Arsene Wenger admits Arsenal were 'a bit lucky' after Jozy Altidore 'goal' for Sunderland was ruled out

The referee failed to give the advantage before sending off Paulo Di Canio

Arsene Wenger admitted Arsenal had enjoyed a slice of fortune as they went to the top of the Barclays Premier League with a 3-1 win at Sunderland.

For opposite number Paulo Di Canio, the game ended on a sour note when he was sent off after protesting to the referee at the length of time it took Olivier Giroud to leave the pitch as he was substituted.

That followed the contentious disallowing of a goal by Jozy Altidore when the Black Cats were 2-1 down, Altidore shooting past goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny only for referee Martin Atkinson to call play back for a foul on the United States frontman.

Wenger told the BBC: "They came back to 1-1 and we were a bit lucky at 2-1, maybe, but we found the mental resources again to win the game and were much more clinical in the second half."

Di Canio acknowledged he talked himself into his sending-off.

"My mistake was that I invited him," the Italian said. "I said, 'If you want to complete a perfect job today, you have to only send me off'. He said, 'Go off'. They were the words."

Tottenham showed life goes on without Gareth Bale when they moved second with a 2-0 win over Norwich.

Gylfi Sigurdsson scored twice and striker Roberto Soldado believes such victories are crucial as they bid to finish in the top four.

"We know that it's important to get three points at home, that will be clear at the end of the season," the Spaniard said.

Liverpool can go back to the top with a point against Swansea on Monday but still lie third with Manchester City failing to take advantage of the Reds' inactivity, drawing 0-0 at Stoke.

City centre-back Matija Nastasic said: "For every team it is difficult to play here, for us as well. After the national team it is difficult because players are very tired."

Robin van Persie scored a contentious penalty and Wayne Rooney was on target as Manchester United drew level on points with City with a 2-0 win against 10-man Crystal Palace.

Referee Jon Moss dismissed Kagisho Dikgacoi for bundling down Ashley Young just before the break although TV replays showed any contact was outside the box and there were defenders to cover.

United boss David Moyes said: "I don't want my players diving.

"The boy (Dikgacoi) definitely throws his leg out but I think Ashley has put his leg into his leg. It is not what I want."

Steven Naismith's goal on the stroke of half-time saw Everton beat Chelsea 1-0 to give Roberto Martinez his first victory in charge of the Toffees.

Jose Mourinho bemoaned Chelsea's lack of cutting edge, saying: "Perhaps there was not the killer instinct: one chance, one goal. Maybe one day we will have three chances and score three goals and win 3-0."

Martinez enjoyed the victory, saying: "As a manager you couldn't be prouder. It gives you a great platform to carry on working and get better."

Elsewhere, Newcastle won 2-1 at Aston Villa, Hull drew 1-1 with Cardiff and Fulham and West Brom shared a 2-2 draw.


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Two christmas trees ,Moonbeam (2L), Moonchester (2R) and Santa Claus outside the Etihad Stadium
footballAll the action from today's games
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas