Arsenal (picture) has trashed Wigan 4-0 to end a two successive Premier League defeats and the newly promoted Burnley has continued his good season start with a win over Sunderland (3-1).
AFP - Thomas Vermaelen repaid a big chunk of the ten million pounds he cost Arsenal as the Gunners revived their Premier League challenge with a 4-0 win over Wigan on Saturday.
After back-to-back defeats by both Manchester clubs, the Gunners could ill-afford to lose any more ground on leaders Chelsea, who entertain Tottenham on Sunday.
That they didn't was largely thanks to the efforts of centreback Vermaelen, whose summer recruitment from Ajax is increasingly looking like a very shrewd piece of business by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.
The Belgium captain headed in Robin van Persie's corner midway through the opening period before beating Chris Kirkland with a fine shot four minutes after the restart.
Eduardo was responsible for Arsenal's third although he may not be credited with the goal after his shot, on the rebound after his own effort had come back off the post, took a deflection off team-mate Emmanuel Eboue.
Cesc Fabregas completed a confidence-boosting win by finishing off Nicklas Bendtner's cross in the final minute.
With Liverpool playing West Ham in an early evening match and Manchester United entertaining newly-rich neighbours Manchester City on Sunday, Aston Villa were the highest-placed side in action on Saturday afternoon.
Martin O'Neill's side put the pre-match controversy over Nigel Reo-Coker's bust-up with the manager to one side to claim a 2-0 win over Portsmouth, who became the first side to lose their first six matches since the launch of the Premier League in 1992-93.
James Milner gave Villa the lead from the spot after Pompey skipper Nadir Belhadj pulled down Stiliyan Petrov as the Bulgarian midfielder burst into the box.
Milner then provided the flick that enabled Gabriel Agbonlahor to strike two minutes before the interval.
David Nugent marked his home debut for Burnley with a double as the Clarets notched up their third straight win at home with a 3-1 defeat of Sunderland.
The on-loan striker, who scored just three goals in 34 league games for Portsmouth, claimed two for his new employers in less than half an hour after coming on as a second-half substitute.
Burnley had taken the lead through a Graham Alexander penalty, after Anton Ferdinand had tripped Wade Elliot, but Sunderland were level by the break after Darren Bent pounced for his fifth goal of the season.
A stale encounter between Bolton and Stoke finished in a 1-1 draw with a late Matt Taylor penalty salvaging a point for the home side after Stoke had taken the lead through a fine Dave Kitson goal eight minutes after half-time.
The Ireland striker collected a through ball from Ricardo Fuller, evaded a challenge from Sam Ricketts and found the bottom corner of the net for his third goal of the season.
Birmingham took all three points from their visit to Hull thanks to Scotland striker Garry O'Connor's near-post header from a Keith Fahey corner, a quarter of an hour from the end.
Hull were desperately lucky not to snatch an equaliser when Ibrahima Sonko's header rattled the bar.
Date created : 2009-09-19