Brighton shock for Arsenal
ARSENAL completed a dreadful week by losing 1-2 at Brighton and Hove Albion in the English Premier League yesterday to slip 13 points off the UEFA Champions League qualification positions and pile more pressure on manager Arsene Wenger.
After back-to-back 0-3 losses to Manchester City across two competitions, Arsenal stumbled again following two errors by goalkeeper Petr Cech on the south coast.
Cech was beaten to a high ball following a corner to the back post, and Lewis Dunk slotted the loose ball home from the edge of the six-yard box in the seventh minute. Glenn Murray made it 2-0 in the 26th when his header from Pascal Gross’ pinpoint cross squirmed under the diving Cech.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang reduced the deficit for Arsenal by turning in Granit Xhaka’s drive across the face of goal in the 43rd, but the visitors couldn’t turn sustained pressure into an equalizer in the second half.
It was Arsenal’s fourth straight loss in all competitions, and eighth in 14 matches in 2018.
Arsenal is in sixth place and destined for another year out of the UCL, unless it can win the Europa League to earn a direct passage to Europe’s top competition.
Arsenal lost to City in the League Cup final last Sunday and then in the EPL on Thursday, placing Wenger under renewed scrutiny in his 22nd season in charge.
On Saturday, Liverpool moved into second place as Egyptian international Mohamed Salah continued his remarkable scoring run in a 2-0 victory at home to Newcastle United.
Salah scored for the seventh match running, taking his Liverpool total for the season to 32, when he put the home side ahead after 40 minutes.
Sadio Mane’s goal in the second half ensured there was no joy for Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez, whose Liverpool team won the UCL in 2005.
Manchester United will start next Saturday’s game at home to the Merseysiders back in second place if it wins at Crystal Palace today.
“I thought the boys did brilliantly,” said manager Juergen Klopp. “Two wonderful goals and a few more possible. I’m happy.”
Tottenham Hotspur, apparently affected early in the season by playing home games at Wembley, achieved a sixth straight win there by beating Huddersfield Town 2-0 with a double by Son Heung-min.
It was its 17th game unbeaten in all competitions and briefly moved it ahead of Liverpool.
“We feel comfortable at Wembley, we enjoy playing here,” Son said after scoring four times this week at the national stadium where Tottenham is playing while it builds a new home ground.
Spurs, who did not win in their first three league games there, are fourth, a point behind United and five ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea, which was at leader Manchester City yesterday.