Sunday 23 December 2012
Gareth Barry's late goal earned Manchester City victory as they edged out bottom side Reading 1-0 at Etihad Stadium.
Roberto Mancini's side trailed Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester United by six points in the title race heading into this weekend, and they appeared to be at risk of losing more ground thanks to a dogged defensive effort from Reading, but Barry rose to head home in stoppage time from David Silva's cross to trim United's lead to three points before their clash with Swansea City on Sunday.
In the early game, Mikel Arteta's penalty proved enough for Arsenal to beat Wigan Athletic 1-0 and make it three Premier League victories in a row for the first time since March. There was very little between the sides and it was the hosts who had the best chance of the first half but it was wasted by Arouna Kone.
The goal came on the hour mark after Jean Beausejour was deemed to have fouled Theo Walcott and Arteta made no mistake. The three points lifted Arsenal up to third ahead of Chelsea, who play Aston Villa on Sunday, while Wigan remain in the bottom three and have now taken only one point from their last five games.
Everton moved back into the top four as they came from behind to beat West Ham United 2-1 at Upton Park. Carlton Cole fired the Hammers into the lead, but Anichebe levelled after the break before Cole was sent off for a high challenge on Leighton Baines. Everton capitalised as Steven Pienaar grabbed the winner and the visitors held out after Darron Gibson was dismissed late on.
As a result, Tottenham dropped to fifth as they failed to beat Stoke City in a 0-0 draw at White Hart Lane.
Norwich City’s 10-game unbeaten run came to an end as they were beaten 2-1 by West Bromwich Albion. Robert Snodgrass' free-kick gave Norwich the lead, but goals from Zoltan Gera and Romelu Lukaku ensured it was West Brom who took the three points at The Hawthorns.
Liverpool returned to the top half of the Barclays Premier League table as first-half goals by Martin Skrtl and Steven Gerrard were complemented by further strikes after the interval by Stewart Downing and Luis Suarez in a one-sided 4-0 victory for the Reds over Fulham at Anfield.
Substitute Shola Ameobi gave Newcastle United a valuable 1-0 win over Queens Park Rangers. The striker got the only goal of the game after being teed up by Sylvain Marveaux to leave their opponents five points adrift of safety.
Sunderland also claimed an important 1-0 win as they came out on top at Southampton. Steven Fletcher grabbed the winner from Stephane Sessegnon's mishit shot just before half-time to lift the Black Cats up to 15th and leave the Saints above the drop zone on goal difference.
Premierleague.com brings you all the coverage with our Matchday Live pages. Follow the matches with our live commentaries, stats and the best photos and read our reports after the final whistles with manager reactions shortly afterwards.
FT: Wigan Athletic 0-1 Arsenal | #WIGARS | Matchday Live >>
FT Man City 1-0 Reading | #MCIRDG | Matchday Live >>
FT Newcastle United 1-0 QPR | #NEWQPR | Matchday Live >>
FT Southampton 0-1 Sunderland | #SOUSUN | Matchday Live >>
FT Tottenham 0-0 Stoke | #TOTSTK | Matchday Live >>
FT West Brom 2-1 Norwich | #WBANOR | Matchday Live >>
FT West Ham 1-2 Everton | #WHUEVE | Matchday Live >>
FT Liverpool 4-0 Fulham | #LIVFUL | Matchday Live >>
FT Swansea 1-1 Man Utd | #SWAMUN | Matchday Live >>
FT Chelsea 8-0 Aston Villa | #CHEAVL | Matchday Live >>