Arsenal gunned down

Updated: Jan 13, 2019, 17:34 IST | AFP | London

Declan Rice's maiden goal for West Ham dents Gunners' bid to break into EPL Top Four

Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (right) and Matteo Guendouzi look dejected during their Premier League match against West Ham in London on Saturday
Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (right) and Matteo Guendouzi look dejected during their Premier League match against West Ham in London on Saturday

Declan Rice's first West Ham goal secured a 1-0 win over Arsenal in a capital city derby clash at the London Stadium. The victory in Saturday's early kick-off saw the Hammers move up to eighth in the Premier League table, on 31 points, ahead of the bulk of the weekend's fixtures. Irish teenager Rice gave himself an early present for his 20th birthday on Monday by scoring the only goal of the game three minutes into the second half. The defeat dented Arsenal's bid to break into the top four, with the Gunners still adrift of Chelsea.

West Ham named Marko Arnautovic in their starting line-up despite the Austrian forward's brother and agent saying on Thursday he wanted to move to the Chinese Super League.
Former Arsenal favourite Samir Nasri started against his old club as the midfielder made his Premier League debut for the Hammers. Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi returned from injury for Arsenal but there was no place in Unai Emery's squad for Mesut Ozil. The match was goalless at the interval following near-misses by Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi and Hammers playmaker Felipe Anderson.

That all changed in the 48th minute. Mustafi's poor clearing header fell to Anderson, whose ball came to Rice via a neat lay-off from Nasri and Rice's first-time shot gave Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno little chance. Arsenal pressed for an equaliser but the Hammers survived three minutes of stoppage time as they held on for victory.

Declan Rice celebrates a goal. Pics/Getty Images
Declan Rice celebrates a goal. Pics/Getty Images

Salah shines
Mohamed Salah's second-half penalty was enough to give Premier League leaders Liverpool a 1-0 win away to Brighton on Saturday that saw them go seven points clear at the top of the table. Jurgen Klopp's men were enduring a frustrating afternoon on the south coast until Egypt forward Salah converted a spot-kick after being brought down in the box by Pascal Gross at the Amex Stadium. Second-placed reigning champions Manchester City, fresh from a 9-0 rout of Burton Albion in the first leg of a League Cup semi-final, will look to close the gap at home to Wolves — who knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup — on Monday.

Leicester lose
At the other end of the table, 10-man Southampton moved a point clear of the bottom three with a 2-1 win away to Leicester. James Ward-Prowse's penalty, awarded after Nampalys Mendy fouled Shane Long, gave the Saints an 11th-minute lead. But the visitors found themselves a man down when Yann Valery was shown a red card for a second bookable offence after tugging the shirt of Marc Albrighton. Southampton still doubled their lead just before half-time when Long pounced on a mistake by goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel. The Foxes scored a second-half goal through Wilfried Ndidi but it wasn't enough and defeat saw Leicester booed by their own fans.

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