Boosts for Bolton, Wigan in relegation battle

Arsenal tightened their grip on third place in the Premier League as goals from Kieran Gibbs, Theo Walcott and Mikel Arteta earned the Gunners a seventh straight league victory, 3-0 over Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium.

Gervinho slipped a pass through to Gibbs after 15 minutes and the full-back found space in the box to squirm a shot under Villa goalkeeper Shay Given at his near post for his first ever Premier League goal.

Walcott added the second with a calm finish after he got on the end of Alex Song's lofted through ball and Arteta scored a late third to extend their advantage over bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur to three points.

Spurs maintained their five-point lead over Chelsea in the race for the fourth UEFA Champions League place after a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge.

Blues midfielder Juan Mata came the closest to earning his side a fifth straight home win in all competitions with a free-kick which struck the post, but Rafael van der Vaart, Emmanuel Adebayor and Gareth Bale all had chances to score for Spurs.

Bolton bag three points
Bolton Wanderers ended an emotional week on a high as they secured a 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Blackburn Rovers which lifted them out of the bottom three.

Wanderers, playing their first match since Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest at Tottenham last weekend, led thanks to a brace of headers from David Wheater.

The former Middlesbrough man steered in the first from a Martin Petrov cross in the 28th minute and then met Ryo Miyaichi's corner seven minutes later. Steven Nzonzi pulled one back for Rovers, who applied late pressure but could not find an equaliser.

A packed house at the Reebok Stadium paid tribute to Muamba, forming a giant mosaic reading "Muamba 6" along one side of the ground, while there was warm applause after a video montage of the worldwide tributes to the footballer was shown. 

Wolverhampton Wanderers' woes continued as they let a 1-0 lead slip to lose 2-1 at Norwich City, their fourth defeat in a row. Matt Jarvis' goal was quickly cancelled out by Grant Holt, who raced clear of the visitors' defence, lifted the ball over goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and headed home.

Holt took his league tally to 12 by scoring a penalty just before the break after Wes Hoolahan's shot hit the arm of Eggert Jonsson, but the big striker's day ended badly after he was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Wigan win at Anfield
Wolves are now three adrift at the bottom after Wigan Athletic won 2-1 at Liverpool, who have now won only one of their last seven league games. Shaun Maloney calmly converted a penalty on the half-hour mark following a high challenge by Martin Skrtel on Victor Moses.

The Reds drew level as Luis Suarez fired home Steven Gerrard's square pass early in the second half, before the Uruguayan had a second disallowed for an apparent handball. However, Wigan regained their lead when Gary Caldwell applied a cool finish after James McCarthy's shot broke to him in the box.

Queens Park Rangers, who also took three points off Liverpool in midweek, dropped back into the bottom three following a 3-1 defeat at Sunderland. Nicklas Bendtner headed home James McClean's left-wing cross in the first half and the Republic of Ireland international scored a deflected second with 20 minutes to go.

Stephane Sessegnon marked his return from suspension by tapping in a third and Taye Taiwo's free-kick was mere consolation for Rangers, who had Djibril Cisse sent off in the 54th minute for a dangerous challenge on Fraizer Campbell.

Everton ended Swansea City's three-match winning streak with a 2-0 win at the Liberty Stadium. Leighton Baines' curling left-foot free-kick proved too good for Michel Vorm and Nikica Jelavic added a second from Marouane Fellaini's cutback.