Champions Arsenal FC moved four points clear at the top of the English Premiership ahead of second-placed Liverpool FC’s home game with Manchester United FC on Sunday.
Henry on target again
The leaders, who secured a memorable UEFA Champions League victory in midweek as they won 3-1 at AS Roma, defeated Aston Villa FC by the same score at Highbury on Saturday. Robert Pires gave the home side the lead in the 17th minute, before Thierry Henry, scorer of a hat-trick in Rome, added another two goals to his tally.
Penalty secures points
His first arrived three minutes after half-time and seemed to have made the game safe, only for Thomas Hitzlsperger to give Villa hope as he pulled a goal back in the 64th minute. However, Henry’s penalty eight minutes from time, awarded after a foul on Fredrik Ljungberg, ended Villa's challenge.
Chelsea win again
With Everton FC visiting UEFA Champions League participants Newcastle United FC on Sunday, Chelsea FC moved into third place with a 3-0 home win against Sunderland AFC. Although the final scoreline was convincing, Chelsea only led by French defender William Gallas’ 58th-minute goal as the game moved into the last ten minutes.
However, two goals in the last six minutes of the match, from Gallas’ international team-mate and fellow central defender Marcel Desailly and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, sealed another comfortable home win for Claudio Ranieri’s side.
Middlesbrough FC lost ground on the leaders as they suffered a surprise defeat at West Bromwich Albion FC, with Daniele Dichio’s goal in the 72nd minute separating the sides. Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur FC were held 1-1 at Birmingham City FC, with Jeff Kenna’s goal cancelling out Teddy Sheringham’s opener for Tottenham.
Fulham down again
UEFA Cup contenders Fulham FC, beaten 2-1 at Hertha BSC Berlin on Tuesday, suffered another defeat by an identical score at Blackburn Rovers FC. Dwight Yorke put the home side in front, but French international striker Steve Marlet equalised for Fulham. However, Rufus Brevett’s 77th-minute own goal restored Blackburn’s lead, before Marlet missed a penalty a minute later.
Struggling Manchester City FC secured a valuable home win as they defeated relegation-haunted Bolton Wanderers FC 2-0 at Maine Road. Goals from Steve Howey and Eyal Berkovic secured the win for Kevin Keegan’s team.
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