Blow to Arsenal's title hopes as Wigan force draw

Blow to Arsenal's title hopes as  Wigan force draw

( dpa ) - Leaders Arsenal suffered a blow to their English Premier League title hopes on Sunday as they were held to a 0-0 draw at Wigan Athletic.

The Gunners, who won at AC Milan in the Champions League in midweek, came back to earth at the JJB Stadium as Wigan earned a deserved share of the points.

The result lifted Wigan three points clear of the relegation zone, while Arsenal are two points ahead of Manchester United, but they have played one game more.

Arsenal were nowhere near as fluent as they had been in Milan but Wigan still had goalkeeper Chris Kirkland to thank as they held out, with fine saves to stop Emmanuel Adebayor early on and then Cesc Fabregas with two minutes to go.

Everton moved level on points with fourth-placed Liverpool after a hard-fought 1-0 win at Sunderland.

Andrew Johnson scored the only goal in the second half, though the goal had more than a touch of fortune as Mikel Arteta's cross went in off the striker's shoulder.

Everton are still fifth, behind their Merseyside rivals on goal difference, while Sunderland remain in trouble, just two points ahead of the relegation zone.

Tottenham Hotspur moved to within five points of tenth-placed West Ham United after trouncing their London rivals 4-0 at White Hart Lane.

Dimitar Berbatov put Spurs 2-0 ahead with two headed goals inside the first 10 minutes, and once Luis Boa Morte was sent off just before half-time for a second bookable offence, there was only one going to be winner.

Gilberto came off the substitutes' bench to score the third five minutes from the end and Darren Bent completed the rout in the final minute - West Ham's third straight 4-0 loss.

"We were looking for reaction from the players and we got that reaction," Tottenham first team coach Gus Poyet said, referring to his side's 4-1 defeat by Birmingham City.

West Ham manager Alan Curbishley admitted his side are struggling for confidence.

"We've had a disastrous week," he said. "We now have to try to finish the season as strongly as possible.

"We've given stupid goals away in the three games."

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