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The week in numbers: w/e 22/4/12

Vettel finally won his first race of the 2012 season (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

10 – Points separating the top five drivers after defending Formula 1 world champion Sebastian Vettel won the Bahrain Grand Prix. His first victory of the season catapulted him from fifth to first in the standings, with 53 points.

4 – The win by Red Bull’s Vettel marked the first time since 1983 the first four races of the season have been won by four different drivers (Button, Alonso, Rosberg, Vettel) from four different teams (McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull).

2Wilson Kipsang and defending champion Mary Keitany secured a Kenyan double by winning the men’s and women’s races at the London Marathon.

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Arteta’s bullet shoots down City’s title hopes

Arsenal 1 Manchester City 0

Arteta 87; Balotelli sent off 90

Arsenal left it late to clinch a game they had dominated throughout, but Mikel Arteta‘s late bullet strike effectively killed off Manchester City‘s title hopes, while giving his own side three crucial points to propel them back into third place. City were lacklustre and rarely threatened as they slipped eight points behind leaders Manchester United with just six games remaining. Meanwhile Arsenal reasserted their position as four teams – Spurs, Chelsea and Newcastle being the others – battle it out for the last two Champions League spots.

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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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The week in numbers: w/e 5/2/12

Angelo Dundee, 1921-2012. RIP (image courtesy of Wikipedia)

90 – Age of legendary boxing trainer Angelo Dundee, who reportedly had a heart attack after being taken to hospital with a blood clot. Dundee worked alongside former heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali for 20 years.

2 – The New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots 21-17 in Super Bowl XLVI in the early hours of this morning. It was the second time in the past five seasons the Giants have beaten the Patriots in the NFL title game. On both occasions they have scored the winning touchdown inside the final minute. (You can find more statistically-related observations over on my Super Bowl in numbers post.)

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Arsenal beat seven bells out of Blackburn

Arsenal 7 Blackburn 1

van Persie 2, 38, 62, Oxlade-Chamberlain 40, 54, Arteta 51, Henry 90+3; Pedersen 32, Givet sent off 42

It has felt like a very long time since they dealt an opponent an old-fashioned shellacking, but Arsenal bounced back from the disappointment of Wednesday’s goalless draw at Bolton by putting seven past a beleaguered Blackburn. The visitors’ defence looked about as water-tight as a colander as the home side scored at will for an hour, before setting up all-time leading goalscorer Thierry Henry to provide a fairy-tale ending to a win which will lift spirits both in the dressing-room and the stands ahead of a tough and potentially season-defining sequence of games over the next few weeks.

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