Gunners go five clear

Arsenal move into a commanding position in the English Premier League.

     Philippe Senderos opens the scoring for Arsenal [GALLO/GETTY]

    Philippe Senderos and Emmanuel Adebayor both scored to give Arsenal a 2-0 win over Blackburn that moved the Gunners five points clear atop the English Premier League.

    The Switzerland defender headed a fourth-minute corner for just his second goal of the season and Blackburn goalkeeper Brad Friedel made a string of saves before Adebayor secured the victory in injury time.

    The victory at Emirates Stadium moved Arsenal to 63 points and completed a good two days for the club, which is seeking to regain the title it last won in 2004.

    Defending champion Manchester United lost ground when it was beaten 2-1 by visiting crosstown rival Manchester City on Sunday, while third-place Chelsea drew 0-0 with Liverpool and is another three points further back.

    Senderos put Arsenal ahead with his header from Eduardo da Silva's corner, and Friedel made his first key save midway through the first half when he blocked a shot with his legs from Mathieu Flamini, who was bearing down on goal unmarked.

    Roque Santa Cruz missed Blackburn's best first-half chance when shot over the crossbar from Stephen Warnock's cross just before halftime.

    David Bentley almost equalised early in the second half when he curled a free kick around the defensive wall, but goalkeeper Jens Lehmann just managed to save at his near post.

    But Arsenal kept attacking and Aleksandr Hleb hit the post before Friedel again used his legs to thwart Adebayor.

    Cesc Fabregas shot wide in the 67th and the Arsenal crowd began to jeer occasionally as Blackburn began to disrupt the home side's passing and forge chances.

    Striker Benni McCarthy twice was called for offside and Steven Reid had a cross headed away by Arsenal captain William Gallas.

    At the other end, the 36-year-old Friedel, who has not missed a league game for the past four seasons, twice denied Adebayor and Hleb once before the Togo striker scored a right-footed shot from Hleb's pass for his 19th goal of the season.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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