PREMIER LEAGUE WRAP: Manchester derby to come after Arsenal and Chelsea record victories

Arsenal and Chelsea both pushed forward their argument for a top-four finish with vital wins in the Premier League over the weekend.

Arsenal and Chelsea both pushed forward their argument for a top-four finish with vital wins in the Premier League over the weekend.

The Gunners remained fifth but are just two points out of the top four with a game in hand on fourth-placed North London rivals Tottenham after beating West Bromwich Albion 2-1 at The Hawthorns.

Tomas Rosicky, in just his second start of the campaign, had not scored in the league since February last year but managed a double as Arsene Wenger’s men had to deal with the sending off of Per Mertesacker prior to James Morrison’s 71st minute penalty.

Chelsea were also fortunate in their victory as they trailed Sunderland by a goal at the break following Cesar Azpilicueta’s own-goal but were back on level terms early in the second half when Matthew Kilgallon inadvertently sent the ball into the back of his own net after a deflection off goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

Chelsea then hit the lead five minutes before the hour-mark when Branislav Ivanovic cleverly diverted David Luiz’s effort in for the winner. The Blues went back to third after Tottenham drew 2-2 with Everton at White Hart Lane.

Spurs struck early through Emmanuel Adebayor but goals from Phil Jagielka and Kevin Mirallas edged the Toffees in front before Gylfi Sigurdsson levelled it late for the home side who are now on 58 points from 32 outings and in danger of relinquishing fourth spot to the Gunners.

Everton, now undefeated in their last four, managed to stay sixth on the table and are three points clear of Merseyside rivals Liverpool.

The Reds were held to a 0-0 draw at Anfield by West Ham United but managed to go five points ahead of eighth-placed West Brom.

Reading’s relegation woes got even worse when they were beaten 2-0 at home by Southampton, who pushed up to 11th, whilst Swansea City squandered a one-goal lead before scoring 15 minutes from time to force a 2-2 draw at Norwich City.

Goals from Gabby Agbonlahor, Matthew Lowton and Christian Benteke allowed Aston Villa to record a vital 3-1 victory at Stoke City, pushing them two points clear of the drop zone, and sending the Potters down to 15th.

Papiss Cisse produced his third-straight injury-time winner as Newcastle United edge Fulham 1-0 at St James’ Park whilst QPR were unlucky to be held to a 1-1 draw by Wigan Athletic despite striker Bobby Zamoras being sent off.

The R’s scored in the 85th minute through Loic Remy with ten men but an injury-time free-kick from Shaun Maloney denied the West Londoners all three points as they remain second bottom on the table.

To finish off the weekend’s round of matches, Manchester United will be looking to extend their lead at the top of the standings from 15 points to 18 over reigning champions Manchester City when they clash at Old Trafford on Monday night.

2012/13 Barclays Premier League season scores

Reading: 0
Southampton: 2 (Jay Rodriguez 34’, Adam Lallana 72’)
Madejski Stadium, Reading – 24,108

Norwich City: 2 (Robert Snodgrass 40’, Michael Turner 60’)
Swansea City: 2 (Michu 35’, Luke Moore 75’)
Carrow Road, Norwich – 26,372

Stoke City: 1 (Michael Kightly 80’)
Aston Villa: 3 (Gabriel Agbonlahor 9’, Matthew Lowton 87’, Christian Benteke 90+1’)
Britannia Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent – 27,544

West Bromwich Albion: 1 (James Morrison (p) 71’)
Arsenal: 2 (Tomas Rosicky 20’/50’, red card: Per Mertesacker 70’)
The Hawthorns, West Bromwich – 26,144

Liverpool: 0
West Ham United: 0
Anfield, Liverpool – 45,007

Chelsea: 2 (Matthew Kilgallon (og) 47’, Branislav Ivanovic 55’)
Sunderland: 1 (Cesar Azpilicueta (og) 45’)
Stamford Bridge, London – 41,500

Tottenham: 2 (Emmanuel Adebayor 1’, Gylfi Sigurdsson 87’)
Everton: 2 (Phil Jagielka 15’, Kevin Mirallas 53’)
White Hart Lane, London – 36,192

Newcastle United: 1 (Papiss Cisse 90+3’)
Fulham: 0
St James’ Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne – 51,847

Queens Park Rangers: 1 (Loic Remy 85’, red card: Booby Zamora 21’)
Wigan Athletic: 1 (Shaun Maloney 90+4’)
Loftus Road, London – 16,658

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