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Crystal Palace 1 – 2 Arsenal

Arsenal moved into third in the Premier League as they saw off Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

The Gunners took an early lead through Santi Cazorla as the Spain midfielder slotted home from the penalty spot after Danny Welbeck was felled in the area.

And Olivier Giroud doubled the lead on the verge of half-time as he fired in his 50th goal for Arsene Wenger’s side after Julian Speroni could only parry an effort from Welbeck.

Glen Murray pulled one back in stoppage time, but the visitors held on for the three points.

Arsenal – who were able to name Jack Wilshere in the squad for the first time since November after injury – were on the back foot early on as Palace threatened down the right through Wilfried Zaha.

They pressed Arsenal high up the pitch but sloppy play from Premier League debutant Pape Souare gifted the visitors an opportunity to lead.

Referee Mark Clattenburg felt the foul on Welbeck took place inside the box and, after the official had pointed to the spot, Cazorla expertly slotted home.

It proved the only real chance of the opening 20 minutes, with Alexis Sanchez almost forcing an opportunity soon afterwards as he pressured Scott Dann into losing possession, only for Speroni to come out and clear.

Palace, for all their promising spells of possession, struggled to test goalkeeper David Ospina and his defence before Arsenal made the most of their threat on the break when Giroud doubled their advantage.

A clever pass from Francis Coquelin found Welbeck and, when the England international’s effort was saved,Giroud reacted quickest to register his 50th Arsenal goal in first-half stoppage time.

Mesut Ozil had Speroni worried with a looping header that flew over the crossbar early in the second half but, like in the first period, the game continued to see Palace have spells of possession against Arsenal’s threat on the counter.

In a bid to get back in the game, home boss Alan Pardew introduced Yannick Bolasie from the bench for his 100th Palace appearance but, alongside the likes of Zaha, Jason Puncheon and Dwight Gayle, he failed to unlock the Arsenal defence.

Gayle could only angle Souare’s header over the crossbar with 20 minutes left before Puncheon flashed a free-kick wide.

Substitute Murray – on as a 79th-minute replacement for Gayle – then almost single-handedly gained Palace a point, as he first poked home a shot inside the area before hitting the post with a diving header deep into stoppage time.

However, it proved a frustrating day for Pardew.

Swansea 2 – 1 Man Utd

Manchester United suffered only their second Premier League defeat since November as Bafetimbi Gomis’s second-half goal gave Swansea victory.

Ander Herrera’s low strike put United ahead, but the hosts responded immediately as Ki Sung-yueng flicked in from Jonjo Shelvey’s cross.

Louis van Gaal’s side dominated the second period but failed to score.

Shelvey’s 73rd-minute shot deflected off Gomis to give the Swans a first league double over United.

Defeat means United drop to fourth place in the Premier League – Arsenal leapfrogging them by beating Crystal Palace – and hampers their hopes of making an instant return to the Champions League after failing to qualify for Europe last season.

Swansea won 2-1 at Old Trafford on the opening day of the season to ruin Van Gaal’s first competitive match as United boss.

And the Welsh club pained the Dutchman again by inflicting only a second defeat on United in 20 matches across all competitions.

The Red Devils’ misery was compounded by the sight of Robin van Persie leaving the Liberty Stadium on crutches, with a protective boot around his right ankle after suffering a late injury.

The Netherlands striker had been recalled from injury as United made three changes from their FA Cup win at Preston.

There was a more radical alteration from Swansea, as manager Garry Monk switched to a midfield diamond for the first time.

Man City 5 – 0 Newcastle

Manchester City recorded their biggest Premier League victory of the season to overwhelm Newcastle and cut Chelsea’s title lead to five points.

David Silva scored twice in an emphatic win as the champions took advantage of Burnley’s surprise draw at Stamford Bridge to give notice that their title defence is far from over.

With Yaya Toure back from the Africa Cup of Nations to add authority to their midfield and new £25m striker Wilfried Bony starting on the bench, City began with an intensity lacking from their recent performances at Etihad Stadium.

They made the perfect start when Newcastle gifted them a penalty after only 28 seconds, and went on to produce their most fluent attacking display of the season.

Helped by some more awful Newcastle defending, Samir Nasri soon made it 2-0 from Edin Dzeko’s cross before the Bosnia striker ended his 15-game goal drought to put the game beyond Newcastle with only 21 minutes gone.

Along with his energetic performance, the control and composure Dzeko showed to put away Silva’s pass was a sign to the watching Bony that he is not guaranteed his place.

But this was an evening where City’s entire attack impressed. While Manuel Pellegrini’s men have been pedestrian in possession in recent weeks, this time they were fast and furious in their attacks.

At the heart of it all was Toure, making more touches than any of his team-mates and orchestrating their slick one-touch passing game.

Chelsea had Nemanja Matic sent off as the Premier League leaders were held to a draw by relegation-battling Burnley.

Branislav Ivanovic put the Blues ahead when he slotted in Eden Hazard’s cross.

An Ivanovic shot struck Michael Kightly’s arm and Diego Costa was pushed by Jason Shackell as the home side had two penalty appeals rejected.

Matic was dismissed when he reacted angrily to a challenge from Ashley Barnes and Burnley capitalised when Ben Mee headed in a late corner.

 Chelsea 1 – 1 Burnley

Midfielder Matic was furious at Barnes’ 70th-minute challenge, in which the Burnley forward won the ball but caught him high up on his shin with studs showing.

The Serbian pushed Barnes to the ground but his exit left the way open for Burnley to level and then even go close to a winner when Danny Ings shot high in the final moments.

Matic is now set to miss the Capital One Cup final against Tottenham on 1 March, as well as league games against West Ham and Southampton.

It looked like it would be a routine home win for Chelsea when right-back Ivanovic’s fourth goal in six games gave them the lead.

Juan Cuadrado recovered possession for the Blues and found Hazard, who wonderfully jinked past two defenders before pulling the ball back for Ivanovic to slot in from close range.

This was proving a more of a business-like than a buccaneering Chelsea performance but, nevertheless, they had two appeals for penalties rejected by referee Martin Atkinson.

First, an Ivanovic shot struck the raised arm of Kightly and then Costa appeared to be pushed over by Shackell as the Burnley defender tried to make up for giving the ball away to the Spain striker.

Those decisions proved crucial as the hard-working visitors made the most of Matic’s dismissal with defender Mee’s far-post header earning them a point as they moved up a place to 18th in the table.

The draw for Chelsea comes at the end of a difficult week. The Blues had drawn 1-1 at Paris St-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday but the aftermath has seen them deal with the fallout of a small group of their supporters preventing a black man from boarding a train in the French capital before the match.

The club has since banned five fans and, with Saturday’s game having already been designated as Chelsea’s annual Game for Equality before the midweek incident, it gave the Stamford Bridge side a chance to show further its stance against discrimination.

The home players had ‘Building Bridges’ written on their shirts, while there was a banner reading ‘black or white, we are all blue’.



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