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Premier League review: 28th November 2012

Last night was a busy one in the Premier League with eight games taking place. Manchester United remained top of the Premier League table, courtesy of a 1-0 victory over West Ham at Old Trafford.

The home side took the lead after just 33 seconds.

Striker Robin van Persie’s effort took a deflection off James Collins, before beating Jussi Jaaskelainen in the Hammers goal. The game petered out after that effort.

The home side dominated possession without looking like they had any cutting edge. The away side offered little going forward and their only real threat came from set-pieces. The victory leaves United a point clear of arch-rivals Manchester City at the top of the table.

The champions also claimed victory, defeating Wigan 2-0 at the DW Stadium. The game was a tight affair and could have gone either way until the 68th minute when City took the lead. Wigan keeper Ali Al Habsi spilled an effort from Gareth Barry and mercurial striker Mario Balotelli fired home at the second attempt.

City secured three points with a superb powerfully struck effort from second half substitute James Milner. The victory kept City on the coattails of their city-rivals Manchester United.

Chelsea drew 0-0 for the second consecutive week, this time with Fulham at Stamford Bridge. The game was a rather forgettable affair. Fernando Torres missed Chelsea’s best chance, while John Arne Riise missed a superb opportunity for the visitors.

The point moved Chelsea above West Brom into third place in the Premier League table, but the draw leaves them seven points behind league leaders Manchester United.

Champions League hopefuls Everton and Arsenal drew 1-1 at Goodison Park. The Gunners took the lead after just 53 seconds, Theo Walcott’s clipped finished deflecting past Tim Howard via Toffees defender Tony Hibbert.

Everton came back into the game and equalised in the 28th minute. In-form Belgian star Marouane Fellaini curled home a superb effort from the edge of the penalty area to restore parity. Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny produced a superb save from Everton centre-back Sylvain Distin in the second half to deny the home side all three points.

The draw means that both sides dropdown the league table. Everton are now sixth and Arsenal seventh in the Premier League.

Tottenham moved above both sides to fifth with a 2-1 victory over Liverpool at White Hart Lane. Tottenham took an early lead through a simple finish from Aaron Lennon, after a good run from fellow winger Gareth Bale.

Bale doubled the home side’s advantage on 16 minutes. The Welsh star’s free-kick took a deflection to beat Pepe Reina in the Liverpool goal. Bale was even involved in Liverpool’s goal on 72 minutes, as Aaron Lennon’s clearance hit the Welsh in the face and found its way past his own keeper.

Southampton and Norwich drew 1-1 in a clash of two of the leagues form teams. The Saints took the lead in controversial style, as Rickie Lambert stabbed home from close-range after appearing to handle the ball.

The visitors levelled the scores just before half-time though, Robert Snodgrass’ tame free-kick beating Paulo Gazzaniga in the Saints goal. The point wasn’t enough to take Southampton out of the relegation zone. The Canaries are now seven matches unbeaten in the top flight.

Stoke came back from a goal down to defeat Newcastle 2-1 at the Britannia Stadium. The first half was poor, but it took Newcastle just two minutes of the second half to open the scoring. Striker Papiss Cisse scored from close-range after Asmir Begovic had spilled Demba Ba’s long-range effort.

The home side equalised on 81 minutes, Jonathan Walters heading home superbly from Cameron Jerome’s cross. Substitute Jerome was involved in the winner as well, the striker firing low past Tim Krul from a knockdown by fellow substitute Kenwyne Jones.

The victory moved Stoke up to ninth in the Premier League table. The visitors are now just four points above the relegation zone.

Premier League surprise-package West Brom suffered a surprise 3-1 defeat at Swansea City. The Swans took the lead on nine minutes, top scorer Michu scoring from close-range after the ball was pulled back to him by compatriot Pablo Hernandez.

Swansea had a degree of fortune in doubling their lead on 11 minutes. Jonas Olsson attempted to clear a Hernandez cross, only for the ball to rebound off Wayne Routledge and into the Baggies net.

Swansea were three goals up before the interval, Ben Davies’ cross being finished off by Wayne Routledge. West Brom pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time through an effort by Romelu Lukaku, from a Chris Brunt corner kick.

The second half was a quieter affair and Swansea claimed maximum points. The victory moved Swansea up to eighth in the Premier League table. Meanwhile the visitors dropped down to fourth.

Can Mario Balotelli hold down a regular starting place at Manchester City?

Thu 29 November, 2012
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