Seven Barclays Premier League football matches took place on the evening of Wednesday 5th January 2011.
Arsenal 0-0 Man City
In tight matches at the top of the league, sometimes the game ends up being a dull, nervy affair: that’s just what happened here, as the two sides who now sit 3rd and 2nd in the league respectively played out a 0-0 draw.
Arsenal had by far the more possession, and were slightly more incisive, but, once again, Joe Hart showed why he is one of the best goalkeepers in the game by keeping yet another clean sheet for Manchester City. City, when they did have possession, still threatened to score, but, more often than not, the two sides cancelled each other out.
The match ended one a slightly sour note, too, as Sagna for the hosts and Zabaleta for City were sent off following a scuffle.
A draw was perhaps fair, but Arsenal might live to regret not having capitalised on their marginally superior performance here.
Aston Villa 0-1 Sunderland
Villa are now in the relegation zone, after this 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Sunderland, who finished this match in 6th place in the league.
Sunderland’s win came courtesy of an 80th minute goal from Phil Bardsley.
Emille Heskey hit the crossbar from very close range in the first half when it looked as if he must score, before being sent off for raising his hands during an argument with Jordan Henderson.
Sunderland did not keep the one man advantage, however, as Zenden was sent off for a second yellow card soon after Bardsley’s goal, but his side hung on to take three points from a match in which they were by far the more incisive side, despite Villa retaining the lion’s share of possession.
Blackburn 3-1 Liverpool
Roy Hodgson’s future as manager of Liverpool FC looks questionable after his side collapsed to a 3-1 away defeat at the hands of Blackburn Rovers.
Blackburn went 3-0 up inside the opening hour with goals from Olsson (32) and Benjani (38, 57), before Steven Gerrard bagged a consolation for Liverpool on 81 minutes.
Blackburn rise to 9th in the league, while Liverpool are down to 12th.
Bolton 1-1 Wigan
Wigan picked up a vital away point despite falling a goal behind in their match away at Bolton Wanderers, in a game that finished 1-1.
Bolton took the lead through a 54th minute Moreno finish, but Stam equalised for Wigan on 80 minutes to ensure the points were shared.
The point means Wigan remain in the drop zone, but keep in touch with those above them, as they are placed 19th, but level on points with Aston Villa and Wolves who have a superior goal difference.
Bolton remain 7th in the table.
Everton 2-1 Tottenham
Spurs missed an opportunity to gain ground on Man City and Arsenal and to consolidate their 4th position in the league by going down to a 2-1 defeat away at Everton.
The Toffees were well worth their win, however, as they had by far the most possession, and more than twice as many shots on target – 13 – as Tottenham.
Everton took the lead early through a 3rd minute Louis Saha finish, but Spurs equalised on 11 minutes through Van der Vaart. However, Coleman sealed the win and three points, which moves Everton a little away from the relegation places, on 75 minutes.
Everton rise to 11th in the league while Spurs remain in 4th.
Newcastle 5-0 West Ham
Newcastle picked up an emphatic three points with the biggest win of the evening in beating West Ham 5-0 at St James’ Park.
Leon Best playing only as a result of injuries to Andy Carroll and Shola Ameobi, threw his hat into the ring for a regular place by scoring a hat-trick with goals on 18, 39 and 60 minutes, all struck with his left foot. Nolan had added a 45th minute goal in between to make the score 4-0 after an hour, before Peter Lovenkrands wrapped things up on 68 minutes.
West Ham ended the evening bottom of the league, and will have to pick themselves up after this demoralising defeat. Newcastle climb to 8th in the table on 28 points.
Wolverhampton 1-0 Chelsea
The shock of the day came when Wolves pulled themselves out of the bottom three by defeating the holding Champions, Chelsea, 1-0 at Molineux.
Wolves took the lead on 6 minutes via a Bosingwa own goal, before resolutely defending for 84 minutes plus stoppages to pick up a hard-fought three points.
Chelsea’s form wobble has turned into a full scale crisis, now, and though Wolves rode their luck a little – the Blues hit the post from Drogba and had their goalkeeper Hennessey to thank on a couple of occasions – it was difficult to see which side was at the foot of the table, and which was the defending champion for much of this match.
Wolves have for a long time threatened that they are good enough to pull out of the bottom three, and, at the end of the evening, they had achieved this, for the first time in months. They now sit 16th, level on points with Villa and Wigan below them, but with a superior goal difference.
Chelsea are currently out of the UEFA Champions League places and, unless they can turn around their current abject form, that’s just where they’ll stay.
The bottom seven teams in the league are now separated by just two points.
Barclays Premier League results – Wednesday 5th January 2011
- Arsenal 0-0 Man City
- Aston Villa 0-1 Sunderland
- Blackburn 3-1 Liverpool
- Bolton 1-1 Wigan
- Everton 2-1 Tottenham
- Newcastle 5-0 West Ham
- Wolverhampton 1-0 Chelsea