Connect with us

Sports

Arsenal Beat Luton To Top Premier League Table

Published

on

Arsenal coasted to a 2-0 win over struggling Luton on Wednesday to dislodge Liverpool from the top of the Premier League table, once again edging ahead in a thrilling three-way title tussle.

Gunners captain Martin Odegaard opened the scoring midway through the first half and an own goal just before the break gave the home side a cushion.

The result lifts Arsenal to 68 points – one ahead of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, who host Sheffield United on Thursday.

Advertisement

Defending champions Manchester City, playing fourth-placed Aston Villa on Wednesday, started the evening in third place, a point behind Arsenal.

READ ALSO: Liverpool Stage Late Show To Stun Arsenal In FA Cup Third Round

Mikel Arteta’s men dominated possession in the opening stages at the Emirates but created few clear-cut openings in front of an expectant crowd.

But they broke the deadlock in the 24th minute, courtesy of a sweet left-footed strike by Odegaard.

Advertisement

Emile Smith-Rowe, a peripheral figure this season, stole possession and fed Odegaard, who played a one-two with Kai Havertz before stroking the ball home.

Arsenal doubled their lead in the 44th minute thanks to an own goal from Luton defender Daiki Hashioka, who turned into his own net following more good work down the left by Smith-Rowe.

The home side, playing in second gear, had just three shots on target in the first half but were well worth their lead.

READ ALSO: Peace Pact: Fubara Talks Tough Against Critics

Advertisement

The bulk of the second half was largely flat, although Luton came into the game more, probing for an opening to haul themselves back into the contest.

Arteta brought on midfielder Declan Rice and forward Eddie Nketiah, adding Gabriel Martinelli with 15 minutes to play.

Arsenal substitute Takehiro Tomiyasu went close, bending one just wide, and Nketiah forced a save from the scrambling Thomas Kaminski in the closing minutes.

They were unable to score a third but saw the game out with few alarms.

Advertisement

The Gunners, who have not been crowned English champions since 2004, set the pace for the bulk of last season before flagging as the finishing line approached.

READ ALSO: Father Sets Two Daughters Ablaze After Argument With Wife

But, adding steel to their style, they have now won nine of their past 10 league games, with the only blip in that sequence a goalless draw against City on Sunday.

Arsenal, who have conceded just four goals in the league in 2024, travel to Brighton on Saturday before hosting Villa on April 14.

Advertisement

Defeat for depleted Luton leaves Rob Edwards’ side third from bottom of the English top flight, three points from safety, and facing an immediate return to the Championship.

In the other 1830 GMT kick-off on Wednesday, Brentford drew 0-0 with Brighton.

On Sunday, Manchester City failed to break down Arsenal as a highly-anticipated clash at the top of the Premier League failed to live up to the hype in a 0-0 draw at the Etihad.

Advertisement

Sports

Meet The Invincibles: See Three Football Teams Unbeaten In One Season

Published

on

Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen of 2023-24 stand on the cusp of greatness, with just 11 matches theoretically between them and a record undefeated season for a top-five European league team.

Of the 42 matches they have so far played this campaign, they have won 37, drawn five and lost a grand total of zero.

Bayer could win the Bundesliga for the first time in their history this weekend when they take on Werder Bremen, while they won their Europa League quarter-final first leg against West Ham 2-0 and face second-division Kaiserslautern in the German Cup final on May 25.

Advertisement

Should their record stay unblemished across their remaining fixtures in all three competitions they will become the first side to go a full season undefeated both domestically and in European competition.

READ ALSO: Diri Sends Commissioner-nominees List To Bayelsa Assembly

It is a scenario few, if any, would have ever predicated at the start of the season, with German giants Bayern Munich having won the last 11 league titles and no Bundesliga team ever even completing a domestic league season without losing at least once.

In the history of the sport worldwide, many teams have gone an entire league season without losing, such as Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal “Invincibles” of 2003-04, but to do it across multiple competitions is rarified territory.

Advertisement

AFP Sport highlights three teams that completed a full season without tasting defeat across several competitions:

– Al Ahly –

Egyptian giants Al Ahly won the league and the CAF Champions League without any losses in 2004-05, but were denied from completing the treble only by a penalty shoot-out elimination in the Egypt Cup after their round of 16 tie ended in a draw.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Lagos Court Grants Emefiele N50m Bail

Advertisement

That season in the league, they finished a staggering 31 points clear of second-placed Enppi SC and failed to win only two of 26 matches.

The dominant double was made all the sweeter by a CAF Champions League semi-final victory against bitter Cairo rivals Zamalek by an aggregate score of four goals to one.

– Preston North End –

One must go back to the 19th century to find such an example in the English game, indeed all the way back to the very advent of the English League in 1888.

Advertisement

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Oil Production Drops Again, Now 1.23mbpd – OPEC

‘Multiple casualties’ in Sydney shopping centre stabbing attack
Osun Amotekun arrests security guard for stealing air conditioners
Preston North End won a league and cup double in the 1888-89 season, which saw them go undefeated through 22 league matches and claim the FA Cup final 3-0 against Wolverhampton Wanderers at London’s Kennington Oval.

– Johor Darul Ta’zim –

Malaysia’s Johor Darul Ta’zim completed an undefeated domestic quadruple in the 2023 Malaysian season.

Advertisement

With the domestic league and cup running from February to December 2023, Johor Darul Ta’zim won a staggering 37 out of 38 games on their way to claiming the country’s Super Cup, Piala Malaysia Cup, FA cup and league title.

Sadly, their domestic dominance didn’t translate to the bigger challenges of the Asian Champions League where they won three group games but lost three.
VANGUARD

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Sports

BREAKING: O.J. Simpson, Ex-football Star Acquitted Of Murder, Ries At 76

Published

on

O.J. Simpson, the star NFL football player whose 1995 acquittal in the so-called “trial of the century” for the brutal murders of his wife and a male friend gripped the world, has died at the age of 76, his family announced.

On April 10, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer,” a message signed by the family said on social media site X.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Rivers Police Kill Gang Leader Who Murdered Rivers CDC Chairman

Advertisement

Details later…

AFP

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Sports

JUST IN: Premier League To Introduce Semi-automated Offside Technology

Published

on

The Premier League will introduce semi-automated offside technology next season in the hope of reducing the time it takes to make VAR decisions.

At a shareholders’ meeting on Thursday, top-flight clubs unanimously agreed to introduce the system, which is expected to cut the average length of a VAR check for offside by about 30 seconds.

“The technology will provide quicker and consistent placement of the virtual offside line, based on optical player tracking, and will produce high-quality broadcast graphics to ensure an enhanced in-stadium and broadcast experience for supporters,” a Premier League statement said.

Advertisement

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Gunmen Attack Police Checkpoint, Set Patrol Van Ablaze

Football’s global governing body FIFA used semi-automated offside technology at the 2022 men’s World Cup in Qatar after running a series of trials, including at the Club World Cup.

Referees will still need to make calls on subjective elements, such as whether a player in an offside position is interfering with play.

The Premier League has not disclosed the technology partner it will work with and it is understood that no contracts have yet been signed.

Advertisement

The intention is to introduce the technology after one of the international breaks in September, October and November.

AFP

Advertisement
Continue Reading

Trending