English Premier League: Arsenal Open Up Lead At The Top

Arsenal opened a 5 point lead at the top of the table with a dramatic 4-3 win against Luton Town on Tuesday. Liverpool however closed the gap to 2 with a win over Sheffield United on Wednesday to take sole possession of 2nd place in the standings. Aston Villa are now in third place, following a 1-0 win over Manchester City, which put the defending champions in 4th.

Chelsea fell to Manchester United on the road 2-1 and Tottenham will be playing West Ham on Thursday. West Ham will have a chance to tie Manchester CIty for fourth place with a win.

The young and talented Arsenal team have looked good so far as the team attempts to win its first Premier League title since 2004. The team has won a number of tight games, including a 4-3 overtime victory on Tuesday courtesy of a header by Delan Rice. 

It was the fifth time in 15 Premier League matches this season that Arsenal have scored a game-changing goal after the 84th minute. It was also the first time since October 2011 that Arsenal have won a Premier League away match in which they’ve conceded three or more goals.

Gabriel Jesus of Arsenal celebrates after he scores during the Premier League match
IMAGO / PRiME Media Images

Match Summary

Arsenal were in control early in the match, dominating time of possession. It wasn’t until the 20th minute however that Arsenal were able to score off a mistake from goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski. Gabriel Jesus stole the ball from Kaminski and found Bukayo Saka, who in turn got the ball to Gabriel Martinelli to score in the bottom corner.

Just five minutes later, Luton leveled the score 1-1 when Gabriel Osho knocked a header past David Raya for his first Premier League goal. Just before the half Arsenal took the lead again through a cross from Ben White which was headed in by Gabriel Jesus. It was the Brazilian’s first goal in eight Premier League matches and only his second this season.

After halftime Luton were quick to equalize again. Again a corner was not dealt with by Raya and Elijah Adebayo headed one past him to level the game at 2. 

Ross Barkley then put the host team ahead at 57 minutes with a low shot that went under Raya. The lead lasted just three minutes as Kai Havertz deflected a shot from Gabriel Jesus for his third goal in his last four matches.

The match looked like it would end in a draw until Rice headed Martin Odegaard’s cross into the bottom corner to give Arsenal the three much needed points. In the end, Arsenal won in overtime by the score of 4-3.

Can Arsenal win the Premier League?

Despite holding first place, many still don’t believe Arsenal can keep this form up for the entire season. This is likely because of a number of failures to keep the top position in recent years. Last season, Arsenal was 8 point ahead of Manchester CIty but ended up finishing finishing five points behind in second.

The biggest problem for Arsenal at the moment seems to be in the goalkeeper position. Raya has been out of form in the past few games, making a number of costly mistakes that almost cost his side. Raya replaced Aaron Ramsdale in the starting lineup who had a poor start to the season.

With both goalkeepers clearly out of form and struggling, manager Arteta will likely need to find a solution until one of them catches form.

Arsenal will face some tough teams in their next three Premier League fixtures. First they travel to face the impressive Aston Villa on Saturday, before a home match against Brighton and then a trip to Liverpool.

If Arsenal are able to come away from the next three games without any losses they should have a good chance at a Premier League title. Liverpool, Manchester City and Aston Villa are expected to put up a good fight however, so expect things to get tight.