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Rediff.com  » Sports » EPL PIX: Arsenal go on top; Spurs stay unbeaten

EPL PIX: Arsenal go on top; Spurs stay unbeaten

Last updated on: October 22, 2016 23:29 IST

Arsenal go top after 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough

Arsenal

IMAGE: Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal, left, attempts to block Alvaro Negredo of Middlesbrough, right, shot during the Premier League match at Emirates Stadium on Saturday. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images.

Arsenal moved top of the Premier League table but were unconvincing in a 0-0 home draw with Middlesbrough who were well worth their point on Saturday.

The Gunners dominated the opening 20 minutes but Boro should have led by halftime. Adama Traore broke clear but Petr Cech saved his shot with legs and Alvaro Negredo wasted a great chance from the rebound.

The hosts had another let-off when Gaston Ramirez's curling free kick thumped against the post and Ramirez headed a great chance straight at Cech.

Arsenal were better after the break and Boro keeper Victor Valdes made a superb save to keep out former Barcelona team mate Alexis Sanchez's dipping effort before Mesut Ozil had a late goal disallowed for offside.

Spurs stay unbeaten but made to work hard by Bournemouth

Tottenham Hotspur

IMAGE: Bournemouth's Jack Wilshere in action with Tottenham's Victor Wanyama. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters.

Tottenham Hotspur continued their best start to a season for 26 years by maintaining their unbeaten Premier League record but were made to work hard for their point by buoyant Bournemouth in a full-blooded 0-0 draw.

Bournemouth, fresh from three successive league wins at Dean Court, took a leaf out of Spurs' famed pressing book to give as good as they got from the title contenders and were well worth the draw.

Bournemouth's intensity and resistance ensured Spurs missed a chance to provisionally go top of the table ahead of Manchester City and Arsenal but it could have been worse for the visitors if Hugo Lloris had not made a fine early save to thwart Charlie Daniels.

After Lloris had tipped his point-blank range shot against the bar, Spurs' best opportunity in a game high on energy and industry but low on chances came when Erik Lamela fired against the bar in the opening half.
Spurs manager Maurico Pochettino admitted it had been a tough afternoon for his team.

"They were very aggressive. It was a very competitive game, they were ready to compete...If we want to be contenders, we need to win games like these," the Argentine said.

Bournemouth had shipped eight goals in two fixtures against Spurs last year but inspired by tireless midfielder Harry Arter and shored up by committed defending, they did a fine job in shutting down the visitors amid the frantic fare.

Also playing a big part was Jack Wilshere, on loan at Bournemouth from Arsenal, who played his first full 90 minutes in a league match for two years with England's interim manager Gareth Southgate watching from the stands.

Eddie Howe, Bournemouth's highly-rated young manager, was delighted how his team had gone "toe-to-toe" with Spurs to win a really valuable point.

In a game of six bookings - four for Spurs, two for Bournemouth - the challenges flew in and Lamela may have counted himself fortunate at not receiving a second yellow for one foul.

Spurs substitute Moussa Sissoko also escaped punishment after he appeared to elbow Arter in the face in the second half and though the visitors applied most of the second-half pressure, Bournemouth could have nicked a late winner from Benik Afobe's header.

Leicester cap fine week with victory over Palace

Leicester City

IMAGE: Fuchs of Leicester City, center, celebrates scoring his sides third goal against Crystal Palace at The King Power Stadium.  Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images.

Champions Leicester City left striker Jamie Vardy on the bench but capped a fine week with a 3-1 defeat of Crystal Palace that manager Claudio Ranieri described as their best performance of the season.

Ahmed Musa and Christian Fuchs both scored their first goals for the club while Shinji Okazaki grabbed his first of the season as Leicester returned to the kind of form that propelled them to the title in May.

Yohan Cabaye scored a late consolation for the Londoners.

"That was our best performance so far this season. It was the shape and model of last season and we concentrated on doing our job," Ranieri, who turned 65 on Thursday, told the BBC.

"I said I would share my birthday cake in the dressing room if I got a clean sheet... They clearly don't want a piece!"

After continuing their 100 per cent start in the Champions League on Tuesday, Leicester's disappointing domestic form came back under scrutiny but they responded emphatically.

Initially it was Palace who were the more threatening though and Christian Benteke's powerful header cannoned off the crossbar with Leicester slow to get into their stride.

Leicester had created little until three minutes before halftime when record signing Musa lashed home an unstoppable shot from Islam Slimani's set-up.

Ranieri's side doubled their lead when Okazaki fired home in the 63rd minute after Danny Drinkwater's cross was only half cleared by the Palace defence and Austrian defender Fuchs iced the cake with a thunderous third from 25 metres.

Palace, who were perhaps a little hard done by to be trailing 3-0, grabbed some reward for an impressive 23 goal attempts when Cabaye struck five minutes from time.

Leicester are now unbeaten in 20 Premier League matches at home -- just one short of matching the longest streak in the top flight since Chelsea's 21 unbeaten run ended in August 2015.

Last-gasp Reid gives West Ham victory over Sunderland

Winston Reid

IMAGE: Winston Reid, right, of West Ham United celebrates scoring his team's goal during the Premier League match against Sunderland. Photograph: Clive Rose/Getty Images.

Defender Winston Reid fired the winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time as West Ham beat bottom club Sunderland 1-0 in the Premier League.

Sunderland, who had picked up just two points from their first eight league games this season, were subjected to an onslaught for much of the game.

However, apart from an effort by Dimitri Payet in the 26th minute that struck the post, West Ham found it tough to hit the target.

The home side looked like they were in for another frustrating afternoon before Reid received the ball from Payet and rifled home the only goal.

West Ham are now in 15th place with 10 points.

Bradley's Swansea end slump but fail to beat Watford

New manager Bob Bradley saw his Swansea side end their streak of four successive Premier League defeats with a 0-0 draw against Watford on Saturday in his first home match in charge of the Welsh club.

Yet Bradley, the first American to manage a club in the English game's top flight, must have felt frustrated as his side's effort and intensity failed to bring them the three points their performance merited.

The Swans came closest to breaking the deadlock in the second half when Mike van der Hoorn met Gylfi Sigurdsson's free kick at close range, only for Heurelho Gomes to produce a fine, instinctive save.

Sigurdsson also hit the post for the home side, who have still not won in the Premier League since the opening day of the season and remain second bottom of the table.

Sublime Shaqiri double lifts Stoke to win at Hull

Stoke midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri netted two fine goals to lead his team to a comfortable 2-0 win at struggling Hull City.

Shaqiri put the visitors ahead with a brilliant strike after 26 minutes, cutting in from the wing before unleashing a dipping shot into the top corner.

The Swiss midfielder doubled the lead with a curling free kick five minutes after halftime to lift Stoke out of the bottom three.

Hull offered little in attack and slumped to their fifth league defeat in a row.

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