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Slip-ups bring Arsenal crashing to earth

QPR 2 Arsenal 1

Taarabt 22, Diakite 66; Walcott 37

Arsenal slipped up both literally and figuratively as QPR ended their seven-game winning streak with a victory which left Mark Hughes’ side a fingernail from climbing out of the relegation zone. Goals by Adel Taarabt and Samba Diakite midway through each half combined with a lacklustre Arsenal performance to underline the fact that the race for third and fourth spot – and the all-important Champions League places that go with them – remains very much alive.

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The week in numbers: w/e 25/3/12

Woods won his first PGA title in over 2½ years (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

924Tiger Woods ended his winless streak of 924 days on the US PGA Tour by claiming a five-shot victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida.

62 – Age of two-time world darts champion John ‘Jocky’ Wilson, who died on Saturday night two days after his birthday. The Scotsman won the world title in 1982 and 1989.

156 – South Africa’s Alviro Petersen scored an 8½-hour 156 as South Africa took control of the third and final Test in Wellington. They currently lead the series over New Zealand 1-0. Read more of this post

Gibbs accepts the gift that keeps on Given

Arsenal 3 Aston Villa 0

Gibbs 16, Walcott 25, Arteta 90+3

One of the most frequent accusations levelled at the Arsenal squad of 2011/12 is that they are a one-man team dependent on Robin van Persie‘s goals. But on a day when their talismanic captain had one of his quietest games and failed to add to his Premier League tally of 26 for the season, the rest of the side stepped up to overwhelm a dire Aston Villa. Kieran Gibbs set the ball rolling as he became Arsenal’s 17th league goalscorer of the campaign, and the result was already long decided by the time Mikel Arteta rifled home an injury-time free-kick to confirm Arsenal’s seventh consecutive Premier League victory.

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Six in a row as Verminator kills off Everton

Everton 0 Arsenal 1

Vermaelen 8

Arsenal climbed into the top three for the first time this season as Thomas Vermaelen netted the winning goal for the second consecutive game to register the team’s sixth straight Premier League win. However, they were made to battle right to the end by a dogged Everton side who matched the visitors blow for blow after being overrun for the first 25 minutes. With other results going Arsenal’s way, they are now one point ahead of Tottenham and six ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea in the battle for the Champions League qualifying spots.

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The week in numbers: w/e 18/3/12

Tendulkar finally completed his century of centuries after waiting for more than a year

100Sachin Tendulkar finally ended a run of 33 innings – over the space of 370 days – without a hundred to become the first batsman ever to hit 100 international centuries, scoring 114 in a one-day international against Bangladesh in Dhaka. However, Bangladesh won the match by five wickets.

3Wales completed their Six Nations campaign with a third Grand Slam in eight years after their 16-9 victory over France.

5 – Italy’s 13-6 victory over Scotland left them bottom of the Six Nations table having lost all five games.

16 – Big Buck’s tied Sir Ken’s record of 16 consecutive jumps victories by winning the World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival for a record fourth time.

23 – World number one Victoria Azarenka recorded her 23rd consecutive victory of 2012 as she defeated Maria Sharapova 6-2 6-3 to win the Indian Wells tournament.

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