Premier League round-up: Arsenal break into top four as Sunderland win in derby
Arsenal’s chances of finishing in the top four took a big boost following an enthralling last five minutes at the Emirates, where Arsenal scored three times to secure victory over struggling Norwich. Elsewhere, Paolo Di Canio tasted success in his first Tyne-Wear derby, following a 3-0 triumph over close rivals Newcastle United.
Arsenal took on out of form Norwich City at the Emirates knowing that victory would momentarily put them third in the league. In typical fashion it was Arsenal who dominated proceedings but struggled to carve out clear-cut chances in the first half.
Norwich played on the break and remarkably took the lead in the 56th minute. A teasing cross from Robert Snodgrass was met with precision from Michael Turner, as the centre half directed his header into the far corner, out of the reach of Lukasz Fabianski.
The Gunners brought on Theo Walcott and Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain on in an attempt to salvage something from the game. As the game began to draw to a close, it was a crazy five minutes that ensured Arsenal would be taking all three points.
A dubious penalty decision was awarded in the 85th minute, with Mikel Arteta making it 1-1 from the spot. Good build up play from Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud ended up in disaster for Norwich, with the Frenchman claiming a goal that suspiciously looked like an own goal.
Lukas Podolski wrapped up the three points with a tidy finish from the edge of the box.
Paolo Di Canio’s first experience of the Tyne-Wear derby ended in delight, as his Sunderland team won 3-0, boosting their hopes of survival in the process.
In a feisty affair, Sunderland had the better of play and fully deserved the three points. Stephan Sessegnon’s fine run and finish from the edge of the box was just the start of three fantastic goals by the Black Cats.
Pappis Cisse thought he had equalised for the Magpies, but wrongfully had his goal chalked off by the linesman for offside – with replays showing the striker was onside.
Sunderland’s counter attacks were causing Newcastle problems all day – and Adam Johnson was able to stride towards goal with little pressing from the Newcastle defence. He picked his spot and delivered a fantastic finish into the far corner past the outstretched Rob Elliot.
David Vaughan wrapped the points up with a thunderous drive in the far corner, causing Paolo Di Canio to celebrate in true Di Canio fashion.
The Italian’s passion was on show all afternoon and was certainly a cause for Sunderland’s fine display.
Thomas Bradley, football correspondent
Stoke 0 – 2 Man Utd
Everton 2 – 0 QPR
Aston Villa 1 – 1 Fulham
Reading 0 – 0 Liverpool
Millwall 0 – 2 Wigan (FA Cup)
Chelsea 1 – 2 Man City (FA Cup)
Southampton 1 -1 West Ham