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Fabregas scores twice as Arsenal beats Aston Villa

LONDON - LONDON (AP) — Substitute Cesc Fabregas scored twice before leaving with another hamstring injury Sunday, leading Arsenal past Aston Villa 3-0 in the Premier League.

The Spain midfielder had been out for two weeks out with a hamstring problem. He played only 27 minutes in the second half and could now be out another three weeks.

He entered the game in the 57th minute and opened the scoring in the 65th by curling a free kick beyond American goalkeeper Brad Friedel. Fabregas then scored his ninth league goal of the season in the 81st minute but was limping during the celebrations and holding his left hamstring.

"It's a recurrence of his hamstring — we knew before the game it was not perfect," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "I feel I did the right thing by gambling. I was cautious as well but I would do it again because sometimes you follow your instinct in a game."

Fabregas will have a scan Monday to determine if he has pulled his hamstring again.

"If it's scar tissue, he will be out for just a few days. But if it's a pulled hamstring, it's three weeks," Wenger said.

Abou Diaby completed an emphatic victory by scoring the third in stoppage time as Arsenal moved within four points of Chelsea with a game in hand over the leaders, who were held to a 0-0 draw at Birmingham on Saturday.

In Sunday's late game, Manchester United had a chance trim Chelsea's lead to two points by winning at Hull.


EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) — U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu made his first appearance of the season in Rangers' 4-1 victory over Hibernian in the Scottish Premier League.

Edu entered for Rangers in the 74th minute, having been sidelined since damaging a knee ligament in the final league game of last season.

"It felt good to finally get back to playing and my knee felt good!" Edu wrote on Twitter. "More importantly it was a good 4-1 win for the team!"

Fellow American DaMarcus Beasley missed the victory after straining a thigh muscle during training.

Rangers lead Celtic by four points in the Scottish title race.


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