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Premier League : Arsenal extend lead at the top as Man City slip in title race

 

Arsenal Football Club is now seven points clear at the top of the Premier League table after their empathic 4-2 win over Brighton in the last fixture in the top flight for 2022.


The Gunners who have been in spectacular form this season got off to a flying start at the American Express Community Stadium as Bukayo got the opening goal just two minutes into the game.


Martin Odegaard doubled Arsenal’s lead in the 39th minute as the Gunners enjoyed a two-goal lead at halftime.


Just as it was the case in the first half, Arsenal hit the ground running in the second half as Eddie Nketiah made it 3-0 two minutes after the resumption.


Brighton tried to muster a comeback as they pulled one back through their Japanese forward Kaoru Mitoma who made it 3-1 in the 65th minute.


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Arsenal were quick to restore their three-goal cushion with Gabriel Martinelli making it 4-1 in the 71st minute.


Even though Brighton still got one more goal through Evan Ferguson, it was a little too late to deny Arsenal the maximum points in the contest.


With the latest victory, Arsenal have 43 points from 16 games and they have extended the gap between them and second-placed Manchester City who could only get a draw in their last game of 2022 and also Newcastle United who shared the spoils with Leeds United.


At the end of 2021, Arsenal were fourth, 15 points behind leaders Man City while at the end of 2022, the Gunners are top, seven points clear of Pep Guardiola’s men.


Fulham shot up to seventh in the Premier League with a tight victory over struggling Southampton.


Having won 3-0 against Crystal Palace on Boxing Day, Fulham were looking for back-to-back victories for the first time since October.


James Ward-Prowse own goal gave the Cottagers the lead but he equalised for Southampton with a trademark free kick just before the hour mark.


Fulham appeared to have missed their chance at victory until Joao Palhinha popped up at the far post to head home a corner in the 88th minute. It was Fulham’s only shot on target of the match..


With this, Joe Aribo and his Southampton teammates remain winless in the league since October and are rock bottom on the log.


Elsewhere, Palace struck back from their Boxing Day mauling against Fulham with a bright victory over Bournemouth.


Jordan Ayew nodded home the opening goal with a free header from a first-half corner.


Palace doubled their lead from another corner when Eberechi Eze was left completely unmarked at the top of the box.


The Cherries have now lost both their League games since the World Cup break, after also losing 2-0 to Chelsea on Tuesday.


As a result, they now sit just three points outside the drop zone, while Palace are six points further ahead in mid-table.


For Newcastle, they missed the chance to make it seven league wins in a row when they fell to a goalless draw against Leeds.


The draw keeps Newcastle in third place and within six points of top spot.


It was Leeds’ first clean sheet in nine games and takes them to 14th, three points clear of relegation.


At the Etihad Stadium, Alex Iwobi and his Everton teammates gave a battling performance to hold Man City to a 1-1 draw while for Man United, the solitary goal from Marcus Rashford was enough to give them a 1-0 win over Wolverhampton.


 

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