Saturday 31 December 2011

Barclays Premier League New Year's Eve round-up

Aston Villa come from behind to beat Chelsea, while Arsenal move into top four

Stephen Ireland scored the equalising goal for Aston Villa

Chelsea 1-3 Aston Villa

Stilyan Petrov and Darren Bent scored in the closing stages to earn Aston Villa a dramatic win at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues took the lead through a Didier Drogba penalty after the Ivorian striker had been fouled by Richard Dunne.

Villa levelled five minutes later through Stephen Ireland before Petrov and Bent sealed a notable scalp for Alex McLeish's side in the final 10 minutes.

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Arsenal 1-0 QPR

Robin van Persie's 35th Barclays Premier League goal of 2011 sealed victory for Arsenal.

The Dutch forward fired home to earn the win that sees Arsenal move above Chelsea and into the top four.

Van Persie fell just one short of Alan Shearer's record for Barclays Premier League goals in a calendar year.

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Bolton 1-1 Wolves

Steven Fletcher earned Wolves a draw at Bolton that sent the Trotters to the bottom of the Barclays Premier League table.

Sam Ricketts had put Bolton in front with a fine curling effort in the opening half.

But Fletcher pounced four minutes after the interval for the visitors, who had keeper Wayne Hennessey to thank for some fine saves.

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Norwich 1-1 Fulham

An injury-time goal from substitute Simeon Jackson denied Fulham victory at Carrow Road.

Orlando Sa gave Fulham the lead after just seven minutes when he scored from outside the box, while Clint Dempsey was denied by the woodwork.

Norwich's Kyle Naughton was also denied by the framework of the goal before Jackson headed a late leveller for the hosts.

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Stoke 2-2 Wigan

A late penalty from Ben Watson earned Wigan a vital point in their quest to avoid relegation in a thrilling encounter against Stoke at the Britannia Stadium.

Victor Moses put the visitors in front on the cusp of half-time but Jonathan Walters equalised from the penalty spot in the 77th minute.

Cameron Jerome put the hosts in front but substitute Watson converted the 87th-minute penalty with his first touch of the match when Hugo Rogallega was brought down by Ryan Shotton.

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Swansea 1-1 Tottenham

A spirited display from Swansea denied high-flying Tottenham three points in an entertaining draw at the Liberty Stadium.

Rafael van der Vaart gave the visitors the lead in the 44th minute when he turned in Benoit Assou-Ekotto's deflected left-wing cross.

But after stretching Tottenham's defence to its limit, the Swans equalised six minutes from time when Spurs goalkeeper Brad Friedel spilled Angel Rangel's cross, allowing Scott Sinclair to capitalise on his error.

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Key Points

  • Late goals from Bent and Petrov sink Chelsea
  • Van Persie gets winner for Arsenal against QPR
  • Sinclair earns Swansea point against Tottenham