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Saturday 24 March 2012

Saturday's Barclays Premier League round-up

Wigan pull of a shock victory at Anfield, while Arsenal are comfortable winners over Villa

Shaun Maloney put Wigan in front from the penalty spot

Liverpool 1-2 Wigan Athletic

Gary Caldwell netted an unlikely winner as Wigan pulled off a shock victory over Liverpool at Anfield.

Wigan took the lead when Shaun Maloney scored from the penalty spot, but Liverpool equalised in the early stages of the second half when Steven Gerrard picked out Luis Suarez to steer the ball into the bottom corner.

Caldwell kept his cool to squeeze the ball past Pepe Reina to boost Wigan's hopes of avoiding relegation.

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Arsenal 3-0 Aston Villa

Arsenal strengthened their hold on third place with a convincing win over Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium.

Kieran Gibbs put Arsenal ahead when he was put through by Gervinho, squeezing a shot past Shay Given before Theo Walcott doubled their lead nine minutes later.

Mikel Arteta went close with a free-kick in the first half but there was no stopping the Spaniard's 30-yard piledriver in the third minute of second-half injury time.

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Bolton Wanderers 2-1 Blackburn Rovers

Bolton boosted their hopes of avoiding the drop on an emotional day at the Reebok Stadium.

Prior to the match both sides paid tribute to Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba, who is recovering from a heart attack, and two first-half headed goals from David Wheater put the hosts in control.

Steven Nzonzi reduced the deficit with a glancing header to give Blackburn hope in the second half but Bolton held on to take the points. 

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Norwich City 2-1 Wolverhampton Wanderers

Two goals from Grant Holt helped Norwich come from behind to beat Wolves, who remain rooted to the foot of the table.

Wolves went in front when Jamie O'Hara's cross was touched on by Kevin Doyle into the path of Matt Jarvis to sidefoot home.

Simeon Jackson put Holt through to equalise and the forward put Norwich in front just before half-time from the penalty spot. However, Holt was sent off in the dying stages of the match for a second bookable offence.

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Sunderland 3-1 Queens Park Rangers

QPR's problems continue to mount as Sunderland secured a comfortable home win at the Stadium of Light.

James McClean set up the opener for the hosts with a whipped cross for Nicklas Bendtner to direct a header into the far corner and QPR's task was made harder when striker Djibril Cisse was shown a red card.

Sunderland went close when a Craig Gardner free-kick smacked against the post before McClean fired home via a deflection and Stephane Sessegnon put the hosts 3-0 up. Taye Taiwo grabbed a fine consolation for the visitors with a stunning free-kick.

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Swansea City 0-2 Everton

Goals from Leighton Baines and Nikica Jelavic handed Swansea only their third home League defeat this season.

Baines put Everton in front with a beautifully struck left-foot free-kick just before the hour mark.

And Jelavic doubled their lead when he slotted home after good work from Marouane Fellaini.

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Key Points

  • Wigan pull off surprise win over Liverpool at Anfield
  • Arsenal and Sunderland pick up comfortable victories
  • Number of fans to have attended Barclays Premier League matches passes 10 million this season