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EPL Wrap: Arsenal go top with 2-1 win over Brentford ahead of Reds, Blues Anfield clash

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Arsenal have 64 points after 28 games, although either Liverpool or Manchester City can claim first place with a win in Sunday’s blockbuster clash at Anfield. Second-placed Liverpool have 63 points, while City are third on 62.

Arsenal’s German midfielder Kai Havertz (right) celebrates scoring the team’s second goal during the English Premier League football match against Brentford at the Emirates Stadium in London on Saturday. Picture: JUSTIN TALLIS, AFP

Lori Ewing – Arsenal’s Kai Havertz headed an 86th-minute winner to take his side top of the Premier League with a 2-1 home victory over Brentford on Saturday, while Manchester United fanned the embers of their top-four hopes with a 2-0 win against visiting Everton.

Arsenal have 64 points after 28 games, although either Liverpool or Manchester City can claim first place with a win in Sunday’s blockbuster clash at Anfield. Second-placed Liverpool have 63 points, while City are third on 62.

Luton Town salvaged a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace with a late goal to boost their survival bid, Bournemouth came from two down to deny Sheffield United their fourth league win this season with a 2-2 draw and Wolverhampton Wanderers beat Fulham 2-1.

Arsenal recorded an eighth league victory in a row and Havertz scored for the fourth consecutive game to make up for a calamitous error by stand-in goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

Declan Rice’s glancing header from a Ben White cross gave Arsenal the lead after 19 minutes before Yoane Wissa levelled just before halftime, with his sliding challenge sending Ramsdale’s attempted clearance into the net.

“These points were so important for us and you could see that in the second half,” said Havertz. “We didn’t play our best in the first half but it’s even better to win it this way.

Brentford remain in 15th place.

UNITED PENALTIES

Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford fired in first-half penalties — both created by sloppy Everton tackles on Alejandro Garnacho.

Erik ten Hag’s team remain sixth but with 47 points they crept closer to fourth-placed Aston Villa, who are on 55 with a game in hand at home to Tottenham Hotspur in fifth on Sunday.

United were coming off successive league losses, to Fulham and Manchester City, that ended an unbeaten run of four wins.

“It was important. We had one bad result against Fulham in this calendar year,” Ten Hag said. “We had to put this right and keep the pressure on the teams above us.

“There are many games to play. Now we are back. We will keep pressure on them and see what happens.”

Sean Dyche’s Everton — winless in 11 straight league games — are 16th on 25 points, four points above the drop zone.

OWN GOAL

Wolves beat Fulham thanks to a close-range strike by Rayan Ait-Nouri and a deflected own goal from a shot by fellow defender Nelson Semedo that was attributed to Tom Cairney.

The result moved Wolves up to eighth in the league on 41 points and kept intact their more than four-decade unbeaten streak at home to the Londoners. Fulham are 12th on 35.

Wolves’ first goal came in the 52nd minute when Algerian international Ait-Nouri scooped the ball into the roof of the net after a cutback from a free kick.

His Portuguese teammate Semedo secured the win 15 minutes later with a shot from just outside the area which hit Fulham midfielder Cairney on the way in for an own goal.

“An unbelievable win … To find a way to beat a Fulham team that are in a really good moment,” Wolves manager Gary O’Neil said. “Just delighted – 41 points, equalling last season’s tally already.”

UNLIKELY DRAW

Crystal Palace struck against Luton in the 11th minute when Jean-Philippe Mateta back-heeled the ball into the net.

But with Selhurst Park celebrating, Luton launched a late attack and Cauley Woodrow’s goal in the 96th minute – after late substitute Andros Townsend floated the ball into the area – stunned the home fans and gave the visitors an unlikely draw.

“It’s frustrating, gutting to concede like that at the end of the game when we could have had three points,” Palace goalkeeper Sam Johnstone said.

Palace remain 14th on 29 points with Luton still 18th on 21, three behind Nottingham Forest in the safety zone.

Sheffield United looked set to earn three points when the clock struck 90 minutes at the Vitality Stadium but Bournemouth’s Enes Unal equalised to pile even more pressure on the visitors’ faint survival hopes.

The draw was just enough to move United off the bottom of the table, up one spot to 19th on 14 points – a point above Burnley, who visit West Ham United on Sunday.

“We’re off the bottom, we’ll enjoy that,” Blades manager Chris Wilder said. “I’m not jumping through hoops and no medals are being handed out for being off the bottom. We have to show the consistency.”

Reuters

Reporting by Lori Ewing; Editing by Ken Ferris

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