Alexis double helps sink the Black Cats
Alexis double helps sink the Black Cats

The Premier league’s top three all won away from home yesterday and each scored four goals in doing so.

Manchester City maintain top spot on goal difference ahead of Arsenal and Liverpool.

Arsenal were first up yesterday in the lunchtime kick-off away to rock-bottom Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

The Gunners ran out comfortable 4-1 winners with Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud each bagging a brace.

Arsenal have now lost just one of their past 20 top-flight games (12 wins and seven draws).

The introduction of Giroud from the bench proved to be decisive.

Sanchez (19th minute) put the Gunners ahead when he beat Lamine Kone to the ball and headed in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross.

After Arsenal had a strong penalty appeal turned down for a foul on Sanchez, the Black Catts equalised when Jermain Defoe (65th minutes) equalised from the penalty spot after Petr Cech had fouled Duncan Watmore.

Arsenal responded with three goals in six minutes and 20 seconds to seal the points, with Giroud’s double (71st and 76h minutes) and Sanchez’s (78th minute) close range effort.

Alexis Sanchez has been directly involved in eight goals in his past eight Premier League appearances (five goals, three assists).

Giroud has scored seven goals in his last seven appearances against Sunderland in all competitions.

The return of Giroud is timely given that Lucas Perez has been ruled out for 6-8 weeks. It gives Arsenal a physical presence and aerial threat up front that they have missed in Giroud’s absence.

Particularly when looking for a Plan B to break down packed defences such as Arsenal encountered in the goalless draw with Middlesbrough.

Arsenal’s stay at the top of the Premier League proved to be a short one.

Manchester City claimed their first win in six matches in all competitions, with a 4-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns. Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan each scoring twice.

Last up of the top three were Liverpool in the tea time kick off away to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park. Jurgen Klopp’s men ensured that the top three remain separated only on goal difference with a 4-2 win, with goals from Emre Can, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip and Roberto Firmino.

Chelsea have the chance today to move into fourth place, a point behind the leaders, when they take on Southampton at St Mary’s.

So it’s as you were at the top of the table with three teams locked together on points and separated only by goal difference.

Arsenal: Cech 6, Bellerin 7, Gibbs 7, Mustafi 6, Koscielny 7, Coquelin 7 (Maitland-Niles), Elneny 7, Oxlsade-Chamberlain 8 (Ramsey), Iwobi 7 (Giroud), Ozil 7, Sanchez 8

 

 

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