Soccer

Added-Time: Taking a look back at match-day 23 in the EPL

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Ken Rodney, TSN.ca
1/23/2013 11:33:58 PM
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Added-Time takes a look back at match-day 23 of the English Premier League season to get you caught up on all the important results, stories and moments.  This week, Manchester City closes the gap at the top of the table with a home victory over Fulham. Tottenham earns a hard fought draw against Manchester United and their manager Sir Alex Ferguson finds himself in hot water.

STORIES OF THE WEEK

Before the contest was two minutes old Manchester City found its margin of victory, courtesy the boot of David Silva. 

After a midfield turnover, striker Edin Dzeko fired a ball that Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer saved right into Silva's path and he made no mistake firing it home for the opening marker.

Having entered the game with only one goal on the season, Silva would leave it with three when in the 69th minute he beat two defenders with the ball and chipped it over Schwarzer and into the net to secure the victory.

 Silva and Dzeko would have one more great chance each before the final whistle to extend the lead but they would miss wide and high respectively.
 
Following the match, Fulham manager Martin Jol had praise for City's superstar midfielder.

"David Silva was the best player on the pitch and he was fantastic, a quality player," said Jol. "To concede in the second minute is a horrific scenario."

Meanwhile, City's assistant manager had his mind on the defending champions' title challenge.

"All we can do is win our games," City assistant manager David Platt said. "We have to make sure we keep getting victories so if United do slip up, we are in a position to take advantage of that."

The gap at the top of the table closed to five points due to the draw between league leaders Manchester United and Tottenham at a snowy White Hart Lane.

When Robin van Persie converted a 25th minute Tom Cleverley cross into a headed goal it looked like it was going to be another strong road victory for United.

Spurs applied the pressure on the United defence leading to striker Clint Dempsey breaking in on goal only to be turned away by one of the many quality saves keeper David De Gea - in this instance making a strong kick save - came up with in the contest.

In the final minute of the match Dempsey found Aaron Lennon's pass in the box and fired it into the net to equalize the game and share the points.

"We did so well at everything," said United manager Alex Ferguson. "The disappointment is not finishing them off," said United manager Alex Ferguson.

Following the contest, Ferguson also criticized linesman Simon Beck for not giving a penalty for a challenge in the box against Wayne Rooney by Steven Caulker.

As a result, the Football Association has opened an investigation that could lead to the veteran manager receiving a touchline ban or a fine for his actions.

With the transfer window open players are free to change teams; however the headlines were stolen by two players extending their contracts with their current employers.

First Arsenal finally got Theo Walcott's name on a new contract; inking the forward to a three-and-a-half year deal that will see his weekly salary increase. As well, he will receive a £3 million signing bonus.

Swansea, now in their second season in the Premier League, has signed forward Michu to a four-year extension.
 
"It was an easy decision for me," Michu told the club's official website. "I am living a dream here at Swansea."
His first year with the Welsh side has been impressive; he has 13 goals in 22 games so far this season.

RESULT OF THE WEEK

Currently on the outside looking in at the Champions League positions and already having lost 2-1 to Chelsea on the weekend, Arsenal needed a big performance to get themselves back on track.  In an incredible ten minute span they counted four goals to help them along to a 5-1 victory over West Ham.

West Ham grabbed the lead in the 18th minute when Jack Collison collected a rebound and stroked it into the net for the game's opening marker.

Lukas Podolski fired Arsenal back four minutes later and sent the game into halftime tied 1-1 with a rocket goal of his own.

It was after the break that the Gunners really took control of the contest.
 
Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott scored between 37th and 47th minute markers from Olivier Giroud to easily put the game on ice.

LOOKING AHEAD

EPL will return to TSN on Wednesday as Manchester United will welcome Southampton to Old Trafford.  The game can be seen at 2:55pm et/11:55am pt.

David Silva Gael Clichy (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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