LONDON (AFP) Manuel Almunia was Arsenals hero as the Gunners returned to the top of the Premier League by beating West Ham 2-0 on Saturday, despite playing the entire second half with ten men. Almunia saved an Alessandro Diamanti penalty just before half-time after centre-back Thomas Vermaelen had been sent off for a professional foul on Guillermo Franco. That ensured Arsenal preserved the lead established by Denilsons fifth-minute strike and a late penalty by returning skipper Cesc Fabregas sealed a win that lifted Arsenal above Manchester United and Chelsea. Fabregas believes Arsenal have a golden opportunity to win the title and he said: At times it was very difficult and it always has been in the last few years against West Ham. Its always a difficult game, a London derby, everyone wants to win. But there are no excuses. We want to go all the way with the squad we have. We have a quality squad and we want to prove that. United can return to the top when they entertain Liverpool on Sunday, just before Chelsea take on Blackburn at Ewood Park. It was an equally good day for Arsenals local rivals Tottenham, who had an inspired cameo by Eidur Gudjohnsen to thank for a 2-1 win over 10-man Stoke that edges them a step closer to Champions League football next season. On a day when Aston Villa, one of Spurs rivals for the coveted place among Europes elite, needed a late equaliser to draw 2-2 with Wolves, Tottenham consolidated their grip on fourth place and increased the pressure on Liverpool to get something from their visit to Old Trafford. At the other end of the table, it was a painful afternoon for both Burnley and Hull, who were left looking doomed to relegation after defeats at Wigan and Portsmouth respectively. At the Britannia Stadium, former Chelsea and Barcelona forward Gudjohnsen came off the bench to fire Spurs into the lead. It was then the Icelanders cute dummy that set up Niko Kranjcar for the winner after Matthew Etheringtons penalty had got Stoke back on level terms at a time when they were playing with a man down, Dean Whitehead having been given his marching orders after collecting a second yellow card. Redknapps afternoon was marred by an injury to striker Roman Pavlyuchenko but the Spurs boss was delighted with Gudjohnsens display. Villa remain the only top-flight side unbeaten in 2010 but Martin ONeills team needed a late equaliser from Norway striker John Carew to preserve that record at Wolves. Carew had given Villa an early lead but Jody Craddock equalised before a James Milner own goal gave the visitors a lead they held until the final minutes, only to be denied what would have been a precious victory in their fight for survival. The point left Wolves four points clear of a relegation zone occupied by Portsmouth, Hull and Burnley. Hull led twice at Fratton Park only to succumb to a 3-2 defeat by a Portsmouth side with only pride left to play for after the Premier Leagues imposition of a nine-point penalty for the clubs entering administration. Late goals from Jamie OHara and Nigerian veteran Nwankwo Kanu clinched Pompeys fourth win of the season. Until then, Caleb Folans 73rd-minute strike had seemed set to give Iain Dowie a victory in his first match in charge of Hull after Folans first effort had been cancelled out by Tommy Smith. A stoppage-time diving header by Colombian striker Hugo Rodallega was enough to give Wigan a 1-0 win over Burnley that lifted Roberto Martinezs squad seven points clear of their Lancashire rivals, who have now lost 15 out of 16 away games this season. Mikel Arteta and Steven Pienaar fired Everton to a 2-0 win over 10-man Bolton as the Merseysiders continued their strong recent form. Darren Bent took his goal tally for the season to 20 with a double in Sunderlands 3-1 win over Birmingham, a victory that has probably moved Steve Bruces side out of danger of being sucked back into the relegation battle.