As Manchester United’s Premier League title challenge stumbled after they conceded a late equaliser to draw at Leicester,
Arsenal eased fears of being drawn into a relegation battle with a sensational 3-1 victory over Chelsea on Saturday.
With a 1-0 win at Sheffield United, Everton jumped into second place, two points
behind Liverpool champions, while Manchester City climbed to fifth place after beating Newcastle 2-0
If they defeat struggling West Brom on Sunday,
Liverpool will go five points clear of Everton.
The last time they faced Chelsea in August, Mikel Arteta led Arsenal to win the FA Cup, but less
than five months after a run of one win in 10 league games, the Spaniard was under extreme pressure.
In recent weeks, Arteta had lamented the fortune of his side, but the luck of the Gunners turned on a night when, in the absence
of more seasoned figures such as David Luiz, Willian and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, he gave young Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe the opportunity to shine.
“It’s a really big win for us,” said Arteta. “Hopefully it is going to be a turning point and elevate the level of confidence in the team.”
To open the scoring on 34 minutes, Kieran Tierney received a soft penalty
for a push by Reece James and Alexandre Lacazette slotted home the spot-kick.
After being stupidly sent off in a 1-0 loss by Burnley earlier this month with
a brilliant free-kick to double Arsenal’s lead just before half-time, Granit Xhaka then addressed his critics.
A third consecutive loss for Chelsea further weakened their chances of challenging for the title, and once Bukayo Saka chipped
in from the inside of the post 11 minutes after the break, there was no way back for Frank Lampard’s men.
“It’s not good enough,” said Lampard. “The players have got to take responsibility.”
Five minutes from time, Tammy Abraham pulled a goal back and Chelsea should have
set up a grandstand finish in stoppage time, but Bernd Leno saved Jorginho’s penalty.
Victory lifts Arsenal to 14th, six points away from the
relegation zone, while Chelsea sinks on the goal difference to sixth.
Manchester United missed out on equaling a Premier League record of 11 consecutive away wins
as they compensated for not starting strongly in a dramatic 2-2 draw this season for once.
In both of their previous away league games this season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men had come from behind, but twice went
in front at King Power Stadium through Marcus Rashford midway through the first half and Bruno Fernandes 11 minutes from time.
“One point is not the worst result but we are disappointed we didn’t get away with three,” said Solskjaer.
Before half-time, Harvey Barnes’ blistering strike levelled for Leicester and United was undone by the movement of Jamie Vardy in the
box as the seasoned striker latched onto the cross of Ayoze Perez and saw his shot deflect off the unfortunate Axel Tuanzebe.
Gylfi Sigurdsson killed off the bottom of the Blades table
on Bramall Lane for 80 minutes with a clinical finish.
That sealed the fourth consecutive league win for Everton and
set up a big clash on Monday with Manchester City.
“This team has a lot of spirit. I’m really pleased to manage these players,” Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti said
With a comfortable win at the Etihad Stadium,
City extended their unbeaten league run to six matches.
With a close-range finish from Raheem Sterling’s pass, Ilkay
Gundogan put Pep Guardiola’s side ahead in the 14th minute.
After Newcastle’s Miguel Almiron gave the ball away just outside
his own area, City doubled their lead in the 55th minute.
Despite Federico Fernandez’ desperate attempt to clear, the ball rolled
straight to Ferran Torres and the Spanish winger fired home.
“That is the tempo we need to play,” Guardiola said. “There are weird results for everyone this season. You have to be calm in the good and the bad moments.”
Another unexpected contender for the top four is Aston Villa as they eased past Crystal Palace
3-0 despite playing the entire second half a man down after the red card of Tyrone Mings.
Bertrand Traore gave Villa the ideal start, but when he was sent off for
two collisions with Wilfried Zaha, Mings made his teammates fight hard for the victory.
Kortney Hause and Anwar El Ghazi, ignoring
the setback, wrapped up the points for Villa.
With a 0-0 draw at home with Southampton,
Fulham edged to within a point of safety.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN