Premier League Results: Analysis for West Brom vs. Chelsea and All the Matches
Another midweek slate of Premier League fixtures got underway with four games on Tuesday. Among them, Chelsea's trip to face West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns stood out.
Elsewhere, West Ham and Norwich City contested a game with sizeable relegation implications at Upton Park, with fellow relegation battlers Cardiff City, Aston Villa and Hull City also in action at games around the country.
Click on for all the results and analysis from those games, along with details of further fixtures to come on Wednesday.
All statistics via WhoScored.com
Arsenal 0-0 Manchester United: Stalemate at the Emirates
Arsenal passed up the chance to return to the top of the table as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Manchester United.
Both sides fashioned good chances to win the game, but the two keepers kept the attackers at bay.
United were presented with a huge chance inside the opening 120 seconds. Robin van Persie robbed Mikel Arteta of possession and strode towards goal, but his shot lacked venom and was easily fielded by Wojciech Szczesny.
Arsenal responded well and Jack Wilshere had a shot charged down. From the resulting corner, Giroud found space six yards from goal but mistimed his header and the ball flew wide.
Arsenal had a good spell mid-way through the second half, with Laurent Koscielny having a header cleared off the line by Antonio Valencia and Giroud glancing a header wide of target.
Giroud had a massive chance to claim the points on 77 minutes but he somehow failed to make solid contact with Bacary Sagna’s enticing cross and the ball screwed wide of David de Gea's far post.
United also went close to nicking the win, but Szczesny produced a brilliant reflex save to push a header from Van Persie onto the crossbar.
On target: 5-2
Pass completion: 83%-75%
Fulham 2-3 Liverpool: Gerrard Wins It at the Death
Liverpool’s title charge continues to gather momentum and they battled back on two occasions before going on the beat Fulham 3-2 at Craven Cottage.
The Cottagers took a shock lead on eight minutes, with Kolo Toure getting in a tangle and turning Kieran Richardson’s cross into his own net.
Liverpool bagged a leveller on 41 minutes, with an exquisite pass from Steven Gerrard setting Daniel Sturridge free and he finished with aplomb.
The Reds dominated at the start of the second half and Luis Suarez crashed a shot against a post, but Fulham struck for the second time on 63 minutes. Darren Bent caused a nuisance in the box and Richardson pounced on the loose ball to score.
The lead did not last long, as Philippe Coutinho curled in a shot that took a slight deflection to beat Maarten Stekelenburg.
Bottom club Fulham looked like taking a point but, with time ticking down to the last minute, Sascha Riether hauled down Sturridge in the box and Gerrard kept his cool to slot home the penalty.
With Chelsea and Arsenal dropping points this week, Liverpool are now within four points of top spot.
Sturridge spoke to Sky Sports News immediately after the game and felt the win was just reward for their efforts.
Coming inn this game in the week is always difficult after a gam at the weekend when you put so much into it, so I think we deserved the victory in the end with all the hard work we put in.
On target: 3-7
Pass completion: 62%-87%
Newcastle United 0-4 Tottenham Hotspur: Magpies Crushed at Home
Newcastle United’s miserable run of form continued with a 4-0 home loss to Tottenham Hotspur.
Since thrashing Stoke 5-1 on Boxing Day, the Magpies had won just one of their previous eight games in all competitions. That was extended to nine by Spurs who eased to the three points on a rain-lashed Tyneside.
Emmanuel Adebayor benefited from a fine cross form Nabil Bentaleb on 19 minutes to net the opener.
Newcastle failed to fashion a response and the game was put beyond them on 53 minutes, as Paulinho was on hand to turn the ball home after Tim Krul could only parry Adebayor’s drive.
Adebayor grabbed his second of the match on 82 minutes, and salt was rubbed into the wounds on 88 minutes when Nacer Chadli curled home a glorious strike.
Adebayor was a constant menace and drew praise from manager Tim Sherwood in an interview with Sky Sports News.
He has never surprised me because I have seen him being fantastic with the many clubs he has played for.
We are just delighted he is in great form. It is a credit to himself. He had no pre-season; he is a freak of nature with the physical attributes he has.
His concentration levels and the way he trains are magnificent.
He is an example to all young players, especially at our club.
On target: 5-8
Pass completion: 73%-81%
West Brom 1-1 Chelsea: Substitute Anichebe Denies Blues at the Death
Chelsea missed the chance to go four points clear in the Premier League—for 24 hours, at least—as substitute Victor Anichebe’s late goal earned West Brom a 1-1 draw at The Hawthorns on Tuesday.
In a result that perhaps eased the pain some Baggies fans still feel after the controversial draw at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season, Anichebe drove home with three minutes remaining to cancel out Branislav Ivanovic’s strike and secure a share of the points.
Chelsea are now two points ahead of Arsenal and three clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table, with the latter sides set to play their game in hand on Wednesday against Sunderland and Manchester United, respectively.
Afterwards, per BBC Sport, Jose Mourinho said:
We were comfortable in the game, maybe too comfortable. We didn't kill the game when we had the chance.
In this moment, we have one more point than before. If Arsenal and City win tomorrow, they go above us, but that is their job.
Every game is difficult, and every team needs points.
On target: 1-4
Pass completion: 74%-85%
West Ham 2-0 Norwich: Hammers Grab Three Points as Run Continues
West Ham gained another crucial three points in the race for survival in the Premier League, as two goals in the final 10 minutes saw them to a 2-0 victory over fellow strugglers Norwich.
James Collins broke the deadlock after 83 minutes, and Mohamed Diame sealed the points six minutes later for Sam Allardyce's side, as they moved three points above the Canaries in the table's bottom half.
Diame provided the cross for Collins' decisive intervention before being on the receiving end, as Mark Noble's cutback allowed him to slide and relieve the pressure around Upton Park.
In truth, it was a dour match, with Adrian making two fine saves in the first half to ensure the Hammers continued their impressive recent defensive form to chalk up another vital win.
Afterwards, Canaries manager Chris Hughton said (per BBC Sport):
We only have ourselves to blame. You've got to be able to capitalise on your chances, especially away from home.
We did everything perfectly up until their first goal, but then we made an error.
Their goalkeeper had a good day, but we managed to get into so many good positions, and you have to put one of them away.
On target: 7-6
Pass completion: 67%-72%
Other Results: Cardiff and Southampton Win, Stoke Draw with Swansea
Cardiff City 0-0 Aston Villa
The two sides played out a somewhat dour goalless draw at the Cardiff City Stadium, with neither side able to find a win that would have significantly enhanced their survival prospects.
Both sides came close on occasion—Cardiff, through Fraizer Campbell and then Craig Bellamy, hit the woodwork twice in the space of 40 seconds in the first half—but could not find a breakthrough despite a somewhat frantic finish, during which David Marshall made perhaps the save of the season to deny Andreas Weimann.
Hull City 0-1 Southampton
Jose Fonte's bundled finish with 20 minutes remaining was the difference as the Saints beat Hull at the KC Stadium.
The defender fired home after Adam Lallana had been denied from close range, sealing a deserved three points for Mauricio Pochettino. Goal-line technology confirmed it was Fonte's goal, although Rickie Lambert put the ball back home seconds afterward anyway.
Lambert had earlier squandered a couple of glorious opportunities to open the scoring, while Jay Rodriguez also hit the crossbar. Hull's best chance came when George Boyd's glancing header rebounded away to safety off the post.
Stoke 1-1 Swansea
Stoke City and Swansea City shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium.
The game only got the go ahead after passing two inspections on account of the high winds that had whipped in.
It was Stoke who struck first, with Peter Crouch on hand to tap home after Peter Odemwingie’s shot had hit a post and fallen into his path.
Swansea responded after the brek and Chico Flores levelled on 52 minutes with a flicked effort that flew beyond Asmir Begovic.