Saturday 21 December 2013

Saturday review: Man City keep up the pressure

Victory at Craven Cottage lifts Manuel Pellegrini's side to second, one point behind Liverpool

Gallery of Matchweek 17

Manchester City climbed to second place in the Barclays Premier League to maintain the pressure on Liverpool as Vincent Kompany scored at both ends in a 4-2 victory over Fulham.

Yaya Toure opened the scoring with a sublime 20-yard free-kick and Kompany doubled the advantage from close range before the break. Kieran Richardson kick-started a Fulham fightback with his first Barclays Premier League goal since October 2012, and Kompany inadvertently levelled matters with a sliced attempted clearance in the 69th minute. But Jesus Navas powered home from a tight angle with 12 minutes remaining after receiving the ball from David Silva, before James Milner made sure of the three points.

The win stretches City's unbeaten run to six matches and lifts them to second in the Barclays Premier League, above Chelsea and Arsenal who play on Monday, while Fulham remain in the relegation zone.

City are a point behind Liverpool, who went top after beating Cardiff City 3-1 earlier in the day thanks to another sparkling display from Luis Suarez. The Liverpool forward scored twice and set up the other for Raheem Sterling as Brendan Rodgers' side took a 3-0 half-time lead. Jordon Mutch got a consolation after the break for Cardiff.

Manchester United won their first Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford in nearly six weeks by beating West Ham United 3-1. Danny Welbeck gave the champions the lead in the 26th minute with his first league goal at Old Trafford in more than 14 months. The England forward turned provider 10 minutes later, setting up Adnan Januzaj, who took his first home goal for the club with aplomb.

The second half was more subdued, with United substitute Ashley Young providing the highlight when he curled in his second goal in four days with 18 minutes left. West Ham's Carlton Cole beat the offside trap to race clear and slot through the legs of David De Gea eight minutes from time to pull one back for the visitors.

Newcastle United secured a fifth consecutive Barclays Premier League win at Selhurst Park with a 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace. Alan Pardew's side produced an excellent performance to make it six wins from their last seven league encounters and cement their place in the top six.

Newcastle took the lead midway through the first half thanks to Yohan Cabaye's fourth goal of the season. That advantage was doubled after 39 minutes through Daniel Gabbidon's own goal and, despite an improved Palace performance in the second half, Newcastle's victory was confirmed in the final minutes with a Hatem Ben Arfa penalty.

Stoke City beat Aston Villa 2-1 to leapfrog their opponents with Peter Crouch hitting the winner against his former club. Substitute Charlie Adam broke the deadlock shortly after the break after good work from Crouch. After Libor Kozak had been gifted an equaliser, Crouch scored the decisive goal against the side he represented between 2002 and 2004.

Matej Vydra's first goal for West Bromwich Albion rescued a 1-1 draw against Hull City in caretaker head coach Keith Downing's first match in charge. Jake Livermore had given Hull the lead, calmly finishing a one-on-one after 28 minutes. But Vydra rolled home an effort from inside the area to salvage a point for the hosts and deny Steve Bruce's men their second away league win of the season. 

Sunderland were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw by Norwich City at the Stadium of Light in a match of few chances. In the first half Fabio Borini came closest for the hosts, drilling an effort wide from the edge of the penalty area, while Norwich's best opportunity came from Gary Hooper's driven strike. The second half followed a similar pattern with Ki Sung-Yueng coming closest for Sunderland, while Hooper again had Norwich's best opportunity.

As the match petered out, Wes Brown was given a red card for a foul on Robert Snodgrass. The draw leaves Sunderland four points adrift of safety in bottom place, while Norwich remain 14th.

For full match reports and post-match reaction and manager press conferences, click on the links below.

Saturday 21 December

FT Liverpool 3-1 Cardiff  |  #LIVCAR  |  Matchday Live >>

FT Crystal Palace 0-3 Newcastle United  |  #CRYNEW  |  Matchday Live >>

FT Fulham 2-4 Manchester City  |  #CFULMCI   |   Matchday Live >>

FT Manchester United 3-1 West Ham United   |  #MUNWHU  |  Matchday Live >>

FT Stoke City 2-1 Aston Villa   |  #STKAVL  |  Matchday Live >>

FT Sunderland 0-0 Norwich City   |  #SUNNOR  |  Matchday Live >>

FT West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Hull City |  #WBAHUL  |  Matchday Live >>

Sunday 22 December

1.30pm Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur   |  #SOUTOT  |  Matchday Live >>

For Mauricio Pochettino's and Tim Sherwood's press conferences and the latest team news click on the Matchday Live link above.

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4pm Swansea City v Everton  |  #SWAEVE  |  Matchday Live >>

For Michael Laudrup's and Roberto Martinez's press conferences and the latest team news click on the Matchday Live link above.

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Monday 23 December

8pm Arsenal v Chelsea  | #ARSCHE | Matchday live >>

For Arsene Wenger's and Jose Mourinho's press conferences and the latest team news click on the Matchday Live link above.

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Key Points

  • Man City hit four goals past Fulham to move second in the Barclays Premier League behind Liverpool who took top spot after beating Cardiff 3-1 earlier on
  • Read the match reports and manager reactions and discover the managers' latest thoughts by watching their press conferences on premierleague.com
  • Team news and press conferences also available for Sunday and Monday's matches