Man. United, Arsenal win to keep chase upon Chelsea

08:26, December 31, 2009      

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Top clubs Manchester United, Arsenal all won on Wednesday at the English Premier League to push upon leader Chelsea heading into the 2010.


Manchester United's Rafael Da Silva (3rd L) shoots to score during their English Premier League soccer match against Wigan Athletic in Manchester, northern England December 30, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Manchester United routed Wigan 5-0 and Arsenal thrashed Portsmouth 4-1 to keep on chase of Chelsea, whose advantage was cut into two points ahead of second-placed United.

Wayne Rooney scored his 15th goal of the season, who was unstoppable against Wigan. The England striker connected with defender Rafael Da Silva's low cross at the near post in the 28th and steered the ball beyond Chris Kirkland.


Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey celebrates after scoring a goal against Portsmouth during their English Premier League soccer match at Fratton Park in Portsmouth December 30, 2009.(Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

United doubled their advantage when former Wigan winger Antonio Valencia cut the ball back for Michael Carrick to sweep home.

A third came on the stroke of halftime when Darren Fletcher found Rafael on the edge of the area and the Brazilian drilled a low shot past Kirkland.

Kirkland was forced off injured at halftime and his replacement, Mike Pollitt, was beaten after five minutes. Valencia skipped past Maynor Figueroa and crossed into the penalty area where Hendry Thomas had been defending before the Wigan player slipped. Valencia lofted the ball over the onrushing Pollitt in the 75th.


Arsenal's Sami Nasri (R) scores a goal against Portsmouth during their English Premier League soccer match at Fratton Park in Portsmouth December 30, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Eduardo da Silva scored first for Arsenal in the 28th minute as the London club cemented its title credentials at the expense of bottom-place Portsmouth, which was fighting to prevent bankruptcy.

Arsenal was two points behind United, but has a game in hand over Chelsea. Arsenal are chasing a first league title since 2004.

Arsenal's opening goal came from Eduardo's free kick, which took a huge deflection off defender Younes Kaboul to float past static goalkeeper Hermann Hreidarsson at the right-hand post.

Samir Nasri scored another for Arsenal just before the break after receiving the ball from Aaron Ramsey's flick-on.


Portsmouth's Kevin-Prince Boateng (C) is challenged by Arsenal's Alex Song (L) and Aaron Ramsey during their English Premier League soccer match at Fratton Park in Portsmouth December 30, 2009. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Ramsey scored himself in the 69th, taking the ball off Vanden Borre and charging past Frederic Piquionne before lashing in a left-foot shot from the edge of the box.

Nadir Belhadj pulled one back for Pompey but Alex Song's header from Nasri's right-wing cross killed off the match in the 81st with Arsenal's 51st goal of the season.

Source: Xinhua
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