Toon Squeeze Into Top Half

28 October 2012 11:30
Papiss Cisse deflected home a fortunate injury-time winner for Newcastle as Alan Pardew's men recovered from Romelu Lukaku's equaliser for West Brom to grab a 2-1 victory at St James' Park. Aston Villa 1 Norwich 1Arsenal 1 QPR 0Reading 3 Fulham 3Stoke 0 Sunderland 0Wigan 2 West Ham 1Manchester City 1 Swansea 0Chelsea 2 Man Utd 3Southampton 1 Spurs 2Everton 2 Liverpool 2Newcastle 2 West Brom 1

Substitute Sammy Ameobi struck a left-foot shot from the edge of the box which took a heavy deflection off the back of Cisse and was cruelly diverted past Baggies keeper Ben Foster to seal the home side's win.

Demba Ba had netted his seventh goal in nine starts to give the Magpies a 35th-minute lead, but the dangerous Lukaku looked to have snatched the visitors a point when he headed home a Zoltan Gera cross 10 minutes into the second half.

1 Chelsea 22 2 Man Utd 21 3 Man City 21 4 Tottenham 17 5 Everton 16 6 Arsenal 15 7 Fulham 14 8 West Brom 14 9 West Ham 14 10 Newcastle 13 11 Swansea  11 12 Liverpool 10 13 Stoke City 9 14 Sunderland 9 15 Wigan  8 16 Norwich 7 17 A Villa 6 18 Reading 4 19 Southamptn 4 20 QPR 3

Manchester City emerged from a European hangover to maintain their unbeaten Premier League record with a 1-0 win over Swansea at the Etihad Stadium.

Second-best for 45 minutes as a subdued home support took stock of their side's Champions League troubles, City improved after half-time and took the points thanks to a Carlos Tevez goal in the 61st minute.

The striker's first in nine games delivered just a second win in five home games, and the impression remains that Roberto Mancini's champions are some way from hitting last season's stride despite sitting just a point off top spot.

There was further discomfort for the manager when Micah Richards followed Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm in departing on a stretcher with what appeared a serious injury.

Arsenal finally broke the resistance of stubborn 10-man QPR with six minutes remaining to avoid going a third straight match without a goal and claim a much-needed 1-0 win.

Mikel Arteta poked the ball home following a desperate goalmouth scramble to earn the Gunners a 1-0 victory at a relieved Emirates Stadium.

Bottom side Rangers shot themselves in the foot when Stephane Mbia was sent off in the 80th minute for inexplicably kicking out at Thomas Vermaelen.

Arsene Wenger's side eventually made them pay, despite being frustrated for most of the game by a succession of missed chances and some fantastic saves from Julio Cesar.

QPR could have equalised in a thrilling finish only for Esteban Granero and Jamie Mackie to see openings go begging.

Jack Wilshere returned to the Gunners' starting line-up following more than a year out and he was the brightest spark before being withdrawn midway through the second half.

Winless Reading led 1-0 and then came from behind twice in the final six minutes to snatch a 3-3 draw at home to Fulham.

Mikele Leigertwood rifled into the top corner from just outside the area in the 26th minute to give the Royals the lead, but Bryan Ruiz levelled with an equally well-struck shot just after the half-hour mark and Chris Baird's 77th-minute header completed the turnaround.

Garath McCleary made it 2-2 in the 85th minute, only for Dimitar Berbatov to appear to win it for the Cottagers three minutes later.

But there was more drama to come as substitute Hal Robson-Kanu struck the equaliser in the final minute.

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert failed to get one over on his old side as Norwich were more than worth a 1-1 draw at Villa Park.

Lambert, who left the Canaries in the summer, saw his new side go ahead in the 27th minute when Christian Benteke took advantage of poor defending to finish well.

But the hosts were reduced to 10 men in the 52nd minute when Joe Bennett received a second booking.

Norwich got an equaliser their domination deserved thanks to Michael Turner's 79th-minute glancing header and they would have gone on to win it had they not wasted a clutch of chances.

Wigan picked up their first win in seven league matches with a 2-0 success at home to West Ham, who missed the chance to move into a European spot.

Ivan Ramis volleyed powerfully home in the eighth minute and James McArthur's well-controlled finish two minutes after the break doubled the lead.

James Tomkins headed a stoppage-time consolation, but the Latics were already home and dry.

The match between Stoke and Sunderland finished goalless.

In a game lacking in real quality and featuring some feisty tackling, Potters wideman Michael Kightly saw a shot cleared away by the head of Carlos Cuellar in the first half.

Charlie Adam was unable to finish for the hosts from Geoff Cameron's tee-up after the break and Black Cats striker Steven Fletcher's penalty claims went unheeded after his shot looked to have hit Robert Huth's arm.

Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet then did well to deny Huth from close range and Kightly struck wide in stoppage time.

Chelsea were beaten for the first time in this season's Premier League as they were reduced to nine men in the 3-2 defeat against Manchester United.

Two goals down inside 12 minutes, the leaders fought their way off the ropes to level through Juan Mata (44) and Ramires (53) and were looking likelier winners until Branislav Ivanovic was sent off on the hour.

But a second red card for Fernando Torres meant the end of any genuine attacking ambition, and substitute Javier Hernandez bundled a contentious winner in the 75th minute to haul United within a point of the leaders and give them a first success at Stamford Bridge since 2002.

Despite the result there was plenty in Chelsea's performance to reinforce their credentials as real title challengers, though they were hindered by a haphazard start as United's £24m man Robin van Persie made one goal and scored another.

United's defence was under scrutiny before the game following another porous display against Braga in midweek, but it was a home back four missing John Terry which was exposed time and again during the opening exchanges.

David Luiz was too often in a different district to his fellow centre-half Gary Cahill while Ashley Cole was repeatedly isolated on the left flank, from where both early goals came.

Ashley Young strolled into the gaping hole between Luiz and Cahill to feed Wayne Rooney, and when his cut-back was met by a firm first-time van Persie shot the ball hit a post and cannoned off Luiz to find the back of the net.

Van Persie's movement in the box for the opener was bright enough, but it was an identical checked run which caught out Cahill again soon afterwards and this time the striker's right-footed effort from Antonio Valencia's low centre beat Cech by itself.

Luiz was slow to close down Valencia and continued to unsettle home supporters at the back, but it was the Brazilian's free-kick which forced David De Gea into the first of several feet-first saves and sparked an improvement in Chelsea's performance.

Jonny Evans miscued a clearance against a post, De Gea denying Cahill from the corner which followed, and the goalkeeper then used his right hand to claw out a Torres header from his near post.

A goal was coming and Mata's precise free-kick left his compatriot little chance before Ramires rose above Tom Cleverley to head a second-half equaliser.

Eden Hazard then went close as Chelsea threatened to become the first side in Premier League history to topple United from 2-0 down, but Ivanovic saw red for clipping a clean-through Young and Torres followed for a second booking - referee Mark Clattenburg deciding he dived unnecessarily over Evans' lunge.

Chelsea were left hanging on and the task proved too much as Cech kept out van Persie only for Hernandez - loitering in what appeared an offside position - to turn in Rafael da Silva's follow-up.

Luis Suarez was controversially denied an injury-time winner as Liverpool had to settle for a 2-2 Merseyside derby draw with Everton.

Suarez reacted first to fire into the roof of the net with time almost up only to see his effort ruled out by the assistant referee, who adjudged him offside.

Television replays immediately showed the former Ajax striker was onside as he poked the ball beyond Tim Howard for what would have been his hat-trick.

Earlier, Everton displayed all the qualities which have kept them in the top four this season as Liverpool blew a two-goal lead at Goodison Park.

When Suarez headed home in the 20th minute, after Leighton Baines had earlier turned the Uruguay international's cross-shot into his own net, the Reds appeared in control.

However, in a pulsating first half Leon Osman pulled one back almost immediately before Steven Naismith equalised 10 minutes before half-time.

The remaining 55 minutes subsequently failed to match what had gone before, and although both sides could have won it after the break, the point was enough to keep Everton in fourth, six points ahead of their near-neighbours.

Gareth Bale returned to haunt his former employers as Tottenham held on to win 2-1 at Southampton.

Spurs had not even scored - never mind won - on their five previous trips to St Mary's but dominated the first half on the south coast.

Bale gave the north Londoners the lead just 15 minutes into the match against the club with whom he began his career, heading home on his return to action following the birth of his first child.

Spurs deservedly doubled their advantage as half-time approached through Clint Dempsey, who directed home into an empty net after Jose Fonte's clearance off the line fell straight into his path.

A vastly-improved Saints side re-emerged for the second period and they reduced the deficit in the 66th minute when Jay Rodriguez lashed home his first Premier League goal.

Southampton continued to press for a leveller as the clock wound down but could not find an elusive second goal, much to the frustration of under-pressure manager Nigel Adkins.


Source: Newcastle United Mad


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