Arsenal beat Brentford to regain Premier League top spot

Published September 19, 2022
LONDON: Arsenal’s Fabio Vieira (L) scores against Brentford during their Premier League match at the Brentford Community Stadium on Sunday.—Reuters
LONDON: Arsenal’s Fabio Vieira (L) scores against Brentford during their Premier League match at the Brentford Community Stadium on Sunday.—Reuters

LONDON: Arsenal moved back to the top of the Premier League with a dominant 3-0 win at Brentford, while Everton beat West Ham United 1-0 to get their first victory of the season on Sunday.

Injuries to captain Martin Odegaard and Oleksandr Zinchenko had stretched Arsenal’s squad to the extent that 15-year-old Ethan Nwaneri came off the bench late to become the youngest player in Premier League history.

However, the Gunners showed no sign of weakness at a ground where they were beaten 2-0 last season to move back one point above Manchester City and Totten­ham Hotspur at the top of the table.

William Saliba and Gabriel Jesus headed in before half-time and Fabio Vieira marked his first Premier League start with a stunning strike after the break.

Brentford boss Thomas Frank said he believes Arsenal will be title contenders and they played like it to blow away the Bees in the first 45 minutes.

“We have a different mentality this season,” said Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka. “We are training like we play and have class with the players that can make a difference.”

The match had been moved forward two hours to help ease police pressures around Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral and Britain’s longest serving monarch was remembered in a minute’s silence before kick-off.

Once the action did get underway, it was one way traffic as Arsenal bounced back in style from their sole defeat of the season away to Manchester United two weeks ago.

It took just 17 minutes for Mikel Arteta’s men to make the breakthrough when Saliba flicked Bukayo Saka’s corner in off the far post.

Jesus also used his head to score his fourth goal in seven Premier League games since joining from Manchester City as he powered home an enticing delivery from Xhaka.

The absence of Odegaard also made room for Vieira and the Portuguese midfielder made his mark with a sumptuous strike from outside the box to kill off any doubt over the outcome four minutes into the second half.

An easy day for Arsenal was rounded off a minute from time when Arteta was able to hand Nwaneri his debut as just 15 years and 181 days, breaking Harvey Elliott’s record as the youngest player in Premier League history when he appeared for Fulham as a 16-year-old.At the other end of the table, West Ham will spend the upcoming international break in the bottom three after Neal Maupay’s first Everton goal gave the Toffees a much-needed win.

Frank Lampard’s men are now unbeaten in five league games but had just four points on the board before kick-off from four consecutive draws.

An injury to Dominic Calvert-Lewin forced Everton to seek more firepower in the final weeks of the transfer window and Maupay delivered on just his second appearance since a move from Brighton.

The Frenchman spun onto Alex Iwobi’s pass and fired in from the edge of the area to lift Everton up to 13th in the table.

West Ham slip to 18th with just one win from their opening seven league games.

TOTTENHAM CRUSH LEICESTER

Son Heung-min ended his scoring drought in stunning fashion with a sublime hat-trick as Tottenham Hotspur crushed Leicester City 6-2 on Saturday.

Rodrigo Bentancur’s first goal for Tottenham was separating the sides in an entertaining tussle but Son, who started on the bench, exploded back to form with three goals in 13 minutes.

The South Korean, the Premier League’s joint-top scorer last season, had not scored in Tottenham’s first eight games.

Leicester took an early lead with a twice-taken penalty by Youri Tielemans but Tottenham hit back quickly with Harry Kane powering in a header at the far post.

Tottenham went ahead in the 21st minute as defender Eric Dier marked his return to the England squad with a glancing header from a corner.

Bottom-placed Leicester were lively in attack though and James Maddison’s sup­erb finish sent them in level at halftime.

Bentancur seized on a mistake to restore Tottenham’s lead in the 47th minute but Son went on to steal the show.

After coming on in the 59th minute, he curled an unstoppable right-footer into the top corner in the 73rd minute, then curled a left-footer into the opposite side 11 minutes later.

Son then completed his hat-trick after running on to a Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg through ball.

Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2022

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