Suarez hits three as Liverpool beat West Brom

Anfield side keep pace with Arsenal while Man Utd come from behind to beat Stoke 3-2 at Old Trafford.

    Suarez helped Liverpool stay within two points of Arsenal at the top of the table [Reuters]
    Suarez helped Liverpool stay within two points of Arsenal at the top of the table [Reuters]

    Luis Suarez struck a clinical hat-trick as Liverpool thrashed West Bromwich Albion 4-1 at Anfield to keep pace with Premier League leaders Arsenal.

    Suarez scored twice in five first-half minutes and again after the break as Liverpool remained two points behind Arsenal who won 2-0 at Crystal Palace in an early kickoff despite having goalscorer Mikel Arteta sent off.

    At Old Trafford  champions Manchester United twice trailed Stoke City before late goals by Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez earned them a 3-2 victory, staving off a fourth league defeat of the season for manager David Moyes.

    Romelu Lukaku was on target again for Everton as they moved into third place, four behind Arsenal, with a 2-0 victory at Aston Villa. Norwich City drew 0-0 at home to Cardiff City and remain in the relegation zone.

    Organisation and resilience replaced dazzling attacking play as Arsenal eased to victory at struggling Palace.

    A week after their free-flowing passing style dismantled Norwich City, Arsenal made heavy weather of beating a Palace side reeling from the departure of their manager in midweek and with seven defeats from their opening eight matches.

    Arsenal needed Mikel Arteta's penalty to break the deadlock shortly after halftime and then, when the Spaniard was sent off, required some resolute defending and a couple of saves from keeper Wojciech Szczesny to keep Palace at bay.

    Ozil quiet

    With record signing Mesut Ozil having a quiet game Arsenal were not the attacking force seen so often this season and needed Olivier Giroud's late header to seal the points to keep Arsenal on top of the Premier League with nine games played.

    "These are the kind of games where you need the points, we were mature, resilient, well-organised and in the end we got the second goal which was a relief," manager Arsene Wenger said.

    "I thought honestly we were unlucky to be down to 10 men and needed to be patient."

    Wenger was measured in his criticism of the decision by referee Chris Foy to dismiss Arteta for a foul on former player Marouane Chamakh who seemed about to burst clear from deep.

    "You never know but there was pressure on the referee to pull a red card out," said Wenger, whose side are unbeaten in the Premier League since the opening day of the season, winning seven of eight.

    "I think it was a wrong decision because it is supposed to be a clear goal scoring opportunity and it was very far from goal and it has to be the last man, which was not proven."

    After Arteta's red card Palace nearly levelled when Joel Ward's long-range effort was touched on to the bar by Szczesny who also stopped Mile Jedinak's volley with a superb save.

    Wenger praised Poland international Szczseny, saying he had stepped up a level since last season.

    "You see the quality of a keeper with the timing of his saves," Wenger said.

    "That was two important moments of the game. He is more consistent this season, better focus and he reads the game better."

    SOURCE: Reuters


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