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Win puts Arsenal top of Premier League

Andrey Arshavin is congratulated by his Arsenal teammates after his goal sends the Gunners top of the Premier League.
Andrey Arshavin is congratulated by his Arsenal teammates after his goal sends the Gunners top of the Premier League.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Arsenal came back from two goals down to claim a 4-2 victory over Bolton at the Emirates Stadium which saw go top of the Premier League.
  • Liverpool produced a defiant performance to help ease the pressure on Rafael Benitez with a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.
  • Aston Villa beat Blackburn Rovers 6-4 in a thrilling English League Cup semifinal second leg tie to go through 7-4 on aggregate.
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(CNN) -- Arsenal came back from two goals down to claim a 4-2 victory over Bolton at the Emirates Stadium which saw them climb to the top of the English Premier League.

Bolton, who had been beaten 2-0 by the Gunners on Sunday, raced into an early lead through Gary Cahill who finished well from close range to direct his shot past Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia in the seventh minute.

Owen Coyle's side then doubled their advantage from the penalty spot through Matthew Taylor after Arsenal midfielder Denilson had fouled Lee Chung-yong inside the area.

But Arsene Wenger's young side kept their composure and pulled a goal back before halftime through Tomas Rosicky who lashed an angled shot past Bolton goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Arsenal grabbed a controversial equalizer in the 52nd minute when Cesc Fabregas latched on to Andrey Arshavin's pass to slip the ball through Jaaskelainen's legs but there had appeared to be an earlier foul when William Gallas appeared to catch Mark Davies on the ankle.

The turnaround was complete when Thomas Vermaelen fired home Arsenal's third after Abou Diaby had knocked down a corner into the path of the Belgian defender.

Arsenal scored their fourth -- and the goal required to send them top of the table -- in the 85th minute when Eduardo slipped in Arshavin and the Russian made no mistake to fire the ball past Jaaskelainen.

Wenger's side are level on points with Chelsea on 48 points, and are level with a goal difference of 34, but the Gunners go top having scored more goals than their London rivals.

Elsewhere, Liverpool produced a defiant performance to help ease the pressure on Rafael Benitez with a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield thanks to a brace from Dirk Kuyt.

The Holland international gave Liverpool the lead in the sixth minute with a low shot from the edge of the area which flew past Heurelho Gomes' right-hand after he had been set up by Italian playmaker Alberto Aquilani.

Liverpool, who were without the injured Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres, showed their defensive discipline to keep out Spurs and should have been out of sight by the time they were awarded an injury-time penalty after David Ngog was brought down by Sebastien Bassong.

Kuyt scored the first effort only to be ordered to re-take by referee Howard Webb, but the Dutchman held his nerve to send Gomes the wrong way and keep Liverpool in the race for the fourth Champions League place.

Meanwhile Aston Villa beat Blackburn Rovers 6-4 in a thrilling English League Cup semifinal second leg tie to go through 7-4 on aggregate and secure a Wembley final against either Manchester United or Manchester City.

A Nikola Kalinic brace had Rovers ahead, but Stephen Warnock slotted in before Christopher Samba was sent off.

James Milner converted the subsequent penalty and a Steven Ngonzi own-goal and Gabriel Agbonlahor and Emile Heskey's strikes seemed to seal it.

Volleys from Martin Olsson and Brett Emerton gave Rovers hope before Ashley Young curled home to wrap up the win for Martin O'Neill's side.