Arsenal come from behind to stay 5 clear of Manchester City

Sports Desk, Mar 4 (EFE).- Arsenal capped a remarkable comeback against Bournemouth on Saturday with a goal deep in stoppage time to take all 3 points and remain 5 ahead of Manchester City in the race for the Premier League title.

With the defending champions having already won earlier to narrow the gap to 2 points, the Gunners started the match at the Etihad knowing they needed a victory to restore their advantage over second-place City.

That should have been a fairly simple task against second-from-bottom Bournemouth, but the visitors scored inside the first 10 seconds to turn the game upside down.

Dominic Solanke got the ball from the kickoff and got it to Dango Ouattara, whose cross found Philip Billing in the six-yard box and the midfielder beat Aaron Ramsdale to put the Cherries up 1-0.

Arsenal reacted immediately and would have equalized in the third minute but for some outstanding play by Bournemouth goalkeeper Neto, who stopped a shot from Martin Odegaard and recovered in time to deny Bukayo Saka’s attempt off the rebound.

Though they had less than 20 percent of the ball and would be outshot 30-4, the Cherries remained alert for chances on the counter and Ramsdale had to be sharp to stop Ouattara from doubling the lead in the 20th minute.

Bournemouth would get their second goal. In the 57th minute, on the visitors’ only corner of the match, an unmarked Marcos Senesi headed-in Joe Rothwell’s kick to make it 2-0 for the side staring down relegation.

The advantage lasted just five minutes, however, as Thomas Partey scored for the Gunners in the 62nd.

Solanke forced another crucial save from Ramsdale in the 65th minute before Arsenal drew level in the 70th with a goal from Ben White, assisted by Reiss Nelson just seconds after coming on as a sub.

The hosts pressed for a winner, but Saka hit the post and Gabriel Martinelli fired over the cross-bar and the score remained 2-2 as the match entered stoppage time.

Bournemouth dodged one bullet in the form of a free kick just outside the area in the 97th minute, as Oleksandr Zinchenko’s strike was deflected wide, but the Cherries conceded a 17th corner and Nelson got the better of Neto to win it for Arsenal.

Saturday’s action got under way in Manchester, where City faced 5th-place Newcastle United.

Winless in their last four league games, the Magpies were also coming off a loss to Manchester United in the Carabao Cup final and they would have gone behind in the first minute at the Etihad if Ilkay Gündogan hadn’t headed over the cross-bar.

The reprieve lasted until the 15th minute, when Phil Foden gave the hosts the lead with his fourth goal in three matches.

Erling Haaland missed the target on an opportunity to extend the lead in the 34th minute and Callum Wilson flubbed Newcastle’s only scoring chance of the first half.

The Magpies made a triple substitution at the hour mark, bringing on Alexander Isak, Allan Saint-Maximin and Joe Willock, and the newcomers provided a much-needed spark.

But a takeaway by Nathan Ake turned into a second goal for City in the 67th minute courtesy of Bernardo Silva with an assist from Haaland.

Newcastle never really threatened after that and it took a solid stop from keeper Nick Pope to stop Foden from making it 3-0.

In other games, Wesley Fofana’s goal off a corner in the 53rd minute was enough for Chelsea to nip Leeds United 1-0, the Blues’ first victory in seven outings.

Chelsea improved to 34 points, but they remain 10th in the table, while Tottenham Hotspur cling to fourth despite a 1-0 defeat Saturday to Wolverhampton. EFE id-apa/dr

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