Rare Campbell strike gives Arsenal victory

Sol Campbell scored a rare goal from 25-yards as Arsenal captured a 1-0 victory at Portsmouth to regain second place in the Premier League.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:04 IST
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Sol Campbell scored a rare goal from 25-yards as Arsenal captured a 1-0 victory at Portsmouth to regain second place in the Premier League and cut Chelsea's lead to five points. There were only 14 minutes left at Fratton Park yesterday when the Pompey midfield allowed the England centerback, who occasionally scores from close range at set pieces, to charge forward into the huge space outside the area. Campbell strikes Campbell had plenty of time and room to drive a 25-yard shot that flew past surprised 'keeper Jamie Ashdown to give the England defender his first goal for 16 months. The victory means that Arsene Wenger's men climbed above Everton and have 38 points from 18 games while Chelsea, which outplayed Norwich 4-0 on Saturday, has 43. Everton is on 37. Milan Baros scored one goal and set up another as Liverpool came from behind to beat Newcastle 3-1 in yesterday's other Premier League game. After Patrick Kluivert had fired the Magpies ahead at Anfield, an own goal by Titus Bramble and a Neil Mellor goal assisted by Baros turned the game around before the Czech star hit the third. Newcastle had Lee Bowyer sent off 13 minutes from the end for two yellow cards. After Thierry Henry had twice gone close in an early spell of Gunners' pressure at Portsmouth, Pompey's Gary O'Neil shot wide from a counterattack by the home team. Then Jamaican international striker Ricardo Fuller got free of the Arsenal defense only to pull his angled shot wide of an open net. Fuller had another chance early in the second half when he only had goalkeeper Manuel Almunia to beat but delayed his shot and was tackled in front of goal. Shaky start Almunia, who is keeping German international Jens Lehmann off the starting lineup, made a shaky start to his Arsenal career with blunders in his first three games. But he appears to be growing in confidence and made an acrobatic stop to keep out a 20-yard shot from Czech midfielder Patrick Berger. After Campbell had given Arsenal the lead, the Spanish goalkeeper made two more saves, diving to block an 18-yard (meter) strike by Steve Stone and recovering to block the follow up shot from Lomana Lualua. Newcastle suffered a pre-game blow against Liverpool when Welsh international striker Craig Bellamy pulled out of the starting lineup with a recurrence of his back injury. Kluivert took over and gave the Magpies the lead in the 32nd minute when he scored from six yards after Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer had opened up the Liverpool defense. Fight-back But Liverpool turned the game around with two goals in three minutes, Newcastle defender Bramble turning a Steven Gerrard corner into his own net and then Baros setting up a simple close range chance for Mellor seven minutes before half time. Baros scored the third in the 61st minute when Harry Kewell split the Magpies defense with a through ball and the Czech forward had just goalkeeper Shay Given to beat. Baros, whose regular strike partner Djibril Cisse is out for the season with a double fracture of his left leg, was unhappy that he had be the lone striker in last week's 1-1 tie with Portsmouth and he welcomed having Mellor alongside him. "It's always better to play with two strikers against four defenders, it was good," said the Czech forward who was top scorer at Euro 2004. "You can play well, keep the ball and score goals." Newcastle manager unhappy Newcastle manager Graeme Souness said he was unhappy that his players had surrendered the lead and had told them so. "We have had words, it wasn't a shouting match and was civilized," he said. "Probably a bit too civilized for my liking." He also was furious with Bowyer for getting sent off. "At 3-1 we had a chance to get back into the game when Jermaine Jenas missed a good chance, and then came Lee Bowyer's sending-off. "I can't defend that, it was an obvious red card and he let down his team-mates." Man U stays fourth In Saturday's other games, Manchester United stayed fourth with a 5-2 beating of Crystal Palace while fifth place Middlesbrough and Tottenham each made it four league victories in a row. Boro gained a 3-0 victory over Aston Villa and England striker Jermain Defoe scored a hat-trick as Spurs outplayed Harry Redknapp's Southampton 5-1. Manchester City won 1-0 at Bolton to jump above Wanderers in the standings and Birmingham crushed last place West Bromwich Albion 4-0 to leave the Baggies three points adrift. (AP)