By Peter Hall; Edited by News Gate Team
England’s Manchester, Feb. 11 (Reuters) – After being held to a 1-1 draw by Brentford at home on Saturday, league leaders Arsenal lost more ground in their quest to win the Premier League for the first time since 2004. Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur’s winning streak came to an abrupt stop against Leicester City.
Wolverhampton Wanderers, who played with ten men, overcame a deficit to defeat bottom-place Southampton; big-spending Chelsea’s poor season continued after they drew 1-1 at West Ham United; and Fulham, who beat Nottingham Forest, moved up to seventh place.
Crystal Palace held Brighton, who haven’t lost yet this year, to a 1-1 tie.
Leandro Trossard, an Arsenal newcomer who came in in place of struggling teammate Gabriel Martinelli just beyond the hour mark, made an almost immediate effect by converting a low cross from Bukayo Saka to give the Gunners the lead at the Emirates Stadium.
Mikel Arteta’s team had an eight-point lead in the standings, but they never appeared to be in control against an active Brentford team who should have been ahead by halftime.
Ivan Toney capitalized on a cross from Christian Norgaard in the 72nd minute to give the visitors a point they deserved. The Brentford striker is the only player in the Premier League this year with more away goals than Brentford.
Arsenal leads the table by six points over Manchester City with both teams having played 21 games, but surrendering points for the second consecutive week after losing to Everton on Saturday.
Prior to their Wednesday match against the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium, the champions play Aston Villa on Sunday.
Arteta stated to Premier League producers that winning is on narrow margins. “I still believed the team performed well today.
“Another significant match is forthcoming (against Manchester City on Wednesday). We’ll prepare for that. It will be again another large and stunning one.”
Spurs had a strong start against Leicester with manager Antonio Conte back in charge after missing their victory over Manchester City last Sunday due to gallbladder surgery.
At the King Power Stadium, Rodrigo Bentancur’s close-range finish gave the top four chasers an early lead as they pursued a fourth straight victory in all competitions.
However, the home team swiftly turned the game around. James Maddison scored the game-winning goal two minutes after Nampalys Mendy had tied the score in the 23rd minute.
In the last seconds of the first half, Kelechi Iheanacho added a third goal to increase Leicester’s advantage, and Tottenham’s defensive play made it much easier for the Nigerian striker.
Leicester improved to 13th in the standings with their third straight victory across all competitions after Harvey Barnes’ excellent fourth addition nine minutes from time.
With Newcastle United in fourth and Eddie Howe’s team playing Bournemouth later on Saturday, Spurs are still in fifth place, one point off of the top four despite having played two more games.
Everyone will benefit from Antonio’s return, according to Spurs assistant Cristian Stellini. It’s beneficial for him, but he must exercise caution and restraint.
“Consistency takes time and requires mental effort. We must improve our mental and methodical preparedness.”
Despite spending a record amount during the January transfer window, Chelsea is still without a win after their draw at West Ham extended their winless league streak to three games. This leaves Chelsea ninth in the standings.
After a deft ball from British record signing Enzo Fernandez, Joao Felix, who was on loan from Chelsea and was dismissed in his debut last month, scored the game’s first goal in the 16th minute.
At London Stadium, Chelsea attempted to increase their lead, but Emerson, a former wing back for Chelsea, equalized in the 28th minute.
West Ham believed they had won it late on when Tomas Soucek scored, but VAR disallowed it because Declan Rice headed the ball on to the Czech.
Carlos Alcaraz’s goal in the 25th minute and Mario Lemina’s dismissal from Wolves two minutes later for receiving a second card gave Southampton, who was at the bottom of the standings, hope that their fortune might be changing.
However, Wolves drew equal through an own goal from Jan Bednarek in the 72nd minute, and a goal from Joao Gomes in the 87th minute put Saints four points out of the playoff picture. This increased the pressure on manager Nathan Jones, who has now lost seven of his last eight league games.
By Peter Hall; Editing by Toby Davis, News Gate Team