Arsenal and Tottenham Suffer Setbacks in Premier League Matches

Arsenal and Tottenham Suffer Setbacks in Premier League Matches

There was no festive cheer between north London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham on Thursday. A 2-0 defeat at home to West Ham prevented Arsenal from returning to the top of the Premier League. A 4-2 defeat at Brighton prevented Tottenham from returning to the top four. Arsenal’s failure was more surprising as it was the team’s first defeat at home in seven months.

And it is just one win in the Gunners’ last four league games at a time when defending champions Manchester City looked vulnerable ahead of Wednesday’s win at Everton, having won just one of six. In reality, Arsenal – despite 30 shots – never looked like beating West Ham as the visitors went ahead with a goal that was less decisive than the result.

The cameras did not definitively show whether the ball was out of play when Jarrod Bowen turned it back into the box for Tomas Soucek in the 13th minute. Bowen’s right leg obstructed the best view of whether the ball was in play and the referee upheld the on-field decision to award a goal.

“The technology we have at the moment is not clear enough when the ball is out,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said. Former Arsenal player Konstantinos Mavropanos added a second with a glancing header from a corner in the 55th, and it could have been worse had David Raya not saved West Ham substitute Said Benrahman’s penalty in what was essentially the last kick of the game. Declan Rice, sold from West Ham to Arsenal in July, gave up a penalty for the midfielder to make it a miserable night against his former club.

Arsenal remained in second place, two points behind Liverpool at the halfway point of the campaign. City have a game in hand on both teams and are suddenly on top, three points behind Arsenal and five behind Liverpool. West Ham moved up to sixth thanks to back-to-back wins over Manchester United and now Arsenal either side of Christmas Day.

THE TOTTENHAM GAME Don’t let the dotted line fool you. Brighton outplayed Tottenham except for a remarkable final 15 minutes when Spurs had so many chances they could have been 4-0 down. Before that, a Brighton side missing at least 10 players through injury tore apart the visitors, who were also without centre-backs Cristian Romero and Micky van de Ven and suspended midfielder Yves Bissouma.

protection Jack Hinshelwood and Joao Pedro scored from the penalty spot to give Brighton a 2-0 lead in the 23rd minute. Half-time substitute Pervis Estupinan and Pedro – again from the penalty spot – doubled Brighton’s lead in the 75th and the margin could have been greater.

Alejo VĂ©liz and Ben Davies scored amid Tottenham’s late dominance, which captain Son Heung-min had no complaints about. “Every team is strong in the Premier League and if we don’t play like that in the last 15 minutes of every game, we will struggle,” he said. “It must be a big wake-up call.” Tottenham finished fifth, a point behind fourth-placed City.

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