Gunners keep nerve for top spot

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LAUREN'S penalty four minutes from time gave Arsenal a 2-1 victory over Tottenham in the North London derby, which may go a long way towards bringing The Premiership title to Highbury.

Teddy Sheringham's penalty nine minutes from time seemed to have given Tottenham a point which would have left Manchester United on top of The Premiership on goal difference.

Sheringham, who has never hidden his hatred for Spurs's bitter rivals stepped up to take the kick after Poyet was brought down in the penalty area and kept his nerve to seemingly hinder The Gunners's title charge.

Glenn Hoddle's side could only hold onto this lead for three minutes though, before Thierry Henry was brought down in the box and with the French striker limping off, Cameroonian defender Lauren placed his penalty just past Kasey Keller's leg to give his side a crucial victory.

Arsenal opened the scoring after 23 minutes when Freddie Ljungberg raced onto Dennis Bergkamp's throughball and squeezed his effort past Keller.

This result leaves Arsenal as big favourites to take The Premiership title, as they lie two points clear of second placed Manchester United with a game in hand.

Elsewhere in an incredible game at the Reebok Stadium, Fredi Bobic completed a first half hat-trick as Bolton thrashed Ipswich Town 4-1 to effectively secure Premiership football for The Trotters next season.

The first goal came in the second minute when Simon Charlton's mis-hit effort put him through allowing the German striker to net well.

The Trotters then capitalised on some comical defending from Ipswich and made it 2-0 after Andy Marshall pushed Rod Wallace's effort into the path of Bobic, who made no mistake.

Sam Allardyce's other high profile short-term signing Youri Djorkaeff then added another after Wallace had nodded back Bobic's cross.

Amazingly the German striker completed his hat-trick when he flicked a header home from Riccardo Gardner's corner.

The second half was a anti-climactic affair with Jamie Clapham getting a last minute goal for Town which was scant consolation.

Ipswich now lie third-bottom in the table two points behind Blackburn having played two games more - and six adrift of Bolton Wanderers.

Southampton secured their safety and Derby seem resigned to relegation after The Saints won 2-0 at St Mary's.

Matt Oakley netted just before the half-hour mark with Marian Pahars hitting a killer second midway through the second half.

Second-bottom Derby are now six points adrift of Blackburn. 

Player of the Year contender Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scored two superb goals in the first half to give Chelsea victory over Everton.

Gianfranco Zola scored another in the last minute to complete a 3-0 win which lifts Chelsea above Newcastle on goal difference, though The Blues have played two more games than The Magpies.

West Ham beat Charlton 2-0 in the East London derby, with Paolo di Canio opening the scoring with a penalty in his 100th game for the club.

Freddie Kanoute doubled the scoring when Joe Cole squared the ball for the Frenchman to slot home.

Paul Konchesky added to The Addicks's woes when he blasted his penalty over the bar.

Middlesbrough moved up to ninth with a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa.

Benito Carbone gave Steve McClaren another reason to sign him up permanently when he drilled a low shot home seven minutes before the break, though Aston Villa got back on level terms with Juan Pablo Angel scoring from Peter Crouch's knock-down.

Ugo Ehiogu then headed home Carbone's corner to give Boro all three points.

Click below for further match analysis:

Arsenal v Tottenham
Bolton v Ipswich
Chelsea v Everton
Leicester v Manchester Utd
Southampton v Derby
Sunderland v Southampton
West Ham v Charlton