Saturday 20 April 2013
Arsenal moved back up to third place in the Barclays Premier League after a narrow victory against Fulham, while the clubs occupying the bottom three places in the English top flight all lost.
Arsenal remain on course for a UEFA Champions League place after overcoming Fulham at Craven Cottage but they struggled to impose themselves on Martin Jol’s side despite the 12th-minute dismissal of Steven Sidwell for a foul on Mikel Arteta.
The visitors also had Olivier Giroud sent off in the last minute of regular time but by then had produced the goal they needed to earn the three vital points. Per Mertesacker scored the only goal of the match when he appeared unmarked at the far post to head past Mark Schwarzer three minutes before half-time.
Paolo Di Canio continues to work the midas touch on Sunderland as they recorded a 1-0 success against Everton, whose hopes of reaching the top four suffered a serious setback as a result of Stephane Sessegnon’s winner on the stroke of half-time. This second straight win lifted the Black Cats up to 14th place in the table.
It was also a good day for Norwich City and Stoke City, who both eased their relegation concerns with victories against Reading and Queens Park Rangers respectively. Two goals in three second-half minutes by Ryan and Elliott Bennett proved Reading’s undoing, even though Garath McCleary gave them hope with a 72nd-minute strike.
Stoke, meanwhile, secured only their second Premier League victory since Boxing Day as Peter Crouch's effort and a Jonathan Walters penalty piled more misery on Harry Redknapp’s side, who like Reading remain 10 points from safety.
It was also an afternoon to forget for Wigan Athletic, who remain third from bottom, three points behind Aston Villa, who face Manchester United on Monday night, following their 2-0 reverse at West Ham United. Goals in either half by Matt Jarvis and Kevin Nolan secured a home win for the Hammers.
Newcastle United are six points clear of the Latics, after dropping to 16th place in the standings after being held to a 1-1 draw at West Bromwich Albion. Billy Jones’s 64th-minute effort cancelled out Yoan Gouffran’s early header.
At the final whistle we provide match reports including manager reactions. For Matchday Live just click on the links below.
Fulham 0-1 Arsenal | #FULARS | Matchday Live >>
Norwich City 2-1 Reading | #NORRDG | Matchday Live >>
Queens Park Rangers 0-2 Stoke City | #QPRSTK | Matchday Live >>
Sunderland 1-0 Everton | #SUNEVE | Matchday Live >>
Swansea City 0-0 Southampton | #SWASOU | Matchday Live >>
West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Newcastle United | #WBANEW | Matchday Live >>
West Ham United 2-0 Wigan Athletic | #WHUWIG | Matchday Live >>