Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard of Norway celebrates after scoring against Wolverhampton on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022 (Nigel French/PA via AP)
Wolverhampton -#Arsenal -Played on 11/ 12/2022
Heading into a six-week break in the Premier League for the World Cup, there are plenty of interesting stories to come for the second half of the campaign.
Arsenal have a five-point lead and are arguably Manchester City’s biggest challenger for the title.
Newcastle looks more and more like a team with enough quality to sneak into the Champions League.
Graham Potter and Frank Lampard, meanwhile, would settle for keeping their jobs after the season at Chelsea and Everton.
The last match date before the six-week break included yet another win for Arsenal, who took advantage of City’s surprise 2-1 loss at home to Brentford. The Gunners beat Wolverhampton 2-0 to take what is their biggest lead in the league so far.
Goals from Norway’s Martin Odegaard in the 55th and 75th minutes gave Arsenal their 12th win in 14 games. The only points that Spaniard Mikel Arteta’s side have let slip before Christmas came in a loss to Manchester United and a draw at Southampton.
Few would have predicted such a good performance from the team.
While the Arsenal players kept up their intensity at Molineux, the City stars, including Erling Haaland, looked uncharacteristically out of touch at the Etihad Stadium.
Ivan Toney reacted to his exclusion from the England World Cup squad by scoring the first goal after 16 minutes and the decisive goal in the eighth minute of injury time. Phil Fodden had leveled for the Citizens, who are two points above third-place Newcastle after a 1-0 win over a crisis-ridden Chelsea.
Newcastle have won five games in a row. Seven points separate him from Manchester United, which is fifth and visits Fulham this Sunday.
Chelsea suffered its third consecutive loss.
“We’re at a point,” said Potter, who took over from Thomas Tuchel in September. “We will take advantage of the break to recharge our batteries and start again.”
Tottenham came from behind three times and beat Leeds 4-3. The Uruguayan Rodrigo Betancur contributed the decisive double at 81 and 83 minutes.
Another Uruguayan, Darwin Núñez, will arrive at the World Cup having finally reached his best level during his first season in Liverpool.
He scored twice as the Reds beat Tottenham 3-1.
Núñez, who joined from Benfica for $75 million, begins scoring frequently for Jürgen Klopp’s side. He has scored seven times in 10 games.
Liverpool climbed to sixth place, seven points off the “Champions” positions.
In other games, Leicester beat West Ham 2-0 and Bournemouth thrashed Everton 3-0, whose players and manager Frank Lampard left amid insults, boos and whistles.
“The public has a right to be disappointed,” Lampard said.
Nottingham Forest beat Crystal Palace 1-0 to drop from bottom and are now just below Everton.