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Premier League Review - 14th-15th January 2012

last updated Monday 16th January 2012, 1:30 PM

Premiership Games
Saturday 14th January 2012
15:00 Aston Villa 1-1 Everton  
15:00 Blackburn 3-1 Fulham  
15:00 Chelsea 1-0 Sunderland
15:00 Liverpool 0-0 Stoke
15:00 Man Utd 3-0 Bolton  
15:00 Tottenham 1-1 Wolves  
15:00 West Brom 1-2 Norwich  
Sunday 15th January 2012
13:30 Newcastle 1-0 QPR Sky1
16:00 Swansea 3-2 Arsenal Sky1
Monday 16th January 2012
20:00 Wigan v Man City Sky1
Man Utd midfielder Paul Scholes fired Manchester United level on points with leaders Manchester City with the opener in their 3-0 home success against Bolton, while 10-man Blackburn climbed out of the relegation zone courtesy of an Ewood Park success against Fulham.

It was Scholes' first goal for United since August 2010 in United's 2-2 draw at Fulham, the only time he found the net for the Red Devils last term, and marked a dream return at Old Trafford after his shock decision to come out of retirement last weekend.

Premiership table - 15:01:12
Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 Man City 20 10 0 0 31 4 5 3 2 25 12 40 48
2 Man Utd 21 8 1 2 33 14 7 2 1 19 6 32 48
3 Tottenham 21 8 2 1 21 9 6 2 2 18 12 18 46
4 Chelsea 21 7 1 3 24 16 5 3 2 16 9 15 40
5 Arsenal 21 7 2 1 16 6 4 1 6 22 25 7 36
6 Newcastle 21 6 3 2 16 11 4 3 3 14 14 5 36
7 Liverpool 21 4 7 0 14 8 5 1 4 10 10 6 35
8 Stoke 21 4 4 2 14 11 4 2 5 8 20 -9 30
9 Norwich 21 4 3 3 17 15 3 4 4 15 21 -4 28
10 Swansea 21 5 5 1 15 6 1 3 6 8 19 -2 26
11 Everton 21 3 2 5 10 12 4 2 5 11 13 -4 25
12 Sunderland 21 3 4 3 14 11 3 2 6 13 13 3 24
13 Aston Villa 21 3 3 5 12 14 2 6 2 11 13 -4 24
14 Fulham 21 4 3 3 16 15 1 5 5 7 14 -6 23
15 West Brom 21 2 2 7 8 14 4 2 4 12 16 -10 22
16 Wolves 21 3 2 5 14 17 1 4 6 9 20 -14 18
17 Blackburn 21 3 0 8 16 22 1 5 4 16 22 -12 17
18 QPR 21 1 4 5 9 17 3 1 7 10 19 -17 17
19 Bolton 21 1 1 8 11 24 4 0 7 14 22 -21 16
20 Wigan 20 1 4 5 10 20 2 2 6 8 21 -23 15
Tottenham's hopes of joining United and City on 48 points at the Premier League summit were dashed as they were forced to come from behind to take a point against Wolves.

Robbie Keane was unable to achieve the heroics of Scholes and Thierry Henry, making his debut from the bench as Aston Villa drew 1-1 at home to Everton.

Chelsea consolidated their position in fourth with a narrow home success against Sunderland, Liverpool could not find a way through against Stoke at Anfield, while Norwich extended West Brom's poor home run with a 2-1 success at the Hawthorns.

Saturday 14th January 2012

15:00 - Aston Villa (0) 1 Everton (0) 1

All eyes were on Robbie Keane at Villa Park, but the on-loan striker was afforded just a nine-minute cameo as Aston Villa drew 1-1 at home to Everton.

Darren Bent displayed his predatory instincts to fire Villa in front from close range after the Everton defence failed to clear and Stephen Ireland was allowed a second chance to cross to the England forward.

But Everton levelled in the 69th minute when Victor Anichebe broke the offside trap to race onto Landon Donovan's slide-rule pass and slot the ball beyond Shay Given.

Aston Villa Given, Hutton, Dunne, Collins, Warnock (Keane 81), Clark, Petrov, Albrighton, Ireland, Agbonlahor, Bent.
Subs Not Used: Guzan, N'Zogbia, Delph, Cuellar, Bannan, Gardner.

Booked: Albrighton.

Goals: Bent 56.

Everton Howard, Neville, Heitinga, Duffy, Baines, Donovan, Gibson (Bilyaletdinov 84), Fellaini, Drenthe (Anichebe 61), Cahill, Saha (Stracqualursi 88).
Subs Not Used: Mucha, McFadden, Gueye, Vellios.

Booked: Fellaini.

Goals: Anichebe 69.

Att:: 31, 853

Referee: Mark ClAtt:enburg (Tyne & Wear).

15:00 - Blackburn (1) 3 Fulham (0) 1

Blackburn showed outstanding fighting spirit as they climbed out of the relegation zone courtesy of a 3-1 home success over Fulham, despite playing the vast majority of the match with only 10 men.

Rovers were a man down from just the 23rd minute, with referee Anthony Taylor flourishing an immediate red card after Yakubu caught Danny Murphy flush on the knee with his studs, although the challenge was perhaps more clumsy than malicious.

But Morten Gamst Pedersen fired home a low left-footed free-kick on the stroke of half-time after David Dunn had been brought down, with Cottagers goalkeeper David Stockdale stepping the wrong way as the kick was taken.

And it was 2-0 early in the second period as more shambolic defending from the visitors allowed Dunn to drill a low shot beyond Stockdale to bring a rare smile to Steve Kean's face, but the Cottagers reduced the deficit soon after as Damien Duff drilled home beyond Paul Robinson.

Martin Jol's men pushed for a leveller, only for the hosts to claim the crucial fourth goal as Mauro Formica was released by Steven N'Zonzi's excellent chipped pass to fire home.

Blackburn Robinson, Lowe, Hanley, Givet, Olsson, Nzonzi, Pedersen, Dunn (Formica 69), Petrovic (Goodwillie 29), Hoilett, Yakubu.
Subs Not Used: Bunn, Rochina, Vukcevic, Morris, Henley.

Sent Off: Yakubu (23).

Booked: Pedersen.

Goals: Pedersen 45, Dunn 46, Formica 79.

Fulham Stockdale, Kelly, Senderos, Hangeland, John Arne Riise (Johnson 73), Murphy, Dembele (Frei 36), Dempsey, Duff, Zamora, Ruiz, Frei (Davies 87).
Subs Not Used: Etheridge, Sidwell, Kasami, Hughes.

Booked: Senderos.

Goals: Duff 56.

Att:: 18, 003

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire).

15:00 - Chelsea (1) 1 Sunderland (0) 0

Chelsea halted Sunderland's recent resurgence under Martin O'Neill but it was a close run thing at Stamford Bridge as the home side recorded a 1-0 triumph.

The Blues went ahead in the 13th minute when Fernando Torres' sublime scissor-kick from Juan Mata's cross smashed against the crossbar before bouncing home off Frank Lampard's shins.

There was a further boost for the home side in the second period with influential midfielder Michael Essien making his return from a long-term injury in place of the goalscorer.

Both sides saw decent penalty appeals waved away, before Craig Gardner screwed a good chance wide in the closing stages after being set up by Stephane Sessegnon.

Chelsea Cech, Bosingwa, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Lampard (Essien 73), Romeu, Meireles, Ramires, Torres, Mata (Malouda 85).
Subs Not Used: Turnbull, Lukaku, Sturridge, Hutchinson, Bertrand.

Booked: Luiz, Torres, Meireles.

Goals: Lampard 13.

Sunderland Mignolet, Bardsley, Kilgallon (Turner 45), O'Shea, Richardson (Wickham 80), Larsson, CAtt:ermole, Vaughan (Gardner 69), McClean, Sessegnon, Bendtner.
Subs Not Used: Westwood, Ji, Meyler, Elmohamady.

Booked: CAtt:ermole.

Att:: 41, 696

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

15:00 - Liverpool (0) 0 Stoke (0) 0

Liverpool missed the chance to climb above Arsenal into fifth and are now further adrift of the UEFA Champions League spots after a 0-0 home draw against Stoke.

Kenny Dalglish's side, still missing the suspended Luis Suarez, could not break down Tony Pulis' men and have now drawn seven of their 11 outings at Anfield this term.

Liverpool Reina, Johnson, Coates, Skrtel, Jose Enrique, Carragher, Adam, Henderson (Bellamy 74), Gerrard, Downing (Carroll 58), Kuyt.
Subs Not Used: Doni, Aurelio, Shelvey, Kelly, Flanagan.

Stoke Sorensen, Woodgate (Wilkinson 78), Shawcross, Huth, Wilson, Delap, Whelan, Palacios (Whitehead 62), Etherington (Fuller 87), Walters, Crouch.
Subs Not Used: Begovic, Jones, Pennant, Jerome.

Booked: Shawcross, Sorensen, Walters.

Att:: 44, 691

Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).

15:00 - Man Utd (1) 3 Bolton (0) 0

Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to bring Scholes out of retirement paid instant dividends at Old Trafford with the 37-year-old setting Manchester United on their way to a 3-0 home success against struggling Bolton.

Wayne Rooney missed a glorious opportunity to put United in front early on, with Adam Bogdan diving full length to his right to push away the striker's penalty after Danny Welbeck was tripped by Zat Knight.

But Rooney turned provider shortly before the break, cutting the ball back across the box for returning veteran midfielder Scholes to turn a low shot beyond Bogdan.

England striker Rooney missed another great chance after the break, before setting up Danny Welbeck to poke home the Red Devils' second with 16 minutes to go, before Michael Carrick demonstrated his class with a measured finish from outside the box late on.

Paul Scholes fired Manchester United level on points with leaders Manchester City with the opener in their 3-0 home success against Bolton, while 10-man Blackburn climbed out of the relegation zone courtesy of an Ewood Park success against Fulham.

It was Scholes' first goal for United since August 2010 in United's 2-2 draw at Fulham, the only time he found the net for the Red Devils last term, and marked a dream return at Old Trafford after his shock decision to come out of retirement last weekend.

Man Utd Lindegaard, Rafael Da Silva, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Scholes (Giggs 69), Nani (Park 69), Rooney, Welbeck (Hernandez 78).
Subs Not Used: De Gea, Berbatov, Fabio Da Silva, Pogba.

Goals: Scholes 45, Welbeck 74, Carrick 83.

Bolton Bogdan, Steinsson, Wheater, Knight, Ricketts, Eagles (Riley 69), Reo-Coker, Muamba (Pratley 80), Petrov (Sanli 88), Mark Davies, Ngog.
Subs Not Used: Lynch, Kevin Davies, Klasnic, Boyata.

Booked: Knight.

Att:: 75, 444

Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire).

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

Tottenham have been on a blistering recent run but suffered an untimely slip at home to Wolves as they missed the chance to move level with City and United at the summit after a 1-1 draw.

Steven Fletcher (22) fired Wolves in front from close range after Roger Johnson's goal-bound header was well kept out by Brad Friedel following a contentious corner award for the visitors, with the ball going behind off David Edwards.

Spurs were back on terms early in the second period when Luka Modric's low shot from the edge of the box flew through a forest of Wolves legs and under the possibly unsighted Wayne Hennessey.

Tottenham Friedel, Walker, Kaboul, Dawson, Assou-Ekotto (Rose 80), Lennon (Defoe 74), Parker, Modric, Bale, Adebayor, Van der Vaart.
Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Pavlyuchenko, Bassong, Kranjcar, Livermore.

Booked: Assou-Ekotto.

Goals: Modric 51.

Wolverhampton Hennessey, Foley, Johnson, Berra, Ward, Kightly, Frimpong (Hunt 67), Henry, Jarvis (Elokobi 85), Edwards (Milijas 81), Fletcher.
Subs Not Used: De Vries, Stearman, Ebanks-Blake, Doyle.

Booked: Frimpong, Henry, Johnson.

Goals: Fletcher 22.

Att:: 36,194

Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire).

15:00 - West Brom (0) 1 Norwich (1) 2

Norwich continued their impressive season back in the Premier League with another three-point haul away to West Brom.

Andrew Surman's sweet volley gave the Canaries the lead just before the interval after good work from Simeon Jackson and Wes Hoolahan, with the West Brom defence leaving him in far too much space.

The Baggies levelled from the penalty spot after Daniel Ayala's awful tackle on Jerome Thomas with substitute Shane Long keeping his cool with an assured finish from 12 yards.

But the visitors snatched all three points with 11 minutes remaining when a swift break ended with Grant Holt's chipped cross being headed home by Steve Morison.

West Brom Foster, Jara Reyes, McAuley, Dawson, Shorey, Morrison, Scharner (Dorrans 63), Mulumbu, Thomas (Fortune 76), Odemwingie (Long 63), Cox.
Subs Not Used: Fulop, MAtt:ock, Thorne, Tamas.

Goals: Long pen 68 .

Norwich Ruddy, Martin, Whitbread, Ayala, Naughton, Johnson (Fox 80), Pilkington (Crofts 80), Surman, Hoolahan, Morison, Jackson (Holt 68).
Subs Not Used: Steer, Drury, Bennett, Wilbraham.

Booked: Ayala.

Goals: Surman 43, Morison 79.

Att:: 22, 474

Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral).

Sunday 15th January 2012

13:30 - Newcastle (1) 1 QPR (0) 0

Newcastle United ensured Mark Hughes failed to find the start he was looking for as Queens Park Rangers manager as Leon Best's sublime first-half effort separated the two sides at St James' Park.

A game that started promisingly before fading into a contest of mediocrity saw Newcastle earn a three-point haul that takes them up to sixth courtesy of a moment of magic from Best out of keeping with much that followed or preceded it.

A sweeping Newcastle move on 37 minutes saw the ball moved from left to right as Ryan Taylor's stabbed pass to Best saw Demba Ba's replacement demonstrate there is life beyond the Senegal striker as his exquisite turn bamboozled Luke Young before a composed finish flashed past Paddy Kenny.

Prior to Best's standout effort, QPR had conjured the best opportunities as Shaun Wright-Phillips' opportunistic snapshot from range fizzed off the top of the bar before Jay Bothroyd clipped a post with a cute effort from the edge of the box.

Newcastle Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon, Ryan Taylor (Gosling 81), Guthrie, Cabaye (Ben Arfa 25), Gutierrez, Best (Perch 76), Shola Ameobi.
Subs Not Used: Elliot, Abeid, Obertan, Ferguson.

Goals: Best 37.

QPR Kenny, Young, Gabbidon, Ferdinand, Hill, Wright-Phillips, Derry, Buzsaky (Macheda 76), Mackie, Helguson (Smith 64), Bothroyd.
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Orr, Hall, Campbell, Ephraim.

Booked: Derry, Hill, Bothroyd, Macheda.

Att:: 49, 865

Referee: Chris Foy (Merseyside).

16:00 - Swansea (1) 3 Arsenal (1) 2

Danny Graham landed the knockout blow as Swansea edged a five-goal thriller against Arsenal at the Liberty Stadium.

Robin van Persie put the Gunners ahead in the fifth minute but the Swans were level 11 minutes later via Scott Sinclair from the penalty spot after Nathan Dyer had been fouled by Aaron Ramsey in the box.

Nathan Dyer then handed Brendan Rodgers' side a 57th minute lead but Theo Walcott restored parity on 69 minutes.

later to hand the hosts a victory which sends them up to 10th in the table, while the Gunners sit in fifth.

Swansea Vorm, Rangel, Caulker, Williams, Taylor, Dyer (Routledge 81), Agustien (Sigurdsson 46), Britton, Allen, Sinclair, Graham (Lita 90).
Subs Not Used: Tremmel, Monk, Moore, Richards.

Goals: Sinclair pen 16, Dyer 57, Graham 70.

Arsenal Szczesny, Djourou, Mertesacker (Oxlade-Chamberlain 77), Koscielny, Miquel, Walcott, Ramsey, Song, Benayoun (Rosicky 63), Arshavin (Henry 63), van Persie.
Subs Not Used: Almunia, Park, Squillaci, Yennaris.

Goals: van Persie 5, Walcott 69.

Att:: 20, 409

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland).

Monday 16th January 2012

20:00 - Wigan (19) v Man City (1)

The two sides sat at opposing ends of the Premier League table meet on Monday night, with rock-bottom Wigan hosting table-topping Manchester City.

The Latics find themselves rooted to the foot of the division after going five games without a win.

They are, however, only two points adrift of safety and could clamber out of the bottom three with derby success against their North West neighbours.

City will be hoping that run continues on Monday, giving them every chance to re-establish their three-point lead at the top of the table.

The Blues saw arch-rivals Manchester United pull level with them at the summit on Saturday, and they will be desperate to edge back in front.

Winger Albert Crusat is back in contention for Wigan following a back injury, while young striker Callum McManaman could be on the bench after impressing Latics manager Roberto Martinez in the otherwise disappointing FA Cup defeat at Swindon.

Midfielder Mohamed Diame is on African Nations Cup duty with Senegal.

Manchester City are set to welcome David Silva back after the Spaniard missed Tuesday's Carling Cup defeat to Liverpool with an ankle injury.

Mario Balotelli (ankle) is doubtful, whilst Vincent Kompany serves the second game of a four-match ban.

Last season: Man City 1 Wigan 0, Wigan 0 Man City 2

Last five league matches: Wigan D D L D L; Man City W W D L W

Top scorers (all competitions): Ben Watson, Jordi Gomez & Franco Di Santo (Wigan) 4; Sergio Aguero (Man City) 17

Referee: Martin Atkinson (West Yorkshire).

Source Rob Parrish at SkySports/Sporting Life
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