Barclays Premier League Reviews
ASTON VILLA 3
GOALS:- LIVERPOOL: GERRARD 87th. VILLA: BENTEKE 29th, 51st; WEIMANN 40th.
Liverpool were left stunned after their hopes of challenging for a top-four spot were hit by a loss to Aston Villa. The home side went behind against the run of play when Christian Benteke arrowed a shot in off the post. Benteke's backheel set up Andreas Weimann for Villa's second, before the Reds were denied a penalty when Ciaran Clark pulled Daniel Agger's shirt. Benteke made it three from close range for a resurgent Villa, before Steven Gerrard netted a late consolation goal.
MANCHESTER UNITED 3
GOALS:- UNITED: VAN PERSIE 16th; CLEVERLEY 19th; ROONEY 59th. SUNDERLAND: CAMPBELL 72nd.
Manchester United produced a ruthless attacking display at Old Trafford to ensure they will top the Barclays Premier League table this Christmas. Two goals in four first-half minutes ultimately decided this as a contest, with Robin van Persie and Tom Cleverley firing in to put Sir Alex Ferguson's side firmly in control. Wayne Rooney tapped in from close range to make it 3-0 just before the hour mark, but Sunderland kept fighting and deservedly pulled a goal back through substitute and former United striker Fraizer Campbell.
NEWCASTLE UNITED 1
MANCHESTER CITY 3
GOALS:- NEWCASTLE: BA 51st. CITY: AGUERO 10th,
GARCIA 39th; Y TOURE 78th.
Manchester City bounced back from the disappointment of losing the Manchester derby with a stylish victory over Newcastle United at St James' Park. Sergio Aguero opened the scoring with a close-range finish after being set up by Samir Nasri, who hit the post 10 minutes later. Javi Garcia made it 2-0 from David Silva's corner, before Demba Ba's header after the break gave the Magpies hope. But Yaya Toure's seven-yard finish from Pablo Zabaleta's pass sealed victory.
NORWICH CITY 2
WIGAN ATHLETIC 1
GOALS:- NORWICH: PILKINGTON 15th; HOOLAHAN 64th. WIGAN: MALONEY 51st.
Wes Hoolahan's fine individual display helped Norwich beat Wigan 2-1 to extend their unbeaten league run to 10 games. The Irishman created one and scored another against a Wigan side who remain in the Barclays Premier League's bottom three. His hard work set up Anthony Pilkington to fire home at the near post after 15 minutes, before Shaun Maloney equalised with a long-range effort. Pilkington then turned provider as Hoolahan's emphatic header sent Norwich into the top half of the table.
QUEENS PARK RANGERS 2 FULHAM 1
GOALS:- QPR: TAARABT 52nd, 68th. FULHAM: PETRIC 88th.
Adel Taarabt's double ended Queens Park Rangers' record-breaking winless start to a Barclays Premier League season as they beat Fulham in an engaging London derby. The playmaker opened the scoring with a shot from 25 yards that flicked off defender Brede Hangeland. While the 23-year-old's first owed much to luck, his sensational second saw him nonchalantly curl the ball into the net following a mazy run from midfield. Mladen Petric's deflected strike late on ensured a nervy climax for QPR.
FIFA WORLD CLUB CUP FINAL
CHELSEA 0 CORINTHIANS 1
GOAL:- CORINTHIANS: GUERRERO 69th
Rafael Benitez failed to win his first trophy as Chelsea manager as his team lost against Brazilian side Corinthians in the Club World Cup final in Yokohama, Japan. Paolo Guerrero scored the only goal in the 69th minute when he reacted quickest to head home past three Chelsea players. Fernando Torres had a chance to force extra time, but fired straight at Cassio with only the goalkeeper to beat. Chelsea's Gary Cahill, who also missed a good opportunity, was sent off after clashing with Emerson late in the game.