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Rediff.com  » Sports » Tottenham peg back United, tighten EPL title race

Tottenham peg back United, tighten EPL title race

Last updated on: January 22, 2013 10:53 IST

Tottenham peg back United, tighten EPL title race

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It was an eventful weekend in the English Premier League. Pritesh Mistry reviews the action.

West Brom 2 – 2 Aston Villa

It was an exciting game of two halves as Aston Villa dominated the opening 45 minutes, with Charles N'Zogbia in his best form producing one of his best performances for Villa.

He demonstrated the qualities he possesses by setting up the opening two goals. The baggies had other ideas during the second half as they showed a lot more purpose about them. It didn't take them long to pull one back as Chris Brunt curled in a first time shot from 15 yards out.

West Brom continued their search for the equalizer as they managed to avoid Villa from getting their third of the game. The baggies left it late as McAuley knocked the ball down for Odemwingie who leveled the score breaking Villa hearts in the 83rd minute.


Image: Peter Odemwingie of West Bromwich Albion scores their second goal
Photographs: Ian Walton/Getty Images

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Liverpool 5 0 Norwich

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Liverpool comprehensively beat Norwich at Anfield with a five star display. Liverpool were too good up top as Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge partnered very well throughout the game.

Suarez as always was instrumental in most of the attacks that Liverpool manufactured to which Norwich really had no answers.

One of the key takeaways for Liverpool was the fact that they had more than just Suarez on the score sheet.

As for Norwich, they will need a dramatic turnaround to improve their poor run of form.


Image: Liverpool's Luis Suarez (left) challenges Norwich City's Michael Turner
Photographs: Phil Noble/Reuters

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Man City 2 - 0 Fulham

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It was business as usual for the Premier League champions at home as David Silva scored a brace for a comprehensive home win against Fulham.

The early first goal seemed to have killed Fulham's confidence totally as they struggled to take a hold of the game. Gareth Barry dictated play in the midfield while Milner and Zabaleta continued to cause Fulham all sorts of problems.

Fulham tried to play a patient game with a fairly steady start to the second half. There was no stopping David Silva getting his second of the day as he finished a move he started with Clichy in midfield.


Image: David Silva of Manchester City celebrates
Photographs: Michael Regan/Getty Images

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Newcastle 1 - 2 Reading

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Newcastle dominated the opening 45 minutes of the game as Alan Pardew's men went into the half time break with a one goal advantage.

Yohan Cabaye scored a free kick in the 35th minute and it could have been much more had it not been for the heroics of Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici.

In the second half, Reading came out strong however they could not find a way to break the deadlock. That was until Adam Le Fondre came off the bench to score twice much to the disappointment of Alan Pardew and the Newcastle faithful.


Image: Adam le Fondre of Reading celebrates scoring the winning goal
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty images

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Swansea 3 - 1 Stoke

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Swansea made a promising start to the game as Stoke found it hard to get out of their own half for most part of the first half which ended goalless.

After the break however, it didn't take long for the Swans to take the lead. A goal from Ben Davies and a double from Jonathan de Guzman ensured Swansea had a three goal cushion as Stoke players could hardly do a thing about Swansea's domination.

Swansea's dream season rolled on and the only thing for the away fans to cheer about was a late consolation goal scored by Michael Owen.


Image: Swansea player Jonathan de Guzman
Photographs: Stu Forster/Getty Images

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West Ham 1 - 1 QPR

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QPR supporters would be hoping that the arrival of ٦m signing Loic Remy would restore optimism into their season.

Remy did not take too long to make an impact as he slotted home the opening goal of the game of a Taarabt through ball in the 14th minute.

QPR looked sharp as they went into the break with a one goal lead. West Ham had other ideas in the second half however, as their direct approach and hard tackles pushed QPR on the back foot.

Joe Cole was in the right place at the right time for the Hammers as he pounced on to a save parried by Julio Cesar. West Ham gave it their all in the closing stages of the game but couldn't find a winner as QPR held on to a much needed point.


Image: Loic Remy of Queens Park Rangers controls the ball ahead of Winston Reid
Photographs: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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Wigan 2 - 3 Sunderland

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Steven Fletcher's brace stole the show as Sunderland finished on the right side of a five goal thriller continuing their good recent form in the Premier league.

The home fans were given hope when Wigan scored an early goal as David Vaughan diverted Ronnie Stam's shot into his own net.

After the first goal however, it was all Sunderland for majority of the game. Alfred N'Diaye was the architect of the equalizer crossing deep and perfect to Fletcher.

Wigan had their own chances and would consider themselves unlucky with Maloney hitting the post with a curling free kick. The hosts were living dangerously in search of the second goal; Henriquez restored hope after getting at the end of a perfect cross.

Sunderland hung on and Wigan had only themselves to blame for the defeat.


Image: Steven Fletcher of Sunderland
Photographs: Julian Finney/Getty Images

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Chelsea 2-1 Arsenal

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Chelsea were dominant in the first half and took the lead early in the game through Juan Mata almost immediately after Giroud had failed to score for Arsenal at the other end.

Arsenal were stretched as Chelsea players were being given way too much space and time on the ball. It went from bad to worse for Arsenal as they were struggling to keep up to Chelsea's movement on a blistering counter attack.

Ramires won a penalty for Chelsea which was buried by the ever reliable Frank Lampard. Chelsea's midfield was proving to be far too strong for the Gunners.

After the break, Arsenal immediately put the pressure on and it didn't take too long for it to pay off. Walcott finished calmly off a beautifully threaded through ball by Santi Cazorla.

Chelsea managed to hang on to their advantage and the game ended in their favor.


Image: Chelsea's Frank Lampard (centre) heads the ball
Photographs: Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

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Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Manchester United

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Tottenham saw the majority of the early possession in the game, but did not manage to work David De Gea at all.

United took time to settle into the game and didn't manage to do so before they scored the opening goal by leading goal scorer Robin Van Persie. He got his head at the end of a splendid cross by Tom Cleverley.

The goal scored against the run of play, changed the way United were playing as they passed the ball around better. The second half saw Spurs come out strong as they surged for the equalizer; De Gea was made to work in the opening spells of the restart.

Dembele, Bale and Lennon appeared to be controlling the midfield while Carrick and Phil Jones were pivotal in United's midfield. It was a hard fought battle in defense as Ferdinand and Vidic were rock solid throughout the game making key interceptions and blocks.

Spurs' persistence paid off as they found an equalizer in stoppage time through Dempsey. The points were shared at White Hart Lane and it was a pretty fair reflection of how the game had gone.


Image: Tottenham Hotspur's Michael Dawson (Left) misses a shot on goal
Photographs: Dylan Martinez/Reuters

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Southampton 0-0 Everton

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Every Premier League fan around the world was waiting to see what kind of a reception new manager Mauricio Pochettino would receive at the St. Mary's, he was greeted by a warm applause.

Saints managed to get off a promising start by securing their first goalless draw at home in two years. The first half display surely must have pleased the home fans and the new boss as the saints created a lot of chances, the best of which fell to Rickie Lambert.

Everton came out strong in the second half and could easily have scored had they taken their chances well.

On another day, Saints would have paid a price for their missed chances, but it was not to be much to the relief of Pochettino.


Image: Southampton's new Argentine manager Mauricio Pochettino
Photographs: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

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