x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Premier League updates: City and Arsenal march on

Van Persie and Aguero on target again.

Arsenal striker Robin van Persie scored twice against Norwich City.
Arsenal striker Robin van Persie scored twice against Norwich City.

Manchester City 3-1 Newcastle

Manchester City maintained their 100 per cent home record in front of a stadium record crowd, while Newcastle lost their unbeaten start to the season. Mario Balotelli and Sergio Aguero, both scored penalties in between a rasping finish from home-grown defender Micah Richards, who had an outstanding afternoon. Dan Gosling’s consolation helped make the score line more respectable.

Norwich 1-2 Arsenal

Arsenal match-winner Robin van Persie insists a Premier League top-four finish is a realistic target as they recorded a fifth successive victory with a 2-1 win at Norwich City. Van Persie made it 30 goals for 2011, the second a sublime finish after the Canaries had snatched a shock early lead when Wales striker Steve Morison capitalised on a blunder by German international Per Mertesacker. And the Dutchman is delighted to have recorded five wins from as many games. "It's a very welcome [achievement]," he said. "Our aim is to finish in the top four. I'm confident we can achieve that."

Wigan 3-3 Blackburn Rovers

Blackburn striker Ayegbeni Yakubu slotted home a penalty eight minutes into injury time to salvage a point against Wigan at the end of a dramatic and controversial DW Stadium clash. Albert Crusat appeared to have given Wigan the points in the 88th minute, but referee Andre Marriner awarded a spot-kick after David Jones fouled Rovers goalkeeper Paul Robinson, who was up for a late corner. An extraordinary game also saw the 48th-minute sending-off of Blackburn midfielder David Dunn and a controversial second goal for Rovers in which Morten Gamst Pedersen appeared to take two touches from a corner. Rovers had grabbed the lead after just 68 seconds when Yakubu lobbed goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi. Wigan were level through Jordi Gomez seven minutes later and ahead through captain Gary Caldwell after 31 minutes, but Junior Hoilett equalised before a breathless finale in which either side could have claimed the points.

Everton 2-1 Wolves

Everton finally ended their dreadful run of results with a home win over Wolverhampton Wanderers, but they required a helping hand from the visitors, when Stephen Ward pushed over Louis Saha in the area, seven minutes from time, and Leighton Baines stroked home from the spot. Before kick off a supporters’ group protested about stagnation at the club in relation to finding a new buyer and outside investment.

Stoke 2-3 Queens Park Rangers

QPR emerged victorious from a five-goal thriller, in their third away win of the season, at the Britannia Stadium. Stoke went ahead early through Jon Walters, but Heidar Helguson scored twice – either side of a Luke Young goal – to make it 3-1 to score his fifth goal in five games. Ryan Shawcross’s header 10 minutes later reduced the deficit, but the hosts were unable to prevent a fourth straight defeat in the league.

Sunderland 0-0 Fulham

Keeper Mark Schwarzer was Fulham’s hero as he denied Sunderland victory with a remarkable injury-time save, when he managed to block Stephane Sessegnon’s shot with his leg despite being sent the wrong way by a wicked deflection. Earlier Kieran Richardson and Jack Colback rattled the woodwork of the Australian keeper in a bright start by the Black Cats. Sunderland have now won only two of their 12 Premier League games to date this season and collected just 11 points from a possible 36.

West Brom 2-1 Bolton

Shane Long justified his quick return after injury by heading West Brom’s winner in the Premier League clash with Bolton at the Hawthorns. Albion feared the Republic of Ireland striker would be out for up to eight weeks with a knee injury but he was back after a month to earn his side a first win over the Trotters in seven years. Jerome Thomas had given the Baggies the lead but then conceded the penalty which enabled Ivan Klasnic to level for the visitors.