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Premier League leaders Arsenal held, Spurs thrashed

Premier League leaders Arsenal held, Spurs thrashed

FOOTBALL: Arsenal stumbled again as the Premier League leaders were held to a 1-1 draw by Brentford, while Tottenham’s top four hopes were dented by an embarrassing 4-1 defeat at Leicester yesterday (Feb 11).


Sunday 12 February 2023, 12:00PM

Taking a fall: Brentford’s Ivan Toney fouls Arsenal’s William Saliba during yesterday’s 1-1 draw at The Emirates Stadium. Photo: AFP

Taking a fall: Brentford’s Ivan Toney fouls Arsenal’s William Saliba during yesterday’s 1-1 draw at The Emirates Stadium. Photo: AFP

Mikel Arteta’s side could have moved eight points clear of second-placed Manchester City with a victory at the Emirates Stadium.

But Arsenal could not hold on to the lead given to them by Leandro Trossard’s first goal for the club in his fifth appearance since his January move from Brighton.

Ivan Toney scored Brentford’s equaliser to leave Arsenal without a win in their last three games in all competitions following defeats at Manchester City in the FA Cup and Everton in the league.

The Gunners still control their destiny as they chase a first Premier League title since 2004, but champions City can move to within three points if they beat Aston Villa today.

Arsenal host City on Wednesday in a clash that will go a long way to deciding the title race.

Belgium forward Trossard came off the bench to make the breakthrough for Arsenal in the 66th minute.

Bukayo Saka floated his cross to the far post and Trossard was on hand to net with a clinical finish, his first goal for either Arsenal or Brighton since October.

But Brentford drew level eight minutes later when Toney headed into an empty net, leaving Arteta fuming that VAR failed to disallow the goal for offside against Ethan Pinnock.

“I just looked back and it is offside, yes,” Arteta said. “It’s too late, the goal was allowed and we dropped two points.”

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte was back at the helm after missing last weekend’s 1-0 win against Manchester City following gallbladder surgery, but his fifth-placed side were humiliated at the King Power Stadium.

Rodrigo Bentancur put Tottenham ahead in the 14th minute, meeting Ben Davies’s flick with a close-range finish that survived a VAR check for offside.

But Nampalys Mendy levelled in the 23rd minute and two minutes later James Maddison produced a composed low finish.

Kelechi Iheanacho scored Leicester’s third in first-half stoppage time with a curler into the bottom corner and Harvey Barnes completed the rout in the 81st minute.

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“To be consistent is a long process, it’s a mental process, you have to be better mentally and better with the approach. After we scored the goal, something changed,” Tottenham assistant manager Cristian Stellini said.

“We struggled a lot and we are disappointed for that. In the team something has to change, not individually. It’s about the desire.”

Chelsea frustrated

Graham Potter admitted Chelsea are still “a work in progress” after their winless Premier League run extended to three games as Joao Felix’s first goal for the Blues was cancelled out by Emerson in a 1-1 draw at West Ham.

Potter’s expensively assembled side once again failed to live up to their price tags as the pressure mounted on the Blues boss.

Portugal forward Felix put Chelsea ahead in his second appearance for the club, only for Italy defender Emerson to haunt his former team with an equaliser before half-time.

Ninth-placed Chelsea have won just one of their past eight games in all competitions and are 10 points adrift of the Premier League’s top four.

“They are a good group and we are excited with the team and the potential but it is still a work in progress,” Potter said.

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe was frustrated by his former club as second bottom Bournemouth earned a 1-1 draw at Dean Court.

Marcos Senesi’s 30th minute tap-in put Bournemouth ahead before Miguel Almiron swept home fourth-placed Newcastle’s equaliser in first-half stoppage time.

Ten-man Wolves boosted their bid to avoid relegation with a 2-1 win at bottom of the table Southampton.

Trailing to Carlos Alcaraz’s opener, Wolves had Mario Lemina sent off in the first half, but hit back thanks to Jan Bednarek’s own goal and Joao Gomes’s late strike.

Crystal Palace drew 1-1 with Brighton and Fulham beat Nottingham Forest 2-0.

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