Arsenal is the new third-placed after triumphing at Goodison Park while Tottenham draw with Stoke City on Wednesday.
By Camilla Mancini
After City was ousted from the peak of the table on the past round, another Premier leader fell from its position on Wednesday; and this time was Tottenham Hotspur. Although the fall from the third spot to fourth is not worrying Harry Redknapp, it has probably hurt some egos around the Spurs; and it is quite understandable, after all these is the team that managed to keep up with the Manchester leaders for more time in the season. The Spurs kept the third position for more than three months and even earned a 12 points advantage from Arsenal just a month-and-a-half ago, but during the last rounds they had some tough rivals that seemed to have paralyzed them on the standings.
Stoke City was trying to take advantage of Tottenham’s losing run and during the first half they got close to score a couple of times when the Spurs gave away the ball. However, the first part of the clash was left goalless as well as most of the second half, until the 75th minute, when a free kick was awarded to Kyle Walker for an unfair challenge on Cameron Jerome. The shot was charged by Jermaine Pennant and when the cross reached Robert Huth, the German quickly made a pass on to Jerome that put it to the bottom left corner of the goal. The hopes were raised for the visitors side as it looked like they were about to conquer their first-ever victory in White Hart Lane. But during the final injury time of 5 minutes the Dutchman Rafael van der Vaart assisted by Gareth Bale, saved Tottenham from the fourth defeat with a last minute headed goal.
The Spurs were also quite stressed on their Wednesday match because while they were playing against the Potters, Arsenal was playing at Goodison Park and it clearly had started off on the right foot. Contrary from Tottenham’s match, the Gunners placed a goal early while they were controlling the clash against the Toffees. With just 8 minutes in the clock Thomas Vermaelen intercepted Robin van Persie’s corner and headed the only goal of the meeting. Following, Everton searched all around the field to score, even so Arsenal put a stop to them every time and therefore succeeded against some Toffees that in late matches beaten City, Tottenham and Chelsea.
The Manchester clubs continue in rivalry for the best spot of the Premier, still separated by 1 point remained in the same position after winning against their contenders. In the Sky Blues’ case, it was a harder rival the one visiting them for this round, as for United it was more like a 3-points gift playing against the Wolves, which are still on the bottom of the table with the same 22 points that obtained three weeks ago. The Red Devils went to the Molineux Stadium with their mind set to hunt Wolves and they certainly did it since the first part of the match, with goals from Evans, Valencia and Welbeck; in second half to complete the 5-0 result Javier Hernández scored twice.
The Citizens received Chelsea on Wednesday aware of the need of a triumph to continue head-to-head with United, which by then had 4 points more than City. So the hunt for the 3 points began between the two clubs at Etihad Stadium and during the first hour both had good chances, but with an undeniably more aggressive City. Therefore it was a bit surprising that the opener arrived with a deflected shot from Gary Cahill. However Roberto Mancini was swift to react and 5 minutes later was sending Carlos Tevez into the field; which was his first appearance since September and it was a perfect comeback for the Argentinean, as he was of great help to pull off the victory. First, at 78′ Michael Essien was penalized for a handball and Sergio Agüero gets to charge it and score it to tie the Blues. Then 7 minutes later Tevez managed to open up space for Samir Nasri’s perfect goal.
The other matches from round 29: Wigan 1-1 West Bromwich; Fulham 0-3 Swansea; Newcastle 1-0 Norwich; Blackburn 2-0 Sunderland; QPR 3-2 Liverpool.