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EPL: Arsenal hit back to beat Stoke and move top

December 10, 2016 23:21 IST

Arsenal's Francis Coquelin celebrates after the game against Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium in London on Sunday

IMAGE: Arsenal's Francis Coquelin celebrates after the game against Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium in London on Sunday. Photograph: Tony O'Brien Livepic/Action Images via Reuters

Free-scoring Arsenal replaced Chelsea as Premier League leaders as goals either side of halftime by Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil helped them recover from a slow start to beat Stoke City 3-1 on Saturday.

A rash challenge by Granit Xhaka on Joe Allen gave Charlie Adam the chance to put Stoke ahead from the penalty spot after 29 minutes and the Scot dispatched his spot-kick with ease.

Arsenal raised their game and equalised three minutes before the break when Walcott stabbed in Hector Bellerin's low cross.

Ozil's looping header over stranded Stoke keeper Lee Grant put Arsenal ahead five minutes after the interval before substitute Alex Iwobi ran through to give Arsenal the two-goal victory they needed to top the table on goals scored.

Watford beat Everton 3-2 with Okaka double

Italy international Stefano Okaka scored either side of halftime to give Watford a 3-2 Premier League win over Everton on Saturday, their first victory over the Merseyside club in any competition since 1987.

Watford, who started with players of 11 different nationalities in their line-up, went behind in the 17th minute when Romelu Lukaku scored from close range for Everton after Gareth Barry lobbed the defence.

The goal was the Belgian's eighth in the league this season but the lead was short-lived, Okaka equalising in the 36th with a back-heeled flick at the near post from Nordin Amrabat's cross.

Okaka followed up on his first Watford goal by heading in the Hornets' third from a corner in the 64th after Austrian Sebastian Prodl had headed in his first league goal of the season from Jose Holebas's free kick.

Lukaku headed in his second of the afternoon with four minutes of normal time remaining but Watford hung on to go seventh in the standings on 21 points and ahead of ninth-placed Everton.

Okaka's goals were his first in the Premier League since May 2010, when he was on loan at Fulham. A summer signing from Anderlecht, he was making only his second start for Watford.

Apart from the 11 nations represented in the starting lineup, Watford have now also had 11 different goalscorers in the league this season - a feat that only Liverpool can match.

They are not, however, the first Premier League team to have such a diverse team - Manchester United also fielded players from 11 different countries against Stoke City in 2011.

Everton, sliding down the table after a bright start to the campaign and now with one win in 10 games, have conceded 11 goals in their last four away fixtures.

Source: source
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