United Wins and Takes Commanding Lead – Manchester City, Liverpool Suffer Shocking Defeats

English Premier League Roundup, February 9-11, 2013

By Steve Kinkead

The weekend’s games have seen Manchester United solidify its lead atop the EPL as Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini all but conceded the title following his team’s shock loss at Southampton. After the 26th round of games in the EPL, United has 65 points, followed by City with 53 points. Chelsea and Tottenham are in third and fourth just a point apart with 49 and 48 points.

The shock scoreline of the weekend came on Saturday from Saint Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, where the Saints defeated Manchester City 3-1. Jason Puncheon opened the scoring after just seven minutes and Steven Davis scored the game winner for the hosts in the 22nd minute. Five minutes before half Edin Dzecko pulled one back for the visitors, but a Gareth Barry own goal at the start of the second half sealed their fate. Meanwhile, Chelsea defeated Wigan 4-1 and Spurs battled to a 2-1 win over Newcastle to stay on the heels of City. At Stamford Bridge, Ramires, Eden Hazard, Frank Lampard and Marko Marin scored for the home side while Shaun Maloney put Wigan’s lone goal in. Across North London at White Hart Lane, Gareth Bale was putting on a show. He scored both of Spurs’ goals, the first on a free kick and the winner on a breakaway in an entertaining game. Newcastle’s goal came from Yoan Gouffran.

Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla scored the only goal as the visitors defeated Sunderland 1-0 to move into fifth place. Norwich and Fulham played to a dour 0-0 draw, with both sides seemingly happy to earn a point. Queen’s Park Rangers solidified their position at the bottom of the table, losing 4-1 at Swansea. Michu scored twice for the Swans, who also had goals from Angel Rangel and Pablo. Bobby Zamora hit for QPR’s lone goal. At Stoke, Robert Huth and Cameron Jerome scored for the hosts in a 2-1 win over Reading, whose goal came from Adrain Mariappa.

On Sunday, Manchester United tuned up for its midweek matchup against Real Madrid by defeating Everton 2-0. The hosts had first half goals from Ryan Giggs and Robin Van Persie. United is now 12 points clear at the top and are coming into their Champions League clash on Wednesday in top form. The other Sunday game saw hosts Aston Villa hold off West Ham United 2-1 and move out of the relegation zone. Villa players scored all three goals, as Christian Benteke netted a penalty, Charles N’Zogba got the winner and Ashley Westwood had an own goal.

On Monday, West Bromwich Albion hit two late goals in a stunning win at Anfield, beating Liverpool 2-0. West Brom’s keeper, Ben Foster, saved a Steven Gerrard penalty in the 77th minute of play and made a number of fine saves on the day. Gareth McAuley put in the winner for the Baggies in the 81st minute while Romelu Lukaku came off the bench to score the second goal in added time. West Brom is now in 8th place with 37 points, one above Liverpool.

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