It wasn’t the best game, or the prettiest goal, that Emirates Stadium has ever seen, but the roar of celebration was one of the loudest I have ever heard.
Perhaps the pendulum has finally swung Arsenal’s way in the fight for Premier League supremacy.
Gabriel Martinelli’s late goal gave Arsenal a 1-0 victory over defending champions Manchester City on Sunday, ending a run of 12 consecutive league defeats against Pep Guardiola’s side in the process.
Despite there still being 30 games to play and just two points separating the two teams, it was a result that will fuel the belief at Arsenal that Mikel Arteta’s side can finally end a 20-year title drought. of falling short last season.
“It gives us more confidence,” Martinelli said. “We know our potential and how difficult it is to play against them. Today we beat them and that gives us more confidence to move forward.”
Second-place Arsenal have the same number of points as leaders Tottenham.
City edged Arsenal to the title by five points last season, partly by beating the Gunners 3-1 away and 4-1 at home. In fact, Arsenal had not taken a point against City in the league since 2017, their longest losing streak against a single opponent in the club’s history.
While Arsenal beat City on penalties in the pre-season Community Shield at Wembley, this result was perhaps the biggest victory of Arteta’s reign and the final whistle was greeted by a massive roar as the Emirates crowd stood up. foot to celebrate.
However, there wasn’t much to celebrate during the first 85 minutes, apart from the fact that City never looked their usual self, perhaps due to the absence of suspended midfielder Rodri.
For once, City’s powerful attack remained silent throughout the match, including striker Erling Haaland, who finished without a single shot but got into a heated argument with a member of Arsenal’s backroom staff after the final whistle. City as a team only took four shots in the match, their lowest total under Guardiola in a Premier League match.
City have now lost consecutive league games for the first time since 2018 after a 2-1 defeat to Wolves last weekend.
“It was a close game. Not many opportunities, a detour,” Guardiola said. “It’s football, we lost the game. “We will come back stronger.”
Arsenal also didn’t create much without injured winger Bukayo Saka, whose club-record streak of starting 87 consecutive league games came to an end.
But Arteta’s second-half substitutions paid off when Thomas Partey, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Kai Havertz and Martinelli, all coming off the bench, combined to score the goal. Partey sent a ball over to Tomiyasu, who had drifted into the City area and headed the ball for Havertz. The German returned the ball to Martinelli, whose shot from outside the area deflected off Nathan Ake’s forehead and into the net.
Cue the wild celebrations, which lasted long after the final whistle blew. And the belief that Arsenal can finally topple City’s title will last even longer.
“It’s special,” Arteta said. “It’s been a long time since the club beat Manchester City. We felt today could be the day, but we needed a great performance from everyone and we got it.”
LIVERPOOL LOWER POINTS AGAIN
Liverpool could not blame the match officials for the team’s latest setback. This time it was defensive errors that were at the heart of the 2-2 draw at Brighton.
A mix-up between Virgil van Dijk and Alexis Mac Allister gave Brighton an early lead, and Lewis Dunk scored a 78th-minute equalizer for the hosts after Mohamed Salah scored twice late in the first half.
Van Dijk played a careless ball to Mac Allister near his own area which was intercepted by Simon Adingra in the 20th minute and the winger rolled the ball past a stranded Alisson Becker in the Liverpool goal from 25 yards.
“It’s a risky ball and we try to play from the back,” Van Dijk said. “These things happen and they punish you.” The way we bounced back was a great reaction.”
Still, fourth-place Liverpool lost more points a week after their controversial defeat to Tottenham.
Klopp called for a replay of that match after VAR failed to award his team a goal that had been unfairly disallowed for offside and Liverpool finished the match with nine men and conceded a winning goal in added time.
NEWCASTLE IS CELEBRATED IN WEST HAM
Newcastle’s streak of impressive victories came to an end with a 2-2 draw at West Ham, despite Alexander Isak scoring twice for the visitors.
After a 4-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League and a recent victory over Man City in the English League Cup, Newcastle looked on course for another three points until Mohammed Kudus equalized for West Ham in the 89th minute.
Isak had scored two goals in a five-minute space around the hour mark to put Newcastle ahead after Tomas Soucek had put the hosts ahead from close range in the eighth minute.
Newcastle were denied a fifth consecutive victory in all competitions, including an 8-0 victory over Sheffield United in the league.
Aston Villa missed the chance to climb into the top four of the Premier League with a 1-1 draw at Wolverhampton.
Pau Torres equalized for Villa in the 55th minute, just two minutes after Hwang-Hee Chan had given Wolves the lead.
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