Manchester City slickers hit Arsenal for six, Chelsea win

Fernando TorresFernando Torres of Chelsea celebrates scoring against Crystal Palace during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge, London, December 14, 2013. REUTERS

Manchester City exposed the first cracks in Arsenal's title challenge, beating the Premier League leaders 6-3 at the Etihad Stadium as their attacking talents cut loose in another free-scoring home display on Saturday.

City's stylish showmen sealed their eighth consecutive home league success in an exhilarating match by outgunning Arsenal, whose advantage at the top was cut to two points after Chelsea sneaked a 2-1 win at home to Crystal Palace.

Everton's 4-1 win over visitors Fulham moved them into the Champions League spots as they jumped to fourth, while at the other end of the table West Ham United played out a 0-0 draw with bottom side Sunderland that was little use to either team.

Cardiff City beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0, while Newcastle United and Southampton drew 1-1.

Arsenal's previously watertight defence was prised open at will by the Manchester City's marauding attack.

It was the third time this season that City had scored six goals or more, after they dished out similarly crushing blows to Tottenham Hotspur and Norwich City, and the win moved them up to third place within three points of top spot.

The victory also put down a light blue marker in a now-congested title race that could have turned decisively in Arsenal's favour had the visitors managed to conjure a win.

FRIGHTENING TEMPO

"At times the tempo was frightening," City captain Vincent Kompany told BT Sport. "We looked to be in control of the game for most of it. There were no standout individual performances but collectively we've done incredibly well.

"It is a real fortress here."

City, whose early opener from Sergio Aguero was cancelled out by Theo Walcott, opened up a two-goal lead with Alvaro Negredo and Fernandinho efforts either side of halftime.

Arsenal rallied with a superb second by Walcott, who curled the ball into the top corner, but David Silva restored City's two-goal advantage from close range and Fernandinho poked home his second as City kept up their 100 percent home league record.

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