(AP) — Arsenal powered to a seven-point lead in the Premier League after beating Cardiff 3-0 on Saturday, with Aaron Ramsey’s prolific season touching new heights with a double against his former club.
There was more misery for Fulham at the other end of the standings, with a demoralizing 3-0 loss at fellow struggler West Ham keeping the team in the bottom three and leaving beleaguered manager Martin Jol fighting for his job.
Ramsey marked his return to his boyhood club by taking his remarkable goal tally for the season to 13 in all competitions. Mathieu Flamini scored in between in the leaders’ 10th victory in 13 games.
“This is where I started my career and where everything began, and hopefully they’ve seen the player they produced today,” said Ramsey, arguably the Premier League’s star player so far this season.
Everton moved level on points with second-place Liverpool and third-place Chelsea, which both play Sunday, with a crushing 4-0 home win over Stoke that was rounded off by Romelu Lukaku’s eighth goal in nine league games.
At the bottom, Crystal Palace dropped to last place by losing 1-0 at Norwich in Tony Pulis’ first match in charge of the London side.
Martin Jol acknowledged on Friday that he could be fired if he lost against West Ham at Upton Park and again at home to former club Tottenham on Wednesday. The Dutchman is halfway there after this fifth straight league defeat.
“It is not in my hands,” Jol said. “If I have to worry, I was probably worried a couple of months ago because it is not one day and then the other. It is probably the last two months we have been inconsistent.”
Sunderland climbed off the bottom with a 0-0 draw at Aston Villa, and Newcstle hosts West Bromwich Albion in the late game.