Mon, Mar 24, 2014 - Page 20 News List

Leaders Chelsea rout Arsenal as ref blunders


A day of drama in the English Premier League produced 32 goals — including Wayne Rooney scoring from halfway — and a referee admitting he sent off the wrong player as Arsene Wenger’s 1,000th match ended in embarrassment at Chelsea on Saturday.

Andre Marriner dismissed Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs instead of teammate Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, whose diving save with his hand blocked the ball on the goal-line.

However, the 15th-minute sending off was hardly a turning point in the London derby, as Arsenal had already conceded twice inside seven minutes of Wenger’s landmark match.

And Arsenal crumbled further against the leaders after Eden Hazard converted the penalty-kick, dropping to fourth in the standings as their title rivals all won.

Manchester City climbed above Arsenal into third place with a 5-0 victory over Fulham, while second-place Liverpool won 6-3 at Cardiff.

That result leaves Chelsea four points ahead, having played one more than Liverpool and three more than City, who are six adrift.

Far from the title race is Manchester United, who remain seventh despite Rooney having scored twice — the first a volley from the halfway line — in a 2-0 victory at West Ham.

The bottom three remains unchanged with Fulham in last place behind Cardiff and Sunderland, who lost 2-0 at Norwich after conceding goals from Robert Snodgrass and Alexander Tettey. Hull surged eight points clear of danger after Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic clinched a 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion.

Everton moved ahead of Tottenham into fifth after Ross Barkley’s header secured a 3-2 victory over Swansea, and Newcastle climbed to eighth by defeating Crystal Palace 1-0 after Papiss Cisse scored in stoppage-time.

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