Arsenal FC has once again lost important points in the fight for the championship in the English Premier League. The 1:2 (1:1) at FC Fulham on Sunday (December 31, 2023) was the second defeat in three days.
Bukayo Saka gave the “Gunners” an early lead (5th), but coach Mikel Arteta’s team didn’t do enough after that. Although Arsenal had more possession of the ball, they were hardly able to create any chances. Fulham, led by German goalkeeper Bernd Leno, only came back into the game thanks to Raúl Jimenez’s goal (29th), Bobby Reid (59th) completed the turnaround in favor of the hosts.
Arsenal had already lost a London city duel against West Ham United (0-2) on Thursday (December 28, 2023) and was pushed off the top of the table by Liverpool FC. After another defeat against Fulham, the Gunners even slipped to fourth place.
Tottenham on the right track
Tottenham Hotspur are now only one point behind their local rivals. Coach Ange Postecoglu’s team, which had lost some ground after a brilliant start to the season, won 3-1 (1-0) against AFC Bournemouth at the end of the year. Pape Sarr (9th), Heung-Min Son (71st) and Richarlison scored the goals for Tottenham and secured their fourth win from the last five league games.
Situation at Man United always more problematic
Manchester United lost the third of the last five games on Saturday (December 30, 2023) at relegation candidate Nottingham Forest 1:2 (0:0), the interim equalizer by Marcus Rashford in the 78th minute was not enough. This doesn’t make the situation any easier for United coach Erik ten Hag. There had been discussions about his future even before the ninth defeat in the 20th league game.
Two goals from Nicolás Domínguez (64′) and Morgan Gibbs-White (82′) were enough for Nottingham to win because United’s Diego Dalot hit the post from 18 meters in the 55th minute.
Manchester City wins without any problems
Without star striker Erling Haaland, who is still injured in his foot, the defending champions defeated newly promoted Sheffield United 2-0 (1-0) and, after a minor crisis, are third in the table, two points behind leaders Liverpool FC.
Alvarez takes care of that Preliminary decision
Before kick-off, Manchester City presented the five trophies won this year. Pep Guardiola’s team then dominated bottom-placed Sheffield. Spain’s midfield strategist Rodri gave Manchester the lead after just under a quarter of an hour. The champions had almost 82 percent possession of the ball, but missed the second goal for a long time. World champion Julian Alvarez made up for this after an hour and made the final score 2-0 after three home draws in a row.
Kevin De Bruyne was back in the City squad for the first time since mid-August. The Belgian was out for over four months with a thigh injury, but did not play against Sheffield.
Late winner for Aston Villa
Surprise team Aston Villa made it to second place late on. The team from Birmingham won against FC Burnley 3-2 (2-1) after goals from former Leverkusen professionals Leon Bailey (28th) and Moussa Diaby (42nd) as well as a penalty from Douglas Luis (89th).
Chelsea are making things exciting at Luton Town
Chelsea FC almost lost a 3-0 lead in a 3-2 (2-0) win at newly promoted Luton Town. After the goals from Cole Palmer (12th/70th) and Noni Madueke (37th), everything looked like a clear Chelsea success.
Luton Town’s Gabriel Osho in a duel with Chelsea’s Cole Palmer.
Ross Barkley (80th) and Elijah Adebayo (87th) brought the hosts closer. Despite good opportunities, the hosts were unable to equalize in stoppage time. Chelsea are still in midfield.