Premier League round-up: Arsenal avenge opening day Brentford defeat

Tough day for Shane Duffy and Brighton; Chelsea leave it late to take Crystal Palace win

Arsenal 2 Brentford 0

Second half goals from Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka helped Arsenal secure a 2-1 win over Brentford in the Premier League on Saturday and keep pace in the top four race.

Victory means The Gunners remain sixth with 42 points, level with West Ham - who have played three games more - and just one behind Manchester United in fourth, whom Arsenal have played two games fewer than.

Forward Alexandre Lacazette saw an effort ruled out for offside in the first quarter of an hour, while his penalty claims in the build up were also waved away.

Further shouts for a spot kick were again dismissed five minutes before the break when Cedric Soares’s shot struck the arm of the sliding Yoane Wisa.

Arsenal did not have to wait long after the restart to open the scoring as Smith-Rowe showed quick feet before firing in on 48 minutes, before Saka sealed the victory 11 minutes from time with a sweeping counter attack.

Christian Norgaard pulled one back for Brentford in stoppage time, however it was not enough to stop Thomas Frank’s side slipping to their sixth defeat in seven games.

Crystal Palace 0 Chelsea 1

Chelsea snatched a 1-0 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday courtesy of an 89th minute strike by Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech as the newly crowned world champions returned to winning ways in the Premier League after nearly a month’s absence.

Ziyech kept his eye on a looping cross by substitute Marcos Alonso and calmly side-footed in the volley at the far post to give Chelsea the win that they had looked unlikely to claim for much of the match.

Palace limited the visitors to only a handful of opportunities including a 35-yard pile-driver shot by centre-half Antonio Rudiger in the 11th minute that Vicente Guaita palmed away acrobatically.

The hosts had their own chances with Wilfried Zaha and Michael Olise coming close to breaking the deadlock as Palace sought to catch the visitors on the counter-attack.

Chelsea, who last weekend won the Fifa World Club Cup and next weekend face Liverpool in the League Cup final, have struggled to get the best out of record signing Romelu Lukaku and he mostly cut a lonely figure once again.

The win left Chelsea seven points behind second-placed Liverpool who beat Norwich City and 13 points behind league leaders Manchester City who play Tottenham Hotspur later on Saturday. Palace sit in 13th place.

Aston Villa 0 Watford 1

Emmanuel Dennis scored 12 minutes from time to hand struggling Watford vital away points as they won 1-0 away at Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday.

It ended as run of 12 matches without success and marked a first victory under new manager Roy Hodgson, although Watford remain in the relegation zone with 18 points from 24 matches.

Dennis, who now has nine league goals this season, headed home a cross from Issa Sarr as Watford’s counter-attacking finally paid dividends and handed them their first win since November.

The result continued frustration at Villa Park where the home side have not won any of their last four games.

Brighton 0 Burnley 3

Burnley claimed only their second Premier League win of the season when new signing Wout Weghorst scored one and created another in a 3-0 demolition of Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.

Burnley took the lead when Aaron Lennon released full back Connor Roberts down the right flank and his cut-back was fired home first time by Weghorst, whose curling effort squeezed in at the near post.

Brighton's defence was in disarray with Ireland's Shane Duffy and goalkeeper Robert Sanchez even arguing over a lack of communication which led to a heated confrontation between the two teammates as tempers flared.

Although Brighton dominated possession, Burnley doubled the lead when the towering Weghorst controlled a long ball, held it up and found Josh Brownhill who pulled the trigger, with the shot taking two deflections to beat the keeper.

Lennon sealed three desperately needed points for Burnley in the 69th minute when he drifted across two defenders, picked up a pass from Jay Rodriguez and found the top corner from the edge of the box for his second goal of the season.

Burnley’s first away victory of the season lifted them off the bottom of the table but they remain in the relegation zone in 19th place with 17 points while Brighton are ninth.

Southamtpon 2 Everton 0

Stuart Armstrong and substitute Shane Long scored for Southampton as they punished error-prone Everton to claim a deserved 2-0 Premier League victory at St Mary’s Stadium on Saturday.

Everton gave the ball away with a sloppy piece of play in midfield on 52 minutes to allow the home side to break forward and Armstrong drilled the ball low into the bottom corner.

Long netted the second with six minutes remaining, seconds after entering the pitch, as he rose to head past Jordan Pickford from Valentino Livramento’s cross.

The home side were quicker to the ball and won the physical battle against Frank Lampard?s team, who were sparkling in their 3-0 victory against Leeds United last weekend, but reverted to the form that has seen them dragged towards the relegation scrap this campaign.

Pickford was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers, saving brilliantly from point-blank range to deny Livramento, who flicked James Ward-Prowse’s low corner goal-wards, while Mohamed Elyounoussi also struck the crossbar.

Southampton remain in 10th place with 32 points from 25 matches, while Everton are in 16th with 22 points from 23 games. Everton’s next match is at home to Manchester City on February 26th

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