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Reds hold Man City as Arsenal go top of EPL
Published on: Monday, November 27, 2023
By: AFP
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Reds hold Man City as Arsenal go top of EPL
Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold (right) vies with Manchester City’s Erling Haaland.
LONDON: Trent Alexander-Arnold’s late equaliser rescued Liverpool in their 1-1 draw at title rivals Manchester City, as Arsenal snatched top spot in the Premier League with a dramatic 1-0 win at Brentford on Saturday.

Alexander-Arnold struck 10 minutes from the end of a tense summit meeting at the Etihad Stadium after Haaland’s landmark strike looked like extending City’s record home winning run.

City had won their previous 23 games on home turf in all competitions, but Liverpool’s escape act gave Arsenal the chance to leapfrog both of them into pole position.

Haaland converted Nathan Ake’s pass with a fine finish from just inside the area in the 27th minute, reaching his half-century of Premier League goals in record time in his 48th appearance.

Pep Guardiola’s men went flat after that and Alexander-Arnold made them pay, drilling his shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area before celebrating by putting a finger to his lips the City fans.

“It’s a tough place to come. If we’d played really well today, we could have won, but we didn’t. We played OK,” Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said.

“For the moment we’re in, we should take the point as a success. I have nothing to complain about.”

Guardiola was involved in a heated exchange of words with Liverpool forward Darwin Nunez at the final whistle, with Klopp having to lead his player away from the confrontation.

“That was an excellent performance. I’m really proud that after eight years we are still playing that way. We were really good in all departments and needed to be against an incredible team,” Guardiola said.

Arsenal made the most of that result, taking first place thanks to Kai Havertz’s late goal in west London.

Havertz was a Champions League final hero for Chelsea in 2021, but he has endured a torrid time since crossing London to join Arsenal in the close-season.

The 24-year-old midfielder finally gave a glimpse of why Mikel Arteta splashed out £65 million ($80 million) to sign him when he met Bukayo Saka’s cross with a close-range header in the 89th minute.

Havertz’s second goal for Arsenal was his first in his last 10 appearances, moving his team one point clear of second placed Manchester City.

“You can see how much they love him (Havertz) and what he brings to the team. The goal was at the perfect time and it was perfect execution, as big players do,” Arteta said.

At St James’ Park, injury-hit Newcastle crushed Chelsea 4-1 as Blues boss Mauricio Pochettino labelled his side “soft”.

Sixth placed Newcastle were stretched so thin that Eddie Howe had to name three goalkeepers among his substitutes.

But they ignored their fitness issues to bounce back from successive defeats against Bournemouth and Borussia Dortmund.

Newcastle striker Alexander Isak fired home from Lewis Miley’s pass to open the scoring in the 13th minute.

Chelsea’s Raheem Sterling equalised with a superb free-kick 10 minutes later, but Jamaal Lascelles restored Newcastle’s advantage with a header on the hour.

And less than 60 seconds later, Joelinton punished Thiago Silva after the Chelsea defender mis-controlled Cole Palmer’s pass.

Chelsea right-back Reece James was sent off for a second booking in the 73rd minute and Newcastle rounded off their demolition 10 minutes later when Anthony Gordon slotted home.

It was the heaviest defeat of Pochettino’s first season in charge and the second successive game that Chelsea conceded four goals.

“We were so soft in every single challenge. We didn’t show that we were playing for something important. That’s what makes me angry and disappointed,” Pochettino said.

Fourth bottom Luton secured their first home league win this season as Crystal Palace were beaten 2-1 at Kenilworth Road.

West Ham staged a late fightback to steal a 2-1 win that added to rock bottom Burnley’s relegation fears.

Brighton won for the first time in seven league games as Joao Pedro inspired a 3-2 victory at Nottingham Forest.

Marcus Tavernier scored twice as Bournemouth won 3-1 at third bottom Sheffield United.

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