Arsenal stun Chelsea, United gain ground

Wayne Rooney celebrates his goal against Manchester City.

Wayne Rooney celebrates his goal against Manchester City.

Arsenal stunned leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge yesterday as two Robin van Persie goals earned the Gunners a 2-1 victory.

Johan Djourou's own goal gave Chelsea a half-time lead but Van Persie struck twice in three second-half minutes as Chelsea slid to a second home league defeat this season.

Champions Manchester United are now just five points behind Chelsea with a game in hand after they won 1-0 at Manchester City despite having Cristiano Ronaldo sent off. Wayne Rooney poached the winner just before half-time.

Tottenham were beaten 1-0 at home by Everton while Portsmouth beat Blackburn 3-2 at Fratton Park.

Liverpool can now move three points clear at the top tonight if they beat West Ham at Anfield.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had refused to concede that his side's title challenge was over despite five league defeats and a 10-point deficit to the leaders.

The Frenchman's claims seemed optimistic after 31 minutes when Arsenal went behind. Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia was guilty of a careless throw-out and after Chelsea won possession Jose Bosingwa's cross was turned in by Djourou.

Arsenal were going nowhere until the 59th minute when Chelsea failed to clear and an offside-looking Van Persie turned and smashed a shot past Petr Cech.

There was no doubt about Van Persie's second as he spun on the edge of the area and hit a low left-foot shot past Cech.

United manager Alex Ferguson would have cheered Van Persie's contribution after his side deservedly won the Manchester derby with Rooney's 100th club goal.

"We needed three points today because we are chasing," Ferguson told Sky Sports. "This was a significant result today."

Rooney scored a tap-in three minutes before half-time after Michael Carrick's shot had been parried into his path by City goalkeeper Joe Hart.

United had to play the last 23 minutes with 10 men after Ronaldo was shown a second yellow card when he inexplicably met a corner using his hands rather than his head.


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