Arsenal’s Theo Walcott, right, celebrates his second goal against West Ham United during their English Premier League soccer match Thursday.
MANCHESTER, England — Arsenal is back on top of the Premier League with the season about to reach its halfway point as Arsene Wenger looks to win the trophy for the first time in a decade.
Liverpool’s stay atop the standings lasted less than a week. Arsenal came from behind to win 3-1 at West Ham behind Theo Walcott’s two goals, and Liverpool lost 2-1 at Manchester City on Thursday.
As Liverpool dropped to fourth, City climbed a place to second to sit a point behind Arsenal after the traditional Boxing Day program with every team in action. After the weekend matches, every team will have played each other once this season.
Chelsea is wedged between City and Liverpool in third after Eden Hazard’s swerving shot secured a 1-0 victory over Swansea.
With Manchester United recovering to win 3-2 at Hull, the only Boxing Day shock came from last-place Sunderland, which beat Everton.
U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard was ejected for Everton for bringing down Ki Sung-Yeung, who then scored from the penalty spot to give Sunderland a 1-0 victory against the fifth-place team.
Newcastle is closing in on the top four after routing Stoke 5-1 to remain ahead of United in sixth place.
Tottenham dropped to eighth after Tim Sherwood’s first match in charge ended in a 1-1 tie against West Bromwich Albion.
Cardiff could be the next club searching for a new manager as Malky Mackay’s team was beaten 3-0 by Southampton.
A change of manager has sparked a revival at Crystal Palace under Tony Pulis, and Dwight Gayle clinched a 1-0 win at Aston Villa in stoppage time.
Rene Meulensteen is celebrating his second win as Fulham manager after his struggling team came from behind to beat Norwich 2-1.
At Upton Park, Arsenal fell behind when goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny couldn’t hold onto Kevin Nolan’s shot and Carlton Cole pounced to score a minute into the second half.
Walcott cut in from the right and shot between West Ham goalkeeper Adrian’s legs in the 68th minute to tie the score.
Walcott headed Arsenal in front three minutes later, and Lukas Podolski capped the win that sent West Ham into the relegation zone. City also had to come from behind to make it nine wins in nine home matches. Phillippe Coutinho put Liverpool ahead in the 24th minute. Vincent Kompany tied the score seven minutes later off David Silva’s corner, and Alvaro Negredo’s high shot was fumbled into the net by Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet right before halftime.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was upset that Raheem Sterling had a goal overruled on an offside call and that Luis Suarez was denied a late penalty.
Rodgers could face a Football Association sanction for his criticism of referee Lee Mason and questioning why an official from the Manchester area was given a match involving a Manchester team.MORE IN Sports WireTHE ASSOCIATED PRESS Full Story
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