City join leaders, Pardew off the mark
Title-chasing Manchester City moved up to second place in the Premier League with a 3-1 victory at West Ham United.
City - without suspended former Hammers frontman Carlos Tevez - went ahead on the half-hour mark when Yaya Toure slammed the ball past Robert Green. Toure then created the second in the 73rd minute, cutting in from the left and firing a shot against the post that rebounded in off the back of Green.
Substitute Adam Johnson netted a third with nine minutes to go before James Tomkins' late consolation for the hosts. Roberto Mancini's team are now level on points at the top with leaders Arsenal having played a game more, while West Ham remain rooted to the bottom of the table.
Manchester City assistant manager Brian Kidd said the result was a testimony to the work of boss Roberto Mancini, comparing the Italian to his former mentor at Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson.
"The work the manager puts in on the training ground is immense. Tactically, technically, he deserves it," Kidd told Sky Sports. "I was privileged to work with Sir Alex at Manchester United and I see so many traits in the boss. He's a fantastic manager," Kidd said.
In the day's evening fixture Andy Carroll rifled in his 10th goal of the season as Alan Pardew's reign as Newcastle boss began with a 3-1 home victory over Liverpool. The 21-year-old blasted home a stunning 25-yard drive in injury-time after Liverpudlians Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton had each scored for the home side.
Dirk Kuyt cancelled out Nolan's 15th-minute opener with a deflected shot five minutes after the break, but Barton and Carroll ensured that fans who had staged protests over Chris Hughton's sacking before and during the game went home with cause for cheer.
"It's been a long two or three days," said Pardew. "It was a great victory and not many teams can score three against Liverpool. The result is important because that's the business we're in. There's a lot of pressure on myself and the players made it easy."
Earlier on, Blackpool's fine form continued as DJ Campbell's strike three minutes into the second half earned them a 1-0 win at Stoke City. After Luke Varney and Charlie Adam linked up, Campbell was on hand at the back post to complete the move with a deft finish and the Tangerines have now been beaten only once in seven matches.
Aston Villa eased some of the pressure on their manager Gerard Houllier by emerging triumphant from the Midlands derby with West Bromwich Albion. The Frenchman had overseen just one victory in ten league games going into the contest at Villa Park and his side almost went behind in the first half when Somen Tchoyi's effort hit the crossbar.
Stewart Downing scored soon after, though, and Emile Heskey made it 2-0 in the 80th minute with a stooping header. Paul Scharner pulled one back for the Baggies with a minute of normal time remaining but the hosts held on to move four points clear of the relegation zone.
Everton remain two points clear of the bottom three after they were held to a goalless draw at Goodison Park by Wigan Athletic. Despite dominating for the majority of the game, the Toffees failed to make a breakthrough, Tim Cahill coming closest with a second-half header which came back off a post.
The result means Wigan stay 18th, still only separated by goal difference from 17th-placed Fulham, who also drew 0-0. The Cottagers played out a stalemate at home against Sunderland, whose defensive problems increased with the loss of Anton Ferdinand early on due to injury.