Soccer

Added-Time: Taking a look back at Week 12 in the EPL

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Ken Rodney, TSN.ca
11/20/2012 5:54:50 PM
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Added-Time takes a look back at Week 12 of the English Premier League season to get you caught up on all the important results, stories and moments. This week, City moves to the top of the table, while Queens Park Rangers continue to crash and the North London derby as always, lives up to the tremendous hype.

STORIES OF THE WEEK

It was swift, brutal and emphatic as defending champion Manchester City - the only unbeaten team in the Premier League - dispatched Aston Villa 5-0 to claim top spot in the table.

The game was actually a back and forth struggle for the opening 40 minutes with both teams coming close to cracking the scoreboard, before a goal-mouth scramble allowed City midfielder David Silva to pounce and put his side ahead prior to the half.

City were then the beneficiaries of two handball calls in the box within 20 minutes of the restart, one controversial, one less-so, that were converted by Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez respectively to increase the lead to 3-0.

Each man would double their total before the end of the game with Aguero scoring a near post goal on Aston Villa keeper Brad Guzan, while Tevez' second was a tap-in after a solid cross from Samir Nasri.

"We played well in the first half without getting any breaks," said City manager Roberto Mancini to the Guardian. "The second half was better but we can still improve, and we will need to because we play Real Madrid next."

With Manchester United losing 1-0 to Norwich and Chelsea falling 2-1 to West Bromwich Albion, City now hold a one point advantage over second place and four points over third in the Premier League table. Also by virtue of their heavy victory they now have the best goal differential in the Premier League.

While the champs rose to the top, the team they beat in the finale last season to claim the crown continued their free-fall to the bottom.

Queens Park Rangers are now the only team in the entire English Football League system without a victory after they were soundly beaten 3-1 at home by Southampton, another team involved in a relegation battle.

The Saints carried a two-goal advantage into the half thanks first to Ricky Lambert, who scored with a close ranger header after multiple chances to clear the QPR goal mouth failed. Then, Jason Puncheon with a swift strike added to the tally in first half stoppage time.

After halftime, Canadian Junior Hoilett sliced the Southampton lead in half when he out-jumped the defender in the box to head one into the back of the net.

But the comeback would be thwarted in the 83rd minute when QPR defender Anton Ferdinand turned a Southampton cross past his own keeper Paulo Gazzaniga to hand the visitors a 3-1 victory.

"Everybody in the dressing room was hugely disappointed with the result," said Hoilett. "We're all really disappointed and frustrated with how things are going at the moment, but we will work hard to put it right."

On Monday, QPR manager Mark Hughes was called into the Loftus Road boardroom to discuss his future with the club after stumbling out of the gate with a league-worst four points in the first 12 games.

Following that meeting, QPR PR tweeted: "Rumours suggesting Mark Hughes has been sacked as QPR manager tonight are not true."

QPR will have a tough test this week as they travel to Old Trafford to face Manchester United looking once again for their first win of the season.

RESULT OF THE WEEK

Emmanuel Adebayor caused controversy when he first played against his former Arsenal team as a member of Manchester City. After scoring a goal in that match, he ran the length of the field and slid to celebrate in front of the Gunners most vocal and rambunctious fans.

For his actions that day, he was fined and received a suspended two-match ban by the Premier League.

In the latest incarnation of the North London derby, he had an even bigger impact on the proceedings both positively and ultimately fatally for his Tottenham side.

First just ten minutes into the game he jumped on a rebound spilled by Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny to score his 100th Premier League goal and earn a 1-0 lead for the visiting side.

Eight minutes later he would be sent off, picking up a straight red card for a reckless and dangerous, studs-high sliding tackle on Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla.

After that it was game on for the home side as Per Mertesacker, Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud all scored before the halftime interval finally arrived to Spurs' relief. The third of those first half markers was beautifully created by Cazorla, before being crossed in for the finish.

It was more of the same in the second half as Cazorla and Theo Walcott would each score for Arsenal on either side of a Gareth Bale marker to make the final score 5-2 in favour of the Gunners for the second straight year against Tottenham at Emirates Stadium.

"We showed people how good we are today," said Walcott to Sky Sports. "It'll give us tremendous spirit, and we've got a lot of players back to fitness and everybody's very confident."

LOOKING AHEAD

There is one EPL game on TSN2 this week as Swansea will battle Liverpool, two teams currently in the middle of the table that have their eye on European qualification. You can catch all the action on TSN2 Sunday at 8:15am et/5:15am pt.

Manchester City Celebrates (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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