Arsenal’s distance to City, United ends the year with a bang
Arsenal took advantage of another misstep from Manchester City on Saturday to widen the gap at the top of the Premier League, now seven points clear of the defending champions.
The Gunners beat Brighton at home (4-2) while Manchester City stumbled against Everton (1-1) at home on Matchday 18.
Buoyed by a poor result from their arch-rivals who had reached them half an hour earlier, Mikel Arteta’s men attacked Brighton from the start and scored quickly.
After a block from Partey, Martinelli tried his luck and saw his blocked ball land at the feet of his teammate Bukayo Saka, in the perfect position (2nd, 0-1). Confident and in perfect control, the Londoners scored shortly before the break with a ball not cleared by the Brighton defense which Martin Odegaard took full advantage of (39th, 0-2).
With cold realism, they got the score from the beginning of the second period, thanks to an overflow from Martinelli that benefited Eddie Nketiah (47th, 0-3).
Gabriel Martinelli scored the fourth goal against one (71st), shortly after the score was reduced by Kaoru Mitoma (65th), and before the second goal of the “Seagulls” by Evan Ferguson (th -77).
The Gunners finished the year in a strong position, seven points ahead of the defending champions. January will be crucial for Mikel Arteta’s men in their quest for the title: welcoming Newcastle (January 3), traveling to Tottenham (January 15) and welcoming Manchester United (January 22).
“This is an important victory against a good team. We know other results but above all, we know that victory will come from what we do” on the pitch, Arteta reacted after the meeting.
– At City, Guardiola lacks inspiration –
Already on loan from Leeds on Wednesday, despite a clear victory (3-1), the Citizens suffered from Pep Guardiola’s unresponsive management against Everton (1-1).
The Catalan, who lined up ten of the eleven starters in the match played three days ago, waited until the 87th minute to make his first changes (Foden, Alvarez and Gündogan), while Demarai Gray took advantage Akanji’s passivity to equalize (64th, 1-1).
In the first half, Erling Haaland – who else? – opened the scoring and scored his 27th club goal of the season in all competitions.
These two points lost against the 16th in the standings are reminiscent of the poor performance in the previous league match at the Etihad Stadium against Brentford (1-2, November 12).
There, too, despite the Premier League’s widest bench, Guardiola waited until the 86th minute to make his first change, without avoiding a costly defeat.
Guardiola wanted to remain positive after the match: “Losing points at home is always difficult.
The Citizens have no room for error when they next travel to Chelsea on Thursday.
– Manchester United in Top 4 –
The lack of pure attacking talent – and potential need during the winter transfer window – was starkly evident in Newcastle’s side against Leeds, with a goalless draw (0-0) ending six that winning streak in the league.
For their part, the Mancunians won their fifth consecutive victory at Wolverhampton (1-0), in all competitions, allowing them to be part of the Top 4 for the first time this season, two points ahead of Tottenham.
Newcastle’s poor performance almost gives them a chance to move into third place, thanks to their last game.
Without really being superior to their opponent, struggling to maintain and remaining 18th after this meeting, Erik ten Hag’s players relied mainly on the accuracy of Marcus Rashford, scorer in the 76th minute after being left on the bench on the bench. first half for disciplinary reasons.
The English striker actually arrived late for a meeting with his teammates, after, as he admitted, waking up late. “We knew Rashy could score, and he did,” his coach said.
It continues and ends the 18th on Sunday, with Tottenham – Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest – Chelsea.