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Are West Ham Newcastle 'In Disguise'?
Published : 13 Feb 2011 10:52:54
3-0 down at half-time, did Avram Grant read out Alan Pardew's half-time rant? Saturday's Premiership action ... Man United 2 Man City 1Arsenal 2 Wolves 0Sunderland 1 Tottenham 2Liverpool 1 Wigan 1Blackpool 1 Aston Villa 1Blackburn 0 Newcastle 0Birmingham 1 Stoke 0West Brom 3 West Ham 3 Wayne Rooney's sensational 77th-minute overhead kick gave Manchester United a crucial 2-1 derby win over local rivals Manchester City at Old Trafford on Saturday. The Blues had the better of the game but trailed to Nani's first-half opener, although David Silva's freakish goal - Edin Dzeko's drive deflecting in off the Spaniard as he turned his back - looked as though it would get them at least a point. But Rooney met Nani's cross with a staggering effort to leave United eight points ahead of their local rivals with a match in hand. Title rivals Arsenal saw off Wolves 2-0 as Robin van Persie's brace took his tally to nine goals in five Premier League games. The Dutchman's superb off-balance volley with his weaker right foot opened the scoring and Richard Stearman's goal-line clearance denied Cesc Fabregas before Van Persie doubled the lead (56), lashing home after being set up by Theo Walcott. Arsenal now trail United by four points. At the other end of the table, West Ham had further reason to celebrate following this week's Olympic Stadium vote as they came from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with West Brom. Albion led inside three minutes as Graham Dorrans let fly from almost 25 yards to score his first goal of the season, and winger Jerome Thomas stroked home five minutes later after being teed up by Marc-Antoine Fortune. A harsh offside flag deprived Carlton Cole of a goal to cut the deficit, but it was 3-0 when Dorrans' left-wing free-kick was diverted into the net by the arm of Hammers defender Winston Reid. West Ham's Gary O'Neil hit the crossbar from long range and Demba Ba pulled a goal back five minutes after half-time, his first in English football, after being brilliantly picked out by Mark Noble. Noble's free-kick and Frederic Piquionne's header created the second for Carlton Cole (58) and Piquionne headed against the bar before Ba completed the fightback, volleying home Noble's deflected cross following a short corner. Tottenham kept up their bid for a top-four spot by coming from behind to win 2-1 at Sunderland in the late game. Record signing Asamoah Gyan opened the scoring for the Black Cats, but central defender Michael Dawson levelled a minute before the break. And Niko Kranjcar grabbed the winner on 57 minutes with a cracking volley to give Spurs three points which take them into fourth, above Chelsea who face Fulham on Monday. Blackpool ended their five-match losing run with a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa. Gabriel Agbonlahor gave Villa a 10th-minute lead as Darren Bent's flick put him clear and he rounded goalkeeper Richard Kingson before rolling the ball home as two defenders scrambled back. But Elliot Grandin quickly equalised, nodding in Charlie Adam's corner at the near post. Villa lost Jean Makoun to a red card in the second half after a two-footed challenge on DJ Campbell. Liverpool were forced to settle for a draw after leading at home to Wigan, Raul Meireles volleying them in front following James McCarthy's error (24) before Luis Suarez hit the post. But Steve Gohouri poked home a close-range equaliser as Liverpool failed to defend Charles N'Zogbia's cross before Suarez was denied by the woodwork for a second time, his free-kick clanging back off the crossbar. Nikola Zigic's header deep in injury-time earned Birmingham a 1-0 win over Stoke, the giant Serbian heading home after excellent work by Cameron Jerome. Both sides could have earlier had penalties as the ball struck the hands of rival centre-halves Roger Johnson and Robert Huth.