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Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010

Ruthless United puts Arsenal to the sword

LONDON (AP) Manchester United beat Arsenal 3-1 on Sunday to stay within a point of leader Chelsea after its first ever Premier League win at Emirates Stadium.

Nani set up two goals in five first-half minutes, one an own-goal by goalkeeper Manuel Almunia and the other by Wayne Rooney, before Park Ji Sung carried the ball half the length of the field to make it 3-0 in the 52nd minute.

United's second win of the season over Arsenal took its unbeaten record against the Gunners to five matches and pushed the defending champion to 53 points.

United looked confident throughout after reaching the League Cup final this week with a 3-1 win over Manchester City.

"We had a very good game last Wednesday and everyone had their confidence for this game," Nani said. "The manager just said you have to have the same attitude for this game.

"If you want to be a champion, you have to play every game."

Arsenal, which only scored with 10 minutes left when Thomas Vermaelen's shot deflected off defender Jonny Evans, is in third place on 49 points after its first Premier League defeat since November.

Manchester City is eight points back from Arsenal in sixth place after beating last-place Portsmouth 2-0, although City could easily climb higher since it has played two fewer matches than the four sides immediately above it.

Arsenal was expected to give United a tough match in north London and Andrei Arshavin's attempts to isolate Wes Brown, who was playing alongside Evans in central defense because of the absence of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, gave the Gunners early hope.

But United took control with its 33rd-minute opener and could have won by a bigger margin, with Nani and Rooney both going close to scoring more.

Arsenal only managed to exert sustained pressure on United in the last 10 minutes.

Nani created United's first goal when he danced between two defenders on the right touchline, dodged a third on the edge of the area and floated a cross from a narrow angle toward the far post. With Park rushing in behind for what would have been an easy finish, Almunia tried to flick the ball over the bar but pushed it into the net.

"I don't know how to explain that," Nani said of his skill. "I'm working every day hard to be fit to play in the team."

Egypt takes gold

LUANDA (AP) Egypt won the Africa Cup of Nations for the third straight time Sunday after substitute Mohamed Gedo scored in the 85th minute for a 1-0 victory over Ghana.

Gedo curled in a shot from within the area to give Egypt its record seventh title. No other team has won the biennial tournament three consecutive times.

"From the first day we arrived we said we were here to win the tournament," Egypt assistant coach Shawki Garib said. "And we did it, even if it was harder than in 2006 and 2008."

Wigan signs Moses

WIGAN , England (AP) Wigan has completed the signing of England under-19 forward Victor Moses from Crystal Palace on a 3 1/2-year contract.

Moses was linked with several clubs after scoring six goals in his last nine matches in the second-tier League Championship and signed for an undisclosed transfer fee after passing a medical examination.

Palace was under pressure to sell the 19-year-old Moses to raise funds. The club was deducted 10 points last week after its deteriorating finances broke League Championship rules.

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez says Moses "can make a terrific impact at Wigan Athletic over the coming months and years."

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