Premier League Roundup: Manchester United Create Record on Course for Title

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterMarch 30, 2013

Premier League Roundup: Manchester United Create Record on Course for Title

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    Manchester United continued their march toward the Premier League title with a 1-0 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

    Titus Bramble's own goal separated the sides, but the Old Trafford team also created a piece of history with its victory.

    Manchester City maintained the chase to catch their neighbours with a 4-0 win over Newcastle United, but remain 15 points behind United.

    Tottenham moved into third place after their win at Swansea as Chelsea slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Southampton.

    Arsenal continued their revival with a 4-1 win over Reading, where manager Nigel Adkins took charge of the Royals for the first time.

    Everton defeated Stoke City 1-0 to keep up their hopes of a Champions League berth for next season.

    Wigan Athletic left it late to defeat Norwich, and West Ham beat West Bromwich Albion 3-1 at Upton Park.

    To find out more, read on.

Sunderland 0 Manchester United 1

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    Manchester United maintained their relentless march to the Premier League title with a 1-0 win at Sunderland courtesy of a Titus Bramble own goal.

    Sir Alex Ferguson's team also created a piece of history by becoming the first team to claim 25 wins from its opening 30 matches in the English top flight.

    But Sunderland are now involved in the relegation dogfight, as they extended their winless sequence to eight matches.

    United won the game in the 27th minute when a Robin van Persie cross into the area was diverted past Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet by the knee of defender Bramble.

    The Old Trafford side never looked in danger at the Stadium of Light even when the Black Cats enjoyed some pressure at the start of the second half.

    Van Persie almost added a second goal with the last kick of the game, but Mignolet saved well from point-blank range.

Manchester City 4 Newcastle United 0

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    Manchester City comfortably disposed of Newcastle United with a four-goal win at the Etihad Stadium.

    Carlos Tevez, David Silva, Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure were all on the score sheet as Roberto Mancini's team maintained its slender Premier League title hopes ahead of next week's trip to Old Trafford.

    City were in total command in the first period, but it took until the 39th minute before they broke the deadlock when Gael Clichy's ball across the face of goal was fired home by Tevez.

    The points appeared to be settled on the stroke of half-time when Silva picked up Samir Nasri's ball from an acute angle before firing home a low shot.

    Kompany, who was making his first appearance since January after injury, added the third in the 56th minute when he deflected a Gareth Barry shot beyond Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliot.

    Toure then barged his way through three Newcastle defenders in the 69th minute before firing home, with some help from a James Perch deflection.

Southampton 2 Chelsea 1

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    Southampton dented Chelsea's Champions League hopes with a well-deserved 2-1 victory at St Mary's Stadium.

    Jay Rodriguez opened the scoring for the Saints before Chelsea captain John Terry took advantage of some slack marking to equalise.

    However, Southampton striker Rickie Lambert produced a sublime free-kick to win the game for the home side, who eased relegation concerns with the 2-1 win.

    But Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez was left to reflect on the several changes he made to his team ahead of the FA Cup quarterfinal replay against Manchester United on Monday. 

    Southampton opened the scoring in the 23rd minute when Rodriguez linked with Steven Davis before firing past Petr Cech.

    Ten minutes later, Chelsea were level against the run of play. Marko Marin's corner found an unmarked Terry, who headed home the equaliser.

    But the Saints were quickly back in their stride, and three minutes later, Lambert curled a sublime free-kick beyond Cech to make it 2-1 to the home side.

Arsenal 4 Reading 1

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    Gervinho produced one of his best performances as Arsenal handed new Reading manager Nigel Adkins a 4-1 defeat in his opening match in charge of the Royals.

    Gervinho opened the scoring for the Gunners before turning provider for Santi Cazorla. Olivier Giroud gave Arsenal a three-goal in the second half before Hal Robson-Kanu pulled one back for Reading.

    But Mikel Arteta fired home from the penalty spot after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had been fouled inside the area.

    Arsenal opened the scoring through Gervinho, who scored his fifth goal of the season in the 11th minute after poking home a Cazorla pass.

    In the 18th minute, the Gunners were denied a clear penalty when striker Giroud lifted the ball over Reading goalkeeper Stuart Taylor. Giroud was then felled by a clumsy challenge, but the match official waved play on.

    Gervinho returned the favour three minutes into the second period when he skipped away from his marker and found Cazorla in space. The midfielder then curled the ball beyond Taylor to put Arsenal two up.

    Midway through the second period, and any doubts that the points were staying at the Emirates Stadium were erased when Gervinho countered at pace before finding Giroud, who hit home Arsenal's third.

    A minute later, Robson-Kanu pulled a goal back for Reading when he headed home Jobi McAnuff's cross to the back post.

    Oxlade-Chamberlain had only been on the field for a few moments when Adrian Mariappa gifted him possession before body-checking the England man inside the area. And Arteta made it 4-1 from the spot.

Swansea City 1 Tottenham 2

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    Jan Vertonghen and Gareth Bale were the goalscorers for Tottenham as they moved into third place in the Premier League with a hard-fought 2-1 win at Swansea City.

    Michu pulled a goal back for the home side in the 71st minute, but despite a nervy close to the game, Andre Villas-Boas' team held on for the three points.

    Vertonghen opened the scoring for the visitors in the seventh minute with a fine piece of control and finish. The Belgian collected the ball on the halfway line and moved before laying it off to Gareth Bale.

    The Wales international returned it to Vertonghen, who controlled the ball well before slotting past Swansea goalkeeper Michel Vorm.

    Vertonghen linked with Bale again in the 22nd minute as Tottenham extended their lead.

    Swansea failed to clear their lines and the ball dropped for the Belgian, who played the ball to the Welshman on the edge of the area. Bale controlled the ball with his right foot before using his left to fire home into the top corner of the net.

    With 19 minutes remaining, though, Michu set the visitors' nerves on edge when he headed home to claw Swansea back into the game.

Everton 1 Stoke City 0

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    Kevin Mirallas scored the only goal of the game as Everton kept up their pursuit of a Champions League spot with their victory over Stoke City.

    The Belgium international struck in the 29th minute when he collected United States goalkeeper Tim Howard's clearance and saw off the challenges off Steven N'Zonzi and Geoff Cameron before slotting the ball past Asmir Begovic.

    Stoke had a goal disallowed when Ryan Shawcross was adjudged to be offside when he swept home moments after Mirallas had scored.

    Howard did well to save from Jon Walters, while Begovic turned away a great Nikica Jelavic strike.

    The result lifts Everton four points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, but Stoke are just four points above the relegation zone.

Wigan Athletic 1 Norwich City 0

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    Arouna Kone scored the only goal of the game against Norwich City to lift Wigan Athletic out of the relegation zone on the back of three successive wins.

    The Ivory Coast striker struck in the 81st minute after Antolin Alcaraz, James McCarthy and Jordi Gomez had all gone close for the Latics.

    But the defeat means the Canaries have won just once in their last 14 league matches, and they are now just four points above the drop zone.

    With nine minutes remaining, Kone finally broke the deadlock in a disappointing game. Gomez slipped the ball into the path of the striker, and he drove home through Norwich goalkeeper Lee Camp.

West Ham United 3 West Bromwich Albion 1

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    Andy Carroll produced a potential goal of the season as his two goals helped West Ham United ease their relegation fears with a 3-1 win over West Bromwich Albion at Upton Park.

    The England international opened the scoring for the Hammers before Gary O'Neil added the second to give the home side a two-goal cushion at half-time.

    Carroll then produced a superb volley to make it 3-0 before Graham Dorrans pulled a goal back from the penalty spot.

    To compound West Brom's agony, midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu was sent off in the closing stages for kicking the ball at O'Neil after being fouled.

    Carroll produced an excellent header to give West Ham the lead in the 16th minute. The on-loan Liverpool striker got ahead of Jonas Olsson in the area to connect with O'Neil's corner and head past Ben Foster.

    O'Neil then became goalscorer in the 38th minute when his clever ball to Ricardo Vaz Te was returned and the former Middlesbrough midfielder curled a great strike beyond Foster in the West Brom goal.

    Carroll produced the goal of the game with 10 minutes remaining to seal the victory for the Hammers. James Collins sent a high ball into the area and the striker watched it all the way over his shoulder before volleying home.

    Dorrans grabbed a consolation when he struck from the penalty spot after Matt Taylor had fouled Romelu Lukaku inside the area.