LONDON (AFP) – Manchester City beat Wolves to maintain their five-point lead at the top of the Premier League on Saturday as Manchester United bounced back from their derby mauling with a 1-0 win at Everton.
City, riding high after their 6-1 demolition of United last weekend, overcame a late fightback from Wolves after being reduced to 10 men to secure a 3-1 victory at Eastlands.
Edin Dzeko, Aleksandar Kolarov and Adam Johnson scored the second-half goals for City, who had captain Vincent Kompany sent off for a foul that allowed Wolves’ Stephen Hunt to score from the penalty spot.
United banished the memory of last week’s defeat by City with a hard-earned victory at Goodison Park that came courtesy of a first-half goal from Mexican international Javier Hernandez.
“It’s an important result to come away from home and win,” United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said. “Everton is never an easy game and they put everything they could into the game.”
Elsewhere on Saturday, Arsenal captain Robin van Persie scored a brilliant hat-trick as the Gunners stunned third-placed Chelsea 5-3 at Stamford Bridge.
The decisive moment came five minutes from time when van Persie pounced on a slip from Chelsea captain John Terry for a goal that put Arsenal 4-3 up.
It capped a miserable week for Terry, who is being investigated by the FA for allegedly hurling racist abuse at QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.
Terry’s blunder came after Chelsea looked to have snatched a share of the points with Juan Mata’s 80th-minute equaliser at 3-3.
Van Persie duly completed his hat-trick with a well-taken finish in injury time as Arsenal struck on the counter-attack.
Chelsea had earlier taken the lead before van Persie equalised. Terry restored Chelsea’s advantage on the stroke of half-time before quick goals from Andre Santos and Theo Walcott after the restart put Arsenal 3-2 up.
“It was fantastic to watch, both teams went for it,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. “In the second half I felt we were completely dominating the game and created chance after chance.
“Overall we have shown quality and mental strength as well. To go 2-1 down and come out the way we did shows great resolve in the team.”
In the late game, Liverpool moved up to fifth place with a clinical 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.
A first-half penalty from Charlie Adam and a goal on the counter-attack from £35 million striker Andy Carroll sealed the points for Liverpool, who were facing former manager Roy Hodgson.
A thrilling battle at Carrow Road saw Norwich battle back from 3-1 down to force a 3-3 draw. Grant Holt equalised with a controversial penalty in the fourth minute of injury time to give the Canaries a point.
A fine individual effort from Rovers’ Canadian international David Hoilett gave the visitors the lead before Steve Morison equalised for Norwich.
Two Rovers goals in two minutes from Ayegbeni Yakubu and Christopher Samba looked to have sealed a valuable win but Norwich were not to be denied.
Bradley Johnson pulled a goal back on 82 minutes before Holt’s dramatic late equaliser from the penalty spot.
Sunderland and Aston Villa shared the points in a 2-2 draw at the Stadium of Light. Stiliyan Petrov fired Villa ahead on 20 minutes before Conor Wickham levelled it for Sunderland with his first Premier League goal.
Villa went 2-1 up from Richard Dunne with five minutes but Stephane Sessegnon levelled it on 89 minutes for the Black Cats.
Newly promoted Swansea piled on the agony for Bolton at the Liberty Stadium with a 3-1 victory.
The damage was done in a devastating spell after half-time, Swansea scoring through Joe Allen and a Scott Sinclair penalty either side of a dismissal for Bolton full-back Ricardo Gardner.
A Danny Graham own goal gave Bolton hope to make it 2-1 but the striker made amends with an injury-time strike to clinch the win.
Wigan’s woes continued as Fulham won 2-0 at the DW Stadium.
Clint Dempsey put Fulham 1-0 up shortly before half-time, sweeping in a Bobby Zamora cross on 41 minutes, before Moussa Dembele added a second four minutes from time.