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Premier League : No Xmas, World Cup hangover as Arsenal return to action with win over West Ham

London : Premier League leaders Arsenal came back from a goal down to beat West Ham 3-1 and dispel doubts that their title challenge will be badly handicapped by the loss of Gabriel Jesus through injury.

Worries about Arsenal seemed to be confirmed on Monday when Said Benrahma put West Ham ahead with a 27th-minute penalty, but Bukayo Saka levelled the score in the 53rd minute after controlling Martin Odegaard’s mis-kick and Gabriel Martinelli put Arsenal ahead in the 59th minute.

Eddie Nketiah extended the Gunners’ lead after a cushioned pass from Odegaard with 21 minutes left to play and with former coach Arsene Wenger watching from the stands, Arsenal move seven points clear, reports Xinhua.

Just like the Premier League leaders, some other clubs too did not show any impact of the month-long break in the action because of the World Cup ahead of the festival season, which is traditionally the busiest period of the season as the English league does not have a winter break.

Newcastle United also showed no ill effects of the six-week break for the World Cup as they raced into a 3-0 lead away to Leicester City in just 35 minutes. Chris Wood opened the scoring from the penalty spot after three minutes after Joelington was brought down in the Leicester area.

Miguel Almiron doubled Newcastle’s lead in the seventh minute with an excellent goal after exchanging passes with Bruno Guimaraes, and Joelington made it 3-0 just after the half-hour. After that, Newcastle were content to conserve their lead and climb up to second.

Liverpool moved up to sixth with a 3-1 win over Aston Villa in an entertaining game at Villa Park. Mohamed Salah put Liverpool ahead after five minutes and they doubled their lead later in the half thanks to Virgil van Dijk’s deflected shot.

Ollie Watkins’ well-placed header got Villa back into the game before teenager Stefan Bajcetic came off the bench to seal the win for Liverpool with his first league goal nine minutes from time. Brentford and Tottenham Hotspur kicked off the day with an entertaining 2-2 draw, which saw Harry Kane inspire a fightback to save a point for the visitors.

Brentford were 2-0 ahead after goals from Vitaly Janelt and Ivan Toney before Kane got Tottenham back into the game with an excellent 65th-minute header and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg equalized just six minutes later as Tottenham pressed to the end.

Brighton were without their World Cup winner, Alexis Mac Allister, but still had few problems in brushing past Southampton away from home. Adam Lallana opened the scoring for Brighton against his former club in the 14th minute and the visitors’ cause was helped 20 minutes later when Romain Perraud put the ball into his own net.

Solly March scored a third for Brighton in the 56th minute before James Ward Prowse salved some pride for Southampton with 15 minutes left to play. That result, combined with Wolverhampton Wanderers’ 2-1 win away to Everton, leaves Southampton bottom of the table, while Wolves’ win also increases the pressure on Everton boss Frank Lampard.

Everything that could go wrong for Crystal Palace did go wrong as they crashed to a 3-0 home defeat to Fulham.





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