» Sports » EPL PIX: Arsenal rally to beat West Ham; Spurs held

EPL PIX: Arsenal rally to beat West Ham; Spurs held

Last updated on: December 27, 2022 09:17 IST
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A round-up of the action in the English Premier League on Monday.

IMAGE: Eddie Nketiah celebrates scoring Arsenal's third goal against West Ham United during the English Premier League match at Emirates Stadium in London on Monday. Photograph: Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Arsenal came from a goal down to beat West Ham United 3-1 and extend their Premier League lead to seven points as the top-flight season resumed on Monday.


Earlier in the Boxing Day programme Newcastle United stormed into second place by outclassing Leicester City 3-0 away for their sixth successive Premier League win.

Harry Kane overcame his World Cup penalty pain by helping Tottenham Hotspur recover to draw 2-2 at Brentford while Liverpool got back up and running with a 3-1 victory at Aston Villa with teenager Stefan Bajcetic joining Mohamed Salah and Virgil van Dijk on the scoresheet.

Former Real Madrid and Spain coach Julen Lopetegui got off to a strong start in charge of Wolverhampton Wanderers after his side came from behind to sink Everton 2-1 with a last-gasp goal from Rayan Ait-Nouri and increase the pressure on Frank Lampard.

After a 44-day interruption caused by the World Cup, the Premier League resumed with many players back from international duty and Arsenal continued exactly where they had left off.

Former manager Arsene Wenger watched from the stands at The Emirates Stadium as Arsenal, top at Christmas for the first time since the 2007-08 season, responded emphatically to an early penalty by West Ham's Said Benrahma.

Bukayo Saka equalised from close range in the 53rd minute and Gabriel Martinelli smashed home a shot six minutes later to put Arsenal in front.

Eddie Nketiah scored Arsenal's third to complete the victory and ensure they maintained their 100% home record. They have 40 points from 15 games, seven clear of Newcastle who have played a game more. Arsenal are eight ahead of third-placed Manchester City, who have played 14.

"We showed a lot of composure and quality," said Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta. "We didn't start to play the game they wanted to play, we kept pushing, believing and deserved the win."

Tottenham recoup to split points with Brentford

Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur scores their side's first goal

IMAGE: Tottenham's Harry Kane scores their side's first goal Photograph: Eddie Keogh/Getty Images

Harry Kane shook off his World Cup disappointment to spark a Tottenham Hotspur revival in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Brentford on Monday as the Premier League roared back to life.

An early goal by Vitaly Janelt and Ivan Toney's close-range strike shortly after the interval put Brentford 2-0 up as Tottenham struggled to deal with their hosts.

But Antonio Conte's side have made a habit of playing their best football when trailing and so it proved again.

Kane, whose missed penalty just over a fortnight ago condemned England to a quarter-final defeat by France, headed home in the 65th minute to give his side a lifeline.

Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, one of five Tottenham starters who featured at the World Cup, levelled with a calm finish and Kane almost won it with a header against the crossbar.

Tottenham are in fourth place with 30 points while Brentford are ninth ahead of the rest of the day's fixtures.

Forty-four days after the Premier League shut down for the first mid-season World Cup, all eyes were on those players involved in Qatar and especially Kane.

Kane, along with most of his teammates, was barely in the game at Brentford before halftime.

But any suggestion his England heartache might weigh him down were answered when he rose to meet Clement Lenglet's cross and planted a header past David Raya.

It instantly galvanised a Tottenham team who have trailed in six successive Premier League games and six minutes later a superb passing move ended with Dejan Kulusevski's cut back reaching Hojberg who coolly shot past Raya.

Tottenham suddenly appeared full of energy after their early lethargy and looked like taking all three points as they finished the game in dominant fashion.

It could not have been more different from the opening 55 minutes as Brentford continued where they had left off last month in a shock win over champions Manchester City.

They were physically superior to Tottenham, quicker to the ball and offered a far greater threat on a crisp Boxing Day morning in southwest London.

Brentford took the lead in the 15th minute when Bryan Mbeumo's deep cross was met on the volley by Mathias Jensen and the ball was only half-stopped by Spurs keeper Fraser Forster, in for the rested France keeper Hugo Lloris, before dropping for Janelt to convert from close range.

Tottenham responded with Kulusevski creating a couple of opportunities but Brentford were denied a second goal before halftime when Toney's effort was deemed offside.

When Toney did make it 2-0 in the 54th minute with a tap-in from a corner comically conceded by Tottenham defender Eric Dier with a sliced clearance, it appeared Brentford were in complete control but Tottenham suddenly flicked the switch.

Conte's side have now earned 13 points from losing positions this season, the most in the Premier League.

Newcastle rout Leicester

Newcastle United's Joelinton in action with Leicester City's Ayoze Perez

IMAGE: Newcastle United's Joelinton in action with Leicester City's Ayoze Perez. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

Newcastle United striker Joelinton won a penalty and netted a first-half header in a 3-0 thrashing of Leicester City that took his side up to second in the Premier League table on Monday.

Leicester defender Daniel Amartey got the match off to a terrible start for the hosts, gifting Newcastle a penalty when he chopped down Joelinton after 86 seconds, and striker Chris Wood blasted the spot-kick into the middle of the net.

It was a welcome goal for the 31-year-old New Zealander, who played for Leicester from 2013-15 and was only in the team due to Callum Wilson being ruled out through illness.

Newcastle's great start continued when Miguel Almiron added a brilliant second in the seventh minute, cutting in from the right before playing a one-two with Bruno Guimaraes and slotting the return pass in at the far post.

Despite the return of league football following the World Cup break, there was little Christmas cheer for the home fans as Joelinton made it 3-0 in the 32nd minute when Boubakary Soumare was caught ball-watching at a corner and the Brazilian headed home.

In one of the first half's few bright attacking moments for the home side, Leicester striker Patson Daka had a shout for a penalty turned down after a clash with keeper Nick Pope, but all too often the Zambian's decision-making let him down.

The introduction of Jamie Vardy at the break gave Leicester's attack a focal point that was sorely lacking in the first half, but Newcastle's well-organised defence restricted them to shots from the distance that were easily dealt with.

Newcastle climbed above Manchester City, who play Leeds United on Wednesday, into second place on 33 points, four behind leaders Arsenal, who take on West Ham United later on Monday. Leicester are 13th on 17 points.

"Coming here, knowing how difficult it was going to be, the start was really important to us. The first half an hour we were excellent. It's a trademark goal for Miggy (Miguel Almiron) and a really good team move," Newcastle manager Eddie Howe told the BBC.

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers was far from impressed with his side.

"The start of the game was clearly disappointing, we were so slow, our attitude was really poor, and before we know it we're 2-0 down," he told Amazon Prime. "We lacked many things today, they were way better than us from the start of the game."

Brighton & Hove down Southampton

Southampton's James Ward-Prowse has his penalty saved by Brighton & Hove Albion's Robert Sanchez

IMAGE: Southampton's James Ward-Prowse has his penalty saved by Brighton & Hove Albion's Robert Sanchez. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Brighton & Hove Albion provisionally climbed to sixth in the Premier League standings after they won 3-1 away at Southampton in their Boxing Day clash, the first round of matches after the World Cup.

A header from Adam Lallana and a stunning long-range strike by Solly March along with Romain Perraud's own goal helped Brighton take their points tally to 24, two more than seventh-placed Liverpool who play at Aston Villa later.

"I thought we were outstanding. Some of the play was enjoyable, we gave them problems and it's nice to come back home and win," attacking midfielder Lallana told Amazon Prime.

Brighton went ahead in the 15th minute when Lallana scored against his former club after he connected with March's cross and sent his header into the net as goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu scuffed an easy save.

Southampton skipper James Ward-Prowse came within a whisker of equalising when his curling free-kick in the 25th minute flew slightly wide of the post.

But Brighton went 2-0 ahead in the 35th minute after defender Perraud turned the ball into his own net while trying to clear a cross from Pervis Estupinan.

In his first Premier League home game, Nathan Jones walked off at halftime to a chorus of boos as Southampton looked poor in all departments while their opponents dominated possession and were dangerous in attack.

Although Southampton made a good start in the second half with the introduction of Stuart Armstrong, March made it 3-0 for Brighton in the 55th minute with a thumping shot into the top corner from 20 yards out after a brilliant solo move.

The visitors could have added a fourth when March, playing superbly on the right flank, clipped in a cross for Kaoru Mitoma but the Japan midfielder sent his header wide.

Southampton were awarded a penalty in the 73rd minute for Pascal Gross's foul on Samuel Edozie, and although Ward-Prowse's spot-kick was stopped by keeper Robert Sanchez, the Southampton skipper nodded home on the rebound.

The goal proved to be only a consolation for Southampton, however, as they failed to bounce back and suffered their fourth straight league defeat, slipping to the bottom of the table on 12 points after 16 games, two points adrift of the safety zone.

"We have to defend situations better, we gifted them two goals and confidence and then never had a chance of winning the game. We didn't deserve anything," Southampton manager Jones said.

Wolverhampton outclass Everton

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Rayan Ait-Nouri scores their second goal

IMAGE: Wolverhampton Wanderers' Rayan Ait-Nouri scores their second goal. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Rayan Ait Nouri grabbed the winner five minutes into stoppage-time as Wolverhampton Wanderers moved off the foot of the table with a 2-1 victory over Everton on Monday in manager Julen Lopetegui’s first Premier League game in charge.

Ait Nouri scored from close range at the back post after a quick break from the visitors to spark wild celebrations from the players and the bench, and leave Frank Lampard’s strugglers walking off the Goodison Park pitch to boos.

Wolves climbed two places to 18th with 13 points from 16 games, one place and one point behind Everton, who are now in freefall following a six-week break in the Premier League season for the World Cup.

The victory will be a big boost for Lopetegui and Wolves, whose last away Premier League win came in March, also at Goodison Park. They had taken only three points on the road from a possible 33 since then.

But in the opposite dugout, there will be a sinking feeling for Lampard. His team were the better on the day, but while the Wolves took their chances, Everton were wasteful and got punished for that profligacy.

"It was a final for us and every game will be a final now," Wolves captain Ruben Neves told BBC's Match of the Day.

"As a team, we did very well and handled Everton's pressure. It's a really hard place to come and play but I think we deserved the win."

"He (Lopetegui) is a really experienced manager. He has been working at big teams before and everyone is improving a lot."

Everton hit the front inside seven minutes with their first goal from a corner all season. Dwight McNeil swung in the set-piece and an unmarked Yerry Mina headed in his first Premier League goal for two years.

But Wolves struck back midway through the first half with a well-worked corner of their own that allowed Joao Moutinho to clip the ball to the back post and Daniel Podence provided a neat volley finish.

Everton had chances to win it from there, including a Ben Godfrey shot that was cleared off the line. But as the crowd bayed them forward in search of a second goal, they were hit with a sucker punch from Ait Nouri.

"It's a bit of a sickener," Everton defender James Tarkowski said. "We understand the frustration (of the fans) because the results aren’t good enough, but I thought we were the better side so we have to take positives from that and keep our heads up.

"We’re together as a group. We back the manager and he backs us. We have performed poorly at times this season but that definitely wasn't (the case today). If we put one of our chances away then I think we’d have won the game comfortably."

Wolves host Manchester United and Everton travel to Manchester City in their next games on Saturday.

Fulham gallop past 9-man Crystal Palace

 Crystal Palace's James Tomkins is shown a red card by referee Andrew Madley

IMAGE: Crystal Palace's James Tomkins is shown a red card by referee Andrew Madley. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Reuters

Fulham capitalised on Crystal Palace having two players sent off to stroll to a 3-0 away win in their first Premier League match after the World Cup.

Bobby De Corvoda-Reid, Tim Ream and Aleksandar Mitrovic were on target for Fulham. Palace had Tyrick Mitchell sent off in the first half and James Tomkins followed him down the tunnel in the second after a second booking.

The victory moved Fulham to 22 points after 16 games while Palace lie 11th on 19 points after 15 matches.

Palace striker Jordan Ayew hit the bar with the first big chance of the game. Then Fulham struck, De Cordova-Reid glancing in a cross from Mitrovic after a sloppy pass from Joachim Andersen was intercepted.

Moments later Palace's fortunes unravelled further when Mitchell was shown a straight red card for a reckless tackle on Kenny Tete. Tomkins's second yellow card came for pushing Mitrovic over.

Fulham took full advantage of having two extra players as Ream doubled their lead, scoring his first Premier League goal at the age of 35 by rifling into the roof of the net following a knockdown by Mitrovic.

To the relief of US international Ream, referee Andrew Madley decided to award the goal after a VAR review despite the ball having hit Mitrovic's hand.

Mitrovic then got the reward that his all-action performance deserved, heading in a cross from Willian in the 80th minute to take his tally for the season to 10 league goals.

"It was the best possible way to start the season again," Mitrovic told Amazon Prime.

"They had the two red cards but even before the first we dominated the game and scored the goal. The red cards made it easy but we were really good all over the pitch."

Before kickoff, there was a minute of applause in tribute to former Fulham defender George Cohen, a member of England's World Cup-winning team of 1966 who died last week aged 83.

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