Premier League Review: March 16

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Manchester CIty's title defence seemingly came to an end on Saturday as a 2-0 defeat against Everton all but handed Manchester United the trophy they won so dramatically last season.

The Toffees have been something of a bogey team for the Citizens in recent years and that proved to be the case once more at a rocking Goodison Park as Leon Osman gave the home side the lead with a wonderful strike - although City 'keeper Joe Hart could have done better.

Roberto Mancini's side were offered a glimmer of hope in the second half as Steven Pienaar was sent off, but Nikica Jelavic made it 2-0 and consigned the reigning champions to a damaging defeat. 

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To make matters worse for Mancini and his men, Manchester United took advantage of their stumble with a hard-fought 1-0 win over manager-less Reading to extend their lead at the top of the table to 15 points.

Wayne Rooney got the only goal of the game in the first half as Rio Ferdinand strolled forward purposefully before laying the ball off for his England team-mate, whose shot deflected cruelly past the stranded Stuart Taylor.

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Just back from the title race and Arsenal kept the pressure up on Tottenham and Chelsea with a vital 2-0 win over Swansea.

The Welsh side inflicted a damaging 2-0 win over the Gunners earlier in the season but Arsene Wenger's men extracted revenge thanks to goals from Nacho Monreal and Gervinho. The gap to rivals Tottenham is down to four points, for now.

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One side who before today were cautiously optimistic of a late charge for the top four was Liverpool, but a 3-1 defeat against Southampton seemingly put paid to that.

A rampant performance from the home side put them 2-0 up before Philippe Coutinho gave his side hope on the stroke of half-time, but Jay Rodriguez put the game to bid with a fine solo effort.

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At the other end of the table QPR's hopes of pulling of the great escape were dealt a huge blow as they went down 3-2 against fellow strugglers Aston Villa. After an enthralling 75 minutes which saw the game finely balanced at 2-2, Villa striker Christian Benteke had the final say to give his side a much-needed win.

In Saturday’s final game, Stoke played out a drab 0-0 draw with West Brom, a result which keeps both sides in mid-table.


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