MANCHESTER ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Samir Nasri of Arsenal celebrates his goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at City of Manchester Stadium on October 24 2010 in Manchester England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Arsenal Downs 10-Man City, United And Liverpool Collect Three

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Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool Post Sunday Victories

Arsenal and Manchester United gained ground in the English Premier League, posting Sunday victories away from home, climbing to second and third place, respectively. Manchester City, who had occupied the spot behind Chelsea coming into the weekend, drops to fourth place.

In the day's first match, Manchester United looked like they were up to their new tricks. The Red Devils went up early at the Britannia through Javier Hernández, but late in the 81st minute, Stoke City equalized through Tuncay Sanli. Five minutes later, Chicharito capped his command performance by redirecting a shot past Thomas Sorensen, giving United their first road victory of the season.

Like United, Liverpool looked set to disappoint, being unable to push through a first half goal despite dominating Blackburn. It was the Reds' best half of the season, yet as the second half started, tension had mounted at Anfield. Liverpool was forty-five minutes away from continuing their season-long nightmare.

Three minutes into the second half, Martin Olsson woke them up. The Blackburn defender sparked a sensational eight minutes by redirecting a wayward Soirits Kyrgiakos header past Paul Robinson, giving Liverpool a lead. While an own goal by Jamie Carragher six minutes later would dampen the Reds' hopes, Fernando Torres' first league goal since August, scored two minutes later, gave Liverpool a much needed 2-1 win.

In the day's headline match, Manchester City was reduced to ten men after five minutes when Dedryck Boyata was adjudicated to have committed a last man foul on Marouane Chamakh. Arsenal would go on to get goals from Samir Nasri, Alexander Song and Nicklas Bendter, earning a decisive victory at Eastlands, 0-3.

Sunday's results leave Chelsea, winners on Saturday over Wolverhampton, five points clear at the top of the league. Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City each have 17 points, with Tottenham even with West Brom two points back.

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Manchester City 0-3 Arsenal: Nicklas Bendtner Adds Insult To Injury

Nicklas Bendtner has put the icing on the cake in Arsenal's victory over Manchester City, adding a third goal in the 88th minute with a well placed finish.

Nasri picked up the ball on the left wing around the half-way line, and it looked like it could have been out of bounds. However, Nasri kept it in and surged down the left flank. He played a great ball into the path of a running Nicklas Bendtner, who was barely onsides. Bendtner did well to open up his hips and curl his shot around Joe Hart, who has been brilliant throughout the match, into the back of the net.

The score may not be a reflection of the difference between the two sides due to the early red card to Boyata, but Arsenal have turned on the style in the second half and very much deserved another goal. Nasri, who picked up the assist, has been among their best performers.

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Manchester City 0-2 Arsenal: Wayne Bridge Mistake Allows Alex Song To Double Arsenal's Lead

What was Wayne Bridge thinking?

As Arsenal lulled City to sleep on the edge of their own penalty box through Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas, Wayne Bridge missed the chance to clear Fabregas' ball into Marouane Chamakh and seemingly placed the ball into the path of Alex Song who easily finished past Joe Hart

While replays show Bridge with the time and space needed to make an effective clearance, it was his indecision that led to an easy chance for Song and for Arsenal to likely kill off the game. While late game substitutions reveal themselves for both sides, City remain with the smallest of chances to get a result from a match of the utmost importance.

It now looks as if it's a step too far for City, still a man down and now two goals down at home. While most neutrals remian disappointed that City winger Adam Johnson hasn't yet seen action, a decision Roberto Mancini will have to answer, City new boy Mario Balotelli looks set to make an appearance as the home side continues to chase. 

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Manchester City 0-1: Joe Hart Saves Penalty From Cesc Fabregas, Keeps City In The Game

Vincent Kompany brought down Cesc Fabregas just inside the far corner of the box in the 40th minute and referee Mark Clattenburg duly awarded Arsenal a penalty. While Fabregas stepped up 1 on 1 against Joe Hart, it was the England #1 who came away the victor when he brilliantly saved the Fabregas effort by diving to his left.

In a match that started so well for City, the remainder of the half since defender Dedryck Boyata was sent off has been a consolidation of efforts in defence and subsequent counter attacks that have fizzled out between Carlos Tevez, David Silva and YaYa Toure.

Manchester City's right back Micah Richards came closest to leveling the score for City when he latched into a nice through ball from James Milner earlier in the half. His charging run past Johan Djourou and into the box was met with a nice turn, but his curling shot aimed for the top left corner of the goal soared into the Eastlands crowd. 

As the interval approaches, City remain a team with good shape but look a conservative side playing a superior team with one less man. 

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Manchester City 0-1 Arsenal: Samir Nasri Puts The Gunners Ahead

Samir Nasri opens the scoring in the 23rd minute at Eastlands against a ten-man Manchester City.

Nasri picked up a pass from Bacary Sagna, ran around Gareth Barry and sent it through to Andrei Arshavin, who immediately sent it right back to the Frenchman. Nasri fired past Joe Hart, who came out of his goal only to end up in a heap with Micah Richards.

The red card on Dedryck Boyata has caused quite a mess in Manchester City's defense, with Nasri nearly replicating the same goal just two minutes after he scored. The Gunners' pressure continues, but City still manage to look threatening on the counter. If Arsenal want to keep their lead-and of course they do, as it will bring them into second place in the table-they're going to need to contain Carlos Tevez.  

Arsenal will also need to keep an eye on their own fouls, with Alex Song now sitting on a yellow card, and Cesc Fabregas booked for his tackle on Nigel de Jong.

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Liverpool 2-1 Blackburn: Fernando Torres Reclaims Reds' Lead

A near-two month drought is over, with Fernando Torres scoring in league for the first time since late August. The goal couldn't have been better timed, either, coming two minutes after a Jamie Carragher own goal allowed Blackburn the equalizer. In the 54th minute, Torres restored Liverpool's lead, leaving the Reds up 2-1.

Torres's finish came from eight yards out from the right of Paul Robinson's goal, banging in right-footed shot at the end of a Joe Cole cross. The goal was Torres's second of the season and the first time he'd found net since a September 3 brace for Spain against Leichtenstein.

The quick response leaves the scoreline a better representation of the day's play, with Liverpool having controlled Rovers throughout the match. At the time of the goal, Liverpool had put eight shots on net to Blackburn's one. The Reds have held 67 percent of the match's possession, and while their play wouldn't be described as fluid, Liverpool's shown much more ambition going forward than they have to date this season.

Some of that ambition is owed to a Blackburn team whose let the game come to them. Set-up in a 4-5-1 formation, Sam Allardyce's team has been unable to pressure Liverpool.

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Manchester City 0-0 Arsenal: Cards Fly At Eastlands

Dedryck Boyata earns a red card in the fifth minute of the match between Manchester City and Arsenal. In just his second Premier League start this season, Boyata came in late on Marouane Chamakh, dragging him down just outside the area. It was a desperate, not to mention stupid, attempt by the last man, who rightly saw red for denying Chamakh a clear goal scoring opportunity.

Manchester City are trying to stay in this by sticking with the dirty play. Nigel de Jong, the subject of so much controversy just a couple weeks ago after he broke Hatem Ben Arfa’s leg, went in hard on Cesc Fabregas, who’s already made of glass. Fabregas limped off but rejoined only to be taken down again, this time by Gareth Barry, who saw yellow for his efforts.

Arsenal responded with a questionable tackle of their own by Alex Song, and it appears that this match could see handbags flying at any point.

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Liverpool 1-1 Blackburn: Rovers Equalize Instantly

It took only three minutes for Blackburn to recover from going down 1-0 against Liverpool as El-Hadji Diouf's work has pulled them level. The goal was credited as a Jamie Carragher own goal in the 51st minute, but the goal was mostly Diouf's doing and Carragher knew nothing about it..

Right before the move, Liverpool looked poised to get a second through Maxi Rodriguez. Paul Robinson made a spectacular save and Blackburn started on the counter-attack with the ball. Eventually, Benjani passed to Diouf inside the box, who was given entirely too much space. His shot was cleared off the line by Paul Konchesky, but that clearance hit Jamie Carragher and deflected back into the goal to level the match at 1-1.

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Liverpool 1-0 Blackburn: Sotirios Kyrgiakos, Martin Olsson Ease Reds Pain

One of Liverpool's best halves of football went for naught against Blackburn, with Rovers taking their hosts to halftime drawn nil-nil. Shortly into the second stanza, the Reds made things right, though to do so, they needed some help from a Blackburn defender.

A corner kick in the 48th minute was met by Liverpool defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos, unmarked while running onto a header from seven yards out. The shot was going wide of Paul Robinson's net until it hit defender Martin Olsson. The `keeper could only look as the opener went into the right side of his goal, giving Liverpool a relieving lead.

Liverpool came into this match in 18th place,having won only once all season. Manager Roy Hodgson's job is thought to be on-the-line, and after a scoreless first half, tension was building at Anfield. A relieved elation could be seen on Liverpool player's faces as they celebrated the opener, now having one of their few leads of the season.

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Stoke City 1-2 Manchester United, Final: The Little Pea Comes Up Huge For United

Five minutes after Tuncay's equalizer it was again Javier Hernandez who came up pure gold for United. His well timed flick home from a mad scramble in the box proved enough for United to win their first away match in the league this season.

What Chicharito can do one week, he can better the next. After scoring his first goal in the Premier League last weekend at home against West Brom, his brace Sunday at Stoke City has lifted his team to second in the table.

Chicharito's winner came in the 86th minute when Patrice Evra did brilliantly in controlling a Dimitar Berbatov ball into the box. The French left back chested the ball for control and spun around to shoot. While his shot unluckily deflected off Stoke's Tuncay, it found its way into the path of the waiting Chicharito who touched the ball home for his second of the day.

The win for United couldn't come at a more opportune time. With key forward Wayne Rooney sidelined for the next three weeks at least, the three points gained away will be considered massive for a club who've had a tumultuous time on and off the field as of late. 

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Stoke City 1-1 Manchester United: Red Devils Squander Another Lead

Throughout the sixty minute between Chicharito's opener are the last minutes of Manchester United's match at Stoke, there was always the feeling that the Red Devils would give up an equalizer. Formerly renown for their late match prowess, Alex Ferguson's side has quickly earned a reputation for capitulation. Thus, Stoke City's equalizer was of little surprise.

Tuncay Sanli, subbed-on by Tony Pulis in the second half, put a left-footed shot from 17 yards out into the left-side of Edwin van der Sar's goal, making it 1-1 at the Britannia in the 81st minute.

The movement started with a ball swung wide to Tuncay, standing in acres of space on the right flank, 20 yards from the byline. The attacker cut today goal, into the penalty area and, moving across Patrice Evra, took the shot from three yards wide of goal.  Van der Sar had no chance to stop the equalizer, leaving Manchester United to deal with another llead squandered late.

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Stoke City 0-1 Manchester United: Chicharito Header Puts United Up

After 28 minutes at the Brittania, nothing but a few ticks of possession toward the Potters separated Manchester United from Stoke City. That was before a corner kick and a reverse header from Javier Hernández gave the Red Devils the match's first goal.

The build-up come from a corner kick, won by Nani. The Portuguese wing played the kick short to Patrice Evra, playing a surprise midfield role today. The Frenchman touched it back to Nani, whose left-footed cross targeted Nemanja Vidic at the far post. The Serbian's ball back across goal met Hernández as the striker was coming away from goal, but from six years out and his back the the target, Chicharto jumped and craned his neck backwards, putting his shot into the right side of Thomas Sorensen's net.

The goals was Hernández's second in as many Premier League matches, now having accumulated five league appearances for his new club. The Mexican international looks set for a regular turn in the United team, with fellow striker Wayne Rooney ruled out for three weeks.  On his team's first real chance of the match, Hernández has shown Rooney's loss may not derail United.

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English Premier League Sunday: Wayne Rooney, Roy Hodgson Undercards Precede Manchester City, Arsenal's Main Event

On Saturday, the English Premier League threw five matches at us at once. On Sunday, the league takes a different, staged approach. Manchester United's trip to Stoke-on-Trent starts the day, with Liverpool's match against Blackburn kicking-off shortly before the main event: Arsenal's trip to Eastlands to take-on second place Manchester City.

For the two fixtures on the undercard, individual stories are overshadowing the matches. Through he will not play because of injury, Wayne Rooney's short-lived row with United obscures the Red Devils' having won only three of their eight league matches. Though they have yet to lose, United's accumulation of draws threatens to derail their title pursuit.

Liverpool's worries lie in the other direction. The Reds sit 18th ahead of Blackburn's visit to Anfield, and new manager Roy Hodgson's job has become the subject of speculation. A loss on Sunday and his position on Mersey may be untenable.

So by the time they kick-off at Eastlands, the weekend's biggest match may be overshadowed. Still, Arsenal's match-up with Manchester City should present a compelling clash of styles. As it effects the table, a result from the Gunners can quell the notion that the league's top two are starting to pull away from the pack, if not on points than at least on quality. With their captain, Cesc Fàbregas, returning, Arsene Wenger's charge have few excuses.

The drama begins shortly at the Britannia Stadium, Manchester United taking on Stoke City.

Day Time (EDT) Home Road Pick
Sunday 8:30 a.m. Stoke City Manchester United 3-1, United
10:00 a.m. Liverpool Blackburn Rovers 1-1
11:00 a.m. Manchester City Arsenal 2-1, Arsenal
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