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Arsenal stun Chelsea
Derby day in the EPL as the Gunners overcome the Blues and Man Utd beat Man City.
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2008 19:22 GMT

Robin Van Persie of Arsenal shoots and scores his opening goal [GALLO/GETTY]
Chelsea relinquished ground in the English Premier League title race after being upset 2-1 by London rivals Arsenal, enabling defending champions Manchester United to close the gap to five points with a 1-0 victory over Manchester City.

Liverpool, who are tied with Chelsea atop the standings on 33 points, can take the outright lead when they play West Ham on Monday.

Robin van Persie scored twice in four second-half minutes after an Arsenal defender had scored an earlier own-goal, as Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari lost his second home match of the season, which his two predecessors never experienced.

The Red Devils had Cristiano Ronaldo sent off but Wayne Rooney's goal clinched victory in the 150th Manchester derby.

Portsmouth lost a 2-0 lead for the second time in three days but, unlike the 2-2 UEFA Cup draw with AC Milan on Thursday, recovered to beat Blackburn 3-2.

Everton's 1-0 victory over Tottenham was overshadowed by the loss of Ayegbeni Yakubu for the rest of the season because of a ruptured Achilles tendon, with strike partner Louis Saha also facing a lengthy layoff due to a hamstring strain.

Arsenal triumphant

Consecutive league losses for the Gunners had left Arsene Wenger defending his managerial reputation, but the London derby victory moved them up to fourth place with 26 points, seven behind Chelsea.

Arsenal trailed after Djourou's own-goal and were struggling to compete with bigger, more physical opponents when Van Persie lashed a 59th-minute shot into the top corner from what appeared to be a clear offside position.

"I want only tomorrow or after tomorrow for the referee to look at the television and say 'sorry,''' Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari said.

"I don't want three points, I only want this 'sorry.'

"My team after this lost concentration.

"The offside killed my team. I lost today because one goal is not a goal.

"One goal changed the game.''

If his first goal involved luck, there was none surrounding his second three minutes later.

Emmanuel Adebayor headed Cesc Fabregas' free kick to Van Persie's feet, and the Netherlands striker turned to shoot through Frank Lampard's legs and into the far corner.

Salomon Kalou of Chelsea wins a header ahead of William Gallas [GALLO/GETTY]
With Emmanuel Eboue and Abou Diaby on the sidelines, the Gunners were unable for long stretches to compete physically.

Emboldened by their opponents' defensive lapses, they suddenly looked more like the side that beat Manchester United on November 8 rather than the one who has lost to Manchester City, Aston Villa and Stoke this month.

Chelsea have taken just one point at home against the other members of England's so-called "Big Four'' and have to visit Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea in the second half of the season.

Manchester derby

In Manchester, Rooney ended a six-week goal drought as the European champions took on their neighbours for the first time since Man City was bought by a wealthy group from the United Arab Emirates.

The England striker tapped in his 100th club goal in the 42nd minute after goalkeeper Joe Hart had spilled Michael Carrick's shot from a tight angle.

"We needed to win the game because we are behind Liverpool and Chelsea, so it was a significant result for us,'' United manager Alex Ferguson said.

"I love the type of goal Wayne scored.

"Andy Cole was a specialist at it.

"Wayne anticipated the situation very well and I am delighted with that.

"It is a marvellous achievement for him to get 100 goals. His work rate was phenomenal today.''

A moment of madness from Ronaldo shortly followed by a red card [GALLO/GETTY]
The Red Devils, who played the last 22 minutes with 10 men, clung on to their slender advantage despite facing a far more assertive City in the second half.

Ronaldo was booked for tripping Shaun Wright-Phillips in the 59th.

He then sarcastically applauded referee Howard Webb.

The Portugal winger was then shown a second yellow card for deliberately handling Rooney's corner.

"He has tried to shield the ball from hitting his face, and he might get a shove in the back as well,'' Ferguson said.

"He thought he had heard the referee's whistle. But I'm not going to get into it because we could be here all day.''

Pompey lucky

Portsmouth, who moved up to seventh place, lost their two-goal advantage when Matt Derbyshire and Tugay Kerimoglu scored after earlier goals from Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe.

Sean Davis struck the winner in the 79th after goalkeeper Paul Robinson did well to block an initial shot from Papa Bouba Diop.

Tottenham lost their first home match under new manager Harry Redknapp, going down 1-0 to Everton.

Darren Bent wasted the home side's best chance in a scoreless first half when he shot straight at goalkeeper Tim Howard in the 41st minute, while Everton's Tim Cahill missed a free header in the 43rd.

Everton scored the only goal in the 51st, when Steven Pienaar turned in Mikel Arteta's pass.

Spurs striker Fraizer Campbell had a shot in the fifth minute of injury time that was deflected just wide.

Source:
Agencies
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