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Premiership MatchDay 17 Review

last updated Tuesday 18th December 2012, 12:54 PM

Saturday in Premier League Match Day 17

Manchester United maintained their six-point lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League with a 3-1 win over Sunderland at Old Trafford.

Premiership Results
Saturday 15th December 2012
KO Home   Away Ref TV
12:45 Newcastle 1-3 Man City A Marriner Sky2
15:00 Liverpool 1-3 Aston Villa N Swarbrink  
15:00 Man Utd 3-1 Sunderland C Foy  
15:00 Norwich 2-1 Wigan L Probert  
15:00 QPR 2-1 Fulham M Atkinson  
15:00 Stoke 1-1 Everton M Halsey  
Sunday 16th December 2012
13:30 Tottenham 1-0 Swansea M Dean Sky1
16:00 West Brom 0-0 West Ham P Dowd Sky1
Monday 17th December 2012
20:00 Reading 2-5 Arsenal A Taylor Sky1
Man City bounced back to winning ways against Newcastle after last weekend's derby defeat.Sergio Aguero and Javi Garcia netted before half-time and, while Demba Ba continued his scoring streak after 51 minutes, Yaya Toure made the points safe for the visitors late on.

QPR hauled themselves off the foot of the table with a belated first win of the season - 2-1 over Fulham. Mladen Petric pulled a goal back two minutes from time but it served only to make QPR sweat.

Aston Villa produced the shock of the day as they thumped Liverpool 3-1 at Anfield. Christian Benteke struck twice, either side of an Andreas Weimann goal, to inflict a first home loss on the Reds in six.

Premiership table - after 17th Dec 2012
Pos Team Pld W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 Man Utd 17 7 0 1 22 10 7 0 2 21 14 19 42
2 Man City 17 6 2 1 21 9 4 4 0 12 6 18 36
3 Chelsea 16 4 3 1 14 7 4 2 2 14 10 11 29
4 Tottenham 17 5 2 2 14 10 4 0 4 16 15 5 29
5 Arsenal 17 4 2 2 18 10 3 4 2 13 8 13 27
6 Everton 17 4 4 0 14 9 2 5 2 14 12 7 27
7 West Brom 17 6 1 2 14 6 2 2 4 10 15 3 27
8 Norwich 17 5 2 1 10 8 1 5 3 9 17 -6 25
9 Stoke 17 4 4 0 8 3 1 5 3 7 10 2 24
10 Swansea 17 3 4 2 16 14 3 1 4 10 8 4 23
11 West Ham 17 4 3 2 16 10 2 2 4 5 10 1 23
12 Liverpool 17 3 3 3 10 10 2 4 2 13 13 0 22
13 Fulham 17 4 1 3 15 11 1 4 4 13 18 -1 20
14 Aston Villa 17 2 4 2 8 8 2 2 5 7 16 -9 18
15 Newcastle 17 4 1 4 11 12 0 4 4 8 14 -7 17
16 Sunderland 17 2 3 3 9 10 1 4 4 9 14 -6 16
17 Southampton 16 3 3 3 14 12 1 0 6 8 20 -10 15
18 Wigan 17 2 3 4 13 17 2 0 6 5 15 -14 15
19 QPR 17 1 4 3 7 14 0 3 6 8 16 -15 10
20 Reading 17 1 4 3 14 19 0 2 7 7 17 -15 9
Kenwyne Jones scored his first league goal in more than a year as Stoke battled back to draw 1-1 at home to Everton. In-form Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini could find himself in hot water after he appeared to headbutt Shawcross during the second half, with referee Mark Halsey missing the incident.

Wes Hoolahan marked his new Norwich contract with the match-winner in a 2-1 success over Wigan.

Sunday in Premier League Match Day 17

Jan Vertonghen propelled Tottenham into the top four of the Barclays Premier League with a second-half strike that earned his side a 1-0 win over Swansea.

West Brom failed to join Spurs on 29 points after being held to a dire goalless draw by West Ham at The Hawthorns.

Monday in Premier League Match Day 17

Arsenal relieved the pressure on Arsene Wenger with what, in the end, was a routine victory.

Wenger has rarely been under more pressure during his 16 years as Arsenal manager as he was during the run up to this game but at half-time it looked as if all his problems had been washed away as his side led 3-0.

Lukas Podolski hit the first and Santi Cazorla hit two to give them a healthy advantage. And when Cazorla scored their fourth - his hat-trick goal - it looked as if the Gunners would rack up a cricket score.

But Adam Le Fondre and Jimmy Kebe scored for Reading and suddenly Arsenal were edgy however, Theo Walcott scored a fifth for the visitors and Wenger could breathe a sigh of relief.

Saturday 15th December 2012

12:45 - (0) 1 Newcastle v Manchester City (2) 3  - Sky2

Manchester City briefly closed to within three points of United, with a 3-1 victory over Newcastle United in the lunchtime kick-off suggesting they have got derby heartache out of their system.

Roberto Mancini would have been looking for a positive response from his side, and he got one against an out-of-sorts Newcastle outfit that has now suffered six defeats in seven.

Sergio Aguero broke the deadlock at St James' Park with just 10 minutes on the clock, tapping home after Samir Nasri had been freed into space by an exquisite through-ball from Yaya Toure.

City doubled their lead on 39 minutes, with Davide Santon only succeeding in sending a Javi Garcia header into the back of his own net when attempting to clear on the line.

Newcastle grabbed a lifeline six minutes into the second half when Demba Ba beat the offside trap to nod past Joe Hart, but City restored their two-goal lead on 78 minutes when Pablo Zabaleta crossed for Yaya Toure to prod past Tim Krul.

Newcastle: Krul, Simpson (Ferguson 83), Williamson, Coloccini, Santon, Perch, Tiote (Marveaux 75), Anita, Gutierrez, Cisse (Shola Ameobi 79), Ba.
Subs not used: Elliot, Bigirimana, Sammy Ameobi, Tavernier.

Booked: Simpson, Williamson, Perch.

Goal: Ba 51.

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Nastasic, K Toure, Clichy, Silva, Javi Garcia, Y Toure, Nasri (Kolarov 37 (Dzeko 72), Aguero, Tevez (Lescott 79).
Subs not used: Pantilimon, Sinclair, Rekik, Razak.

Booked: K Toure, Aguero.

Goals: Aguero 10, Garcia 39.

Referee: Andre Marriner.

Attendance: 49,579

15:00 - (0) 1 Liverpool v Aston Villa (2) 3

Liverpool bossed possession during a home date with Aston Villa, but were left to pick the bones out of a 3-1 defeat at the final whistle.

The Reds failed to make the most of the opportunities which came their way during the opening half-an-hour and were made to pay on 29 minutes when an ambitious 25-yard drive from Christian Benteke skipped off the turf and in off the inside of the post.

Andres Weimann almost made it two moments later, as he lobbed onto the roof of the net, but five minutes before half-time he got his goal, with a brilliant back-heel from Benteke allowing him to sweep into the net.

Villa were in dreamland, with their record at Anfield making for dismal reading, and things got even better on 51 minutes when Martin Skrtel backed off Benteke into his own box and the in-form striker was left with the simplest of tasks of firing past Jose Reina.

Steven Gerrard glanced in a consolation for Liverpool three minutes from time, but it was an afternoon to forget for Brendan Rodgers and his troops.

Liverpool: Reina, Johnson, Agger, Skrtel, Gerrard, Downing, Lucas (Henderson 60), Allen, Sterling, Shelvey (Cole 46), Suarez,
Subs not used: Jones, Coates, Carragher, Wisdom, Suso.

Booked: Suarez.

Goal: Gerrard 87.

Aston Villa: Guzan, Clark, Lichaj, Baker, Lowton, Westwood, Bannan (El Ahmadi 85), Herd, Holman (Delph 69), Benteke, Weimann (N'Zogbia 90).
Subs not used: Given, Bennett, Albrighton, Bowery Booked: Lowton, Benteke.

Goals: Benteke 29, 51, Weimann 40.

Referee: Neil Swarbrick.

Attendance: 44,607

15:00 - (2) 3 Manchester United v Sunderland (0) 1

Manchester United made it five straight wins in comprehensive style as they proved far too strong for inconsistent Sunderland at Old Trafford.

The table-topping Red Devils never looked like allowing the chasing pack to close in, with a 3-1 victory all but wrapped up before half-time.

Sunderland were able to keep United at bay for 16 minutes, but two goals in the space of three minutes ended any hope they had of springing a surprise.

Ashley Young's persistence paved the way for United's opener, while a poor clearance from former United defender John O'Shea presented Robin van Persie with the type of opportunity he rarely wastes.

With Sunderland rocking, Tom Cleverley made it two with a sublime finish. The England midfielder played a neat one-two on the edge of the box before bending the ball past Simon Mignolet and into the corner of the net.

Wayne Rooney was desperate to get in on the act after the break and he hit the crossbar before adding a third shortly before the hour mark, with a drilled cross from Van Persie ricocheting in off his shins.

Ex-United striker Fraizer Campbell stepped off the bench to nod in a reply for Sunderland on 72 minutes, but the Red Devils were well out of sight by then.

Man Utd: De Gea, Jones, Smalling, Ferdinand (Vidic 68), Evra, Valencia, Carrick (Scholes 46), Cleverley (Giggs 73), Young, Rooney, Van Persie.
Subs not used: Lindegaard, Hernandez, Welbeck, Fletcher.

Goals: Van Persie 16, Cleverley 19, Rooney 59.

Sunderland: Mignolet, Cuellar, Colback (McFadden 85), O'Shea, Bramble, Larsson, Gardner, Johnson (Campbell 68), McClean, Sessegnon, Fletcher (Wickham 46).
Subs not used: Westwood, Kilgallon, Vaughan, Saha.

Goal: Campbell 72.

Referee: Chris Foy.

Attendance: 75,582.

15:00 - (1) 2 Norwich v Wigan (0) 1

Norwich City made it 10 games unbeaten in Premier League competition with a 2-1 victory over Wigan Athletic, who remain inside the relegation zone.

Anthony Pilkington was the star of the show for the Canaries, with his well-struck opener on 15 minutes beating Latics keeper Ali Al Habsi for pace.

Pilkington then went on to miss a sitter, and saw Shaun Maloney level matters early in the second half with a fierce drive from the edge of the box.

Pilkington was, however, able to help Norwich edge back in front on 64 minutes, with his cross nodded home powerfully by Wes Hoolahan.

Norwich: Bunn, Whittaker, Turner, Bassong, Garrido, Snodgrass, Tettey, Johnson, Pilkington (E Bennett 90), Hoolahan (Howson 84), Holt (Morison 90).
Subs not used: Rudd, Martin, Howson, Jackson, Morison, E Bennett, Barnett.

Booked: Bassong, Johnson, Pilkington.

Goals: Pilkington 15, Hoolahan 64.

Wigan: Al Habsi, Boyce, Lopez, Figueroa, Stam, McArthur, McCarthy (Jones 46), Beausejour, Kone, Gomez (Maloney 46), Boselli (Di Santo 72).
Subs not used: Pollitt, Jones, Di Santo, Maloney, McManaman, Fyvie, Golobart.

Booked: Lopez.

Goal: Maloney 51.

Att: 26,677.

Ref: Lee Probert (Wiltshire).

15:00 - (0) 2 QPR v Fulham (0) 1

Queens Park Rangers finally had something to cheer on Saturday, with a 2-1 victory over capital rivals Fulham getting a serious monkey off their back.

It looked as though it may be another one of those days for Harry Redknapp's side early on, with Jamie Mackie rolling wide of the target after collecting a blind back-pass from John Arne Riise.

Their luck turned, though, on 52 minutes when Adel Taarabt underlined how important he could be to QPR in their basement battle.

He strode forward from midfield and saw a dragged shot from 25 yards take a wicked deflection off Brede Hangeland, leaving Mark Schwarzer wrong-footed.

The Moroccan was now in the mood to open his box of tricks, and on 68 minutes he broke through Hangeland before bending an effort from the edge of the box into the bottom corner with the outside of his right boot.

Mladen Petric lashed home a reply for Fulham, via the aid of a deflection, two minutes from the end, setting up a nervy finish, but the hosts held on to clamber off the foot of the division.

QPR: Green, Traore, Hill, Nelsen, Onuoha, Faurlin, Mbia, Wright-Phillips (Da Silva 85), Taarabt, Cisse (Ferdinand 90), Mackie.
Subs Not Used: Julio Cesar, Diakite, Derry, Granero, Hoilett. Booked: Taarabt.

Goals: Taarabt 52, 68.

Fulham: Schwarzer,Riether (Kelly 46), Hangeland, Hughes, Riise, Duff, Sidwell, Baird, Richardson (Petric 63), Berbatov, Rodallega (Dejagah 72).
Subs Not Used: Etheridge, Senderos, Karagounis, Kacaniklic. Booked: Sidwell, Dejagah.

Goals: Petric 88.

Att: 18,233.

Ref: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire)

15:00 - (0) 1 Stoke v Everton (1) 1

Everton continue to sit inside the top four, but missed the opportunity to cement a UEFA Champions League standing after being held to a 1-1 draw at Stoke City.

The Toffees went in front at the Britannia Stadium, but were unable to build on that advantage and will consider themselves fortunate to have ended the game with 11 men.

Ryan Shawcross inadvertently put through his own net to open the scoring, with the Stoke skipper getting his head to a Steven Pienaar cross and looping the ball over Asmir Begovic.

The Potters have proven that they are about much more than route one football in recent times, but it was that approach which got them back into the game on 52 minutes.

Shawcross hung a high ball into the penalty area and Kenwyne Jones rose to divert a header past Tim Howard.

That was to be the end of the scoring, but Marouane Fellaini provided another major talking point when he clashed with Shawcross and the Belgian will have to wait and see if he is stung with retrospective punishment for a clear butt on the Stoke defender.

Stoke: Begovic, Wilkinson, Shawcross, Huth, Cameron, Walters, Whelan, N'Zonzi, Etherington (Kightly 84), Adam (Jerome 72), Jones (Crouch 76).
Subs not used: Sorensen, Palacios, Whitehead, Upson.

Goals: Jones 52

Booked: Begovic

Everton: Howard, Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines, Naismith (Barkley 69), Osman, Gibson, Pienaar, Fellaini, Jelavic.

Subs not used: Mucha, Heitinga, Oviedo, Hitzlsperger, Vellios, Duffy.

Goals: Shawcross (o.g) 36

Att: 27,008.

Referee: Mark Halsey

Sunday 16 December 2012

13:30 - (0) 1 Tottenham v Swansea (0) 0 - Sky1

Jan Vertonghen propelled Tottenham into the top four of the Barclays Premier League with a second-half strike that finally broke stubborn Swansea.

The Belgium defender fired his first league goal for Spurs following his £12million move from Ajax when he showed composure to sweep a free-kick from Kyle Walker past Gerhard Tremmel.

It was the reward Tottenham deserved after controlling a disappointing encounter at White Hart Lane that failed to match expectations before exploding into acrimony deep into injury time.

Swansea striker Michu was caught by Hugo Lloris as the goalkeeper punched the ball clear and fell heavily to the floor.

While those players closest to the stricken Michu furiously waved to the touchline for medical assistance, Spurs played on through substitute Andros Townsend.

Incensed by Townsend's perceived lack of sportsmanship, defender Chico Flores confronted the forward and several Spurs players and was only placated when his Spanish compatriot Michu climbed to his feet.

Sorely missing the penetration of the injured Gareth Bale, Spurs struggled to break down opposition that defended stoutly without offering much threat themselves.

Tottenham: Lloris, Walker, Gallas, Vertonghen, Naughton, Lennon, Sandro, Dembele (Parker 90), Dempsey (Sigurdsson 70), Adebayor (Townsend 72), Defoe.

Subs not used: Friedel, Huddlestone, Livermore, Caulker.

Booked: Dembele, Defoe, Livermore.

Goal: Vertonghen 75.

Swansea: Tremmel, Tiendalli, Chico, Williams, Davies, Britton, Ki (Moore 75), Dyer (Graham 87), de Guzman (Agustien 60), Routledge, Michu.

Subs not used: Cornell, Monk, Shechter, Richards.

Booked: Chico, Dyer, De Guzman.

Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral).

Att: 35,783

16:00 - (0) 0 West Brom v West Ham (0) 0 - Sky1

James Morrison was twice denied by the woodwork but West Brom failed to score for a third successive game in a dire stalemate with West Ham.

The Baggies at least had the consolation of ending a run of three successive defeats and maintained their place in the top six.

But Sam Allardyce's side were worth a share of the spoils in a game which seldom moved out of second gear.

Morrison posed Albion's most creative threat despite operating in a deeper role in the absence of the injured Claudio Yacob.

But the Hammers showed plenty of resilience with central defender James Collins a rock solid performer.

The home players wore black armbands in tribute to long-serving club masseur Derrick Jones who died earlier this week.

West Ham were only able to field six substitutes due to their current injury crisis after Mohamed Diame was ruled out with a hamstring injury.

West Brom: Myhill, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Popov, Brunt, Morrison, Mulumbu, Gera (Lukaku 75), Odemwingie, Long (Rosenberg 83).
Subs: Daniels, Dorrans, Lukaku, Dawson, Tamas, Fortune.

Booked: Jones, Mulumbu, Olsson.

West Ham: Jaaskelainen, Demel (Tomkins 81), Reid, Collins, O'Brien, Noble, O'Neil, Jarvis (Maiga 76), Nolan, Taylor, Cole.
Subs: Spiegel, Spence, Moncur, Lletget.

Booked: O'Brien, Tomkins, Nolan.

Attendance: 24,186.

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire). k

Monday 17th December 2012

20:00 - (0) 2 Reading v Arsenal (3) 5 - Sky1

Santi Cazorla helped himself to a hat-trick as Arsenal closed up on the top four of the Barclays Premier League with a 5-2 win at bottom club Reading.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger had called for a response following last week's shock Capital One Cup penalty shoot-out defeat at Bradford - and got it tonight as the visitors surged into a 3-0 half-time lead following Lukas Podolski's well-taken goal and a brace from Cazorla.

The Spaniard completed his treble on the hour, and although the Royals rallied with goals from substitute Adam Le Fondre and Jimmy Kebe, Arsenal made sure there would be no late drama when contract rebel Theo Walcott slotted in a fifth with 10 minutes left to close within two points of Tottenham.

Reading: Federici, Cummings, Gorkss, Mariappa, Shorey, McAnuff, Leigertwood, Tabb, Kebe (McCleary 74), Hunt (Robson-Kanu 61), Pogrebnyak (Le Fondre 61).
Subs: Taylor, Gunter, Pearce, Harte.

Goals: Le Fondre 66, Kebe 71.

Booked: McAnuff

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla (Coquelin 83), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Ramsey 74), Walcott (Giroud 85), Podolski.
Subs: Mannone, Koscielny, Rosicky, Gervinho.

Goals: Podolski 14, Cazorla 32, 34, 60, Walcott 80.

Booked: Wilshere

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)

Attendance: 24,125

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