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Phuket: Cazorla treble lifts Arsenal gloom: EPL predictions week 19

Phuket: Cazorla treble lifts Arsenal gloom: EPL predictions week 19

FOOTBALL: Santi Cazorla scored a hat-trick to lift Arsenal’s spirits as the Gunners bounced back from their League Cup humiliation with an emphatic 5-2 victory at Reading on Monday.

By Agence France-Presse

Thursday 20 December 2012, 11:44AM

Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla. Photo: Ronnie Macdonald

Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla. Photo: Ronnie Macdonald

Spain midfielder Cazorla struck twice in the first half after Lukas Podolski’s opener and completed his treble after the break to shatter Reading’s hopes.

Adam Le Fondre and Jimmy Kebe reduced the deficit for Reading, but Theo Walcott’s late strike confirmed Arsenal’s rise to fifth place, and left the hosts at the bottom of the table, six points adrift of safety.

League leaders Manchester United preserved their six-point lead at the top, seeing off Sunderland 3-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Goals from Robin van Persie and midfielder Tom Cleverley gave the hosts a half-time lead and Wayne Rooney added a third before the hour, only for United old boy Fraizer Campbell to pull one back late on for the Black Cats.

Ferguson’s team have now won 10 of their last 11 league matches, while Martin O’Neill’s Sunderland remain just one point above the relegation zone after their defeat at Old Trafford.

Manchester City won by the same 3-1 scoreline at Newcastle United, but are still six points behind United, who beat them a week ago.

Liverpool were brought down to earth in a 3-1 loss at home to Aston Villa. 

The Reds were gunning for a third straight win in the league but Belgian striker Christian Benteke scored twice and set up a goal for Andreas Weimann to lift Paul Lambert’s side three points clear of the bottom three.

Queens Park Rangers ended their long wait for victory at the 17th attempt, winning 2-1 at home to Fulham to climb off the foot of the table at the expense of Reading.

Adel Taarabt’s deflected shot broke the deadlock seven minutes after half-time and the mercurial Moroccan then scored a superb second goal in the 68th minute, before Mladen Petric replied for Fulham to leave QPR fans with a nervous wait for the final whistle.

Tottenham Hotspur rekindled their push for Champions League qualification by overcoming Swansea City 1-0 to return to the Premier League’s top four.

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Jan Vertonghen claimed the game’s only goal with 15 minutes remaining at White Hart Lane.

Spurs had slipped out of the top four after shipping two late goals in a 2-1 loss at Everton a week earlier. 

West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United both failed to reverse disappointing series of results with a 0-0 draw between the teams.

The draw left West Brom in sixth place, two points below the top four, while visitors West Ham lie 11th following a run of matches that has seen them pick up just five points from a possible 18.

Kenwyne Jones’ first Premier League goal of the season preserved Stoke City’s unbeaten home record as the Potters drew 1-1 with Everton on Saturday.

Norwich City have now gone 10 games unbeaten in the Premier League after winning 2-1 at home to Wigan Athletic to climb to seventh.

In The Phuket News tipping competition, players gafferworld, mickyleeds, jamiemonk and Blackrosebar are tied at the top of the December monthly scores with 69 points each.

Suncat100 still leads the yearly total scores with 340 points, but challenger mickeyleeds, at 338 points, may have narrowed the gap to within striking distance.

This month (December 2012) the competition is sponsored by Australian Bar & Grill in Kata. The monthly winner will receive a 3,000 baht voucher to spend at the venue.

The overall winner at the end of the year will win a brand new Honda Scoopy courtesy of AP Honda.

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