City slickers hit Arsenal for six, Chelsea win

Sat Dec 14, 2013 1:53pm EST
 
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By Toby Davis

LONDON (Reuters) - Manchester City exposed the first cracks in Arsenal's title challenge, beating the Premier League leaders 6-3 at the Etihad Stadium as their attacking talents cut loose in another free-scoring home display on Saturday.

City's stylish showmen sealed their eighth consecutive home league success in an exhilarating match by outgunning Arsenal, whose advantage at the top was cut to two points after Chelsea sneaked a 2-1 win at home to Crystal Palace.

Everton's 4-1 win over visitors Fulham moved them into the Champions League spots as they jumped to fourth, while at the other end of the table West Ham United played out a 0-0 draw with bottom side Sunderland that was little use to either team.

Cardiff City beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0, while Newcastle United and Southampton drew 1-1.

Arsenal's previously watertight defense was prised open at will by the Manchester City's marauding attack.

It was the third time this season that City had scored six goals or more, after they dished out similarly crushing blows to Tottenham Hotspur and Norwich City, and the win moved them up to third place within three points of top spot.

The victory also put down a light blue marker in a now-congested title race that could have turned decisively in Arsenal's favor had the visitors managed to conjure a win.

FRIGHTENING TEMPO   Continued...

 
Arsenal's Per Mertesacker (C, bottom) heads and scores a goal during their English Premier League soccer match against Manchester City at the Etihad stadium in Manchester, northern England December 14, 2013. REUTERS/Phil Noble