Chelsea continued their impressive run of form with a routine victory over West Brom at Stamford Bridge. They were on the front foot from the start and were already safely in control after only 25 minutes through goals from Diego Costa and Eden Hazard, despite Ben Foster making several decent saves for the Brummies to keep the score down. Costa was on the borderline of being offside for the opener, as he controlled Oscar's cross on his chest before sliding the ball home. There was no doubt about the second though, as the defence slumbered Hazard was picked out with a quick corner and he beat Foster with a crisp shot.
Shortly afterwards the task was made even harder as the Baggies were reduced to ten men when Claudio Yacob was given a straight red card for a two footed lunge. The away side showed plenty of spirit and organisation in the second-half but it was basically a damage limitation exercise, with Chelsea unable to add to their tally.
With Cesc Fabregas pulling the strings behind Costa and Jose Mourinho boasting a substitutes' bench packed with additional quality, the Blues will take some stopping this season with some bookmakers having already paid out on them for the title.
Arsene Wenger watched on uncomfortably as his side wasted several golden chances to score and to move into the top four, allowing their guests to claim that honour instead. They bossed the game for much of the duration, especially during the first- half,but their only tangible reward came in the form of a goal deep into stoppage time from sub Olivier Giroud, as he returned to action with a wonderful left foot finish.
They were also fortunate that Wilshere was not dismissed for pushing his head into Marouane Fellaini's chest.
By contrast, the Red Army took what little scraps they were given and punished their opponents twice on the break in the second period. First, they were thankful for Kieran Gibbs' deflection into his own net, following some loose defending by the Gunners from a cross. That lead was doubled five minutes from time as Wayne Rooney ran unchallenged for much of Arsenal's half to coolly dink a shot over the advancing keeper. The goal was United's first shot on goal up to that point. It could have been three as a near identical run in on goal from Angel Di Maria resulted in a different outcome, as the Argentinian's flick went harmlessly wide of the post. Giroud's goal gave Arsenal belated hope but United were not to be denied the victory.
Manchester City 2 Swansea 1
Captain Vincent Kompany came back into the team after injury, knowing that his side faced a stern challenge from Swansea at the Etihad.
So it proved as Wilfried Bony put the Swans ahead early on, after Nathan Dyer had exquisitely found him with a chipped pass. Bony is being afforded envious glances from many of the #Premier League's top teams and on this form it isn't hard to see why.
Manchester City were not behind for long as Jesus Navas' curled cross from the right was turned in by Stevan Jovetic first time. They almost took the lead as defender Gael Clichy came forward to hit a rasping left foot shot that Lukasz Fabianski did well to turn on to the post before half-time.
The home side continued to press into the second-half and Yaya Toure brought another fine save from Fabianski with a shot through a crowd of players. Toure was clearly in the mood and as
Fernandhino back heeled the ball in the box, the Ivorian surged forward and prodded the ball home to give his side the lead.
It was almost three when Navas was denied by the impressive Fabianski, but the Swans still had chances to get back on level terms. Bony and Bafetimbi Gomis combined well but the latter shot wide when in on goal and then a Jonjo Shelvey free-kick was deflected just wide of the post late on with Joe Hart flat footed.
The current Premier League champions remained eight points behind leaders Chelsea after the win, with manager Manuel Pellegrini admitting that they can ill afford to lose any further points in the important run up to the end of the year if they are to stay in the title race.
The best of the rest of Saturday's action in the Premier League :
Newcastle United edged QPR 1-0. Alan Pardew's men climbed up to the dizzy heights of fifth, as Moussa Sissoko's goal with twelve minutes remaining proved enough on the day to clinch the three points. United's Ryan Taylor hobbled off with an injury but later on Twitter suggested that it was not as bad as he had first thought, as Geordie fans feared another long term layoff for the popular player.
Leicester and Sunderland played out a goalless draw. In a game of few chances, Steven Fletcher and Adam Johnson both saw efforts turned away by Leicester keeper Casper Schmeichel in the first half. Leicester improved in the second- half as Riyad Mahrez fired a powerful shot into the side netting and the same player then saw his penalty claims dismissed by the referee.
Stoke City lost 2-1 at home to Burnley. Stoke had to re-shuffle their defence for the match and Burnley seized on that with two Danny Ings' goals in the 12th and 13th minutes. Stoke pulled a goal back from Jonathan Walters' diving header before half - time, but despite increased pressure were unable to draw level, as Burnley claimed their second successive Premier League win but remain in the bottom three. Everton beat West Ham 2-1 at Goodison Park.
Everton took the lead as Ross Barkley's blocked shot fell kindly for Romelu Lukaku to finish, although replays suggested he was offside. The Hammers equalised when Mauro Zarate's shot looped up off Phil Jagielka's ankles over keeper Tim Howard. Leon Osman marked his 400th game for Everton with the winner, sliding home a Samuel Eto'o cross.