Premier League Recap, Highlights: United stun Liverpool, Saints Fall, more

IMAGE, MANCHESTER UNITED WEBSITE

Manchester United made a statement Sunday evening, securing their Premier League best sixth victory in a row against a reeling but defiant Liverpool 3-0 at Old Trafford.

Wayne Rooney opened the scoring in the 12th minute, with Juan Mata netting a controversial second notch, followed by Robin Van Persie with a late third goal.  The win keeps United at third, three points over West Ham and five behind Manchester City.  Liverpool, meanwhile, fall to tenth; just two spots from Aston Villa and Stoke.

Liverpool will feel hard done by the result.  David De Gea once again came up big for United, making several key saves to preserve the scoreline.  Moreover, Juan Mata’s second goal came from a clear offside position, but counted all the same.  That will be of little comfort to Brendan Rodgers and his crew as they continue to search for solutions to their scoring woes.

Liverpool came out the aggressor, with Raheem Sterling testing De Gea before Rooney countered with his own opportunity, putting United ahead.  Liverpool would send eight other shots on De Gea on the evening but failed to crack the United net minder.

For United, the win continues a six game resurgence, putting Louis van Gaal in strong position prior to the winter transfer window.  For Rodgers’ men, the scoring woes continue, but not for lack of trying.  A Capital One Cup quarter-final at Championship leaders Bournemouth awaits this Wednesday before Arsenal come knocking at Anfield next weekend.

AROUND THE LEAGUE

Saints Fall, Burnley Bounce Back: Southampton continue their slide with a 1-0 loss to the Clarets.  It is their fourth loss in a row, extending their five game winless streak and putting the Saints in danger of losing their top five position.

Burnley, however, extend their climb out of the Premiership cellar behind an Ashley Barnes winner.  The Clarets are now 3-2-1 over their last six matches, with their lone loss coming last week to QPR on the road.  Pending Monday’s Everton vs. QPR result, Burnley may be looking at a full week outside of the bottom three.

The snake-bit Saints had a chance to take a lead from the spot thanks to an errant challenge by George Boyd on Ryan Bertrand in the area.  Tom Heaton played hero, however, pawing away Dusan Tadic’s penalty to avert tragedy.

Gunners Down Newcastle: Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla net two goals a piece as Wenger’s men downed Newcastle by a convincing 4-1 margin.  The win puts Arsenal two points from the top four, and nets them some distance from a string of disappointing results.

Giroud headed in an Alexis Sanchez feed for the lead, with Cazorla making it two by the half.  The Frenchman struck again at the start of the second half, and a penalty was expertly driven home by the Spaniard for the final goal of the evening.

The emphatic victory dampened a shock result for Newcastle last week, delivering Chelsea their first loss of the season.  Nevertheless, Pardew’s men drop all of a rung to eighth while Arsenal keep their sixth place position, two away from the top four.

City Squeeze By Leicester, Chelsea stay ahead: As if losing Sergio Aguero to injury were not bad enough, Edin Dzeko picked up a knock in pre-game training forcing Manchester City to start Jose Angel Pozo at the top, and the returning Vincent Kompany appeared to pick up a hamstring strain as well.

Nevertheless, it was a familiar face willing City forward as Frank Lampard tapped in the game winner.  The future New York City FC man tied Thierry Henry, a New York Red Bull legend, for fourth all-time in Premiership goals.  This, even as Manchester struggled to mount an offense on the road against the lowly Leicester.

The goalscoring hero will now have the spotlight firmly on his back as NYCFC’s Claudio Reyna continues meetings with City brass over the possible extension of their future DP.

City maintain their three point reach of Chelsea thanks to a 2-0 Blues win over Hull City at Stamford Bridge.  Eden Hazard and Diego Costa netted goals on either side of the half to put the Tigers away.  Tom Huddlestone picked up a red card, meaning he will be out for next week’s home encounter against Swansea.

While Chelsea and City finish the week one and two respectively, Leicester maintain their bottom-table position, with Hull at 19th over all; three points clear of the Foxes.

Win Puts Spurs At Seventh:  Spurs jumped three places — a league best this week — thanks to their 2-1 away result over Crystal Palace.

Christian Erikson played hero, beating Gerhard Tremmel low in the 89th minute and securing all three points at Liberty Stadium Sunday evening.

Harry Kane put Tottenham ahead with a blistering header just four minutes into the encounter.  Wilfred Bony answered back in the second half before Erikson put the match away, setting Spurs up for a hopeful few weeks as they face-off against bottom dwellers Burnley and Leicester in successive fixtures.

And The Rest … 

  • Sunderland managed a 1-1 draw against a red-hot West Ham at the Stadium of Light.  A Jordi Gomez penalty was quickly nullified by a Stewart Downing master strike in the 26th minute to round out the scoring in this encounter.  American Jozy Altidore managed his second start in as many weeks, but once again failed to integrate into the offense.  In fact, his most memorable contribution came on a vital miss as the Jersey native fell stone-legged on a perfect feed in the box, costing the Black Cats a chance to go up.
  • James McArthur and Peter Crouch traded goals in the 11th and 13th minute respectively to hand hosts Crystal Palace a draw against Stoke.  Palace fall a spot to 16th while Stoke climb to 11th overall.
  • Kieran Richardson saw red in the 22nd minute as Aston Villa dropped a 1-0 decision to home side, West Brom.  Craig Gardner rifled a shot home amidst a scrum for the ball in the 72nd minute, giving his side a timely lead.  West Brom jump two spots to 14 while Villa continues their descent to 12th overall.
  • QPR takes on Everton this Monday.

Here is a look at the current Premiership table: