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Arsenal fight back to win sensational north London derby

February 26, 2012 -- Updated 1932 GMT (0332 HKT)
Theo Walcott scores the first of his two goals in Arsenal's 5-2 thrashing of Tottenham in the north London derby.
Theo Walcott scores the first of his two goals in Arsenal's 5-2 thrashing of Tottenham in the north London derby.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Arsenal fight back from 2-0 behind to thrash north London rivals Tottenham 5-2
  • Theo Walcott scores twice in a frantic second half after Spurs take an early lead
  • Ryan Giggs celebrates his 900th game for Manchester United with a late winner
  • United defeat Norwich 2-1 to close the gap on English leaders Manchester City

(CNN) -- England winger Theo Walcott scored twice as Arsenal fight back from going two goals behind to sensationally thrash north London rivals Tottenham 5-2, a result that lifts Arsene Wenger's side back into fourth place in the Premier League table.

Matches between the top sides in England this season have produced a host of remarkable results -- and it proved no different at The Emirates on Sunday on a glorious sunny afternoon.

Third-placed Tottenham began the day 10 points ahead of their neighbors and still with designs of catching Manchester City and Manchester United at the top of the table.

And they achieved the perfect start when Louis Saha's shot deflected in off defender Thomas Vermaelen to give Spurs a fourth minute lead.

The visitors then doubled their advantage when former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor scored from the penalty spot after goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was adjudged to have brought down Gareth Bale.

But Arsenal rallied and two goals in the last five minutes of the half brought them level.

First defender Bacary Sagna nodded home Mikel Arteta's cross, then Premier League top scorer Robin van Persie curled home a superb effort -- his 23rd league goal of the season.

Football racism: Not Black & White act 1

Arsenal maintained their momentum after the break and Tomas Rosicky put them ahead in the 51st minute when flicking the ball home from close range.

Football racism: Not Black & White act 2

By now Arsenal were rampant, and Walcott made it 4-2 after 65 minutes after Van Persie superbly laid the ball into his path.

With Tottenham demoralized, Walcott then added a fifth just three minutes later, outpacing the visiting defense before firing home.

To complete a miserable afternooon for Harry Redknapp's side, midfielder Scott Parker was shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Vermaelen as Tottenham finished the match with 10 men.

The result leaves Tottenham seven points ahead of Arsenal, who go back above Chelsea on goal difference, although Spurs are now eight points behind second placed Manchester United -- who closed the gap on Manchester City to just two points after a late 2-1 victory at Norwich on Sunday.

City continue to lead the table on 63 points, with United still breathing down their necks in second after veteran pair Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs proved the difference against a determined Norwich side.

Scholes, who came out of retirement this season at the age of 37, opened the scoring in the seventh mimute with a close-range header at the back post.

But Norwich looked to have rescued a point seven minutes from time when Grant Holt fired home after his turn out-witted Rio Ferdinand.

But 38-year-old Giggs, playing in his 900th competitive match for United, celebrated that milestone with a stunning winner, volleying home Ashley Young's cross in the second minute of injury time.

Meanwhile, at Wembley Stadium, Liverpool defeated Championship side Cardiff City 3-2 on penalties to win the English League Cup, manager Kenny Dalglish's first trophy since returning to the club.

Joe Mason had given Welsh club Cardiff a shock half-time lead but Martin Skrtel thumped home from close range after the break.

Substitute Dirk Kuyt looked to have given Liverpool victory in extra time, but a late Ben Turner goal sent the match into a dramatic penalty shoot-out.

Steven Gerrard and Charlie Adam missed Liverpool's first two spot-kicks, but Cardiff conspired to miss three of their own -- two of them hitting the post.

In an ironic twist, the final penalty miss was by Cardiff defender Anthony Gerrard, the cousin of the Liverpool captain.

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