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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » EPL: Arsenal held in thrilling derby, Chelsea win

EPL: Arsenal held in thrilling derby, Chelsea win

April 21, 2011 09:52 IST

Arsenal's Premier League title hopes suffered another blow when they were held to a 3-3 draw by Tottenham Hotspur in a pulsating north London derby on Wednesday.

Champions Chelsea kept alive their slim chance of retaining the title with a routine 3-1 home win over Birmingham City.

Manchester United top the standings on 70 points, six ahead of both Chelsea and Arsenal with five matches left.

Arsenal started fast at White Hart Lane and struck after five minutes when Cesc Fabregas played Theo Walcott through and he slid the ball past Heurelho Gomes for his 12th goal of the season.

Tottenham's Vedran Corluka (left) is challenged by Arsenal's Gael Clichy during their  EPL match on WednesdayArsenal led for only 90 seconds before Spurs scored another finely crafted goal when Vedran Corluka crossed for Dutchman Rafael Van der Vaart to lash the ball past Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny from the edge of the box.

Arsenal began to assert themselves in midfield and continued to look dangerous on the break, Samir Nasri firing through Michael Dawson's legs on 12 minutes to put his side ahead.

Spurs also create chances but Arsenal extended their lead five minutes before halftime when former Gunner William Gallas made a mess of clearing a Bacary Sagna cross.

Walcott chipped the ball in and Robin van Persie's powerful header was palmed away brilliantly by Gomes, only for the Dutch striker to lash the rebound into the roof of the net.

Spurs hit back with a brilliant goal of their own when Tom Huddlestone half-volleyed a rocket of a shot from outside the penalty area before halftime.

The relentless attacking football continued in the second half and Spurs equalised when Szczesny needlessly fouled substitute Aaron Lennon and Van der Vaart coolly converted the penalty.

Spurs stayed fifth on 54 points, two adrift of Manchester City.

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