Manchester City hosted Manchester United in a nil-nil draw at Eastlands. While the game has been roundly criticized as uninteresting and uninspiring, both sides did emerge with an important point against a serious opponent. Both sides remain in the top four and have begun to slightly distance themselves from the other European qualifiers. United are second, one point clear of Arsenal, and City are fourth, just two below the Gunners.
James Collins scored an 89th minute winner to give Aston Villa all three points against Blackpool at Villa Park. The Seasiders had twice come from behind to level the score, their latest coming on a DJ Campbell goal on 87 minutes. But Collins’ instant response saved Villa and sent them moving up the table, reaching tenth place. Blackpool are stuck in thirteenth place, despite the valiant effort.
Chelsea got back to form in a 1-0 win over Fulham at Stamford Bridge. The Blues got their only goal from Michael Essien in the 30th minute which was good enough to overcome their London neighbors. Instead of reeling after their loss to Liverpool on the weekend, Chelsea’s three points push their lead back to four atop the table. Fulham are still struggling back in fifteenth place, only clear of relegation by two points.
A Jason Roberts goal in the 82nd minute stunned Newcastle United and gave Blackburn Rovers a surprise 2-1 away win at St. James’ Park. Having just taken down Arsenal away, Toon again stumbled at home, getting only an Andy Carroll goal just after half-time. That equalizer would’ve been enough to earn a point and keep up the chase for a Champions League position. Instead Roberts put Rovers back on top and earned three very important points for the visitors. Blackburn are now up to thirteenth place, a far safer position than seventeenth.
West Ham United again failed to win, this time in a 2-2 home draw with West Bromwich Albion at the Boleyn Ground. Frédéric Piquionne gave the Hammers a glimmer of hope when his penalty gave the home side a 2-1 lead just five minutes into the second half. But Pablo Ibáñez headed in a Chris Brunt cross on 71 minutes to equalize for the Baggies. The point leaves West Ham bottom of the table, four points short of survival. Albion are on sixteen points, along with five other clubs, which is just one point shy of fifth place. Goal differential has West Brom in eleventh.
Arsenal got an away win at Wolverhampton Wanderers, 2-0 at Molineux. Marouane Chamakh scored in the first minute and the 92nd, giving him the greatest distance between two regular-time goals in Premier League history. That brace brought the Gunners back from their poor showing against Newcastle over the weekend and slipped the back into third place, two points above Manchester City. Wolves remain mired in the relegation battle sitting just above West Ham but still three points short of safety.
Hugo Rodallega was the hero for Wigan Athletic in a 1-1 draw against Liverpool at the DW Stadium. Fernando Torres scored yet another goal for the Reds, but Rodallega’s 50th minute equalizer salvaged a point for the eternally struggling Latics and moved them within a single point of retention. The Reds will be utterly disappointed with a draw against one of the worst sides in the league, particularly after winning against Chelsea on the weekend. Ninth place is the best Liverpool could manage by the end of Round 12, five points short of a Champions League spot and out of European positions completely based on goal differential.
And Jermaine Beckford scored an injury-time goal for Everton to eke out a 1-1 draw with visiting Bolton Wanderers at Goodison Park. Ivan Klasnić had given the Trotters the lead after 79 minutes and Marouane Fellaini was sent off for the Toffees in the 86th minute. Yet Beckford, in his first Premier League season, got the leveler with his side a man short and desperate for a point. Everton slide up to twelfth place with that point while Bolton pick up a frustrating point of their own and edge closer to Newcastle’s fifth position. As it stands, Bolton are in sixth, ahead of the five other teams on sixteen points based on differential.