Premier League Results: Analysis for West Brom vs. Manchester United & All Games
Saturday saw five Premier League games take place, with matchups of significance both at the top and bottom of the table.
The first game of the day saw Manchester United take on West Brom at the Hawthorns, with United looking for a positive reaction after losing to Olympiakos in their last competitive outing—while also perhaps wanting revenge after being beaten by West Brom (at home) earlier in the season.
Elsewhere, Cardiff and Fulham met in a crucial relegation scrape in the Welsh capital—especially with Crystal Palace and Norwich also in action elsewhere.
Then the late kick-off: Chelsea facing Tottenham, with title and European qualification implications.
Click on for all the results and reaction from those games...
All statistics via WhoScored.com. You can view the latest Premier League table here.
West Brom 0-3 Manchester United: Rooney Orchestrates Comfortable Win
Manchester United beat West Brom 3-0 at the Hawthorns on Saturday to give manager David Moyes the best possible response in their first competitive match since the disappointing Champions League defeat against Olympiakos.
West Brom had their chances in the opening stages, but United held firm and eventually saw their dominance show, with Phil Jones heading home Robin van Persie’s free-kick to give United a first-half lead, before Wayne Rooney and substitute Danny Welbeck both found the net to confirm the three points.
Afterward, David Moyes told the BBC:
It was more like it. We were more creative and played well. It's never the easiest of places to come and we had lost to them earlier in the season so it was good to get a good result.
We earned the right to be in front. When we did, we sort of controlled chunks of the game.
The opening goal was undoubtedly the most important, although it was also the most straightforward in execution. Rafael won a free-kick on the right and Robin van Persie opted to take it, rifling in a left-footed effort that Phil Jones powerfully redirected with a header that easily beat the goalkeeper.
Van Persie was off the pitch by the time United grabbed their second, as this time Rooney put the finishing touches to a move involving him, Juan Mata and Rafael—whose cross perfectly found the England striker.
Rooney then turned provider for the third, slipping a perfectly weighted pass in for substitute Danny Welbeck to control and curl into the far corner.
On target: 3-5
Chelsea 4-0 Spurs: Visitors Implode as Eto'o and Demba Ba Strike Goals
Chelsea cruised to a 4-0 victory over Tottenham in the day’s late kick-off, as some comical mistakes from the visitors handed Jose Mourinho’s side a remarkably straightforward victory.
The game was tight, with few chances either way, until an unfortunate error from Jan Vertonghen in the second half opened the floodgates. The defender slipped and then played a blind back-pass, one Samuel Eto’o latched onto to slot home.
It soon got worse for the visitors, as Younes Kaboul conceded a penalty and received a red card for a push on Eto’o in the box. Eden Hazard duly converted the spot-kick.
It would get worse for Spurs before the final whistle, as Demba Ba replaced Eto’o and duly grabbed a brace of his own. The first was a gift—Sandro slipping to let the striker in—but the second was comical; Kyle Walker’s ridiculous 40-yard headed backpass being gobbled up by the loitering Ba, who rounded Hugo Lloris and tapped home.
The result means Chelsea are now seven points clear at the top of the table, albeit with Manchester City nine points adrift with three games in hand.
On target: 4-2
Cardiff 3-1 Fulham: Caulker Drives Crucial Win for Home Side
Fulham suffered another significant blow to their chances of Premier League survival as they lost 3-1 to Cardiff, in a result that revitalises the Welsh club’s own relegation fight.
A brace from defender Steven Caulker on either side of Lewis Holtby’s equaliser gave Cardiff the lead, before Sacha Riether’s own goal with just under 20 minutes remaining ensured the vital three points would be going to the home side.
The result means Cardiff only remain in the relegation zone on goal difference, with Fulham—four points further back—three points adrift in 20th.
On target: 9-6
Crystal Palace 0-1 Southampton: Rodriguez Edges It for Away Side
Southampton edged to a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace thanks to Jay Rodriguez’s somewhat fortuitous first-half strike.
Ultimately a mistake from Jason Puncheon—a former Saints player—proved decisive, as the midfielder’s tentative header enabled Rodriguez to nip in and run clear through on goal. The forward then won a 50-50 tackle with the onrushing Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni, finding the net while seated on the floor to score a somewhat bizarre goal.
Palace pushed and probed in the second half, but Southampton also looked increasingly dangerous on the counter-attack, as both sides were ultimately able to contribute a second goal to the game as the Saints ended up taking the crucial three points.
Palace, however, remain two points clear of the relegation zone.
On target: 1-3
Norwich 1-1 Stoke: Walters Equalises Before Being Sent off
Ten-man Stoke City held on to claim a 1-1 draw against Norwich on Saturday, a result that only marginally helps both sides' survival ambitions this season.
It was Stoke who fought back to claim the draw, as Jonathan Walters converted from the penalty spot after Bradley Johnson had given the Canaries the lead shortly after half-time.
But Walters was sent off moments later (leading to substitute John Guidetti, who won the penalty, being brought off just 15 minutes after coming on), forcing Stoke to drop deeper to hold onto their share of points.
They managed to hold on, however, ensuring neither side could further open the gap between themselves and the bottom three.
On target: 5-3