Premier League Review
Reading earned their first Premier League away win of the season after coming from behind to beat Newcastle at St James’ Park. Manchester City comfortably beat Fulham at the Etihad Stadium to close the gap on rivals United to just four points, while Liverpool strengthened their case for a European push in the second half of the season by putting five past Norwich without reply at Anfield.
Newcastle United 1-2 Reading: Adam Le Fondre came off the bench to score twice in six, second half minutes to earn Reading their first away win of the season and dump more pressure on Newcastle boss Alan Pardew. The Magpies boss was left facing a chorus of boos at the final whistle after his side slumped to another worrying home defeat. It all looked rosy for the hosts Yohan Cabaye’s sumptuous free kick gave them a deserved half time lead. However, the game would then be decided by two changes from either boss with Pardew’s withdrawal of Sylvain Marveaux and then Cabaye stifling his teams momentum, much to the dissatisfaction of the home crowd. That played into Brian McDermott’s hands and Le Fondre bundled home within a minute of his introduction before he squeezed the ball past Tim Krul from Hope Akpan miscued shot.
Liverpool 5-0 Norwich City: Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge both started and scored for Liverpool as they intensified their push for European football with a resounding win over Norwich at Anfield. Brendan Rodgers’ men produced arguably their best performance of the season and Jordan Henderson got the ball rolling in the 26th minute with a thumping volley from 20-yards that beat Mark Bunn. Suarez doubled the lead 10 minutes later, slotting home after a dummy from Sturridge. And just before the hour the Reds’ newest recruit opened his Anfield account as he tapped in from Stewart Downing’s low cross, before Steven Gerrard rifled home from 25-yards. The Canaries misery was complete 15 minutes from time when Ryan Bennett put through his own net to make it five defeats from six for Chris Hughton.
Manchester City 2-0 Fulham: David Silva scored either side of half time to earn Manchester City an easy victory over Fulham and move them to within four points of league leaders Manchester United. The Spanish schemer was quick out of the blocks for the home side and had the ball in the net after just 95 seconds, converting from close range after Edin Dzeko’s 25-yard shot was parried into his path by Mark Schwarzer. The Cottagers dug their heels in after that but were undone again in the 69th minute when he latched onto Gael Clichy’s pass and dinked the ball over a helpless Schwarzer.
Wigan Athletic 2-3 Sunderland: Steven Fletcher struck twice for Sunderland as they came from behind to beat Wigan at the DW Stadium. The travelling Black Cats supporters were stunned into silence after David Vaughan’s own goal gave the Latics a fourth minute lead but James McCarthy’s handball allowed Craig Gardner to put them back on level terms from the penalty spot just after the quarter hour. Fletcher then struck his first of the afternoon three minutes later despite needing two bites of the cherry to score from close range and made it 3-1 with an instinctive strike from the edge of the area that nestled sweetly in the top corner. Angelo Henrique headed home Shaun Maloney’s cross 10 minutes from time to set up a grandstand finish but the visitors held on.
West Bromwich Albion 2-2 Aston Villa: Peter Odemwingie scored seven minutes from time to rescue a point for West Brom in an entertaining West Midlands derby against Aston Villa at the Hawthorns. Christian Benteke thumped Villa into the lead with a brilliant turn and strike after 12 minutes and that lead was doubled when Gabriel Agbonlahor finished cooly past Ben Foster just after the half hour. Steve Clarkes men responded valiantly and halved the deficit four minutes after the break through captain Chris Brunt’s sidefoot finish from 20-yard that clipped the post on the way in. And the turnaround was completed by Peter Odemwingie seven minutes from time, the Nigerian neatly turning inside the six-yard box and hammering the ball past Brad Guzan.
Swansea City 3-1 Stoke City: Jonathan De Guzman was the unlikely hero for Swansea as he scored twice to secure victory over Stoke at the Liberty Stadium. After a goalless first half Ben Davies broke the deadlock four minutes after the break with a cool finish past Asmir Begovic to notch his first senior strike for the Swans. De Guzman scored his first just before the hour, curling a measured free kick into the net before putting the finishing touches to a sweeping move to make it 3-0. Michael Owen nodded in a consolation scored with a from six yards in the final minute but it was too little, too late for the Potters.
West Ham United 1-1 QPR: Loic Remy scored on his QPR debut but was denied a winning start afer Joe The French attacker, who signed for £8 million from Marseille earlier in the week, took just 14 minutes to open his account with a composed finish past Jussi Jaaskelainen after latching on to Adel Taarabt’s pass. But the Premier League’s bottom club were denied a vital victory when Cole turned home a loose ball from two yards to earn the Hammers a point with 20 minutes left.