Spurs deliver hammer blow to Arsenal's title bid

LONDON (AFP) Tottenham delivered a hammer blow to Arsenals Premier League title challenge with a 2-1 win over their north London rivals at White Hart Lane on Wednesday. Harry Redknapps team claimed only their second win in 29 league games against the Gunners thanks to a stunning 10th minute volley from teenage winger Danny Rose, who was making his Premier League debut, and Gareth Bales first goal of the season two minutes after half-time. Inspired by the arrival of Robin van Persie as a second half substitute in his first appearance after a five-month injury lay-off, Arsenal got one back through Nicklas Bendtner in the 85th minute. But the loss left third placed Arsenal six points behind leaders Chelsea with four games to play and all but ended their hopes of winning the title for the first time since 2004. Tottenham, who were able to celebrate their first league win over Arsenal since November 1999, remain fifth and are now just one point behind fourth placed Manchester City in the race to snatch the final Champions League spot. Redknapp, whose side were beaten by Portsmouth in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday, said: It was a great result for us on the back of a big down on Sunday. That knocked us all for six. To play like that after Sunday is fantastic. The crowd want to beat Arsenal more than anybody. They were right with us. We hung in there late on and our keeper Heurelho Gomes made some fantastic saves. He was superb. Everybody worked hard and it was a great result. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, who will be without Thomas Vermaelen for three weeks after the defender limped off with a calf injury, added: It will be difficult (to win the title), yes, now of course. Well continue to fight but it makes it very difficult. As long as its not mathematically impossible it is not impossible. Our job is to fight and we will do that. But even if they drop points we are far (behind). Elsewhere, Aston Villa rescued a late 2-2 draw against Everton at Villa Park. Martin ONeills team trailed twice as Australian midfielder Tim Cahill struck in the 23rd minute and then again in the 74th minute after Gabby Agbonlahor had equalised for Villa in the 72nd minute. But Phil Jagielkas 90th minute own goal saved seventh placed Villa and kept them four points ahead of their opponents. At the DW Stadium, FA Cup finalists Portsmouth, already relegated from the Premier League, managed to hold on for a 0-0 draw against struggling Wigan despite fielding an inexperienced team and naming just four substitutes. The draw moved Wigan five points clear of the relegation zone.

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