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Persie saves Man U on return to Emirates

Robin van Persie marked his return to Arsenal by scoring a penalty amid a chorus of boos to give newly crowned EPL champion Manchester United a 1-1 draw on Sunday that also hurt his former team’s chances of making the Champions League.

Arsenal fans had already had to watch their team form a guard of honor for Van Persie and his United team before kickoff at the Emirates Stadium to salute the new champions.

The crowd then reveled in Van Persie giving the ball away inside two minutes to allow Theo Walcott to put Arsenal in front. But after Van Persie was brought down by Bacary Sagna just before halftime, the former Arsenal captain sent the spot kick into the net.

The draw meant Arsenal was dislodged from third place by Chelsea, which beat Swansea 2-0.


SERIE A NAPOLI PUT JUVE ON HOLD

Goals by Gokhan Inler, Goran Pandev and Blerim Dzemaili handed Napoli a valuable 3-0 win away to rock-bottom Pescara and put Juventus’s title celebrations on hold for at least another week. Juventus began the with an 11-point lead on Napoli and would have secured their 29th Scudetto with a win over Torino had Pescara beaten Napoli or held the visitors to a draw. Napoli are now nine points shy of Juventus with a  10-point lead on AC Milan in third spot.


CHELSEA CEMENT TOP FOUR SPOT


Frank Lampard moved to within one goal of Bobby Tambling’s Chelsea record with the penalty that sealed his team’s 2-0 victory over Swansea on Sunday. With Tambling watching from the stands, Lampard hit his 201st goal for Chelsea shortly after setting up Oscar for the strike that put them ahead in the 44th minute. The win strengthened Chelsea’s grip on a top four place, moving them three points clear of Tottenham who lie fifth with just four games remaining. The match also marked referee Mark Clattenburg’s first appearance at the Bridge since he was cleared of racially abusing John Obi Mikel during Chelsea’s defeat to Manchester United last October. Clattenburg’s return passed off with little controversy, although Rafa Benitez and his players were convinced Swansea captain Ashley Williams should have received a second yellow card midway through the second half. The referee’s decision, however, didn’t matter with Chelsea easing their way to victory against a hapless Swansea team.


REDS FORGET LUIS ANGST IN SIX-GOAL ROMP

Liverpool proved there is life after Luis Suarez by thrashing Newcastle United 0-6 to leave their hosts nervously hovering above the Premier League relegation zone. Leading scorer Suarez has been handed a 10-match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, but his absence was barely noticed at St James’ Park as Liverpool returned to winning ways in style after a run of three draws. Goals from Daniel Agger and Jordan Henderson put the visitors 2-0 up at the interval, before Suarez’s replacement Daniel Sturridge claimed a brace in the second half. Substitute Fabio Borini added a fifth and after Mathieu Debuchy was sent off, Henderson completed a brace of his own as Newcastle fell to their heaviest home defeat of the Premier League era. Victory left Brendan Rodgers’ side in seventh place, five points below Everton ahead of next weekend’s Merseyside derby at Anfield.
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