Premier League Saturday including Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal v Manchester City - As it happened - Live coverage - The Independent

Premier League Saturday including Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal v Manchester City - As it happened

Follow the latest news and scores from today's Premier League fixtures including Manchester United v Aston Villa, Crystal Palace v Chelsea, Southampton v Newcastle, Stoke v Hull, Swansea v Norwich, West Brom v Cardiff and Arsenal v Manchester City.


Arsenal and Manchester City will hope to take advantage of Chelsea's defeat this evening.
by Sam Dymond


Welcome to The Independent's live coverage of Saturday's Premier League action, bringing you up-to-the-minute news below from all seven games in the top-flight.
  • Good afternoon and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of today's Premier League action - and the title race is hotting up!

    And, usually, when it reaches boiling point, you can bet on Manchester United being in the pot, but when the Red Devils kick-off against Aston Villa this lunchtime, it will be a full 18 points off the top. Nevertheless, for the beleaguered David Moyes, it will be one of the most important Manchester United games in history; the Old Trafford boss desperately needs a win - and a convincing one at that - if he's to earn a reprieve after recent humiliations at the feet of local rivals.

    Later in the day, league leaders Chelsea will want to keep up a steady pace with a win at relegation-threatened Crystal Palace ahead of their challengers' games this weekend, but it's the bottom of the table that will take precedence with further key clashes at the Hawthorns and the Liberty Stadium at three o'clock; 16th-placed West Brom meet second bottom Cardiff while Swansea in 15th take on 14th-placed Norwich.

    Elsewhere, we have our first taste this season of mid-table meaningless, but for fans of Southampton and Newcastle, who come together at St Mary's, and Stoke and Hull, who meet in Staffordshire, there is still plenty to play for.

    Then, at teatime, it's the weekend's standout fixtures as Arsenal host Manchester City at the Emirates. The sides served up a nine-goal thriller at the Etihad Stadium earlier in the campaign, but City will settle for a scrappy 1-0 success tonight if it keeps them on course for a second Premier League title. Pessimistic Arsenal fans may settle for the same if it saves them another hiding from a team at the top.

    Stay with us throughout the day for all the up-to-the-minute news and scores, and if you want to have your say on any of the afternoon's talking points, then tweet @sammydymond or email sam.dymond@gmail.com.
    3/29/2014 11:26:47 AM
  • Looking ahead to Arsenal's home game with Manchester City later today, there will be eyes cast on Arsène Wenger after his tactics came in for heavy criticism in the wake of the Gunners' 6-0 hammering at Chelsea last Saturday (See also Liverpool away, Manchester City away)

    With that in mind, and without going all Zonal Marking or Inverting The Pyramid on us, tell us what you consider to be the best or worst tactical setups ever deployed for a game of football, whether it took place in the World Cup, Premier League, Football League, Sunday League, shirts down with your mates in the park or even on the PlayStation. Tweet @sammydymond or email sam.dymond@gmail.com.

    An own personal favourite came in early 1996 when Fulham, then of Division Three, travelled to Shrewsbury, a division above, for an FA Cup second round replay with a lucrative home tie with Liverpool awaiting the winner in round three. A goal up and with a man extra from early on in proceedings, Ian Branfoot's team managed to concede an unmarked header at the start of the second half and, then, seconds from extra-time against a tiring Shrews outfit, sent every outfield player up for a free-kick which was promptly fired into the wall. Moments later, the home side had broken, the ball was in the Fulham net and the FA Cup dreams of a 16-year-old playing truant from school to visit the north-west on a Tuesday night had been shattered.
    3/29/2014 11:27:41 AM
  • Under pressure! Pushing down on you! If the tension building upon David Moyes had been momentarily relieved with that recent Champions League recovery against Olympiakos, it was pressed upon with two hefty hands when Manchester United crumbled at home to their noisy neighbours on Tuesday night.

    The Manchester United manager's predicament hasn't been helped by 'The Chosen One' banner, draped over the Stretford End and, as a result, unhappy fans have responded by hiring a plane to fly over Old Trafford this afternoon bearing a banner of their own - 'The Wrong One - Moyes Out!'.

    It could well mean that we're in for 90 minutes of football fans looking to the sky; a scene not witnessed since Wimbledon were in the Premier League.
    3/29/2014 11:27:46 AM
  • He is the chosen one - loving him is so much fun. 
    by Sam Dymond

    3/29/2014 11:30:11 AM
  • The teams are in from Old Trafford, and David Moyes has rung the changes with five players coming into the side that started the home defeat to Manchester City. Nemanja Vidic, Alex Buttner, Darren Fletcher, Ashley Young and Shinji Kagawa are in; Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck sit out. For Aston Villa, Paul Lambert makes two switches of his own after his team were beaten at home by Stoke with Nathan Baker and Karim El Ahmadi being replaced by Ciaran Clark and Marc Albrighton.

    Manchester United: De Gea, Rafael, Jones, Vidic, Buttner, Young, Fellaini, Fletcher, Kagawa, Mata, Rooney

    Subs: Amos, Giggs, Hernandez, Carrick, Nani, Welbeck, Januzaj

    Aston Villa: Guzan, Bacuna, Vlaar, Clark, Bertrand; Westwood, Delph, Albrighton, Weimann, Benteke, Agbonlahor

    Subs: Steer, Sylla, Holt, Tonev, Bennett, Robinson, Lowton

    Referee: Martin Atkinson
    3/29/2014 11:30:40 AM
  • Manchester United 0 Aston Villa 0: No need for Courtney Love here, the plane has been spotted inside two minutes at Old Trafford, and the rather feint banner was met with audible boos by a selection of home fans. Combined with the warm reception David Moyes received when exiting the tunnel before kick-off, the Manchester United manager will surely feel more comfortable knowing he still has backing from many  supporters. Back on the pitch, there's little to report with five minutes gone.
    3/29/2014 12:51:10 PM
  • Manchester United 0 Aston Villa 0: Juan Mata sends over an inswinging free-kick from the right, but Wayne Rooney gets the header all wrong inside the box and fails to trouble either Brad Guzan or the ballboys behind the goal.

    Meanwhile, Paul McAllister has emailed in to relive a tactical nightmare: "Paul Hart, when he was QPR caretaker manager, played three centre backs, two right backs, two left backs and two defensive midfielders in a home match against Bristol City and was booed off despite winning 2-1. Also the game in which Nicky Maynard scored THAT goal." Hang on, booing a 2-1 home win? Who do QPR think they are? West Ham?

    Still, any excuse to show a strike so good it's proceeded by capital letters...

    Nicky Maynard Goal
    by Futsal812 via YouTube

    3/29/2014 12:56:49 PM
  • GOAL! Manchester United 0 Aston Villa 1: Ah! Turn the plane around! Aston Villa have the lead at Old Trafford courtesy of Ashley Westwood's lovely curling free-kick from 20 yards out! Gabriel Agbonlahor burst forward as the away side countered with intent and, after Rafael had been booked for bringing him crashing to the ground, the former Crewe midfielder brought back memories of Danny Murphy by sending the ball over the wall and into the left-hand corner via David De Gea's outstretched hand.

    Ashley Westwood curls Aston Villa into the lead. 

    3/29/2014 12:58:41 PM
  • GOAL! Manchester United 1 Aston Villa 1: Villa's lead didn't last long, and neither did their man-marking gameplan because Wayne Rooney has just found himself all on his own ten yards from goal to glance in a header for Manchester United's equaliser. Shinji Kagawa delivered a cross from the left and, when Ciaran Clark found himself caught between two United forwards, the England striker had the simple task of heading past Guzan and in off the post. A fast and much-needed reprieve for David Moyes.
    3/29/2014 1:05:20 PM
  • Manchester United 1 Aston Villa 1: Ciaran Clark has more than made up for the conceding of a goal that probably wasn't even his fault anyway. The Aston Villa centre back has made two crucial blocks in the matter of minutes to deny, first, Rooney with a drive from the edge of the box and then Nemanja Vidic's header from a set-piece that was inexplicably ruled a goal-kick by referee Martin Atkinson.
    3/29/2014 1:14:42 PM
  • Here's a surprising statistic considering Fulham have been in the Premier League for the past 13 years...


    3/29/2014 1:26:55 PM
  • PENALTY! GOAL! Manchester United 2 Aston Villa 1: United edge in front in first half stoppage time thanks to Wayne Rooney's perfectly dispatched penalty, placed past Brad Guzan and into the right-hand corner of the net.

    Aston Villa had started to threaten to press as the half grew old, but Rafael won the ball on the right flank and found Kagawa via Darren Fletcher. The Japanese playmaker threaded a lovely diaganal ball through the Aston Villa defence, and just as Juan Mata was about to strike at goal, Leandro Bacuna came crashing in with a reckless tackle that gave Martin Atkinson no other choice than to point to the spot.

    Wayne Rooney becomes the fourth highest scorer in Premier League history.

    3/29/2014 1:29:37 PM
  • Half-time - Manchester United 2 Aston Villa 1:
    3/29/2014 1:32:56 PM
  • So it's another for Wayne Rooney against Aston Villa, and it's a landmark goal...


    3/29/2014 1:38:13 PM
  • The biggest waste of money at Old Trafford since Marouane Fellaini. 
    by Sam Dymond

    3/29/2014 1:41:33 PM
  • Back on the tactics trail, Iain Hamilton has written in from his East Coast train between Peterborough and Glasgow to bemoan Craig Levein and his 2001 Scotland side: " Against the Czech Republic, the Scotland boss deployed the tactical masterstroke of playing four at the back and six in midfield. The headline? 'No strikers, no chances, no points as Scots slump.'" It's safe to say that Spain this was not. Iain, there's still time to get off the train at Newcastle.
    3/29/2014 1:49:16 PM
  • Manchester United 2 Aston Villa 1: The hosts have made one change at the start of the second half with Michael Carrick on for talented hot-head Rafael. The Brazilian was on a booking, and it's expected that Michael Carrick will move alongside Nemanja Vidic at centre-half with Phil Jones gurning his way to right-back.
    3/29/2014 1:51:47 PM
  • Manchester United 2 Aston Villa 1: Maybe Michael Carrick has repaid his manager's faith already by clearing the ball of Christian Benteke's boot just six yards from goal. That said, the ball should have already been nestling in the back of the net by that point as the Belgian forward took down Marc Albrighton's crossfield pass on his chest perfectly, but completely missed the ball with his subsequent left-footed strike at a gaping goal, and allowed Carrick to get back to divert behind.
    3/29/2014 1:55:32 PM
  • Manchester United 2 Aston Villa 1: This time Benteke does make contact with Albrighton's cross, but his thumping header at the far post is inches over David De Gea's crossbar. The combination of the Aston Villa winger and centre-foward are causing United a number of problems at the start of this second half.
    3/29/2014 1:58:25 PM
  • GOAL! Manchester United 3 Aston Villa 1: Juan Mata has his first goal for Manchester United, and it's come at a crucial time when the visitors were threatening to draw level. One big money signing made a mess of it as Marouane Fellaini failing to get the ball out from under his feet in the penalty area, but when it fell to the Spaniard off Ron Vlaar's heel, he made a yard of space for himself and fired past three defenders and the goalkeeper into the bottom left-hand corner of the net.

    Juan Mata celebrates his first Manchester United goal. 

    3/29/2014 2:00:49 PM
  • Manchester United 3 Aston Villa 1: Brad Guzan denies Wayne Rooney his hat-trick goal with a fine save from point blank range, but the United striker had done equally well to carve open the opportunity for himself. Taking down a wonderful long range pass with one touch, Rooney cut inside with another but the American keeper was out quickly to deny the forward his third and United's fourth.

    It proved to be Rooney's last chance to net a treble this afternoon as moments later he was replaced by substitute Javier Hernandez. There are 15 minutes remaining for Aston Villa to launch an unlikely comeback.
    3/29/2014 2:17:01 PM
  • Here are the teams from the around the grounds hosting thee o'clock kick-offs in the Premier League.

    Crystal Palace v Chelsea

    Crystal Palace: Speroni, Mariappa, Dann, Delaney, Ward, Dikgacoi, Jedinak, Puncheon, Ledley, Bolasie, Jerome

    Subs: Parr, McCarthy, Ince, O'Keefe, Murray, Hennessey, Bannan

    Chelsea: Cech, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Matić, Luiz, Schürrle, Lampard, Hazard, Torres

    Subs: Hilario, Kalas, Mikel, Willian, Salah, Oscar, Ba

    Referee: Lee Mason


    Southampton v Newcastle

    Southampton: Boruc, Chambers, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Cork, S. Davis, Ward-Prowse, Lallana, Rodriguez, Lambert

    Subs: Gazzaniga, Schneiderlin, Ramírez, Guly, Hooiveld, Reed, Gallagher

    Newcastle: Elliot, Yanga-Mbiwa, Williamson, Coloccini, Haïdara; Anita, Tioté, Sissoko, Ben Arfa, Gouffran, Cissé

    Subs: Alnwick, Santon, Dummett, S. Taylor, Gosling, Shola Ameobi, De Jong

    Referee: Andre Marriner (or someone who looks like Andre Marriner)


    Stoke v Hull

    Stoke: Begovic, Pieters, Wilson, Shawcross, Cameron, Arnautovic, Nzonzi, Whelan, Ireland, Odemwingie, Crouch

    Subs: Sorensen; Muniesa, Palacios, Adam, Guidetti, Wilkinson, Etherington

    Hull: Harper, Rosenior, Bruce, Chester, Davies, Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore, Jelavic, Long, Elmohamady

    Subs: Jakupovic, Figueroa, Koren, Fryatt, Sagbo, Aluko, Quinn

    Referee: Neil Swarbrick


    Swansea v Norwich

    Swansea: Vorm, Rangel, Chico, Williams, Davies, Britton, Shelvey, De Guzman, Michu, Routledge, Bony

    Subs: Tremmel, Amat, Taylor, Canas, Hernandez, Dyer, Vazquez

    Norwich: Ruddy, Martin, Bennett, Bassong, Olsson, Snodgrass, Howson, Tettey, Hoolahan, Elmander, Van Wolfswinkel

    Subs: Bunn, Whittaker, Johnson, Hooper, Gutierrez, Becchio, Redmond

    Referee: Jonathan Moss


    West Brom v Cardiff

    West Brom: Foster, Reid, McAuley, Dawson, Ridgewell, Morrison, Mulumbu, Dorrans, Amalfitano, Sessegnon, Vydra

    Subs: Myhill, Lugano, Berahino, Thievy, Gera, O'Neil, Roofe

    Cardiff: Marshall, Fabio, Turner, Caulker, Theophile-Catherine, Taylor, Medel, Mutch, Gunnarsson, Bellamy, Campbell

    Sub: Lewis, Whittingham, Jones, Cowie, Cala, Daehli, Zaha

    Referee: Michael Oliver
    3/29/2014 2:27:49 PM
  • Manchester United 3 Aston Villa 1: Into three minutes of injury time at Old Trafford, and the game is fizzling out into an comfortable, unspectacular, forgettable victory for Manchester United - and you can bet that David Moyes and every home fan inside the stadium is absolutely delighted.
    3/29/2014 2:34:10 PM
  • GOAL! Manchester United 4 Aston Villa 1: It's a typical Javier Hernandez goal, but the assist from Adnan Janjzaj was anything but typical. The young Belgian combined brilliantly with his compatriot Fellaini to scamper past Fabian Delph on the left wing to deliver a perfect cross for his his fellow substitute to volley into an empty net at the back post. Smiles all round at Old Trafford.

    However, for the visitors, it's a second successive weekend where Aston Villa have taken the lead in a Premier League game only to lose by four goals to one.
    3/29/2014 2:34:23 PM
  • FULL TIME - Manchester United 4 Aston Villa 1:
    3/29/2014 2:36:50 PM
  • The happiest picture of David Moyes we could find on file. 
    by Sam Dymond

    3/29/2014 2:43:35 PM
  • It's a vital three points for Manchester United and David Moyes, and yet again the fans inside Old Trafford can sing the praises of the chosen one...

    The Mighty Boosh - I Love The Chosen One
    by TheEveryThingBox987 via YouTube

    Go and get the guitar.
    3/29/2014 2:45:07 PM
  • And now the 3pm kick-offs, and they include a 100th London derby in the Premier League for Chelsea captain John Terry at Selhurst Park this afternoon...


    The mathematicians amongst you will have already worked out that he has been booed on - at least - 99 prior occasions.
    3/29/2014 2:57:48 PM
  • And we're underway...
    3/29/2014 3:00:35 PM
  • GOAL! West Brom 1 Cardiff 0: What a goal! What a start! Morgan Amalfitano has scored a sensational goal inside the opening two minutes of the Hawthorns' crunch battle at the bottom. There appeared no danger when the Frenchman chased a hopeful pass down the right flank, but with David Marshall just a yard or two off his line, Amalfitano lobbed  the ball over the Cardiff goalkeeper from at least 30 yards out on the touchline. Wonderful, wonderful stuff!

    Nobody can believe Morgan Amalfitano's early strike - especially David Marshall. 

    3/29/2014 3:03:18 PM
  • GOAL! West Brom 2 Cardiff 0: Anybody who witnessed Amalfitano's opener will have been left in shock, none more so than Cardiff's defence who haven't recovered and now find themselves two behind. A cross from the left flank looped up towards Matej Vydra at the back post, and the on loan striker kept his cool to knock the ball back to the arriving Graham Dorrans, who thumped home from close range. A blistering beginning from the Baggies.
    3/29/2014 3:09:51 PM
  • Southampton 0 Newcastle 0: The home side have also flown out of the traps, as is their wont, but Jay Rodriguez has wasted three opportunities to give Saints the lead. Twice - with one shot and one header - the striker has found the side netting and, just now, saw another effort blocked by stand-in Newcastle goalkeeper Rob Elliott.

    Last weekend, as an expert for Sky Sports, Kevin Phillips demanded that Rodriguez gets "on the plane to England" this summer. Further finishing like that and he might be mistakenly right.
    3/29/2014 3:15:59 PM
  • Crystal Palace 0 Chelsea 0: Wonderful last-ditch defending keeps Crystal Palace on level terms with the league leaders. Cesar Azpilicueta overlapped down the left wing and sent a square ball across the six yard box, but Joel Ward somehow gets in front of Andre Schurrle to knock the ball behind. Naturally, referee Lee Mason gave a goal-kick.
    3/29/2014 3:24:33 PM
  • GOAL! Swansea 1 Norwich 0: The Swans had gone close to open the scoring minutes ago, and now Jonathan de Guzman has given the Welsh club the lead. The Norwich defence failed to deal with a ball bouncing around the box, and when it fell to the Dutchman on the edge of the area, he fired low and hard past John Ruddy.

    Jonathan de Guzman drives home Swansea's opening goal against Norwich. 

    3/29/2014 3:29:50 PM
  • GOAL! West Brom 2 Cardiff 1: Some swines are daring to insinuate that Morgan Amalfitano's opener was an overhit cross. Well, that wasn't an overhit cross, and neither is this from Jordan Mutch. The in-form Cardiff midfielder has dragged his side back into this game with a fabulous curling effort from long range, lobbing over the stranded Ben Foster. Game on!
    3/29/2014 3:32:54 PM
  • Irony in full effect at the Britannia Stadium...



    3/29/2014 3:38:18 PM
  • GOAL! Swansea 2 Norwich 0: The Welsh have gone goal crazy in the past ten minutes, and Swansea have gone double dutch thanks to Jonathan de Guzman. The midfielder, on loan from Villarreal, played a clever one-two with Wilfried Bony as the Swans sliced their way through the Norwich defence and calmly slotted past Ruddy. Garry Monk's men are well on their way to a crucial three points that will alleviate their relegation concerns.
    3/29/2014 3:39:04 PM
  • GOAL! Southampton 1 Newcastle 0: Jay Rodriguez finally has the ball the right side of the post and into the net, and it's the fourth game in succession where he has done just that! And while he deserves so many plaudits, credit must go here to his strike-partner Rickie Lambert, who selflessly set up J-Rod to roll the ball home having been sent clear on Rob Elliott's goal by James Ward-Prowse's clever through ball. Southampton for the World Cup!

    "Who's off to Brazil?" "You's off to Brazil!" 

    3/29/2014 3:45:42 PM
  • Half-time - Swansea 2 Norwich 0:
    3/29/2014 3:46:53 PM
  • Half-time - Stoke 0 Hull 0:
    3/29/2014 3:47:11 PM
  • Half-time - Crystal Palace 0 Chelsea 0:
    3/29/2014 3:47:26 PM
  • Half-time - Southampton 1 Newcastle 0:
    3/29/2014 3:47:47 PM
  • Half-time - West Brom 2 Cardiff 1:
    3/29/2014 3:50:37 PM
  • Thanks to all of you who emailed in to clarify that John Terry has indeed been booed on more than 99 occasions in the Premier League, especially Ben Cooke who informs us that the barracking of Chelsea's captain-leader-legend not only extends beyond the top-flight, but even football itself: "JT was roundly booed prior to the NFL tussle between Miami Dolphins and New York Giants at Wembley. JT looked sad. I LOL'ed."

    Well, I did say AT LEAST 99 occasions...
    3/29/2014 3:59:24 PM
  • There's  been much half-time debate over whether the wonder goals at the Hawthorns by Morgan Amalfitano and Jordan Mutch were intentional. While the Cardiff man's effort could be debated at length, let's go on record by stating that the Frenchman's second minute strike is the best thing I've seen for months.

    Well, that's if I'm not including this catchy little number...

    David Letterman - Future Islands: "Seasons (Waiting On You)"
    by Late Show with David ... via YouTube

    3/29/2014 4:02:55 PM
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