x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Premier League: Man City stretch their lead at top of the table

Mario Balotelli on the score sheet against Bolton, pressure increases on Andre Villas-Boas as Chelsea lose away to West Brom, and Arsenal leave Anfield with three points.

Manchester City's Samir Nasri, left, battles for the ball with Bolton's David Wheater. Nigel Roddis / Reuters
Manchester City's Samir Nasri, left, battles for the ball with Bolton's David Wheater. Nigel Roddis / Reuters

Manchester City 2 Bolton Wanderers 0

Manchester City stretched their lead at the top of the Premier League to five points after beating Bolton Wanderers 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium.

The hosts bombarded struggling Bolton's goal and they eventually got their reward after 23 minutes when Gael Clichy's strike flew past Adam Bogdan off Gretar Steinsson to give Roberto Mancini's side the lead.

Mario Balotelli turned home Adam Johnson's cross in the second half to seal a sixth straight win for the leaders.

The victory puts pressure on neighbours Manchester United, who will aim to reduce City's lead with a win at Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow.

West Bromwich Albion 1 Chelsea 0

The pressure on Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas intensified as his team lost 1-0 to in-form West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns.

Daniel Sturridge, so lively for England in midweek, wasted two golden chances to ease the pressure on his under-fire manager and he was made to pay for his profligacy as Gareth McAuley turned home Liam Ridgewell's off-target shot eight minutes from time to give the Baggies the win.

Wigan Athletic 0 Swansea City 2

Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez endured a day to forget against his former team Swansea City as the league's bottom side suffered yet another defeat thanks to two superb strikes from Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Sigurdsson put the Swans ahead with a superb curling effort in first-half injury time before the former Reading man sealed the win with a 30-yard piledriver.

Highly-rated to Swansea midfielder Nathan Dyer, watched by England interim head coach Stuart Pearce, had a day to forget though as he was sent off for a late tackle on Jordi Gomez.

Blackburn Rovers 1 Aston Villa 1

David Dunn stepped off the bench to snatch a point for Blackburn Rovers against Aston Villa at Ewood Park.

Villa looked set for a morale-boosting win when Charles N'Zogbia fired them ahead but Dunn denied Alex McLeish's men all three points after heading home Bradley Orr's cross with five minutes left.

Queens Park Rangers 1 Everton 1

Bobby Zamora scored a crucial equaliser for QPR against Everton to prevent Mark Hughes' side from slipping to yet another defeat at Loftus Road.

Royston Drenthe slammed home a brilliant 25-yard strike to put the Toffees ahead and put Rangers on course for yet another defeat before Zamora came to the rescue just before the break.

Stoke City 1 Norwich City 1

Paul Lambert's Norwich City suffered their sixth away defeat of the season after going down to a second-half strike from Matthew Etherington at Stoke City.

Etherington latched on to Cameron Jerome's flick-on and smashed a shot past John Ruddy to give the Potters the win.

Liverpool 1 Arsenal 2

Liverpool paid for missing a penalty and hitting the post twice as Arsenal's Robin van Persie scored a double to snatch a late 2-1 Premier League victory at Anfield.

Dirk Kuyt squandered Liverpool's sixth spot-kick this season just before Laurent Koscielny put through his own net, but Van Persie equalised with a close-range header from a rare Gunners' chance.

The home side dominated the second half but failed to capitalise and were punished by the Holland international's second in added time.

The visitors appeared in danger of being swamped early on and Luis Suarez won a penalty when he was tripped by Gunners goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. Unfortunately for Liverpool, Kuyt's effort was saved by Szczesny, who also denied the Dutchman's shot from the rebound.