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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Dec 28, 2013

City flying high after beating Eagles

Manchester City put the pressure on Arsenal as they moved top of the Premier League with a narrow victory over Crystal Palace.

Edin Dzeko is mobbed after giving Man City the lead against Palace.
Edin Dzeko is mobbed after giving Man City the lead against Palace.

Jolly: City scrape to victory
Premier League gallery Photo Gallery

The Gunners travel to Newcastle on Sunday looking to return to the summit, but City’s success on Saturday afternoon has put Manuel Pellegrini’s men two points clear ahead of that match.

Manchester United, meanwhile, saw off Norwich City, Hull City thrashed struggling Fulham and Aston Villa drew with Swansea.

Manchester City went top as Edin Dzeko scored in a 1-0 victory against Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium.

Dzeko's second-half goal was enough to claim all three points for Manuel Pellegrini's side, but Palace provided an excellent account of themselves and were unlucky not to take a share of the spoils back to London.

Despite suffering a nasty cut to his eye in a first-half collision with Cameron Jerome, Joe Hart produced a fine performance in the City goal to keep the away side at bay, and when Dzeko fired into the roof of the net from 12 yards out just past the hour mark, Palace could not rally to find a response.

With Wayne Rooney absent from the Manchester United side to face Norwich due to a groin strain, Danny Welbeck assumed the role of hero with the only goal in a 1-0 win at Carrow Road.

Welbeck came on as a substitute at half-time with the game goalless but took just 12 minutes to make the breakthrough, although he required an element of fortune as Javier Hernandez charged down Ryan Bennett's attempted clearance to set him up. From there, he kept his composure to round John Ruddy and tuck the ball home.

The result means that United are just two points adrift of the top four, although David Moyes' men have played an extra game.

Hull recorded their biggest ever win in the Premier League with a 6-0 demolition of Fulham at the KC Stadium.

Hull had never scored more than three goals in a match in their two-and-a-half seasons in the Premier League, but doubled that tally against Rene Meulensteen’s side despite the match being goalless at half-time.

Parity lasted only four minutes of the second half as Ahmed Elmohamady fired home from a half-cleared corner. Robert Koren converted a low cross on the hour mark, before the Fulham implosion began in earnest.

George Boyd struck on 63 minutes before birthday boy Tom Huddlestone scored his first goal in two years -- and immediately made good on his promise to have his hair cut when he next scored by taking scissors to his mop on the sidelines. Matt Fryatt reacted quickest to a rebound to make it 5-0, and Koren scored his second of the game to complete the humiliation.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa failed to hold on to their early advantage through Gabby Agbonlahor’s seventh-minute strike against Swansea City, with Roland Lamah’s equaliser on 36 minutes enough to secure a 1-1 draw at Villa Park.

In the day's early game, Nicolas Anelka's double was not enough to give West Brom a much-needed win over fellow strugglers West Ham at Upton Park as the sides had to settle for a 3-3 draw.

Joe Cole gave the Hammers the early lead, but his former Chelsea teammate Anelka -- who became the ninth man to score for six different Premier League clubs -- netted twice in quick succession to put the visitors ahead going into the break.

The hosts then threatened to take all three points when two goals in two minutes from Modibo Maiga and Kevin Nolan had Sam Allardyce’s men 3-2 up, but Saido Berahino provided a swift reply in the 69th minute to complete a remarkable scoring spell and ensure the spoils were shared.

The day's final game saw Jack Colback strike in injury time to earn Sunderland a point and a 2-2 draw to stun managerless Cardiff.

Playing just over 24 hours after Malky Mackay was sacked, Cardiff dominated the opening hour with Jordon Mutch and Fraizer Campbell putting them two goals ahead.

But Sunderland, who were dreadful for the first 45 minutes, rallied late through a Steven Fletcher toe-poke, before substitute Colback's deflected effort beat David Marshall in the fourth of five added minutes to make it 2-2 at the final whistle.

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