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PREMIER LEAGUE WRAP: Arsenal, Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool salute as Man Utd beaten by Tottenham

The top four sides in the Premier League all recorded victories on the first day of 2014 on a full book of fixtures around England and Wales.

Arsenal maintained their spot at the summit thanks to very late goals from Nicklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott in their 2-0 win over Cardiff City at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners remain a point clear of Manchester City, who have now won eight of their past nine, thanks to Wednesday's 3-2 victory at Swansea City.

Fernandinho opened the scoring before Wilfried Bony levelled for the Swans prior to Yaya Toure and Aleksandar Kolarov giving City a two-goal lead. Bony struck back spectacularly in injury-time but it wasn't enough as Manuel Pellegrini's side made it five in a row.

Third-placed Chelsea scored a solid 3-0 win at Southampton thanks to goals from Fernando Torres, Willian and Oscar while Liverpool beat Hull City 2-0 - with Luis Suarez scoring his 20th goal of the season - to move above Merseyside rivals Everton.

The Toffees netted an injury-time penalty through Leighton Baines to force a 1-1 draw at Stoke City who had earlier been served by a goal from Reds loanee Oussama Assaidi.

Tottenham replaced Manchester United in sixth place with a 2-1 win at Old Trafford as Emmanuel Adebayor and Christian Eriksen scored prior to Danny Welbeck's 67th-minute effort.

Elsewhere, Crystal Palace and Norwich City drew 1-1, Fulham moved out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 home win over ten-man West Ham United, bottom-placed Sunderland lost 1-0 at home to Aston Villa as Saido Berahino scored a late penalty for West Bromwich Albion to edge Newcastle United who had Mathieu Debuchy sent off.

The Premier League will take the upcoming weekend off, stepping aside for third round FA Cup fixtures, before returning on January 11.

2013/14 Barclays Premier League season scores

Swansea City: 2 (Wilfried Bony 45+2'/90+1') Manchester City: 3 (Fernandinho 14', Yaya Toure 58', Aleksandar Kolarov 66') Liberty Stadium, Swansea - 20,498

Arsenal: 2 (Nicklas Bendtner 88', Theo Walcott 90+2') Cardiff City: 0 Emirates Stadium, London - 60,004

Crystal Palace: 1 (Jason Puncheon (p) 44') Norwich City: 1 (Bradley Johnson 39', red card: Leroy Fer 82') Selhurst Park, London - 25,189

Fulham: 2 (Steve Sidwell 32', Dimitar Berbatov 66') West Ham United: 1 (Mohamed Diame 7', red card: Kevin Nolan 44') Craven Cottage, London - 25,335

Liverpool: 2 (Daniel Agger 36', Luis Suarez 50') Hull City: 0 Anfield, Liverpool - 44,627

Southampton: 0 Chelsea: 3 (Fernando Torres 60', Willian 71', Oscar 82') St Mary's Stadium, Southampton - 31,271

Stoke City: 1 (Oussama Assaidi 49') Everton: 1 (Leighton Baines (p) 90+2') Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent - 25,832

Sunderland: 0 Aston Villa: 1 (Gabriel Agbonlahor 15') Stadium of Light, Sunderland - 39,757

West Bromwich Albion: 1 (Saido Berahino (p) 87') Newcastle United: 0 (red card: Mathieu Debuchy 62') The Hawthorns, West Bromwich - 26,430

Manchester United: 1 (Danny Welbeck 67') Tottenham: 2 (Emmanuel Adebayor 34', Christian Eriksen 66') Old Trafford, Manchester - 75,265

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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