Arteta admits World Cup break is not ideal for Arsenal’s title fight

The final round of Premier League matches before the World Cup break produced quite a commotion at the Etihad Stadium.

After missing out on England’s World Cup squad, Ivan Toney scored twice to give Brentford a sensational 2-1 victory over Manchester City.

That result confirmed that Arsenal would be top heading into the World Cup interval, and they increased their lead to five points by beating Wolves at Molineux when Martin Odegaard scored both goals in a 2-0 victory.

Tottenham and Leeds United played a seven-goal thriller at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with the hosts eventually winning 4-3.

Chelsea, on the other hand, fell to their third successive league defeat as they were beaten 1-0 by Newcastle United in top form.

Here, Stats Perform reviews the best facts of the day.

Manchester City 1-2 Brentford: Toney double surprises Citizens

City had previously been unbeaten in 20 home games in all competitions since a 3-2 loss against Spurs in February, winning their last 16 at the Etihad.

But Toney, fresh from his disappointment with England, scored his 21st and 22nd Premier League goals to end City’s run in dramatic fashion.

His winning goal came at 97 minutes and 16 seconds, the last winning goal scored against City in the Premier League since exact goal times began to be recorded in the 2006-07 campaign.

The Bees had to defend hard to win all three points, with City taking 29 shots, their most in a Premier League home game they failed to win since a 2-1 loss to Leeds United in April 2021.

Phil Foden’s equalizing goal in first-half injury time was his sixth home goal in all competitions, their joint best comeback in a Premier League season. Six of his eight goals (75 per cent) this season have come at the Etihad, compared to 43 per cent last season (six of 14).

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Wolves 0-2 Arsenal: Odegaard fires the Gunners to a five-point lead

Odegaard’s brace takes him to six Premier League goals this season, the most of any Arsenal player, while only Kevin de Bruyne, James Maddison and Leandro Trossard have been involved in more away goals than the Norway international. (five, four goals and one assist). ).

The three points, combined with City’s slip, give Arsenal their biggest lead at the top of the Premier League since December 2013.

Mikel Arteta’s men are the only team to have scored in every Premier League game this season and will be top of the league on Christmas Day for the first time since 2007-08.

Another Wolves defeat means new manager Julen Lopetegui has a lot of work to do, with Molineux bottoming out at Christmas for the first time since the 2003-04 season.

They are seriously out of shape, only winning one of their last 22 Premier League games and failing to score in 11 games in that run.

Tottenham 4-3 Leeds United: Bentancur scores twice as Spurs come from behind

Antonio Conte’s men took another turn to beat Leeds and have now recovered 13 points from disadvantaged positions, more than any other team.

Rodrigo Bentancur’s late brace was the first time he had scored twice in the same match within the top five European leagues, in what was his 164th appearance.

Spurs were set to do it the hard way, as Rodrigo and Crysencio Summerville became the first pair of team-mates to score in four successive Premier League games.

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But Leeds eventually succumbed to defeat, their fifth successive league loss against London sides since beating Chelsea 3-0 in August.

Meanwhile, Spurs have scored 31 goals in 15 Premier League games this season, only surpassing that tally at this stage of the competition in one season, when they scored 35 in 15 to start the 2009-10 campaign.

Newcastle United 1-0 Chelsea: Willock wonder defeat Blues

Joe Willock scored a superb winner as Newcastle claimed their fifth successive Premier League win for the first time since 2014.

On the other hand, Graham Potter becomes the first Chelsea manager to lose three consecutive league games since José Mourinho in 2015 as his team’s poor form continues.

A key reason for the defeat was a dismal attacking display, registering just seven touches in the attacking box, their lowest level since January against Manchester City.

The closest Chelsea came to scoring was Conor Gallagher, who forced an acrobatic save from Nick Pope. No other goalkeeper has kept a clean sheet longer in the Premier League this season than Pope, with five of his seven at St James’ Park.

The three points ensure Newcastle will be in the top three at Christmas for the first time since 2001-02, when they were top.

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