Arsenal grab late victory, City and Chelsea win

Wed Jan 1, 2014 3:33pm EST
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By Toby Davis

LONDON (Reuters) - Late goals from Nicklas Bendtner and Theo Walcott spared Arsenal's blushes and kept them top of the Premier League in a 2-0 victory over Cardiff City as title rivals Manchester City and Chelsea also won on Wednesday.

The conclusion of the congested festive schedule saw a tired display by the Londoners who looked set to draw a blank for the second straight home game before Bendtner bundled home in the 88th minute and Walcott wrapped up the points in stoppage time.

Manchester United's difficulties returned as the champions were beaten 2-1 by Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford, their sixth league defeat and fourth at home in a stuttering season.

Their rivals Manchester City briefly went top after subduing a battling Swansea City 3-2 away while Chelsea beat Southampton 3-0 on the road and Liverpool won 2-0 at home to Hull City.

Arsenal, with 45 points from 20 games, stayed one point clear of Manchester City and two ahead of Chelsea in third with Liverpool a further four points off the pace.

Everton's Leighton Baines converted an added time penalty to rescue a 1-1 draw at Stoke City as the Merseysiders dropped to fifth, while 10-man Newcastle United stumbled to a 1-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion.

Spurs, who took a 2-0 lead with goals from Emmanuel Adebayor and Christian Eriksen before Danny Welbeck pulled one back for United, moved above their opponents into sixth. David Moyes's United team are now 11 points adrift of the leaders.


Arsenal's Theo Walcott (2nd R) shoots and scores past Cardiff City goalkeeper David Marshall (R) during their English Premier League soccer match at the Emirates Stadium in London January 1, 2014. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez