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Sunday 30 December 2012

Matchweek 20: Manchester clubs keep up pace

Coverage of all the weekend's action with premierleague.com's Matchday Live service

  • Manchester City's Edin Dzeko celebrates his second-minute goal against Norwich

  • West Brom's Gareth Macauley reacts as he puts Ashley Young's cross into his own net

  • Southampton's Rickie Lambert opens the scoring against Stoke

  • Swansea's Danny Graham spectacularly scores against Fulham

  • Ivan Ramis headed Wigan into the lead away to Aston Villa

  • West Ham's Winston Reid and Reading's Jimmy Kebe vie for the ball

  • John O'Shea gives Sunderland the lead but Spurs turned it round

  • Frank Lampard scores the winner for Chelsea away to Everton

  • QPR manager Harry Redknapp watched his side struggle with Luis Suarez

Ten-man Manchester City came out on top in a seven-goal thriller at Norwich City to avoid falling further behind in the battle for the Barclays Premier League title on a day when Arsenal scored seven against Newcastle United.

The champions looked to be cruising to a routine win after Edin Dzeko bagged a brace inside the opening four minutes, but Anthony Pilkington pulled one back before Samir Nasri was dismissed after a confrontation with Sebastien Bassong.

The visitors made light of the disadvantage to go 3-1 up thanks to a Sergio Aguero goal, but Norwich fought back as Russell Martin found the net. But a Mark Bunn own goal, after a Dzeko shot had come back off a post, sealed a 4-3 win, despite Martin's second for the Canaries.

Manchester United retained their seven-point lead over their city rivals thanks to a comfortable 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford. Gareth McAuley diverted an Ashley Young cross into his own net for the opener, with Robin van Persie sealing the win late on.

Chelsea kept up the pressure on the top two with a come-from-behind victory at Everton. Two goals from Frank Lampard, either side of half-time, helped Chelsea to overcome going behind after a minute through Steven Pienaar. It was Everton's first home league defeat of the season.

In Saturday's late match, Theo Walcott scored a hat-trick as Arsenal overwhelmed Newcastle United with a 7-3 victory at The Emirates Stadium. Demba Ba scored twice either side of Sylvain Marveaux’s effort as the visitors pegged the hosts back each time they took the lead, firstly through Walcott, then through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski.

But the Magpies had no answer to the Gunners, or more particularly Walcott, who gave his side a 4-3 advantage before Olivier Giroud came off the bench to score twice and then finished off a mazy run in the last minute to crown a memorable performance.

Aston Villa's miserable recent run continued as they suffered another defeat, going down 3-0 at home to Wigan Athletic. Ivan Ramis headed in the opener in the third minute, with Emmerson Boyce and Arouna Kone completing the scoring.

Villa would have fallen into the bottom three were it not for a superb comeback from 10-man Stoke City. Southampton had led 3-1 at the Britannia Stadium thanks to strikes from Rickie Lambert, Jay Rodriguez and an Andy Wilkinson own goal. Kenwyne Jones had got Stoke's goal and Matthew Upson made it 3-2 after 67 minutes, only for Stoke to have Steven Nzonzi dismissed for a tackle on Jack Cork. But Cameron Jerome popped up in stoppage time to make it 3-3 and earn the hosts a point from a breathless encounter.

Swansea City's impressive campaign continued with a 2-1 win at Fulham. Danny Graham put the Swans ahead and Jonathan de Guzman doubled their advantage, meaning Bryan Ruiz's goal was not enough for Fulham.

Reading gave their survival hopes a boost as they beat West Ham United 1-0 after Pavel Pogrebnyak capitalised on a James Collins error.

The win put distance between themselves and Queens Park Rangers at the bottom after Harry Redknapp's team went down 3-0 to Liverpool in 2012's final Barclays Premier League match. Three goals in the first half-hour of the match at Loftus Road, with the first two from Luis Suarez gave Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager who was absent through illness, a lift.

In Saturday's early kick-off Tottenham Hotspur came from a goal down to beat Sunderland 2-1. John O'Shea put Sunderland ahead but a Carlos Cuellar own goal and an Aaron Lennon strike gave Spurs the points.

Premierleague.com brings you coverage of all the matches with our Matchday Live pages. Follow how the matches unfolded, get all the stats and the best photos and read our reports after the final whistles with manager reactions shortly afterwards.

Saturday 29 December

FT Sunderland 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur | #SUNTOT | Matchday Live >>

FT Aston Villa 0-3 Wigan Athletic | #AVLWIG | Matchday Live >>

FT Fulham 1-2 Swansea City | #FULSWA | Matchday Live >>

FT Manchester United 1-0 West Bromwich Albion | #MUNWBA | Matchday Live >>

FT Norwich City 3-4 Manchester City | #NORMCI | Matchday Live >>

FT Reading 1-0 West Ham United | #RDGWHU | Matchday Live >>

FT Stoke City 3-3 Southampton | #STKSOU | Matchday Live >>

FT Arsenal 7-3 Newcastle United | #ARSNEW | Matchday Live >>

Sunday 30 December

1.30pm Everton v Chelsea | #EVECHE | Matchday Live >>

Everton and Chelsea team news.

4pm Queens Park Rangers v Liverpool | #QPRLIV | Matchday Live >>

Harry Redknapp (QPR) on Ryan Nelsen's fitness, on the defeat by West Brom, on turning round QPR, the need for new players, the challenge of facing Liverpool. QPR team news.

Brendan Rodgers (LIV) on the latest Luis Suarez fitness situation, bouncing back from the defeat at Stoke City and why Harry Redknapp will do a good job at Loftus Road. Liverpool team news.

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