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Villa and Arsenal miss chance to close gap

  • Story Highlights
  • Aston Villa and Arsenal held to goalless draws in Premier League home games
  • Villa miss the chance to go second after being held by Wigan
  • Portsmouth slip further into danger with 3-1 defeat at Fulham
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(CNN) -- Aston Villa and Arsenal missed the chance to take closer order in the Premier League title race as both were held to goalless draws on Saturday.

Wigan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland punches the ball clear under strong Villa pressure.

Wigan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland punches the ball clear under strong Villa pressure.

Villa, who could have climbed into second place behind leaders Manchester United, were scoreless at home to improving Wigan.

While Arsenal may have stretched their unbeaten run to 10 games but could not break down a determined West Ham at the Emirates Stadium and remain outside of the top four.

Manchester United lead the way by five points after a 1-0 win over Everton in Saturday's late kick off with Villa in a three-strong chasing group on 48 points.

Villa had ferocious appeals for a penalty for handball turned down and Wigan were forced back for long periods in the second half at Villa Park.

Zak Knight hit the post with a header before Gabriel Agbonlahor and Luke Young had efforts cleared off the line.

But Steve Bruce's men also had chances and were worth their battling point.

Arsenal's Abou Diaby saw an early header deflected onto the crossbar, and Emmanuel Adebayor missed two good chances in the second half to complete an afternoon of frustration for Arsene Wenger's men, who are five points adrift of a top four place.

West Ham are unbeaten in their last seven away games in the Premier League to cement their place in the top half of a congested table.

In the relegation dogfight, Saturday's results left seven teams separated by just two points with West Bromwich Albion, who drew 2-2 at faltering Hull, still bottom.

Blackburn and Middlesbrough are also in the relegation zone after their goalless draw at the Riverside.

Earlier, ten-man Stoke beat big-spending Manchester City 1-0, with James Beattie scoring just before halftime, to move out of the bottom three.

But Tottenham, beaten 3-2 at fellow strugglers Bolton, are still anxiously looking over their shoulders in 14th place.

Darren Bent scored a double to pull Spurs level at 2-2 before Kevin Davies headed his eighth of the season with three minutes left.

Portsmouth are also slipping nearer danger after a 3-1 defeat at Fulham which increases the pressure on manager Tony Adams.

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