England Roundup: Arsenal beats Tottenham to stretch EPL lead; Newcastle in third

Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal is challenged by Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on January 15, 2023 in London, United Kingdom. (Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

LONDON (AP) — Arsenal extended its Premier League lead to eight points with a 2-0 win at Tottenham in the north London derby on Sunday that was helped by an own-goal by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

Lloris turned a cross from Bukayo Saka into his own net in the 14th minute to hand Arsenal the lead and Martin Odegaard doubled the advantage with a low shot from distance in the 36th as the visitors totally dominated the first half against a lackluster Spurs side.

Only two good saves from Lloris and the woodwork prevented Arsenal from taking an even bigger lead, with Thomas Partey smashing a long-distance volley against the post in the 24th. Tottenham improved after the break but Aaron Ramsdale made a number of saves to keep the hosts at bay and strengthen the belief that this could be a special season for Arsenal.

The last time Arsenal won the Premier League in the 2003-04 season, the unbeaten “Invincibles” clinched the title at Tottenham’s former White Hart Lane stadium — a feat Gunners fans are more than happy to remind Spurs supporters of during their often heated derbies. While there is still much work for Mikel Arteta’s side to do before ending that 19-year title drought, this win certainly brings them a bit closer — especially after second-place Manchester City lost Saturday’s derby against Manchester United. Newcastle and Man United are both nine points behind while Tottenham is now 14 points back in fifth place, having played a game more than Arsenal.

It was also one of the most dominant away performances in a north London derby in recent years, with Arsenal looking a completely different side to the one that lost 3-0 here in May, a result that ended up costing them a top-four finish.

Eddie Nketiah had the first good chance for the visitors in the seventh minute after Spurs turned the ball over in their own area, but his shot was saved by Llloris.

The veteran goalkeeper was shaking his head in disbelief seven minutes later, though. Saka ran onto a ball from Partey down the flank before breaking into the area, and his attempted cross was deflected by Ryan Sessegnon onto the chest of Lloris, who couldn’t react quickly enough to prevent it from going into his own net. It was Lloris’ first own-goal in 354 career Premier League games.

At the other end, Aaron Ramsdale had to make his first save in the 18th after Sessegnon played Son Heung-min through on goal with a defense-splitting pass, with the Arsenal goalkeeper rushing out to make the stop with his leg.

Lloris then had to dive to his left in the 22nd minute to keep out a shot from distance from Odegaard. But he was beaten again shortly afterward when a perfectly struck volley from Partey from outside crashed against the post.

Odegaard adjusted his aim and deservedly doubled Arsenal’s lead after taking a pass from Saka and drilling another low left-footed shot from 25 yards inside the right post.

It had been all Arsenal but Spurs nearly scored just before the break when Harry Kane met a cross from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and forced another save from Ramsdale.

Tottenham came out rejuvenated after the break and created more in the opening seven minutes of the second half than they did in the entire first, with Ramsdale being called into action twice.

Kane tested his luck with a shot that Ramsdale had to dive to punch away, and the England striker then turned provider as he played Sessegnon through on goal. But Ramsdale stuck out a foot that time to parry his low shot across goal.

Ramsdale wasn’t called into action again, though, until the 82nd minute when he saved a low shot from Richarlison following another stint of sustained pressure from Spurs.

Newcastle United 1, Fulham 0

NEWCASTLE, England (AP) — Alexander Isak scored an 89th-minute goal to earn Newcastle a 1-0 win in the Premier League over Fulham, whose striker Aleksandar Mitrović had a goal ruled out against his former club for a double touch while taking a penalty on Sunday.

Isak, who came on as a second-half substitute, tapped in from close range after strike partner Callum Wilson poked the ball across the face of goal after his initial header was blocked by a Fulham defender.

Newcastle moved back into third place, above Manchester United on goal difference and a point behind second-place Manchester City.

In the 69th minute, Mitrovic slipped as he struck his penalty, kicking the ball against his standing foot and into the net. The Serbia international wheeled away in celebration but the referee gave a foul and a free kick against Mitrovic, who was at Newcastle from 2015-18.

Mitrovic has previously had penalties saved against Wolverhampton and Southampton this season.

Chelsea 1, Crystal Palace 0

LONDON (AP) — Chelsea eased the pressure on manager Graham Potter by securing just a second Premier League victory since October with a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Kai Havertz headed in the winning goal in the 64th minute in front of Chelsea’s latest signing, Ukraine winger Mykhailo Mudryk, who was paraded on the field at halftime.

It was a poignant day in west London as Chelsea paid tribute to former striker Gianluca Vialli, who died this month at the age of 58, before the match with a host of the Italian’s former teammates returning to pay their respects.

It contributed to a feeling of togetherness between players and supporters at Stamford Bridge as the team put a dreadful last seven days — which culminated in a red card for new signing Joao Felix in a defeat at Fulham on Thursday — behind them.

It was only a second win in the last 10 games in the league to take some of the heat off Potter, with 10th-place Chelsea moving level on points with Liverpool in ninth.

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