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Man City see off Arsenal; Liverpool, Chelsea held

AFP/London
Filed on October 17, 2020 | Last updated on October 17, 2020 at 10.55 pm
Manchester City's Raheem Sterling duels for the ball with Arsenal's Granit Xhaka

(Reuters)

Arsenal remain without an away league win against one of the 'big six' in 28 games dating back to January 2015

 Raheem Sterling scored the only goal as Pep Guardiola got the better of Mikel Arteta in Manchester City's 1-0 win over Arsenal to move three points off the top of the Premier League table.

On another high-scoring Saturday elsewhere in the English top-flight, the mutual respect between City boss Guardiola and his former assistant Arteta led to a far more cautious encounter.
However, Sterling's strike midway through the first-half was enough to relaunch City's title challenge after failing to win two of their first three league games of the new season.

Arsenal remain without an away league win against one of the 'big six' in 28 games dating back to January 2015.
And despite a spirited performance, the fact they have lost again at Anfield and the Etihad in the first five games of the campaign shows the strides Arteta still has to make to restore the Gunners to title contenders.
Arteta got the better of his old boss when the sides last met in the FA Cup semi-finals in July and Guardiola responded with a change to a 3-5-2 system to match up with Arsenal.

The move nearly paid off within a minute as Riyad Mahrez curled inches wide after a flowing move from one end to the other.
Sergio Aguero returned for the home side for the first time since June alongside Sterling in attack.
In the absence of Kevin De Bruyne, Sterling captained City and led from the front as he was on hand to open the scoring after Bernd Leno could only parry Phil Foden's initial effort.
Leno kept Arsenal in the contest when he denied Foden again from Aguero's unselfish pass.
But it was Ederson who ensured City went in ahead at half-time with a string of saves as Guardiola's men again failed to convince at the back.

Bukayo Saka was Arsenal's biggest threat and the 19-year-old was denied by a brilliant Ederson save after a neat one-two with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Aubameyang was next to fire too close to the Brazilian stopper when he was one-on-one and onside despite the linesman's flag being raised.
Arsenal also saw strong penalty appeals fall on deaf ears with the final action of the first-half when Kyle Walker's high foot was not punished as he challenged Gabriel Magalhaes inside the area.

The presence of De Bruyne was missed as City again failed to control of the game once in front.
Leicester came from behind to win 5-2 at the Etihad and Leeds also took a deserved point after a blistering opening from City before the international break.
Far from the free-flowing attacking force of the past three seasons, City were happy to sit on their lead after the break.
But in a second period short on goalmouth action, Nicolas Pepe's weak header that was easily claimed by Ederson was the closest Arsenal came to an equaliser.

Liverpool were denied a cathartic victory against Premier League leaders Everton by VAR and Chelsea drew 3-3 with Southampton on another day of breathless drama in the English top-flight on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp's champions were desperate to atone for their 7-2 mauling against Aston Villa before the international break but were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw after Jordan Henderson's late strike was chalked off for offside.
Everton, who have not beaten Liverpool since 2010, remain three points clear of their Merseyside rivals at the top of the table after a number of controversial calls went their way at Goodison Park.
But Klopp was mystified that Henderson's potential winner in added time against 10-man Everton was ruled out for a barely perceptible offside decision against Sadio Mane.
He was also at a loss to explain how Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford had not been dismissed and had not conceded an early penalty for a knee-high challenge on Virgil van Dijk.

"There were a number of big moments in the game," said a baffled Klopp. "The only situation I saw back is the Henderson goal and I didn't see offside. The picture I saw is no offside, but it was offside because somebody decided it."
Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti was delighted with his side's performance, even though they were denied a fifth straight Premier League win.

"We competed with them," he said. "We were 1-0 down and equalised, 2-1 down and equalised. It was a good test and I have a good feeling.
"To know we can compete with the champions of the last season it gives us more confidence for the future."
Sadio Mane, who missed the Villa Park mauling after testing positive for coronavirus, put Liverpool ahead in the third minute.
But the pivotal moment in the match came when Van Dijk was on the receiving end of a dangerous late lunge from Pickford inside the box minutes later.

However, no penalty was awarded after a VAR review because Van Dijk had been marginally offside and Pickford was lucky to avoid a red card.
The Dutchman was substituted and his towering presence was missed at the other end as Michael Keane equalised in the 19th minute.

Mohamed Salah put Liverpool back in front 18 minutes from time but Dominic Calvert-Lewin netted his 10th goal of the season to pull Everton level again.

Richarlison was shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Thiago Alcantara in the 90th minute and Everton were grateful for the intervention of VAR in the final seconds.
Chelsea looked to be in total control after cruising into a 2-0 lead against Southampton at Stamford Bridge, courtesy of new signing Timo Werner's first Premier League goals.

But a goal from Danny Ings shortly before half-time and a second-half strike from Che Adams wiped out their lead.
Frank Lampard's side rallied immediately to regain the lead, Werner teeing up Kai Havertz for a neat dinked finish to make it 3-2.
But Southampton were not to be denied and Jannik Vestergaard bludgeoned home an added-time equaliser for Saints from a free-kick that Chelsea failed to clear.

Lampard said his side had to tighten up at the back after conceding three goals for the second time this season.
"We are seeing lots of goals across the league and no manager is happy" he said.
"I don't know why it is. There are attacking players in this league and maybe pre-season and lack of working time plays a part. But we have to get better at it."


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