Arsenal Opens Up Seven-Point Premier League Lead After West Ham Comeback
Arsenal opened up a seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League after coming from behind to beat West Ham 3-1 at the Emirates on Monday.
Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli turned the game around in the space of five second half minutes before Eddie Nketiah stepped up in the absence of Gabriel Jesus to seal all three points.
Said Benrahma’s first half penalty had given the Hammers the lead, but David Moyes’ men remain just one point above the relegation zone in 16th.
Arsenal’s momentum towards a first league title since 2004 could have been halted by a six-week break for the World Cup.
Mikel Arteta made no allowances for his stars that have been away in Qatar as William Saliba started just eight days after being part of the French squad that lost the final on penalties to Argentina.
However, that decision backfired when Saliba hesitated to allow Michail Antonio latch onto a ball over the top and then dived in on Jarrod Bowen.
Despite Bowen not going to ground immediately, referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot and Benrahma confidently dispatched the penalty.
Arsenal thought they had a spot-kick of their own in first half stoppage time but Oliver reversed his initial decision after seeing a replay of Martin Odegaard’s shot come off Aaron Cresswell’s head rather than the left-back’s arm.
The Gunners got the break they needed to turn the tide eight minutes after the break when Odegaard’s mishit shot fell perfectly into the path of Saka to sidefoot home.
Martinelli added the second goal moments later with the help of West Ham goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, who was far too easily beaten at his near post.
A prolonged injury layoff for Jesus had raised doubts over Arsenal’s ability to maintain their title challenge in the coming months with games against Newcastle, Tottenham and Manchester United to come in January alone.
But Nketiah grabbed his opportunity on his first Premier League start of the season with a brilliant spin and low finish into the far corner from Odegaard’s pass 21 minutes from time.
Manchester City can reduce the gap at the top to five points and move back above Newcastle into second place with victory when they travel to Leeds on Wednesday night.
However, another show of resilience from Arsenal showed the fight that lies ahead of the defending champions if they are to retain the title once more in the second half of the season.
Antony and Bruno Fernandes clash as Crystal Palace dent Man United’s title notions
Antony was not happy with Fernandes
Manchester United duo Antony and Bruno Fernandes were seen clashing with each other in the first half of United’s draw against Crystal Palace.
Fernandes looked to have secured United the three points with a goal on the stroke of half time only for Michael Olise’s stunning free kick in second half stoppage time ensured a share of the spoils.
Wout Weghorst also made his debut for the club after they paid Beşiktaş to cancel his loan spell in Turkey and move to Old Trafford from Burnley until the end of the season, with United desperately in need of a striker
The majority of the first half saw Erik ten Hag’s side find it difficult to break down a resilient Palace defence with Antony in particular struggling to get the best of full back, Tyrick Mitchell.
It seemed as if tempers began to flare amongst the United ranks on the half hour mark as Antony and Fernandes were caught exchanging verbals with each other, leading to many speculating on social media.
Bruno fernandes and Antony arguing 🤔 pic.twitter.com/YaOagxqrBD
— YOUYOU_7 (@__YOUYOU___) January 18, 2023
One person wrote: “Bruno Fernandes beefing with Antony, all this bollocks about how they’re now a United team not individuals is hilarious.”
Another tweeted: “Bruno is right to be upset at Antony but it’s so funny seeing him get get taste of his own medicine.”
Bruno is right to be upset at Antony but it's so funny seeing him get get taste of his own medicine 😂😂pic.twitter.com/zzAcfw7gV0
— 🇨🇩🇸🇱 (@8Flavs) January 18, 2023
A third said: “The people saying Bruno & Antony shouldn’t be arguing with each other on the pitch have never played football.”
The people saying Bruno & Antony shouldn't be arguing with each other on the pitch have never played Football.
— Paul, Manc Bald and Bred (@MufcWonItAll) January 18, 2023
United now prepare to face Arsenal at the weekend, where they will be without Casemiro after he was booked, taking his total tally to five, meaning he will miss out through suspension.
He did get in for a selfie with a pitch invader, though…
Casemiro poses for a selfie with a fan 🤣🤳
— Barstool Football (@StoolFootball) January 18, 2023
Lionel Messi’s wife responds to Shakira ‘betrayal’ post after Gerard Pique break-up
Lionel Messi’s wife Antonela Roccuzzo has come out in support of Shakira following her high-profile split from Gerard Pique – Messi’s former Barcelona team-mate.
Colombian popstar Shakira shared a candid message with her fans on Instagram as she welcomed in the new year, taking a thinly-veiled swipe at her former partner by referencing “betrayal” and “heartache”.
“Even if our wounds are still open in this new year, time has a surgeon’s hands,” the Hips Don’t Lie singer wrote. “Even if someone’s betrayed us, we must continue to trust others.”
In response, Antonela sent Shakira three heart emojis in the comments section, in the latest suggestion that she and her husband are taking the singer-songwriter’s side in the ugly saga.
Shortly after their split, it emerged that Pique was dating 23-year-old Barcelona-born Clara Chia.
Messi and Pique spent over a decade playing together at Barcelona, having emerged from the club’s famed La Masia academy at around the same time.
Messi moved to PSG in 2021, while Pique hung up his boots in November, bringing the curtain down on a trophy-laded 19-year career that saw him win the World Cup, the European Championship, the Champions League, La Liga and the Premier League.
Source: Daily Star
Alisha Lehmann told she ‘won’t be single for long’ after wowing fans in pink ʙικιɴι
Alisha Lehmann has kept her social media followers updated during a recent holiday in Miami – with many left asking how she is still single after her split from Douglas Luiz.
The 23-year-old Aston Villa forward and Switzerland international has been catching the eye both on and off the pitch in recent seasons – with her Instagram following growing to over 10 million.
Following a recent trip in which she posed on the beach for no less than nine separate ʙικιɴι snaps, many of her followers had one thing in mind.
One comment read: “She won’t stay single for long.”
A second said: “I was looking for the meaning of perfection and I found this.”
A fourth then concluded: “The most beautiful soccer player in the world.”
The WSL star was recently back in the headlines after splitting up with Villa midfielder Luiz and then removing their shared snaps from Instagram.
The couple are said to have split over a row regarding her 2023 calendar which reportedly led to a furious row between the pair.
The split came after countless displays of public affection between the loved up couple – as well as him defending her for a comment made by a TV presenter.
Lehmann has also shared several clips of her Soccer AM cameo, in which he bagged a top bins in some style.
One of those to react was fellow Villa professional and Brazil international Luiz, who wrote on her upload with heart and fire emojis: “The best.”
Source: Daily Star