Prem big guns win, Baggies held

BY foxsports • February 2, 2011

Wayne Rooney stole back the headlines from the stars of transfer deadline day with a timely return to form as United maintained their five-point lead at the top of the table. Rooney took just 50 seconds to get on the scoresheet in United's 3-1 win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford and bagged the second just before the break as he doubled his previous tally of league goals from open play this season. Rooney slammed home his opener after latching onto a long clearance by Edwin van der Sar and his second was a simple tap-in from a superb far-post cross from Nani. Villa's £24million man Darren Bent reduced the deficit when he slid a 58th-minute shot past van der Sar but United sealed their win five minutes later when Nemanja Vidic fired home after Rooney's lay-off in the box. Arsenal kept the pressure on in second place with 2-1 win over Everton at The Emirates but they had to come from behind to do it after Louis Saha's controversial opener gave the visitors the lead at the break. Saha opened the scoring in the 24th minute from a clearly offside position, but the goal was allowed to stand as Seamus Coleman's through-ball deflected off Laurent Koscielny. Gunners substitute Andrey Arshavin equalised in the 70th minute when he volleyed home after Jack Rodwell had made a mess of an attempted clearance of a Cesc Fabregas through-ball. And Arsene Wenger's men squeezed home five minutes later when Koscielny headed home at close-range following a corner from Fabregas. Chelsea's new big-money signings Fernando Torres and David Luiz were absent from the Stadium of Light but it hardly mattered as Carlo Ancelotti's men recovered from losing an early goal to canter to a 4-2 win over Sunderland. The visitors recovered well from the shock of conceding a fourth-minute opener to Phil Bardsley with Frank Lampard's 15th-minute penalty and a 23rd-minute second from Salomon Kalou, who poked the ball past stranded keeper Craig Gordon. Kieran Richardson's free-kick drew the home side level three minutes later but Chelsea stepped up a gear in the second half with John Terry firing home a rebound on the hour and Nicolas Anelka converting the fourth late on. Substitute Marc-Antoine Fortune struck with a 79th-minute header to rescue West Brom and leave Roberto Martinez's Wigan in the relegation zone after a 2-2 draw at The Hawthorns. Peter Odemwingie had scored his ninth of the season to give the Baggies an early lead but Wigan stormed back with goals from Charles N'Zogbia and Ben Watson which put them ahead at half-time.

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