Resurgent Arsenal down Villa

Resurgent Arsenal down Villa

Chelsea, Spurs play out a drab draw; Liverpool shocked by Wigan

Chelsea's hopes of a top-four finish suffered a setback when they could only draw 0-0 with Tottenham Hotspur in a disappointing Premier League derby on Saturday that was great news for resurgent Arsenal who beat Aston Villa 3-0.

intense battle Chelsea's Juan Mata (left) challenges Tottenham Hotspur's Luka Modric during their English Premier League match in London on Saturday. Reuters

Fourth-placed Tottenham remain five points above Chelsea in the race for Champions League qualification with eight matches remaining although they could have earned a first win at
Stamford Bridge since 1990 with better finishing.

The draw gave Spurs 55 points, three behind Arsenal who cemented third spot with a seventh straight league win, thanks to goals from Kieran Gibbs, Theo Walcott and Mikel Arteta.

Wigan Athletic gave their survival prospects a boost with a shock 2-1 victory at seventh-placed Liverpool who have now won only twice in 11 league games.

Bolton Wanderers earned an emotional 2-1 triumph over Blackburn Rovers in their first match since Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest at Tottenham last week.

Victory, secured with two goals from David Wheater, lifted Bolton out of the relegation zone, above Queens Park Rangers who had Djibril Cisse sent off in a 3-1 defeat at Sunderland.

Wolverhampton Wanderers remained bottom after a 2-1 defeat at Norwich City. Swansea City lost 2-0 at home to Everton.

Tottenham have lost three and drawn two of their last five league games and have seen big leads over Arsenal and Chelsea vanish.

A soporific first half saw Spurs content to pass the ball at leisure and Chelsea struggling to inject any tempo despite needing the victory more than the visitors.

Rafael van der Vaart should have put Spurs ahead in stoppage time when Luka Modric's cross found him unmarked but he shot straight at Cech and when the ball broke to him again his follow-up attempt was blocked by Ashley Cole.

Things livened up after the break. Daniel Sturridge flashed a shot across goal and then Juan Mata's freekick curled against the post with Tottenham keeper Brad Friedel a spectator.

The expected Chelsea surge never materialised though and Tottenham dominated the final quarter.

Emmanuel Adebayor spurned a great chance for Spurs when he sprang Chelsea's offside trap to race on to a Modric lob but after rounding Cech his weak shot was cleared off the line by the back-tracking Gary Cahill.