Arsenal stun Leicester; Bale scores 2 as Tottenham rout Burnley
LONDON, Feb 28, (AP): An unexpected but burgeoning title for Manchester United has fallen apart in just a few weeks. A 0-0 draw with Chelsea on Sunday was the fifth time United have been held in the nine Premier League matches since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side went top 47 days earlier. There have also only been three wins since the Jan. 12 victory over Burnley that gave United a glimmer of hope of lifting the trophy for the first time since 2013, allowing Manchester City to take control. United remains second in the standings, but City have now been able to extend their lead to 12 points after beating West Ham on Saturday. It is fourth-place West Ham in Chelsea’s sights. Drawing a blank in a drab encounter against United kept the west London club unbeaten in the two months under Thomas Tuchel but they remained a point behind West Ham in the pursuit of Champions League qualification.
Arsenal 3, Leicester 1
Arsenal turned around their recent poor form to beat Leicester 3-1 as the home side were left to deal with an injury which will keep influential midfielder Harvey Barnes out until April. Arsenal started the day in 11th and returned to the top half with the win, while Leicester missed a chance to challenge Manchester United for second. Youri Tielemans gave Leicester the lead in the sixth minute when the Belgian midfielder surged down the right fl ank as Arsenal failed to close him down, and then shot low past Bernd Leno. David Luiz leveled for Arsenal with his first league goal since October 2019, heading in Willian’s free kick when he was left unmarked. Pepe had earlier been denied a penalty when a video review showed he was tripped just outside the area by Wilfred Ndidi, but was key to winning a spot-kick just before half time when he struck a shot that hit Ndidi’s arm as the Nigerian midfielder tried to block with his leg. Alexandre Lacazette stepped up to power the penalty in.
Tottenham 3, Burnley 0
Gareth Bale scored twice to lift Tottenham to a 4-0 rout of Burnley in a morale-boosting victory for a Tottenham team that had lost five of their previous six Premier League games. Bale gave Tottenham the lead after just 68 seconds, knocking in a cross from Son Heung-min after defender James Tarkowski missed a chance to intercept. Bale played in Harry Kane to make it 2-0 in the 15th minute and Tottenham were cruising when Lucas Moura added a third goal off Sergio Reguilon’s cross.
Bale scored his second in the 55th when Son spotted the Welsh forward had been left completely alone by the Burnley defense on the right fl ank. Bale took one touch to control the ball and another to curl it with his left foot past goalkeeper Nick Pope. It was the sort of performance Tottenham fans had hoped for when Bale was signed back from Madrid on a season- long loan in September. Instead, they had to watch as he was hampered by injuries and played mostly in the cup competitions, with Sunday marking only the third time he had started in the Premier League this season.
Palace 0, Fulham 0
Fulham extended their unbeaten run in the Premier League to five matches with a 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace. Fulham stayed 18th in the Premier League relegation zone but moved to within three points of safety after Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita reacted quickly to keep out a header from Fulham’s Josh Maja.
Newcastle 1, Wolves 1 Newcastle
were denied a crucial win in their relegation battle as Ruben Neves earned Wolverhampton a 1-1 draw , the same score as the previous four matches between the teams. After Miguel Almiron struck the post for Newcastle in the first half, Jamaal Lascelles headed the hosts in front from Ryan Fraser’s cross in the 52nd minute at St. James’ Park.