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Saturday 28 December 2013

Saturday review: Dzeko ends Palace resistance

Man City go top ahead of Sunday's matches after finding way past stubborn opponents

Edin Dzeko scored the winner as Manchester City beat Crystal Palace 1-0 to maintain their perfect home Barclays Premier League record this season. The Bosnia-Herzegovina striker converted Jesus Navas' cross midway through the second half to end Palace's stubborn resistance and make it 10 wins out of 10 at Etihad Stadium in the league for Manuel Pellegrini's side.

The victory puts Man City two points clear at the top of the table, with title rivals Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool all in action on Sunday. Palace had chances of their own in the second half, with Joe Hart, who cut his eye in a challenge with Cameron Jerome in the first period, tested on three occasions, while Joel Ward missed a golden chance to equalise a minute after Dzeko's strike, heading off target when left all alone at a corner.

Substitute Danny Welbeck came to Manchester United's rescue as his fourth goal in as many league matches secured a 1-0 win over Norwich City. Having replaced Ryan Giggs at half-time, the 23-year-old England striker made an almost immediate impact, netting his fifth goal of the Barclays Premier League campaign to help United move into sixth place. Norwich had dominated the opening half but passed up a host of chances to take the lead, and their profligacy came back to haunt them as United clicked into gear after the break. Welbeck had a bit of luck in the build-up to the goal, as the ball bounced off Javier Hernandez into his path, but he showed great composure to open the scoring from there. The introduction of Ricky van Wolfswinkel failed to have a similar effect for the hosts, who slipped to a fourth home league defeat of the season.

Hull City recorded their biggest Barclays Premier League win as they beat Fulham 6-0 at the KC Stadium. After a goalless first half, Hull ran riot after the break, Ahmed Elmohamady breaking the deadlock three minutes into the second period. Robert Koren fired in the second on the hour, before George Boyd added the third just three minutes later. Tom Huddlestone rounded off an impressive display by netting his first Barclays Premier League goal since April 2011 and second-half substitute Matty Fryatt added number five with 16 minutes left. Koren knocked a rebound in the closing stages after David Stockdale had spilled a Danny Graham effort in the six-yard box to hand Fulham their heaviest defeat in the top flight.

Aston Villa halted their four-match losing streak in the Barclays Premier League with a 1-1 draw with Swansea City. Gabriel Agbonlahor broke the deadlock in the seventh minute at Villa Park but Swansea dominated possession for the remainder of the half, with Roland Lamah heading home a 36th-minute leveller. Despite maintaining that pressure in the second period, Swansea were unable to find a winner as the spoils were shared meaning that both sides have gone five top-flight games without a victory.

In the early match, Nicolas Anelka scored a double as West Bromwich Albion twice came from behind to earn a 3-3 draw at West Ham United. Joe Cole opened the scoring inside the first four minutes for the hosts, only for Anelka to put the visiting side ahead with a brace.

Anelka's first goals for the Midlands club proved insufficient to secure the points as the hosts launched a second-half fightback, substitute Modibo Maiga restoring parity as Ben Foster was unable to stop the forward's shot creeping into the net and Kevin Nolan pouncing to net his first goal since the opening day of the campaign. West Brom refused to lie down and secured a share of the spoils after 69 minutes, Saido Berahino's fine effort from an angle ensuring West Ham remain in the relegation zone, although the visitors are nine without a league triumph.

In the evening kick-off Sunderland staged a dramatic fightback to seal a 2-2 away draw with managerless Cardiff City. A day after the departure of Malky Mackay the Bluebirds were determined to give a good account of themselves and took the lead after just six minutes through Jordon Mutch. Fraizer Campbell extended the hosts' lead after the interval but substitute Steven Fletcher - on as a half-time replacement for Fabio Borini, who was taken to hospital after falling ill - reduced the arrears on 83 minutes and in the fifth minute of added time Jack Colback struck the equaliser for the Black Cats, who remain bottom of the league but now lie just two points from safety.

You can follow how all the matches unfolded with our Matchday Live service that gives you minute-by-minute updates, the best photos from around all the grounds and get the latest in-match stats. At the final whistle we provide match reports while there will also be post-match reaction and manager press conferences. To see more, click on the links below.

Saturday 28 December

FT West Ham United 3-3 West Bromwich Albion  |  #WHUWBA  |  Matchday Live >>

FT Aston Villa 1-1 Swansea City  |  #AVLSWA  |  Matchday Live >>

FT Hull City 6-0 Fulham  |  #HULFUL   |   Matchday Live >>

FT Manchester City 1-0 Crystal Palace  |  #MCICRY  |  Matchday Live >>

FT Norwich City 0-1 Manchester United  |  #NORMUN  |  Matchday Live >>

FT Cardiff City 2-2 Sunderland  |  #CARSUN  |  Matchday Live >>

Sunday 29 December

1.30pm Everton v Southampton |  #EVESOU  |  Matchday Live >>

For the latest team news and to watch Roberto Martinez's press conference, click on the Matchday Live link above.

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1.30pm Newcastle United v Arsenal | #NEWARS  |  Matchday Live >>

For the latest team news and to watch Arsene Wenger's press conference, click on the Matchday Live link above.

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4pm Chelsea v Liverpool |  #CHELIV  |  Matchday Live >>

For the latest team news and to watch Jose Mourinho's and Brendan Rodgers's press conferences, click on the Matchday Live link above.

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4pm Tottenham Hotspur v Stoke City | #TOTSTK | Matchday Live >>

For the latest team news click on the Matchday Live link above.

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Key Points

  • Manchester City move top of the Barclays Premier League table with narrow win over Crystal Palace
  • Tom Huddlestone scores as Hull City hammer Fulham 6-0, while Manchester United win at Norwich City
  • Read all the match reports, watch the managers' post-match press conferences, view photos from around the grounds and check out the stats on our Matchday Live service