Brighton 2 vs Arsenal 4
ARSENAL moved seven points clear at the top of the Premier League with an entertaining 2-4 victory at Brighton. This result, allied to Manchester City’s 1-1 draw with Everton, extends Arsenal’s advantage heading in to 2023.
The visitors were cruising at 3-0 thanks goals by Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Eddie Nketiah before Kaoru Mitoma pulled one back.
Gabriel Martinelli settled any nerves with Arsenal’s fourth before Evan Ferguson added Brighton’s second with his first league goal.
Wolves 0 vs Man United 1
Marcus Rashford turned from villain to hero as he came off the bench to score the only goal against Wolves and move Manchester United into the Premier League top four.
Manager Erik ten Hag left Rashford out of his starting line-up for “internal disciplinary” reasons.
But after a disappointing opening period, in which Rashford’s replacement Alejandro Garnacho wasted the visitors’ best chance when his shot was saved by Jose Sa, the England man scored 14 minutes from time.
Man City 1 vs Everton 1
Manchester City slipped seven points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal after Demarai Gray’s stupendous finish earned Everton a battling 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium.
Gray’s bolt from the blue breathed life into Frank Lampard’s side and simultaneously hampered City’s title charge on the final day of 2022.
Erling Haaland made space for himself on 24 minutes to convert Riyad Mahrez’s cross to make it an astonishing 21 Premier League goals in his first 15 appearances.
But Everton levelled with their first shot of the match in the second half as Gray regained his footing to cut inside Manuel Ajankji and find the far corner via the underside of Ederson’s crossbar (64) with an unstoppable rocket.
Newcastle 0 vs Leeds 0
Manager Eddie Howe said 2022 had been a “year of real progress” after Newcastle ended it third in the Premier League despite being held to a goalless draw at home by Leeds.
The Magpies go into 2023 a club transformed from the one that, three months after their Saudi Arabia-backed takeover, were 19th in the table a year ago.
“2022 has been a great year,” Howe said. “The team has developed really well.
“We have had some great results. There are big challenges ahead but we look forward to those.”
Newcastle offered almost all the attacking threat at St James’ Park but were unable to find a winner which would have given them a seventh consecutive league win.
Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier saved excellently from both Chris Wood and Fabian Schar in the second half, which was played almost exclusively in the visitors’ territory.
Still, Newcastle are now unbeaten in 12 games – a run which goes back to August – and are two points behind second-placed Manchester City. They are nine adrift of leaders Arsenal, who increased their cushion with victory against Brighton.
The day’s other games saw Fulham beat Southampton 2-1 at Craven Cottage and Crystal overcame Bournemouth 0-2.