MANCHESTER, England (AP) — The Premier League table has a familiar look about it after Manchester City blasted its way back to the top with a 6-1 rout of Bournemouth on Saturday.
Arsenal’s 1-0 loss at Newcastle left the defending champions out in front, at least until Tottenham plays Chelsea on Monday.
Belgium’s Jeremy Doku was in irresistible form — scoring one and creating another four goals — to help City extend its 100% record at home this season and keep the heat on Spurs.
That result also put the pressure on Arsenal to win big at St. James’ Park if it was to move above City on goal difference. Instead, Anthony Gordon’s contested goal inflicted a first league defeat of the season on last year’s runner-up to leave it in third place and in danger of dropping out of the top four depending on results on Sunday.
Both Liverpool and Aston Villa have the chance to move above Arsenal when they play at Luton and Nottingham Forest, respectively. Tottenham, meanwhile, could open up a five-point lead on London rival Arsenal if it beats Chelsea.
Tottenham is now the only unbeaten team left in England’s top flight and will be looking to extend that run when up against former manager Mauricio Pochettino on Monday.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was furious after an extensive VAR review allowed Gordon’s 64th-minute goal to stand and Newcastle secured a narrow win.
VAR checked for three possible infringements before giving the goal. There were checks to see if the ball had gone out of play, if there had been a foul and for a possible offside. In the end the goal stood and it proved to be decisive.
“I’ve been 20 years in this country and now I feel ashamed. It’s a disgrace and there’s too much at stake here,” Arteta said. “It’s not good enough. I feel embarrassed to be part of this.”
This was a good week for Newcastle and Saudi Arabia’s ambitions in soccer. In the space of a few days, the Saudi-backed club has secured back-to-back wins against two of the traditional giants of the English game after beating Manchester United 3-0 in the League Cup on Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia is also all but certain to host the 2034 World Cup after its only rival, Australia, pulled out of the running this week.
Under-pressure Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag was minutes away from a latest setback at Fulham until Bruno Fernandes’ late strike secured a 1-0 win.
Like his coach, Fernandes has also come in for criticism as the sense of crisis at United has deepened, with club great Roy Keane calling for the Portugal international to be stripped of the captaincy. But the midfielder came up with a crucial goal to end his team’s two-game losing streak (in all competitions) in the first minute of stoppage time.
“It’s really important, we know the position we are in,” Fernandes said. “We need to get results, it was massively important for us to get the three points today.
“I know we have even more than we showed today.”
Erling Haaland was substituted at halftime against Bournemouth after twisting his ankle.
While Guardiola said the withdrawal was a precaution, the Norway striker looked in discomfort when pulling up in the first half. Guardiola did not know if his leading scorer would be available to play Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Even without him, City cruised to its latest win, with Doku showing his match-winning qualities.
“When he takes the ball and goes, everybody is excited and myself too. Something is going to happen and it’s happened,” Guardiola said.
Burnley could be headed straight back down to the second tier unless it can sort out its home form. Vincent Kompany’s team became the first in Premier League history to lose its opening six home games of a season after losing 2-0 to Crystal Palace.
Sheffield United has also struggled since being promoted at the end of last season, but finally secured its first win back in the top flight against Wolverhampton. Oliver Norwood’s penalty in the 10th minute of second-half stoppage time sealed a 2-1 win after Jean-Ricner Bellegarde had scored an 89th-minute equalizer for Wolves.
Sheffield United still remains bottom of the standings, but is level on points with Burnley in 19th.
Everton missed the chance to make a serious move up the table after Ashley Young’s own-goal salvaged a 1-1 draw for Brighton.
A win would have moved Sean Dyche’s improving team up to 12th in the standings and Vitali Mykolenko’s seventh-minute goal put the Toffees on course for a sixth victory in eight matches in all competitions, until Young put the ball into his own net. Everton stayed 15th.
Neal Maupay’s first goal in 35 matches ended a barren run of more than 14 months as Brentford beat West Ham 3-2.
The forward’s last goal had also come against the Hammers, in a 1-0 win for Everton in September last year. This time he was setting Brentford up for victory.
The Bees still had to come from behind after going 2-1 down in the first half through goals from Mohammed Kudus and Jarrod Bowen.
An own-goal from Konstantinos Mavropanos after the break evened the score before Nathan Collins grabbed his first goal for Brentford and the winner in the 69th.
James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson
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