West Ham holds Arsenal to 2-2, Antony, Dalot give Man U win over N. Forest
Sports Desk, Apr 16 (EFE).- Premier League leaders Arsenal dropped the ball in their 2-2 road match at West Ham on Sunday, going up by two within the first 10 minutes of play on tallies by Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard but letting their hosts claw their way back to even on a first-half penalty kick by Said Benrahma and a second-half effort by Jarrod Bowen.
Gabriel Jesus has an easy time of it firing into an empty net for the first goal just seven minutes into play, and Odegaard sent a nice shot home three minutes later on an assist from Gabriel Martinelli, giving Arsenal the illusion that all was right with the world.
But the world turned upside down when they committed a penalty in the 33rd minute only to have Said Benrahma hit on the penalty kick, a goal that breathed incredible new life into West Ham, which – despite their effort on Sunday – is hovering in the No. 15 spot, just four points above relegation.
After play resumed following the break, Bukayo Saka almost managed to hand back to Arsenal its two-tally cushion but fired a penalty kick wide of the mark.
Just moments later, it was Jarrod Bowen sending the ball into the net for the even-up goal for David Moyes’ squad in the 54th minute.
Although Mikel Arteta’s men solidly dominated play for much of the match, the past two weeks’ outings – last week seeing their two-goal advantage over Liverpool transformed into a draw – have seen them slip by four points to just four points ahead of their closest challenger, Manchester City, which has played one less match.
Meanwhile, Manchester United defeated Nottingham Forest 2-0 on the road on Sunday on goals by Antony and Diogo Dalot, stringing out their win streak to three and keeping their hosts down in the relegation zone.
Man U was in control the entire way at City Ground, setting up chance after chance – albeit hitting on just two – while Forest for a lengthy stretch was unable to send even one shot on goal toward the twine and fired only two during the entire contest.
Erik ten Hag’s men were without the services of their top netfinder, Marcus Rashford, along with Scott McTominay, Luke Shaw and Lisandro Martinez, but they were dealt another blow when Sabitzer sustained a groin injury during the pregame warmup and couldn’t take the pitch.
Antony was on the scene in minute 32 to score his first tally in 15 Premier League matches, nudging the ball in after Keylor Navas, in the net for Forest, managed to block Anthony Martial’s try.
Then, in the 76th minute it was Diogo Dalot scoring his own first League tally on a nicely-executed pass from Antony.
Bruno Fernandes also sent one toward the net that hit the crossbar.
Every now and then, the hosts managed to create a little tension, in particular when Taiwo Awoniyi’s shot was blocked, but the final result extended their winless streak to 10 games, and manager Steve Cooper’s head appears to be – if not on the chopping block – then nearly so as club owner Evangelos Marinakis reportedly has admonished him and demanded wins in the very near term.
With the W, No. 3 Man U advances to three points above Newcastle and six to the good of No. 5 Tottenham Hotspur.