Arteta winner avoids Arsenal ‘crisis’
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Mikel Arteta halted Arsenal's slump, one that coach Arsene Wegner likened to a crisis after two successive losses and shareholder displeasure, by producing a late goal in a 1-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers on Saturday. After being repeatedly thwarted by QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar, Arsenal's breakthrough came after the bottom-place visitors had defender Stephane M'Bia sent off in the 80th minute.
Olivier Giroud's initial header from Andrei Arshavin's cross was saved by Cesar but Arteta pounced to head against the bar and he then prodded the rebound into the net. The 84th-minute winner came after successive losses in the league and Champions League.
Roars greeted Wilshere's first in touch in a competitive Arsenal match since May 2011. Back then, before persistent ankle and knee injuries sidelined him for an entire season, Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie and Samir Nasri were still teammates. It made Saturday's return — alongside the likes of Arteta — akin to featuring in a new team, but one without the potency of the 2011 incarnation, and one where the burden of providing the flair is falling on the 20-year-old Wilshere.
Champions Manchester City climbed to second in the Premier League table after a Carlos Tevez thunderbolt in the second half gave them a 1-0 win over Swansea City on Saturday. Unbeaten City moved on to 21 points from nine games.
Also on Saturday, Wigan beat West Ham 2-1, Reading drew 3-3 with Fulham, Sunderland held Stoke 0-0, and Aston Villa drew 1-1 with Norwich.
United test for Chelsea
A midweek Champions League blip aside, the Blues have made a superb start to the season and were four points clear at the top of the Premier League heading into this weekend's action. United are the next side to attempt to cut them down — and they will move within a point of Roberto Di Matteo's men if they do so —but recent history is against them with no league win at Chelsea since 2002.
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