Another bunch of interesting results came from Week 13 of the 2011/12 Barclays Premier League season.
The weekend kicked off at the Britannia Stadium with Stoke City recording a comfortable 3-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers who dropped to the bottom of the table. Rory Delap headed the Potters into the lead just prior to the half-hour mark before Glenn Whelan and Peter Crouch put the home side three ahead by the72nd minute and although Ruben Rochina got one back for the Rovers ,the damage had already been done.
Everton overcame ten-man Bolton Wanderers 2-0 at the Reebok Stadium with Marouane Fellaini and Apostolos Vellios on the score sheet following David Wheater’s 19th minute red card for a reckless challenge on Diniyar Bilyaletdinov.
Chelsea returned to form with a controlling 3-0 win over Wolves at Stamford Bridge with first-half goals from John Terry, Daniel Sturridge and Juan Mata as Manchester United and Newcastle United played out a tense 1-1 draw at Old Trafford. The reigning champions scored a lucky goal through Javier Hernandez early in the second half before the Magpies responded via a Demba Ba penalty which came about from a questionable call against Rio Ferdinand for his challenge on Hatem Ben Arfa. Newcastle then lost Jonas Gutierrez to a second yellow card but the visitors held on for a vital away point.
Norwich City edged QPR 2-1 at Carrow Road in the battle of the top-two teams from last season’s Championship with Russell Martin and Grant Holt scoring either side of Luke Young’s 59th minute strike whilst Wigan Athletic came from behind to defeat Sunderland 2-1 at the Stadium of Light. Sebastian Larsson opened the scoring early for the Black Cats before Jordi Gomez converted from the penalty spot and then Franco di Santo slotted a late winner for the Latics.
Tottenham left their run late but managed to record a 3-1 away win at West Bromwich Albion with Emmanuel Adebayor netting twice and Jermain Defoe providing a brilliant individual effort following Youssuf Mulumbu’s opener for the Baggies as their North London rivals Arsenal got themselves out of jail with a 1-1 draw against Fulham. Thomas Vermaelen scored an own-goal which gave the visiting Cottagers the lead just after the hour-mark before the Belgian defender headed home to equalise for the Gunners eight minutes from time.
On Sunday, Swansea City and Aston Villa went out to battle at the Liberty Stadium despite the tragic death of Wales national team manager Gary Speed earlier on Sunday morning. The match ended in a 0-0 draw but the news of Speed far overrode the performance of both sides who seemingly ran through the motions.
And at Anfield, the weekend’s clash of the heavyweights ended all square at 1-1 with all the goals coming in the first half and substitute Mario Balotelli sent off with eight minutes remaining.
Liverpool flooded midfield and whilst City were allowed to spray the passes around they were unable to find a cutting edge in the final third.
City took the lead just after the half-hour from skipper Vincent Kompany who headed home David Silva’s corner.
Roberto Mancini probably hoped the league leaders would kick-on from that goal but instead found themselves pegged back within a couple of minutes.
Liverpool’s Luis Suarez, Stewart Downing, Dirk Kuyt and substitute Andy Carroll all went close in a frantic finale but the visitor’s defence, and in particular keeper Joe Hart, stood firm for a hard earned point.
But City maintain their five point lead over rivals United at the top of the Premiership and remain unbeaten in the league