Andrey Arshavin scored his first goal for Arsenal, as Arsene Wenger’s side followed-up their midweek success on penalties in Rome by thumping Blackburn 4-0 on Saturday to move up to fourth place in the Premier League.
The Gunners went ahead in the second minute when Theo Walcott’s cross from the right was sent goal-bound by Arshavin, but Dutch defender Andre Ooijer got the final touch to register an own goal. However, Russian Arshavin was not to be denied his goal — and it duly came in the second half when he ghosted past defender Danny Simpson before lifting the ball over goalkeeper Paul Robinson into the roof of the net. Substitute Emmanuel Eboue poked home the third after Robinson pushed out another Arshavin effort with three minutes left — and Eboue helped himself to a fourth goal in injury time after scoring from the penalty spot after Carlos Vela was fouled by Martin Olsson. Aston Villa, who face Tottenham on Sunday, have dropped down to fifth place, level on points with Arsenal but with a game in hand. Meanwhile, Everton kept their Champions League hopes alive, beating Stoke 3-1 to remain just four points behind the two clubs above them in sixth place.
Liverpool blow title race wide open
Everton went ahead when Marouane Fellaini lifted a neat ball into the box and Brazilian striker Jo evaded Ryan Shawcross’s challenge to hit a low shot that goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen only half stopped, the ball rolling over the line. The home side doubled their lead in the 24th minute when Joleon Lescott side-footed home after Sorensen was only able to palm out a Tim Cahill header following Leon Osman’s cross. The visitors pullled a goal back when Shawcross headed home a Liam Lawrence corner but Everton sealed their victory in injury-time when Fellaini brought down a Leighton Baines long ball and guided his shot past Sorensen. Stoke’s defeat means they drop into the relegation zone on goal difference. They lie third bottom on 29 points, two ahead of Middlesbrough who claimed a 1-1 home draw with Portsmouth courtesy of Marlon King’s equalizer in the final minute of injury time. Portsmouth are just above the drop zone, while Newcastle are also in desparate trouble despite Steven Taylor earning them a 1-1 draw at Hull.