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Chelsea beats Arsenal, goes nine points clear

LONDON: Chelsea regained its nine-point lead in the English Premier League on Sunday, beating Arsenal 2-0 on goals by Arjen Robben and Joe Cole.

The victory maintained the Blues' mastery over the Gunners and ended Arsenal's string of 13 league victories at Highbury.

Chelsea has 46 points and has allowed only seven goals in 17 league games. Manchester United is second with 37, followed by Liverpool and Tottenham with 31 each. Arsenal stayed in eighth place with only 26 points — 20 behind Chelsea.

Robben scored Chelsea's first goal in the 39th minute after Arsenal had missed two chances. Following a throw-in from midfield, Robben raced down the left and put the ball behind a diving Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann. Cole sealed the win in the 73rd minute.

The results:

English Premier League: Chelsea bt Arsenal 2-0; Middlesbrough drew with Tottenham Hotspur 3-3.

Spanish league: Valencia bt Alaves 1-0; Espanyol drew with Real Zaragoza 2-2; Racing Santander drew with Malaga 1-1; Sevilla bt Real Sociedad 3-2; Villarreal bt Getafe 2-1; Real Mallorca drew with Atletico Madrid 2-2; Real Madrid drew with Osasuna 1-1.

Italian league: AC Milan bt Messina 4-0; Cagliari bt Ascoli 2-1; Chievo bt Udinese 2-0; Empoli drew with Fiorentina 1-1; Livorno bt Palermo 2-0; Inter Milan bt Reggina 4-0; Sampdoria drew with 1-1; Siena drew with Parma 2-2. — AP

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