Premier League round-up: Arsenal slip up as Spurs move into top four
Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney inspired Everton to another win while Leicester hammered Southampton
Tottenham Hotspur’s Heung-Min Son celebrates scoring a goal during their Premier League win over Brighton at Wembley Stadium. Photo: Neil Hall/EPA
West Ham United 0 Arsenal 0
Arsenal lost further ground on the Premier League pace-setters after they were held to a goalless draw at West Ham.
A frustrating evening at the London Stadium saw the Gunners dominate for long spells but they were unable to break down a stubborn home side.
And they were inches from a damaging defeat after Hammers sub Javier Hernandez hit the crossbar with a minute remaining.
While a third game without a win was another blow to Arsenal’s Champions League hopes, a point was another step in the right direction for West Ham following Saturday’s win over Chelsea.
Tottenham Hotspur 2 Brighton and Hove Albion 0
Tottenham climbed back into the Premier League’s top four as Serge Aurier’s fluke-goal and a header from Son Heung-min sealed a 2-0 victory over Brighton.
Spurs dominated another uninspiring contest at Wembley and needed a hefty slice of luck to take the lead as Aurier’s cross dropped into the top corner. Son added a second late on.
Tomer Hemed could have pulled Brighton level with a rare second-half chance but Tottenham were worthy winners and move back into the Champions League spots after Liverpool slipped up against West Brom.
Brighton stay 13th, three points above the relegation zone.
After thrashing Stoke at home last weekend, this result comes as another boost to morale for Spurs, who have struggled against lesser sides at Wembley this season.
Mauricio Pochettino will now turn his side’s attention to an altogether different challenge on Saturday, when they visit the unbeaten run-away leaders Manchester City, whom they trail by 18 points.
Brighton, meanwhile, have now failed to score in six away games against sides above them in the league and, but for Hemed’s opening, they never looked likely at Wembley as they suffered a third consecutive league defeat.
Newcastle United 0 Everton 1
Wayne Rooney’s 10th goal of the season condemned Newcastle to a seventh defeat in eight Premier League outings as the home fans prayed for Mike Ashley’s exit from St James’ Park.
Rooney pounced on goalkeeper Karl Darlow’s 27th-minute error to stab home the only goal of the game in a first half which saw the Magpies, who had Jonjo Shelvey sent off in stoppage time, hit both posts.
Rafael Benitez’s men enjoyed the better of the game for long periods in front of a crowd of 51,042, many of whom arrived having read reports that prospective owner Amanda Staveley is close to agreeing a £300million deal with owner Ashley to end his controversial 10-year-plus reign.
But they left having seen Sam Allardyce, who was sacked by Ashley in 2008 after just eight months in charge, extend his unbeaten start as Toffees boss to four games with a 1-0 win.
Southampton 1 Leicester City 4
Claude Puel exacted revenge on his first return to Southampton as Leicester romped to a 4-1 Premier League win at St Mary’s.
Frenchman Puel was sacked in the summer despite last term leading Southampton to an eighth-place finish and the League Cup final.
The former Nice boss was out to disprove accusations he had favoured boring football in his Saints tenure, and revelled in his Leicester charges laying on plenty of entertainment.
The same shortcomings that littered Puel’s Saints tenure were on display for Mauricio Pellegrino’s men however, with the hosts finding no fluency in attack and defending pitifully.
New boss Pellegrino’s Southampton stint now appears under real strain: Saints boast just one win and six points in their last eight Premier League games.
After 17 games under Puel last term, Southampton had amassed 24 points — under Pellegrino at the same stage, they have just 18.
Leicester’s joyful travelling fans seized on the chance to mock their hosts, chirping up with “Aren’t you glad you sacked Puel?”.
Toothless in attack and disorganised at the back: Saints’ performance mirrored that of many under Puel last term.