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Chelsea maintained their title aspirations with a hard fought win over Liverpool but Southampton kept pace as they rode to victory over Leicester with a Shane Long double for their fourth straight victory of the season.

Sergio Aguero struck twice but Manchester City fell further behind in the points count in the race to catch up with Chelsea atop the premiership after settling for a draw with QPR although they still have the third spot on the EPL and Arsene Wenger found no respite as he watched Swansea come from behind to win with two goals within three minutes.

On a brighter note, Ashley Barnes headed Burnley to their first win back in the Premier League with a 1-0 victory over Hull City at Turf Moor and Aston Villa held West Ham to a draw at Upton Park as they seek to plug a rot that has seen them through six consecutive losses. Newcastle also made it four wins in a row with a victory over West Brom at the Hawthorns. Newcastle, Stoke and Swansea notched victories.

Liverpool 1 - 2 Chelsea

Diego Costa scored the winner as Chelsea maintained their grip of the Premier League title race with a 2-1 victory at Liverpool. Chelsea had to come from behind to secure their ninth victory in 11 games after German midfielder Emre Can scored for Liverpool from a deflected shot in the ninth minute.

Gary Cahill equalized with a scrappy goal that required the aid of goal-line technology from a corner in the 14th for Chelsea. Simon Mignolet parried from Terry at a corner and although the Liverpool goalkeeper got his body fully behind Cahill's follow-up, Hawk-Eye replays showed that the Belgian had carried the ball over the line.

After eluding Coutinho on the Chelsea left, Azpilicueta saw his cross pushed out by Mignolet, but Costa was in the right place to rattle a half-volley into the net from close range for the game winner.

There was late controversy when Liverpool had a late penalty appeal turned down after a shot from Gerrard hit Cahill on the arm. Liverpool has now lost three successive games in all competitions and trail Chelsea by a huge 15 points.

Burnley 1 - 0 Hull City

Ashley Barnes headed Burnley to their first win back in the Premier League with a 1-0 victory over Hull City at Turf Moor. Burnley boss Sean Dyche brought Barnes into the side in the one change to his starting line-up from last Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Arsenal and the striker rewarded his manager’s faith, heading home the winner on 50 minutes from Keiran Trippier’s cross.

Hull playeed with 10 men for the final 20 minutes as Captain Curtis Davies was forced off with an injury after his side had already made three substitutions but Dyche's team could not add to their tally. That will not bother Burnley fans, who had not celebrated a Premier League win for their team since May 2010. Burnley is glued to the bottom of the EPL with 7 points.

Manchester Utd. 1 - 0 Crystal Palace

Juan Mata came off the bench to lift Manchester United into sixth spot in the Premier League with a 1-0 home win over Crystal Palace on Saturday. Just four minutes after coming on for Adnan Januzaj, the United midfielder curled a 67th-minute deflected shot past Julian Speroni to hand Louis van Gaal's men the victory.

The hosts enjoyed plenty of possession, but Neil Warnock's defence dropped deep and United barely entered the away box.The result was a welcome one for United fans and their manager, who had not won any of his previous three matches.

Southampton 2 - 0 Leicester

Shane Long stepped off the bench to fire Southampton to a 2-0 victory over Leicester – their fourth Premier League success in a row.

The visitors looked on course for a hard-earned point at a rain-hit St Mary’s but Ireland international Long hit a quick-fire double in the final 15 minutes to condemn Nigel Pearson’s side to a fourth-straight defeat, which leaves Leicester in the relegation zone.

Southampton barely tested Kasper Schmeichel in the opening 75 minutes, despite dominating possession, but Long's introduction proved decisive, as he curled in a Graziano Pelle lay-off with 15 minutes to go, before breaking through and slotting home a crucial second (85) - his first league goals for the club.

West Ham 0 - 0 Aston Villa

Aston Villa stopped the rot after six consecutive defeats with a hard-earned goalless draw against West Ham at Upton Park.

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan was the Villa hero after a string of fine saves including an sensational reaction stop to deny substitute Andy Carroll in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Stewart Downing also came close for the Hammers, who still manged to inch above Arsenal into fourth place, despite the draw.

QPR 2 - 2 Manchester City

Queens Park Rangers and Manchester City fought out a 2-2 draw at Loftus Road in a game full of talking points. Charlie Austin gave Rangers a first half lead with a neat finish in front of watching England manager Roy Hodgson before Sergio Aguero levelled matters on 32 minutes.

A Martin Demichelis own goal looked like it had given Rangers a crucial win in their battle to escape the drop zone before Aguero netted a second equalizer with eight minutes remaining as City dropped further behind leaders Chelsea in the Premier League title race.

Sergio Aguero's 3 goals within two weeks have proven to be the difference for a Manchester City that is seeking to move into high gear.

Sunderland 1 - 1 Everton

Sebastian Larsson’s superb free-kick was cancelled out by a Leighton Baines penalty as Sunderland and Everton drew 1-1 at the Stadium of Light.

The Swedish international bent a fine 25-yard effort into the bottom corner on 67 minutes to put Sunderland on course for their second win in a week but Connor Wickham clattered into Seamus Coleman with 15 minutes remaining and Baines made no mistake from the spot.

Everton dominated possession for much of the contest but were indebted to James McCarthy in second-half injury time after the Republic of Ireland international hacked a Wes Brown header off the line.

West Brom 0 - 2 Newcastle

Newcastle continued their recent resurgence with a 2-0 win over West Brom at the Hawthorns to move up to seventh spot in the table. Ayoze Perez's goal on the stroke of half-time set Newcastle on their way - his third Premier League goal in the last three games.

Captain Fabricio Coloccini doubled the lead just past the hour mark to give Alan Pardew's side their fifth successive win in all competitions - including their League Cup triumph over Manchester City.

Tottenham 1 - 2 Stoke City

Stoke City outclassed a lackluster Tottenham side to win 2-1 at White Hart Lane and increase the pressure on under-fire manager Mauricio Pochettino.

First-half goals from Bojan Krkic and Jonathan Walters secured the three points for the Potters as Spurs finished the game with 10 men after Kyle Naughton’s late dismissal.

Nacer Chadli had given the home crowd hope with a fantastic driven volley to reduce the deficit in the 78th minute, but Mark Hughes' side used their man advantage to see the game out against a Spurs side suffering from yet another Europa League hangover.

Swansea City 2 - 1 Arsenal

Five days after seeing his side surrender a three-goal lead in the Champions League against Anderlecht, the Arsenal manager was forced to endure the painful sight of Swansea City scoring twice in three minutes to inflict a defeat that will prompt a fresh bout of soul-searching.

Arsenal took the lead when Alexis Sanchez finished from close range after an excellent run and pass from Danny Welbeck but a stunning and sublime Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick and a fine header from substitute Bafetimbi Gomis sealed Swansea's victory.

Alexis Sánchez has now scored 12 in his last 14 appearances and is increasingly carrying this Arsenal team

The win saw Garry Monk's men leapfrog the Gunners into fifth place in the Premier League table.

 

(skysports, guardian, eurosports)

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