Friday, May 24, 2024

Gunners pip Spurs to stay ahead in Premier League title race


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LONDON, April 28: Arsenal kept up its push for the Premier League title with a 3-2 win at Tottenham on Sunday.
Mikel Arteta’s team raced to a 3-0 halftime lead, but then had to resist a late fightback from Spurs at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Pierre-Emile Hojberg scored an own goal in the 15th minute to put Arsenal ahead and Bukayo Saka doubled the visitors’ lead in the 27th.
Kai Havertz added a third in the 38th.
With thoughts possibly turning to extending its goal difference advantage on second-place Manchester City, Arsenal was suddenly left holding on for the win.
Cristian Romero pulled a goal back for Tottenham after latching onto David Raya’s weak kick.
Then Declan Rice brought down Ben Davies in the box to hand Spurs a late penalty after a VAR review.
Son Heung-min converted in the 87th to set up a tense finish.
Hojberg headed into his own net from Saka’s corner, but Spurs pushed for an equalizer with Romero hitting the post and Micky van de ven having a goal ruled out by VAR for offside.
Saka extended Arsenal’s lead with a clinical finish after a counter attack and Havertz headed in from a corner for his 13th goal of the season.
Arsenal moved four points ahead of City, which was playing Nottingham Forest later in the day.
Aston Villa draw Chelsea
Aston Villa squandered a two-goal lead to draw with Chelsea 2-2 in the English Premier League on Saturday, denting its push for Champions League qualification.
It could have been even worse for Villa as Chelsea thought it grabbed a winner through substitute Axel Disasi in stoppage time. The goal was ruled out for a push in the buildup and that angered Chelsea’s players, who surrounded the referee after the final whistle.
Villa built a 2-0 cushion by halftime after an own-goal by Marc Cucurella in the fourth minute and a strike by Morgan Rogers in the 42nd.
Chelsea dominated the second half, with Noni Madueke reducing the deficit in the 62nd and Conor Gallagher curling in from the edge of the area for an equalizer in the 81st.
Villa, which is fourth, moved seven points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham and has three games left.
Spurs have three games in hand on Villa but have the much tougher run-in, which includes matches against Arsenal — on Sunday — as well as Liverpool and Manchester City.
Villa is looking to qualify for the Champions League for the first time. It was European champion in 1982, when Europe’s top competition was called the European Cup.
The draw guaranteed Villa at least a place in next season’s Europa League.
Big-spending Chelsea stayed in ninth place but also has games in hand over the teams it is battling with for qualification for the minor European competitions next season. (AP)


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