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Arsenal kick title challenge into gear as champions City fall to Wolves

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Bournemouth 0-4 Arsenal

KAI HAVERTZ HIT his first Arsenal goal as Mikel Arteta’s side eased to a comfortable victory at Bournemouth.

The Gunners outclassed their hosts to win 4-0 and move to within striking distance of Manchester City – who visit the Emirates Stadium next weekend – but a late injury to Bukayo Saka will worry Arteta.

Havertz has struggled to make an impact since moving across London from Chelsea in the summer but stroked home a second-half penalty, much to the joy of his team-mates and the travelling support inside the Vitality Stadium.

Arsenal were already two goals to the good at that point, Saka breaking the deadlock with his fifth of the season, before Martin Odegaard scored from the spot with a Ben White header wrapping up the win in stoppage time.

Arteta was able to call on a number of players who were injury doubts ahead of the trip to the south coast as William Saliba, Declan Rice and Saka all started despite missing the majority of training leading into the game.

Saka, though, hobbled off for the second game in succession having injured a foot against Tottenham in last weekend’s north London derby draw.

Bournemouth are still without a league win under head coach Andoni Iraola, who very much came off second best in the battle against childhood friend Arteta.

Arsenal were on the front foot from the off as Havertz saw a shot deflected behind off Illia Zabarnyi and behind for a corner.

Saka duly put them ahead soon after, nodding into an empty goal after Gabriel Jesus’ header came back off the post and into the path of the England winger.

Oleksandr Zinchenko stung the palms of Neto with the visitors in search of a second goal, which arrived from the penalty spot after Max Aarons felled Eddie Nketiah.

Saka initially stepped up, only to give the ball to his captain with Odegaard dispatching the spot-kick to widen the gap before the break.

Bournemouth continued to cause their own problems as a poor challenge from Ryan Christie on Odegaard led to Michael Salisbury pointing to the spot for a second time.

Saka, again, collected the ball but this time ceded responsibility to Havertz, without a goal or assist in his first nine Arsenal appearances.

He coolly slotted home before being mobbed by his team-mates as his name rang out from the away section with the points all-but secured.

The only sour note of the afternoon for Arsenal came when Saka hit the deck in pain after a coming together with Milos Kerkez.

He limped on for a couple of minutes before being replaced by Fabio Vieira with Arsenal adding another goal late on through White.

Wolves 2-1 Manchester City

Manchester City’s perfect start to the Premier League season came undone in a shock 2-1 loss to Wolves, as Manchester United slumped to a 1-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Arsenal closed to within a point of the lead by cruising to a 4-0 win at Bournemouth, while Aston Villa thrashed Brighton 6-1 to move into the top four.

City had won the opening six games of their title defence as they aim to become the first side to ever claim four consecutive English top-flight titles.

By contrast, Wolves had taken just four points from their first six games but stunned the champions at Molineux.

Ruben Dias’ own goal put the home side in front, but City responded after the break through Julian Alvarez’s free-kick.

Wolves, though, were a constant threat on the counter-attack and got their reward when Hwang Hee-Chan swept home at the second attempt 25 minutes from time.

City’s defeat means Liverpool can go top should they end Tottenham’s unbeaten Premier League start under Ange Postecoglou.

Newcastle 2-0 Burnley

Miguel Almiron’s second goal in a week set Newcastle on their way to a third successive Premier League victory as Burnley’s wait for a first top-flight win of the campaign continued.

There was a worry for Stephen Kenny, meanwhile, ahead of the Republic of Ireland’s squad announcement next Thursday, as John Egan limped off with a worrying-looking injury on 56 minutes.

Almiron’s sweet 14th-minute strike and Alexander Isak’s late penalty were enough to secure a 2-0 success at St James’ Park and extend the Magpies’ unbeaten run to five games in all competitions on an afternoon when they were utterly dominant.

But for the efforts of goalkeeper James Trafford and some sub-standard finishing as they failed to scale the heights they reached to put eight past Sheffield United last Sunday, the margin of victory would have been significantly more substantial.

For their part, the Clarets might have taken an early lead through Zeki Amdouni had it not been for Nick Pope, but they otherwise struggled to put the England goalkeeper’s goal under genuine pressure.

A Newcastle side with one eye on Wednesday evening’s mouthwatering Champions League showdown with Paris St Germain on Tyneside might have been behind within four minutes.

Full-back Dan Burn slipped as he attempted to collected the ball under little pressure and allowed Luca Koleosho to race away and square for striker Amdouni, only for Pope to make a fine save to keep his side level.

Koleosho was proving a real handful down the Clarets’ right in the early stages with the Magpies struggling for coherence, although Trafford needed two attempts to collect Isak’s skidding 11th-minute strike after Bruno Guimaraes had intercepted Connor Roberts’ ill-judged square ball.

Trafford was beaten, however, three minutes later when, after Kieran Trippier had dispossessed Aaron Ramsey, Almiron cut inside before curling an unstoppable shot across the keeper.

With the home side hunting in packs, Burnley were struggling to cope with their high press and Sean Longstaff fired just wide of the far post after Elliot Anderson and Isak had combined to wrestle the ball back.

The Sweden international should have doubled their advantage with 27 minutes gone after running on to Guimaraes’ first-time pass, but he took a heavy touch and although he forced the ball past the advancing Trafford, the off-balance frontman was unable to finish at the second time of asking.

Trafford kept Burnley in it 10 minutes before the break when he somehow managed to keep out the unmarked Anderson’s diving header and had to atone for his own error by denying the same man in stoppage time after his wayward pass had been picked off by Guimaraes.

Newcastle went close within seconds of the restart when Tripper’s powerfully-struck shot was deflected wide with Trafford having gone the other way and the visitors found themselves camped deep inside their own territory once again as the second half unfolded.

Anthony Gordon was enjoying the space afforded to him down the Magpies’ left, but it was Almiron and Trippier who caused problems down the opposite flank with 57 minutes gone, although Isak was unable to make contact with the England full-back’s teasing cross.

Burnley midfielder Josh Cullen saw a shot from distance blocked by Guimaraes 20 minutes from time, but Trafford had to field Gordon’s snapshot and then found himself staring down the barrel after the home side were awarded a 77th-minute penalty for Ameed Al-Dakhil’s clumsy challenge on Gordon.

Isak expertly sent Trafford the wrong way from 12 yards to seal the win with the minimum of fuss.

Everton 1-2 Luton

Luton claimed their first ever Premier League win with a 2-1 victory at Goodison Park as Everton’s positive vibes drained away in the Merseyside drizzle.

Representatives from the Toffees’ prospective new owners 777 Partners were in attendance after back-to-back wins over Brentford and Aston Villa had fostered hopes of brighter days ahead.

But set-piece goals from Tom Lockyer and Carlton Morris put Luton two up and, although Dominic Calvert-Lewin pulled one back before half-time, the Toffees could not find an equaliser.

Instead it was a landmark day for Luton, who celebrated their first top-flight victory since a 2-0 success against Aston Villa in April 1992.

Everton began the match very much on the front foot but, as with previous games at Goodison this season, they could not turn chances into goals, or even trouble Thomas Kaminski.

Dwight McNeil had the first opening in the third minute, volleying just past a post after a defensive slip, while James Garner, Idrissa Gueye and Amadou Onana all put their efforts wide and Calvert-Lewin, back in the starting line-up after goals in successive matches, headed straight at the keeper.

Luton’s only opening had been a shot from Marvelous Nakamba that flew high and wide, but they looked dangerous from set-pieces and Lockyer gave notice of his threat by finding space in the middle of the box from a corner and heading just over the bar.

And it was the Luton captain who made the breakthrough from another corner in the 24th minute.

Morris’ powerful header hit the bar and rebounded off Jordan Pickford, Ashley Young was too slow in trying to clear the ball and Lockyer got in the way to divert it into an empty net.

The optimism around Goodison Park rapidly drained away and things got worse in the 31st minute when Morris was given space at the back post to meet Alfie Doughty’s free-kick and send a crisp volley flying into the far corner.

Everton should have pulled one back six minutes later when McNeil’s well-judged cross found Garner unmarked six yards out, but his header hit the angle of post and bar.

Four minutes later they did manage to put the ball in the back of the net and it was eventually given after a three-minute VAR check.

Garner’s ball in found Onana, who appeared to be having his shirt pulled by Reece Burke as he scrambled a shot, which was blocked by Kaminski.

With Everton fans screaming for a penalty, the ball squirmed away from the keeper and Abdoulaye Doucoure teed up Calvert-Lewin, who was eventually deemed to be just onside, for the simplest of finishes.

Luton dug in to preserve their lead until half-time and both teams made changes for the second half, Jack Harrison replacing Gueye for his league debut for Everton and Mads Andersen coming on for Burke.

The Hatters then lost captain Lockyer to injury, with Teden Mengi coming on in his place.

There was a big cheer when Beto was introduced for Everton, who could manage little more than lofting hopeful balls into the box as they sought the equaliser.

Luton had the ball in the net again with 63 minutes gone but Morris was denied his second by an offside flag.

Everton slowly began to ramp up the pressure, but Kaminski did not have a save to make in the second half, with Beto heading over from the best two openings, and boos greeted the final whistle.

West Ham 2-0 Sheffield United

Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek were on target as West Ham strolled to a 2-0 victory over rock-bottom Sheffield United.

The Blades, walloped 8-0 by Newcastle six days earlier, had the air of a team already resigned to relegation just seven matches into the season.

Their visit to the London Stadium was a welcome one for West Ham, who had suffered back-to-back defeats by Manchester City and Liverpool.

The only surprise was that the Hammers did not score more, although it could have been an entirely different story had the Blades opened the scoring after 10 minutes when Cameron Archer turned Kurt Zouma in the area, only for Nayef Aguerd to slide in and block his shot.

That was pretty much their only glimpse of Alphonse Areola’s goal in the first half as West Ham went for the jugular.

First Bowen out-muscled James McAtee on the byline and cut the ball back for Soucek, who blazed over the crossbar.

Then, from a James Ward-Prowse corner, Bowen had a header saved at point-blank range by Wes Foderingham, with Aguerd’s follow-up headed off the line by Luke Thomas.

The goal West Ham had been threatening arrived in the 24th minute when Vladimir Coufal crossed low into the penalty area.

Bowen had timed his run into the box to perfection and arrowed a first-time finish past Foderingham for his sixth goal in the Premier League this season, and his first at home.

West Ham, sensing they could fill their boots just like Newcastle did against the Blades a week earlier, poured forward with Michail Antonio curling a shot just wide and Soucek narrowly off target with a glancing header.

Nine minutes before the interval they doubled their lead after the visitors lost possession as they tried to play out from the back.

Emerson Palmieri’s pass along the edge of the box found Antonio, who unselfishly slipped in Soucek to slot the ball home.

After the break Archer had a half chance in the area but his shot was deflected over the crossbar.

And a miserable afternoon for the Blades got even worse when captain John Egan limped off.

They should have been further behind when Bowen rounded Foderingham and pulled the ball back, but Antonio could not find the finish.

Aguerd headed wide from another Ward-Prowse corner before Blades striker Oliver McBurnie could have set up a nervous finish for the hosts, only to see his header fly the wrong side of the near post.

- with reporting from AFP

Written by Press Association and posted on

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