Arsenal regain top spot as Manchester City stumble in title race

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Arsenal regained pole position in Saturday’s Premier League title race as the Gunners fought back for a thrilling 4-2 win at Aston Villa, while Manchester City were held to a damaging 1-1 draw at Nottingham Forest. Just three days after giving up top spot with a 3-1 defeat to City, Arsenal made an impressive recovery to find themselves two points ahead of the champions. With only minutes left at Villa Park, Mikel Arteta’s side were again in danger of slipping in their bid to win the title for the first time since 2004.

Arsenal fell behind twice through goals from Ollie Watkins and Philippe Coutinho, only for Bukayo Saka and then Oleksandr Zinchenko to level them.

Deep into second-half stoppage time, Arsenal got a helping hand from their former keeper when Emiliano Martinez accidentally deflected Jorginho’s shot into his own net after it hit the crossbar.

Gabriel Martinelli capped Arsenal’s remarkable breakaway when he tapped the empty net in the dying seconds after Martinez was passed onto the pitch on a Villa corner.

“We are back with more conviction than before, because you have to convert performance into results,” said Arteta.

“Winning in any context. We’ve always talked about that. Today we had a very difficult context, especially with what happened after five minutes.

“The team showed a lot of emotional qualities that are needed. I am very happy.”

Arsenal’s first win in five games in all competitions will give them another belief that they can lead City to the title.

The Gunners, who still have a game credit against the champions, were given a huge boost just hours later by their title rivals stumbling.

Bernardo Silva put Pep Guardiola’s men ahead four minutes before the break, took Jack Grealish’s pass in his stride and drilled a clinical finish past Keylor Navas from 20 yards out.

But tensions mounted as City went in search of a second goal and Guardiola was booked for manipulating the fourth official after Erling Haaland’s penalty appeal was dismissed following Joe Worrall’s challenge.

Dissolute city

City were undone by their debauchery as Haaland’s drive hit the crossbar before the Norwegian star flew over the rebound.

Haaland missed another chance moments later and Forest paid the champion with his first shot on target in the 84th minute.

Morgan Gibbs-White shot a low ball across the area and New Zealand striker Chris Wood tapped into an empty net to leave Guardiola stunned.

“We had great chances, but it’s football. We have to score,” said Guardiola.

“It is one of the best games we have played, but we dropped two points. We should be more aggressive. There are still many games to play, we know that.”

Everton exited the relegation zone with a valuable 1-0 win against fellow contenders Leeds at Goodison Park.

Seamus Coleman scored in the 64th minute when the veteran Everton defender hooked over a cross that caught Leeds keeper Illan Meslier, who left a gap at his near post for the ball to squeeze into the net.

Sean Dyche’s side have won two of their three games since replacing sacked Frank Lampard and are now one point above the bottom three, with managerless Leeds in 19th.

Chelsea boss Graham Potter under fire was dealt another blow as Southampton won 1-0 at Stamford Bridge at the bottom of the table.

James Ward-Prowse scored his 17th free-kick in the Premier League – one behind David Beckham’s record in the league – to give Southampton the lead in first-half stoppage time.

Stuart Armstrong received a foul on the edge of the box and with Saints fans chanting Ward-Prowse’s name, the midfielder curled a brilliant play past Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Chelsea were booed full-time after a result that saw them languish in 10th place, with just two wins in their last 14 games in all competitions and none in their last five.

Bournemouth climbed out of the relegation zone to win 1–0 at Wolves, with Marcus Tavernier pulling in the winner after 49 minutes.

Manor Solomon’s goal in the 88th minute gave sixth-placed Fulham a 1–0 win at Brighton, as Brentford and Crystal Palace drew 1–1.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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