Gunners bounce back from keeper’s embarrassing blunder to fire into first, Garnacho chews up Toffees again

Gunners bounce back from keeper's embarrassing blunder to fire into first, Garnacho chews up Toffees again


Aaron Ramsdale made a horrendous error but Kai Havertz saved him from total embarrassment as Arsenal lifted themselves into first on the Premier League ladder with a win over Brentford.

Arsenal opened the scoring via a Declan Rice header which was neatly flicked into the net but against the run of play, Ramsdale came up with a colossal error.

The England keeper took his time to put boot to ball for a clearance and Yoane Wissa slid in to not only blunt the kick but the ricochet bounced straight into the goal.

He was given a rare start because Arsenal’s regular No. 1 David Raya is on loan from Brentford. Ramsdale made amends with two good saves in the second half.

With the match looking like it was headed for a draw, Havertz came through with the goods to expertly head in Ben White’s cross.

Havertz had been somewhat fortunate to avoid a second booking for a dive in the area earlier in the second half, a decision that proved crucial when he was on hand to head home a cross from Ben White in the 86th minute on Saturday (Sunday AEDT).

It was the fourth consecutive Premier League game in which he has scored and put Arsenal a point clear of Liverpool and two ahead of Manchester City before the title rivals meet in the most crucial match of the round on Monday (2.45am AEDT).

Arsenal had netted a combined 21 goals in their past four league games, but couldn’t quite replicate that attacking prowess against Brentford.

Meanwhile, Manchester United’s Alejandro Garnacho has hurt Everton again – even if it was in a far less spectacular way.

Three-and-a-half months after that outrageous overhead kick at Goodison Park, the gifted Manchester United teenager with magic in his feet won two penalties to inspire his team to a 2-0 victory over Everton at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Before Saturday, no United player had ever earned a pair of spot kicks in the same Premier League game.

Garnacho changed that, firstly flicking the ball to the side of James Tarkowski and falling under the defender’s tackle before Bruno Fernandes converted the penalty in the 12th minute. 

Then Garnacho’s surging drive into the area ended with him being upended by Ben Godfrey, with Marcus Rashford taking the penalty duties from Fernandes and finding the corner with his attempt in the 36th.

It’s this directness and trickery that has helped the Argentine winger establish himself as a regular in one of the top teams in England at the age of 19. 

United will need him to keep it up if Erik ten Hag’s side are to squeeze into the Champions League qualification places by the end of the season.

United stayed in sixth but at least trimmed the gap to fourth-placed Aston Villa to eight points and fifth-placed Tottenham to three.

There’s a chance five Premier League teams — rather than four — will enter the Champions League for next season, though that depends on the overall performance of English clubs in European competitions in the remainder of this campaign.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: Alejandro Garnacho of Manchester United is fouled by Ben Godfrey of Everton during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Everton FC at Old Trafford on March 09, 2024 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Alejandro Garnacho is fouled by Ben Godfrey. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Villa and Spurs meet on Sunday, so United are certain to make some inroads this weekend.

Sheffield United have been spoken about as potentially the worst team to ever play in the Premier League after conceding at least five goals in each of their  last three home games on their likely return to the Championship.

On the road, however, the Blades aren’t so blunt.

A 2-2 draw at Bournemouth salvaged some pride after their 6-0 thrashing by Arsenal on Monday but wins are needed for survival with United still 10 points from safety. 

So the result could have been better, with Bournemouth battling from 2-0 down to claim a point, and the equaliser coming from Enes Unal in the first minute of stoppage time.

Sunny Singh Gill became the first referee of Indian descent to take charge of a Premier League game in Crystal Palace’s 1-1 home draw with Luton.

The 39-year-old Singh Gill was seen signing autographs at Selhurst Park at the request of fans to mark the occasion

Singh Gill is following the lead set by his father, Jarnail Singh Gill, who remains the only English league football referee to have worn a turban.

Jean-Philippe Mateta put Palace ahead with a deft flicked finish in the 11th minute, only for Luton to equalise in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time through Cauley Woodrow.

Wolves beat Fulham 2-1 with Rayan Ait-Nouri’s 53rd-minute opener and an own-goal by Tom Cairney giving the hosts a two-goal cushion. Alex Iwobi replied in stoppage time.

with AAP


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