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Arsenal goes four points clear after beating Tottenham 2-1

Arsenal goes four points clear after beating Tottenham 2-1

Arsenal survived a penalty kick and beat Tottenham 2-1 on Saturday to move four points clear at the top of the English Premier League.
Fernando Torres scored twice in Liverpool's 4-1 victory over Portsmouth, while Manchester City stayed fourth after a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa.
Second-place Manchester United hosts Everton on Sunday.
Arsenal twice went ahead at the Emirates Stadium through Emmanuel Adebayor in the 48th minute and Niklas Bendtner in the 76th.
Dimitar Berbatov replied for Spurs in the 66th but Robbie Keane had a penalty saved by Gunners goalkeeper Manuel Almunia shortly before Bendtner's winner.
"It was a very tough game and at one stage it looked like a draw, so to come out with the three points is exceptional," said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who prefers Almunia in goal to veteran German star Jens Lehmann.
Tottenham coach Juande Ramos was dismayed that his defenders failed to challenge Bendtner when he rose to head home a corner.
"To let in a goal from a corner when we had all 10 outfield players in the penalty area is not normal," he said. "This type of mistake shouldn't be made by a professional team."
After losses to Manchester United in the league and Chelsea in the League Cup, Liverpool badly needed a lift against Portsmouth at Anfield, where the visitors have not win since 1951.
The Reds scored twice in the first 16 minutes through Yossi Benayoun's volley and Sylvain Distin deflecting a clearance by teammate Sol Campbell into his own net. Benjani Mwaruwari replied for Pompey but two goals by Torres gave Liverpool a lopsided victory.
Third-place Chelsea plays on Sunday at Blackburn, and Manchester City hoped to take advantage especially after Rolando Bianchi gave Sven-Goran Eriksson's team the lead at Villa Park in the 11th. Villa replied three minutes later, however, through John Carew.
The results mean that Arsenal has 43 points from 18 games and Manchester United 39 from 17. Chelsea remains third with 34 from 17, Manchester City has 34 from 18 and Liverpool 33 from 17.
"It is too early to talk about the title or whether we will be in the top four," Liverpool coach Rafa Benitez said.
"There are a number of sides around that mark, who are playing well, so you cannot say who are going to be contenders."
A disputed last-minute winner for Reading in a 2-1 victory dropped Sunderland into the relegation zone. Stephen Hunt was credited with the winner although it was not clear whether Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon had stopped it crossing the line.
The loss for Roy Keane's team means the Black Cats dropped to 18th because Fulham climbed a place after a 1-1 draw with next to last Wigan.
"Nobody is certain it crossed the line," Keane said. "If the referee's assistant can give it, then obviously he has got very good eyesight.
"I've seen a replay and I am told to believe every game that if an official is not sure on any decision, be it a sending off or a penalty kick, if they are not sure they can't give it. If the linesman is sure then all credit to him. He must have fantastic vision because we have watched it a few times and it is still unclear."
Although Marcus Bent fired Wigan ahead after 70 minutes at Craven Cottage, Clint Dempsey's fifth league and cup goal of the season in the 78th salvaged a draw for Fulham, which on Friday fired manager Lawrie Sanchez.
Bolton's climb away from relegation trouble continued with a 3-0 victory over Birmingham City, Nicolas Anelka scoring twice after El-Hedji Diouf had got the first.
A last minute winner by Scott Parker gave West Ham a 2-1 victory at Middlesbrough.
David Wheater's first half goal suggested Boro might be on the way to a fourth victory in a row. But Dean Ashton leveled a minute before halftime and Parker hit the winner with a solo run and shot.
Sunday's other game is Newcastle at home to last place Derby.
Watford went back to the top of the League Championship after winning 1-0 at Sheffield Wednesday while West Bromwich Albion lost 3-1 at Stoke