Published December 29, 2012
| Sports Network
Norwich, England – Edin Dzeko scored two goals in the opening five minutes and Manchester City held off a stubborn Norwich City side, 4-3, at Carrow Road to remain seven points back of leaders Manchester United.
City got off to a flying start with Dzeko putting them in front by netting two quick goals.
The first came from David Silva's knockdown before Sergio Aguero played provider on the second, putting the visitors 2-0 up inside of five minutes.
Anthony Pilkington scored on a deflected free kick to pull a goal back for the Canaries, and City was reduced to 10 men shortly before halftime when Samir Nasri saw red for putting his head in the face of Norwich defender Sebastien Bassong.
But despite the numerical disadvantage, City added a third goal through Aguero with a clever flick before Russell Martin tallied the first of his two goals for the hosts.
Dzeko nearly had a third goal in the 67th when he beat goalkeeper Mark Bunn at his near post and saw the ball strike the woodwork and go in off Bunn for an own goal.
Martin set up an interesting final 15 minutes when he scored his second of the contest, but City held out to hand Norwich its third successive defeat.
Manchester United 2, West Bromwich 0
Manchester, England - It wasn't easy, but Manchester United claimed its seventh win in eight matches on Saturday with a hard-fought 2-0 win over West Bromwich at Old Trafford.
The opening goal arrived after nine minutes when Ashley Young's driven cross was redirected into his own net by West Brom defender Gareth McAuley.
United should have been ahead by more than just the solitary goal at the break, and the hosts put together a subpar second half that saw them spend a lot of time in the defensive third.
However, Robin van Persie came off the bench to notch his league-leading 14th goal of the campaign in the 90th minute to wrap up the win, which sees United enter 2013 with a seven-point advantage over City.
Tottenham 2, Sunderland 1
Sunderland, England - Tottenham came from a goal down in the second half to claim a 2-1 win against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, moving Spurs into third place.
Emmanuel Adebayor struck the crossbar from a few yards out for the visitors but the Black Cats took a 1-0 lead into halftime when John O'Shea scored on the rebound after goalkeeper Hugo Lloris saved Stephen Fletcher's shot.
Sunderland was on course for a fourth win in five games, only for things to come apart early in the second half.
Tottenham equalized in the 48th minute from a corner kick as Sunderland defender Carlos Cuellar nodded the ball into his own net, while Aaron Lennon netted the winning goal only three minutes later.
He attempted a pass which fell kindly to his own feet before rounding a defender and beating goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to hand Spurs their third win in four games.
Arsenal 7, Newcastle 3
London, England - Theo Walcott scored a hat trick and assisted on another goal as Arsenal won its fourth straight game, 7-3, over Newcastle in a back-and- forth affair at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
Walcott got the scoring started in the 20th minute with a clinical finish on the break, while Newcastle's Demba Ba scored on a deflected free kick just before halftime to level the contest.
Things really picked up after the break and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain netted a goal for the Gunners five minutes into the second half after being picked out by Santi Cazorla.
Newcastle had another answer in the 59th minute when Gabriel Obertan set up a simple tap in for Sylvain Marveaux, but Arsenal jumped back in front through Lukas Podolski's close-range header.
Ba netted his second goal of the contest with 20 minutes to play when he scored from a yard out after a good ball from Marveaux, making it 3-3.
But the Gunners stepped it up down the stretch to claim all three points with Walcott scoring the go-ahead goal in the 74th minute before Olivier Giroud came off the bench to tally two goals of his own.
Walcott then capped the scoring with a nice solo effort in stoppage time to take Arsenal into fifth place.
Wigan 3, Aston Villa 0
Birmingham, England - Wigan climbed out of the bottom three on Saturday and heaped more misery on a struggling Aston Villa side with a 3-0 defeat of the Villains at Villa Park.
After having been outscored 12-0 over its past two matches, Villa fell behind once more to a third-minute goal from Ivan Ramis, who headed home Jean Beausejour's corner kick.
Wigan had lost its previous three games but made sure that streak came to an end on Saturday with a push early in the second half.
Emmerson Boyce doubled the lead in the 52nd minute when he got on the other end of a through ball from Arouna Kone, who scored himself four minutes later after being set up by Franco Di Santo.
Swansea City 2, Fulham 1
London, England - Fulham goalkeeper David Stockdale had a night to forget on Saturday as he made a pair of errors to help Swansea City to a 2-1 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage.
The first came in the 19th minute when Stockdale pushed a deflected cross from Nathan Dyer straight into the path of Swansea's Danny Graham, who made no mistake with his close-range finish.
Swansea doubled its lead early in the second half with Stockdale once again punishing his own side.
His attempted clearance was hit straight into defender Brede Hangeland, leaving Pablo Hernandez with a simple pass to Jonathan De Guzman who rolled the ball into the net.
Fulham cut into the deficit four minutes later when a shot from Bryan Ruiz went in off of teammate Sascha Riether, but the hosts were unable to find a second goal and sit only four points clear of the drop zone.
Reading 1, West Ham 0
Reading, England - Pavel Pogrebnyak's fifth-minute goal was enough for Reading to claim its second victory of the campaign, a 1-0 triumph over West Ham at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.
After a run of seven successive defeats, Reading earned a point against Swansea City in midweek, and thanks to a poor display from the Hammers, Brian McDermott's side moves to within five points of safety.
The only goal arrived early in the game and it came from an error by West Ham defender James Collins, who attempted to roll the ball back to goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen but had it intercepted by Pogrebnyak, who tallied his third goal of the season.
Stoke City 3, Southampton 3
Stoke-on-Trent, England - Stoke City came from two goals down in the second half to extend its unbeaten run to 10 games after a 3-3 draw at the Britannia Stadium against Southampton.
Cameron Jerome rescued a point for the Potters with a fantastic volley in the 90th minute to level the match after teammate Steven Nzonzi had been sent off 20 minutes earlier.
Southampton moved in front in the 10th minute with a goal from Rickie Lambert, but Kenwyne Jones answered six minutes later to pull Stoke back to level terms.
The Potters struggled in defense in the first half and handed Jay Rodriguez a goal to put Southampton up 2-1 before Andy Wilkinson's own goal made it 3-1 to the visitors before the break.
Matthew Upson's first goal of the campaign for the hosts made it 3-2, but Nzonzi's red card with 20 minutes to play looked to have killed off the rally.
However, Jerome had other ideas as he smashed a volley from 30 yards off the underside of the crossbar and into the net, keeping Stoke in eighth place in the league table.