Saturday Video Highlihts - Premier League

Saturday's Premier League action saw wins for both Manchester clubs - United and City - to maintain their title challenges while a second half comeback by Liverpool eased the pressure on manager Roy Hodgson in a 2-1 win over Bolton. Leaders Manchester United claimed a fortuitous 2-1 win at West Bromwich Albion thanks in part to Wayne Rooney's first goal from open play in the league since March while City claimed a 1-0 home win over Blackpool. Both sides move to 41 points, with United ahead on goal difference and with two games in hand. Arsenal, who claimed a convincing 3-0 win away at Birmingham, sit two points behind in third place.

At the Hawthorns, Manchester United were lucky to claim all three points as it was the home side that showed the most invention throughout the match. Rooney opened the scoring in the opening minutes with a precise header from Patrice Evra's cross, but the home side were then incensed when Graeme Dorrans was brought down by Gary Neville but referee Chris Foy failed to award a penalty. West Brom were soon level though when James Morrison's superb volley arrowed past Tomasz Kuszczak in the United goal.



But the key moment of the match came in the second half when West Brom's Jerome Thomas was fouled in the area but Peter Odemwingie scuffed his penalty wide of the post. With 15 minutes left, United delivered a sucker punch when Rooney sent in a corner towards an unmarked Javier Hernandez, who headed home the winner. United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, picked out Rooney for particular praise after the match. "Wayne Rooney was exceptional. He drove us on and he was out of this world. He's off the mark now and hopefully he'll be on a run now", said Ferguson. But he admitted that his team was lucky not to concede a penalty in the first half. "I thought it was a penalty when Gary Neville clashed with Graeme Dorrans in the first half", the United manager said.



At Anfield, Liverpool moved up to ninth place after fighting back from a goal down to claim a vital 2-1 win over Bolton with a late goal from Joe Cole. With Roy Hodgson already under pressure following Wednesday's defeat to Wolves, the Liverpool manager's prospects of hanging onto his job appeared to be fading when Kevin Davies gave Bolton the lead with a header in the closing minutes of the first half. But shortly after half-time, Fernando Torres fired the home side back into the match with a superb volley after latching onto Steven Gerrard's pass before Joe Cole scored his first league goal for Liverpool with a close range finish from Maxi Rodriguez's pass.



At Eastlands, Manchester City kept up their impressive recent form, despite Carlos Tevez's missed penalty in the first half, with a 1-0 win over Blackpool. Adam Johnson claimed the winning goal just after the half hour when his shot from the edge of the penalty area took a cruel deflection off Stephen Crainey to give the home side the lead. The win should have been made more comfortable for City when they were awarded a penalty shortly after the opening goal as Yaya Toure was fouled by Luke Varney but Tevez dragged the subsequent spot kick wide.



Goals from Robin van Persie, Samir Nasri and a Roger Johnson own goal gave Arsenal a comfortable 3-0 victory over Birmingham City at Eastlands and took them to within two points of the leaders. Birmingham had a right to feel aggrieved with the opening goal as Van Persie won a soft free-kick on the edge of the area. The Dutchman's strike then deflected off Lee Bowyer to give the away side the lead 15 minutes into the match. Arsenal dominated throughout and seemed able to score at will in the second half. In-form Nasri doubled the away side's lead with a superb low strike from the edge of the penalty area before Cesc Fabregas's shot rebounded into the net for the third off Johnson.



Another goal from Gareth Bale gave Tottenham a 1-0 win over Fulham at White Hart Lane. The Welsh midfielder headed in Rafael van der Vaart's free-kick late in the first half to take Spurs back above Chelsea into fourth place. West Ham moved out of the relegation zone with a 2-0 win over Wolves at Upton Park. Roland Zubar's unfortunate own goal gave the home side the lead before Freddie Sears made sure of the points late on. Elsewhere, there were convincing home wins for Sunderland, who beat Blackburn 3-0, and Stoke, who saw off Everton through goals from Kenwyne Jones and a Phil Jagielka own goal.



In Sunday's Premier League matches, Chelsea will hope to build on their midweek win over Bolton as they welcome Aston Villa to Stamford Bridge and Newcastle travel to Wigan.

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