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English Premier League Week 12: Manchester Derby Ends Scoreless, Chelsea and Arsenal Win

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English Premier League Round-Up: Manchester Derby Scoreless, Chelsea Widen Gap Back To Manchester United

A full slate of Wednesday fixtures in the English Premier League was highlighted by a defensive Manchester Derby, a solid win for Chelsea, and Arsenal holding serve against Wolves.

The Manchester Derby was an interesting tactical battle, with both defenses playing to the absolute best of their abilities in a 0-0 draw. Vincent Kompany was spectacular for Manchester City while his counterpart, Nemanja Vidic, was equally great for Manchester United. City played relatively negative football the whole way and were successful in their endeavor, keeping United from challenging Joe Hart with anything terribly difficult to save.

City will be the happier of the two sides, getting the result they went out to get from the start, but Manchester United were the better side on the evening. Carlos Tevez and David Silva were both largely ineffective and what little creative attacking play came out of the match mostly came from United. 

Chelsea were able to hold serve, winning 1-0 in the West London derby. Michael Essien scored the winner in the 30th minute, heading home a Florent Malouda cross. Chelsea is now a perfect 6-0-0 at home and four points clear at the top of the English Premier League.

At the DW Stadium, Liverpool picked up a point in disappointing fashion in a 1-1 draw with Wigan. Fernando Torres scored the opener in the seventh minute, but Wigan were the superior side for most of the rest of the match. They found a deserved equalizer from Hugo Rodallega in the 52nd minute and seemed like the more likely team to find a winner. Roy Hodgson has been complaining about his strength in depth and will need to find an answer to his team's ails to get back to Europe. Currently, Liverpool sits in 9th place.

Arsenal got back on the right track with a win over Wolverhampton Wolves at Molineux thanks to some quality finishing from Marouane Chamakh. His opener came only 39 seconds into the match and his brace came at the death with a great piece of finishing. Wolves played a respectable match, but Arsenal were always in control and Wolves owe their keeper Marcus Hahnemann for keeping them in the match until the very end.

Across the rest of England, Newcastle fell to Blackburn Rovers 2-1 despite a good performance by Andy Carroll, Everton and Bolton drew 1-1 thanks to a 90th minute equalizer from Jermaine Beckford, and West Ham and West Bromwich Albion drew 2-2 in a match where the referee gave a penalty kick to each side.

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Nathan Delfouneso Gives Aston Villa 2-1 Lead Over Blackpool

Nathan Delfouneso has put Aston Villa back in the lead over Blackpool at Villa Park.

Just minutes before, Delfouneso put away an Ashley Young cross-but referee Anthony Taylor decided that Delfouneso had climbed up Dekel Keinan, and so gave a foul rather than the goal. Rather than complaining, the 19 year old elected to score again, making sure the team knew he was worth keeping around. While Gabriel Agbonlahor warmed up on the sidelines, Delfouneso collected an Ashley Young through-pass and sped past the Blackpool defense. The young striker went one-on-one with Richard Kingson and put the ball in the corner.

After the joyous celebrations of Delfouneso , Agbonlahor was forced to sit back down for a few minutes, but now the speedy Villa striker is on the pitch. Agbonlahor has missed the last five Premier League games with a groin injury, and was warmly welcomed back at Villa Park.

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Wigan Athletic 1-1 Liverpool: Hugo Rodallega Equalizes For Latics

Fernando Torres's early goal overshadowed the fact that Wigan was largely the better side in the first half. Of course, that's a typical tale for the Latics, commonly more style than substance.Today, however, Wigan has managed to have both, finally breaking through in the 51st minute.

That's when Hugo Rodallega, dangerous throughout today's match, put the rebound of a blocked Ronnie Stam shot past Pepe Reina, bringing Wigan back to 1-1 with Liverpool.

It was a just outcome for the Latics, who had a goal called back toward the end of the first half. Why that offside call on Rodallega was ultimately correct, it failed to cancel-out the fact Liverpool was the lesser side for the first half's last 30 minutes.

With Rodallega's goal, the scoresheet now reflects the match.

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Manchester Derby Scoreless While Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool Up At Halftime

League-leading Chelsea's taken a one goal lead into halftime, while Manchesters United and City have played to a standstill at Eastlands. Meanwhile, Arsenal, Blackburn, and Liverpool took leads into halftime of their Wednesday English Premier League matches.

Michael Essien, missing from the lineup on Sunday at Anfield, has Chelsea up 1-0 on London rivals Fulham. Essien got to the edge of Mark Schwarzer's six yard box and put a Salomon Kalou cross home for the match's only goal.

In Manchester, United early control of the match waned as the half went on, with City seeing as much of the play by half's end. The rivals went to halftime scoreless, with Carlos Tévez's mid-period direct kick coming closest to opening the scoring.

In Wolverhampton, Marouane Chamakh's first minute goal remains the match's only tally, giving Arsenal a halftime lead. Likewise, Blackburn used an early road goal from Morten Gamst Pedersen to take a 0-1 lead into halftime in Newcastle.

In Birmingham, a Marlon Harewood goal just before half has Blackpool even with Aston Villa, whose goal came from Stewart Downing. That same scoreline has West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion even at Upton Park, with a Peter Odemwingie penalty kick pulled back five minute later by Scott Parker.

Liverpool's goal from Fernando Torres has the Reds up 0-1 at Wigan while Everton and Bolton are scoreless at halftime at Goodison.

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Marlon Harewood Equalizes For Blackpool, 1-1 Against Aston Villa

Marlon Harewood has equalized for Blackpool against Aston Villa, his former club.

A cheeky backheel from 19-year-old Matt Phillips allowed Harewood to break free of the Aston Villa "defense" and take a one on one with Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel. In that situation, anyone can score, and score Harewood did, recording another goal against the club that let him go. Harewood had three previous tries at goal, catching out the Villa almost every time, so it seems inevitable that he was fourth time lucky.

Phillips had been making a mess of the Villa backline in the early minutes of the game, drawing Stephen Warnock out of position and then slipping in behind to feed the ball to Harewood. Apparently, though, Aston Villa had not learned from their mistakes, and were not keeping a close enough eye on either Phillips-whose backheel was nearly genius-and Harewood, who was left free.

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Aston Villa Lead Blackpool 1-0 Off Stewart Downing Strike

Stewart Downing has scored the opening goal for Aston Villa, who are up against Blackpool at Villa Park.

While Blackpool have had a few lively shots, including at least two within the first eight minutes could have easily put them up 2-0 against the Villa, it was Downing's footwork that resulted in the first goal. Ciaran Clark, playing in central midfield today, sent a nice pass upfield to Downing, who played a nice back and forth with Ashley Young on the right wing. Then Downing took it himself, transferring it from foot to foot before getting a chance with his left. The ball could have been easily collected by Blackpool keeper Richard Kingson, but took an unfortunate deflection off defender Dekel Keinan to find its way into the net.

Although the Tangerines are continuing to press forward, they're being closed down more easily by Villa now. The home side are also creating more opportunities, but are continually meeting an organized Blackpool defense. The Villa, having conceded two goals via the last play of the game, are certainly not ready to accept this match as an inevitable win.

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Arsenal, Blackburn Take Early Leads At Wolves, Newcastle

We may not be able to cover all the matches live, but we can at least keep you up-to-date when goals happen. On Wednesday in the English Premier League, those goals started coming early.

In the first minute at the Molineux, Marouane Chamakh had Arsenal on the scoresheet. According to the BBC, the goal saw Alex Song find Chamakh for a header, finished from the middle of the box. Coming off being shut out at home by Newcastle, Chamakh's goal is sure to assuage some Gooners' concerns.

Up north, Blackburn got a third minute goal from Morten Gamst Pedersen to take an early lead at Newcastle. Pedersen also scored Blackburn's first goal this weekend, a beautiful free kick converted from a sharp angle.Today, Pedersen's goal was from the middle of the pitch, taking advantage of an error from Chieck Tiote to beat Tim Krul.

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Wigan Athletic 0-1 Liverpool: Fernando Torres, With Help From Steven Gerrard, Has Reds Up

Fernando Torres has kept the momentum from this weekend's brace against Chelsea. If the pass that set-up the opening goal at the DW was any indication, so has Steven Gerrard.

For all the talk of Torres and even Lucas Leiva in Sunday's match, the revitalization of Steven Gerrard has been surprisingly underplayed. The Liverpool captain had a great first half, and with a defense splitting pass through the Latics in the seventh minute, he's off to a similar start today.

Gerrard hit a low ball 30 yards, curling in between Gary Caldwell and Antolín Alcarez, hitting Torres in strike. A nice touch from the Spaniard set him up for a clinical (if simple) finish from 18 yards into the lower left hand corner, putting Liverpool up 1-0.

Wigan has steadied after the goal but has still failed to meaningfully threaten the Reds. Now in the thirteenth minute, Liverpool's still up one.

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English Premier League Wednesday: Manchester Derby Highlights Eight Fixture Docket

If took only two days for the anticipation to buy, but with the Manchester Derby dominating today's headlines, it sure seems that today's match at Eastlands has captured imaginations. Whereas the season has had important matches (look no farther than Sunday's Liverpool-Chelsea affair), City's match with United feels like the first match this year that really means something - where the lose will have to reevaluate what they're doing.

Of course, none of last year's matches carried that implication. In each match, City was rebuked but was still able to walk away feeling there where (at least) United's equals. Perhaps today's match will replicate that, in which case we'll be left anticipated the reverse at Old Trafford, vacillating between our desire for clarity and wanting another classic.

Elsewhere around England: Chelsea's in their own derby, with Fulham at the Bridge; Arsenal's at Wolves; Liverpool tries to avoid a slip against Wigan. Those are three of the seven other matches kicking-off around 2:45 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday.

Throughout the match day, we'll be providing live updated of the Manchester Derby as well as periodic news from the league's other matches.

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