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Thursday, 18 April 2013

EPL ROUND UP OF MATCHES PLAYED ON 17/4/2013

A total of three games were played on wednesday night. West Ham United took on their fellow United side, Manchester United, Manchester City played host to Wigan to set up a rehershal for the FA Cup final in wembley later in may, and Fulham hosted Chelsea at the cottage.
West Ham 2 - 2 Man United
Robin van Persie's late goal earned Manchester United a 2-2 draw with West Ham at Upton Park to inch them closer to the Premier League title.
United were twice forced to come from behind for a share of the spoils with goals from Antonio Valencia and van Persie cancelling out efforts from Ricardo Vaz Te and Mohamed Diame.
The draw leaves United 13 point clear at the top of the table, while the point all but secures West Ham' Premier League safety.
West Ham started on the front foot and in-form striker Andy Carroll went close to scoring after just five minutes when he fired in a shot from the edge of the box which flew just wide of the far post.
The home continued to push forward and they made their early pressure count on 16 minutes when Ricardo Vaz Te found the net from close-range with his first goal since October. Matt Jarvis beat Rio Ferdinand down the right before hanging up a cross to the far post for Carroll to head back across goal to allow Vaz Te to nod the ball home from four yards out.
After a slow start United finally sprung into life just past the half hour mark as Antonio Valencia drew the visitors level with his first Premier League goal of the season. Shinji Kagawa was the architect of the goal as he played a neat one-two with Robin van Persie to get into the West Ham box before crossing for Valencia to fire home the simplest of finishes inside the six-yard box.
The first half ended in controversial fashion when Carroll caught De Gea with robust aerial challenge from a West Ham corner much to the annoyance of Sir Alex Ferguson on the sidelines.
United really should have taken the lead seconds after the restart when Wayne Rooney picked out van Persie inside the box with a perfect pass and he headed the ball down into the path of Jones only for the youngster to get his shot all wrong in front of goal.
The impressive Carroll was inches away from restoring West Ham's lead on 52 minutes with an ambitious left-footed half volley from fully 30 yards out which flew just wide of a worried De Gea's goal.
Three minutes later West Ham hit the front again with a stunning strike from Diame. Guy Demel found Diame on the edge of the box and he brilliantly turned Rooney before firing an unstoppable left-footed shot into the bottom far corner to send the home fans into raptures.
United went close to equalising for a second time on 63 minutes when van Persie picked out Rooney from a well-worked corner and his shot was kicked off the line by Gary O'Neil.
The league leaders drew level on 13 minutes from time when van Persie was on hand to fire high into then net after Kagawa's superb effort came off both posts.
United threw everything at West Ham in the closing stages, but the closest they came to a winner was when Jussi Jaaskelainen produced a smart save from substitute Javier Hernandez's header.

MAN CITY 1 - 0 WIGAN
A piece of individual magic from Carlos Tevez handed Manchester City a 1-0 win against Wigan in a dress rehearsal for next month's FA Cup final.
The Argentine bagged the winner after turning past two players on the edge of the box before crashing his shot into the roof of the net with seven minutes remaining.
Franco Di Santo and Arouna Kone missed good chances for the Latics who remain in the relegation zone and three points from safety.
The first half was rather low key as both sides returned to league action after their emotionally and physically-draining semi-final victories last weekend.
Wigan started confidently, stroking the ball around neatly but without great penetration. They won two corners inside the first four minutes, but failed to capitalise.
Aleksandar Kolarov flashed his free-kick wide before Sergio Aguero shot across goal and failed to win a free-kick outside the area, but other than that there was little activity of note in the opening 30 minutes.
There then followed a flurry of activity as Wigan produced a sparkling move with Kone bursting forward and Shaun Maloney backheeling into the path of Di Santo.
The Argentinian did brilliantly to jink round two defenders and open his body to shoot but Hart parried low to his left. City raced upfield in response but Aguero failed to get a touch on Tevez's dangerous low cross.
City survived a couple of scares soon after the restart as first Maloney wrongfooted Micah Richards and beat Hart with a shot from a tight angle only for Joleon Lescott to clear off the line.
Wigan appeared to go close again when Paul Scharner headed against the bar from a free-kick but the flag had been raised for offside.
After that near miss, heartbreak followed for Wigan as Tevez struck a typically sublime winner. The Argentinian turned away from two defenders on the edge of the area and jinked past a third before curling a shot into the top corner.
It was his eighth goal in nine games and left Wigan in the bottom three as one of their valuable games in hand had slipped away.
City, meanwhile, cut Manchester United's lead at the top to 13 points, and now the side's must do it all again at Wembley next month.

FULHAM 0 - 3 CHELSEA
A stunning strike from David Luiz put Chelsea on their way to an emphatic 3-0 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage.
The Brazilian opened the deadlock with a 35-yard effort before John Terry scored a goal in each half as Chelsea showed defenders were the best form of attack against the Cottagers.
The home side showed plenty of nice touches in the game but the quality came from the Blues and the three points over their west London rivals takes them above Arsenal into third.
Bryan Ruiz could have opened the scoring inside three minutes when he almost latched onto a Sascha Riether cross, while Giorgos Karagounis also fizzed a shot just over the bar early on.
But just as Rafael Benitez's side seemed to be in passive mood, Luiz stepped out from the back on the half-hour mark to unleash an outrageous strike that had Mark Schwarzer grasping at thin air.
The goal did little to change the pattern of play with Fulham enjoying considerable possession as Petr Cech saved well from Urby Emanuelson before Dimitar Berbatov drilled just wide of the post.
But Chelsea were the more clinical side and Frank Lampard - restored to the team with Terry after both were left out of the FA Cup semi-final - soon troubled Schwarzer with a powerful free-kick.
From the resultant corner, Juan Mata looped a cross in from the right and Terry did well to pull away onto Philippe Senderos and climb above his opponent to head in at Schwarzer's near post.
That saw Chelsea go in two-goals up at the interval and while Martin Jol's side tried to find a second-half response, with Mladen Petric spurning two chances, the third goal killed the game off.
With 20 minutes to play, Fernando Torres flicked a corner on at the near post and Terry was there ahead of Riether to force the ball over the line and grab his second goal of the game.
This time there was no reaction from Fulham and Benitez was even able to withdraw some of his overworked players as they aim to build on this comfortable victory and secure a top-four spot.

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