Arsenal stay perfect; Haaland leads City; Liverpool win nail-biter

Sports Desk, Aug 31 (EFE).- Arsenal edged Aston Villa 2-1 Wednesday, their fifth win in five outings, to remain atop the Premier League with 15 points, 2 better than defending champions Manchester City, who thrashed Nottingham Forest 6-0 on Erling Haaland’s second hat trick in two matches.

Newcastle United looked set to come away from Anfield with a point until a goal in the 98th minute gave Liverpool their second victory, while Tottenham Hotspur were frustrated 1-1 by West Ham United.

Former City man Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring for the Gunners in the 30th minute against Villa, who managed only three shots on target all night.

But Arsenal squandered chances and goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez made some key saves to keep Villa in the game and an Olympic goal by Douglas Luiz off one of the visitorsÆ’ three corners leveled the contest with 15 minutes left.

Arsenal reacted immediately and Gabriel Martinelli scored in the 77th minute to restore the advantage for the hosts, who held on to win.

In Manchester, Haaland staked the champions to a 3-0 lead at the break with a triple that brought his total since coming over from Borussia Dortmund during the summer transfer window to a record nine goals in five matches.

The previous record for most goals in a player’s first five Premier League matches was shared by former City great Sergio “Kun” Agüero and Newcastle’s Mick Quinn.

Joao Cancelo made it 4-0 early in the second half before another newcomer, Julian Alvarez, celebrated getting his first Premier League start by scoring a brace.

Alexander Isak, whose scoring touch seemed to desert him last season with Real Sociedad, impressed on Wednesday in his Premier League debut for Newcastle, giving the Magpies a 1-0 edge over Liverpool at the break.

The Swedish international put the ball in the net again in the 55th minute, but the goal was disallowed for an offside.

Roberto Firmino broke the ice for the Reds just past the hour mark with an assist from Mohamed Salah and the home side prevailed thanks to a fine reaction from Fabio Carvalho amid a scramble in front of the Newcastle goal.

Wednesday’s London derby between West Ham and Spurs featured plenty of action at both ends of the pitch and controversy in the form of a penalty disallowed after a protracted VAR review.

Hammers keeper Lukas Fabianski and Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris were each tested early and Spurs were poised to grab the lead in the 12th minute when the referee pointed to the spot after a Harry Kane header brushed the arm of Aaron Cresswell.

But after looking at the replay from several different angles, the referee concluded that the ball hit Cresswell in the head before striking his arm and the penalty was dropped.

Spurs’ disappointment eased in the 34th minute with an own goal by West Ham’s Thilo Kehrer, who inadvertently redirected Dejan Kulusevski’s pass into the net.

Tomas Soucek equalized for Hammers 10 minutes into the second half, ably assisted by Mikhail Antonio, and the teams ended up sharing the points. EFE msg-rmm-jjl-id/dr

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