Arsenal regain five-point lead; Casemiro sent off as Man United draw

First-half goals from Gabriel Magalhaes, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard put Arsenal on course for a fifth consecutive league win

By AFP

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Arsenal's Martin Odegaard celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates. — Reuters
Arsenal's Martin Odegaard celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates. — Reuters

Published: Sun 12 Mar 2023, 9:09 PM

Arsenal powered five points clear at the top of the Premier League with a stylish 3-0 win at Fulham, while Casemiro was sent off as Manchester United were held to a 0-0 draw by Southampton on Sunday.

Mikel Arteta's Arsenal side had seen second-placed Manchester City close the gap with victory at Crystal Palace on Saturday. The Gunners responded with the kind of composed display that has been the hallmark of their unexpected title charge.


First-half goals from Gabriel Magalhaes, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard -- all set up by Leandro Trossard -- put Arsenal on course for a fifth consecutive league win.

With 11 league games left, the north Londoners have the title in their sights.


Since being knocked out of pole position after a defeat against City, which came during a run of four games without a win, Arsenal have shown the mettle of potential champions with a strong response to that wobble.

It was Arsenal's 11th victory from 14 away league matches this season, underlining the durability and maturity that has them in position to win the title for the first time since Arsene Wenger's 'Invincibles' in 2004.

"We scored beautiful goals. I'm really happy to win away from home, especially with a clean sheet," Arteta said.

"It's great to see the goals distributed through the team. Leandro laid on three assists and could also have scored too."

There was more good news for Arsenal in the last 14 minutes as Brazil forward Gabriel Jesus made his first appearance since injuring his knee at last year's World Cup.

With Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger watching from the stands, the Gunners ensured their celebrity fan got satisfaction from his trip to Craven Cottage.

Gabriel put Arsenal ahead after 21 minutes as the Brazilian centre-back rose above three Fulham defenders to meet Trossard's corner with a powerful close-range header.

Arsenal struck again with another aerial raid in the 26th minute.

Trossard was the provider once more, teasing his way down the left flank before lofting a cross towards Martinelli, who easily out-jumped Antonee Robinson to head home from close-range.

Odegaard put the result beyond doubt in the final seconds of the first half as Arsenal benefitted from more abject Fulham defending.

Producing his third assist of the afternoon, Trossard's cross reached Odegaard in the Fulham area and the midfielder, granted far too much space, controlled on his thigh and set himself for a fierce strike that fizzed past Bernd Leno.

At Old Trafford, Casemiro's dismissal forced third-placed United to settle for a drab goalless draw.

United are unbeaten in their last 22 home games, but this was a limp performance in their first league match since last weekend's humiliating 7-0 defeat at bitter rivals Liverpool.

Erik ten Hag's team looked fatigued after beating Real Betis in the Europa League last-16 first leg on Thursday and had to hold on for a point after Casemiro was sent off in the 34th minute.

The Brazil midfielder's initial booking for a high challenge on Carlos Alcaraz was changed to a red card following a VAR check.

It was the former Real Madrid star's second sending off in eight appearances following his red card against Crystal Palace, leaving him facing a four-match suspension.

"Casemiro played over 500 games in Europe and never once got a red card. Now he has two in the Premier League," Ten Hag said.

"His absence is not the issue. We will deal with that. This game was influenced by the referee."

Southampton remain bottom of the table despite their battling draw.

West Ham moved out of the relegation zone with a 1-1 draw against Aston Villa at the London Stadium.

West Ham, who started the day in 18th place, moved up one spot but were still booed off at full-time.

Villa went ahead with their first effort on target, Ollie Watkins heading in Emiliano Buendia's cross in the 17th minute.

West Ham equalised nine minutes later when Said Benrahma converted a penalty awarded for Leon Bailey's shove on Lucas Paqueta.

RESULTS:

English Premier League

Sunday

Fulham 0 Arsenal 3

Man United 0 Southampton 0

West Ham 1 Aston Villa 1

Newcastle 1 Wolves 0

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