Liverpool drop points at Stoke; Bendtner keeps Arsenal’s title hopes alive; Villa beat the Baggies; West Ham draw at Newcastle

Stoke 0 – Liverpool 0 (Premier League, January 10, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Liverpool were let off the hook early doors at Stoke when Rory Delap struck the underside of the bar and Richard Cresswell failed to turn in the rebound. It was the same story at the beginning of the second half, Reina scuffed a clearance to Dave Kitson who rounded the goalie but could only find the side netting.

Arsenal 1 – Bolton 0 (Premier League, January 10, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) With Arsenal dominating possession against Bolton, van Persie had a good chance early on after he had controlled well but he blazed over the bar. (First half highlights here.) Arsenal should have been ahead when Nasri played a stunning pass to Adebayor in the box but the striker hesitated allowing O’Brien to come across and block the shot. But just as the Gunners were beginning to fear the worst, van Persie sent over an inviting cross to the back post and Nicklas Bendtner slid in to earn Arsenal the points. (Second half highlights here.)

Aston Villa 2 – West Brom 1 (Premier League, January 10, 2009) (MOTD highlights here, extended highlights here.) Although West Brom looked the more comfortable in the early stages at Villa Park, Curtis Davies put the home side ahead just before the twenty minute mark when the Baggies failed to deal with Villa’s first corner of the match. In the 41st minute Gabriel Agbonlahor sped down the left and saw his cross turned into the net thanks to a shocker from Scott Carson. Three minutes into the second half, James Morrison brought West Brom back into the match, turning Laursen before getting a slight deflection off Davies.

Newcastle 2 – West Ham 2 (Premier League, January 10, 2009) (MOTD highlights here.) Michael Owen put Newcastle one-up, capitalising on a slip from Collins and some pretty average keeping from Green. But the Hammers rallied, as has been their character in recent weeks, Scott Parker threaded a perfect pass through to Craig Bellamy who clipping the ball past an advancing Given for the equaliser. After the break Zola’s men seized the advantage, Ilunga’s lofted pass found red-hot Carlton Cole behind a napping Toon backline and the striker thrashed in the Londoners second of the game. Back came Newcastle, Duff teed up Andy Carroll to head home a leveller with 12 minutes remaining.

Everton 2 – Hull 0 (Premier League, January 10, 2009) Strikerless Everton continued their good form against Hull in the first half, Marouane Fellaini (blatantly offside) headed home the opener from a Leighton Baines before Mikel Arteta scored a trademark free-kick past Boaz Myhill from 30-yards out.

Middlesbrough 1 – Sunderland 1 (Premier League, January 10, 2009) Afonso Alves put Boro ahead on the stroke of halftime after good work from Stewart Downing. But the Black cats snatched a point when Kenwyne Jones stabbed the ball home with 10 minutes to go after great work from David Healy.