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Arsenal draw creates three-horse race for third

Arsenal 0 Chelsea 0

A goalless draw did little to aid the Champions League aspirations of either club, but a heavily rotated Chelsea will be much the happier after a dogged performance ahead of their critical semi-final second leg in Barcelona on Tuesday. Meanwhile Arsenal created little and squandered the handful of opportunities which did come their way, and are showing signs of fragility, fatigue and faltering momentum just when they need it most.

Just one point from two home games in the past six days has opened the door for Tottenham and Newcastle in the battle for third place. Both kick off later this afternoon six points behind but with two games in hand. Read more of this post

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Ruthless Arsenal throw Wolves to the, er, wolves

Wolves 0 Arsenal 3

Bassong sent off 8; van Persie 9 pen, Walcott 11, Benayoun 69

Arsenal knocked ten-man Wolves to the canvas twice in the opening minutes at Molineux and did not allow them to land a meaningful punch before finally administering the knockout blow midway through the second half. Goals by Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott and Yossi Benayoun made this as easy a victory as Arsenal have enjoyed all season, moving them five points clear of third-placed Tottenham. Meanwhile Wolves are nine points adrift of safety with only 15 still available. Terry Connor‘s side are now all but mathematically relegated.

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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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