Arteta’s brace downs Baggies

Updated: December 8, 2012

Mikel Arteta converted two penalty kicks to help Arsenal get back into the win column with a 2-0 defeat of West Bromwich at the Emirates on Saturday.

The Gunners came into Saturday’s tilt without a win in their last three Premier League outings, but Arteta’s brace lifted the club to its sixth win of the season, good enough for sixth place with 24 points.

Arsenal was awarded a generous penalty in the 25th minute when Santi Cazorla tumbled to the ground under no contact whatsoever. Arteta made the most of the fortuitous chance though, calmly converting the ensuing kick from the penalty spot.

The Gunners doubled their advantage in a similar manner, though the second penalty decision was far more straightforward but equally controversial.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain drew a stonewall penalty in the 62nd minute after getting away with a clear foul in the build-up. Nevertheless, the penalty was given and Arteta converted from the spot once more.

West Brom has dropped three straight matches after a superb start that saw Baggies go 8-3-2 to open the season. They remain fifth in the table on 26 points.

Chelsea 3, Sunderland 1

Sunderland, England – Chelsea picked up its first Premier League win under new manager Rafa Benitez on Saturday, earning a 3-1 defeat of Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

A brace from Fernando Torres gave the Blues a two-goal lead by halftime, and Juan Mata’s goal four minutes after the restart sealed all three points for the visitors. Adam Johnson pulled one back for Sunderland in the 66th, but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation goal.

Chelsea goes three points clear of fourth-place Tottenham by improving to 29 points on the season and Sunderland falls into the relegation zone by staying put on 13 points.

Norwich City 4, Swansea City 3

Swansea, Wales – Norwich City survived a late scare from Swansea City to come out on top in a 4-3 thriller at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

The Canaries jumped out to a three-nil lead by halftime thanks to goals from Steven Whittaker, Sebastien Bassong and Grant Holt. Michu and Jonathan De Guzman brought Swansea to within one, but Robert Snodgrass gave the visitors some breathing room in the 77th minute with Norwich’s fourth goal of the match. Michu added one more for Swansea deep into stoppage time but there was not enough time for the home side to complete the comeback.

Norwich is unbeaten in its last nine Premier League contests to improve to 22 points on the season, one point behind Swansea.

Wigan 2, QPR 2

Wigan, England – James McCarthy’s brace salvaged a point for Wigan in a 2-2 draw with lowly QPR at the DW Stadium on Saturday.

McCarthy has put the Latics in front in the 19th minute but Ryan Nelsen equalized seven minutes later. Djibril Cisse gave the visitors the lead in the 71st minute but it was quickly canceled out three minutes later by McCarthy’s second goal of the match.

QPR, still without a win, has drawn three straight to remain bottom of the league on seven points. Wigan goes two points clear of the relegation zone with 15 points through 16 games.

Southampton 1, Reading 0

Southampton, England – James Puncheon notched the lone goal in Southampton’s 1-0 defeat of Reading at St. Mary’s on Saturday.

The decisive goal came just after the hour-mark as Puncheon recorded his third goal of the season to lift the Saints to 15 points on the season.

Reading remains second from bottom on nine points, losing its fourth straight match.

Aston Villa 0, Stoke City 0

Birmingham, England – Aston Villa was held scoreless at Villa Park on Saturday, settling for a point in a 0-0 draw with Stoke City.

The Villans were unable to unlock a stout defensive display from the Potters, who had Ryan Shotton sent off deep into second-half stoppage time.

Villa, unbeaten in its last four league games, improves to 15 points. Stoke City, unbeaten in six, climbs to 23 points on the season.