Football

Premier League weekend review: 7 November

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Ferguson received a guard of honour. (©GettyImages)
Ferguson received a guard of honour. (©GettyImages).

The weekend's Barclays Premier League fixtures were naturally dominated by the celebration of Sir Alex Ferguson's 25 year anniversary at Manchester United.

A host of fitting tributes in the build-up to the Sunderland game was followed by the Red Devils boss receiving a guard-of-honour onto the pitch by both teams at Old Trafford, and the unveiling of the club's North Stand - renamed after their longest-serving manager.

The game itself was something of a side-story, with the subdued affair ending in a 1-0 victory to the home side, courtesy of an own goal from former United defender Wes Brown.

Elsewhere, Manchester City's title credentials were tested in a scintillating encounter at Loftus Road. After going a goal behind, then later being pegged back to 2-2, the Citizens responded with a Yaya Toure header 15 minutes from time to seal the three points.

Arsenal made it four consecutive league victories with a 3-0 win over West Brom at the Emirates Stadium, marking their ninth win in their last eleven outings to continue Gunners boss Arsene Wenger's hope of a revival.

Chelsea returned to winning ways with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Ewood Park, to increase the pressure on Blackburn boss Steve Kean - as protests before and after the game called for his sacking.

Meanwhile, Liverpool were left frustrated as they drew their third consecutive game at Anfield after a goalless draw with Swansea, and Aston Villa made difficult work of beating Norwich 3-2 at Villa Park, inspired by performances from Darren Bent and Gabby Agbonlahor.

In Saturday's early kick-off, Newcastle extended their unbeaten start to the season with a 2-1 win over Everton with the winning goal coming in the form of a stunning Ryan Taylor strike from outside the box.

Sunday's fixtures saw Premier League strugglers Wolves host Wigan Athletic at Molineux, with the home side emerging victorious and ending their eight-game winless streak with a 3-1 victory.

Bolton thrashed Stoke 5-0 at the Reebok Stadium in a reversal of the FA Cup semi-final encounter between the two sides last season. A controversial opener from a quickly taken free-kick, given for a back-pass infringement broke the deadlock, before two goals each from Chris Eagles and Ivan Klasnic confirmed a much-needed victory.

The final fixture of the weekend saw a London derby at Craven Cottage, with Martin Jol facing his former club for the first time since his return to England.

In the absence of Harry Redknapp, who continues his recovery from heart surgery, Tottenham took a two-goal advantage thanks to goals from Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon, but were forced to weather a spirited second-half comeback from Fulham, who pulled a goal back when Younes Kaboul deflected the ball into his own net.

Brad Friedel made a string of stunning saves to maintain Spurs' advantage, and in the final minute of stoppage time, substitute Jermain Defoe confirmed a 3-1 victory with a neatly taken volley after an Emmanuel Adebayor cut-back.

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