Wayne Rooney’s goal helped Manchester United beat Fulham 1-0 today. Rooney’s tenth goal in as many games sent United ten points clear of Manchester City, who play Liverpool tomorrow, and a massive 16 points ahead of third-placed Chelsea.
Going back to the start of last season, Rooney has now been involved in 68 goals in 66 games for United (47 gls, 21 assists). Not quite Messi-esque, but impressive nonetheless.
There was more misery for Rafa Benitez and Chelsea as Moussa Sissoko scored twice for Newcastle as they beat Chelsea 3-2 in a terrific game at St James’ Park. Jonas Gutierrez opened the scoring for the Magpies after Tim Krul kept former team-mate Demba Ba at bay with some strong work in goal.
Under Benitez Chelsea have played 21 Won 10 Drawn 6 Lost 5. That is a 47% winning percentage. Three wins in 2013 is simply not good enough for European Champions. At this pace, Chelsea will be lucky to match last season’s sixth place finish in the Premier League.
Two teams hot on the heels of Chelsea are Everton and Arsenal. Arsenal beat Stoke 1-0 at the Emirates when Lukas Podolski’s low-free-kick was deflected by Geoff Cameron and past goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, who had single-handedly kept the Potters in the game with a series of quality saves.
Marouane Fellaini scored a last-minute equaliser as struggling Aston Villa drew 3-3 with Everton at Goodison Park. Villa striker Christian Benteke got the visitors off to a flying start when he beat defender Jonny Heitinga and fired the ball low past Toffees keeper Tim Howard in the second minute before Victor Anichebe levelled the score at 1-1 following some poor defending.
Seconds later, Paul Lambert’s side were back in front though thanks to Gabriel Agbonlahor, who fired into the bottom corner to give Villa a 2-1 lead at the break. Villa extended their lead when Benteke added his second after the break, again beating Heitinga, as he headed past Howard in a bid to seal a much-needed win. Everton were not done, though, with Fellaini poking the ball home from Anichebe’s lay-off before he levelled the score with a header at the near post in the 90th minute.
Reading beat Sunderland 2-1 at the Madejski Stadium to climb out of the relegation zone. Jimmy Kebe gave Reading the lead when he fired the ball past Simon Mignolet before Pavel Pogrebnyak fouled John O’Shea to give Sunderland a penalty.
Craig Gardner stepped up to level the score at the break with a well-taken spot-kick before Kebe scored a late winner to give Reading a vital win and continue their strong run of form.
Wigan threw away their lead to draw 2-2 against Southampton at the DW Stadium. Rickie Lambert ‘s close range header cancelled out Gary Caldwell’s effort, before Morgan Schneiderlin’s late strike looked to have snatched the points for the Saints. However, Shaun Maloney popped up with a late equaliser for the Latics but it was not enough for Wigan to climb out of the relegation zone.
Norwich goalkeeper Mark Bunn saved a penalty as big-spending QPR were held to a goalless draw at Loftus Road. Adel Taarabt was denied by Bunn from the spot after the keeper gave away a spot-kick when he brought down Jamie Mackie. The 0-0 draw was the fourth consecutive stalemate for Harry Redknapp’s Rangers, who remained at the foot of the Premier League table before the rest of the weekend’s action began.
West Ham beat Swansea 1-0 at Upton Park thanks to Andy Carroll’s second goal of the season, a header past Gerhard Tremmel.