Arsenal move above stumbling Chelsea

A late Thierry Henry goal moves the Gunners ahead of their London rivals Chelsea who are still struggling to find form.

    It was a volley good show from Thierry Henry whose goal gave Arsenal an important win [AFP]

    More familiar with criticism than praise this season, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger can afford to relax after a 2-1 victory over Sunderland on Saturday moved his team above Chelsea and into the Champions League spots. 

    His team have hit a run of form at the same time as London rivals Chelsea struggle for points.

    The pressure has shifted from Wenger to Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas whose team were defeated 2-0 at Everton.

    It is surely only a matter of time before Chelsea billionaire owner Roman Abramovich starts asking some serious questions of his new manager. 

    In the early kick-off Manchester United defeated Liverpool 2-1 to move temporarily above Manchester City at the top of the English Premier League. It will be a game remembered for Luis Suarez' refusal to shake hands with Patrice Evra after serving a lengthy ban for racially abusing the United defender. 

    Results and fixtures

    Saturday February 11

     Man Utd 2-1 Liverpool
     Blackpool 3-2 QPR
     Bolton 1-2 Wigan 
     Everton 2-0 Chelsea 
     Fulham 2-1 Stoke
     Sunderland 1-2 Arsenal
     Swansea 2-3 Norwich
     Tottenham 5-0 Newcastle

    Sunday February 12

     Wolves v West Brom
     Aston Villa v Man City

    At the Stadium of Light, it was left to on-loan striker and former Arsenal great Thierry Henry to grab the injury time winner that could prove crucial in securing European football for the North London club.

    The former France striker volleyed home a cross from Andrei Arshavin in the first minute of stoppage time to complete Arsenal's comeback after James McClean gave Sunderland the lead in the 70th minute.

    Aaron Ramsey came off the bench in the 72nd to equalise three minutes later before Henry scored his third goal since joining Arsenal on loan last month.

    Steven Pienaar scored in his first game back at Goodison Park as Everton beat Chelsea.

    The South Africa international, who rejoined the club last month on loan from Tottenham, opened the scoring in the sixth minute with a powerful shot into the roof of the net.

    Chelsea had several chances to equalise through Daniel Sturridge and Frank Lampard but both missed the target.

    Everton made the game safe when striker Denis Stracqualursi slotted the ball into the bottom right corner from the penalty area in the 71st minute.

    Five star Spurs

    Emmanuel Adebayor scored one goal and set up four as Tottenham Hotspur thumped Newcastle United 5-0 to strengthen their grip on third place.

    Spurs were two up after six minutes and had established a four-goal lead by halftime with new signing Louis Saha on target twice and Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Niko Kranjcar also netting at White Hart Lane.

    Adebayor then got on the scoresheet midway through the second half, volleying in a Saha header as Spurs moved on to 53 points from 25 games, five behind leaders Manchester United.

    Home fans sang "There's only one Harry Redknapp" in support of the manager they hope chooses to stay at the club rather than take over as England boss, a post he is widely tipped to fill after Fabio Capello's resignation this week.

    Blackburn scored three first-half goals and held off a late comeback from QPR to win 3-2.

    Ayegbeni Yakubu opened the scoring for Blackburn in the 15th minute and teammate Steven Nzonzi extended the lead in the 23rd by converting Junior Hoilett's pass.

    Blackburn added a third when Hoilett's shot deflected in off QPR defender Nedum Onuoha just before the interval.

    Jamie Mackie pulled two goals back for QPR, in the 71st and 90th minutes. Blackburn rose one spot to 18th, level on points with 16th-place QPR.

    Striker Pavel Pogrebnyak scored on his debut to help Fulham beat Stoke City 2-1 at Craven Cottage.

    Pogrebnyak, who joined the West London team from Bundesliga side Stuttgart during the January transfer window, opened the scoring in the 16th minute with a close-range finish into the top left corner.

          It was another frustrating afternoon for Fernando Torres and Chelsea [GALLO/GETTY] 

    Clint Dempsey helped double the lead in the 28th when his shot hit the bar before bouncing back into Stoke goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen and deflecting into the net for an own goal.

    Ryan Shawcross scored a consolation goal for the visitors in the 78th when he headed in from a Jermaine Pennant corner.

    It was Stoke's fourth league defeat in a row and leaves Tony Pulis' team on a run of one victory in their last nine games.

    Grant Holt spearheaded Norwich's second-half rally with two goals in a 3-2 win at Swansea.

    Anthony Pilkington also scored for Norwich, who found the net three times in an 18-minute span after the break to climb to eighth place in the standings.

    Danny Graham had put Swansea in the lead in the 23rd minute and reduced the deficit from the penalty spot with three minutes left with his second of the match.

    Swansea couldn't complete the comeback, slipping to only their second home loss of the season.

    Last-placed Wigan beat Bolton 2-1 to keep alive their flickering hopes of avoiding relegation.

    Wigan remained rooted to the bottom of the table, but closed to within two points of safety.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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