English Premier League Game Week 22:Manchester United gave the signal the championship, Gunners largest decline report all matches highlights / EPL News Video

Manchester United runs 2013 championship Liverpool isnt a rival this year, Arsenal cant win even home, Chelsea come back.

Manchester United 2 Liverpool 1:Van persie is great domination for others

If Mourinho needed confirmation of United’s strengths and weaknesses ahead of next month’s Champions League clash with his Real Madrid team, then they were all on display.

For 54 minutes United showed an attacking prowess that would worry any team in the world. Goals from Robin van Persie – who else – and Nemanja Vidic gave them a 2-0 lead and they could have been further ahead.

But after Daniel Sturridge pulled one back to bring Liverpool belatedly to life, all United’s earlier verve and assurance evaporated and they looked decidedly dodgy at the back

So much so, that a collective sigh of relief swept round their fans and left their Liverpool counterparts reflecting on what might have been when referee Howard Webb finally blew his whistle.

United may have completed the double over the old foes and they may be 24 points ahead of them – the biggest gap between the clubs at this stage of the season since Sir Alex Ferguson took over 27 years ago. But there was much to encourage Liverpool that they are on the upward curve under Brendan Rodgers.

Such was new boy Sturridge’s impact as a half-time substitute, it was difficult to fathom why Rodgers did not pick him from the start, even though he is lacking match fitness.

It allowed Luis Suarez to drop deeper and the pair of them caused United all manner of problems in the last half an hour.

But one factor Mourinho could not fail to notice is Van Persie’s imperious form and his knack of scoring important goals in the big games. He has netted 21 and that includes home and away efforts against Liverpool, plus others against Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal.

His tally of assists is now into double figures because he supplied the free-kick from which Vidic added United’s second. That goal sparked the only hint of controversy in the game because replays showed Vidic was marginally offside. Otherwise, the clash was all about the football rather than racist comments and insensitive chanting – a welcome change from recent encounters.

United looked the sharper, more threatening team from the start and it was no surprise when Van Persie put them ahead after 19 minutes. A quick passing movement between Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley saw Patrice Evra drive in a low cross that Van Persie, stealing a yard on Daniel Agger, turned past Pepe Reina.

Van Persie lifted another chance over the bar, Cleverley volleyed just wide and Welbeck had a shot blocked by Agger.

Just before half-time Van Persie applied a backheel flick to Rafael’s cross and Shinji Kagawa looked certain to score until he was blocked off by Reina’s desperate challenge.

Liverpool had barely threatened as an attacking force, but all that changed after half-time. They should have been level, but Andre Wisdom lost his nerve and his footing when presented with a great chance by Suarez and shot embarrassingly wide.

That was immediately punished by United’s second goal which followed a calamity of errors by Liverpool.

Martin Skrtel was booked for a rugby tackle on Welbeck, then lined up in the wall when his height was really needed in the middle. As Van Persie floated the ball over, Glen Johnson switched off and allowed Evra to sneak round the back and get in a header at the far post, the ball diverting into the net off Vidic.

But within three minutes Sturridge put Liverpool back in the game.

Steven Gerrard was allowed the space to get in a shot that David de Gea pushed straight into the path of Sturridge, who could not miss.

It set up an intriguing last half hour. Liverpool pressed hard and high forcing United to make mistakes. Sturridge twice shot wide but lifted Liverpool’s best opening over the bar six minutes from the end.

But in added time only a brilliant save by Reina prevented Van Persie from adding a third for Manchester  United.

Manchester United vs Liverpool match Video:

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Stoke City 0 Chelsea 4:Somethings gona good with Chelsea

Chelsea keeper Petr Cech is refusing to contemplate life without Frank Lampard as he holds out slim hopes that the veteran midfielder could stay at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard, 34, converted a penalty to grab his 194th goal for the club – just eight behind all-time top scorer Bobby Tambling – and played a pivotal role as Chelsea ended a 17-match unbeaten home record for Stoke.A couple of own-goals from Jonathan Walters along with a stunning strike from Eden Hazard put the gloss on the performance, but Lampard’s display could not have gone unnoticed by Chelsea’s hierarchy, who are refusing to offer the midfielder any new deal.

The England international’s contract expires at the end of this season when he will be told to leave the club, with a number of teams queuing up to land him on a free transfer.

Cech would like to see Lampard stay and holds out hope that there could be a change of mind before the end of the campaign.

He said: “There is still six months to go to the end of the season and I couldn’t say anything about Frank.

“We will see at the end of the season whether he stays or not. I don’t know, as I am not a director, but if he keeps playing like that, obviously he will keep asking about the extension.

“The team changed, and his age changed. But he is still important for us. You can see that he might not start every game, and he might not play every game. But when he plays, he plays well with his quality and his experience.”

Walters handed Chelsea the advantage before the break when he headed past his own goalkeeper, Asmir Begovic, after Cesar Azpilicueta put a cross into the Stoke area.

And the Republic of Ireland international did the same in the 62nd minute, this time from a Juan Mata corner.

Assistant referee Sian Massey had earlier denied the hosts a spot-kick when Matthew Etherington was hauled down by Azpilicueta in the box, but the Potters midfielder was offside.

There was no such luck for Stoke when Robert Huth pushed Mata over in the area and Lampard thumped in the penalty, before Hazard rounded off the rout with a stunning strike from 25 yards 17 minutes from time.

Walters’ day was made even worse as he missed a late penalty after John Terry, on his return from injury as a second-half substitute, fouled the striker. But he struck the crossbar with the spot-kick.

Begovic has backed Walters to recover and predicts he will be back scoring at the right end when the Potters take on Championship side Crystal Palace on Tuesday in their FA Cup third-round replay.

Begovic said: “I don’t think anybody will worry about Jon Walters.

“His character and his personality will not be affected by anything that happens to him. It was just a couple of unfortunate incidents for him.

“I take the blame for the second goal because I probably should have come for the ball. ” Stoke manager Tony Pulis said: “There were one or two broken hearts in our dressing room after the match.”

Stoke City vs Chelsea match Video:

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Arsenal 0 Manchester City 2:Hard days starts for Arsene Wenger

Police formed a security cordon around the Emirates after a suspicious package was found before kick-off. There was no truth in the rumour that it was a piece of silverware.

Arsenal fans have not seen that kind of precious metal for seven years. Manchester City’s trophy cabinet, by contrast, proudly holds the Premier League title.And although City started this match 10 points behind Manchester United, they showed they will not give it up easily.This was a professional throttling of Arsenal, albeit against 10 men for 80 minutes after Laurent Koscielny was sent off. Referee Mike Dean will take the intense glare of the spotlight for that decision and another one in the 75th minute when he dismissed City’s Vincent Kompany for a lunge on Jack Wilshere.

In between Dean felt the full force of Arsenal fans’ frustration, who jeered every decision against their team.

City ignored the hostility and even the setback of Edin Dzeko missing a penalty to score two smart goals, take the sting out of the game and head north with three points.

This was City’s first win at Arsenal since David Essex topped the charts in 1975. Rock on.

It was deserved, despite the howls from Arsenal fans. Koscielny’s sending off started the fury. He reacted slowly after Gareth Barry headed the ball from the edge of the area towards Dzeko. The striker got goalside, Koscielny grabbed him round the waist and hauled him to the ground.

Penalty. The red card was more debatable, but Dean clearly felt he had prevented a goal-scoring opportunity.

Dzeko’s penalty was poor. He sent it down the middle and it struck Wojciech Szczesny on the legs, bounced on to the inside of the post, rolled along the goalline and the keeper grabbed it.

Arsene Wenger decided to sacrifice Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Per Mertesacker and shore up his defence. Shame they switched off twice, then, to let City take control.

After 21 minutes the Arsenal players were too busy protesting to Dean about a free-kick to do the basics of marking.

Barry took it quickly to David Silva, who flicked it on to Carlos Tevez. He threaded a clever ball to James Milner, who promptly smashed it in off a post. After 32 minutes it was two. Lukas Podolski was the guilty man, losing the ball to Javi Garcia and then Kieran Gibbs came off second best against Pablo Zabaleta.

With Arsenal’s left flank in tatters, he laid the ball off to Milner who crossed low for Tevez. Szczesny blocked his shot but the ball fell perfectly for Dzeko, who could not miss from four yards.

City had done a job on Arsenal – closed down the full-backs and cut off Arsenal’s supply line – then pounced superbly when their chances came.

After that City went all Italian in a style their manager Roberto Mancini will have witnessed for much of his career. Slow the game down, keep the ball, hit on the counter. Garcia had a header cleared off the line by Wilshere. In the second half, Dzeko played Tevez clean through with a lovely cross ball, but the striker had the ball brilliantly taken off his toe by Szczesny.

On came Olivier Giroud and his aerial power immediately troubled City. But he wasted Arsenal’s best chance, sending a free header over from six yards.

Arsenal were pressing, Wilshere becoming more influential running at City. Dean had a face-to-face with Thomas Vermaelen after the Arsenal skipper demanded a yellow card for a City player.

They got more than that when Kompany got airborne as he lunged at Wilshere. The tackle looked to be one-footed rather than two, but Dean saw recklessness and showed red.

Ten men each and time for Arsenal to rescue something? Theo Walcott had a shot cleared off the line by substitute Joleon Lescott.

Arsenal lie 21 points behind United. The title is a distant dream. Instead their fight just to finish in the top four will be their most intense for years.

Wenger saw few plus points and his misery was compounded by losing Mikel Arteta to a calf injury in training that will rule him out for three weeks.

Abou Diaby returned for his first game in three months and looked promising.

Wilshere gets better with each passing week, despite coming in for some fierce tackling and equalling the record for being the most fouled player in the Premier League in a game this season. Wenger needs new recruits – and fast.


Barclays Premier League game week 22 other Results

Queens Park Rangers 0 – 0 Tottenham Hotspur

Reading 3 – 2 West Bromwich Albion

Sunderland 3 – 0 West Ham United

Norwich City 0 – 0 Newcastle United

Fulham 1 – 1 Wigan Athletic

Everton 0 – 0 Swansea City

Aston Villa 0 – 1 Southampton

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