January 31, 2023


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Martinelli and Saka sinks troubled Liverpool as Arsenal regain top spot

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Arsenal returned to the top of the Premier League as Bukayo Saka’s 76th-minute penalty sealed a pulsating 3-2 win over Liverpool on Sunday.

Mikel Arteta’s side were usurped at the summit by Manchester City on Saturday, but an eighth win in nine top-flight games this season helped them reclaim top spot.

The Gunners went ahead after just 58 seconds when Gabriel Martinelli stole in behind Trent Alexander-Arnold to clip past Alisson, although Liverpool drew level 11 minutes before half-time through Darwin Nunez.

Saka restored Arsenal’s lead just before the break and the England international slotted home from the spot after Roberto Firmino had drawn Jurgen Klopp’s side level for a second time early in the second half.

Arsenal went ahead within a minute of kick-off as Martinelli slotted past Alisson for his fourth league goal of the season after being slipped in by Martin Odegaard’s sumptuous pass.

Ramsdale denied Nunez shortly after the midway point of the first half, but there was little the Arsenal goalkeeper could do to stop the Uruguayan pulling Liverpool level in the 34th minute as he prodded home Luis Diaz’s right-wing cross from close range.

Arsenal restored their advantage deep into first-half stoppage time, though, when Saka stole in at the back post to divert Martinelli’s cross home.

Liverpool again pegged their hosts back eight minutes after the interval when Firmino, who replaced the injured Diaz in the first half, latched onto Diogo Jota’s pass and fired across Ramsdale into the bottom-right corner.

Arsenal went ahead for the third – and final – time in the 75th minute courtesy of Saka’s successful spot-kick after Gabriel Jesus had been fouled by Thiago Alcantara.

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