LONDON - Brief reports of Premier League games played on Friday: ASTON VILLA 2 ARSENAL 2 An outstanding game ended all-square after Aston Villa came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2. Denilson put Arsenal ahead after robbing Nigel Reo-Coker in the 40th minute and Abou Diaby made it 2-0 with a superbly worked goal. Villa pulled one back when Gareth Barry scored from a penalty after 65 minutes as William Gallas brought down Gabriel Agbonlahor and Zat Knight equalised with a stoppage-time effort. CHELSEA 2 WEST BROMWICH ALBION 0 A regulation win for Chelsea against the league's bottom team. Didier Drogba headed in a deep Joe Cole cross after three minutes and Frank Lampard dinked a deserved second after West Brom failed to clear at the end of the first half. LIVERPOOL 3 BOLTON WANDERERS 0 Liverpool returned to the top after Chelsea had displaced them for two hours following their early win over West Brom. A first-half goal from Albert Riera and two in the second half by Robbie Keane secured victory. Bolton, without a win at Liverpool since 1954, never looked like ending that run as the home side ended a series of three successive draws at Anfield. MANCHESTER CITY 5 HULL CITY 1 Manchester City, who had slipped into the relegation zone, scored four times in the first half with Felipe Caicedo and Robinho each netting twice in a blistering 21-minute spell. At halftime Hull manager Phil Brown ordered his players to sit in front of their fans and gave them a public dressing down before allowing them into the changing room. Craig Fagan, back after three months out with a broken leg, scored a consolation goal for Hull after 80 minutes before Stephen Ireland made it 5-1. MIDDLESBROUGH 0 EVERTON 1 Everton maintained their excellent away form with Tim Cahill making the breakthrough after Middlesbrough failed to clear a corner early in the second half. PORTSMOUTH 1 WEST HAM UNITED 4 Nadir Belhadj shot Portsmouth ahead after eight minutes but West Ham levelled with a low Jack Collison shot before Jermain Defoe sent a penalty wide at the end of the first half. Peter Crouch missed three chances in the second half before West Ham went ahead when Carlton Cole put in the rebound after a Collison shot hit the post in the 67th. Marc Wilson hit the woodwork for Pompey before two late goals by Craig Bellamy completed West Ham's smash and grab raid. STOKE CITY 0 MANCHESTER UNITED 1 Carlos Tevez banged in the only goal seven minutes from time as Stoke paid a heavy price for Andy Wilkinson's 72nd-minute red card. United had struggled to make much of an impact and had a few scares of their own before Wilkinson was shown a second yellow card. Gary Neville and Dimitar Berbatov then combined to set up Tevez for the close-range winner. SUNDERLAND 0 BLACKBURN ROVERS 0 Two clubs who had changed their managers in the last few weeks produced little in a dull opening 45 minutes before Rovers defender Christopher Samba had the ball in the net early in the second half but earned a booking for a blatant handball. TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 0 FULHAM 0 Spurs winger Aaron Lennon was denied by keeper Mark Schwarzer while home keeper Heurelho Gomes kept out a Clint Dempsey overhead kick and denied Andrew Johnson late in the game but chances were few and far between in this London derby. WIGAN ATHLETIC 2 NEWCASTLE UNITED 1 Ryan Taylor scored for the fourth time in four matches against Newcastle with a well-taken 25-metre free kick after 29 minutes. The home side went 2-0 ahead when Amr Zaki netted with a 73rd-minute penalty after Sebastien Bassong was sent off for pulling Emile Heskey's shirt as he bore down on Shay Given's goal. Newcastle converted a late penalty through Danny Guthrie but could not stop their six-match unbeaten run from ending.
26 December 2008
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