Sun, November 09, 2008
Sports > Soccer

Arsenal beat Man Utd as Liverpool go top

2008-11-09 00:12:27 GMT2008-11-09 08:12:27 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Liverpool's Alvaro Arbeloa (R) celebrates with Yossi Benayoun (2nd R) and Dirk Kuyt (L) after scoring during their English Premier League soccer match against West Bromwich Albion in Liverpool, northern England, November 8, 2008.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Liverpool's Robbie Keane celebrates after scoring during their English Premier League soccer match against West Bromwich Albion in Liverpool, northern England, November 8, 2008.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Liverpool's Robbie Keane (R) shoots past West Bromwich Albion's Jonas Olsson to score his first goal during their English Premier League soccer match in Liverpool, northern England, November 8, 2008.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

LONDON, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- Arsenal surged back into the title race of the English Premier League as Samir Nasri's double handed them a much-needed 2-1 win over Manchester United on Saturday.

French youngster Nasri scored in each half to secure the valuable three points, which lifted Arsenal above United into third on the table.

Arsenal have 23 points, six behind leaders Liverpool who crushed struggling West Bromwich Albion 3-0 to go top thanks to Robbie Keane's first league goals for the club and a late Alvaro Arbeloa strike.

Second-placed Chelsea, on 26 points, are playing away at Blackburn on Sunday.

Hull City lost the momentum of their dream start to the season and slipped to a third consecutive defeat after going down 1-0 at home to Bolton, who climbed out of the relegation zone and into the ninth with the win.

Everton came from behind to stun West Ham United 3-1 at Upton Park, while Stoke City made it three games unbeaten after a goalless draw at Wigan Athletic.

Tony Adams picked up his first win as Portsmouth boss as Jermain Defoe stroked home an injury-time penalty to secure a last-gasp 2-1 win at Sunderland.

Arsenal's victory, coming after an unlikely draw against Tottenham and an acrimonious defeat at Stoke City, confirmed manager Arsene Wenger's belief that they are still serious title contenders.

"I am very proud of the performance," said Wenger. "It was a fantastic game and we won against a great side, who were very dangerous going forward.

"The team was not faultless, but we were spot-on spirit-wise. Now we want consistency and to keep winning."

United were the first to get their paces but Dimitar Berbatov had a goal ruled out early on for offside and Wayne Rooney wasted a chance.

As Arsenal overcame a nervy start, summer signing Nasri fired home a deflection off Gary Neville to hand the home side the advantage.

Nasri added a decisive second three minutes after the interval as Fabregas threaded through a perfect pass for the France midfielder to beat Van der Sar with an emphatic finish.

Rafael da Silva, who had replaced Neville in the 63rd minute, pulled one back in the final minute with a spectacular left-foot volley from the edge of the box.

The six minutes of injury time, resulting from Arsenal keeper Manuel Almunia's lengthy treatment after an accidental clash with Michael Carrick, reignited United's hopes for a win but Sir Alex Ferguson's men failed to create another chance.

At Anfield, Keane got off the mark following his 20 million pounds summer move from Tottenham and put Liverpool ahead on 34 minutes when he latched on to Steven Gerrard's pass before clipping the ball over Scott Carson.

The Irish ace scored his second two minutes from the break when he rounded Carson and slotted home. Arbeloa curled in a third in stoppage time.

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