Blog by: Gautam
The Premier League’s four other fixtures kicked off across England today, with the Manchester Derby attracting the world’s press as David Moyes and Manuel Pellegrini locked horns at the Etihad Stadium.
Arsenal 3-1 Stoke
Ramsey 5’, Mertesacker 36’, Sagna 72; Cameron 26’
One defeat aside, both teams were unbeaten before this game kicked off and it would be the Gunners who would continue their winning streak.
Mesut Ozil’s free kick was turned in by Aaron Ramsey with less than five minutes on the clock, but that lead would only last for a little more than 20 minutes.
In the 26th minute, Marko Arnautovic’s drive cannoned off Wojciech Szczesny’s upright and Geoff Cameron was on hand to sweep home the rebound despite the Pole getting a hand to it.
Parity would be short-lived, however. Per Mertesacker thumped home a header in the 36th minute, converting Ozil’s in swinging corner to ensure the hosts went into half time in the lead.
Bacary Sagna added an insurance policy in the second half with his header off Ozil’s free kick in the 72nd minute finishing off the game as the Gunners re-took pole position in the table.
Cardiff City 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur
While Arsenal returned to the top of the table, Tottenham would ensure that breathing room between the two North London rivals would only be in terms of goal difference.
It almost wasn’t to be that way though. Cardiff keeper David Marshall was kept busy throughout the game, with both Roberto Soldado and Christian Eriksen testing the home custodian.
In the second half, Gylfi Sigurdsson crashed a powerful drive against the crossbar and it looked like the game would end in a draw as the second ticked away, only for substitute Eric Lamela to cut the ball back to Paulinho and the Brazil international tucked home the winner with a cheeky backheel in the third minute of stoppage time.
Crystal Palace 0-2 Swansea City
Michu 2’, Dyer 48’
Michael Laudrup’s team scored within minutes of both halves beginning to follow up on a spectacular victory in Valencia.
Michu Cuesta opened the scoring in the 2nd minute when Wayne Routledge’s pass bobbled out to him and he showcased his finishing abilities with a sweet finish past Julian Speroni.
Crystal Palace were beset by injuries and struggled to get into the game. Nathan Dyer only made that very clear when he scored three minutes after the restart.
Vazquez picked up his own rebound to tee up Dyer, who poked home past Speroni to make it 2-0.
Manchester City 4-1 Manchester United
Aguero 16’ and 47’, Toure 45’+1, Nasri 50’; Rooney 87’
This was the first time both Manchester teams had gone into a derby with managers who hadn’t experienced the atmosphere of such a match before since 1947 and it was newly-appointed City manager Manuel Pellegrini who emerged victorious.
Kun Aguero scored the first goal of the game when he repositioned himself brilliantly to smash home Alexandar Kolarov’s cross in the 16th minute.
It stayed 1-0 until the first minute of first half stoppage time, and with Manchester United unable to muster meaningful shots on goal, Yaya Toure showed them how to put the ball in the back of the net when he prodded home completely unmarked at David de Gea’s far post to convert Alvaro Negredo’s flick-on.
Two minutes after the restart, Aguero made it 3-0 when Kompany galloped forward and initiated a move that ended in a hanging cross that found Samir Nasri, who blasted home goal number four.
Wayne Rooney pulled back a goal late into the game but by that time, the game had been long decided.