Premier League Results: Analysis for Man United vs. Liverpool & All the Matches
The Premier League continued with a full slate of matches over the weekend of March 15-16.
Title contenders Manchester City and Chelsea were set to play Saturday, and Sunday promised two big main events as Manchester United hosted Liverpool and Tottenham hosted Arsenal.
In the following slides, we take a look at all the weekend's games.
Manchester United 0-3 Liverpool
The Merseysiders were in control throughout the match, and it came as little surprise when they took a 34th-minute lead when Rafael handled inside the area and Gerrard dispatched the spot-kick.
The United defender was considered to fortunate to remain on the field after being shown a yellow card moments earlier for a foul, but referee Mark Clattenburg showed compassion.
Liverpool, though, did not require the help of an extra man and added a second when Phil Jones brought down Jordan Henderson inside the area less than 30 seconds into the second half. Gerrard was again on target as the Reds threatened to overrun their hosts.
Worse was to come for United when Nemanja Vidic was dismissed after receiving a second yellow for a foul on Daniel Sturridge inside the box, which gave Gerrard the chance of a hat-trick. But the Anfield captain struck the post this time.
However, Liverpool ensured a three-goal advantage when Suarez looped the ball over Jones in the 84th minute and drilled it past David de Gea.
But this was a woeful display from United and does not bode well for their hopes of remaining in the Champions League when they attempt to overturn a two-goal deficit against Olympiakos on Wednesday.
Former United captain Gary Neville used his Twitter feed to decry the display but praised United fans for their persistent support through the game: "Unacceptable that! Well done to united fans!! That's it three days off this! It's gonna be raw!!"
For Liverpool, though, the win was a big statement of intent in the chase for the Premier League title.
The victory cut the gap on leaders Chelsea to four points, while also opening up a 14-point advantage on United.
On target: 1-7
Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Arsenal
Thomas Rosicky scored the only goal as Arsenal strengthened their Premier League title challenge with a 1-0 victory at rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon in the North London Derby at White Hart Lane.
Rosicky put Arsenal ahead in the second minute, finishing powerfully after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had led a quick counter from his own half. Spurs threatened throughout the match but were unable to find an equaliser despite creating numerous chances.
Tottenham held 59 percent of possession and out-shot Arsenal 17-7 but hit the target with only two attempts, according toWhoScored.com. It was a third straight defeat in all competitions for Spurs, who lost 4-0 at Chelsea last weekend and fell 3-1 at home to Benfica on Thursday in the Europa League.
For Arsenal, on the other hand, the win and three points could prove vital to their renewed title challenge. Following Chelsea's surprising loss at Aston Villa on Saturday, Arsenal moved within four points of the league leaders—with an extra game in hand.
Currently in third place, behind Liverpool on goal difference, Arsenal face another massive match next weekend when they visit Stamford Bridge to play Chelsea. A victory would pull Arsenal within one point of the Blues, but defeat would leave the Gunners seven points behind with only eight games to play.
Tottenham, meanwhile, are now fifth, seven points behind Manchester City—who have played three fewer games than Spurs. Tim Sherwood's side will try to revive their faltering top-four challenge next Sunday at home to Southampton.
On target: 2-3
Aston Villa 1-0 Chelsea
Aston Villa caused a potentially pivotal upset in the Premier League title race with a 1-0 victory at home to nine-man Chelsea on Saturday at Villa Park.
Fabian Delph scored the only goal in the 82nd minute, flicking in substitute Marc Albrighton's cross 14 minutes after Willian had been sent off for his second bookable offence. Chelsea largely dominated possession and had a goal ruled out in the first half, but the Blues were unable to avoid defeat and saw their 14-match league unbeaten run come to an end.
Chelsea finished the match with nine men after Ramires drew a straight red card in second-half stoppage time. Blues manager Jose Mourinho was also sent off in the closing moments.
Despite the result, Chelsea remain atop the Premier League table, six points ahead of Manchester City. But Chelsea have played three matches more than City. Liverpool and Arsenal, both seven points behind, also have two games in hand.
Mourinho's side will have a chance to make amends quickly. The Blues host Arsenal next Saturday in a match that could have profound title implications.
A Chelsea victory at Stamford Bridge could kill off Arsenal's challenge, but a win for the Gunners would give Arsene Wenger's team new impetus in the league.
Another big test awaits on April 27, when Chelsea will visit Liverpool. With only two matches on the fixture list after the trip to Anfield, the game could serve as a title-decider.
Aston Villa, meanwhile, moved up to 10th with the victory. Manager Paul Lambert's team will host Stoke next Sunday.
On target: 4-2
Hull City 0-2 Manchester City
Manchester City overcame the early dismissal of captain Vincent Kompany, moving up to second place and keeping pace with leaders Chelsea with a hard-fought 2-0 victory at Hull City in Saturday's early kickoff.
City were reduced to 10 men in the 10th minute when Kompany pulled down Hull striker Nikica Jelavic as Jelavic attempted to run free on goal. But the visitors went ahead just four minutes later via David Silva's fine curled strike from the edge of the box.
In the second half, Hull substitute George Boyd tumbled in City's box following a challenge by City keeper Joe Hart in the 69th minute. Referee Lee Mason waved play on, and replays suggested Boyd was guilty of simulation. City's players reacted angrily, and Hart was booked for his confrontation with Boyd.
But although Hull used their numerical advantage to push for the equaliser throughout the second half, City killed the game with a late goal via Edin Dzeko, who converted Silva's cross in the 90th minute.
With the win, City moved onto 60 points, six behind leaders Chelsea, who have played two extra matches. The Blues were set to play at Aston Villa later Saturday.
"It was a very good response in a very difficult week," City manager Manuel Pellegrini told MCFC.co.uk. "We just lost against Wigan (in the FA Cup) and against Barcelona (in the UEFA Champions League), and we needed to win today."
Pellegrini added: "Playing with one player less was very difficult. It was a good performance because we defended well with the ball and without the ball, and we also had three good chances to score. It was a very professional response from the players."
On target: 5-3
Everton 2-1 Cardiff City
Seamus Coleman scored an injury-time winner to maintain Everton's hopes of European football next season and break the hearts of struggling Cardiff City at Goodison Park.
Gerard Deulofeu had given the Toffees a 59th-minute lead, but the Welsh club hauled themselves back into the match courtesy of Juan Cala nine minutes later.
Coleman was on hand, though, when Gareth Barry headed the ball back into the area from Aiden McGeady's cross in time added on at the end of the game.
Deulofeu opened the scoring when he cut in from the left-hand side in the 59th minute before firing at goal. The ball clipped the legs of Cardiff defender Steven Caulker to outfox goalkeeper David Marshall.
But in the 68th minute, the Bluebirds were level. A Peter Whittingham free-kick missed a number of Cardiff team-mates in the area and hit the torso of Cala to send it beyond Tim Howard.
Marshall produced a superb save to deny Romelu Lukaku 15 minutes from the end when he changed direction in mid-air to block the Belgian's deflected effort.
Cardiff were looking for a penalty late when Sylvain Distin appeared to bring down Wilfried Zaha, but the referee waved away the appeals.
In injury time, though, Everton secured the points. McGeady clipped a ball to the far post where Barry knocked it back into the area. Coleman miscued his shot, but there was enough pace on it to get past Marshall and cost Cardiff a valuable point.
On target: 6-3
Fulham 1-0 Newcastle United
Ashkan Dejagah scored the only goal of the game to give Felix Magath his first Premier League win as Fulham manager.
With Newcastle manager Alan Pardew watching on from a hotel room after receiving a seven-match ban for his altercation with David Meyler of Hull two weeks ago, the Magpies missed out on a third consecutive win.
But the three points maintained the Craven Cottage club's survival hopes alive.
Fulham broke the deadlock in the 68th minute moments after Papiss Cisse should have put Newcastle ahead.
After David Stockdale saved the forward's effort, Fulham broke down the field and Lewis Holtby found Dejagah, who cut inside and tried his luck from 20 yards out.
Tim Krul looked to have saved, but the ball appeared to bobble under his hand and went over the line.
In the dying seconds, Newcastle were convinced they should have had a penalty when John Heitinga appeared to handle an effort from Krul, who had joined the attack, inside the area, but no spot-kick was given.
On target: 3-3
Southampton 4-2 Norwich City
Southampton survived a late scare to claim all three points from Premier League strugglers Norwich City at the St. Mary's Stadium.
Goals from Morgan Schneiderlin, Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez looked to have ensured the victory for the south-coast club.
But goals from Johan Elmander and Robert Snodgrass inside one minute in the closing stages left the match on a knife edge.
However, Sam Gallagher slotted home a late effort for the Saints to see off a spirited late challenge from the Canaries.
The Saints needed just five minutes to open the scoring through Schneiderlin.
Gaston Ramirez played his team-mate through with a clever ball, and Schneiderlin rounded Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy to slot home.
Southampton were rarely troubled by the Canaries and Mauricio Pochettino brought on Lambert for Adam Lallana in the 56th minute.
Just over 60 seconds later, the move paid off handsomely when the striker rifled home a right-footed drive to make it 2-0 to the home side.
Southampton were three ahead in the 72nd minute. Giuly Do Prado saw his effort blocked and the ball fell to Lambert. The striker looked set to shoot, but instead calmly played the ball through to Rodriguez, who rifled home.
But there was to be a sting in the tail for the home side.
In the 85th minute, former Bolton striker Johan Elmander was on hand to stroke home what appeared to be merely a consolation.
However, moments later, Snodgrass hit home a second for Chris Hughton's team after Ricky van Wolfswinkel's effort had been saved.
But Gallagher eased the tension inside the ground when he collected a through ball from Steven Davis to slot home.
On target: 6-3
Stoke City 3-1 West Ham United
Peter Odemwingie scored either side of half-time as Stoke City came from behind to beat the West Ham 3-1 at the Britannia Stadium.
Andy Carroll headed West Ham in front in the fifth minute, but Odemwingie's deflected finish pulled Stoke level in the 32nd minute. Marko Arnautovic then put the Potters ahead in the 69th minute, and Odemwingie made it 3-1 on the break 11 minutes from time.
The win took Stoke up to 11th place with 34 points, three ahead of West Ham, who fell to 12th.
On target: 9-2
Sunderland 0-0 Crystal Palace
Sunderland and Crystal Palace played out a scoreless draw in a battle of potential relegation candidates at the Stadium of Light.
Both teams came close to scoring a winner late in the second half. First, Sunderland's Fabio Borini hit the woodwork with a high shot at the near post in the 83rd minute. Then, at the other end, Kagisho Dikgacoi fired just wide in the 89th minute for Palace.
With the draw, Sunderland moved onto 25 points and into 18th place ahead of Cardiff, who lost 2-1 at Everton. The Black Cats remain three points adrift of safety as 17th-placed West Brom won at Swansea and moved onto 28 points.
Palace, meanwhile, moved onto 28 points but fell to 17th—one place above the relegation spots—following West Brom's win.
On target: 2-5
Swansea City 1-2 West Bromwich Albion
West Brom claimed a valuable away win, 2-1 at Swansea City, to move three points clear of the relegation zone.
The win came at a difficult time for West Brom. On Friday, the Baggies parted company with striker Nicolas Anelka, citing "gross misconduct," per BBC Sport.
Swansea went ahead through Roland Lamah's second-minute goal, but West Brom equalised in the 52nd minute via Stephane Sessegnon's long-range finish. After Swansea had a penalty appeal turned down in the 61st minute, West Brom's Youssouf Mulumbu grabbed the winner with five minutes left.
The victory—which was manager Pepe Mel's first with West Brom—took the Baggies onto 28 points, three above the drop zone. Sunderland, in 18th place, have two games in hand. Swansea are 14th with 29 points.
On target: 4-4