Premier League reports

LONDON - Brief reports of Premier League matches played on Saturday: ARSENAL 1 BOLTON WANDERERS 0 A match that resembled attack versus defence for large periods seemed to be heading for frustration for the Gunners before substitute Nicklas Bendtner struck late on. The Dane slid in at the back post to convert Dutchman Robin van Persie's cross to the huge relief of the vast majority inside the Emirates. Van Persie had earlier hit the post. Despite their dominance, Arsenal almost conceded an equaliser seconds later when Bolton striker Kevin Davies shot straight at Manuel Almunia. ASTON VILLA 2 WEST BROMWICH ALBION 1 Villa took advantage of champions Manchester United not playing until Sunday to climb into third place despite a far from vintage display against the bottom club. Curtis Davies headed Villa in front against the run of play after 19 minutes and a dreadful piece of goalkeeping from Scott Carson made it 2-0 at halftime, the England intrnational fumbling a Gabriel Agbonlahor shot into the net. James Morrison pulled a goal back for West Brom early in the second half. EVERTON 2 HULL CITY 0 Hull City's early-season heroics now look a distant memory as they tumbled to a fourth consecutive defeat. Marouane Fellaini headed Everton in front after 18 minutes and Mikel Arteta scored with a superb free kick in first-half stoppage time to leave Hull reeling. Everton are now cemented in the top six and have a seven-point lead over seventh-placed Wigan Athletic. MIDDLESBROUGH 1 SUNDERLAND 1 Middlesbrough's hopes of a long-awaited league win were dashed when Kenwyne Jones grabbed a late equaliser for Sunderland in the north east derby. Boro, who last claimed three points two months ago, were given a halftime lead by Brazilian striker Afonso Alves. David Healy's precise cross set up Jones for the equaliser with eight minutes remaining. Both sides remain firmly entrenched in the relegation dogfight. NEWCASTLE UNITED 2 WEST HAM UNITED 2 An entertaining encounter at St James' Park. Michael Owen gave Newcastle the lead midway through the first half but Craig Bellamy, linked with a move away from West Ham, equalised with a classy finish soon after. Carlton Cole put West Ham in front with a powerful finish from close range but Newcastle hit back. They had an equaliser ruled out for an infringement when West Ham's Lucas Neill sliced a clearance into his own net but there was no doubt about Andy Carroll's 78th minute effort. STOKE CITY 0 LIVERPOOL 0 As at Anfield earlier in the season Liverpool could find no way past Stoke as the league leaders dropped two important points. Steven Gerrard hit the woodwork twice in the closing minutes but Stoke were well worth a draw that moved them out of the relegation zone. Stoke's Rory Delap shot against the crossbar in the first half while Ryan Shawcross had a goal disallowed before the break. Dave Kitson also wasted two good chances for Stoke. Postponed FULHAM v BLACKBURN ROVERS (frozen pitch) PORTSMOUTH v MANCHESTER CITY (frozen pitch)