LONDON (Sporting Alert) Theo Walcott scores a brilliant hattrick and Arsenal hammered an injured hit and fatigued Newcastle United 7-3 in the English Premier League on Saturday.
In other Premier League results, Manchester United beat West Bromwich 2-0 at Old Trafford, while there were also wins for Manchester City, Wigan, Tottenham, Swansea City and Reading.
EPL SCORES – DEC.29
FULL-TIME- Arsenal 7 vs 3 Newcastle
FULL-TIME– Norwich 3 vs 4 Manchester City
FULL-TIME- Stoke 3 vs 3 Southampton
FULL-TIME- Reading 1 vs 0 West Ham
FULL-TIME- Manchester United 2 vs 0 West Bromwich
FULL-TIME- Aston Villa 0 vs 3 Wigan
FULL-TIME- Fulham 1 vs 2 Swansea City
But the best game was saved for last and it was indeed a thriller, as eight of the ten goals were scored in the second half at Emirates Stadium
Walcott, who completed his hattrick with a fine chipped finish in stoppage time, got from support substitute Olivier Giroud, who scored in the 85th and 87th minutes and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski, who each added a goal apiece to the tally.
Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger said on Arsenal.com: “The game was not as comfortable as the result indicates.
“We suffered for big parts in the game, especially in the first half when I felt we played with the handbrake, we were a bit nervous, not free of the chest.
“We had problems to win the ball back from them. Every time they came back but we kept going and in the end of course it became easy, but it was a difficult game for us.”
Demba Ba, linked strongly to Arsenal, according to the latest Premier League transfer rumors, netted a brace for Newcastle.
At Old Trafford, leaders Manchester United maintained its seven point advantage at the top of the league table with the 2-0 win and a clean sheet over West Brom, with striker Robin van Persie coming off the bench to score his team’s second goal and moved to 14 goals in the league.
“He (Van Persie) changed the game for us. When I brought him and Paul Scholes on they settled the game down for us,” Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said.
A ten man Manchester City held off a spirited Norwich side to win 4-3 on the road after midfielder Samir Nasri was sent off shortly before half-time.
Edin Dzeko had a quick brace, after scoring in the 2nd and 4th minutes to help The Citizens kept pace with Man United.
Russell Martin also scored twice for Norwich in the defeat.
“For me, I think that we played fantastic for 25 minutes and should have scored three or four,” Man City boss Roberto Mancini said.
“The guys played very well. It was like at Sunderland but this time we scored. Today we showed we are there for the title.”
In the early kick-off, Aaron Lennon netted a game winner for Tottenham to score a come from behind 2-1 win over Sunderland.
Wigan handed Aston Villa its third successive defeat in the Christmas period, following their 3-0 results, while Reading grabbed a much needed win over West Ham.
Elsewhere, Jonathan de Guzman scored a second half winner for Swansea to edge Fulham 2-1 and Stoke City came from 2-0 down to earn a 3-3 tie with Southampton.
Sunday Premier League Fixtures
Everton vs Chelsea
QPR vs Liverpool