Sport

Blues best Gunners in EPL

... Spurs top Man U; City also win

Sunday, September 30, 2012    

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LONDON, England (AP) — Chelsea came through their sternest test of the season to stay top of the English Premier League, beating Arsenal 2-1 yesterday to open up a three-point lead after Manchester United lost at home to Tottenham for the first time in 23 years.

Spurs' 3-2 win in a thrilling match at Old Trafford saw United drop to third place and level on points with defending champions Manchester City, who needed a late goal by Edin Dzeko to grab a 2-1 victory at Fulham.

Everton are the nearest challenger to Chelsea following their 3-1 come-from-behind win over Southampton and Liverpool completed a good day for Merseyside by earning their first league triumph of the season, Luis Suarez scoring a hat-trick in a 5-2 thrashing of Norwich.

Unbeaten Chelsea's fifth win in six games was secured by goals from Fernando Torres and Juan Mata and a strong rearguard display from a defence featuring John Terry, two days after he received a four-match ban for on-pitch racial abuse.

On a day of 29 goals — the most in a single day in the English top flight since February — five came in the United-Spurs match, with United States forward Clint Dempsey scoring what proved to be the winner in the 52nd to pounce on a sloppy performance from United.

Jan Vertonghen and Gareth Bale made the most of United's sluggish start with goals in the opening 32 minutes, before Nani and Shinji Kagawa sandwiched Dempsey's strike in a crazy spell of three goals in less than three minutes.

Tottenham survived a number of good penalty shouts and late chances by United for a first win over Alex Ferguson's side in 11 years.

After two straight draws and having seen Chelsea win at Emirates Stadium in the early kick-off, the pressure was on City to get back to winning ways and revive their title charge.

However, Mladen Petric put Fulham ahead in the 10th minute from the penalty spot and they needed a first goal of the season from Sergio Aguero — playing up front with Argentina teammate Carlos Tevez — to haul City back level in the 43rd.

Dzeko was thrown on in the 85th as City poured forward in search of a winner and he grabbed it within 70 seconds, slamming home after a cross from Gael Clichy was poorly cleared.

Suarez's second hat-trick at Carrow Road in successive seasons helped Liverpool end a five-match winless run in the club's worst start to a season in more than a century.

Nuri Sahin and Steven Gerrard scored Liverpool's other goals.

Everton, who are a notoriously slow starter to league seasons, have won four of their opening six matches after Nikica Jelavic scored twice at Goodison Park to hand Southampton a fifth loss.

Peter Crouch, making his 500th league appearance, also scored a brace in Stoke's 2-0 win at home to Swansea, who have lost three in a row after their impressive start.

Sunderland beat 10-man Wigan 1-0 for a first win of the campaign, Steven Fletcher grabbing the winner soon after Jordi Gomez was sent off.

Demba Ba equalised twice for Newcastle in a 2-2 draw at Reading where all the goals came in an entertaining second half. Ba appeared to use his arm in scoring his second, which denied Reading a first victory since being promoted.

Terry shrugged off jeers from Arsenal fans to deliver a composed display for Chelsea and received a rapturous welcome from the jubilant travelling support after the match, slapping the badge on his jersey.

The centreback was available while he contemplates whether to appeal the suspension for making a racial slur at Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand in a league match last year.

Terry lost Gervinho for Arsenal's equaliser in the 42nd but hardly put a foot wrong otherwise.

The loss ended Arsenal's unbeaten start and saw the team's defensive vulnerability resurface, with centre back Laurent Koscielny at fault for both goals from Mata's set pieces.

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