Arsenal lose 1-0, Liverpool lead by seven points
LONDON (AP): TRAILING 1-0 in a dreary London derby, what Arsenal manager Unai Emery needed was a creative spark to inspire a comeback at West Ham.
Mesut Ozil, perhaps? The playmaker wasn’t in the starting line-up, but he wasn’t on the bench either. And he was not injured.
Arsenal’s highest-paid player – reputedly earning £350,000 a week – wasn’t in Emery’s tactical plans so didn’t make the trip across London to the Olympic Stadium.
“I decided the idea of the players that I think are the best for this match,” Emery said. “Today, the players who were here are the players who deserved to be in this match. We could’ve won or lost.”
But Arsenal lost – for the third time in six English Premier League matches – after Declan Rice’s first goal for West Ham three minutes into the second half-earned the victory.
Recovering league positions is proving harder. Fifth-place Arsenal fell six points behind Chelsea, who extended their grip on the fourth and final Champions League place after labouring to a 2-1 victory over Newcastle.
Liverpool, though, are well placed to end their 29-year league drought. Liverpool beat Brighton 1-0 thanks to Mohamed Salah. The African player of the year netted a penalty four minutes into the second half after being brought down by Pascal Gross.
It put Liverpool seven points ahead of City ahead of the champions playing Wolves tomorrow.
Other results: Burnley 2 Fulham 1; Cardiff 0 Huddersfield 0; Crystal Palace 1 Watford 2; Leicester City1 Southampton 2.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery