Chelsea deny Villa, City held by Sunderland
Aston Villa went down 4-2 to Chelsea in the Premier League in front of captain Stiliyan Petrov who yesterday announced he had been diagnosed with acute leukaemia. The Bulgarian attended today's match before starting treatment in a London hospital on Monday, but watched on as the Blues emerged victorious to move to within two points off fourth-placed Tottenham.
Daniel Sturridge put Chelsea ahead in the ninth minute when he pounced on the loose ball after Fernando Torres' close-range effort had been blocked in a last-ditch tackle by Stephen Warnock. Branislav Ivanovic made it two six minutes after the break when he bundled home Juan Mata's corner and although there was a hint of handball, no Villa players appealed.
With the first of three goals in six minutes, James Collins pulled one back, heading home with 13 minutes to go, and just three minutes later, Villa levelled through Eric Lichaj's close-range shot. However, Ivanovic restored Chelsea's lead with his second of the afternoon when he nodded home Florent Malouda's corner. Torres then ran on to the ball and sent a fierce first-time shot home in injury time.
Sunderled see City stumble
Manchester City scored twice in a minute as they drew 3-3 with Sunderland at the Etihad Stadium - squandering a chance to return to the top of the table. It was the visitors who went ahead just after the half hour through Sebastian Larsson, who received the ball from Stephane Sessegnon on the edge of the area and had time to pick his spot as he curled the ball into the bottom right corner.
City were handed a lifeline three minutes before the break when Phil Dowd awarded a contentious penalty when Craig Gardner was adjudged to have floored Edin Dzeko, Mario Balotelli calmly slotting home. Three minutes into time added on, Sessegnon swung over a cross which reached Bendtner who out-jumped Micah Richards and headed back across Joe Hart.
Sunderland made it 3-1 from a classic counter-attack, Bendtner sliding the ball across the front of goal which Larsson swept home. Balotelli struck a fine shot high into the goal in the 85th minute and City were level seconds later when Aleksandar Kolarov's long-range shot wrongfooted Simon Mignolet.
Diakite gives Rangers hope
Queens Park Rangers beat in-form Arsenal 2-1 at Loftus Road. It was the struggling hosts who went ahead in the 22nd minute when Adel Taarabt easily shrugged off Thomas Vermaelen's attentions before unleashing a fierce shot at the edge of the area.
The Gunners levelled 15 minutes later through Theo Walcott whose initial shot came back off the post directly into his path and he slotted home. QPR restored their lead 20 minutes into the second half. Vermaelen slipped and was easily bypassed by Jamie Mackie. The midfielder calmly pulled the ball back for Samba Diakite who sidefooted home.
Everton beat West Bromwich Albion 2-0. The Toffees took the lead in the 18th minute when Leon Osman's shot from distance hit Gareth McAuley on its way into the net. Midway through the second half, the hosts doubled the lead when Victor Anichebe perfectly placed a shot from outside the area.
Fulham enjoyed a 2-1 win against Norwich City. Clint Dempsey prodded home in the second minute and then turned provider as the Cottagers took a two-goal lead inside 13 minutes.
The USA international played a through ball for Damien Duff who ran on to the ball on the right of the area before unleashing a first-time shot John Ruddy could not keep out. Norwich pulled one back through Aaron Wilbraham in the 77th minute.
Bolton battle to Wolves win
Wolverhampton Wanderers are rooted to the bottom of the table following a 3-2 home loss against Bolton. Wolves went ahead in the 53rd minute when Michael Kightly got inside Marcos Alonso and curled home a left-footed shot home from outside the area.
Bolton were awarded a controversial penalty when Mark Davies was adjudged to have been fouled although there appeared to have been minimal contact. Martin Petrov swept home a powerful spot kick. The Trotters then went ahead with little more than ten minutes left when Martin Petrov's left-wing cross was headed against the bar by an unmarked David Ngog only for Alonso to pounce on the rebound.
Bolton got their third when Chris Eagles ran unchallenged and passed to Kevin Davies who slotted home, but Matt Jarvis pulled one back with a drilled shot with three minutes left.
Fellow strugglers Wigan Athletuc got just a second home win of the season as they beat Stoke City 2-0. Wigan went ahead ten minutes into the second half when Jean Beausejour's first-time cross from the left was attacked by Antolin Alcaraz whose powerful header gave Asmir Begovic no chance. Victor Moses sealed victory with a run and shot in injury time.