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EPL PHOTOS: Arsenal back to winning ways

June 26, 2020 09:40 IST
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Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vies for possession during the match against Southampton at St Mary's Stadium, Southampton on Thursday

IMAGE: Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vies for possession during the match against Southampton at St Mary's Stadium, Southampton on Thursday. Photograph: Andrew Matthews/Pool via Reuters

Arsenal claimed their first points since the Premier League restart with a 2-0 victory at Southampton sealed by goals from academy graduates Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock on Thursday.

Both players seized on mistakes by Saints keeper Alex McCarthy as the Gunners hit back from successive defeats which had left their hopes of a top-four finish in tatters.

McCarthy's casual pass in the 20th minute allowed 21-year-old Nketiah to intercept and walk the ball into an empty net and the keeper was culpable again late on as 20-year-old Willock scored his first Premier League goal.

 

Defeats at Manchester City and Brighton & Hove Albion had left Arsenal down in 11th place but their victory on the south coast lifted them to ninth with 43 points from 31 games -- eight behind fourth-placed Chelsea who were playing City later.

"We had two very difficult weeks," said Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, with his side having suffered a last-gasp 2-1 defeat by Brighton after a 3-0 drubbing at Manchester City.

"I was concerned after the defeat at Brighton, it really touched the team but I could see yesterday the reaction was really positive," he added.

"Against Brighton we had total control and threw the game away in seven minutes. I know what this team can do when we're at 100 percent but if not we're average."

Arsenal were well worth their halftime lead on the hottest day of the year with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang striking the crossbar shortly before Nketiah pounced on McCarthy's error.

Southampton's Nathan Redmond fired into the side netting and Shane Long's powerful effort forced a fine save from Emiliano Martinez as the hosts rallied but they had Jack Stephens sent off in the 84th for bringing down Aubameyang.

Willock then made the points safe in the 87th as McCarthy failed to gather a fierce shot. Despite the defeat 14th-placed Saints look safe, 10 points above the relegation zone.

Burnley's Rodriguez sinks Watford further into trouble

Burnley's Jay Rodriguez celebrates scoring against Watford during their EPL match at Turf Moor, Burnley, on Thursday

IMAGE: Burnley's Jay Rodriguez celebrates scoring against Watford during their EPL match at Turf Moor, Burnley, on Thursday. Photograph: Jon Super/Pool via Reuters

Jay Rodriguez grabbed the winner as Burnley beat Watford 1-0 on Thursday to keep the pressure on the Hornets in the Premier League relegation battle.

Rodriguez met a pinpoint left-wing cross from Dwight McNeil with a perfectly angled glancing header to put the Clarets ahead in the 73rd minute.

Former Southampton striker Rodriguez had gone close to a first-half opener when he had a shot cleared off the line by Craig Dawson after Matej Vydra had struck the post.

Rodriguez had the ball in the net earlier, heading in an Ashley Westwood cross, but the effort was ruled out for offside.

The nearest Watford came was a second half effort from Troy Deeney which was cleared off the line by McNeil.

Watford are in 16th place, a point above the relegation zone, while 11th placed Burnley move to 42 points.

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