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Van Persie brace dooms Liverpool at Anfield

Robin van Persie continued his 1 victory over Liverpool.

The Dutchman overturned an own goal from Laurent Koscielny in the 23rd minute with two first-time finishes, scoring in the 31st minute and again in second- half stoppage time to bring his league-leading season tally to 25 goals on the year.

Liverpool had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 19th minute after Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny tripped up Luis Suarez in the box. But Dirk Kuyt, who converted a penalty kick last weekend in Liverpool's Carling Cup triumph over Cardiff City, was denied by the Polish stopper. Szczesny's save led to a rebound, but Kuyt could not convert that chance either as he was foiled for a second time in a matter of seconds.

The Reds quickly put the miss behind them though, as they went on the attack and were rewarded with a goal just four minutes later.

Jordan Henderson played a curling cross in front of goal that was poorly dealt with by Koscielny, and Arsenal paid the price as the Frenchman deflected the ball into his own net.

The Gunners equalized shortly after through their talisman as Bacary Sagna delivered a pinpoint cross to van Persie. The Dutchman evaded Jamie Carragher to get free before heading a shot past Pepe Reina.

Van Persie struck again with a brilliant strike late on. The striker latched on to a ball played over the top and smashed a one-time volley past Reina at the near post, stealing all three points for Arsenal.

The win, Arsenal's fourth straight in Premier League, brings Arsene Wenger's men into sole possession of the coveted fourth-place position with 49 points on the year. They entered Saturday's match tied on points with Chelsea but now eclipse the Blues after the West London club suffered a 1-0 loss at West Bromwich.

Liverpool, which was also in contention for fourth place, looks destined to miss out on the Champions League qualification spot as it trails Arsenal by 10 points. The Reds have lost two straight, sitting seventh on 39 points.

Manchester City 2, Bolton 0

Bolton, England - Manchester City dominated play at the Etihad on Saturday but only managed to come away with a 2-0 win over Bolton.

The Citizens missed an early chance to grab the lead after Mario Balotelli struck the post in just the second minute, but they still took control of the match in the first half as Gael Clichy unleashed a shot in the 24th minute that found its way past Adam Bogdan after a deflection from Gretar Steinsson.

The lead was doubled in the 69th minute following a great run from Adam Johnson. The England international made a penetrating run into the box to draw Bogdan out of position and back-heeled a pass in front of goal. Balotelli slotted ball into the empty net to claim his 11th goal of the campaign.

The win ensures that City, with 66 points on the season, will remain top of the Premier League table for another week as Manchester United is set to kick off against Tottenham on Sunday. Bolton, meanwhile, remains in the relegation zone on 20 points.

West Bromwich 1, Chelsea 0

West Bromwich, England - West Bromwich heaped even more pressure on Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas as the Baggies left it late to claim a 1-0 victory over the Blues at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

The lone goal of the match came eight minutes from time as Gareth McAuley grabbed his first goal of the season to steal three points for West Brom.

Villas-Boas will find himself on an even hotter seat as Chelsea has dropped two of its last three league games. The Blues are now three points off the pace of Arsenal in fourth place as they sit fifth on 46 points.

West Bromwich has now won three straight Premier League matches for the first time since 2002. The Baggies climb up to ninth place with 35 points.

Stoke City 1, Norwich City 0

Stoke-on-Trent, England - Stoke City handed Norwich City its second straight defeat on Saturday as the Potters edged the Canaries, 1-0, at the Britannia.

Matthew Etherington grabbed the only goal of the match in the 72nd minute, helping Stoke win its second match on the bounce and lifting the club to eighth place with 36 points on the year.

Norwich, meanwhile, loses its second match in a row after falling to Manchester United in a heartbreaker last weekend. The Canaries remain stuck on 35 points.

QPR 1, Everton 1

London, England - Royston Drenthe and Bobby Zamora scored five minutes apart in the first half to see Everton and QPR play to a 1-1 draw at Loftus Road on Saturday.

Everton went in front in the 31st minute thanks to Drenthe, who is on loan from Real Madrid, but QPR quickly equalized as Zamora netted his seventh goal of the season to salvage a point for the home side.

QPR remains just outside of the relegation zone on goal differential, sitting tied with Blackburn and Wolverhampton on 22 points, while Everton, unbeaten in five matches, sits 11th on 34 points.

Swansea City 2, Wigan 0

Wigan, England - Gylfi Sigurdsson scored twice to help Swansea City earn a 2-0 win over Wigan at the DW Stadium on Saturday.

Sigurdsson, who is on loan from Bundesliga side Hoffenheim, netted just before the break to give the visitors the lead before doubling the advantage nine minutes after the restart, bringing his season tally to three goals.

The result leaves Wigan bottom of the table on goal differential despite being tied with Bolton on 20 points, while Swansea snaps a two-game losing skid to improve to 33 points.

Blackburn 1, Aston Villa 1

Blackburn, England - Blackburn claimed a valuable point in its quest for safety as it battled back to claim a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa at Ewood Park on Saturday.

Charles N'Zogbia gave Villa the lead in the 24th minute, but David Dunn rescued Rovers with a goal five minutes from time to see Steve Kean's men earn a share of the points.

Blackburn is tied with Wolverhampton and QPR on 22 points but remains in the relegation zone on goal differential, while Aston Villa stays eight points clear of the drop zone on 30 points for the year.