Premier League Results: Analysis for Manchester City vs. Arsenal and All Matches
The Premier League weekend started with a bang Saturday afternoon as Manchester City and Arsenal put on a nine-goal thriller at the Etihad Stadium.
City came out on top, winning 6-3 and closing the gap on Arsenal. But while that match was the day's big result, there was plenty of action elsewhere in the league as well.
In the following slides, we recap all the matches from the Premier League weekend.
Manchester City 6-3 Arsenal
In Saturday's early kickoff, Manchester City made a major statement of intent with a 6-3 victory at home to Arsenal in a battle of title challengers at the Etihad Stadium.
With the result, City moved temporarily into second place, three points behind Arsenal, who remained atop the table with 35 points.
City started brightly, dominating the ball and harrying Arsenal when the visitors had possession. The hosts went ahead in the 14th minute, and not surprisingly, it was Sergio Aguero on the scoresheet. Martin Demichelis met a corner at the near post, flicking it toward Aguero at the back post, where the Argentine volleyed into the net.
It was Aguero's 19th goal in 20 games in all competitions this season. He has scored 13 goals in the Premier League, two fewer than top scorer Luis Suarez of Liverpool.
Arsenal drew level in the 31st minute. Aaron Ramsey dispossessed Yaya Toure in the midfield and passed to Mesut Ozil on the left. Ozil pulled back for Walcott, whose slightly deflected shot kept Costel Pantilimon rooted to his spot.
City soon went back ahead, with Alvaro Negredo making it 2-1 in the 39th minute. Toure had plenty of time and space in the middle to pick out Pablo Zabaleta's run on the right. Zabaleta crossed for Negredo in the middle, and Negredo finished coolly.
To make matters worse for Arsenal, defender Laurent Koscielny left the pitch on a stretcher following the goal. Initial reports, relayed from Arsenal by The Guardian's Daniel Taylor, indicated Koscielny suffered a "deep laceration" on his left knee.
City received mixed news in the moments following halftime. First, Aguero left the match with a calf injury. Then, City went ahead 3-1 as Fernandinho curled in a shot from the edge of the box in the 50th minute.
Arsenal pulled one back through Walcott's curled finish in the 63rd minute, but City restored their two-goal lead three minutes later via David Silva's near-post strike.
City dominated thereafter as Arsenal tired, and Fernandinho added his second goal, City's fifth, in the 88th minute.
Arsenal substitute Nicklas Bendtner headed the ball into the net in the closing moments, but his effort was ruled out for offside. The Gunners got their third in stoppage time on Per Mertesacker's header from Bacary Sagna's cross.
But the scoring was still not complete. Substitute James Milner won a penalty for City in the fifth minute of stoppage time, and Toure converted the spot-kick to seal the win.
Manuel Pellegrini said after the game that it was not City's "best performance of the season" and that his side gave Arsenal too many good chances. However, Arsene Wenger was disappointed in Arsenal's performance and said, "What hurts me most is we had an opportunity to put MCFC to nine points. Now it is three and that is hard to swallow."
On target: 7-6
Tottenham Hotspur 0-5 Liverpool
Luis Suarez scored two goals and assisted two more as Liverpool returned to second place with a comprehensive 5-0 win at 10-man Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
Suarez scored in either half, and Jordan Henderson, Jon Flanagan and Raheem Sterling added one goal each as Liverpool retook second place with a statement-making victory. The Reds, on 33 points, are level with Chelsea—ahead on goal differential—and two points behind leaders Arsenal.
Tottenham lost for the fifth time in 16 total matches and a third time in eight home games this season. The loss will heap further pressure on manager Andre Villas-Boas following a 6-0 defeat at the hands of Manchester City earlier this season. Spurs are seventh with 27 points.
On target: 0-10
Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United
Danny Welbeck scored twice in three first-half minutes to help ease the pressure on Manchester United manager David Moyes with a 3-0 win at Aston Villa on Sunday.
Tom Cleverley added a third for United seven minutes into the second period as the visitors moved up to eighth place in the Premier League table.
Villa had looked sharp in the opening minutes, but the writing was on the wall for Paul Lambert's team when Adnan Januzaj headed a Rafael cross against the post in the 15th minute, and Welbeck pounced on the rebound to open the scoring.
The England striker was on hand again three minutes later when he slid in to direct an Antonio Valencia cross past Brad Guzan.
United completed the scoring in the 52nd minute when Cleverley ran on to a delightful pass into the area by Wayne Rooney to fire the ball past Guzan at the near post.
The game was also notable for the return of United midfielder Darren Fletcher, who made his first appearance for a year when he replaced Ryan Giggs in the second half.
On target: 6-5
Norwich City 1-1 Swansea City
Gary Hooper scored his fourth goal in six matches to salvage a point in a 1-1 draw with Swansea City at Carrow Road on Sunday.
Nathan Dyer had given the visitors a 12th-minute when he took advantage of a Sebastian Bassong slip before lobbing home.
But the Swansea star was then carried off the field on a stretcher after suffering a suspected fracture to his ankle.
On the stroke of half-time, former Celtic striker Hooper volleyed home from 25 yards to deny Swansea a first Premier League win over the Canaries.
On target: 3-2
Cardiff City 1-0 West Bromwich Albion
Peter Whittingham scored the only goal as Cardiff City moved four points clear of the relegation zone with a 1-0 victory at home to West Brom on Saturday.
With the result, Cardiff ended a five-match winless run and moved onto 17 points, four clear of Crystal Palace in 18th place. West Brom have lost four straight in the league and have not won since Nov. 2, at home to Palace, a run of six matches. The Baggies are 16th, two points clear of the relegation zone.
With the game still scoreless in the 56th minute, Cardiff's Gary Medel cleared Gareth McAuley's shot off the line. Nine minutes later, Whittingham headed in the winner from Craig Noone's cross.
Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall preserved the victory with a fine save from Shane Long's close-range header in the 86th minute.
On target: 3-2
Chelsea 2-1 Crystal Palace
Chelsea moved within two points of leaders Arsenal with his winner in a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
The Blues team had to work for the win after Marouane Chamakh canceled out Fernando Torres' opener in the first half. Ramires scored the winner with a rocketed shot in the 35th minute.
With the result, Chelsea remained in second place with 33 points. Jose Mourinho's side can take over top spot with a win at Arsenal next Monday.
Palace, who had won three of four league matches, are 18th with 13 points.
On target: 7-5
Everton 4-1 Fulham
Everton moved into the top four with a 4-1 victory at home to Fulham on Saturday.
The Toffees, unbeaten in nine league matches, scored the final three goals after Dimitar Berbatov's 67th-minute penalty canceled out Leon Osman's first-half opener. Seamus Coleman (73'), Gareth Barry (84') and Kevin Mirallas (90') scored late in the match to seal the points.
With the win, Everton moved up to fourth place on 31 points. Roberto Martinez's side are still unbeaten at home this season.
Fulham are 19th with 13 points.
On target: 7-3
Newcastle United 1-1 Southampton
Newcastle and Southampton shared the points in a heated 1-1 draw Saturday at St. James' Park.
Yoan Gouffran put Newcastle ahead in the 27th minute after Jos Hooiveld failed to clear Mathieu Debuchy's free kick. Southampton nearly equalized in the 64th minute, when Steven Davis hit the post, and a minute later Jay Rodriguez made it 1-1 after a fine run from the halfway line.
Near the final whistle, both teams' benches cleared after Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin sparked an altercation with a late tackle on Massadio Haidara.
On target: 5-3
West Ham United 0-0 Sunderland
Strugglers West Ham and Sunderland played out a scoreless draw at Upton Park on Saturday.
The result left West Ham in 17th place with 14 points, one point clear of the relegation zone.
Sunderland are in last place with nine points.
On target: 2-6
Hull City 0-0 Stoke City
Hull and Stoke played to a scoreless draw in Saturday's late kickoff.
With the result, Hull remained in 12th place with 19 points. Stoke are 13th, one point behind.
Stoke City put the ball in the net in the 71st minute when Stephen Ireland swept in the rebound after Peter Crouch's initial header was saved. But the linesman ruled Ireland offside in a tight decision.
The visitors came close again four minutes later as Ryan Shawcross hit the crossbar with a header.
On target: 4-2