Premier League - Leicester City vs Arsenal

A selection change for Mikel Arteta paid off as Arsenal beat Leicester City 1-0 at the King Power Stadium to stay top of the Premier League.

The Arsenal manager called up Gabriel Martinelli to the starting XI in place of Eddie Nketiah when the Brazilian played up front for the first time under Leandro Trossard.

The pair combined 51 seconds into the second half for the only goal, a clever pass from Trossard that found Martinelli, who finished well.

It was Martinelli’s ninth league goal this season, his best comeback for Arsenal.

A tenth away win of the season, more than they managed in the whole of 2021/22, gives Arsenal 57 points.

Leicester remain in 14th place with 24 points, but are just three points clear of the bottom three.

Arsenal left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko was presented with the captain’s armband in Ukraine’s colors as part of the clubs’ tributes to the nation a day after the first anniversary of the full-scale invasion of Russia.

The city responds easily

However, Manchester City responded in perfect fashion, comfortably dispatching AFC Bournemouth 4-1 at the Vitality Stadium, their 200th Premier League away win.

Julian Alvarez, Erling Haaland and Phil Foden scored in the first half. Haaland’s goal was his 27th in the Premier League this season, breaking the club record of 26 set by Sergio Aguero in 2014/15.

A second-half own goal from Chris Mepham added to City’s lead, but Jefferson Lerma’s ferocious shot denied Ederson a 100th Premier League clean sheet.

The champions hold a two-point gap to Arsenal, while AFC Bournemouth remain 19th with 21 points, one behind 17th-placed Leeds United.

Leeds and West Ham drop out of the bottom three

At the other end of the table there were vital wins for Leeds and West Ham United that lifted them out of the relegation zone after being knocked out last week.

Junior Firpo cut inside to score Leeds’ only goal to beat bottom club Southampton and give new head coach Javier Gracia a debut victory. A first win in 11 games lifts Leeds to 17th with 22 points, while Saints have 18.

Under pressure, David Moyes changed his tactics with a defense of four and was rewarded with two goals in just over two minutes of the second half from Danny Ings.

The striker bought from Aston Villa in January scored his first goals for the club en route to a crucial 4-0 win over Nottingham Forest.

Declan Rice made a superb third and Michail Antonio struck against his former team to seal the victory that lifts West Ham out of the relegation zone and up to 16th on 23 points.

Forest is still 13th but now has 24 points, just four above the relegation zone.

Dyche tastes Goodison’s first loss

Villa ended Everton manager Sean Dyche’s perfect record at Goodison Park with a 2-0 win that sent the Toffees back into the bottom three.

Ollie Watkins scored for the fifth successive Premier League game to give Villa the lead from the penalty spot after Idrissa Gueye brought down John McGinn.

Emiliano Buendía’s brilliant run and finishing secured the three points sending Everton to 18th place, with 21 points.

Villa continues 11th with 31 points.

Standoff at Selhurst Park

Liverpool failed to go within four points of the top four as they and Crystal Palace shared a goalless draw at Selhurst Park.

The score probably came as no surprise, as Palace have recorded just two goals in their last six home games, while Liverpool have scored just four goals in their last six.

Palace squandered the best chances in the first half, while Liverpool hit the woodwork twice. They have now hit the post or bar 14 times this season, a joint-high.

Liverpool move above Brighton & Hove Albion to seventh place with 36 points. Palace, still seeking their first league win of 2023, remain 12th with 27 points, six above the relegation zone.

Thriller in store on Sunday

The only Premier League game on Sunday is a gripping encounter when Tottenham Hotspur host Chelsea.

The Spurs look to cement their place in the top four. A third successive home win would close the gap on third-placed Manchester United to four points.

Graham Potter is looking to lead Chelsea to their first win in five games.

Following this match, Man Utd and Newcastle United will be looking to lift the first domestic cup of the season in the EFL Cup Final.


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