Premier League: Arsenal extend lead at the top
Leaders Arsenal put on a masterclass to overwhelm north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 away and extend the gap at the top of the Premier League to eight points on Sunday.
The Gunners flew out of the blocks from the opening whistle and built a first-half lead through a clumsy own goal by Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris and a sublime strike from Martin Odegaard.
Tottenham were totally outplayed by a fired-up Arsenal side under Mikel Arteta who were determined to make amends for a loss at Spurs last season that ultimately cost them a top-four place.
They dominated the first half and battled gamely in the second, leaving Spurs boss Antonio Conte looking glum on the sidelines as he clapped his hands to rally his sorry side.
Striker Harry Kane, needing one more goal to equal Jimmy Greaves all-time Spurs’ scoring record, had chances either side of the break but keeper Aaron Ramsdale was equal to them.
The win puts Arsenal on 47 points from 18 games ahead of Manchester City on 39, with Newcastle United, who have played a game more, and Manchester United a further point back. Spurs are in fifth place with 33 points from 19 matches.
Earlier, a second-half goal from Kai Havertz proved enough to give Chelsea a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, easing the pressure on manager Graham Potter after a poor run of form.
This was far from a convincing performance by Chelsea but the relief was palpable at the final whistle as they avoided the ignominy of losing four successive matches in all competitions for the first time in 30 years.
The goal arrived when Palace lost concentration from a corner allowing Conor Gallagher to play the ball short to Hakim Ziyech, whose curling cross was buried past Vicente Guaita by Havertz for his sixth goal of the season.
Chelsea had struggled for many clear-cut openings up to that stage, with Havertz heading over and Lewis Hall flashing a first-time shot across goal during a tame first half.
Isak nets winner
Club-record signing Alexander Isak came off the bench to earn Newcastle United a last-gasp 1-0 win over Fulham, with the hosts grateful for an extraordinary penalty slip from visiting forward Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Fulham won a penalty midway through the second half for a foul on Bobby Decordova-Reid, following a VAR review.
However, as former Newcastle striker Mitrovic slipped as he struck the spot kick and hit the ball against his standing foot before finding the net, the goal was ruled out because he had struck the ball twice.
It looked like Newcastle would have to settle for a third successive Premier League goalless draw, before Isak arrived right on cue to head home the 89th-minute winner.
London: Chelsea announced Mykhailo Mudryk as their fifth signing of the January transfer window on Sunday, after the Ukrainian winger completed his move from Shakhtar Donetsk to the Premier League club.
In a statement, Shakhtar said they “will receive 70 million euros ($76 million) for the player and another 30 million euros is envisaged as a bonus payment.”
The 22-year-old has signed on an eight-and-a-half-year contract.
“This is a huge club, in a fantastic league and it is a very attractive project for me at this stage of my career,” Mudryk said in a statement.
Arsenal had reportedly been in talks to sign Mudryk as the Premier League leaders sought cover in attack following Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus’ long-term absence due to knee surgery.
But as they negotiated the price and structure of payments, Chelsea swooped in with Shakhtar saying on Saturday that their president Rinat Akhmetov was close to agreeing Mudryk’s transfer to Stamford Bridge.