Published — Monday 4 March 2013
Last update 4 March 2013 2:03 am
LONDON: Tottenham Hotspur beat Arsenal 2-1 in a typically frantic North London derby at White Hart Lane on Sunday to move into third place in the Premier League and open up a seven-point gap on their arch rivals in the hunt for a Champions League spot.
Both Spurs goals came in a two-minute burst shortly before halftime with man-of-the-moment Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon scoring before Arsenal hit back with a header from Per Mertesacker six minutes into the second half.
Bale and Lennon scored after finding huge gaps in the center of Arsenal’s defense and both teams had plenty of chances to score in an all-action second half.
But Spurs, who stretched their unbeaten league run to 12 matches, held on to move above Chelsea with 54 points from 28 games.
Arsenal stayed fifth on 47 points after failing to win at White Hart Lane for the fifth successive season.
Luis Suarez netted a hat trick Saturday night as a rampant Liverpool beat Wigan 4-0, putting the Uruguay forward atop the Premier League scoring list.
After Stewart Downing put the visitors ahead in just the second minute, Suarez effectively decided the game by making it 3-0 by the 34th — his second goal coming with a stroke of luck as he slipped when taking a free kick but the ball deflected off the defensive wall and into the net.
He then completed his hat trick shortly after the break for his 21st league goal of the season, putting him ahead of Manchester United’s Robin van Persie on 19.
He joins Robbie Fowler and Fernando Torres as the only Liverpool players to score at least 20 goals in a Premier League campaign. Suarez has now scored 15 goals in as many matches in all competitions, making him one of the top contenders to be crowned player of the year, along with Van Persie and Tottenham’s Gareth Bale.
“He’s such a pleasure to work with,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said. “He has quality, finishing, work-rate and that’s what makes him world class.” The win kept Liverpool in seventh place, while Wigan is only out of the relegation zone on goal difference.
Downing set the tone for Liverpool as he lost his marker in the penalty area to head home a cross from the impressive Philippe Coutinho, making only his third appearance since joining from Inter Milan.