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Wednesday 04 December 2013

Wednesday review: Rodgers hails four-star Suarez

Liverpool striker hits four past Norwich as Arsenal keep four-point lead but Everton stun Man Utd

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was the star of the show in an exciting night of football in the Barclays Premier League, with the division’s top five sides all winning.

Suarez scored four goals as Liverpool cruised to a 5-1 victory over Norwich City at Anfield. The Uruguayan has scored 11 in his last four appearances against the Norfolk side, with this his third treble in that time. All three strikes were of the highest quality.

The opener came after quarter of an hour as he thumped in a long-distance volley, before turning home a corner 14 minutes later. His third was a beautifully struck half-volley from the edge of the box as he became the first Barclays Premier League player to score three hat-tricks against the same side, before he netted his fourth with a curling free-kick 15 minutes from time.Bradley Johnson headed a consolation for the visitors before Raheem Sterling rounded off the scoring two minutes from time as Liverpool sealed a fourth consecutive win over their opponents.

Nicklas Bendtner proved his worth to Arsenal with a goal and fine performance as they cruised to a 2-0 win over Hull City. The Denmark forward made his first Barclays Premier League start of the season and took less than two minutes to score, thundering a header home from Carl Jenkinson's cross after neat interplay from Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey.

Mesut Ozil doubled the hosts' advantage two minutes into the second half as Arsene Wenger's side eased to victory at Emirates Stadium. Hull never looked likely to recreate their heroics from Sunday's win over Liverpool as Arsenal maintained their four-point advantage at the top of the Barclays Premier League.

Chelsea kept up the pressure on Arsenal as Eden Hazard scored twice in a 4-3 defeat of Sunderland 4-3 at the Stadium of Light. Hazard helped Chelsea earn their ninth straight victory at the Stadium of Light in the Barclays Premier League, albeit against a spirited Sunderland side. The Belgian netted in both halves as in an exhilarating fixture.

Jozy Altidore had opened the scoring on his return to the Sunderland side with a fierce strike, but Frank Lampard's close-range header soon restored parity. Hazard put Chelsea ahead in the first half with an angled drive before a rare goal from John O'Shea once more levelled the scores on 54 minutes.

Hazard restored the lead with a fine individual effort, before Phil Bardsley scored at both ends, first an own goal then a third for Sunderland, as Chelsea racked up three straight top-flight victories, while Sunderland remain rooted to the foot of the table with eight points.

Manchester City took their excellent home form on the road to find a cure for the away-day troubles with a 3-2 win over West Bromwich Albion. Having won seven times from as many Barclays Premier League matches at home Manuel Pellgrini’s side arrived at The Hawthorns with one win and four defeats in six attempts outside Manchester.

Sergio Aguero's 17th goal in as many starts this term and Yaya Toure's eighth of the season made light of those struggles and City could have had more than those two well-crafted team efforts to show for a dominant opening 45 minutes.

Toure sealed the victory with a 73rd-minute penalty before West Brom rallied late on through Costel Pantilimon's own goal and Victor Anichebe's injury-time strike, but City held on to retain third place.

Bryan Oviedo's late goal gave Everton their first win at Manchester United for over 21 years as United manager David Moyes saw his side’s 12-match unbeaten run come to an end against his former charges. Wayne Rooney, Patrice Evra and Danny Welbeck were all denied by the woodwork, but Everton impressed and had chances of their own before Oviedo struck four minutes from time.

Victory for Martinez's men stretched their unbeaten run to seven games and left United 12 points off the leaders Arsenal in their defence of the title.

Rene Meulensteen's debut as Fulham manager started with a defeat as his side were beaten 2-1 by Tottenham Hotspur at Craven Cottage. Having taken over first-team affairs from Martin Jol on Sunday, Meulensteen saw his side turn in an organised display but they were unable to avoid a sixth successive league defeat.

Ashkan Dejagah's first Fulham goal looked to have secured them a win but Vlad Chiriches' long-range strike after 73 minutes brought the visitors level. Spurs substitute Lewis Holtby wrapped up the points eight minutes from time with a superb strike from outside the area to end Andre Villas-Boas' side's four-match winless run in the top flight.

Fabian Delph's first Barclays Premier League goal of the season helped Aston Villa beat Southampton 3-2 in a thrilling encounter. Paul Lambert's Villa side were on the back foot for most of the game, but showed great character after being pegged back twice to edge a five-goal thriller at St Mary's Stadium.

Gabriel Agbonlahor's first of the season set Villa on their way before Jay Rodriguez hit back just after half-time with a superb header. Libor Kozak's third goal of the campaign restored the visitors' advantage and although Pablo Daniel Osvaldo equalised, Delph's thunderous strike won it in a breathless game.  Victory means Villa stretch their unbeaten run to five, while Southampton have now lost three successive games for the first time under Mauricio Pochettino.

Substitute Nathan Dyer came off the bench to inspire Swansea City to a 3-0 victory over Newcastle United. Swansea were dealt a blow in the first half when Alvaro Vazquez left the field nursing a groin injury with the scores still at 0-0 and no recognised striker on the bench. However, Dyer, a winger, was introduced and scored on the stroke of half-time to put the hosts ahead. Mathieu Debuchy prodded beyond his own goalkeeper after the break before Jonjo Shelvey sealed three points for the home side, bringing an end to Newcastle’s four-match winning streak.

Stoke City and Cardiff City battled out a 0-0 draw at the Britannia Stadium to remain level on 14 points. Peter Crouch had the best opening midway through the second half but he headed over the crossbar from an Oussama Assaidi delivery.

Our Matchday Live service enables you to read full match reports while there will also be post-match reaction and manager press conferences. To see more, click on the links below.

FT Arsenal 2-0 Hull City  |  #ARSHUL  |  Matchday Live >>

FT Liverpool 5-1 Norwich City  |  #LIVNOR  |  Matchday Live >>

FT Manchester United 0-1 Everton  |  #MUNEVE  |  Matchday Live >>

FT Southampton 2-3 Aston Villa   |  #SOUAVL  |  Matchday Live >>

FT Stoke City 0-0 Cardiff City  |  #STKCAR  |  Matchday Live >>

FT Sunderland 3-4 Chelsea  |  #SUNCHE  |  Matchday Live >>

FT Swansea City 3-0 Newcastle United |  #SWANEW  |  Matchday Live >>

FT Fulham 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur  |  #FULTOT  |  Matchday Live >>

FT West Bromwich Albion v Manchester City  |  #WBAMCI  |  Matchday Live >>

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