Tue, Nov 14, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Rampant Arsenal trounce Liverpool to move to third

AP , LONDON

Match referee Mark Clattenburg goes down with cramp during the English Premiership soccer match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Emirates Stadium in London on Sunday. He was able to continue officiating.

PHOTO: AFP

Arsenal moved into third place in the English Premier League after beating Liverpool 3-0 on Sunday.

Mathieu Flamini, Kolo Toure and William Gallas scored a goal each to help Arsenal rise three places in the standings -- behind only Manchester United and Chelsea.

"I expect this team to fight for the championship, but we want to show that we can repeat that kind of performance next week," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.

Liverpool's title hopes faded with the defeat. It was the team's fifth league loss -- all away from Anfield.

"If you cannot win away, you cannot start thinking about other things. You must think about winning the next game," Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez said.

Also on Sunday, Reading snapped a five-match losing streak and ending Tottenham's 10-game unbeaten run, winning 3-1 off goals from Nicky Shorey, Steve Sidwell and Kevin Doyle.

Manchester United leads the league with 31 points, followed by Chelsea with 28. Arsenal is third with 21 points -- with a game in hand -- ahead of Aston Villa and Bolton on goal difference. Liverpool is ninth, with 17 points.

Flamini put Arsenal ahead in the 41st minute, taking a cross from Cesc Fabregas and sending the ball into the net from close range.

Toure made it 2-0 in the 56th, receiving a flick from Robin van Persie and running forward to shoot through the legs of Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina.

An unmarked Gallas headed in Arsenal's third goal in the 80th minute from Van Persie's corner.

Wenger was relieved his team rebounded from its 1-0 loss to West Ham last Sunday -- a match marked by a touchline scuffle between him and Hammers manager Alan Pardew after Marlon Harewood's late goal.

"It was a massive win for us because we lost last week at West Ham and of course, it was very disappointing to lose the way we lost," Wenger said. "That's why the response from the team is always very important."

Referee Mark Clattenburg required treatment on his lower legs in the 70th minute after suffering from cramp. He continued officiating the match.

Liverpool and Arsenal also meet in the League Cup quarterfinals next month.

Robbie Keane gave Tottenham the lead by converting from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute at Reading.

Shorey equalized in the 38th with a long range diagonal strike, and Sidwell put Reading ahead in the 45th by chipping the ball in from Glen Little's corner.

Doyle scored the third goal in the 79th minute after taking a headed cross from Leroy Lita.

Reading, which is playing in the Premier League for the first time this season, moved up three places to 11th with the win. Tottenham dropped to 12th.

"The bottom line remains that if we retain our status in this division, it will be a far better achievement than gaining promotion last season," Reading manager Steve Coppell said.

Tottenham's unbeaten run in all competitions included a 2-1 win over Chelsea last Sunday. It was the team's first win over Chelsea in the league in 16 years.

"At halftime we wanted to put it right but you need personality and character," Tottenham manager Martin Jol said. "If we would have had a good result today everything would be fine -- last eight of the Carling [League] Cup, in the UEFA Cup and probably seventh in the league. And you throw it away."

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