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Gunners throw down title challenge

Arsene Wenger believes his young Arsenal side showed they can no longer be bullied by their title rivals after finally striking a significant psychological blow with a long-overdue victory against Chelsea.

A poor run of form against direct challengers came to an end at Emirates Stadium last night as Wenger's youngsters heaped more pressure on Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti.

Alex Song put the hosts ahead before half-time, with a quickfire double from captain Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott giving Arsenal a three-goal cushion, before Chelsea reduced the deficit through Branislav Ivanovic.

Ancelotti's men have now taken just six points from their last eight league games - their worst run since 1998.

Arsenal moved back up into second place, behind leaders United by two points, having now played a match more ahead of the midweek fixtures which see the Gunners at Wigan tomorrow night.

"It was a double impact," Wenger said. "It keeps us in touch with the leaders and it was important because we were questioned about our capability of winning big games.

"We are not bullied any more. Two years ago we were maybe battered by Chelsea. Last year we felt we were getting closer."