A wonder goal from Robert Pires took Arsenal FC back to second in the English FA Premiership after a 2-1 victory at Aston Villa FC.
Edu had put Arsenal on their way to victory with a scrambled goal in the 15th minute after good work from Patrick Vieira. Villa could have got back into the match in the 55th minute after Lee Dixon's foul on Gareth Barry gave the hosts a penalty. Barry stepped up to take it but England goalkeeper David Seaman pulled off a majestic save to preserve Arsenal's lead.
Pires shows perfect poise
Villa were left to rue that miss when Pires scored five minutes later. After racing on to Freddie Ljungberg's pass, Pires worked an opening by lifting the ball over Villa's George Boateng. Peter Schmeichel then came out to close him down but the French international chipped the giant Dane with ease. Villa's Dion Dublin scored with a header in the 69th minute but it was only a consolation.
Fowler on fire
Arsenal are now just one point behind leaders Manchester United FC, with a game in hand on the champions. Earlier on Sunday, two early strikes from Robbie Fowler helped Leeds United AFC to an important 3-1 home victory over Blackburn Rovers FC.
The former Liverpool FC forward found the net in the fifth and eighth minutes and David O'Leary's men never looked back. Mark Viduka should have added a third in the 48th minute but Brad Friedel made a marvellous save for Blackburn and the visitors counterattacked through Matt Jansen, who finished superbly although it was to only prove a consolation.
Harry Kewell eventually made the game safe for Leeds in the 70th minute with a firm finish from the edge of the area after Blackburn had piled forward looking for an equaliser. It was the Australian winger’s first goal in ten matches.
The victory was not enough to move Leeds up from sixth to fifth but they are now just two points behind Chelsea FC and five points adrift of fourth-placed Newcastle United FC, who occupy the crucial last UEFA Champions League spot.
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