EPL

Arsenal 3-2 Manchester United: Last-gasp Nketiah goal restores gap to champions City

By Sports Desk January 22, 2023

Eddie Nketiah's 90th-minute winner gave Arsenal a thrilling 3-2 victory over Manchester United to restore a five-point gap to Manchester City at the Premier League summit.

Arsenal kicked off just two points clear at the top, having seen City win twice since they last played, but they reestablished a more comfortable cushion at the end of a gripping Emirates Stadium encounter on Sunday.

United – themselves maintaining remote title hopes – scored first through Marcus Rashford, only to require a scruffy second-half leveller from Lisandro Martinez after goals from Nketiah and Bukayo Saka had turned the game on its head.

Only Arsenal looked capable of providing a further twist, though, and it came through Nketiah with seconds remaining of normal time, giving the Gunners surely their biggest win of the season so far.

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    The France Under-21 international has signed a seven-and-a-half-year deal at Stamford Bridge, but he will spend the remainder of the 2022-23 season on loan at Lyon.

    Gusto, who has made 54 appearances for Lyon since making his debut in January 2021, is reported to have cost Chelsea an initial £26.3million (€29.9m) plus various add-ons.

    He becomes Chelsea's seventh signing of the window following the arrivals of Mykhaylo Mudryk, Benoit Badiashile, Noni Madueke, Andrey Santos, David Datro Fofana and Joao Felix, the latter joining on loan from Atletico Madrid.

    The 19-year-old attacking full-back will provide long-term competition and cover for Reece James, who has missed the majority of this season through injury. 

    Chelsea are also rumoured to still be in the market for a central midfielder, having so far been frustrated in their attempt to sign Argentina World Cup star Enzo Fernandez from Benfica.

  • Ten Hag has no complaints over fixture schedule as Man Utd bid to end trophy drought Ten Hag has no complaints over fixture schedule as Man Utd bid to end trophy drought

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    United beat Reading 3-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday to advance to the last 16 of the FA Cup, while Wednesday's 3-0 first-leg win over Nottingham Forest means they are all but assured of a place in the EFL Cup final.

    The Red Devils are also still in Europa League contention, with a knockout play-off round tie against Barcelona on the horizon, and are fourth in the Premier League with 18 games to go.

    Ten Hag's side potentially have nine matches to come in February, but the Dutchman considers that a positive as United bid to end a six-year wait for a trophy.

    "I don't complain," he told reporters. "We know what the fixture schedule is; we have to deal with this.

    "At clubs we have to set squads and squads are big enough to deal with it and I think players like to play.

    "You can build and construct a good team when you play often and, in my perspective, when you play often the same you are getting the routines in."

    Ten Hag surprised many by naming a strong starting line-up against Championship side Reading, with Harry Maguire coming into the side as the only change from the Forest match, which followed on from a 3-2 league loss at Arsenal.

    "If you see everything in the perspective of the result, after a defeat we've bounced back," Ten Hag said. "I was happy with the performance at Arsenal, but we made mistakes.

    "We have to work on those mistakes but now twice we have had good performances and two good results."

    Casemiro's second-half double and a neat finish from Fred earned United victory over Reading, who had Andy Carroll sent off but pulled one back through Amadou Salif Mbengue.

    United lost key midfielder Christian Eriksen to injury prior to the hour mark, but Ten Hag says it is too early to determine if the Denmark international is going to spend any time on the sidelines.

    "It's always difficult to say in this moment so short after the game has finished," he said.

    "But it's an ankle [problem]. We have to see what the diagnosis is, so it will be a minimum of 24 hours before we know that and then I can say more."

    United are back in action on Wednesday with the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final against Forest, before returning to league action at home to Crystal Palace next weekend.

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    He also has 24 senior international caps for Ecuador under his belt, playing every minute of his country's three group stage fixtures at the Qatar World Cup.

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    According to the Sun, Spurs boss Antonio Conte is desperate to add a new central defender before the end of the month, but the club were knocked back by a massive £80million price tag.

    The report indicates Hincapie would be in favour of a move to the Premier League, and to Tottenham specifically, but that it would be far more likely to occur at the end of the season.

    Interestingly, the Sun believes Leverkusen would be open to accepting as little as £20m if it meant Hincapie could spend the rest of the season on loan with the German side, but with his contract tying him to Leverkusen until 2026, it is hard to believe they would budge so significantly from their lofty valuation.

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    ROUND-UP

    – GiveMeSport are reporting Chelsea will make a run at 23-year-old Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic at the end of the season, while Calciomercato adds Juventus are anticipating the Serbian's departure and will seek to replace him with 25-year-old Atalanta forward Ademola Lookman.

    – According to Sport, Barcelona are focusing on 25-year-old Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves as their long-term replacement for Sergio Busquets after failing to land Real Sociedad talent Martin Zubimendi.

    Manchester United believe they are priced out of the Harry Kane sweepstakes, per the Daily Star.

    – Mail on Sunday are reporting Arsenal have returned with a second offer for 21-year-old Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder Moises Caicedo, but their £70m bid is still below the £80m demand.

    – The Telegraph adds that the outcome of Arsenal's push for Caicedo will not affect their desire to sign West Ham midfielder Declan Rice after the season, and they will try to secure both.

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