Arsenal wins to boost Champions League hopes

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LONDON (AP) — Arsenal moved into third place in the English Premier League, winning 1-0 at Fulham behind Per Mertesacker's goal on a 43rd-minute header, and Sunderland, Stoke and Norwich came away with victories Saturday that boosted their hopes to avoid relegation.

Arsenal had a man advantage at Craven Cottage after Steve Sidwell received a red card in the 12th minute, but the Gunners' Olivier Giroud was sent off the 90th. Arsenal (18-7-9) moved into third place, two points ahead of Chelsea (18-7-7) and five in front of Tottenham (17-8-7), both vying for a top-four finish and a berth in next season's Champions League.

Spurs host Manchester City on Sunday, when Chelsea is at Liverpool.

Sunderland (9-15-10) climbed six points above the relegation zone with a 1-0 victory at home over sixth-place Everton (14-6-14) on Stephane Sessegnon's goal in first-half stoppage time.

Stoke (8-13-13) trails Sunderland on goal difference after winning 2-0 at 19th-place Queens Park Rangers (4-18-12) on Peter Crouch's goal in the 42nd minute and Jonathan Walters' penalty kick in the 77th.

Norwich won 2-0 at last-place Reading (5-20-9), and Newcastle tied 1-1 at West Bromwich Albion, making it likely the last relegation spot will be between Aston Villa and Wigan. Aston Villa (8-15-10) has 34 points going into Monday's game at first-place Manchester United and Wigan (8-18-7) has 31 following Saturday's 2-0 loss at West Ham.


FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Bayern Munich warmed up for its Champions League semifinal with Barcelona by routing Hannover 6-1 for its 13th straight Bundesliga victory.

Mario Gomez and Claudio Pizarro scored a pair each and Pizarro also set up two others against a defense that included American right back Steve Cherundolo, who equaled the Hannover appearance record with his 298th game.

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