Villa's home struggles vs. United continue
Birmingham, England – It wasn't convincing, but Manchester 0 defeat of Aston Villa on Saturday as the Villains have not recorded a home win over United in the English top flight for 16 years.
Phil Jones provided the lone goal of the game, capping off a brilliant move from United with a deft touch past Villa goalkeeper Shay Given in the 20th minute.
Nani received the ball with space on the left flank. The Portuguese winger chipped a cross in front of goal where it was met by a leaping Jones, who redirected the ball past Given with a one-time effort.
It was the first Premier League goal for Jones, who moved from defense into the center of the park to cover a Manchester United midfield riddled with injuries.
Manchester United dominated play for large periods of the match, but several close chances from Villa made for an unconvincing three points for the reigning champions.
Nonetheless, the victory helps the Red Devils keep pace with Manchester City, which cruised to a comfortable win against Norwich City to see the top of the table remain unchanged.
United sit in second place with 33 points, trailing its city rivals by five points through 14 matches.
Villa is winless in its last three Premier League matches, losing at home for the first time this season. It drops to ninth place behind Everton on goal differential.
Manchester City 5, Norwich City 1
Manchester, England - Manchester City continued its title-worthy form on Saturday, thrashing Norwich City, 5-1, at the Ethiad Stadium to remain unbeaten in league play this season.
Five different goal-scorers popped up for the Citizens en route to the comfortable win, but the only goal of the first half came courtesy of Sergio Aguero in the 32nd minute.
Samir Nasri doubled the lead in the 51st minute from a set piece and Yaya Toure found the back of the net with a curling shot to the far post in the 68th minute.
Steve Morison nodded home a goal for Norwich in the 81st minute to try and spark a comeback, but Manchester City quickly doused that threat with two late goals from Mario Balotelli and Adam Johnson.
Still unbeaten in the Premiership, Manchester City leads the league on 38 points, while Norwich City remains mid-table with 16 points.
Chelsea 3, Newcastle United 0
Newcastle, England - Chelsea earned a flattering 3-0 win over Newcastle United on Saturday, though the score did not reflect the true nature of the game.
Newcastle had cause for uproar early on, as Demba Ba was dragged down by Chelsea defender David Luiz. The Brazilian defender was the last man and could have easily been sent off, but the referee only brandished a yellow card.
The Blues were awarded a penalty kick in the 14th minute, but Frank Lampard's ensuing attempt was saved by Tim Krul to keep the match scoreless.
Chelsea eventually got off the mark, as Didier Drogba recorded his second goal of the season in the 38th minute to give his side the advantage going into the break.
Despite hitting the woodwork several times, Newcastle failed to find an equalizer, a price they ultimately paid for down the stretch as Salomon Kalou and Daniel Sturridge scored late to wrap up the three points for the visitors.
Newcastle is now winless in its last three Premier League contests, dropping to sixth place with 26 points. Chelsea, meanwhile, has won two straight after a bit of a rough patch and moves into fourth place with 28 points.
Arsenal 4, Wigan 0
Wigan, England - Arsenal cruised to a comfortable 4-0 win over Wigan on Saturday to jump into fifth place in the English Premier League.
A slow start to the season plagued the Gunners, though it seems to be behind them as they are unbeaten in league play in six matches.
Mikel Arteta rocketed Arsenal to a first half lead in the 28th minute, and Thomas Vermaelen nodded the Gunners to a two-goal advantage just a minute later.
Arsenal continued to roll in the second half, as Gervinho scored in the 61st minute before Robin Van Persie added a fourth in the 79th minute.
The Gunners improve to 26 points on the year, while Wigan slips to last place with just nine points after Blackburn claimed three points against Swansea City on Saturday.
Tottenham 3, Bolton 0
London, England - Tottenham secured its sixth-straight win in Premier League play on Saturday, dispatching of ten-man Bolton, 3-0, at White Hart Lane.
Things went from bad to worse for Bolton in the 18th minute. After Gareth Bale had given Spurs the lead seven minutes into the tilt, Gary Cahill received a straight red, reducing his side to ten men in a tough London atmosphere.
Spurs took advantage, as Aaron Lennon doubled the lead in the 50th minute before Jermain Defoe added another ten minutes later.
Tottenham is unbeaten in its last 11 league matches, losing only twice all season, to remain in third place with 31 points. Bolton is tied with Wigan for last place on nine points apiece, leaving manager Owen Coyle on the hot seat.
Blackburn 4, Swansea City 2
Blackburn, England - Aiyegbeni Yakubu put forth a four-goal outburst to lift Blackburn to a 4-2 win over Swansea City at Ewood Park on Saturday.
The Nigerian provided two goals in both halves to cap a gem of a performance that helped Blackburn climb out of last place in the English Premier League.
Yakubu opened the game with a goal in the 20th minute before Leroy Lita pulled a goal back for Swansea in the 35th. But Yakubu restored the lead for Rovers with a goal just before the break.
The 29-year-old notched a hat trick in the 57th minute before Luke Moore gave Swansea a fighting chance with his goal in the 66th minute.
After Joe Allen committed a foul in the box and picked up a second yellow card, Yakubu stepped up to convert the penalty kick with his fourth goal of the game.
Blackburn improves to ten points on the year and now sits third from bottom, while Swansea, winless in its last four league outings, drops to 14th.
QPR 1, West Bromwich 1
London, England - West Bromwich battled back against QPR to earn a 1-1 draw at Loftus Road on Saturday.
Heidar Helguson gave the home side the lead in the 20th minute, and looked likely to carry that lead to the final whistle. But Shane Long popped up with an equalizer in the 81st minute to help West Brom earn a share of the spoils.
QPR and West Brom remain separated by a single point, as the Baggies sit 12th with 15 points, one spot shy of QPR.