Chelsea hit Arsenal for six, Liverpool and City win

Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:39pm EDT
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By Toby Davis

LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea ripped apart 10-man Premier League title rivals Arsenal in a 6-0 mauling on Saturday to ensure Arsene Wenger's 1,000th game turned sour as Liverpool and Manchester City kept up the pressure with big wins.

Yaya Toure scored a hat-trick, including two penalties, as City wrapped up a punishing 5-0 victory over 10-man Fulham and Luis Suarez's prolific run continued with a treble as Liverpool twice came from behind to thrash Cardiff City 6-3.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney scored twice, including a wonder strike from near the halfway line reminiscent of a goal by the watching David Beckham, in a 2-0 win at West Ham United.

The goals were spread about for Chelsea with Samuel Eto'o, Andre Schuerrle, Eden Hazard, Oscar (2) and Mohamed Salah on target for the leaders in a match likely to be remembered for a bizarre refereeing blunder as much as the hosts' cut and thrust.

Official Andre Marriner flashed a red card at Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs for a handball on the goalline when his team mate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was the culprit.

The referee "expressed his disappointment to Arsenal when he was made aware of the issue", the Professional Game Match Officials later said in a statement, while the FA said on Twitter that Arsenal can appeal against mistaken identity.

The sending-off did little to affect the destination of the points, however, as Arsenal were already 2-0 down when defender Gibbs was dismissed and Hazard stepped up to convert the resulting penalty to make it 3-0 after 17 minutes.

Chelsea stayed four points clear of second-placed Liverpool, the Londoners having played a game more, with Manchester City six adrift of the leaders in third but with three games in hand. Arsenal slipped to fourth seven points off the pace.   Continued...

Chelsea's Andre Schurrle (R) celebrates with team mates after scoring a goal against Arsenal during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge in London March 22, 2014. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh