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PREMIER LEAGUE WRAP: Arsenal keep up the pressure on Man Utd who win the Manchester derby

Arsenal comfortably beat Wolves, a Wayne Rooney special gives Manchester United a win over rivals City, Liverpool are held by Wigan and West Ham move off the bottom with a tremendous second half recovery at West Brom. Not even an inspired display by Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey could prevent a 2-0 reverse against Arsenal at the Emirates.

Robin van Persie scored twice to keep the Gunners in touch with Premier League leaders Manchester United.

Wolves have now lost 11 out of their 13 games on the road this season, and the visitors never looked likely to improve on that woeful record as Arsenal ran riot.

A wonder strike by Wayne Rooney saw Manchester United open up a seven point lead at the top of the league and gave them the bragging rights in a 2-1 victory over rivals Manchester City.

Roberto Mancini may feel his team deserved a draw as despite trailing at half-time they had probably edged the first 45 minutes but found themselves a goal down to a Nani strike just before the break.

The visitor's got their deserved equaliser on 65 minutes, even if it was tinged with a slice of fortune.

Edin Dzeko had the initial shot which hit David Silva on the back and then into goal.

Just as it seemed City might get something out of the game the previously undistinguished Rooney conjure up a fabulous volleyed goal with 12 minutes remaining.

Birmingham continued their climb away from the bottom of the table with a narrow 1-0 win over Stoke in the Midlands derby at St Andrews.

The late winner for the home side will be seen as justice for the way Stoke stole the points in injury time on their patch a few weeks ago.

The Potters looked to be on the way to a battling point until the third minute of added time when Zigic nodded in a Cameron Jerome cross to give the Blues back-to-back Premier League wins for the first time in 14 months.

Newcastle and Blackburn scored seven goals between them last weekend but at Ewood Park could only manage a scoreless draw.

The Magpies dominated the host's throughout although both teams did hit the woodwork.

Rovers striker Roque Santa Cruz headed against the post and Peter Lovenkrands went close for the Magpies, hitting the bar with a delightful.

Rovers keeper Paul Robinson was busy throughout but the result leaves both teams becalmed in mid-table.

Blackpool ended a run of five straight Premier League defeats with a deserved 1-1 draw at home to Aston Villa.

Both goals in the opening 15 minutes beginning with Gabriel Agbonlahor finishing off a quick break. But within four minutes the Seasiders were level.

Elliott Grandin restoring parity with a near-post header from a corner.

Blackpool's defence had conceded 16 goals in five games and looked shaky again today but managed to hold out for the point, their cause helped when the visitor's had Jean Makoun dismissed for a late tackle on DJ Campbell.

But Villa comfortably held on for the last twenty minutes and continue to put distance between themselves and the relegation places.

Liverpool's mini-revival was halted by a battling Wigan side who deservedly took a point in a 1-1 draw at Anfield.

The home side led at the break thanks to Raul Meireles' volley - his fourth goal in his last five matches.

But the Latics fought back and levelled when Steve Gohouri finished off at the far post.

Meanwhile Reds striker Luis Suarez was twice denied a goal by the woodwork on his first start for the club.

Wigan remain in the bottom three on goal difference but this result should give them confidence for the relegation struggle ahead.

An exciting game at the Hawthorns between two relegation threatened club's saw West Bromwich Albion race into a three goal lead by the interval, only for West Ham to recover after the break to claim an unlikely point in a 3-3 draw.

West Ham are now off the bottom the Premier League and West Brom are just out of the drop zone on goal difference.

Goals from Graham Dorrans, Jerome Thomas and a Winston Reid own goal gave the Baggies what looked like an unassailable 3-0 half-time lead.

But Demba Ba scored two goals on his full debut for the Hammers and this combined with a Carlton Cole header ensured a share of the spoils.

New Albion boss Roy Hodgson was watching the game and he must be wondering where to start whilst counterpart Avram Grant was looking at possibly being shown the door had the score remained as at half-time.

About the author

Dave Williams

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