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Arsenal stage thrilling fightback to maintain five-point lead over Man City

Arsenal stage thrilling fightback to maintain five-point lead over Man City

FOOTBALL: Arsenal recovered from conceding the second fastest goal in Premier League history as Reiss Nelson’s stoppage-time strike gave the Premier League leaders a thrilling 3-2 win over Bournemouth after title rivals Manchester City beat Newcastle 2-0 yesterday (Mar 4).


Sunday 5 March 2023, 10:00AM

Arsenal’s players celebrate their late win against Bournemouth yesterday (Mar 4). Photo: AFP

Arsenal’s players celebrate their late win against Bournemouth yesterday (Mar 4). Photo: AFP

Mikel Arteta’s side were trailing by two goals with just over half an hour left.

But the Gunners showed they can cope with the pressure of the title race with a remarkable comeback that kept them five points ahead of second placed City.

“I’m incredibly happy. It was just mad. It was a really special win and it took until the last second to earn it,” Arteta said.

Arsenal hadn’t even touched the ball when Philip Billing gave bottom of the table Bournemouth the lead after just 9.11 seconds with a clinical finish from inside the Gunners area.

The quickest goal in Premier League history was scored by Shane Long after 7.69 seconds for Southampton against Watford in 2019.

Arsenal fell further behind in the 57th minute as Marcos Senesi escaped Thomas Partey to glance a header past Aaron Ramsdale from a corner.

Partey made amends for his slack marking five minutes later when he reduced the deficit with a close-range finish from Emile Smith-Rowe’s header.

Underlining their desire to win a first title since 2004, Arsenal seized the momentum and equalised through Ben White’s powerful finish from Nelson’s cross in the 70th minute.

Nelson completed Arsenal’s incredible revival in the seventh minute of stoppage-time when the substitute produced a superb finish from 20 yards to spark scenes of wild celebration all around the Emirates Stadium.

“They never gave up. We want to stay there (at the top) for as long as possible,” Arteta said.

Earlier yesterday, City rode their luck in a 2-0 win over Newcastle at the Etihad Stadium.

Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva scored the goals for the champions, who were let off the hook by a series of glaring misses from the visitors.

Sean Longstaff, Callum Wilson and Joelinton were all guilty of not even forcing Ederson into a save as fifth placed Newcastle suffered another blow to their hopes of a top-four finish.

“It was an incredibly good result for us because it was a tricky game,” City boss Pep Guardiola said.

Potter gets a break

Wesley Fofana eased the pressure on Chelsea boss Graham Potter as the French defender sealed a 1-0 win against Leeds at Stamford Bridge.

Fofana put Chelsea in front with his first league goal for the club seven minutes after half-time, the former Leicester centre-back rising to head home from Ben Chilwell’s corner.

It was Chelsea’s first goal in 396 minutes and just their second in seven games in all competitions.

The 10th placed Blues held on for just their third win in their last 16 games in all competitions.

Ending a run of three successive defeats will give Potter a little breathing space ahead of Chelsea’s bid to overturn a 1-0 deficit in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie against Borussia Dortmund next week.

“We’ve had to suffer. It’s been a challenging period. We were a team who had something to lose so it was great character from the players. It gives us something to build on,” Potter said.

Fourth placed Tottenham’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League were rocked by a 1-0 defeat at Wolves.

Just days after losing 1-0 at second tier Sheffield United in the FA Cup fifth round, the north Londoners were beaten again as Adama Traore struck in the 82nd minute, driving the rebound in off the bar after Raul Jimenez’s effort was saved.

Southampton climbed off the bottom of the table with a 1-0 victory against Leicester as Carlos Alcaraz scored the 35th minute winner at St Mary’s.

Brighton kept West Ham in relegation trouble with a 4-0 victory at the Amex Stadium courtesy of goals from Alexis Mac Allister, Joel Veltman, Kaori Mitoma and Danny Welbeck.

Aston Villa beat Crystal Palace 1-0 at Villa Park, with Eagles defender Joachim Andersen scoring a 27th minute own goal before Palace’s Cheick Doucoure was sent off for two bookings in the second half.

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