Reigning champions Arsenal were back to winning ways with a 1-0 victory at Fulham on Sunday.
Arsene Wenger’s side came into the game on the back of a four-match losing streak and were made to fight for the points in an evenly-contested London derby. However, luck favoured the visitors when Steve Marlet turned Thierry Henry’s corner into his own net on 31 minutes. Fulham can consider themsellves unfoortunate not to have been awarded a penalty when Sol Campbell clumsilly upended Steve Marlet midway through the first-half.
The win reduced Liverpool’s lead at the top of the Premier League to four points. Gerard Houllier’s side were thankful to the Premier League’s leading scorer Michael Owen, who was on target twice to secure the points against struggling West Ham.
Manchester United remain in third although they were made to work hard for the three points against a combative Southampton side. Despite taking the lead through a rare Philip Neville goal, United were pegged by a stunning Fabrice Fernandes strike before Diego Forlan silenced a few more detractors with his second goal in successive matches.
Chelsea and Tottenham remain in fourth and fifth respectively after sharing the spoils in a goalless draw at White Hart Lane. Chelsea were grateful to keeper Carlo Cuddicini for a series of spectacular saves that earned Claudio Ranieri’s men a point.
A place below lie this season’s surprise package Everton who won at Leeds for the first time in 51 years. The 1-0 victory came courtesy of wonderkid Wayne Rooney, who continues to justify the hype surrounding his every move. The 17-year-old produced another memorable solo effort to secure the points for the visitors. The defeat piles more pressure on Leeds boss Terry Venables who has seen his side coollect just two points out of the last eighteen.
At the foot of the table, it continues to look bleak for Bolton. The Trotters went down 3-1 to Birmingham to remain firmly rooted to the bottom of the table. Theiir cause was not helped by the dismissal of Ricardo Gardner for a secoond bookable offence.
Fellow strugglers Charllton and Sunderland did each other few favours by sharing the points at the Valley. Howard Wilkinson looked on course to collect a first victory since succeeding Peter Reid as Sunderland boss, when Tore Andre Flo put the visitors ahead, but a late Gary Rowett equaliser earned Charlton what may prove to be a valuable point come May.