EPL: City go top with tough win over Palace
Manchester City ground out a 1-0 win over struggling Crystal Palace to go top of the Premier League and champions Manchester United continued their recent revival with a 1-0 victory at Norwich City on Saturday.
With leaders Arsenal not playing until Sunday, Edin Dzeko's 66th-minute goal earned the points for City who maintained their perfect home record this season but showed none of their usual free-scoring swagger at the Etihad Stadium.
"I think the team that wants to win the title must have different faces," City manager Manuel Pellegrini told the BBC.
"We usually score lots of goals at home, but after 45 minutes we knew it would not be like that."
Image: Edin Dzeko of Manchester City celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium
Photographs: Jan Kruger/Getty Images
Palace unexpectedly took the game to City
Mid-table Hull City hammered relegation-threatened Fulham 6-0, Aston Villa struggled again in a 1-1 home draw with fellow mid-table team Swansea City and West Ham United were held 3-3 by drop zone rivals West Bromwich Albion in a thrilling early kickoff at Upton Park.
Pellegrini made six changes to the side that overcame Liverpool 2-1 on Thursday, while Tony Pulis selected the same Palace team that started their 1-0 win at Villa on the same afternoon.
Palace unexpectedly took the game to City and it needed a string of saves from England goalkeeper Joe Hart, who suffered a gashed face in a first-half clash with striker Jerome Cameron, to prevent a shock result.
Pellegrini made a double substitution, bringing on French forward Samir Nasri and Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo shortly before Dzeko struck.
Jesus Navas made room and crossed from the right for Bosnian Dzeko to turn and shoot into the roof of the net from 15 metres.
Image: Edin Dzeko of Manchester City is congratulated by team-mate Jesus Navas after scoring the opening goal
Photographs: Jan Kruger/Getty Images
Welbeck strike gives United victory
Manchester United struggled initially at Norwich, surviving a first-half onslaught before taking control.
Manager David Moyes made five changes to the side that won 3-2 at Hull, leaving England striker Wayne Rooney out of the squad completely, but substitute Danny Welbeck's 57th-minute strike registered their 21st away goal in the league this season.
United climbed to sixth behind City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton.
Image: Danny Welbeck of Manchester United beats John Ruddy of Norwich City to score their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Manchester United
Photographs: Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Hull City demolish Fulham
Hull's battering of Fulham took them to 10th and earned midfielder Tom Huddlestone an appointment with his barber.
The former Tottenham and England player drove in Hull's fourth goal and his first for the club, an achievement he had said would result in the trimming of his plentiful locks and a pair of scissors were duly brandished on the touchline in celebration.
On a triumphant day for Steve Bruce's Hull, Slovenian midfielder Robert Koren struck twice after Ahmed Elmohamady had opened the scoring. George Boyd and Matty Fryatt also found the net to inflict Fulham's heaviest defeat in the top tier since 1968.
"I'm shocked. I don't know if there was something in the tea - I did not see that coming and the players did not see that coming," Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen told reporters.
Image: Hull City's Matty Fryatt (2nd R) shoots to score against Fulham during their English Premier League soccer match at The KC Stadium in Hull
Photographs: Nigel Roddis/Reuters
Villa, Swansea spilt points
A similar home triumph seemed likely when Gabriel Agbonlahor put Aston Villa ahead after seven minutes, but Swansea fought back and Belgian winger Roland Lamah headed them level after 36 minutes.
The draw meant Villa avoided a fifth consecutive defeat and eased the pressure on manager Paul Lambert.
Image: Roland Lamah of Swansea City turns to celebrate after scoring their first goal past Brad Guzan of Aston Villa during the Barclays Premier League match
Photographs: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Berahino strike thwarts Hammers comeback
Earlier, Joe Cole shot West Ham ahead inside five minutes before two well-taken goals from Nicolas Anelka, his first in the Premier League since August11, put West Brom in charge before the interval.
Substitute Modibo Maiga fired the Hammers level and helped set up Kevin Nolan to volley them in front at 3-2 but they held the lead for only two minutes before Saido Berahino completed the scoring.
Image: Kevin Nolan of West Ham scores their third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion
Photographs: Christopher Lee/Getty Images