Albrighton stars but Gunners claim the spoils

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Aston Villa winger Marc Albrighton scored the 20,000th goal in the Premier League but a late header from Arsenal substitute Yossi Benayoun earned the visitors a 2-1 victory at Villa Park last night.

Albrighton’s milestone effort came nine minutes into the second half after a mistake by Gunners defender Thomas Vermaelen. Arsenal striker Robin van Persie equalled Thierry Henry’s club record of 34 for the most Premier League goals in a calendar year before Benayoun’s 87th-minute decider.

Villa defender and Scottish international Alan Hutton was sent off in stoppage time for two bookable offences.

Sergio Aguero scored twice in Manchester City’s 3-0 home win over Stoke as his side claimed top spot in the league on Christmas Day for the first time since 1929.

Aguero bagged a goal in each half in a comfortable win over a Stoke side City overcame in last season’s FA Cup final.

Adam Johnson was also on target as City maintained their 100 per cent record on home soil.

Manchester United kept up the pressure on Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester City by flattening Fulham 5-0 at Craven Cottage.

Danny Welbeck, Nani and Ryan Giggs were on target in a first half which was dominated by United with Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov completing the rout in the closing stages.

Wes Brown’s last-minute header earned Sunderland a 3-2 victory against relegation rivals QPR.