Arsenal Wins 2-1 in Premier League as Chelsea, Manchester United Both Tie

Arsenal beat Birmingham 2-1 to move into second place in English soccer’s Premier League behind Chelsea, which tied 0-0 against Aston Villa.

West Brom rallied from two goals down to tie 2-2 at Manchester United. Bolton and Tottenham both won 2-1, Newcastle fought back for a 2-2 draw with Wigan and Wolverhampton and West Ham tied 1-1 in a bottom-of-the-table clash.

Marouane Chamakh’s second-half goal gave Arsenal the home win which moves the Gunners into second place on goal difference ahead of Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham, who all have 14 points, five fewer than Chelsea. City can regain the second spot not losing tomorrow at Blackpool

Nikola Zigic gave Birmingham the lead with a 33rd-minute header and Samir Nasri tied the score four minutes before halftime with a penalty kick after referee Martin Atkinson ruled Scott Dann took Chamakh down.

Chamakh put Arsenal in front two minutes into the second half when he got the ball after a poor challenge from Stephen Carr and slid it into the net after going around goalkeeper Ben Foster. Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere received a red card in injury time for a tackle on Zigic.

Chelsea missed a chance to open a seven-point lead in the standings with its draw at Villa Park.

Villa’s Stephen Ireland had the best chance of the first half but sent a shot wide in the third minute. Chelsea then dominated play in the second half and had headers from Branislav Ivanovic and Nicolas Anelka go off the goalpost.

Near Misses

Villa’s Ciaran Clark also hit the post with a header and Nigel Reo-Coker shot wide after getting behind the Chelsea defense in stoppage time.

West Brom got two fortuitous goals early in the second half to tie Manchester United at Old Trafford. Javier Hernandez put the hosts ahead after just five minutes and Nani doubled the lead 20 minutes later.

But West Brom pulled one back in the 50th minute when Chris Brunt’s free-kick took a deflection that went in off defender Patrice Evra. Five minutes later United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar dropped a cross from Brunt and Somen Tchoyi was there to tap the ball into the empty net.

It was the third time in eight games this season United has blown a two-goal lead. The Red Devils are the league’s only unbeaten team with three wins and five draws.

Ivan Klasnic’s goal in injury time gave Bolton its first home win of the season, though Klasnic was sent off moments later for a second yellow card. Chung-Yong Lee had given Bolton the lead in the 22nd minute before Rory Delap tied the score for Stoke just after halftime.

Controversial Goal

Tom Huddlestone’s winning goal for Tottenham proved controversial. He put a shot from about 25 yards into the corner of the net in the 63rd minute, but the assistant referee raised his flag to signal Spurs’ William Gallas in an offside position. Referee Mike Dean, however, let the goal stand after conferring with the official.

Diomansy Kamara had scored for Fulham in the 30th minute, only for Tottenham’s Roman Pavlyuchenko to respond a minute later.

Fabricio Coloccini netted in injury time to give Newcastle the home draw with Wigan.

Former Newcastle striker Charles N’Zogbia scored twice in a minute in the first half to give Wigan a 2-0 lead. Shola Ameobi scored for the Magpies in the 72nd minute, setting the stage for Coloccini’s game-tying header.

Mark Noble’s second-half penalty kick earned West Ham a point at Wolves, which got a goal from Matt Jarvis. The victory left the two at the foot of the standings with six points, the same as Everton and Liverpool, who meet tomorrow in the Merseyside derby.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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