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Pires denies Spurs victory

October 29, 2005 21:37 IST

Robert Pires grabbed a second-half equaliser to earn Arsenal a 1-1 draw at north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League on Saturday.

The French midfielder, ridiculed after a bizarre penalty miss against Manchester City last weekend, came on as a second-half substitute to cancel out a first-half header by captain Ledley King for Spurs.

The result meant promoted Wigan Athletic jumped to second place after French defender Pascal Chimbonda's stoppage time header gave them a 1-0 home win over Fulham.

Champions Chelsea, who host Blackburn Rovers later on Saturday, top the table on 28 points, with Wigan on 22 and Spurs third on 20. Arsenal lie sixth on 17 points.

Charlton Athletic, on 19 points, will reclaim second place if they beat Bolton Wanderers later on Saturday. Manchester United, on 18 points, visit Middlesbrough.

At White Hart Lane, King's headed goal after 17 minutes, from a free kick by the outstanding Michael Carrick, was the least Spurs deserved for a dominant first-half display.

Midfielders Carrick and Jermaine Jenas also went close with shots while Arsenal barely created a single chance.

After the break, though, Pires injected some much-needed purpose into Arsene Wenger's team and he swept home the equaliser after 77 minutes when Spurs keeper Paul Robinson flapped at a Dennis Bergkamp cross.

Arsenal pressed for a winner but in the end a draw was a fair outcome. It left Spurs without a win over their fierce rivals in their last 13 encounters.

At Wigan, Fulham wasted a series of early chances and paid dearly when Chimbonda muscled aside his marker and headed in Graham Kavanagh's free kick two minutes into stoppage time.

It was Wigan's seventh consecutive win in all competitions and their fifth in a row in the Premier League.

 

Bill Barclay
Source:
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