Arsenal and Chelsea kept up the pressure on Liverpool and Manchester City- who meets in Thursday’s final fixture- with victories over West Ham and Swansea respectively, as the elbow room tussle at the top of the Premier League table continued on Boxing Day.
Southampton ended a winless run of six games with James Rodrigez and Paul Lambert on the headlines for ‘The Saints’ while Newcastle ensured they remain above the defending champions Manchester United in sixth place by cruising past nine-man Stoke City at St James’ Park.
West Ham 1 Arsenal 3
Arsenal regained the Premier league leadership after a 3-1 win over est Ham at Upton Park. The ‘Gunners’ movement back to the summit may just be temporary as Manchester City and Liverpool slugs it out in a top-of-the-table clash later in the day.
Theo Walcott scored a brace and the returning Lukas Podolski added one more as Arsenal came from behind to grab the necessary three points at troubled West Ham.
Arsenal dominated the first-half but fell behind as Carlton Cole tapped home after Wojciech Szczesny spilled a shot.
The Hammers wasted chances to double their lead and Walcott equalised with an effort that Adrian should have saved eight minutes after the hour mark.
Substitute Podolski crossed to Walcott to nod Arsenal ahead in the 78th minute before Olivier Giroud teed up Germany international Podolski to lash in the visitors’ third.
Walcott said after the match that his Boxing Day second goal was the first header of his career.
Newcastle 5 Stoke City 1
Loic Remy scored twice as Newcastle emphatically defeated nine-man Stoke for their seventh win in nine games.
Oussama Assaidi put Stoke ahead but they then had Glenn Whelan sent off for a second yellow, before Marc Wilson saw red for fouling Remy in the area.
Remy’s penalty was saved, but he soon equalised with a deflected finish.
Yoan Gouffran drove in a second, before Remy’s header, Yohan Cabaye’s curled effort and Papiss Cisse’s penalty finished off the comfortable victory.
Chelsea 1 Swansea 0
Chelsea put on a dominant display to beat Swansea but will rue several missed chances in a fifth win from seven league games.
Eden Hazard cut in from the left and drove in a shot to put the Blues ahead.
Swansea had a rare chance when Alvaro Vazquez had a shot tipped over and it was only Chelsea’s wastefulness which kept them in the game.
Samuel Eto’o was twice in on goal but denied by smart saves from Swansea keeper Gerhard Tremmel.
Aston Villa 0-1 Crystal Palace
Everton 0-1 Sunderland
Norwich 1-2 Fulham
Tottenham 1-1 West Brom
Cardiff 0-3 Southampton