Soccer

Added-Time: Taking a look back at match-day 16 in the EPL

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Ken Rodney, TSN.ca
12/11/2012 1:02:20 AM
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Added-Time takes a look back at match-day 16 of the English Premier League season to get you caught up on all the important results, stories and moments. This week, United resiliently claims the Manchester Derby and pulls six points clear at the top of the table.  Meanwhile Everton moves into the top four with a dramatic victory over Tottenham and Norwich and Swansea play a seven goal slugfest.

STORIES OF THE WEEK

With all of the hype and anticipation that went into the first Manchester Derby of the season, you would think there was no chance the game could live up to lofty expectations.  Not only did it produce one of the most entertaining games of the year, it also left little doubt that Manchester United should be considered the favourite going forward.

After surviving 15 minutes of offensive pressure from a City side that had not lost a game at Etihad Stadium in over two years, United forward Wayne Rooney slotted a ball from midfielder Ashley Young past a flatfooted Joe Hart and into the net for a 1-0 lead.

Rooney would go on to double United's advantage when, in the 29th minute, he collected a cross from Rafael and once again beat Hart to give his side a two goal lead they would carry into the half.

The home side was fortunate not to fall behind by three goals in the second half as Young was ruled offside when he fired home a ball that forward Robin van Persie rattled off the post.  Replays showed that Young might have been in line with the last defender when the ball was played.

Just prior to the Young chance, City substituted striker Carlos Tevez into the game and his energy would turn the contest in their favour in the process.

United keeper David De Gea would finally concede a goal when,  after making saves on both Tevez and midfielder David Silva, he was not able to make a third on midfielder Yaya Toure who cut the lead in half.

City would complete the comeback with four minutes left on the clock when defender Pablo Zabaleta struck the ball into the net from a Tevez corner to tie the score at two.

United had one more trick left in the bag when in stoppage time, van Persie converted a free kick just outside the box, that took a deflection off City midfielder Samir Nasri and into the net to seal the victory.

"It was obviously a difficult angle, but we work on that together at the training ground," said Rooney. "I had no doubt he could score from there, and thankfully he's won us the game."

Despite the loss, City manager Roberto Mancini does not believe the six point deficit is insurmountable.

"Even though we have lost this game we have shown we can win the title this year," said Mancini. "It is clear, we need to work hard and stop making mistakes. We can't continue to go one or two goals behind because it is difficult to recover."

Following the winning marker there were ugly scenes at Etihad stadium as United defender Rio Ferdinand was bloodied after being hit with an object thrown from the stands and Hart was forced to restrain a fan that ran on the pitch.

In other EPL action, It took into the 75th minute before the scoreboard was affected in Everton's home victory over Tottenham and it was the roadside that counted first.

Spurs forward Clint Dempsey's shot deflected off Everton defender Sylvain Distin and over keeper Tim Howard's head for the opening goal.

Gylfi Sigurdsson almost secured the victory for Tottenham when he fired the ball off the crossbar nine minutes later, keeping the score at 1-0.

Everton would make the visitors pay, first in the 90th minute former Spur Steven Pienaar headed home a cross from teammate Seamus Coleman to level the score, then in stoppage time Nikica Jelavic hammered home a winner to secure the points for the home team.

The win allows Everton to leapfrog Tottenham for fourth place due to having an equal number of points and a superior goal differential.

RESULT OF THE WEEK

Outside of the Manchester Derby which is both the story and result of the week, Norwich City claimed a very entertaining 4-3 victory over Swansea City in a battle of two teams that were promoted to the EPL last season.

Steven Whittaker opened the scoring for the road Norwich side when he danced into the opposition box and fired home his first goal of the season to put his team ahead.  Before the halftime interval, Sebastien Bassong and Grant Holt both found the back of the net to increase the lead to 3-0, silencing the home crowd.

Second half, different story, first Swansea midfielder Michu pulled one back as he slotted into the net to cut the disadvantage to two, then Canadian midfielder Jonathan De Guzman scored from a failed clearance to pull the home team within a goal.

Unfortunately for the hosts, Robert Snodgrass would score for Norwich to restore the two goal advantage that, despite another goal by Michu from a De Guzman cross, would be enough for them to go on for the win.

LOOKING AHEAD

TSN will bring you two games from match-day 17 as champions Manchester City will hope to bounce back when they face Newcastle on Saturday at 7:30am et/4:30am pt. on TSN.  Our second broadcast will see Reading host Arsenal on Monday at 2:55pm et/11:55am pt. also on TSN.



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