In one of those victories that can define a season, Arsenal left it very late to beat Cardiff 2-0 at the Emirates to hold onto their position at the top of the Premier League.
For 87 minutes Cardiff has denied and frustrated Arsenal but in the 88th minute forgotten striker Nicklas Bendtner popped up to put away a rebound and give Arsenal the lead. Theo Walcott made the points safe in injury time as Arsenal maintained their one point lead over Manchester City.
That is because Manuel Pellegrini’s side won 3-2 at Swansea. Wilfried Bony cancelled out Fernandinho’s 14th-minute opener for City on the stroke of half-time but Yaya Toure put City back in front in the 58th minute. Aleksandar Kolarov seemingly put the game beyond Swansea eight minutes later and Bony’s injury-time second came too late to make a difference.
Jose Mourinho showed he still have the special touch as his two second-half substitutions was the difference in Chelsea’s 3-0 victory over Southampton. Oscar was instrumental in the first two goals, with his cross being deflected against a post for Fernando Torres to score the opener on the hour mark before the Brazilian set up fellow substitute Willian in the 71st minute. Oscar then found the net himself with eight minutes to go courtesy of a deflection.
Liverpool climbed back into fourth place with a 2-0 victory over Hull, the goals coming from Daniel Agger and a stunning free-kick from Luis Suarez.
Liverpool jumped over merseyside rivals Everton who needed a 90th minute penalty from Leighton Baines to get a point at Stoke.
New Year’s day might go down as the day that Man United’s title rein officially ended as David Moyes’s side lost again at Old Trafford, this time to Spurs 2-1. The win was United’s sixth defeat of the season and left them 11 points behind leaders Arsenal, a gap they have not been able to really close in three months.
At the bottom of the table, a huge win for Fulham, who beat fellow strugglers West Ham 2-1. Mohamed Diame put the Hammers ahead in the seventh minute but Steven Sidwell headed a 32nd-minute equaliser and Fulham’s pressure eventually paid off with Dimitar Berbatov netting the winner.
West Brom caretaker boss Keith Downing had a happy ending to a difficult few days as Saido Berahino’s 87th-minute penalty gave the Baggies a 1-0 victory over Newcastle. It was Albion’s first victory in ten games, the last four of which have been under the control of Downing.
Neighbours Aston Villa also picked up a much-needed victory, 1-0 over Sunderland, with the goal coming in the 15th minute from Gabriel Agbonlahor.
It finished 1-1 at Selhurst Park where Jason Puncheon scored from the penalty spot in the 44th minute to draw Crystal Palace level against Norwich. Bradley Johnson had scored for the visitors in the 39th minute.