Arsenal 8 points clear, commanding Premier League title race

Arsenal 8 points clear, commanding Premier League title race

Eight points clear in the Premier League, play the most revealing football in England and now humiliate their closest rivals in front of their own fans.

This season doesn’t get much better for Arsenal.

A 2-0 win over Tottenham on Sunday left no doubt as to who the dominant force in north London is.

And it’s becoming increasingly difficult to dispute that Arsenal are the best team in the country after clinching 47 points from a possible 54 and putting themselves in the best position the club has been in all season in their bid for their first league title since the undefeated “Invincible” of 2003-2004.

Arsenal held an eight-point lead for a few days earlier in the month, but second-placed Manchester City had a game in hand at that point. Now both have played the same number of games – 18 out of a possible 38 – and City are struggling to keep up with the leaders.

The performance of Mikel Arteta’s side in the first half was irresistible as Bukayo Saka ran amok down the right flank and was involved in both goals.

It was a deflected cross from the England winger that was channeled into his own net by Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris at the near post in the 14th minute. Then Saka led a break in the 36th minute and shoved a ball to captain Martin Odegaard, who whipped home a low shot from 25 yards.

British bookmakers now make Arsenal title favorites, which brings its own pressure into the second half of the season.

City are likely to improve and have previously had long unbeaten runs. Third-placed Newcastle, who beat Fulham 1-0 on Sunday, and fourth-placed Manchester United, whose derby win over City on Saturday extended their winning streak to nine games, are both nine points adrift of Arsenal.

So the candidates are lined up behind Arsenal. All it takes is for the leaders to falter.

There is no sign of that yet.

“We have to stay humble,” said Odegaard. “We know we can improve.”


A spectator climbed onto a billboard and appeared to kick Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale after the game.

The incident happened as Ramsdale was getting his water bottle from behind one of the gates.

The spectator jumped the railing, scaled the rail and aimed a kick at Ramsdale’s back before rejoining the crowd in the South Stand. Ramsdale did not appear to be injured and was dragged from the area by team-mates before celebrating in front of Arsenal fans at the other end of the stadium.

“It’s a shame because at the end of the day it’s just a football game,” said Ramsdale.


Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic was looking to impress at St James’ Park against Newcastle, where he spent two and a half years and had to leave to make a name for himself in English football.

In the end it was a game to forget.

Not only did Mitrovic end up on the losing side, he also had a goal ruled out because of a double touch attempting a penalty. Mitrovic slipped on his penalty, kicked the ball against his standing foot and into the net.

The Serbian international spun away jubilantly, but the referee awarded a foul and a free-kick.

Alexander Isak’s 89th-minute goal, converted from close range from a Callum Wilson cross, added to Mitrovic’s woes.

Joelinton played the whole game for Newcastle three days after his midweek arrest for alleged drunk driving. Another of the team’s Brazilian midfielders, Bruno Guimaraes, walked away in tears after the half-time whistle after playing part of the first half with an ankle injury.

He didn’t play the second half and left the stadium on crutches and wearing a protective boot.


Graham Potter hasn’t had such a good day at Chelsea in a long time.

First, his club announced the signing of one of Europe’s most sought-after young players in Ukraine, winger Mykhailo Mudryk, who was paraded onto the pitch at half-time at Stamford Bridge.

Then Chelsea edged Crystal Palace 1-0 to win the league for the second time since October when Hakim Ziyech found Kai Havertz in the 64th minute to head home.

Chelsea stayed in 10th place but reduced the gap to fifth place Tottenham to five points.

Another January signing, French defender Benoît Badiashile, conceded a goal in his first start for Chelsea and a series of impressive saves from Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has been the culprit of crucial goals in recent weeks.

“You have to understand the context of the situation we’re in,” said Potter, “so it’s not always going to be sensational football.”

With Mudryk inking a deal worth $108 million, the hard-pressed Potter is hoping for better times.

“He’s very quick and direct,” Potter said, “and I think the crowd will like him.”


Steve Douglas is there


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