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PREMIER LEAGUE WRAP: Arsenal put Liverpool to the sword, Chelsea maintain lead as Sunderland salute in Tyne-Wear derby

Arsenal kept their title hopes alive with an inspired 4-1 thrashing of Liverpool in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday.

Arsene Wenger's Gunners were irrepressible at home against Brendan Rodgers' Reds, who came to north London without a number of their stars, but you could take nothing away from Arsenal.

Hector Bellerin opened the scoring in the 37th minute with a lovely effort on his left foot, cutting in from the right to fire beyond Simon Mignolet, before Mesut Ozil struck a delightful free-kick past the Liverpool keeper's right hand three minutes later.

Alexis Sanchez then powered a sizzling effort into the roof of the net after controlling Aaron Ramsey's pass superbly before Liverpool pulled one back with just under 15 minutes left when Jordan Henderson converted from the spot after Bellerin had brought down Raheem Sterling in the area.

But the Gunners were yet done as Olivier Giroud got in on the act in injury-time with his 10th goal in his past 10 outings to make it six scoring outings on the trot after Emre Can had been sent off for a second bookable offence.

Arsenal moved into second place ahead of Manchester City, who take on Crystal Palace on Monday night, but remain seven points in arrears of league leaders Chelsea.

Jose Mourinho's Blues were able to safely navigate Stoke City 2-1 at Stamford Bridge thanks to a 62nd-minute winner from Loic Remy.

The Frenchman slotted home from close range after a defensive error from the Potters to give Chelsea all three points which looked unlikely when Charlie Adam brilliantly cancelled out Eden Hazard's 39th-minute penalty with a Goal of the Year contender from inside his own half.

However, it wasn't enough as Mark Hughes' 10th-placed side lost their third fixture in a row by a single-goal margin.

Manchester United continued their strong run of form by beating Aston Villa 3-1 at Old Trafford thanks to a double from Ander Herrera and a fine finish from captain Wayne Rooney.

Louis van Gaal's side leapfrogged crosstown rivals City into third spot with their fifth triumph in a row.

In other matches, Everton edged Southampton 1-0 at Goodison Park, Leicester City kept their survival hopes active with a last-gasp 2-1 result over West Ham United at home while Bafetimbi Gomis scored twice to lead Swansea City to a 3-1 win over Hull City.

Second-bottom QPR produced a stunning 4-1 win at West Bromwich Albion to keep the pressure on those sides above them which includes Burnley who drew 0-0 with Tottenham at Turf Moor on Sunday.

And in the Tyne-Wear derby, Sunderland landed a fifth-straight winning result over their arch rivals Newcastle United thanks to Jermain Defoe's world-class volley on the stroke of half-time which gave them a 1-0 win.

Monday night sees 12th-placed Palace host reigning champions City who dropped to fourth after Arsenal and United won.

2014/15 Barclays Premier League - season scores

Arsenal: 4 (Hector Bellerin 37', Mesut Ozil 40', Alexis Sanchez 45', Olivier Giroud 90+1') Liverpool: 1 (Jordan Henderson (p) 76', red card: Emre Can 84') Emirates Stadium, London - 60,081

Everton: 1 (Phil Jagielka 16') Southampton: 0 Goodison Park, Liverpool - 39,390

Leicester City: 2 (Esteban Cambiasso 12', Andy King 86') West Ham United: 1 (Cheikhou Kouyate 32') King Power Stadium, Leicester - 31,863

Manchester United: 3 (Ander Herrera 43'/90+2', Wayne Rooney 79') Aston Villa: 1 (Christian Benteke 80') Old Trafford, Manchester - 75,397

Swansea City: 3 (Ki Sung-yueng 18', Bafetimbi Gomis 37'/90+1') Hull City: 1 (Paul McShane 50', red card: David Meyler 53') Liberty Stadium, Swansea

West Bromwich Albion: 1 (Victor Anichebe 58', red card: Youssouf Mulumbu 84') QPR: 4 (Eduardo Vargas 15', Charlie Austin 37', Bobby Zamora 43', Joey Barton 90+5') The Hawthorns, West Bromwich - 25,735

Chelsea: 2 (Eden Hazard (p) 39', Loic Remy 62') Stoke City: 1 (Charlie Adam 44') Stamford Bridge, London - 41,098

Burnley: 0 Tottenham: 0 Turf Moor, Burnley - 18,829

Sunderland: 1 (Jermain Defoe 45+1') Newcastle United: 0 Stadium of Light, Sunderland - 47,563

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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