Man United nail Arsenal to close in on Chelsea

Man United nail Arsenal to close in on Chelsea

Silencing the gunners: Manchester United's Park Ji-Sung (centre) celebrates his goal against Arsenal with teammates Darren Fletcher (right) and Michael Carrick on Sunday. AP

United produced a superb attacking display, taking the lead when Nani's cross was turned into his own net by goalkeeper Manuel Almunia after 33 minutes before Wayne Rooney started and finished a stunning counter-attack four minutes later.

Park Ji-sung got the third seven minutes into the second half and Arsenal had only Thomas Vermaelen's deflected volley 10 minutes from time to show for their efforts.

Chelsea top the standings on 54 points, one ahead of United and five clear of Arsenal. Chelsea have a game in hand on both rivals.

Portuguese winger Nani made the breakthrough for United with a brilliant piece of trickery to get past three Arsenal defenders and when he hoisted over a deep cross, Almunia, trying to turn it over the bar, only flapped it into the net.

The second goal was a classic as United snuffed out an Arsenal attack in their own penalty box and broke.  Rooney turned the ball into the path of Nani before sprinting 70 metres to collect the return and sweep it in first time. It was the 100th Premier League goal of the 24-year-old England striker's career.

United's third was another long-range break and hesitant defending allowed Park to travel from halfway before slotting calmly past Almunia for his first goal of the season.  Vermaelen's deflected volley 10 minutes from time led to a brief flurry but United held out.
In Sunday's other game, Emmanuel Adebayor marked his return to the Premier League after Togo's traumatic time at the African Nations Cup with the opening goal in Manchester City's 2-0 win over bottom club Portsmouth at Eastlands.

On Saturday, Chelsea skipper John Terry, whose personal troubles made newspaper headlines, ensured he would also dominate the back pages when he headed the late winner in a 2-1 verdict at Burnley.

The England captain was in spotlight after newspapers published details about his alleged extramarital relationship with a "famous" woman.  The controversy did not seem to affect his performance on the pitch, though, and when he was left unmarked at an 82nd minute corner he powerfully headed home the winning goal.
Also on Saturday, Spurs drew 1-1 at Birmingham City, Liverpool beat Bolton Wanderers 2-0 at Anfield and Aston Villa posted a 2-0 win at Fulham.

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