Arsenal laid down an early marker in the Premier League title race by beating Manchester City 1-0 on Sunday, while Liverpool were held by Brighton in a pulsating 2-2 draw. Gabriel Martinelli’s deflected strike on 86 minutes handed the Gunners their first league victory over City since 2015 to leapfrog the champions into second place in the table. City have now lost consecutive Premier League games for the first time in five years. “It feels like a big win,” said Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta. “It is a special one. “It has been a long time since the club beat Manchester City. We felt today could be the day, but we needed a big performance from everyone and we had that.”
The treble winners were made to pay for a lacklustre performance with Erling Haaland anonymous up front.
City’s only shot on target came inside five minutes as Josko Gvardiol’s effort was cleared off the line by Declan Rice.
“I think for both sides there were not a lot of chances,” said City manager Pep Guardiola.
“It was tight and, in the end, one action decided the game.”
The visitors were fortunate not to be reduced to 10 men before half-time as Matteo Kovacic twice avoided a red card.
The Croatian was shown a yellow card for a lunge on Martin Odegaard that could have been a straight red and then escaped a second booking for bringing down Rice.
Martinelli was introduced by Arteta at half-time in the search for a spark but Arsenal were also lifeless in attack until the Brazilian struck at the death.
This time fortune favoured Arsenal as Martinelli’s shot seemed destined for the arms of Ederson until it hit Nathan Ake in the face and deflected into his own net.
Victory takes Arteta’s men level on points with leaders Tottenham, two points ahead of third-placed City.
Liverpool missed the chance to also move above City after being pegged back by Brighton.
The visitors had been given the runaround by Brighton in the opening half-hour.
Simon Adingra robbed Alexis Mac Allister on his return to the Amex Stadium and then caught Alisson Becker out of position to open the scoring.
But Brighton’s determination to play out from the back proved their downfall for both Liverpool goals.
Mohamed Salah slotted home at the end of a blistering counter-attack before Liverpool’s high press then won a penalty as Dominik Szoboszlai dispossessed Pascal Gross and was pulled down by the German midfielder.
Salah confidently dispatched the spot-kick, but Liverpool will ask questions about why Gross did not see red for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity.
Ryan Gravenberch should have made it 3-1 when he hit the bar with the goal gaping after more good work from Szoboszlai.
That miss proved costly as Lewis Dunk levelled 12 minutes from time and Brighton should have taken all three points when Joao Pedro blazed a glorious chance over late on.
“I think it is the right result to be honest,” said Klopp
“If we were better today, we would have really hurt them. But we didn’t. That’s how I feel — a little bit ok.”
Fresh from thrashing Paris Saint-Germain 4-1 in the Champions League, Newcastle had to settle for a 2-2 draw at West Ham.
Tomas Soucek tapped West Ham into an eighth-minute lead after brilliant play by Lucas Paqueta and Emerson down the left.
The Magpies turned the game around in a five-minute spell around the hour mark thanks to Alexander Isak’s double.
The Swede produced a cool finish when a free-kick into the box broke his way before tapping home Kieran Trippier’s inviting volleyed cross across goal.
But Newcastle could not hold out for victory as Mohammed Kudus smashed home his first Premier League goal.
Newcastle stay eighth, one point behind West Ham.
Aston Villa missed the chance to climb into the top four at Liverpool’s expense after being held 1-1 at Wolves.
The in-form Hwang Hee-chan put Wolves in front before Pau Torres quickly levelled for Villa.
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