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Southampton, Leicester miss out on top spot as 10-man Arsenal avoid defeat


London (AFP) – Southampton missed the chance to go top of the Premier League as 10-man Arsenal held out for a 1-1 draw to avoid another damaging defeat before Liverpool host Tottenham in a top-of-the-table clash on Wednesday.

Leicester also missed out on the chance to go top for a few hours at least as the Foxes were beaten 2-0 at home by Everton.

Defeat would have seen Arsenal lose five consecutive home league games for the first time in the club’s history as the pressure mounts on manager Mikel Arteta.

The Gunners could not have got off to a worse start as Theo Walcott opened the scoring on his return to the Emirates, where he spent 12 years as a player, with a fine chipped finish over Bernd Leno from Che Adams’s pass.

Southampton bossed the first-half but failed to build on their lead and were made to pay soon after the break as Arsenal scored just a third goal in their last nine league games and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s first from open play since the first day of the season.

Bukayo Saka’s burst opened up the Saints defence and when Eddie Nketiah freed Aubameyang inside the area, the Arsenal captain showed he has not lost his touch in front of goal with an excellent finish into the far corner.

Arsenal’s joy was short-lived as they again found themselves a man down as Gabriel Magalhaes picked up two quick bookings.

However, Arteta will have been heartened by the resolve his side showed despite being pinned back for the final half hour and they could even have stolen all three points when Rob Holding’s header came back off the bar in stoppage time.

A draw leaves Southampton still a point off leaders Tottenham and Liverpool in third, but Ralph Hassenhuttl’s men edged above Leicester into third on goals scored.

Everton have awakened their challenge for a Champions League place in the past week as they followed up a fine win over Chelsea on Saturday with another at the King Power to move into fifth.

Richarlison opened the scoring thanks to an error from Kasper Schmeichel as the Leicester captain got a hand to the Brazilian’s effort from outside the box but could not keep it out.

Leicester’s best chance to respond came within a minute of conceding when Jamie Vardy headed straight at Robin Olsen, who was handed a rare start ahead of England number one Jordan Pickford.

Everton suffered a major injury blow before half-time as Brazilian international Allan had to be replaced with a hamstring injury.

But Carlo Ancelotti’s men continued to pose the bigger threat and secured the points when Mason Holgate hammered home the rebound from point-blank range after Schmeichel nearly made amends with a brilliant stop from Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Leeds deservedly won a seven-goal thriller against Newcastle 5-2 to move level on points with the Magpies, eight points clear of the relegation zone.

The visitors went in front against the run of play at Elland Road when Jeff Hendrick volleyed beyond Illan Meslier from Callum Wilson’s flick on.

Patrick Bamford quickly levelled with his eighth goal of the season before Rodrigo headed Leeds in front for the first time early in the second-half.

This time Leeds’ lead lasted only four minutes before Ciaran Clark met Ryan Fraser’s corner.

However, the dominance of Marcelo Bielsa’s men was rewarded as Stuart Dallas, Ezgjan Alioski and Jack Harrison all struck in the final 13 minutes.

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