To say it’s “as you were” in the Premier League’s title race after Saturday’s action wouldn’t be doing Arsenal justice.
A brilliant turnaround against Bournemouth saw them answer Manchester City’s earlier statement, a 2-0 win over a Newcastle United side who find themselves in a real rut.
Arsenal’s lead at the summit somehow – we’ll get there – remains five points, and the nature of their victory will surely prove a massive boost.
Also on Saturday, Graham Potter eased the pressure on him ever so slightly, though the same cannot be said for David Moyes.
Stats Perform has delved into the Opta data from the pick of the day’s action.
Arsenal 3-2 Bournemouth: Title tilt still on track as Gunners respond to Cherries’ incredible start
If Arsenal go on to win the Premier League title, fans will probably look back on this game as absolutely vital.
Bournemouth opened the scoring through Phillip Billing after just 9.11 seconds, making it the second-fasted Premier League goal of all time, and Marcos Senesi made it 2-0 in the second half.
The Gunners appeared to be heading for a shocking home defeat, but their response was exceptional – and dramatic.
Thomas Partey and Ben White scored in an eight-minute spell to restore parity, and for a while that looked to be the best Arsenal could muster.
But with 96 minutes and 57 seconds on the clock, Reiss Nelson’s brilliant left-footed strike from just inside the box completed the turnaround with Arsenal’s second-latest league winner on record (since 2006-07).
It ensured Arsenal won a league game after finding themselves at least two goals down for the first time since February 2012 – the mentality of champions?
Brighton and Hove Albion 4-0 West Ham: Homesick Hammers crushed with Moyes running out of time
There is little to be optimistic about at the moment for West Ham and David Moyes, with Saturday’s one-sided defeat to Brighton seeing them plumb new depths.
Alexis Mac Allister got the scoring started from the spot, making it four out of four from the spot this season for the Argentina international – no one in the Premier League has a better 100 per cent record.
Joel Veltman then chested over the line to make it 2-0, before the tremendous Kaoru Mitoma knocked in from Pascal Gross’ cross to tally his 11th goal involvement (eight goals, three assists) of the season, which is bettered only by his German colleague among Brighton players.
Danny Welbeck’s seventh goal against West Ham – making them his favourite opposition – wrapped things up.
Defeat stretched West Ham’s winless streak on the road in the league to 11, their longest dry spell away from home since December 2014-May 2015 (12 matches).
Manchester City 2-0 Newcastle United: Magpies unable to end champions’ record run
Newcastle have endured a difficult start to 2023 – after initially looking destined for the top four, their chances of being in the Champions League next season are dwindling.
Having lost to Manchester United in last weekend’s EFL Cup final, Eddie Howe had to try and inspire a response in a fixture that has long brought Newcastle misery.
Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva got City’s goals, the first coming after a solo run and the second a clever poked finish from the Portugal international.
Those efforts sealed City’s 14th successive Premier League home win over Newcastle, a run that no team has ever bettered against a single opponent in the competition.
That is now one win in their past 31 clashes with City for Newcastle, having emerged victorious from seven of their first 15.
Newcastle’s failure here saw them lose three in a row for the first time under Howe, their inability to score allowing Ederson to keep his 100th Premier League clean sheet in his 208th appearance – only Petr Cech (180 games) and Pepe Reina (198 games) reached that milestone quicker.
Chelsea 1-0 Leeds United: Blues lacking magic but rare win a boost to Potter
It’s going to take more than a slender victory over struggling Leeds for Graham Potter to win over his critics, but every turnaround has to start somewhere.
Once again, goals proved difficult to come by for Chelsea’s attackers, with French defender Wesley Fofana heading in the decisive goal – his first in the Premier League.
But at this point Potter will not care where the goals come from as long as Chelsea get wins on the board.
Leeds were unable to provide a response, meaning Chelsea held on for only their second win from 12 games across all competitions in 2023 and their first since beating Crystal Palace 1-0 in January, ending a six-game winless run.
Saturday’s visitors have taken only six points from away games this season, however, a joint-Premier League low, so it cannot be considered much of a statement from Chelsea.
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