Saturday 23 November 2013
Arsenal stretched their lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League table to four points as Olivier Giroud scored twice in their home victory over Southampton, on a day when Chelsea, Newcastle United and Crystal Palace also recorded wins.
There was little to choose between the Barclays Premier League leaders and Southampton, lying in third place at kick-off, until Giroud took advantage of Artur Boruc's decision to dally in possession midway through the first half by nicking the ball from the Poland international's feet before slotting it into an unguarded net.
The better of the chances in the second half fell to the home side but the match was always in the balance until, four minutes from time, a shirt-pull by Jose Fonte on Per Mertesacker enabled Giroud to take his tally for the season to seven Barclays Premier League goals.
The Gunners are three points clear of Chelsea and Liverpool, who shared a 3-3 draw with Everton in a pulsating Merseyside derby earlier in the day. Luis Suarez restored the Reds' lead in the first half, after Kevin Mirallas had cancelled out Philippe Coutinho's fifth-minute opener, but Everton rallied in style thanks to two Romelu Lukaku goals, only for Daniel Sturridge to salvage a point with an 89th-minute header.
In the evening fixture Chelsea overcame West Ham United 3-0 at the Boleyn Ground with Frank Lampard weighing in with two goals against his former club. Lampard struck the first from the penalty spot, after Jussi Jaaskelainen had upended Oscar, with the Brazilian unleashing a fine second on 34 minutes. The 35-year-old midfielder also produced a trademark drive from the edge of the area with eight minutes remaining to take the Blues up to third in the standings 14 places above West Ham.
Loic Remy scored his eighth goal in as many Barclays Premier League matches as Newcastle recorded a 2-1 victory over Norwich City. The France striker put the hosts ahead inside two minutes, while compatriot Yoan Gouffran scored a second before the break, and although Leroy Fer reduced the arrears with a second-half header the Magpies secured their third straight Barclays Premier League win to move up to eighth place in the table.
Swansea City won by the same scoreline at Craven Cottage with Jonjo Shelvey dispatching an 80th-minute winner after Scott Parker had given Martin Jol's side hope when cancelling out Aaron Hughes's own goal.
The defeat for Fulham, who now lie third from bottom, was compounded by Crystal Palace's first away victory of the campaign. Palace, who earlier in the day confirmed Tony Pulis as their new manager, impressed the watching former Stoke City boss with a 1-0 success at Hull City achieved with the help of Barry Bannan's winner nine minutes from the end.
The south Londoners are off the foot of the table, just three points behind the Cottagers and level on points with Sunderland, who suffered a 2-0 reverse at Stoke. Goals by Charlie Adam and Steven N'Zonzi earned the Potters three points as Gus Poyet's charges were reduced to 10 men by Wes Brown’s 36th-minute dismissal.
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FT Everton 3-3 Liverpool | #EVELIV | Matchday Live >>
FT Arsenal 2-0 Southampton | #ARSSOU | Matchday Live >>
FT Fulham 1-2 Swansea City| #FULSWA | Matchday Live >>
Hull City 0-1 Crystal Palace | #HULCRY | Matchday Live >>
Stoke City 2-0 Sunderland | #STKSUN | Matchday Live >>
West Ham United 0-3 Chelsea | #WHUCHE | Matchday Live >>
1.30pm Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur | #MCITOT | Matchday Live >>
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4pm Cardiff City v Manchester United | #CARMUN | Matchday Live >>
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8pm West Bromwich Albion v Aston Villa | #WBAAVL | Matchday Live >>
For Steve Clarke's and Paul Lambert's press conferences and the latest team news click on the Matchday Live link above.