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Premier League MatchDay 30 Review

last updated Tuesday 19th March 2013, 2:52 PM

Premiership MatchDay 30 Fixtures
Saturday 16th March 2013
KO Home   Away Ref TV
12:45 Everton 2-0 Man City L Probert Sky2
15:00 Aston Villa 3-2 QPR K Friend  
15:00 Southampton 3-1 Liverpool P Dowd  
15:00 Stoke 0-0 West Brom M Dean  
15:00 Swansea 0-2 Arsenal J Moss  
17:30 Man Utd 1-0 Reading M Clattenburg ESPN
Sunday 17th March 2013
13:30 Sunderland 1-1 Norwich M Clattenburg Sky1
15:00 Tottenham 0-1 Fulham M Jones  
16:00 Chelsea 2-0 West Ham M Oliver  
16:00 Wigan 2-1 Newcastle M Halsey Sky1
Premier League MatchDay 30 kicked off on Saturday at Everton who responded to their critics to win 2-0 and deliver a potentially fatal blow to Manchester City's title hopes. The Toffees have spent the week soul-searching after their devastating loss to Wigan in the FA Cup quarter-finals but they looked back to their best in a fiery Premier League clash at Goodison Park. Osman scored from long range after 32 minutes and the Toffees held on despite the dismissal of Steven Pienaar and made sure through Jelavic in injury time.

In a pulsating Premier League clash Christian Benteke eased Aston Villa's relegation fears and pushed bottom-placed QPR nearer to the drop with his late winner in a 3-2 victory. It was Belgium international Benteke's seventh goal in the last eight league games and took his overall tally to 17 since his £8million summer move from Genk.

Jay Rodriguez inspired relegation-threatened Southampton to what could prove to be a vital victory against Liverpool. Brendan Rodgers' side pushed hard for a result but Rodriguez made sure of the three points with 10 minutes remaining, putting Saints seven points clear of the drop zone in front of a record Premier League crowd at St Mary's of 32,070.

Stoke's losing streak came to an end but they had to settle for a point after failing to make a breakthrough against West Brom at the Britannia Stadium. After Asmir Begovic kept out an early strike from Albion captain Chris Brunt, the hosts - who went into the contest having lost their last three Premier League games and seven of their previous nine - were the better side in a scrappy first half.

Premiership table - after 17th Mar 2013
Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 Man Utd 29 14 0 1 39 15 10 2 2 30 16 38 74
2 Man City 29 10 3 1 31 11 7 5 3 20 15 25 59
3 Chelsea 29 9 4 2 33 12 7 3 4 25 18 28 55
4 Tottenham 30 8 4 3 22 15 8 2 5 29 22 14 54
5 Arsenal 29 8 3 3 35 19 6 5 4 20 13 23 50
6 Everton 29 8 6 1 27 17 4 6 4 19 18 11 48
7 Liverpool 30 8 3 4 30 14 4 6 5 27 25 18 45
8 West Brom 30 9 2 4 23 14 4 3 8 17 24 2 44
9 Swansea 30 6 6 3 27 21 4 4 7 13 17 2 40
10 Fulham 29 6 3 5 22 17 3 6 6 18 27 -4 36
11 Stoke 30 6 7 2 18 15 1 6 8 9 20 -8 34
12 Norwich 30 6 6 3 16 15 1 7 7 12 31 -18 34
13 Newcastle 30 8 1 6 23 21 1 5 9 18 31 -11 33
14 West Ham 29 6 4 4 23 17 3 2 10 9 26 -11 33
15 Sunderland 30 4 6 5 17 16 3 4 8 16 26 -9 31
16 Southampton 30 5 5 5 22 18 2 5 8 20 34 -10 31
17 Aston Villa 30 4 4 7 14 22 3 5 7 17 34 -25 30
18 Wigan 29 3 4 8 19 32 4 2 8 16 24 -21 27
19 Reading 30 4 6 5 23 29 1 2 12 12 28 -22 23
20 QPR 30 2 7 6 11 22 2 4 9 15 26 -22 23
Stoke's losing streak came to an end but they had to settle for a point after failing to make a breakthrough against West Brom at the Britannia Stadium. After Asmir Begovic kept out an early strike from Albion captain Chris Brunt, the hosts - who went into the contest having lost their last three Premier League games and seven of their previous nine - were the better side in a scrappy first half.

Arsenal kept themselves firmly in the race for Champions League qualification with a comfortable victory at Swansea. The Gunners had by far the better of the contest and Nacho Monreal's first goal for the club gave them the lead with 16 minutes remaining, before substitute Gervinho struck in stoppage time. Swansea faded badly after a promising opening and, aside from a couple of half-chances, they barely worked Lukasz Fabianski in the Arsenal goal.

Manchester United moved 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League with a 1-0 win which keeps managerless Reading in deep relegation trouble. A deflected, first-half Rooney goal secured the victory as Sir Alex Ferguson's side capitalised on Manchester City's loss at Everton earlier on Saturday. Defeat means there is no quick-fix for Reading following the controversial sacking of Brian McDermott in the week and they remain seven points from safety.

Premier League MatchDay 30 continued on Sunday with substitute keeper Lee Camp ensuring 10-man Norwich left Sunderland with a point from a 1-1 draw on a day when the Canaries' luck deserted them. Norwich were leading 1-0 through Wes Hoolahan's close-range header when keeper Mark Bunn was dismissed for handling outside his area, and their fortunes took a further turn for the worse five minutes before the break when defender Sebastien Bassong conceded a penalty.

Tottenham's chances of Champions League qualification took a huge blow when Dimitar Berbatov scored the only goal in a shock 1-0 defeat against Fulham. Having scored three goals in his last four matches, Berbatov was always going to be Fulham's main goal threat, but even he could not have imagined how easy it would be to score his first goal at White Hart Lane since leaving Spurs in 2008.

Chelsea climbed to third in the Premier League with victory over his old club in the London derby at Stamford Bridge. and Frank Lampard scored his 200th Chelsea goal. On his 595th Chelsea appearance, Lampard headed in an Eden Hazard cross after 19 minutes to move within two of Bobby Tambling's club scoring record of 202 goals. The Blues went two goals ahead when the impressive Hazard netted after 50 minutes. What a difference a week makes as Chelsea

Wigan forward Callum McManaman's horror tackle overshadowed a controversial but crucial 90th-minute Arouna Kone winner for Roberto Martinez's relegation-threatened side. McManaman, on his first Premier League start, caused outrage with a reckless knee-high challenge on substitute Massadio Haidara. He escaped punishment but referee Mark Halsey sent off furious Newcastle assistant manager John Carver

Saturday 16th March 2013

12:45 - Everton (1) 2 Man City (0) 0 Sky2

Leon Osman's first-half thunderbolt and a late curler from Nikica Jelavic were the difference as ten-man Everton beat Manchester City 2-0 and effectively ended whatever lingering Premier League title hopes Roberto Mancini's side retained.

Osman beat Joe Hart with a wonderful first-time strike from 25 yards after 32 minutes to make the most of Everton's early control of the contest. City failed to reply, even after Steven Pienaar was dismissed with nearly 30 minutes remaining for a second bookable offence.

Then, deep into injury time, Hart was again beaten by Jelavic's measured strike - perhaps aided slightly by a deflection - as Everton counter-attacked, completing a victory that was celebrated wildly by the home support.

Everton: Mucha, Coleman, Heitinga, Distin, Baines, Mirallas (Naismith 70), Gibson, Osman, Pienaar, Fellaini, Anichebe (Jelavic 90).
Subs Not Used: Springthorpe, Oviedo, Neville, Barkley, Duffy.

Sent Off: Pienaar (61).

Booked: Fellaini, Pienaar, Osman, Jelavic.

Goals: Osman 32, Jelavic 90.

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Toure (Sinclair 83), Nastasic, Kolarov, Javi Garcia, Barry (Nasri 70), Milner (Clichy 83), Tevez, Silva, Dzeko.
Subs Not Used: Pantilimon, Lescott, Razak, Lopes.

Booked: Kolarov, Dzeko, Silva.

Attendance: 36,519

Referee: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).

15:00 - Aston Villa (1) 3 QPR (1) 2

One of the most important games of the season also proved to be one of the most dramatic, as Aston Villa claimed a hugely-significant 3-2 victory over QPR thanks to Christian Benteke's late finish.

QPR, looking for a third successive win that would have brought Harry Redknapp's side within one point of Villa in 17th, led early on through Jermaine Jenas, before Gabriel Agbonlahor headed an equaliser shortly before half-time to settle some of the nerves at Villa Park.

Andreas Weimann subsequently put the Villans ahead to edge his side away from the dogfight at the bottom of the table, before Andros Townsend beat Brad Guzan to set up a tense final 20 minutes. But it was Villa who would get the winner, Benteke sending the crowd into raptures with an emphatic left-foot finish from close range.

Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker (Bennett 20), Sylla (N'Zogbia 58), Westwood, Bannan, Weimann (Bowery 84), Benteke, Agbonlahor.
Subs Not Used: Given, Holman, Dawkins, Carruthers.

Booked: Sylla, Bannan, Weimann.

Goals: Agbonlahor 45, Weimann 59, Benteke 81.

QPR: Julio Cesar, Bosingwa, Samba, Hill, Da Silva (Taarabt 66), Park (Mackie 87), Mbia, Jenas, Remy, Zamora (Hoilett 46), Townsend.
Subs Not Used: Murphy, Wright-Phillips, Granero, Onuoha.

Booked: Mbia, Hoilett.

Goals: Jenas 23, Townsend 73.

Attendance: 38,594

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire).

15:00 - Southampton (2) 3 Liverpool (1) 1

Liverpool look unlikely to play in European competition next season, as they were beaten 3-1 by a Southampton side that will now be increasingly confident of avoiding relegation this season.

Goals from Morgan Schneiderlin, Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez proved the difference in an impressive Saints performance, with Philippe Coutinho getting the consolation for a defensively-suspect Reds side.

Liverpool were woeful in the first-half, and were perhaps lucky to only go in one goal in arrears. Southampton created numerous clear-cut openings but failed to take full advantage - with their two scoring efforts coming from Schneiderlin's astute header and Lambert's wickedly-deflected free-kick.

Rodgers will likely have questions to ask of his defence for the Saints' third goal, which effectively killed off the contest. There appeared to be little real danger when Rodriguez picked up the ball at halfway in the second half but, after evading Lucas and Martin Skrtel without receiving so much as a cursory challenge from either, the attacker was able to unleash a strike on goal that, after Brad Jones could only parry it out, the ex-Burnley man was able to run onto and turn home.

Southampton: Boruc, Clyne, Yoshida, Hooiveld (Fonte 31), Shaw, Schneiderlin, Cork, Rodriguez, Ramirez (S Davis 55), Lallana (Do Prado 84), Lambert
Subs Not Used: Kelvin Davis, Forren, Ward-Prowse, Do Prado, Puncheon

Goals: Schneiderlin 6, Lambert 33, Rodriguez 80

Liverpool: Jones, Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Jose Enrique, Allen (Lucas 46), Downing, Gerrard, Coutinho, Suarez, Sturridge (Henderson 84)
Subs Not Used: Gulacsi, Suso, Shelvey, Ibe, Wisdom

Goals: Coutinho 45

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire)

Attendance: 32,070

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

At the Britannia Stadium, Stoke and West Brom did not trouble the scorers as they ended locked in a 0-0 draw.

Peter Crouch and Marc Wilson passed up some of the best chances Stoke created during the contest, while Romelu Lukaku saw one of the Baggies' few threatening shots on goal calmly dealt with by Asmir Begovic.

Stoke: Begovic, Shotton, Shawcross, Wilson, Cameron, Jerome (Adam 75),Whelan (Whitehead 46), Nzonzi,Etherington, Walters,Crouch (Jones 63).
Subs Not Used: Sorensen, Owen, Kightly, Wilkinson.

Booked: Shotton,Etherington.

West Brom: Foster, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Thomas (Odemwingie 67), Yacob, Morrison (Fortune 84), Mulumbu, Brunt, Lukaku (Long 76).
Subs Not Used: Myhill, Popov, Rosenberg, Tamas.

Booked: Brunt,Morrison.

Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral).

Attendance: 26,137

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

After going out of the Champions League - but not without a fight - to Bayern Munich on Wednesday, Arsenal greatly improved their hopes of qualifying for the lucrative competition next season with a hard-fought 2-0 away victory over Swansea.

Nacho Monreal - with his first goal for the Gunners - and Gervinho grabbed the two strikes for Arsene Wenger's side as they moved within four points of Tottenham in the battle for fourth.

Both sides had plenty of chances in the first half, but neither side could quite manage to find the target. After being left out of the starting XI to face Bayern in midweek, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came in and managed to hit the woodwork twice for his team, while at the other end Michu was once again his side's main threat.

Swansea pushed for an equaliser but instead they saw the game killed off, Aaron Ramsey finding Gervinho unmarked in the box with little time left on the clock as the Ivory Coast international made no mistake with the finish.

Swansea: Vorm, Rangel, Williams, Monk, Davies, Dyer (Moore 76), Britton, de Guzman, Ki (Routledge 66), Hernandez, Michu
Subs Not Used: Tremmel, Bartley, Lamah, Shechter, Tiendalli

Booked: de Guzman

Arsenal: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Diaby (Ramsey 71), Walcott (Gibbs 85), Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain (Gervinho 71), Giroud
Subs Not Used: Szczesny, Vermaelen, Rosicky, Coquelin

Booked: Arteta

Goals: Monreal 74, Gervinho 90

Referee: Jon Moss (W Yorkshire)

Attendance: 20,583

17:30 - Man Utd (1)1 Reading (0) 0 ESPN

At Old Trafford Wayne Rooney's 16th goal of the season was enough to propel Manchester United 15 points clear with just nine games remaining in the Premier League title race.

Rooney's deflected first-half effort saw off a dogged Reading outfit 1-0, who worked hard but lacked the class to fashion an equaliser.

Thirteen points will do it for Sir Alex Ferguson's men to clinch a record 20th championship - and given one of their remaining games is against nearest challengers Manchester City, they might not even need that.

The Royals now look certainties for relegation, sliding seven points adrift of safety.

Man Utd: De Gea, Smalling, Ferdinand, Vidic, Buttner, Welbeck, Giggs, Anderson (Kagawa 85), Young (Carrick 74), Rooney, van Persie.
Subs Not Used: Lindegaard, Evans, Valencia, Hernandez, Powell.

Goals: Rooney 21.

Reading: Taylor, Kelly (Morrison 88), Pearce, Mariappa, Shorey, Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff, Robson-Kanu (Le Fondre 70), McCleary, Hunt (Blackman 70).
Subs Not Used: McCarthy, Gunter, Harte, Akpan.

Booked: Hunt, Kelly.

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire).

Attendance: 75,605

Sunday 17th March February 2013

13:30 - Sunderland (1) 1 Norwich (1) 1 Sky1

Norwich held out for a point against struggling Sunderland despite the first-half dismissal of goalkeeper Mark Bunn in a 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light.

Wes Hoolahan had headed Norwich into the lead before Bunn saw red for handling outside his box, with Sunderland then levelling from the penalty spot before the break through Craig Gardner after Sebastien Bassong was adjudged to have handled.

Norwich then had reason to feel aggrieved with Rose penalised for handball, with replays showing he was clearly inside the area but Foy gave a free-kick on the line.

Sunderland: Mignolet, Gardner, O'Shea, Cuellar (Bramble 71), Rose, Johnson (Wickham 84), Vaughan, Larsson, Sessegnon, Fletcher, Graham (McClean 75).
Subs not used: Westwood, Bardsley, N'Diaye, Colback.

Booked: Larsson.

Goals: Gardner 40 pen.

Norwich: Bunn, Martin, Bassong, Turner, Garrido, Elliott Bennett, Johnson, Howson, Snodgrass (Whittaker 88), Hoolahan (Camp 31), Kamara (Holt 64).
Subs not used: Jackson, Fox, Becchio, Ryan Bennett.

Sent Off: Bunn (30).

Booked: Snodgrass, Holt, Camp.

Goals: Hoolahan 26.

Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside).

Attendance: 38,625

15:00 - Tottenham (0) 0 Fulham (0) 1

Dimitar Berbatov came back to haunt old club Tottenham with the only goal to help Fulham to a shock 1-0 win at White Hart Lane.

The Bulgarian scored early in the second half to earn Fulham only their third away win of the season and condemn Spurs to a third defeat in eight days which dents their top four hopes.

The closest Spurs came to an equaliser was when substitute Jermain Defoe's close-range effort was brilliantly saved by Mark Schwarzer in the closing seconds.

Tottenham: Lloris, Naughton, Caulker, Dawson (Dempsey 46), Vertonghen, Sigurdsson (Defoe 62), Dembele (Carroll 67), Parker, Assou-Ekotto, Adebayor, Bale.
Subs not used: Friedel, Walker, Holtby, Livermore.

Booked: Dempsey.

Fulham: Schwarzer, Riether, Senderos, Hangeland, Riise, Dejagah, Sidwell, Karagounis (Enoh 77), Duff, Ruiz (Emanuelson 90), Berbatov.
Subs not used: Etheridge, Hughes, Richardson, Petric, Rodallega.

Booked: Dejagah.

Goals: Berbatov 52.

Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire).

Attendance: 36,004.

16:00 - Chelsea (1) 2 West Ham (0) 0

Frank Lampard scored his 200th Chelsea goal to help them to a 2-0 victory over his former club West Ham in Sunday's London derby which moves the Blues up to third in the Premier League.

An impressive Eden Hazard teed up the veteran midfielder's 19th-minute header with a skilful chip into the box before adding one of his own early in the second half.

Lampard, on his 595th Blues appearance, was unmarked when he met Hazard's clipped cross from the right channel with a firm header for his first goal since his strike in the FA Cup fourth-round replay with Brentford.

Chelsea: Cech, Azpilicueta, Luiz (Terry, 78), Cahill, Cole, Ramires, Lampard, Mata (Mikel 85), Moses (Oscar, 70), Hazard, Ba
Subs not used: Turnbull, Ivanovic, Terry, Bertrand, Torres

Goals: Lampard 19, Hazard 50

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Reid, O'Brien, Collins (Tomkins, 61), Demel, Jarvis, Collison, Diame (Taylor, 46), O'Neil, Carroll, Vaz Te (Cole, 80)
Subs not used: Speigel, McCartney, Pogatetz, Chamakh

Booked: Reid, Demel

Referee: Michael Oliver

Attendance: 41, 639

16:00 - Wigan (1) 2 Newcastle (0) 1 Sky1

Arouna Kone scored in stoppage time to earn Wigan a 2-1 win over Newcastle at the DW Stadium that boosts their Premier League survival hopes.

The striker scored a last-minute winner to send Roberto Martinez's side to within three points of safety, although they were lucky not to have had Callum McManaman sent-off for an earlier tackle which saw Massadio Haidara stretchered off.

Jean Beausejour handed the hosts the lead, only for Davide Santon to level matters before the Ivorian's dramatic late winner.

Wigan were lucky not to have McManaman sent-off as substitute Haidara was stretchered off following a horror tackle by the forward. Referee Mark Halsey failed to see the incident from where he was standing, therefore did not even brandish a card.

Wigan: Robles, Scharner, Alcaraz, Figueroa, Boyce, McCarthy, Gomez, Beausejour (Di Santo 79), Maloney, Kone, McManaman (McArthur 58).
Subs not used: Al Habsi, Caldwell, Henriquez, Stam, Golobart.

Booked: Scharner.

Goals: Beausejour 18, Kone 90.

Newcastle: Elliot, Debuchy (Haidara 13 (Perch 13)), Steven Taylor, Yanga-Mbiwa, Santon, Marveaux, Tiote, Gutierrez, Gouffran (Ameobi 67), Sissoko, Cisse.
Subs not used: Harper,Anita,Gosling,Obertan.

Booked: Perch,Gutierrez.

Goals: Santon 72.

Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire).

Source Soccernet/Sporting Life
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