Arsenal back at top of English Premiership

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Arsenal went back to the top of the English Premiership on Sunday, following a tense 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers at Highbury.

Updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Arsenal went back to the top of the English Premiership on Sunday, following a tense 1-0 win over Blackburn Rovers at Highbury. Dennis Bergkamp scored the only goal of the game in the twelfth minute and, despite some intense Blackburn pressure in the second half, Arsene Wenger's side held out for three more points to continue their unbeaten start to the season. Arsenal's chances of leapfrogging Chelsea and Manchester United to return to the top of the Premiership on Sunday hinged on them overcoming a Blackburn Rovers side they had previously beaten only once in seven attempts at Highbury. As if to underline Blackburn's hold over Arsenal - they beat the Gunners twice last season - Dwight Yorke only narrowly missed out on putting the visitors ahead just 20 seconds into the match. Arsene Wenger's side were a shadow of the team that beat Lokomotiv Moscow 2-0 in the Champions' League last Wednesday, but nevertheless they took the lead against the run of play in the twelfth minute. Dennis Bergkamp's cool finish from Kolo Toure's run settled home nerves and a string of chances followed. The pick of the bunch fell to Robert Pires and the Frenchman's 40th minute drive beat Brad Friedel in the Blackburn goal - but not the post, and it remained 1-0 at the break. Blackburn rallied in the second half and managed to find the net themselves on the hour. Barry Ferguson's cross was converted via the head of Markus Babbel, but the German was deemed to have pushed Toure in the process and the effort was disallowed. Pressure was mounting, however, and with Arsenal unable to put the result beyond doubt, Blackburn were always in with a chance. And, from a 77th minute corner, the ball somehow eluded the home goal. Arsenal 'keeper Jens Lehmann first parried a near post header, then Yorke hooked over the visitors' best chance of the day. Thierry Henry ought to have concluded matters with three minutes left. After releasing substitute Edu, the candidate for world player of the year collected the return, but could only shoot tamely at Brad Friedel. In the end, Arsenal emerged the winners and go back to the top of the table above Manchester United and Chelsea. Blackburn remain 14th. (AP)

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