Newcastle inflict more misery on Man Utd, Arsenal extend PL lead

Monday, Dec 04, 2023

LONDON: Newcastle inflicted a sixth Premier League defeat of the season on Manchester United as Arsenal beat Wolves 2-1 on Saturday to extend their lead at the top to four points.

Anthony Gordon scored the only goal at St James´ Park to lift Newcastle up to fifth in the table and within two points of the top four. By contrast, United slip to seventh and are still to beat any side in the top nine of the Premier League this season.

Eddie Howe´s men deserved to win by a bigger margin despite missing 11 first-team players due to injury or suspension and losing goalkeeper Nick Pope late on to a shoulder problem. Kieran Trippier´s free-kick came back off the underside of the bar and Alexander Isak´s effort was deflected inches wide before the break.

Gordon finally made the breakthrough 10 minutes into the second period when he was picked out by Trippier to convert at the back post. “I couldn´t be happier with the players tonight,” said Howe after his under-strength side took seven points from three games in a week against Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and United.

“The performances we put in against three top teams were brilliant so that will give confidence, and when we get some players back we can push on even further.” Arsenal were made to survive a late scare despite getting off to a flying start at the Emirates.

Goals from Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard put the Gunners 2-0 up inside 13 minutes. But they failed to put the game to bed and were made to sweat when Wolves forward Matheus Cunha found the top corner in the 86th minute to set up a tense finale.

Despite the wobble, Arsenal, last year´s runners-up, held on to notch their 10th win in 14 league games, which moves them four points clear of champions Manchester City, who host Tottenham on Sunday.

“I can only praise the players,” said Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta. “They were excellent. We played against a really good side and generated so much and conceded almost nothing. The scoreline should have been very different. We were very unlucky because we hit the post three times I think.

“At the end we made an error close to the goal -- in the Premier League you get punished big time for that. Then it´s game on. Overall I´m really happy with how we performed again.” At the other end of the table, Burnley got their first home win of the season in style with a 5-0 thrashing of Sheffield United.

Jay Rodriguez fired the home side ahead with just 15 seconds on the clock -- the fastest goal of the season so far. Jacob Bruun Larsen extended their lead and the Blades´ task was made almost impossible when Oli McBurnie received a second yellow card shortly before the break.

Zeki Amdouni, Luca Koleosho and Josh Brownhill all struck in the final 17 minutes as the floodgates opened. Paul Heckingbottom´s men have now conceded five goals or more goals on three occasions this season and sink to the bottom of the table.