Premier League Results: Analysis for Stoke vs. Man Utd and All the Matches
This weekend's Premier League action began with a bang, as Newcastle and Sunderland contested a hot-tempered derby at St James' Park.
Elsewhere, West Ham hosted Swansea in an important clash at the bottom of the table while Manchester United, Everton and Tottenham were among the clubs in action later in the day.
Click on for the complete round-up of all the weekend's Premier League action.
(All statistics via WhoScored?)
Arsenal 2-0 Crystal Palace
Arsenal moved back to the top of the Premier League table with a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.
The Gunners were not at their best, but two second-half goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sealed the three points that took them back above Manchester City.
Palace were extremely disciplined and restricted Arsenal to shots from distance in the first half.
Julian Speroni made one good save in the opening half, with the keeper diving across his line to keep out a dinked free-kick from Mesut Ozil.
Arsenal came out after the break like a side who had been given a stern talking to by manager Arsene Wenger, and on 47 minutes they were in front.
A deft pass from Santi Cazorla picked out Oxlade-Chamberlain, and he took one touch before dinking the ball beyond Speroni.
Cameron Jerome had a great chance to draw Palace level, but he headed straight at Wojciech Szczesny when it looked easier to score.
Palace were left to rue Jerome’s miss, as Oxlade-Chamberlain made the game safe on 73 minutes.
A clever one-two with Olivier Giroud released Oxlade-Chamberlain, and he strode forward before unleashing a low drive that was too hot for Speroni to handle.
On target: 6-2
Pass completion: 92%-72%
West Brom 1-1 Liverpool
West Bromwich Albion boosted their hopes of avoiding the drop by battling back from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Liverpool.
The Reds took an early lead through Daniel Sturridge, but Victor Anichebe pounced on an error from Kolo Toure to grab the equaliser.
Liverpool’s opener on 24 minutes owed much to the quality of Luis Suarez, who produced a brilliant threaded pass to pick out Sturridge for a tap-in.
The Reds failed to kill off the game and were stunned when a shocking misplaced pass from Toure handed Anichebe a chance which he took with aplomb.
On target: 4-3
Pass completion: 74%-76%
West Ham 2-0 Swansea: Carroll Provides Two Assists, Then Gets Sent off
West Ham grabbed a vital home victory over Swansea City, as Andy Carroll provided two assists for friend and team-mate Kevin Nolan before finding himself controversially sent off.
The Hammers won 2-0 thanks to two first-half strikes from Nolan, who found himself in the right place to finish off two astute headed knock-downs from the impressive Carroll. But the former Newcastle and Liverpool striker's afternoon finished on a sour note after the referee dismissed him for a clash with Chico Flores.
Upset by an aerial challenge from the Spaniard, Carroll appeared to try to throw Flores to the ground before swinging an elbow. Contact was minimal, but Flores went down, and Howard Webb deemed the incident worthy of a dismissal.
That left the Swans with 20 minutes to try to clamber back into the match, but the home side held firm to pick up a deserved victory.
Afterwards, Sam Allardyce told BT Sport (via The Independent):
I've just had a look at it and from our point of view I can't see why Howard has decided to give him [Carroll] a red card.
His arm's gone over the top of his head and while his arm's swinging round, coming from a position where both players have tangled and are coming round to correct their balance, there were players running round to obscure his [Webb's] view.
So he can't be absolutely certain of what's happened, except that Chico Flores is over-exaggerating, which is generally the norm for him unfortunately.
To clutch his face and roll around, I think that's had a big influence on Howard's decision, thinking that it's caught him in the face when it hasn't at all.
On target: 4-0
Pass completion: 69%-85%
Newcastle 0-3 Sunderland: More Derby Delight for Black Cats
Newcastle fans rounded on the club's hierarchy after Sunderland completed the Tyne-Wear derby double on Saturday, winning 3-0 at St James' Park.
Fabio Borini and Adam Johnson scored inside the first 25 minutes to give the Black Cats a healthy cushion before Jack Colback completed the rout with just 10 minutes remaining.
Newcastle had their opportunities but were ineffectual in front of goal, leaving fans to express their outrage after the club sold key player Yohan Cabaye in the January transfer window without signing anyone to replace him.
"The better team won, for sure," Alan Pardew told the BBC afterwards. "We didn't look our usual selves. Maybe we were too hyped up for it.
"We gave the ball away and we struggled. Though we created chances, we didn't look like we had the conviction to score."
On target: 10-5
Pass completion: 77%-73%
Stoke 2-1 Manchester United: Charlie Adam Spoils Moyes' Day
Stoke beat Manchester United for the first time in Premier League history, as Charlie Adam scored twice in a 2-1 victory.
David Moyes named Juan Mata, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney in his starting 11, but an early injury to Phil Jones threw his plans into disarray and forced Michael Carrick into a central defensive role.
Stoke took full advantage of that disorganisation, as Adam grabbed the lead with a brilliant free-kick minutes before half-time and then found another beautiful long-range finish to clinch the points after van Persie had briefly restored parity.
United pressed in the closing stages, but Asmir Begovic held firm, and Moyes' side could now be nine points off the Champions League places by the end of the weekend.
On target: 5-4
Pass completion: 65%-79%
Hull 1-1 Tottenham: Spoils Shared as Soldado Misses Opportunities
Hull and Tottenham played out a 1-1 draw in an entertaining and competitive encounter at the KC Stadium.
Recent signing Shane Long got the home side off to the perfect start, as he beat Hugo Lloris with just 12 minutes on the clock, but Paulinho grabbed an equaliser on the hour-mark to ensure the points would be shared.
Spurs perhaps edged the chances in the closing stages but were unable to get another goal, with Roberto Soldado, in particular, guilty of wasting some of his side's best openings.
On target: 4-3
Pass completion: 63%-77%
Everton 2-1 Aston Villa: Mirallas Turns Things Around with Cracking Free-Kick
Kevin Mirallas' late free-kick was the difference, as Everton came from behind to steal a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa at Goodison Park.
Roaming right-back Leandro Bacuna had given Villa a first-half lead, but Everton pushed and probed and eventually got their reward, as Steven Naismith equalised with just over 15 minutes remaining.
That set up a frantic finish, and it was the home side who would eventually make their pressure count, as Mirallas curled in a beautiful strike to seal all three points.
On target: 6-1
Pass completion: 85%-56%
Other Results: Saints Too Good for Fulham
Cardiff 2-1 Norwich
Two goals shortly after half-time were enough for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's new-look side to grab all three points. Robert Snodgrass had given Norwich the lead, but Craig Bellamy and Kenwyne Jones scored in quick succession to turn things around.
The Canaries had plenty of chances late on, but goalkeeper David Marshall was equal to all of them as the Welsh side held on.
Fulham 0-3 Southampton
The presence of new record signing Kostas Mitroglou, as announced on the club's official website, could not inspire Fulham, as Southampton romped to a second-half victory at Craven Cottage.
Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez all scored in the second stanza of the Saints' impressive 3-0 victory.
Still to Come: Top of the Table Clash Awaits on Monday
There is one fixture still to come in the Premier League, at the Etihad Stadium on Monday evening:
Manchester City vs. Chelsea (8 p.m. GMT)