English Premier League: Arsenal & Man City Win

Both Arsenal and Man City pulled off victories on Wednesday night to keep pace with their hopes to bring home a Premier League Championship. Arsenal had to overcome the absence of Bukayo Saka but did so rather easily over the struggling Luton at Emirates Stadium. In the end, Arsenal won 2-0 with goals by Odegaard and an own goal from Hashioka.

With the win, Arsenal remain on top of the English Premier League table with 68 points but are only one up of Liverpool and Man City. It should be noted that Liverpool have played one less game and are up against Sheffield United on Thursday night. This game could be pivotal in the title race.

With Arsenal’s leading scorer in Saka, Captain Martin Odegaard was the one to break through for the Gunners. He helped his team take the lead in the 24th minute after Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu was bundled off the ball by Emile Smith Rowe. 

Emile Smith Rowe of Arsenal celebrates Martin Odegaard s goal during the Premier League match
IMAGO / Uk Sports Pics Ltd

Then doubling their lead just before halftime, Japanese defender Daiki Hashioka inadvertently pushed one past Thomas Kaminski in the 44th minute. The own goal came as a result of trying to stop Reiss Nelson from scoring after Smith Rowe had given him space in the penalty area.

Luton has had a rough go of it this season after being severely crippled by injuries. The team even had a 16-year-old schoolboy defender Christian Chigozie on the substitutes bench out of desperation. Despite being short-handed Luton didn’t allow Arsenal to run away with the game, getting a number of chances but couldn’t get one past Arsenal keeper David Raya.

Arsenal will be hoping that Saka will be back in the side for Saturday’s game at Brighton. While they got the job done against Luton, Brighton could pose more problems. This part of the EPL season is extremely critical to the team’s chance of winning the title, especially with Liverpool and Man City hot on their heels.

One of the silver linings for Arsenal as of late has been the play of Kai Havertz, who continues to impress. The German got another assist against Luton to go with his eight Premier League goals. He has been involved in 12 goals in the Premier League this season (8 goals, 4 assists).

Luton will be looking to avoid relegation, with some wins in their next few matches. They are currently sitting in 18th place with only 5 wins this season. Their remaining schedule isn’t the toughest though, with a home match with Bournemouth on Saturday and home games against Brentford (20 April), Everton (4 May).

Man City Keep Pace with 4-1 Win Against Aston Villa

Phil Foden was the hero for Man City, as he struck a stunning hat-trick in their 401 win over Aston Villa. The reigning champs continue to apply pressure to their Premier League title rivals in Arsenal and Liverpool on their quest to win the title for the fourth time in a row.

One of the key stories in the game was the Erling Haaland and Kevin de Bruyne who were on the bench. In their absence, Foden carried the load however to take his tally of goals for the season to 21. 

The first goal came from Rodri though, who struck for City in the 11th minute when he struck home a Jeremy Doku cross at the near post. Villa didn’t give up without a fight, leveling the scoring just nine minutes later when Jhon Duran finished low on Stefan Ortega.

From there it was all Foden, first restoring the lead with a 20-yard free-kick just before half-time, and then extending it in the 62nd minute.  The hat-trick came 7 minutes later with a beautiful drive into the top corner of the net from the edge of the box.

The win for City leaves them level with Liverpool on 67 points. As mentioned before though, Liverpool will play Sheffield United at Anfield on Thursday night which could catapult them into first place with a win. 

Aston Villa remain in fourth place, two points ahead of Tottenham who drew at West Ham United on Tuesday.