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Arsenal, United win to reduce Chelsea lead

Arsenal won 4-1 at Portsmouth and Manchester United beat Wigan Athletic 5-0 to close in on Chelsea at the top of the Premiership table.

sports Updated: Jan 01, 2010 00:48 IST

Arsenal won 4-1 at Portsmouth and Manchester United beat Wigan Athletic 5-0 to close in on Chelsea at the top of the Premiership table.

After Wednesday’s win, Arsenal are four points behind the leaders with a game in hand.

"It was a very competitive game," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger. "We were a bit lucky on the first goal, but the team looked really like a team who was ready for it.

"Everybody tells us to buy strikers, but we score goals, so somewhere we have balance. Our movement and our team play
creates things for us."

Abou Diaby had already been denied by a fine reflex block from Pompey keeper Asmir Begovic when Arsenal went ahead after 28 minutes.

The goal was fortuitous, Eduardo's free-kick deflecting in off Younes Kaboul — with Hermann Hreidarsson oddly static on the line —but Portsmouth could hardly say it was undeserved on the balance of play. Samir Nasri added a second, three minutes before half-time after Eduardo and Aaron Ramsey had created space in the box. It was Ramsey who scored the third.

With 17 minutes remaining Nadir Belhadj pulled one back.

United had it just as easy at home . Wayne Rooney put them ahead after 28 minutes, Luis Valencia teeing up Rafael to cross low for the forward. Dimitar Berbatov laid on a second three minutes later, cutting the ball back for Michael Carrick to score.

Rafael made it three on the stroke of half-time, Berbatov made it four on 50 minutes, and the fifth arrived with quarter of an hour remaining, Rooney finding Valencia, who looped the ball over Mike Pollitt.