Sports Desk, Feb 14 (efe-epa).- A hat trick by Gabon’s Pierre Emerick Aubameyang led Arsenal to its 4-2 victory over Leeds United on Sunday.
The London team had garnered only one of the last nine points up for grabs in the Premier League table rankings. But with Norway’s Martin Odegaard and Spaniards Dani Ceballos and Hector Bellerin in the starting lineup, Mikel Arteta’s squad once again notched a well-earned victory in an exciting contest.
Before the end of the first half, Arsenal had already gone up 3-0, with Aubameyang opening the scoring in the 13th minute on a pass from Granit Xhaka.
The next tally came on a penalty shot, again by the team captain, in the 40th minute, and the third goal came four minutes later, scored by Hector Bellerin, who right-footed the ball into the net from a tough angle on an assist by Dani Ceballos.
It was Aubameyang again just after play resumed, heading in a shot from very close range, assisted by Emile Smith Rowe.
Although Arsenal had the game well in hand at 4-0, Leeds wasn’t finished and secured two great tallies as the game wound down, the first a powerful header by Pascal Srtuijk and the second a nicely executed play by Helder Costa.
With the win, Arsenal unseats Leeds in 10th place in the Premier league table, and the latter is now at 11th with two fewer ranking points. Arteta’s team is five points behind Chelsea, who are in fifth.
In later League action, a double by Nigerian Josh Maja gave Fulham a road win at Goodison Park over Everton, which is seeing its European prospects diminish.
Carlo Ancelotti’s squad was unable to get anything going against the visitors, losing James Rodriguez in the 68th minute to injury.
Fulham, which had gone for 12 Premier League matches without winning, finally managed to get started on the “W” early in the second half when Maja opened the scoring after taking a centering pass from countryman Ola Aina and getting the ball past Swedish goaltender Robin Olsen.
Ancelotti made some changes but they were without effect and shortly after the first tally, it was Maja again finding the twine and sealing the deal for Fulham.
The defeat puts Everton in seventh place, two points behind Chelsea, and Fulham – despite the win – remained in the second-to-last spot in the table in the relegation zone and seven points behind Newcastle, which is hovering on the salvation line.