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Manchester City Takes Premier League Lead; Arsenal, Wolves Win

Manchester City beat Fulham 3-0 to take sole possession of first place in English soccer’s Premier League, while Arsenal and Wolverhampton ended winless runs.

Robin van Persie scored a hat trick as Arsenal routed Blackburn 7-1 to end a four-game winless streak and Wolves beat QPR 2-1 for their first victory in 10 games. Norwich beat Bolton 2-0, Sunderland defeated 10-man Stoke 1-0, Swansea won 2-1 at West Brom and Wigan and Everton tied 1-1.

Manchester City bounced back from a 1-0 loss at Everton four days ago to move three points ahead of Manchester United, which visits Chelsea tomorrow. City has won all 12 of its home games this season, outscoring its opponents 37-6.

“It’s nice to get in early and get the three points and put the pressure on the other teams,” City’s Adam Johnson told ESPN. “We’re looking forward to seeing the results tomorrow and, as I say, putting them under pressure.”

Sergio Aguero opened the scoring with a 10th-minute penalty kick after referee Mike Dean ruled Chris Baird fouled Johnson. City doubled its lead in the 30th minute when Baird deflected a ball from Johnson in for an own goal.

City then clinched the victory in the 72nd minute as Dzeko took a pass from Aguero and put a shot past Mark Schwarzer.

Van Persie gave Arsenal the lead after just two minutes at the Emirates Stadium, but Morten Gamst Pedersen tied the score with a free kick in the 31st minute.

Van Persie scored again in the 38th minute and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlan added his first Premier League goal two minutes later. Blackburn’s Gale Givet was shown a red card just before halftime for a two-footed challenge on van Persie.

Mikel Arteta and Oxlade-Chamberlain scored early in the second half and van Persie completed his hat trick in the 62nd minute. Thierry Henry, who came on as a substitute, then closed the scoring in stoppage time.

Relegation Zone

Wolves moved out of the three relegation places at the bottom of the standings with the come-from-behind away win.

QPR took the lead in the 16th minute on a goal from Bobby Zamora, who joined the club from Fulham at the transfer deadline four days ago. Djibril Cisse was then sent off for QPR in the 34th minute after an altercation with Roger Johnson.

Matt Jarvis tied the score in the opening minute of the second half. Kevin Doyle, who came on as a substitute at halftime, then scored in the 71st minute to give Wolves just its second away win of the season.

Andrew Surman and Anthony Pilkington scored in the final 20 minutes to lead Norwich past Bolton, which drops into the relegation zone one point behind Wolves.

James McClean’s goal in the 60th minute gave Sunderland its seventh win in 10 matches since Martin O’Neill took over as manager in December. Stoke’s Robert Huth was red-carded just before halftime for a challenge on David Meyler.

Gyfli Sigurdsson and Danny Graham scored four minutes apart in the second half as Swansea won just its second away game. Victor Anichebe’s 83rd-minute goal gave Everton the draw at last-place Wigan, which took the lead on an own goal from Phil Neville.

Newcastle hosts Aston Villa in tomorrow’s other match and Tottenham visits Liverpool in two days.

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