Chelsea hang on to the top spot as the chasing pack keep up the pressure in this week’s Premier League. Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool all score wins while Tottenham Hotspur and Everton slip up.
José Mourinho's home league record is now 74 games unbeaten.
A last minute winner gave Chelsea all 3 points to remain top of the league as Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool all register wins to stay in touch.
Champions League chasers, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton both slipped up as Manchester United won away from home to turn up the heat in the 3 way battle for the elite European placings.
Wayne Rooney also hit headlines after signing a £300,000 a week contract with the Manchester club.
Chelsea 1 Everton 0 – 12.45pm KO, Saturday
Skipper John Terry scored an emphatic stoppage time goal to clinch the kind of victory Champions are made of. For all of Everton’s hard work and endeavour, the deserved point was not won and the Blues headed back to Merseyside without anything to show for their efforts.
Chelsea’s 12th home league win from 14 keeps them a point clear at the top and firmly in the driving seat. Although not a classic Chelsea performance against a well organised Everton side, the league leaders didn’t have much to show.
It took a perfect free kick by Frank Lampard which Terry bundled in to secure the points and throw the gauntlet down to the rest.
José Mourinho’s home league record is now 74 games unbeaten as Chelsea boss.
Arsenal 4 Sunderland 1 – 3pm KO, Saturday
An Olivier Giroud brace set Arsenal off for a convincing win at the Emirates, by putting the home side 2 up just after the half hour mark. Tomáš Rosický got involved in the action, by finishing a neat passing move to make it 3-0 before the break.
Sunderland had very little to offer in the first half, but got into their flow in the 2nd half just as Arsenal took their foot off the gas. Frenchman Laurent Koscielny got Arsenal’s 4th with an unmarked header from a corner.
The only downside to Arsenal’s performance was the end of a run of 5 home clean sheets when Emanuele Giaccherini pulled one back for a consolation 9 minutes from time.
The match was a perfect response from Arsenal after their midweek Champions League loss to Bayern Munich, while Sunderland now look forward to a Capital One League Cup final at Wembley next weekend with Manchester City.
A much happier Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger said:
“We are still there in the table. It is down to consistency and our performances. It was important to win the game. We lost to Liverpool and drew with Manchester United. We needed to win this game.”
Manchester City 1 Stoke City 0 – 3pm KO, Saturday
Knowing that title rivals Chelsea had won earlier in the day during their lunchtime kick off, the pressure was on Manchester City to keep up their title charge and nothing less than a win would have sufficed.
Stoke had set their stall up well to frustrate their hosts and were doing a fine job got most of the game, taking the match to a deadlock at half time.
With 20 minutes remaining however, City’s talisman Yaya Touré stepped up to finish a chance that was created after some good work between Samir Nasri and Aleksandar Kolarov.
Not a convincing win for the home side, but a win nonetheless, much needed after their midweek home defeat to Barcelona. A break from league action next weekend sees Manchester City pitted against Sunderland in Capital One League Cup final at Wembley.
Crystal Palace 0 Manchester United 2 – 5.30pm KO, Saturday
Champions Manchester United celebrated securing Wayne Rooney on a long term contract by defeating Crystal Palace 2-0 away from home.
After a solid defence from Crystal Palace in the first half, Manchester United eventually capitalised on their chances and Palace failed to keep up the momentum.
United ended their 3 game losing streak with two goals after half-time. Robin Van Persie scored first at 62 minutes from a penalty kick, and Rooney showed his money’s worth with a second goal for the winning team at 68 minutes.
Rooney has just signed a 5 year contract with the club which sees him earning £300,000 a week. Manager David Moyes was all praise for the striker saying:
“I’ve never had any worries about Wayne. His was one of some really good performances. He scored a very good goal and some of his passing was great.”
Liverpool 4 Swansea 3 – 1.30pm KO, Sunday
The pressure was all on Liverpool to clinch 3 home points after seeing their title rivals all win during the weekend.
The home side had the perfect start when the in-form Daniel Sturridge struck in as early as the 3rd minute. Jordan Henderson then doubled Liverpool’s lead with 20 minutes gone. The home side were coasting, but not for the first time took their foot off the gas and paid the price.
Former Liverpool man, Jonjo Shelvey pulled one back 3 minutes later, before his team mate, Wilfried Bony stunned the hosts with an equaliser 4 minutes later.
Sturridge struck again 9 minutes before the break to make it 3-2 at half time. Swansea came out in the 2nd half with a renewed optimism and got their rewards when they won a penalty. Bony took the spot kick and equalised again.
At 3-3, the visitors were deserved of their point, although Henderson had other ideas. His shot in the 74th minute was parried by the Goalkeeper before Henderson followed up and buried the ball in the back of the net to make it 4-3.
A tense finish for the home side as the visitors pushed, but time ran out and the Reds got the 3 points that they so needed.
Elsewhere, Southampton’s unimpressive away form continued as they lost 3-1 at West Ham. Cardiff were humbled 4-0 at home to Hull as Newcastle and Norwich secured 1-0 home wins against Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur.
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