Arsenal top of table, Liverpool downs Spurs, Villa fell United

(Updates with info on Tottenham-Liverpool match)

London, Nov 6 (EFE).- Arsenal confirmed their status as title contenders with an impressive 1-0 victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday that saw them return to the top of the Premier League table.

The visitors dominated a scrappy, tetchy affair, especially in the second half, and took a deserved lead just after the hour mark when Bukayo Saka’s corner somehow bounced past three Chelsea players at the near post for Gabriel Magalhaes to tap in.

Chelsea, who were thumped 4-1 by Brighton last time out, will be disappointed by another poor performance in which they lacked a cutting edge and failed to threaten the Arsenal goal.

The win sees Arsenal leapfrog Manchester City into first place, while Chelsea are in seventh.

In Sunday’s second match, the Unai Emery era at Aston Villa began with an impressive 3-1 win at home to Manchester United, the first time the Birmingham side have beaten United at home since 1995.

Villa dominated the opening exchanges and raced into a 2-0 lead through goals from Leon Bailey and a brilliant free-kick by Lucas Digne, as United were unable to match the hosts’ intensity in front of a boisterous crowd.

United halved the deficit just before half-time when Luke Shaw’s effort from outside the box deflected off a Villa defender to loop past Emiliano Martinez.

But the Villains were back in front within minutes of the restart as Jacob Ramsey struck a rising shot after excellent work from Oli Watkins.

United, led by Cristiano Ronaldo who was named captain in the absence of Bruno Fernandes, failed to mount any sustained pressure to really trouble Villa, who cruised to the win that moves them up to 13th.

Erik Ten Hag’s men, meanwhile, lost for the first time in 10 games, and stay in fifth place in the table.

In other action, Mohamed Salah scored two goals for Liverpool, leading the way in the team’s 2-1 road win over Tottenham Hotspur in London after two successive losses.

The hosts appeared to have recovered some of their oomph with their win over Bournemouth last weekend after two consecutive losses of their own, but at the moment of truth on Sunday they paid the price despite good work by Harry Kane and Ivan Perisic, with the former sending one into the net late in the match and the latter getting a good chance that hit the post.

But Salah was a nightmare for the Spurs, with Liverpool recovering the speed and ball control that makes them a fearsome opponent. The Egyptian scored first in the 11th minute on a play launched by Andy Robertson from the left, passing to Darwin Nuñez inside the area and with the ball ending up in front of Salah, who beat goaltender Hugo Lloris for the 1-0.

Perisic had a chance to tie things up just minutes later but that’s when his shot on goal hit the post.

Jurgen Klopp’s men showed incredible efficiency and were able to take advantage of the local team’s mistakes, and just before the break, it was Salah again who intercepted an attempted header by Eric Dier to Lloris and found the twine for the 2-0.

It wasn’t until the 70th minute that Kane managed to sink one past Alisson in the net for Liverpool on a pass from Kulusevski, and that sealed the contest, although the Spurs, sparked by the late goal, got a burst of steam going and tried for the tie, or perhaps even the win, to no effect.

EFE spo-ks-apa/ism/bp

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