United miss chance to reclaim top spot
Premier League review: Norwich continued their revival with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Manchester United at Carrow Road, as Alex Ferguson’s men blew the chance to go back top of the Premier League table. After Manchester City had thrashed Aston Villa 5-0 earlier this afternoon, only a win would have been enough for United to overtake their neighbours.
However, with England striker Wayne Rooney missing because of tonsillitis, the Red Devils produced a lacklustre display as the Canaries — reborn since the international break — produced another composed display to secure a third win in five Premier League games with a fine header from Anthony Pilkington on the hour.
An Aston Villadefence that included Ireland's Ciaran Clark and former Shamrock Rovers defender Enda Stevens was mauled by Cityat the Etihad Stadium, as the champions moved top with a 5-0 win ahead of Manchester United’s late kick-off against Norwich City.
David Silva scored the opener from close range just before half-time before Sergio Aguero scored from the penalty spot after Clark handled the ball in the area.
Carlos Tevez added City’s third from the spot when Barry Bannan was also adjudged to have handled the ball before Aguero fired his second and Tevez did the same in a resounding wi.
Luis Suarez scored a brace as Liverpoolbeat Wigan3-0 at Anfield.
The Uruguay international beat Ali Al Habsi twice in the second half with strikes from the middle of the area as Liverpool moved closer to the top half of the table, with Jose Enrique’s tap-in sealing the win for Reds boss Brendan Rodgers.
“Luis is a very big part of the team. His first goal was a wonderful finish with a great weight of pass from young Raheem (Sterling),” said Rodgers afterwards. “He finished it great and for the second one there was a lovely pass from Enrique and a nice little off-the-shoulder run and finish.
“He is a master marksman, absolutely outstanding, and we are thrilled to have him.”
Goals for Rickie Lambert and Jason Puncheon helped to seal a vital 3-1 win for struggling Southamptonagainst QPRat Loftus Road .
Lambert headed in from close range before Puncheon added the second from 20 yards, with Junior Hoilett’s second-half header not enough for Mark Hughes’ side, as Anton Ferdinand’s own goal in the 83rd minute compounded QPR’s woes.
Asked if it was the worst QPR performance of his time in charge, Hughes said: “Yes, without a shadow of a doubt. Today there was not that intensity. We weren’t on the front foot, we weren’t anticipating anything, we weren’t aggressive enough. All the fundamentals that you need to build a performance \[were not there].
“Maybe the anxiety of the significance of the game filtered through to them but, come on, the vast majority of them are very experienced. It shouldn’t affect them in that manner and it surprised me that possibly it did. I can well understand the reaction \[from the fans]. In fairness, it was exactly my reaction to that performance.
“We are not going to hide or try to make it positive out of a very big negative because it was a huge game for everybody connect with Queens Park Rangers, including myself, players, staff and fans. We have not performed, unfortunately, so when that happens it puts us in a situation that no-one anticipated this year but we are where we are.”