The Premier League round-up
Emmanuel Adebayor went from hero to zero for Tottenham after his red card opened the door for former club Arsenal to storm to victory in the North London derby. The Togo striker had earlier given Spurs the lead before receiving his marching orders for a lunging tackle on Santi Cazorla.
That opened the flood gates and Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud all struck before the half time whistle to send the Gunners into the break 3-1 ahead. Cazorla added a fourth on the hour mark before Gareth Bale reduced the arrears 11 minutes later. But Theo Walcott would have the final say as he capped off a fine afternoon’s work, firing home a fifth goal to lift Arsene Wenger’s men above their capital neighbours in the table.
Norwich pulled off the shock of the day as they registered their fourth home win on the spin to beat Manchester United at Carrow Road. Former United trainee delivered the hammer blow on the hour mark, losing marker Chris Smalling before sending a looping header over Anders Lindegaard and into the net. Try as they might the visitors couldn’t find a way past John Ruddy in the home goal as they succumbed to only their second defeat to the Canaries in 15 Premier League meetings.
And neighbours City took full advantage as they stole top spot with a thumping 5-0 win over struggling Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium. David Silva got the ball rolling, bundling home the opening goal two minutes before half time before Sergio Aguero calmly slotted home from the spot after Andreas Weimann’s handball. Barry Bannan was punished for a similar misdemeanour in the 65th minute, Carlos Tevez this time converting from 12-yards before Aguero put the finishing touches to a swift counter attack two minutes later. And 16 minutes from time Tevez completed the scoring by tapping home Samir Nasri’s low cross.
West Brom continued their fine start to the season with a surprise win against title chasing Chelsea at the Hawthorns. Roberto Di Matteo’s first return to the West Midland’s didn’t go to plan as former Blues coach Steve Clarke guided the Baggies to a memorable victory and into a Champions League place. Shane Long’s close range header on 10 minutes gave the home side the lead but a period of sustained possession finally produced an equaliser six minutes before the break, courtesy of Eden Hazard nodding home Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross. However the visitors fell behind again just after the break as Peter Odemwingie converted what proved to be the winning goal from Long’s near-post delivery.
Luis Suarez continued his fine form, scoring twice for Liverpool as they easily beat Wigan at Anfield. The Uruguay international was linked with a move to Manchester City during the week but reaffirmed his commitment to Reds with a virtuoso display that saw him open the scoring two minutes after the break, firing the ball high past Ali Al-Habsi following good work from Raheem Sterling. And just before the hour he netted his second of the game and 13th of the season, poking the ball home after latching on to Jose Enriques pass. The Spanish defender then got in on the act, notching his first for the club five minutes later to round off an impressive victory.
QPR’s woes deepened as they made it 12 games without a Premier League victory after losing against bottom three dwellers Southampton at Loftus Road. The pressure is now beginning to build on Mark Hughes to turn around Rangers’ fortunes and they faced another uphill battle after Rickie Lambert broke the deadlock in the 23rd minute to put the Saints in front. That was doubled in first half stoppage time as Jason Puncheon fired home. After being booed off at the break the hosts responded and four minutes after the restart Junior Hoilett nodded in from Adel Taarabt’s pinpoint delivery. But any hopes of nicking a point were extinguished seven minutes from time as Anton Ferdinand turned Morgan Schneiderlin’s cross into his own net.
Fellow basement boys Reading finally ended their long search for a top-flight victory, coming from a goal behind to beat Everton 2-1 at the Madjeski Stadium. It appeared to be service as normal for the Royals as a comedy of defensive errors led to Steven Naismith poking the ball into the net to give the visitors a 10th minute lead. It wasn’t until the second half that the Royals started to threaten the Toffees goal and equalised through Adam Le Fondre brilliant header in the 51st minute. And the former Rotherham striker proved to be the match winner for the home side, beating Tim Howard from the penalty spot 11 minutes from time after being fouled by Seamus Coleman in the box.
Swansea took advantage of Newcastle’s poor form to consign Alan Pardew’s men to a second successive defeat at St James’ Park and lift themselves into the top half of the table. Michael Laudrup’s side were by far the better team on Tyneside but had to wait until the 58th minute before breaking the deadlock. A woeful clearance from Tim Krul fell to Pablo Hernandez, who crossed for Michu to head past the Holland keeper. The victory was wrapped up with three minutes remaining as Jonathan De Guzman smashed home after Krul had parried substitute Danny Graham’s striker, before Demba Ba headed a consolation for the Magpies in injury time.