Arsenal draw Villa, Big 3 win 3 points + Rest of Premier League Games

A fantastic day of football today on Boxing day saw every Premier League team in action. And with such a tight league, an ascension of several places was there to be won.

The most thrilling game on paper was exactly that, with Arsenal and Aston Villa drawing 2-2 in what was dubbed ‘the battle to play in the champions league’. Arsenal were desperatley in need of the win and went 2-0 up thanks to neat finishes from Denilson and Abou Diaby. Villa were unlucky as they had undoubtabley been the better side in a fist half that saw them hit the woodwork 3 times. They got a goal back into the second half when Gareth Barry conerted through the middle from the spot after William Gallas fouled Gabriel Agbonlahor when he lost out for pace. Villa pressed on and the winner came into injury time when Zat Knight was on hand to slot the ball when it fell to him. The win leaves Arsenal 3 points behind 4th placed Villa and 10 points behind leaders Liverpool.

In the early game newly crowned World Champions Manchester United beat a resilliant Stoke side 1-0. It looked for 80 minutes of the game as though travelling to the other side of the world would have an effect on Sir Alex’s men, however after going all out in attack Carlos Tevez was on hand to bundle home. Dimitar Berbatov’s control set up the opportunity and his cross was met by Tevez and flied in to the roof of the net. Stoke caused their own offenses to a defense that saw Rio Ferdinand replace Johnny Evans after the United skipper suffered a back injury during training. However they would net get anything for their efforts and United passed the last few minutes of the game out. The win leaves them 7 points behind Liverpool though with 2 games in hand and Stoke City have to spend Boxing day in the relegation zone.

Chelsea momentarily went top of the league with a 2-0 win against 20th placed West Brom. Dider Drogba opened the scoring in the 3rd minute with a header before Frank Lampard scored to round off the first half and the game as West Brom couldn’t find a way back in.

Liverpool did however go back top and a point in front of Chelsea after crushing Bolton 3-0. Albert Reira grabbed the first followed by two well taken goals from Robbie Keane. Bolton never looked like getting into the match and had Gary Cahill injured for the final period of the game but he had to hobble about the pitch as Bolton had used all 3 substitutes. The loss leaves Bolton in 10th place however 3 points seperate them from the relegation zone.

Manchester City thrashed Hull City 5-1 in a game which took them out of the relegation zone. Manchester City were 4-0 up at half time thanks to 2 goals each from Felipe Caicedo and Robinho. Hull manager Phil Brown was rightly furious and gave a nast half time team talk in front of the travelling Hull fans on field. However it had little effect as Manchester City still looked as though they would increase the scoreline. Hull managed to grab a consolation through Craig Fagan before Stephen Ireland scored the fifth.

Portsmouth were also heavily beaten, by four goals from West Ham. Nadir Belhadj put Portsmouth a goal up before Jack Collison equalised and Jermaine Defoe soon missed a penalty. Carton Cole put West Ham into the lead before Craig Bellamy scored a double to wrap off the win. West Ham move upto 13th, a point behind 11th placed Portsmouth.

Wigan just about nipped a 2-1 victory against Newcastle thanks to a delightful freekick from Ryan Taylor and Amr Zaki’s penalty. Danny Guthrie’s goal from the penalty spot was not enough to give Newcastle the point.

Everton moved up to 6th place thanks to a goal from Tim Cahill to sink Middlesbrough. Sunderland and Blackburn could only muster up a 0-0 draw and the London derby between Fulham and Tottenham also brought the same score.

The Premier League returns with 8 games on Sunday followed by a game a piece on Monday and Tuesday.

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