Arsenal survive almighty scare from Ange’s Spurs to stay on top after City cut down Forest


Arsenal have survived a late scare at Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham to stay narrowly ahead in the compelling race for the Premier League title. 

A 3-2 win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday ensured Mikel Arteta’s team remained at the top of the standings – but champions Manchester City then kept up the pressure by winning 2-0 at Nottingham Forest. 

Arsenal remain one point clear at the top, having played a game more than City, but the advantage is still with Pep Guardiola’s team, who will clinch a fourth-straight title if they win their remaining games this season.

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal had to endure a nervous finish despite powering to 3-0 lead in a London derby that was supposed to be one of their biggest tests in the title chase. 

“The last 20 minutes wasn’t nice, but it was worth it,” Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka said afterwards.

“We know it is a big derby and they don’t want to lose 3-0 at home. Momentum shifted their way, but I am proud of the boys — we managed to get the three points.”

An own-goal from Pierre-Emile Hojberg and further strikes from Saka and Kai Havertz put Arsenal into a commanding position at the break. 

But in the face of a potential rout, Tottenham responded in the second half through Cristian Romero and a penalty from Son Heung-min in the 87th minute. 

Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu celebrates after Tottenham Hotspur’s Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had scored an own goal. (Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images)

But Arsenal held on, putting the onus on City to respond, which they did with a victory over a Forest team desperately fighting for survival.

But without Phil Foden, who was ill, and Erling Haaland on the bench, Guardiola was without two of his big match-winners in the starting 11. 

An injury to goalkeeper Ederson also forced City into a change at halftime, but Guardiola’s team look to be in unstoppable form and the win extended their unbeaten record in the league to 19 games, dating back to a 1-0 loss to Aston Villa at the start of December. 

Bukayo Saka’s touch to set up his goal against Tottenham is absolutely outrageous ????

It’s his 15th Premier League goal of the season. It’s officially his best ever scoring campaign in the league.

Free to watch highlights ????

— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) April 28, 2024

Haaland, with a league-leading 21st goal, stepped off the bench to score the goal that effectively killed off Forest’s challenge. 

Josko Gvardiol had headed City in front in the first half, but Chris Wood had two clear chances from close range to score for Forest. 

Haaland missed City’s last two games through injury, but was quickly back on the scoresheet with his clinically taken goal just nine minutes after coming on as a substitute. 

It’s all love from Ange Postecoglou for Yokohama F. Marinos and Harry Kewell after they qualified for the Asian Champions League final ????????#JLeague

— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) April 28, 2024

Among those in the crowd to watch were his father, Alf-Inge, and rock star Noel Gallagher. 

“It’s an important win, it does not matter how we do it, and it is good to be back,” Haaland said.

“We knew it was going to be a fight, and the pitch was not the easiest to play on but we cannot complain, it is about winning and that is exactly what we did.”

???? @Arsenal have the points on the board
@ManCity have the game in-hand
???? @LFC have it all to do

Who comes out on top? ????

— Premier League (@premierleague) April 28, 2024

Without a win in their first nine league games this season, Bournemouth are now in the top half of the table, having set their own Premier League points record.

A 3-0 win against Brighton, with goals from Marcos Senesi, Enes Unal and Justin Kluivert, moved Andoni Iraola’s team up to 10th and on 48 points.

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