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Arsenal go five points clear, after winning Leicester 

Arsenal go five points clear, after winning Leicester 

Arsenal overcome Leicester City 1-0 and go five points clear at the top of the Premier League table, reports Reuters.

Gabriel Martinelli’s strike 50 seconds into the start of the second half was enough to propel the Gunners over the line, with Brendan Rodgers’s men rarely threatening the Arsenal backline in the same manner that they did against Manchester United last weekend.

Springing a selection surprise by dropping Eddie Nketiah from the first XI, Mikel Arteta witnessed Leandro Trossard and Martinelli swap positions at will during the early exchanges, in which Arsenal were utterly dominant.

Leicester’s resistance would seemingly only last all of 26 minutes, as the ball fell to Trossard on the edge of the box following a corner, and the Belgian curled a delightful effort into the top corner.

However, Trossard’s strike was disallowed following a VAR review, with Ben White shown to have been holding onto the arm of Leicester goalkeeper, Danny Ward, during the corner scramble.

Only a couple of minutes later, the Foxes had the ball in the back of the net through Kelechi Iheanacho, but the Nigerian was clearly offside when he calmly slotted home.

The officials were not making friends with the Arsenal players or a characteristically animated Arteta at the King Power Stadium, as in the 33rd minute, Bukayo Saka was ostensibly hauled down by Harry Souttar inside the box, but the challenge did not warrant a penalty.

Arsenal did not have themselves to thank for the 0-0 scoreline at half time either, but within just 50 seconds of the restart, the Gunners would deservedly break the deadlock through Martinelli.

A long ball forward from Gabriel Magalhaes found Trossard, who took on Souttar and nutmegged the Australian to find Martinelli charging into the box, and the Brazilian’s effort trickled into the far corner.

There was concern immediately after the finish, though, as Martinelli took a stamp to the knee from Wilfred Ndidi in the process and stayed down, but the 21-year-old received treatment and was fine to carry on.

Martinelli was unsurprisingly involved the next time the ball ended up in the back of the net, with Saka slotting home after combining with the Brazilian and Martin Odegaard, but Martinelli was offside in the build-up and the goal was ruled out with 56 minutes gone.

It took the hosts 74 minutes to post their first shot of the game, but Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s effort was not troubling Aaron Ramsdale as he watched the ball sail wide.

Arsenal’s attempts to double their lead proved futile, but Arteta’s side survived five minutes of added time to extend their lead over Manchester City, who can cut the gap back down to two points with victory over Bournemouth this evening.

The Gunners welcome Everton to the Emirates Stadium in their next Premier League showdown on Wednesday, while Leicester are in FA Cup fifth-round action at home to Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday.

At Goodison Park, Ollie Watkins scored for the fifth successive match in a 2-0 victory over Everton, which ended new manager Sean Dyche’s 100 per cent home record and dropped the club back into the Premier League relegation zone.

The 27-year-old’s 63rd-minute penalty saw him become the club’s first player to achieve the feat in the top flight since Paul Rideout in January 1985.

Substitute Emi Buendia made the game safe eight minutes from time to halt Villa’s three-match losing run.In a game of two goal line clearances by Villa’s Tyrone Mings and Everton’s James Tarkowski, the first goal was always going to be decisive and while it was one of Watkins’ quieter games, Dyche must have looked on enviously.

The Toffees boss, who had overseen wins over Arsenal and Leeds in his previous two games at Goodison, started with Neal Maupay – with one goal in his last 28 league matches – and later replaced him with 22-year-old Ellis Simms for just his sixth top-flight appearance.

 

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