Gunners keep pace in race for third spot | sports | Hindustan Times
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Gunners keep pace in race for third spot

sports Updated: Apr 21, 2013 03:49 IST

Arsenal strengthened their chances of a third place-finish and a spot in the Champions League next season when they beat Fulham 1-0 at Craven Cottage in the Premier League on Saturday.

German Per Mertesacker headed the only goal two minutes before halftime against a Fulham side reduced to 10 men after 12 minutes when Steve Sidwell, returning from suspension, was sent off again.

Arsenal also finished with 10 men after Frenchman Olivier Giroud was sent off just before the final whistle.

With runaway leaders Manchester United (81 points) second-placed Manchester City (68), fourth-placed Chelsea (61) and fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur (58) not playing, Arsenal took advantage to move above Chelsea on 63 points.
The only other match to impact at the top was Sunderland's 1-0 win at the Stadium of Light over sixth-placed Everton whose slim hopes of finishing in the top four look over.

They remain on 56 points. Sunderland's second win under new boss Paolo Di Canio took them six points clear of the relegation zone.

It was a bad day for the bottom three who all lost to move a step nearer the relegation trapdoor.

Bottom-club Reading (24) lost 2-1 at Norwich City, while Queens Park Rangers (24) were beaten 2-0 at Loftus Road by Stoke City (37) who moved six points clear of danger.

QPR and Reading will be relegated on Monday if Aston Villa (34) score an unlikely win at Old Trafford against Manchester United.