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Premier League Review - 3rd - 5th December 2011

last updated Wednesday 07th December 2011, 6:39 PM

The top of the Premier League table has a familiar look about it following weekend wins for Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

But Tottenham continue to defy the odds with Harry Redknapp's side sitting third with a chance of winning the title for the first time since 1961 after beating Bolton.

At the top of the table City and United saw off challenges from Norwich and Aston Villa, respectively, while Chelsea claimed a 3-0 win over Newcastle in controversial circumstances.

Liverpool's effort to reach the top four was brought to a grinding halt with a 1-0 defeat at Fulhum who were glad of the three points which lifted them away from the drop zone.

Blackburn's victory over Swansea saw them climb off the foot of the table, while Wigan are back at the bottom after a home drubbing at the hands of Arsenal.

Wolves boosted their hopes of avoiding the drop with a crucial win over Sunderland, while Sunday's other game saw Stoke secure a rare three-point haul at Everton.

The points were shared at Loftus Road as West Brom claimed a 1-1 draw at QPR.

Saturday 3rd December

12.45 - Newcastle (0) 0 Chelsea (1) 3

Chelsea helped alleviate some of the pressure building on manager Andre Villas-Boas following a 3-0 triumph at Newcastle. It could have been a different story at St James' Park had referee Mike Dean issued David Luiz with a red card and not yellow for bringing down Demba Ba as Chelsea's last defender in the opening exchanges. With 11 men the Blues forged ahead through Didier Drogba and gave the scoreline a rather unbalanced look courtesy of late goals from Salomon Kalou and Daniel Sturridge.

Newcastle Ryan Taylor, Lovenkrands (Sammy Ameobi 71), Guthrie, Cabaye, Obertan, Ben Arfa (Shola Ameobi 46), Ba.
Subs Not Used: Harper, Santon, Gosling, Best.

Booked: Simpson, Ryan Taylor.

Chelsea Cech, Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole, Ramires, Romeu, Lampard (Meireles 60), Sturridge, Drogba (Torres 79), Mata (Kalou 74).
Subs Not Used: Turnbull, Malouda, Bosingwa, Bertrand.

Booked: Luiz, Sturridge, Terry.

Goals: Drogba 38, Kalou 89, Sturridge 90.

Att: 52, 305

Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral).

15.00 - Blackburn (2) 4 Swansea (1) 2

Blackburn capitalised on defeats for Wigan and Bolton by jumping two places in 18th thanks to a thrilling 4-2 win over Swansea City, just their second league victory of the season.

Yakubu Aiyegbeni was the star of the show with an incredible four-goal haul, although it was not enough to keep the Ewood Park support at bay as their protests against manager Steve Kean continued.

Leroy Lita cancelled out Yakubu's opener, but the Nigerian added another two to put the home side in control. Luke Moore reduced the arrears, but Yakubu had the final say by converting from the penalty spot minutes after Swansea's Joe Allen picked up a second yellow card.

Blackburn Robinson, Lowe, Samba, Dann, Givet, Rochina (Vukcevic 40), Dunn (Petrovic 75), Pedersen, Hoilett, Formica, Yakubu (Roberts 87).
Subs Not Used: Bunn, Henley, Hanley, Goodwillie.

Booked: Hoilett.

Goals: Yakubu 20, Yakubu 45, Yakubu 57, Yakubu pen 82 .

Swansea Vorm, Richards, Williams, Monk, Taylor, Gower (Moore 61), Dyer (Routledge 46), Britton, Allen, Sinclair, Lita.
Subs Not Used: Tremmel, Dobbie, Bessone, Agustien, Moras.

Sent Off: Allen (81).

Booked: Allen.

Goals: Lita 35, Moore 66.

Att: 23, 080

Ref: Chris Foy (Merseyside).

15.00 - Manchester City (1) 5 Norwich (0) 1

Manchester City ensured they maintained their five-point gap at the top of the Premier League with a 5-1 home win over newly-promoted Norwich City.

The Canaries gave a battling display, but found themselves up against it when they allowed Samir Nasri to score from a free-kick after Sergio Aguero had stabbed the home side in front.

Yaya Toure effectively wrapped up the points with a third, although Norwich did give the travelling faithful something to cheer through Steve Morison's back-post header.

However, City had the final say with a late brace as Mario Balotelli tapped home with his shoulder before Adam Johnson's pin-point effort ended the scoring.

Man City Hart, Richards, Kompany, Toure, Clichy, Silva, Toure Yaya, Barry, Nasri (Johnson 69), Aguero (Balotelli 72), Dzeko (De Jong 82).
Subs Not Used: Pantilimon, Lescott, Milner, Savic.

Goals: Aguero 32, Nasri 51, Toure Yaya 68, Balotelli 88, Johnson 90.

Norwich Ruddy, Naughton, Martin, Barnett, Tierney, Bennett (Holt 60), Crofts, Johnson (Fox 77), Pilkington (Hoolahan 60), Surman, Morison.
Subs Not Used: Rudd, Whitbread, Jackson, Wilbraham.

Booked: Surman.

Goals: Morison 81.

Att: 47, 201

Ref: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire).

15.00 - QPR (1) 1 West Brom (0) 1

QPR are level with Everton on 16 points following a 1-1 home draw with West Brom.

Veteran striker Heidar Helguson is proving the Rs' main striker with a sixth league goal of the campaign after opening the scoring in west London.

However, Neil Warnock's troops were denied a crucial three-point haul after Shane Long finished off a swift counter-attack from the Baggies.

QPR Cerny, Young, Gabbidon, Ferdinand, Traore, Mackie, Barton, Faurlin, Wright-Phillips, Bothroyd (Buzsaky 74), Helguson.
Subs Not Used: Putnins, Orr, Hill, Derry, Taarabt, Smith.

Goals: Helguson 20.

West Brom Foster, Reid, Olsson, McAuley, Shorey, Thomas (Odemwingie 65), Dorrans (Tchoyi 78), Mulumbu (Scharner 83), Morrison, Brunt, Long.
Subs Not Used: Fulop, Dawson, Jones, Cox.

Booked: Long, Thomas, Reid.

Goals: Long 81.

Att: 17, 290

Ref: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).

15.00 - Tottenham (1) 3 Bolton (0) 0

Tottenham made it a sixth successive Premier League victory with a 3-0 triumph at home to Bolton.

Spurs wasted little time forging in front with Gareth Bale guiding home Luka Modric's corner inside the opening 10 minutes.

Wanderers were left with an uphill battle when Gary Cahill was shown a straight red card for bringing down Scott Parker, even though the midfielder was some distance from Jussi Jaaskelainen's goal while team-mates may also have thwarted a goal-scoring opportunity.

Jaaskelainen did his best to keep the home side at bay, although he was unable to prevent second-half goals from Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe.

Tottenham Friedel, Walker, Gallas, Kaboul, Assou-Ekotto, Lennon (Van der Vaart 73), Modric, Parker (Livermore 85), Bale, Adebayor, Defoe.
Subs Not Used: Cudicini, Pavlyuchenko, Bassong, Corluka, Pienaar.

Goals: Bale 7, Lennon 50, Defoe 60.

Bolton Jaaskelainen, Boyata, Cahill, Knight, Mark Davies, Eagles, Muamba (Steinsson 27), Reo-Coker, Robinson, Kevin Davies (Pratley 62), Klasnic (Ngog 72).
Subs Not Used: Bogdan, Sanli, Petrov, Kakuta.

Sent Off: Cahill (18).

Booked: Robinson, Boyata.

Att: 35, 896

Ref: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire).

15.00 - Wigan (0) 0 Arsenal (2) 4

Arsenal's shocking start to the season and the loss of Nasri and Cesc Fabregas seems a distant memory as Arsene Wenger now has his side firing on all cylinders following a 4-0 thumping of Wigan.

The north Londoners never looked back after Ali Al-Habsi allowed Mikel Arteta's long-range short to slip through his fingers. Thomas Vermaelen added a quick-fire second while the Latics were still reeling.

Second-half goals from Gervinho and Robin van Persie confirmed what much of the DW Stadium crowd knew since the half-hour mark.

Wigan Al Habsi, Stam, Gohouri, Caldwell, Figueroa, Diame (McArthur 89), Jones, Gomez (Crusat 59), McCarthy, Moses, Sammon (Di Santo 59).
Subs Not Used: Pollitt, Watson, Rodallega, Lopez.

Booked: Caldwell, Gohouri, Diame.

Arsenal Szczesny, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Andre Santos, Ramsey, Song (Arshavin 80), Arteta, Walcott (Benayoun 80), van Persie, Gervinho (Coquelin 80).
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Djourou, Chamakh.

Booked: Song, Coquelin.

Goals: Arteta 28, Vermaelen 29, Gervinho 61, van Persie 78.

Att: 19, 280

Ref: Mark Clattenburg (Tyne & Wear).

17.30 - Aston Villa (0) 0 Man Utd (1) 1

Sir Alex Ferguson's troops collected the three points in the evening kick-off on Saturday with a 1-0 success that flattered Aston Villa more than anything.

The Red Devils were in complete control throughout with Phil Jones' 20-minute goal deciding the Villa Park clash.

The only worry of note for Ferguson was the early injury sustained to Javier Hernandez and his side's inability to score a second that would have wrapped up the success long before referee Lee Probert blew the full-time whistle.

Aston Villa Given (Guzan 38), Hutton, Collins, Dunne, Warnock, Jenas (Heskey 63), Herd (Petrov 59), Bannan, Albrighton, Bent, Agbonlahor.
Subs Not Used: Ireland, Delph, Clark, Cuellar.

Man Utd Lindegaard, Smalling, Ferdinand (Giggs 64), Vidic, Evra, Jones, Carrick, Nani, Rooney, Young (Welbeck 78), Hernandez (Valencia 12).
Subs Not Used: De Gea, Evans, Park, Fletcher.

Goals: Jones 20.

Att: 40, 053

Ref: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).

Sunday 4th December

15.00 - Everton 0 (0) Stoke (1) 1

Stoke City ended their poor run of form on the back of Europa League outings with a rare victory at Goodison Park.

Robert Huth's close-range effort in the first-half at Everton was the only goal of the game. The Potters had previously lost every game on the back of a European clash this season, a run that ended on Sunday.

That win made it back-to-back Premier League successes for Tony Pulis' side having clinched their first at Goodison for 30 years.

Everton Howard, Hibbert (Gueye 83), Jagielka, Heitinga, Baines, Coleman, Fellaini, Osman, Bilyaletdinov (Rodwell 63), Cahill, Vellios (Stracqualursi 76).
Subs Not Used: Mucha, Distin, Neville, Barkley.

Stoke Sorensen (Begovic 73), Woodgate (Wilkinson 53), Huth, Shawcross, Wilson, Shotton, Whelan, Whitehead, Etherington (Upson 90), Crouch, Walters.
Subs Not Used: Jones, Fuller, Jerome, Palacios.

Booked: Wilson.

Goals: Huth 15.

Att: 33,219

Ref: Lee Mason (Lancashire).

16.00 - Wolves (0) 2 Sunderland (0) 1

Wolves ensured Sunderland's winless streak extended to five matches on Sunday thanks to Steven Fletcher's double.

The Black Cats had more than their fair share of the play, but Sebastian Larsson's penalty miss proved crucial after Kieran Richardson fired the visitors in front.

Wolves levelled almost immediately with Fletcher heading home Matt Jarvis' cross and he added a controversial second that clinched the points after Jamie O'Hara appeared to control the ball with his arm.

Wolverhampton Hennessey, Zubar, Craddock (Johnson 74), Berra, Ward, Jarvis, Edwards, O'Hara, Hunt (Hammill 66), Doyle (Ebanks-Blake 66), Fletcher.
Subs Not Used: De Vries, Elokobi, Stearman, Milijas.

Booked: Zubar, Ebanks-Blake.

Goals: Fletcher 73, Fletcher 81.

Sunderland Westwood, Bardsley, O'Shea, Brown, Richardson, Larsson, Cattermole, Colback, Sessegnon (Noble 87), Ji (Elmohamady 70), Bendtner.
Subs Not Used: Carson, Gardner, Vaughan, Bramble, McClean.

Booked: Cattermole, Richardson, Bendtner.

Goals: Richardson 52.

Att: 25,145

Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

Monday 5th December

20.00 - Fulham (0) 1 Liverpool (0) 0

Liverpool's unbeaten run came to an abrupt halt at Fulham, with a forgettable night seeing them reduced to 10 men in a 1-0 Premier League defeat.

Clint Dempsey grabbed the only goal of the game for the Cottagers, with the hosts able to edge an entertaining encounter that swept from end-to-end.

Jordan Henderson came closest to forcing a breakthrough in the first half, but he saw a dipping effort cannon back off the post.

Liverpool continued to create opportunities after the interval, but saw their cause severely hampered on 72 minutes when Jay Spearing was dismissed for a lunging tackle on Moussa Dembele.

Dempsey then crashed the ball off the crossbar, before Mark Schzwarzer tipped a Stewart Downing effort onto the woodwork at the opposite end of the field.

It appeared as though the spoils would be shared as time ticked down, but Fulham snatched a winner five minutes from time when Jose Reina spilled a shot from Danny Murphy and Dempsey was on hand to turn the ball home from close range.

Fulham Schwarzer, Kelly, Hangeland, Senderos, Riise, Dempsey, Murphy (Gecov 90), Etuhu, Ruiz, Dembele, Zamora (Johnson 71).
Subs Not Used: Etheridge, Kasami, Hughes, Frei, Briggs.

Booked: Dembele, Dempsey, Senderos.

Goals: Dempsey 85.

Liverpool Reina, Johnson, Skrtel, Agger, Jose Enrique, Henderson, Spearing, Adam, Bellamy (Downing 77), Suarez, Carroll (Kuyt 77).
Subs Not Used: Doni, Maxi, Coates, Carragher, Kelly.

Sent Off: Spearing (72).

Booked: Bellamy.

Att: 25,688

Ref: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire).

Source James Pearson at SkySports
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