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Premier League Review - 26th - 27th December 2011

last updated Wednesday 28th December 2011, 10:56 AM

Premiership table - 27:12:11
Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 Man City 18 9 0 0 28 4 5 3 1 25 11 38 45
2 Man Utd 18 7 1 1 28 11 7 2 0 19 3 33 45
3 Tottenham 17 6 1 1 17 8 6 1 2 17 11 15 38
4 Chelsea 18 6 1 2 22 13 4 3 2 14 8 15 34
5 Arsenal 18 6 2 1 15 6 4 1 4 19 20 8 33
6 Liverpool 18 3 6 0 11 7 5 1 3 10 7 7 31
7 Newcastle 18 4 3 2 12 11 4 3 2 13 11 3 30
8 Stoke 18 4 3 2 12 9 3 1 5 6 19 -10 25
9 West Brom 18 2 2 5 7 11 4 2 3 12 15 -7 22
10 Everton 17 3 2 4 9 10 3 1 4 9 10 -2 21
11 Norwich 18 4 2 3 16 14 1 4 4 11 19 -6 21
12 Aston Villa 18 3 2 4 11 11 1 6 2 8 12 -4 20
13 Fulham 18 3 3 3 14 14 1 4 4 5 10 -5 19
14 Swansea 18 4 4 1 11 3 0 3 6 6 19 -5 19
15 Sunderland 18 2 4 3 13 11 2 2 5 9 11 0 18
16 QPR 18 1 4 4 8 15 3 1 5 10 17 -14 17
17 Wolves 18 3 2 4 13 15 1 2 6 7 18 -13 16
18 Wigan 18 1 4 4 9 16 2 1 6 6 19 -20 14
19 Bolton 18 1 0 8 10 23 3 0 6 12 18 -19 12
20 Blackburn 18 2 0 7 12 19 0 5 4 13 20 -14 11
Premiership Games
Monday 26th December
13:00 Chelsea 1-1 Fulham  
15:00 Bolton 0-2 Newcastle
15:00 Liverpool 1-1 Blackburn  
15:00 Man Utd 5-0 Wigan  
15:00 Sunderland 1-1 Everton  
15:00 West Brom 0-0 Man City  
19:45 Stoke 0-0 Aston Villa Sky1
Tuesday 27th December
15:00 Arsenal 1-1 Wolves  
17:00 Swansea 1-1 QPR Sky1
19:30 Norwich 0-2 Tottenham Sky1

Day two of the Boxing Day programme brought disappointment for Arsenal who drew 1-1 at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers, with their title prospects fading like Chelsea and Liverpool.

While Tottenham beat Norwich 2-0 to tighten its grip on third place in the Premier League and appearing to be the likeliest challenger to the two Manchester clubs. Gareth Bale scored twice in the second half, putting the Spurs within seven points of City and United. Tottenham still has a game in hand - at home to Everton next month.

Queens Park Rangers salvaged a point from a 1-1 draw at Swansea in Tuesday's other game.

Day one of the Boxing day programme so the title race take twist as Manchester City were held by West Brom and Manchester United drew level on points at the top by hammering Wigan after the controversial sending off of Sammon.

Manchester City were not the only top-six side to fail to provide their supporters with any festive cheer, as Chelsea were held to an unexpected draw by Fulham and Blackburn frustrated Liverpool.

Elsewhere in the Premier League there was controversy at Sunderland as Everton picked up a draw, while Bolton remain in deep trouble following another home defeat against Newcastle.

Tuesday 27th December

15:00 - Arsenal (1) 1 Wolverhampton (1) 1

Arsenal were left frustrated as 10-man Wolves battled to a 1-1 draw at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners, looking to go back into the top four, were ahead after just eight minutes through Gervinho.

However, Wolves, struggling at the other end of the table, rallied and levelled on 38 minutes through Steven Fletcher and survived the dismissal of midfielder Nenad Milijas as keeper Wayne Hennessey denied the home side time and again.

Arsenal stay fifth in the table, a point behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

Arsenal Szczesny, Djourou (Chamakh 85), Mertesacker, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Song (Ramsey 71), Arteta, Rosicky, Benayoun (Arshavin 63), Gervinho, van Persie.
Subs Not Used: Almunia, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Coquelin, Miquel.

Booked: Vermaelen, Song.

Goals: Gervinho 8.

Wolverhampton Hennessey, Zubar (Stearman 50), Johnson, Berra, Ward, Jarvis, Henry, Forde (Guedioura 71), Hunt (Doyle 86), Milijas, Fletcher.
Subs Not Used: De Vries, Elokobi, Ebanks-Blake, Hammill.

Sent Off: Milijas (75).

Booked: Johnson, Guedioura, Hennessey.

Goals: Fletcher 38.

Att: 59, 686

Ref: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire).

17:00 - Swansea (1) 1 QPR (0) 1

Jamie Mackie scored for the second game running to earn QPR a 1-1 draw at Swansea to end a run of three straight defeats.

The Scotland winger coolly slotted home a 58th minute equaliser after Leon Britton's defensive header had slipped between his own defenders to allow Mackie in on goal.

Swansea had led from the 14th minute thanks to Danny Graham's sixth goal of the season after the striker was given too much time to control a Wayne Routledge cross before turning and firing low into the net as QPR defence appealed in vain for offside.

Graham was also denied what looked a clear penalty in the closing stages as he went down under Armand Traore's challenge, but referee Lee Probert was not interested.

Swansea Vorm, Rangel (Moore 57), Williams, Caulker, Richards, Sinclair, Britton, Agustien, Allen, Routledge (Dyer 56), Graham.
Subs Not Used: Tremmel, Dobbie, Monk, Lita, Gower.

Booked: Richards.

Goals: Graham 14.

QPR Kenny, Young, Hill, Hall, Traore, Mackie, Barton, Derry, Faurlin, Taarabt, Helguson.
Subs Not Used: Cerny, Orr, Gabbidon, Bothroyd, Connolly, Smith, Wright-Phillips.

Booked: Hill, Barton, Taarabt.

Goals: Mackie 58.

Att: 19, 530

Ref: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).

19:30 - Norwich (0) 0 Tottenham (0) 2

Gareth Bale tore Norwich apart with a brilliant brace as Tottenham moved seven points behind Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester City with a 2-0 win at Carrow Road.

Spurs, who have a game in hand on both City and second-placed Man Utd, were unable to turn their dominance into goals in the first half but finally found the opener 10 minutes after the break when Bale picked up Emmanuel Adebayor's pass to drive under Canaries goalkeeper John Ruddy.

Bale then latched on to Luka Modric's pass to sprint 45 yards before lifting the ball over the on-rushing Norwich goalkeeper with a sublime finish to kill off the match 12 minutes later.

Norwich Ruddy, De Laet (Barnett 64), Martin, Whitbread, Drury (Bennett 75), Fox, Crofts (Pilkington 75), Surman, Hoolahan, Morison, Holt.
Subs Not Used: Rudd, Johnson, Jackson, Wilbraham.

Booked: Whitbread.

Tottenham Friedel, Walker, Kaboul, Gallas, Assou-Ekotto (Rose 72), Modric, Sandro, Parker (Livermore 90), Bale, Van der Vaart (Kranjcar 85), Adebayor.
Subs Not Used: Gomes, Pavlyuchenko, Bassong, Pienaar.

Booked: Gallas.

Goals: Bale 55, 67.

Att: 26, 807

Ref: Michael Oliver (Northumberland).

Monday 26th December

13:00 - Chelsea (0) 1 Fulham (0) 1

Chelsea had to settle for a second 1-1 draw in a London derby in the space of a few days after being denied by Fulham.

A strike by London Underground workers prompted Arsenal to push back their clash with Wolves by 24 hours and those fans that found a way to Stamford Bridge might have wondered why they went to the effort of arriving on time after a disappointing first half.

Fortunately, the game exploded into life just a couple of minutes into the second period when the ball broke for Juan Mata on the edge of the area and he beat David Stockdale with a fine finish.

Chelsea could not keep their noses in front for long, though, as Bryan Ruiz twisted away from Ashley Cole down the wing and delivered a low cross for Clint Dempsey to turn home.

Fulham came under severe pressure during the closing stages but clung on for a point which further dents the hopes of their capital rivals.

Chelsea Cech, Bosingwa (Ferreira 81), Luiz, Terry, Cole, Meireles, Romeu, Lampard (Malouda 61), Sturridge (Drogba 70), Torres, Mata.
Subs Not Used: Turnbull, Lukaku, McEachran, Kalou.

Booked: Bosingwa.

Goals: Mata 47.

Fulham Stockdale, Kelly, Hangeland, Senderos, John Arne Riise, Dempsey, Murphy, Frei, Dembele, Orlando Sa (Kasami 82), Ruiz.
Subs Not Used: Etheridge, Sidwell, Baird, Hughes, Etuhu, Briggs.

Booked: Dempsey.

Goals: Dempsey 56.

Att: 41, 548

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire).

15:00 - Bolton (0) 0 Newcastle (0) 2

Newcastle ended a six-match winless sequence to get back on track at the Reebok Stadium and inflict more misery on struggling Bolton with a 2-0 success.

It was a war of attrition for more than an hour before Hatem Ben Arfa volleyed in a Ryan Taylor cross in the 69 minute.

Newcastle increased their lead before Bolton had a chance to regroup as Gabriel Obertan sent the ball over for Demba Ba to scramble home from close range and continue his prolific campaign.

Bolton Jaaskelainen, Boyata, Cahill, Knight, Robinson, Mark Davies, Reo-Coker, Muamba (Eagles 66), Petrov, Klasnic (Sanli 77), Ngog (Kevin Davies 76).
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Ricketts, Pratley, Wheater.

Booked: Klasnic.

Newcastle Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Ryan Taylor, Obertan (Shola Ameobi 84), Cabaye (Perch 88), Tiote, Gutierrez, Ba, Best (Ben Arfa 61).
Subs Not Used: Elliot, Sammy Ameobi, Vuckic, Ferguson.

Booked: Tiote.

Goals: Ben Arfa 69, Ba 71.

Att: 26, 080

Referee: Peter Walton (Northamptonshire).

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

Blackburn remain bottom of the Premier League standings but did their survival bid, and Steve Kean's prospects of staying in charge, no harm with an unlikely point against Liverpool following a 1-1 draw at Anfield.

Liverpool enjoyed lots of possession early on and saw a penalty appeal waved away, before surprisingly falling behind on the stroke of half-time when Charlie Adam inadvertently sliced an attempted clearance into his own net from a Blackburn corner.

Maxi Rodriguez nodded in an equaliser from Martin Skrtel's cross in the 53rd minute but the Reds could not find a winner, despite a late onslaught and the return from injury of talismanic skipper Steven Gerrard.

Liverpool Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique, Maxi (Bellamy 81), Henderson, Adam (Gerrard 69), Downing, Suarez, Carroll.
Subs Not Used: Doni, Kuyt, Carragher, Shelvey, Kelly.

Booked: Agger.

Goals: Maxi 53.

Blackburn Bunn, Lowe, Samba, Hanley, Pedersen, Henley, Dunn (Petrovic 84), Nzonzi, Hoilett (Vukcevic 75), Formica, Yakubu (Goodwillie 90).
Subs Not Used: Kean, Rochina, Blackman, Morris.

Goals: Adam 45 og.

Att: 44, 441

Referee: Mike Jones (Cheshire).

15:00 - Man Utd (2) 5 Wigan (0) 0

Dimitar Berbatov was the star of the show for Manchester United as they demolished ten-man Wigan 5-0 to keep up the pressure on City and leave the Latics in the bottom three.

Wigan had never previously taken a point off Manchester United in the Premier League and, despite Sir Alex Ferguson naming Antonio Valencia and Michael Carrick in defence, they never looked like ending that record at the 13th attempt.

Only eight minutes had been played by the time the Red Devils opened the scoring, with Patrice Evra leaving a trail of half-hearted challenges in his wake as he weaved his way to the byline before cutting the ball back for Park Ji-sung to sweep home a composed shot.

Wigan tried to fight back but any chance they had was extinguished before half-time when referee Phil Dowd sent off Conor Sammon for catching Michael Carrick with an arm in the face, even though replays suggested it was a harsh decision.

Berbatov held off Antolin Alcaraz to make it 2-0 in the 41st minute and then produced a neat turn to blast in a third after the interval.

Valencia's powerful strike left Wigan 4-0 down and Berbatov completed his hat-trick with the most casual of penalties after Park had been brought down by Alcaraz.

Man Utd Lindegaard, Valencia, Evans (Fryers 46), Carrick, Evra, Park, Gibson, Giggs (Rooney 64), Nani (Macheda 64), Berbatov, Hernandez.
Subs Not Used: De Gea, Welbeck, Rafael Da Silva, Diouf.

Booked: Evans, Giggs.

Goals: Park 8, Berbatov 41, 58, Valencia 75, Berbatov 78 pen.

Wigan Al Habsi, Stam, Alcaraz, Caldwell, Figueroa, Jones, Diame (Di Santo 46), McCarthy, Gomez (McArthur 71), Moses (Rodallega 80), Sammon.
Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Gohouri, Crusat, Watson.

Sent Off: Sammon (39).

Booked: Jones.

Att: 75, 183

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

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

A controversial penalty decision allowed Everton to rescue a 1-1 draw from their clash with Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland had themselves benefited from a large helping of luck to take the lead on 26 minutes when Jack Colback, moments after coming on as a substitute, saw his shot take a decisive deflection off Sylvain Distin and loop over Tim Howard.

But it was a mistake by Howard Webb that allowed Everton to get back on level terms as Leon Osman tripped himself over in the box but the referee pointed to the spot, with Leighton Baines stepping up to fire past Keiren Westwood.

Sunderland Westwood, O'Shea, Bramble (Colback 21), Brown, Bardsley (Gardner 46), Larsson, Cattermole, Vaughan (McClean 81), Richardson, Sessegnon, Bendtner.
Subs Not Used: Carson, Kilgallon, Ji, Elmohamady.

Goals: Colback 26.

Everton Howard, Hibbert, Distin, Jagielka, Baines, Drenthe (Gueye 75), Neville, Heitinga, Osman, Cahill (McFadden 87), Saha (Vellios 84).
Subs Not Used: Mucha, Bilyaletdinov, Stracqualursi, Barkley.

Booked: Heitinga.

Goals: Baines 51 pen.

Att: 43, 619

Referee: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).

15:00 - West Brom (0) 0 Man City (0) 0

Manchester City celebrated Christmas at the league summit but surrendered their two-point advantage on Boxing Day following a 0-0 draw with West Brom.

Manchester City have been in irresistible goalscoring form this season, netting 53 times in the league, but West Brom provided stern resistance in a tense battle at The Hawthorns.

While the entertainment value may not have been high, there was plenty to admire tactically about the way Roy Hodgson had devised a rearguard effort, and his players executed the plan to perfection.

There was the occasional scare as City carved out chances and Mario Balotelli hit the crossbar, but Jerome Thomas also struck the woodwork for West Brom and Shane Long missed a glorious chance.

West Brom Foster, Jones, Olsson, McAuley, Shorey, Brunt, Scharner, Mulumbu (Dorrans 80), Thomas, Long, Odemwingie (Jara Reyes 88).
Subs Not Used: Fulop, Dawson, Thorne, Cox, Fortune.

Man City Hart, Zabaleta, Toure, Kompany, Clichy, Toure Yaya, Milner (Dzeko 82), Nasri (Barry 59), Silva, Aguero (Johnson 74), Balotelli.
Subs Not Used: Pantilimon, Lescott, Savic, De Jong.

Booked: Toure Yaya.

Att: 25, 938

Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire).

19:45 - Stoke (0) 0 Aston Villa (0) 0

The Monday night clash between Stoke City and Aston Villa at the Britannia Stadium finished goalless.

Marc Wilson nearly grabbed a second-half winner.

His header crashed off the crossbar in the 69th minute, the closest either side came to scoring.

Stoke Sorensen, Woodgate (Pennant 70), Huth, Shawcross, Wilson, Shotton, Palacios (Delap 67), Whitehead, Etherington, Jones, Walters.
Subs Not Used: Begovic, Diao, Upson, Wilkinson, Jerome.

Booked: Huth, Whitehead, Delap.

Aston Villa Guzan, Cuellar, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Albrighton, Clark, Petrov, N'Zogbia, Agbonlahor, Heskey (Delfouneso 46).
Subs Not Used: Marshall, Ireland, Bannan, Weimann, Johnson, Gardner.

Att: 27,739

Referee: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).

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