Manchester United jumped out to a quick start but two West Bromwich Albion goals in five second half minutes were enough to share the spoils at Old Trafford, 2-2. Javier Hernández and Nani scored in the first twenty-five minutes for United and the home side looked poised to rout the promoted Baggies. But five minutes after half-time, a Patrice Evra own-goal brought Albion back into the game. Five minutes later Somen Tchoyi scored the equalizer, a stunning turn of events in what has become a routine of United’s. Edwin van der Sar was the goat, meekly dropping an ordinary ball and allowing Tchoyi to tap in for the draw. The club from Trafford move past their rivals from Manchester on goal differential for now, but are likely to fall when City play tomorrow. West Brom survive one of their most difficult fixtures of the season and remain in the top six.
Goals from Samir Nasri and Marouane Chamakh brought Arsenal back from a first half deficit to and earned three points against Birmingham City at the Emirates, 2-1. Nikola Žigić got the goal for Brum on 33 minutes before Nasri equalized just nine minutes later. Chamakh’s winner came two minutes into the second half and the Gunners made the score stand. The win is an important one for Arsenal, breaking a two-game losing streak in the league and picking up enough points to jump clear of Manchester United. Failure to pick up points, even against a quality opponent, will leave Brum disappointed and dangerously close to the relegation zone in sixteenth place.
Charles N’Zogbia’s first half brace was not enough for Wigan Athletic as Newcastle United scored twice in the final eighteen minutes to steal a 2-2 draw at St. James’ Park. Shola Ameobi got the first Toon goal on 72 minutes and Fabricio Coloccini scored the equalizer, deep in injury-time to salvage the draw. Dropping two points away to a rival on the table is devastating for the Latics, particularly after N’Zogbia did so well to give them the early advantage. The draw is better than a loss for both sides, but does little to remove either from the scrum near the drop zone.
Bolton Wanderers also got an injury-time goal, though theirs was a winner from Ivan Klasnić against Stoke City at the Reebok. The 2-1 score came compliments of Chung-Yong Lee’s opener for the Trotters with Rory Delap leveling for the Potters just after half-time. It seemed shared points were in order, probably a fair result, before Klasnić got his goal in the dying moments to lift Bolton into seventh place, just past Stoke on goal differential.
Roman Pavlyuchenko and Tom Huddlestone lifted Tottenham Hotspur to a 2-1 victory over Fulham at Craven Cottage. Diomansy Kamara got the opener for the Cottagers but was answered just one minute later by Pavlyuchenko. Huddlestone’s winner came just after the hour and lifts Spurs into fifth place. Fulham remain middle of the table in eleventh, but the failure to pick up home points could come back to haunt the Cottagers later in the season.
And a draw between the two bottom feeders of the Premier League kept both in the drop zone and improved neither’s overall position relative to the rest of the league. Matt Jarvis scored early for Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux but a Mark Noble penalty for West Ham United brought level terms and a sharing of points that hurts both clubs. With the seventeenth (Everton) and eighteenth (Liverpool) place teams playing each other tomorrow, Wolves and West Ham are doomed to stay at the bottom for another week.