League leaders Arsenal once again came through a massive test of character to underline their title credentials. Mikel Arteta’s side came from two goals down to beat struggling Bournemouth at the Emirates after it had looked for long periods as if they would drop points.
There were only 9.11 seconds on the clock when Phillip Billing gave the visitors a shock lead, with the second fastest goal in Premier League history. Arsenal were unable to find an equaliser and on 57 minutes things got worse for the home side. A Marcos Senesi header doubled the Cherries’ lead and it looked as though Arsenal were going to have their lead at the top cut, after Man City’s earlier victory.
However Arsenal clawed their way back into the game with goals by Thomas Partey (62) and Ben White (70).
The Gunners pushed for a winner and it looked as though time was running out. Substitute Reiss Nelson had other ideas though. The forward had only played 64 minutes in the Premier League this season due to injury problems. But he made up for lost time in spectacular fashion when he bent in a great strike in the seventh minute of stoppage time to spark wild celebrations.
Arsenal stay five points clear at the top. Bournemouth, meanwhile, remain in the relegation zone, though they can take some confidence from the game after threatening to create an upset.
After a season of disappointment and false dawns Liverpool delivered a complete performance to blow away bitter rivals Manchester United. The sensational seven goal victory was Jurgen Klopp’s side’s fourth Premier League win in five games. And despite a disappointing result and performance against Real Madrid in the Champions League, the signs are there that the Reds are capable of making a genuine challenge for a top-four spot.
After Erik ten Hag’s side’s victory in the EFL cup final last weekend there had been talk of a Man United quadruple. They were served a brutal reality check by a rampant Liverpool.
The first half had been a close contest. Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford both missed chances for the visitors and they were punished when Liverpool seized control two minutes before half time after a great pass from Andy Robertson played in Cody Gakpo to score.
The second half was all Liverpool as their visitors were simply overwhelmed. Darwin Nunez headed in a drilled Harvey Elliott cross on 47 minutes. Then great skill from Mohamed Salah saw the Egyptian play Gakpo in for his second and Liverpool’s third.
Salah then finished off a counterattack by smashing a high shot past David de Gea before Nunez headed home Jordan Henderson’s centre.
Salah then became Liverpool’s highest Premier League scorer as he forced home the sixth before Robeto Firmino’s close range finish made it a magnificent seven.
Liverpool are now right in the chase for the Champions League spots. They are three points behind fourth placed Tottenham with a game in hand, and a point ahead of Newcastle United, having played a game more than the Magpies.
Brentford stretched their unbeaten run to six in all competitions and 12 in the Premier League with a 3-2 victory over Fulham. The result took them to within a point of their West London rivals who occupy seventh.
Brentford started the game at a furious pace and took the lead through Ethan Pinnock on six minutes. It was the club’s fastest ever Premier League goal and, remarkably, they could have already been a couple of goals to the good at that stage.
The Bees went on to have more opportunities and Fulham had the woodwork to thank on a couple of occasions. But the visitors rode their luck and when Andreas Pereira’s free-kick came back off the post on 39 minutes, Manor Solomon was there to grab the equaliser. It was Solomon’s first start and his fifth goal in five appearances in all competitions.
But Brentford were soon back in front. Issa Diop caught Christian Norgaard’s boot in the area. The outstanding Ivan Toney cooly dispatched the spot kick for his 15th Premier League goal of the season on 53 minutes.
Toney then went close with an outrageous lob from the centre circle. However, it was left to Mathias Jensen to seal the win on 85 minutes. Jensen applied the finish after a great run from substitute Kevin Schade.
Carlos Vinicius got a second for Fulham in the ninth minute of stoppage time. But it was to prove no more than a consolation and the final score flattered Fulham.
Wins for City, Chelsea, Brighton and Saints
Manchester City stayed within five points of the top after a 2-0 home success against Newcastle United, who were again made to pay for not taking their chances. Chelsea got a much-needed victory when they beat Leeds United 1-0 at Stamford Bridge. Brighton proved once again that they are serious contenders for a European place. The Seagulls hammered West Ham United 4-0. Southampton moved off the bottom of the table with a 1-0 win over Leicester City.
Arsenal lead the table by five points from Manchester City. Manchester United stay third and Tottenham remain fourth. Liverpool are in fifth with a game in hand on Spurs. Newcastle drop to sixth but have a game in hand over Liverpool. They have played two fewer than Spurs, who they trail by four points.
At the other end of the table, only six points separate the bottom nine teams. Everton, Southampton and Bournemouth currently occupy the relegation zone.
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