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Premier League: Chelsea slip lets Arsenal move clear at the top

updated 6:11 PM EDT, Sat November 2, 2013
Aaron Ramsey celebrates after scoring Arsenal's second goal in Saturday's 2-0 win at home to Liverpool.
Aaron Ramsey celebrates after scoring Arsenal's second goal in Saturday's 2-0 win at home to Liverpool.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Arsenal leads EPL by five points after beating title rival Liverpool 2-0 Saturday
  • Second-placed Chelsea suffers surprise defeat by same score at Newcastle
  • Manchester City up to fourth place after thrashing Norwich 7-0
  • Stoke goalkeeper scores after just 13 seconds against Southampton

(CNN) -- The last time Arsenal led the English Premier League by as much as five points, it was February 2008.

So it's no surprise that Arsene Wenger, whose last silverware came three years before that, is not getting carried away.

The veteran manager knows, after all, that a few days is a long time in football.

On Tuesday his team lost 2-0 to Chelsea in the League Cup, which many trumpeted as a sign that Jose Mourinho's side had taken the ascendancy and would be the dominant force this season.

But on Saturday Mourinho's men crashed 2-0 to Newcastle, which had lost to the EPL's bottom side Sunderland the previous weekend, and Arsenal earned a five-point lead at the top with a comprehensive win by the same score against another title hopeful, Liverpool.

Arsenal's pre-season target Luis Suarez and fellow in-form striker Daniel Sturridge barely had a look-in for Liverpool, which had scored 12 goals in the past four games.

Santi Cazorla volleyed a 19th-minute opener after his header hit the post, and Aaron Ramsey joined Sturridge on 10 goals in all competitions just before the hour mark when the Wales midfielder was given time to shoot from outside the penalty area.

"I am always confident, but of course there is a long way to go," Wenger said. "Today was an important win for the team.

"It was vital to win, I said that before the game and I don't change my mind, because had we not won people would say 'Yes, Arsenal at home they cannot win the big games.'

"The Chelsea game was an important game but not of the importance of today's game. But still, it was a disappointment and it was important to respond today, to convince people that we can win these big games.

"We had a good solidarity, a good focus, and I believe we have plenty of other big games coming up and this will help us deal well with them."

On Wednesday, the Gunners will travel to Germany to face Borussia Dortmund in a match which will have a big bearing on the London club's hopes of progressing to the knockout stage of the Champions League.

"Who would have said that Chelsea would lose today at Newcastle after Tuesday night? But that's the Premier League and it's down to consistency," Wenger said.

"We are consistent since the first of January 2013, with the same group (of players). We have shown since our massive blip against Aston Villa (at the start of this season) that we have been very consistent. We have 10 games, 25 points."

While Wenger appears calm, Mourinho admitted to being worried after the Newcastle defeat left his Chelsea side in second place, above Liverpool on goal difference.

"I'm angry because I don't understand it," said the former Real Madrid manager, who won two EPL titles in his first season at the London club. "Of course I am worried, and I read in previous years it happened the same.

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"Chelsea were successful in cup competitions but not successful in the Premier League. Last year in December, they were not in the race for the title because they were already 20 points behind."

Mourinho made nine changes to his team, and complained: "I made 11 mistakes. I should have picked another 11 and not this one."

While the Portuguese coach's fortunes may have momentarily dipped, those of the Manchester clubs soared this weekend.

Defending champion Manchester United won 3-1 at Fulham, the fourth victory in a row in all competitions for under-pressure manager David Moyes -- who saw Antonio Valencia, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney score in the first half as his side stayed eighth.

Manchester City moved up to fourth -- six points behind Arsenal -- with a 7-0 thrashing of third-bottom Norwich, having lost at Chelsea last Sunday.

England goalkeeper Joe Hart was dropped following his costly blunder at the end of that match, and his Romanian replacement Costel Pantilimon has now kept two clean sheets following the midweek League Cup win at Newcastle.

Sergio Aguero's eighth league goal this season moved the Argentina striker to the top of the scoring charts alongside Sturridge, while Yaya Toure hit his fifth, Alvaro Negredo his fourth and Edin Dzeko his third among seven individual scorers.

Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic was also a notable name on the scoresheets after his wind-assisted effort deceived Southampton counterpart Artur Boruc after just 13 seconds.

The Bosnia international became the fifth keeper to hit the target since the EPL began in 1992, while Jay Rodriguez's equalizer left Saints in fifth place, behind City on goal difference.

"As a manager that is the first time I've had to experience a moment as unlucky as that," said Southampton's Mauricio Pochettino.

"I don't blame him at all. I think it had more to do with the weather conditions.

"He didn't apologize for anything because he didn't have to. The wind was changing gusts completely all the time and it is a ground which is open on three sides, which makes it even more windy."

West Brom moved up to 11th with a 2-0 win that dropped Crystal Palace to the bottom of the table, despite nine-man Sunderland losing 1-0 at 10th-placed Hull.

West Ham drew 0-0 with Aston Villa in Saturday's other match.

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