Chelsea scored twice at the Emirates Stadium in north London today to seal a fifth win in six games and top the standings with 16 points.
“We knew before the game it would be an important result,” Torres told Sky Sports. “It was one of the main targets we have this season, winning these kinds of games. We want to be in the top four for sure, fighting for the title.”
Tottenham held on to beat United 3-2 and Liverpool routed Norwich 5-2 for its first win. Manchester City rallied for a 2-1 win at Fulham, Everton beat Southampton 3-1, Swansea lost at Stoke 2-0, Sunderland beat Wigan 1-0 and Newcastle tied 2-2 at Reading.
Chelsea opened the scoring in the 20th minute as Juan Mata lofted a free kick into the area and Torres, who was battling with Laurent Koscielny, hooked his foot around the defender to volley the ball inside the post.
Torres broke again on goal minutes later after Thomas Vermaelen slipped only to go down after a challenge from the back-tracking Koscielny, with referee Martin Atkinson waving off the Blues’ penalty claim.
Arsenal tied the game in the 42nd minute when substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who had replaced the injured Abou Diaby, sent a pass to the center of the area for Gervinho. He turned and fired a shot past Petr Cech into the roof of the net.
Chelsea regained the lead in the 53rd minute as Mata’s curling free kick eluded a series of players in the area before going past diving goalkeeper Vito Mannone.
Cech made a fingertip save of Lukas Podolski’s header, then made a another lunging one-hand stop of Olivier Giroud’s shot. Giroud had one last chance in injury time but shot into the side of the net after being forced wide by Cech.
Arsenal remains on nine points after suffering its first loss. Three of the four goals the Gunners have conceded this season have come from set pieces.
“We conceded two soft goals,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. “They had three shots on target and they scored two goals. It’s a shame. The least we deserved was a draw.”
Jan Vertonghen, Gareth Bale and Clint Dempsey scored as Tottenham ended a winless run in league and cup competition at Old Trafford that dated back to 1989.
“It was a rollercoaster, up and down,” Demspey told ESPN. “We ground out a result, showed a lot of character and got three points.”
Vertonghen and Bale gave Spurs a 2-0 halftime lead before Nani scored in the 51st minute for United. Clint Dempsey restored Tottenham’s two-goal advantage just a minute later, but Shinji Kagawa answered for United one minute later to make it 3-2.
Luis Suarez scored three goals at Norwich for the second straight season to lead Liverpool to victory. Nuri Sahin and Steven Gerrard also scored for the Reds, who opened this campaign with three defeats and two draws.
Edin Dzeko’s goal in the 87th minute gave defending champion Manchester City the comeback win at Fulham. Mladen Petric put the Cottagers in front with a 10th-minute penalty kick before Sergio Aguero tied the game just before halftime.
Nikica Jelavic scored twice as Everton beat Southampton to climb above Manchester United into second place, three points behind Chelsea. Peter Crouch scored both goals as Stoke beat Swansea for its first victory.
Steven Fletcher scored the only goal as Sunderland ended a 12-match winless run by beating Wigan, which had Jordi Gomez sent off in the 47th minute. Demba Ba’s second goal of the game with seven minutes left gave Newcastle the away draw at Reading.
West Brom visits Aston Villa in tomorrow’s game, and Queens Park Rangers hosts West Ham in two days.
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