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Premier results: Arsenal with 7 points over City, United fourth

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Premier results: Arsenal with 7 points over City, United fourth

The Gunners win 4-2 in Brighton and stretch on the champions, stopped at home by Everton. The Red Devils overtake Tottenham

Gunners on the run. Arsenal prevailed at De Zerbi’s Brighton and closed 2022 with a 7-point lead, on equal games, over Manchester City, blocked at home by Everton in one of the Saturday matches of the 18th round, which complete on New Year’s Eve.

Brighton-Arsenal 2-4

Arsenal are very special. In Brighton, the Gunners dominated for 70′ and finishing in a match that became crazy when it seemed already closed to take the 5th win in a row. And they extend the distance from Manchester City to 7 points, 43 against 36 on equal matches: according to the bookmakers, Guardiola’s team remains favorite for the title, but Arsenal confirm that they are great even without the injured Gabriel Jesus. His replacement, Eddie Nketiah, scored for the second game in a row, confirming that you don’t need to buy a striker to replace the Brazilian. The Gunners dominated with the phosphorus of Ødegaard, whose evolution into aspiring De Bruyne is one of the secrets of Arsenal’s success, and the class of Saka and Martinelli, elusive wingers with easy goals. The defensive difficulties of the last half hour, with the team leading by 3 goals, are what make Arteta turn up his nose. Brighton play the worst game under De Zerbi’s management for over an hour, a few days after playing their best on Boxing Day. From Mitoma’s goal of the momentary 3-1, the seagulls transform and find a way to realize that ball possession which they managed to keep for the whole match despite the heavy absences in the middle of the field of Mac Allister (still in Argentina to celebrate the World Cup) and Caicedo (suspended). It is evident how much Brighton, which has now assimilated the dictates of De Zerbi, lack a central point of reference in attack: the 18-year-old Ferguson, with his first goal in the Premier League when he scores the 4-2, shows he has the potential to become one. The best was Mitoma, who in addition to the goal that wakes up Brighton scores in the 89th minute the 4-3 canceled by the Var for offside. The Japanese fantasy is already a staple for De Zerbi. Arsenal unlocked it after just 66”, with Saka good at catching a loose ball and laying down Sanchez with his left foot, who had to rush Zinchenko in the 4th minute to prevent Brighton from going 2-0 down. De Zerbi’s team recovers from the shock and begins to control the game, but in the best moment they collect the second goal from Ødegaard, who strikes Sanchez in the 39th minute. The Gunners make it a trio in the first attacking action of the second half, with Nketiah picking up a short clearance from Sanchez on a diagonal from Martinelli. In the 65th minute Mitoma tries to reopen it, but six minutes later Ødegaard launches Martinelli’s counterattack for the 4-1. Ferguson makes it 2-4 in the 77th minute and makes the final more interesting, but Arsenal’s escape is now underway.

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Manchester City-Everton 1-1

Haaland scores, but City stops and fails to beat Everton. The half misstep of Guardiola’s team arrives at the Etihad, despite the 21st goal of the season by the unstoppable Norwegian, the player with the most goals in the history of the Premier League before the end of the calendar year and two from the total tally with which Salah and Son split the goal-scoring throne in 2021-22, the difference being that Haaland has only played 15 games, not a full season. City produce more than 70% of ball possession, but they only get two shots on target. What Gray transformed into Everton’s precious equalizer in the 64th minute was Ederson’s only goal: it was enough, also thanks to a good defensive performance, to avoid a defeat that seemed obvious, especially when Haaland in the 24th minute, in the center of the area an assist from Mahrez unlocked a nervous first half, controlled by the hosts who also hit the post with Stones in the 44th minute. As soon as the restart restarts, the game stops for more than 6’21” due to a problem with the technical equipment of one of Madley’s assistant referees, but when it starts again, Gray invents a masterpiece that gives the guests a draw. In the 82nd minute Pickford saves the 1-1 from De Bruyne’s assault, Guardiola also plays the Alvarez card in the final, in the return after the World Cup won with Argentina, but the result does not change even in the infinite recovery granted (12′). City are second with 36 points from 16 games, Everton remain in trouble in the relegation zone but climb to 15 points from 17 games.

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newcastle-leeds 0-0

Newcastle’s streak of victories stops at 6, stopped at 0-0 at home by Leeds. The Magpies, still unbeaten in the league in 12 games, created the best chances in a lively match but failed to overcome the visitors’ defence, who returned to the points after two knockouts and kept the clean sheet for the first time in 9 games. Newcastle remain in third place in the standings with 34 points from 17 games, the visitors rise to 16 points from 16 games. In Leeds, Gnonto started for the third game in a row: he’s the liveliest of him, especially at the start, but he’s replaced in the 70th minute. In the first half, Newcastle created the best chances by exploiting their dangerous set-piece but in the 45th minute the result was still 0-0. Meslier in the 53rd minute denies the home team a goal by saving on Wood. Newcastle continue to attack but can’t find the winning goal.

wolverhampton-manchester united 0-1

From villain to hero. Marcus Rashford started the day on the bench, ruled out for what Erik Ten Hag called “internal discipline” (“I overslept and was late for the meeting” confessed the forward). He ended it as an absolute protagonist, as the author of the goal that gave United their fourth victory in 5 games, good for temporarily climbing to fourth place, overtaking Tottenham who play tomorrow at home with Aston Villa. Rashford with his talent solved an impasse situation that had been dragging on from the whole game: in the 76th minute he started from the left, exchanged with Fernandes, entered the area and found the goal by sending the home defense into a tailspin. It is the confirmation that he is the point of reference for United after Ronaldo, that he is the striker from whom Ten Hag will ask for goals to return to the Champions League. United’s victory is deserved: the Red Devils controlled the game, but until Rashford brought out his talent they struggled in attack. Goal continues to be Wolverhampton’s main problem, which remains third from bottom and with an attack that has produced just 10 goals in 17 games (Haaland alone has scored twice as many, with 3 games fewer): the arrival of Cunha, in the grandstand waiting to be registered on the first day of 2023, when the English market reopens, it should serve precisely this purpose. Wolves’ salvation goes from there. In the 16th minute Garnacho devours himself face to face with Sa the best chance of a first half without too many emotions, controlled by United without however Ten Hag’s team being able to create real dangers. It starts again from 0-0 and with Rashford who has served his punishment and relieves Garnacho, but the best opportunity at the beginning of the second half comes from Wolverhampton, with a splendid free-kick from 30 meters by Neves in the 58th minute which forces De Gea to make a save super to get the ball out of the cross. Rashford in the 76th minute breaks the balance with his prowess and in the 84th minute he would hit the mark again if Var didn’t see his hand touch on the lucky rebound with Sa who had sent the ball into the net. In the 94th minute De Gea made sure with a splendid instinctive save that the 1-0 would never change.

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the others

Fulham found the goal through Pahlinha in the 88th minute which made it 2-1 over Southampton and brought the tenants of Craven Cottage back to 9th place in the table. In the final penalty missed by Aleksander Mitrovic. Crystal Palace regains victory and the goals they were missing from two rounds in a 2-0 win at Bournemouth, knocked out for the 6th time in their last 7 games. On New Year’s Eve the last two games of the 18th round: Tottenham-Aston Villa at 3pm, Forest-Chelsea at 5.30pm.

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