgery) and striker Shola Ameobi (groin) as he attempts to end a run of four successive defeats.

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has rated both defender Gary Caldwell and midfielder David Jones as "50/50" - Jones picked up a knock to his calf during Wednesday's defeat by Manchester City while Caldwell is recovering from a hamstring problem.

Midfielders Albert Crusat (knee) and Ben Watson (broken leg), winger Ryo Miyaichi (ankle), forward Shaun Maloney (groin) and defenders Antolin Alcaraz (groin) and Ivan Ramis (hamstring) remain on the sidelines.

Last season: Wigan 4 Newcastle 0, Newcastle 1 Wigan 0

Last five league matches: Newcastle D L L L L; Wigan W L L W L Top scorers (all competitions): Demba Ba (Newcastle) 8; Jordi Gomez (Wigan) 5

Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire)

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