Arsenal handed manager Mikel Arteta his first win since taking charge as they drubbed a listless Manchester United 2-0 giving themselves a major confidence boost to finish among the top-four Premier League.
Nicolas Pepe gave Arsenal the lead in as early as eight minute beating David de Gea. Sokratis then headed home in the 43rd minute after De Gea had blocked Alexandre Lacazette’s flick.
Arsenal produced a sparkling display to register their first league win since beating West Ham on December 9 last year. “It feels great, incredible. I’m so happy and proud of the players,” Arteta said. “Physically the level dropped in the second half but the commitment and desire was terrific. The performances are getting better so I was desperate for the win and we got it.”
The latest defeat is another setback for United’s top-four ambitions and are currently five points behind the fourth-placed Chelsea. “We started decent the first five or six minutes, didn’t capitalise, and then they played really well,” United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said. “We were too slow in the first half, but that’s credit to them. Some tired heads maybe.”
Chelsea were leading 1-0 for the better part of their Brighton clash after Cesar Azpilicueta tapped in from a close range in the 10th minute. However, Alireza Jahanbakhsh produced a stunning overhead kick to equalise in the 84th minute. “It was frustrating for different reasons. We weren’t ruthless enough. We got the goal and we had the possession. But we just didn’t kill the game off,” Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said.
Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur also crashed to a 1-0 defeat at Southampton with Harry Kane hobbling off with a hamstring injury.
Meanwhile, second-placed Leicester City crushed Newcastle United 3-0 win while defending champions Manchester City beat Everton 2-1.
Elsewhere, Watford beat Wolves 2-1, Aston Villa overcame Burnley 2-1 and Norwich City drew 1-1 with Crystal Palace.