Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Barclays Premier League

Newcastle go fifth, Arsenal held



Newcastle United closed in on the top four with a 2-0 victory at Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday and Arsenal slipped to seventh after a goalless draw at Bolton Wanderers stretched their winless run in the Premier League to four matches.

Scott Dann's own goal and a late effort by substitute Gabriel Obertan lifted Newcastle into fifth place, three points behind Chelsea, while luckless Rovers remained stuck fast in the relegation zone.

Arsenal drew 0-0 at Bolton and remain five points adrift of the top-four place that has been a virtual guarantee for the past decade under manager Arsene Wenger whose Dutch striker Robin van Persie was twice denied by the woodwork.

"The belief is there, the desire is there and the confidence is there. We have come through a difficult period and we have of course a fight in front of us but we are ready for it," Wenger said when quizzed on his side's prospects of qualifying for next season's Champions League.

"We have to hope that the fact we didn't lose gives us confidence."

Djibril Cisse needed less than 15 minutes to mark his return to the Premier League with a goal as he opened his account for Queen's Park Rangers in their 2-2 draw at Aston Villa.

The 30-year-old former Liverpool and Sunderland player, who signed on transfer deadline day from Lazio, celebrated with a somersault after smashing a shot past Villa keeper Shay Given.

QPR doubled their lead with a Stephen Warnock own goal but England striker Darren Bent halved the deficit on the stroke of halftime and Charles N'Zogbia volleyed a second-half equaliser, his first goal for the Midlands club.

"We're delighted that he has such an instant impact so early in his QPR career. You saw his quality tonight in tight areas, where he was able to use his pace and power and that will be effective for us in the course of the season," QPR manager Mark Hughes said of French striker Cisse.

UPWARD CURVE

Sunderland's form continued its upward curve since Martin O'Neill took over as manager with a 3-0 home victory over Norwich City that lifted them to eighth – Fraizer Campbell paving the way for a fifth win in seven league games with a spectacular volleyed opener.

Former Fulham coach Roy Hodgson returned to Craven Cottage where his West Bromwich Albion side eked out a 1-1 draw thanks to a late equaliser by Somen Tchoyi.

Champions Manchester United moved level at the top of the table with a 2-0 victory over Stoke City on Tuesday when leaders Manchester City suffered a 1-0 defeat at Everton.

Newcastle, the surprise package during the early months of the season, proved they are serious contenders for a European berth with a gritty win at Ewood Park.

After Ryan Taylor's shot deflected into the net off Dann after 12 minutes Newcastle were forced to defend for long periods as the hosts dominated.

Blackburn's David Dunn squandered the chance to equalise from the penalty spot and Rovers also struck the woodwork late on before Obertan's clincher.

"You have got to have resilience, a good keeper and a good captain and we have got that," Newcastle manager Alan Pardew said. "Blackburn create chances all the time because everything comes in your box.

"We defended with passion and with our hearts, like we have done all season and that is why we have done so well."

Arsenal, who found out earlier on Wednesday that Jack Wilshere had suffered a setback in his recovery from injury, suffered more frustration at Bolton.

Van Persie came agonisingly close to a 20th league goal of the season when his crafty lob struck the bar late on to leave Arsenal still waiting for their first league win of 2012.



Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Dr Errol Sweeney
Ref assault should be condemned by all
The assault on a referee in Saudi Arabia recently should be condemned by all.

Neil Tovey
My Absa Prem team of the season
Games are won by scoring goals but defence wins titles. That rang true for Kaizer Chiefs.

Carol Radull
I'm not surprised Arsenal stumbled
Why am I not surprised that Arsenal has stumbled at the final hurdle, or close to the final hurdle?

Sunday Oliseh
Why Pep’s move could fire up the EPL
It’s the talk, speculation and rumour of the moment that, if true, could impact the English Premier...

Segun Odegbami
Messi, the little genius
After last Wednesday night, the challenge with writing about this little Argentine is not about how...

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
The best team always wins the league
One of the ironies of life is that the first time I heard the chant of “boring, boring”, it was...