Arsenal Silence Stubborn Brentford, Go Top Of EPL Table

London side, Arsenal moved to the top of the Premier League in dramatic fashion on Saturday as Kai Havertz grabbed a crucial late strike to earn the title hopefuls 2-1 win against Brentford.

Mikel Arteta’s side were less than minutes away from what will have been a damaging draw after Gunners keeper Ramsdale gifted an equaliser to Yoane Wissa.

Declan Rice put Arsenal ahead early in the first half, but Ramsdale waited too long to clear just before the interval and Wissa took advantage to block the ball into the net.

Africa Today News, New York reports that Havertz ensured Arsenal would not miss their chance to climb into first place with a bullet header four minutes from the final whistle at a jubilant Emirates Stadium.

The north Londoners’ eighth successive league victory lifted them one point clear of previous leaders Liverpool.

Arsenal will stay top on goal difference if second-placed Liverpool and third-placed Manchester City draw in their blockbuster clash at Anfield on Sunday.

The much-maligned Havertz’s ninth goal since his move from Chelsea underlined Arsenal’s hunger to make amends for blowing an eight-point lead in the title race last season.

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Monopolising possession in metronomic fashion, Arsenal squeezed Brentford deeper and deeper before taking the lead in the 19th minute.

Ben White whipped over a perfectly weighted cross from the right and Rice rose highest to thump a header past Brentford keeper Mark Flekken from 10 yards.

It was the former West Ham midfielder’s sixth goal of his impressive first season with the Gunners.

Leandro Trossard’s long-range blast was well held by Flekken, but Arsenal were so dominant it seemed only a matter of time until they scored again.

Instead, Ramsdale’s blunder stunned the Emirates into silence in first-half stoppage-time.

Gabriel’s back-pass should have been dealt with by the Arsenal keeper, but he took too long to clear inside his six-yard box, allowing Wissa to close him down and make a sliding block that deflected the ball into the net.

Ramsdale looked distraught as he scooped up the ball and several team-mates made a point of consoling him as he trudged towards the tunnel at half-time.

Ramsdale was making his first league start since the Gunners’ last meeting with Brentford on November 25 because Arsenal’s first-choice keeper David Raya was ineligible to face his parent club.

But Ramsdale partially redeemed himself with a superb save to keep out an audacious effort from Ivan Toney that was heading for the top corner from 30 yards out.

With time running out, Havertz struck in the 86th minute.

He found space in the six-yard box to meet White’s cross with a powerful header that sparked wild celebrations from Arteta on the touchline as Arsenal’s title dreams live on.

Africa Today News, New York

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