Sport

'Spurs' halt Man U

...Leaders Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool register wins

Thursday, January 02, 2014    

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LONDON, England (AFP) — Tottenham Hotspur hammered another nail into Manchester United's creaking Premier League title defence with a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford on New Year's Day.

Having won their previous six games in all competitions, United were hoping to match wins by their fellow title rivals, but instead they slumped to a sixth defeat of the season that left them 11 points off the pace.

Tottenham, unbeaten in the league under new manager Tim Sherwood, took a 34th-minute lead when Emmanuel Adebayor outjumped Chris Smalling to head home Christian Eriksen's right-wing centre.

Eriksen added a second in the 66th minute, smuggling a header past David de Gea from Aaron Lennon's cross.

Danny Welbeck reduced the arrears immediately from Adnan Januzaj's incisive pass, but Spurs withstood United's late onslaught, with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris saving from Javier Hernandez, Wayne Rooney and Nemanja Vidic.

Victory took Spurs above United into sixth place, two points outside the top four, with the defending champions three points further back in seventh.

Earlier, Nicklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott scored last-gasp goals as Arsenal edged Cardiff City 2-0 to preserve their place at the top of the table.

Walcott added a second goal in injury time to rubber-stamp Arsenal's return to first place, after Manchester City had taken temporary possession of the top spot by winning 3-2 at Swansea City.

At a rain-soaked Liberty Stadium, Fernandinho's 14th-minute opener for City was cancelled out by Wilfried Bony, but further goals from Yaya Toure and Aleksandar Kolarov gave the visitors victory before Bony struck again in injury time.

City finished the day a point behind Arsenal in second place, with Chelsea a point further back in third after a 3-0 success at Southampton.

Fernando Torres gave Chelsea the lead on the hour with a close-range header after a deflected cross from Oscar came back off the post, with Willian making it 2-0 11 minutes later from Oscar's pass.

Oscar, a second-half substitute, crowned an impressive cameo by adding a third goal eight minutes from time.

Liverpool responded to consecutive losses at the hands of City and Chelsea by winning 2-0 at home to Hull City, a result which took them back into the top four.

Daniel Agger broke the deadlock with a 36th-minute header, with Luis Suarez netting his 20th goal of the campaign with a fine free-kick early in the second half.

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