Gunners’ three leaves hapless City gasping
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Gunners’ three leaves hapless City gasping

Arsenal underlined their credentials as serious contenders for the Premier League title with an emphatic 3-0 win against 10-man Manchester City on Sunday.

sports Updated: Oct 24, 2010 23:22 IST

Arsenal underlined their credentials as serious contenders for the Premier League title with an emphatic 3-0 win against 10-man Manchester City on Sunday.

Arsene Wenger's side arrived at Eastlands with a miserable record in recent games against English football's leading teams, but they proved they can win when the stakes are highest thanks to goals from Samir Nasri, Alex Song and Nicklas Bendtner.

The Gunners took full advantage when City defender Dedryck Boyata was sent off after just four minutes and are now in second place - five points behind leaders Chelsea.

Nasri gave Wenger's team the lead in some style midway through the first half and Cesc Fabregas even had a penalty saved by Joe Hart just before half time.

But Song's drive put the game beyond City, who suffered a first home defeat of the season.

Substitute Bendtner added Arsenal's third when he burst on to Nasri's pass and guided a shot past Hart with two minutes left, now in fourth place, did not take long to demonstrate their pace and power with Carlos Tevez pulling away from Johan Djourou and crossing for David Silva's flick to be denied by Lukasz Fabianski.

Then James Milner sent Micah Richards charging clear only for Bacary Sagna to hack his cross away.

But after just four minutes, City were reduced to 10 men when Fabregas played Marouane Chamakh through and he was tripped by Boyata just outside the area.

The visitors were angered by challenges on Fabregas by Nigel de Jong, whose tackle broke Hatem Ben Arfa's leg in his last league appearance at Eastlands, and then Gareth Barry.

City continued to press forward and from a short pass from Silva, Tevez had a low effort held by Fabianski.

Arsenal should have taken the lead with their first decent opportunity but the unmarked Djourou headed over from six yards after being picked out by Sagna's cross.

But after 20 minutes they did pull ahead though Nasri. City failed to clear from a Gael Clichy cross and Nasri swapped passes with Andrei Arshavin before firing in at the near post.

Richards could have pulled City level after a fine throughball from James Milner but cut inside on his left foot and shot wide from 12 yards.

Five minutes before the interval Arsenal were given the chance to double their lead when Vincent Kompany chopped Fabregas down just inside the area.

But Hart pulled off a fine save from the Spaniard's penalty to keep the hosts in with a chance.

It was Arsenal's third missing penalty of the season and Kompany almost put City back in it with a header that flew just over the bar from Silva's corner.

After the restart, Fabregas passed up another opportunity from Nasri's pass.

Roberto Mancini threw on former Arsenal star Emmanuel Adebayor after Tevez was forced to limp off through injury. Midway through the second period, Arsenal doubled their advantage.

Bendtner added further gloss to the victory with a third in the 88th minute thanks to a fine pass from Nasri.

Liverpool beat Blackburn

Liverpool: Liverpool striker Fernando Torres ended a run of six matches without a goal Sunday with the winner in the Reds' crucial 2-1 Premier League victory over Blackburn. Goalkeeper Paul Robinson had kept the Reds at bay at Anfield until Sotirios Kyrgiakos' 48th-minute header. Although Jamie Carragher's own-goal quickly leveled the scores, Torres struck his second goal of the season in the 53rd.

The goal ended Liverpool's run of seven matches without a victory in all competitions, but was not enough to lift the team that once dominated English football out of the relegation zone. Torres has looked out of form this season since disappointing at the World Cup with Spain, his only goal coming in a 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at the end of August.

But Torres has now scored five times in Liverpool's last four meetings with Blackburn.

Hernandez brace helps United

Stoke: Javier Hernandez made up for the absence of the still injured Wayne Rooney by scoring two goals to give Manchester United a 2-1 win at Stoke in the Premier League Sunday to end a turbulent week for the 18-time champions.

Hernandez took advantage by scoring in the 27th and 86th minutes, tapping in the winner from close range after Stoke had leveled in the 81st through a strike by Tuncay Sanli.

Hernandez scored his first from a backward header after Nemanja Vidic headed a Nani cross from the right across the Stoke goal. The 22-year-old Mexican striker signed for United in July and has now scored four goals in his last five appearances for the club. Ferguson did not address Rooney's decision to stay at the club. Manchester United defender Gary Neville was fortunate not to be ejected after two fouls on Matthew Etherington in the first half, but was only shown a yellow card for the first. He was replaced at halftime by Wes Brown.

First Published: Oct 24, 2010 23:18 IST