Arsenal missed the chance to go top of the Premier League after a Darren Bent goal in the fifth minute of injury time scrambled a 1-1 draw for Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
After trailing to a freak Cesc Fabregas goal for most of the match, the Black Cats mounted a frenzied assault on the Gunners late on after the Londoners were reduced to 10-men following Alex Song’s second-half dismissal.
Arsenal were also left ruing a missed penalty from Tomas Rosicky 15 minutes from time which could have wrapped up the points for Arsene Wenger’s men.
Wenger was unhappy at the timing of Bent’s 95th minute winner, which came after match officials had indicated only four minutes of stoppage time.
“I know it’s a minimum of four minutes, but nothing happened in those four minutes to justify them adding more,” Wenger said. “But there’s nothing I can do … It’s frustrating, but there are a lot of positives we can take from it.”
Wenger insisted there was no confrontation with fourth official Martin Atkinson.
Atkinson had indicated a minimum of four minutes would be added on, to spark a melee near the technical area.
“Take the pictures and look at it. I complained to nobody,” Wenger insisted in a curt post-match press conference.
The Football Association are likely to probe the incident.
The result left Arsenal one point behind league leaders Chelsea, who can open up a four-point lead at the top with victory over Blackpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
There was more bad news for Arsenal too with Fabregas — who had netted on 13 minutes after an Anton Ferdinand clearance ricocheted off him into the top corner — limping off injured in the first half.
Manchester United host Liverpool in a heavyweight clash at Old Trafford while Manchester City take on Wigan in Sunday’s other games.
Elsewhere Saturday, Spurs fought back from a goal down at White Hart Lane to bag all three points with three goals in the final 13 minutes.
Steven Fletcher had fired Wolves into a shock lead on half-time but Spurs hit back with a spotkick from Rafael Van der Vaart before Roman Pavlyuchenko and Alan Hutton secured the points for the Londoners.
“It’s three good points for us,” Spurs boss Harry Redknapp said. “To come in 1-0 down at half-time you’re thinking it’s going to be a very difficult game to win. I said to the players just keep playing. And I think we did that.”
Newcastle bounced back from last week’s home defeat to Blackpool to stun Everton at Goodison Park.
French striker Hatem Ben Arfa fired the Magpies into the lead with a 25-yard thunderbolt on the stroke of half-time and the Toffees were unable to find a way back into the game as Newcastle held on for the win.
The defeat left David Moyes’s side second from bottom but the Everton boss is confident his team can climb out of the relegation zone.
“We’ve been a good side over the years and I’m sure we’ll show that by the end of the season,” Moyes said
Blackburn were forced to settle for a draw in their clash with Fulham at Ewood Park, which saw Rovers take the lead in controversial circumstances before the Cottagers hit back through Clint Dempsey.
Blackburn had gone 1-0 up after Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer was bundled over by El Hadji Diouf to allow Chris Samba to head home Paul Robinson’s punt. Dempsey’s strike earned another point for Mark Hughes side.
Incoming Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier watched from the stands as his new club were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Bolton.
Ashley Young had put Villa up with a curling freekick early on before Bolton striker Kevin Davies levelled for the visitors.
At the Hawthorns, Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish saw his delight at securing a new three-year contract turn to despair as the Blues crashed 3-1 to West Bromwich Albion.
The Blues went 1-0 up after a well-worked set-piece involving new signing Alexander Hleb. Hleb’s floated free-kick was met by Scott Dann, who headed to the far post for Cameron Jerome to ram home.
But the Baggies hit back immediately after the restart when an effort from Peter Odemwingie deflected off Dann to put the home side on level terms.
Shortly afterwards Odemwingie pounced on a slack backpass by Lee Bowyer to put Roberto Di Matteo’s men ahead before Jonas Olsson completed the scoring.
In the early game, bottom club West Ham secured their first point of the season with a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Stoke.
Scott Parker had fired the Hammers into a first-half lead before Stoke striker Kenwyne Jones levelled for the home side early in the second half.
The result failed to lift West Ham from the foot of the table. The London club, whose Jewish manager Avram Grant had skipped the match to observe Yom Kippur, remain rooted to the bottom with one point from five matches.
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