Aston Villa shocked Liverpool at Anfield in the English Premier League on Saturday, moving three points clear of the drop zone whilst simultaneously rubbishing claims that their opponents could fight for the EPL top two.
Man of the moment Christian Benteke continued his recent fine form by scoring two goals early on, sandwiching a 40th minute goal by Andreas Weimann. Steven Gerrard picked up a goal three minutes from time, but you could hardly call it a consolation goal as Liverpool fall back down to 12th. Gerrard had a chance earlier with the scores still at 0-0, as did Jonjo Shelvey, but neither could make their shots count.
Sunderland’s woes increased as they were comprehensively beaten by leaders Manchester United at Old Trafford. Ashley Young, often a peripheral figure in the last two seasons, was instrumental in providing the ammunition, particularly for Robin Van Persie in the first half. He brushed off challenges and provided the perfect pass time and again. Michael Carrick later teamed up with Tom Cleverley for the Team GB star to score the second three minutes later. Wayne Rooney, another Man U success story this weekend, scored a third of his own. Fraizer Campbell bagged one before the end, but the match was over well before that.
Manchester City kept up the pressure on their city rivals with a 3-1 away win at Newcastle United. The match starred the usual suspects – Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero, Demba Ba – and Newcastle will be left wondering what they can do to arrest their worrying slide towards relegation. Joe Hart was perhaps to blame for Newcastle’s solo goal, standing well off his line for Ba to head home beyond him.
Queens Park Rangers picked up their first win of a torrid season, with Adel Taarabt scoring both home goals in a 2-1 win to Fulham. The slow game was full of errors, but it was Taarabt that lit up the match with his runs and second goal.
Marouane Fellaini escaped punishment for headbutting Ryan Shawcross in a testy 1-1 draw between Everton and Stoke. The Stoke captain was also involved in Everton’s only goal, heading a Steven Pienaar goal into his own net.
Anthony Pilkington scored the deciding goal in a 2-1 win for Norwich against Wigan. Now just 2 points away from the top four, the side unbeaten since October. Robert Snodgrass almost made it three against the struggling Athletic, but drew a fine save from Ali Al-Habsi.