Weekend review

The Premier League has a familiar look following wins for Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal.

Premier League wins for City, United, Blues and Gunners

The top of the Premier League table has a familiar look about it following weekend wins for Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal. But Tottenham continue to defy the odds with Harry Redknapp's side sitting third with a chance of winning the title for the first time since 1961 after beating Bolton. At the top of the table City and United saw off challenges from Norwich and Aston Villa, respectively, while Chelsea claimed a 3-0 win over Newcastle in controversial circumstances. Blackburn's victory over Swansea saw them climb off the foot of the table, while Wigan are back at the bottom after a home drubbing at the hands of Arsenal. Wolves boosted their hopes of avoiding the drop with a crucial win over Sunderland, while Sunday's other game saw Stoke secure a rare three-point haul at Everton. The points were shared at Loftus Road as West Brom claimed a 1-1 draw at QPR.

Leaders

Manchester City ensured they maintained their five-point gap at the top of the Premier League with a 5-1 home win over newly-promoted Norwich City. The Canaries gave a battling display, but found themselves up against it when they allowed Samir Nasri to score from a free-kick after Sergio Aguero had stabbed the home side in front. Yaya Toure effectively wrapped up the points with a third, although Norwich did give the travelling faithful something to cheer through Steve Morison's back-post header. However, City had the final say with a late brace as Mario Balotelli tapped home with his shoulder before Adam Johnson's pin-point effort ended the scoring. Sir Alex Ferguson's troops collected the three points in the evening kick-off on Saturday with a 1-0 success that flattered Aston Villa more than anything. The Red Devils were in complete control throughout with Phil Jones' 20-minute goal deciding the Villa Park clash. The only worry of note for Ferguson was the early injury sustained to Javier Hernandez and his side's inability to score a second that would have wrapped up the success long before referee Lee Probert blew the full-time whistle. Tottenham made it a sixth successive Premier League victory with a 3-0 triumph at home to Bolton. Spurs wasted little time forging in front with Gareth Bale guiding home Luka Modric's corner inside the opening 10 minutes. Wanderers were left with an uphill battle when Gary Cahill was shown a straight red card for bringing down Scott Parker, even though the midfielder was some distance from Jussi Jaaskelainen's goal while team-mates may also have thwarted a goal-scoring opportunity. Jaaskelainen did his best to keep the home side at bay, although he was unable to prevent second-half goals from Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe. Chelsea helped alleviate some of the pressure building on manager Andre Villas-Boas following a 3-0 triumph at Newcastle. It could have been a different story at St James' Park had referee Mike Dean issued David Luiz with a red card and not yellow for bringing down Demba Ba as Chelsea's last defender in the opening exchanges. With 11 men the Blues forged ahead through Didier Drogba and gave the scoreline a rather unbalanced look courtesy of late goals from Salomon Kalou and Daniel Sturridge. Arsenal's shocking start to the season and the loss of Nasri and Cesc Fabregas seems a distant memory as Arsene Wenger now has his side firing on all cylinders following a 4-0 thumping of Wigan. The north Londoners never looked back after Ali Al-Habsi allowed Mikel Arteta's long-range short to slip through his fingers. Thomas Vermaelen added a quick-fire second while the Latics were still reeling. Second-half goals from Gervinho and Robin van Persie confirmed what much of the DW Stadium crowd knew since the half-hour mark.
Rare
Stoke City ended their poor run of form on the back of Europa League outings with a rare victory at Goodison Park. Robert Huth's close-range effort in the first-half at Everton was the only goal of the game. The Potters had previously lost every game on the back of a European clash this season, a run that ended on Sunday. That win made it back-to-back Premier League successes for Tony Pulis' side having clinched their first at Goodison for 30 years. QPR are level with Everton on 16 points following a 1-1 home draw with West Brom. Veteran striker Heidar Helguson is proving the Rs' main striker with a sixth league goal of the campaign after opening the scoring in west London. However, Neil Warnock's troops were denied a crucial three-point haul after Shane Long finished off a swift counter-attack from the Baggies. Blackburn capitalised on defeats for Wigan and Bolton by jumping two places in 18th thanks to a thrilling 4-2 win over Swansea City, just their second league victory of the season. Yakubu Aiyegbeni was the star of the show with an incredible four-goal haul, although it was not enough to keep the Ewood Park support at bay as their protests against manager Steve Kean continued. Leroy Lita cancelled out Yakubu's opener, but the Nigerian added another two to put the home side in control. Luke Moore reduced the arrears, but Yakubu had the final say by converting from the penalty spot minutes after Swansea's Joe Allen picked up a second yellow card. Wolves ensured Sunderland's winless streak extended to five matches on Sunday thanks to Steven Fletcher's double. The Black Cats had more than their fair share of the play, but Sebastian Larsson's penalty miss proved crucial after Kieran Richardson fired the visitors in front. Wolves levelled almost immediately with Fletcher heading home Matt Jarvis' cross and he added a controversial second that clinched the points after Jamie O'Hara appeared to control the ball with his arm.

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