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September 20, 2009

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Gunners put Wigan to sword

THOMAS Vermaelen's double led Arsenal to a 4-0 victory over Wigan Athletic, returning the side to winning ways after two straight English Premier League losses.

The Belgium center back struck in each half, while captain Cesc Fabregas completed the rout with Arsenal's fourth in injury time.

Portsmouth is still without a point six matches into the season after going down 0-2 at Aston Villa, but newcomer Burnley notched a third win by defeating Sunderland 3-1. Also yesterday: Bolton Wanderers held Stoke City 1-1, Birmingham City won 1-0 at Hull City and Liverpool was at West Ham United in the late match.

Arsenal, which had lost its last two matches to Manchester City and Manchester United, won with its first clean sheet of the season.

Vermaelen, whose left wrist was taped up, jumped above two defenders to meet a curling corner by Robin van Persie and directed a powerful header past Wigan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland in the 25th minute. He scored his second in the 49th after exchanging a pass with Eboue, dribbling into some space just inside the area and firing a left-footed shot past Kirkland.

Vermaelen, who joined from Ajax in the offseason, now has three league goals.

Eduardo was credited with the third goal in the 59th after first striking a post with a left-footed volley, collecting the rebound and firing another shot. But it appeared that Eduardo's second effort may have taken a deflection off Eboue and the Ivory Coast international claimed the goal while Eduardo was celebrating at the other corner.

Fabregas added another in stoppage time after substitute Nicklas Bendtner's stinging cross from the right was tapped in from close range.

At Villa Park, James Milner scored one goal and created another to condemn Pompey to yet another defeat by halftime. Milner scored from the penalty spot after Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov had been brought down by Nadir Belhadj.

Seizing on a flick-on from Milner, Gabriel Agbonlahor then got the better of Tal Ben Haim before firing into the top-left corner.

Today leader Chelsea hosts Tottenham Hotspur, it's the 152nd Manchester derby between United and City, Everton plays Blackburn Rovers and Fulham travels to Wolverhampton Wanderers.


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