x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Manchester United grind it out at Everton

Premier League round-up: Sir Alex Ferguson, the manager, felt his side came through a stern test to win at Everton after last week's mauling against Man City.

Manchester City defeated Wolves 3-1.
Manchester City defeated Wolves 3-1.

Everton 0-1 Manchester United

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson felt his side came through a stern test at Everton.

The champions were not at their best but did enough to get back to winning ways in the English Premier League after last week's mauling by Manchester City.

Everton had a number of chances to claim a point at Goodison Park but lacked a genuine cutting edge and Javier Hernandez's 19th-minute tap-in proved decisive as United won 1-0.

Ferguson told TV reporters: "It was a hard game and we expected that because every time you come to Everton the crowd get behind them and show great enthusiasm.

"But in the main, in the first half particularly, we did very well and in the second half we defended well and that was the pleasing aspect for me, winning 1-0.

"We decided to play Park (Ji-sung) in a wide position and he did very well for us but we still created the best chances in the game - Park the very first minute.

"Everton put in a lot of crosses but we managed to get them away and [David] De Gea didn't have much to do really."

Swansea 3-1 Bolton

Swansea maintained their unbeaten Premier League home record as three second-half goals saw off Bolton at the Liberty Stadium.

The game was turned decisively in the hosts' favour early in the second half as Bolton had Ricardo Gardner sent off after collecting a second booking and Joe Allen gave Swansea the lead from the resulting free-kick.

Scott Sinclair got the second as he converted his third spot-kick of the season in the 57th minute after Darren Pratley, formerly of Swansea, had fouled Angel Rangel in the area.

Bolton were given a lifeline when Swansea conceded at home for the first time this term as Graham put through his own net, but the club record signing redeemed himself by slotting his fourth goal in four games in added time as Swansea claimed a vital three points ahead of upcoming fixtures against Liverpool and Manchester United.

Manchester City 3-1 Wolves

Manchester City overcame Wolves at the Etihad Stadium despite having Vincent Kompany sent off to restore their five-point advantage at the top of the Premier League.

City went ahead early in the second half when Edin Dzeko converted the loose ball after Sergio Aguero had pounced on some hesitant play by the previously impressive Wayne Hennessey, and the Wanderers goalkeeper then palmed David Silva's shot into the path of Aleksandar Kolarov, who made it 2-0 in the 67th minute.

Stephen Hunt pulled back a goal from the penalty spot with 15 minutes remaining following Kompany's dismissal for bringing down Kevin Doyle, but substitute Adam Johnson wrapped up the victory for the hosts in stoppage time.

It means it is a case of as you were at the Premier League summit after second-placed Manchester United had cut the gap earlier in the day with their 1-0 win at Everton.

Struggling Wolves, meanwhile, are now winless in eight league fixtures.

Sunderland 2-2 Aston Villa

Stephane Sessegnon snatched a point for Sunderland in a storming finish at the Stadium of Light which completely eclipsed the much-publicised return of Darren Bent.

Benin international Sessegnon stooped to nod home a Sebastian Larsson free-kick with one minute left after Richard Dunne had appeared to win it for Villa.

Dunne had risen highest to head the visitors back in front five minutes earlier after Connor Wickham had cancelled out Stilyan Petrov's stunning 20th-minute opener.

Bent, who was booed throughout on his first return to Wearside since his January move south, had missed a fine chance in the 70th minute when he shot straight at substitute keeper Kieran Westwood.

Norwich 3-3 Blackburn

Norwich captain Grant Holt came off the bench to net a stoppage-time penalty as Blackburn were denied a much-needed win in an entertaining 3-3 draw at Carrow Road.

Barclays Premier League's bottom club Rovers, who beat Newcastle to reach the Carling Cup quarter-finals in midweek, took the lead on the stroke of half-time through Junior Hoilett.

Although Wales striker Steve Morison levelled with a well-taken strike on 53 minutes, two quick goals from Ayegbeni Yakubu and captain Christopher Samba looked to have secured a much-needed first away win for under-pressure Steve Kean.

However, the Canaries grabbed a lifeline with eight minutes left through Bradley Johnson's deflected effort.

Substitute Holt, whose scored in last week's battling 1-1 draw at Anfield, earned the never-say-die Canaries a point in stoppage time from the spot after Steven Nzonzi handled at the far post.

Chelsea 3-5 Arsenal

Robin van Persie was delighted with a "big, big win" for Arsenal after his hat-trick helped the Gunners secure a dramatic 5-3 win at Chelsea.

John Terry had looked like ending a bad week on a high after putting Chelsea 2-1 ahead at half-time, but the captain's slip allowed Van Persie to put Arsenal 4-3 up and the Dutchman completed his treble in the closing minutes.

"You could see how happy we are at the end because we fought hard and every one of us showed character," Van Persie said on Sky Sports 2.

"It's a big, big win for us today."

Asked about his second goal, Van Persie added: "I was surprised (when Terry slipped) because it was an easy back pass and I only saw later that he slipped because I was closing him down.

"I suddenly realised I was one on one with [Petr] Cech and a couple of things came to my mind to do, but I did the easiest one."