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Arsenal move into Premier League top four in quest for Europe

Arsenal further demonstrated their quality on Sunday as they eased to a 2-0 win over Leicester to climb into the top four.

Original article published 5 September 2022

The Gunners rounded off a busy afternoon in the Premier League with a comprehensive victory at home to the Foxes.

Arteta has Gunners firing on all cylinders

Arsenal sat bottom of the standings three games into the campaign, having lost each of those matches without scoring a single goal, and Mikel Arteta was immediately under the spotlight.

The former midfielder has always spoken about the importance of being patient as he looks to develop a young squad and we are starting to see them flourish.

Sunday's triumph over Leicester, which came courtesy of goals from Thomas Partey and Alexandre Lacazette, was Arsenal's fifth in succession and extended their unbeaten streak in the league to six.

They have subsequently climbed up to fourth in the standings, one point clear of Man Utd in fifth and they have three games in hand on the Red Devils.

Arsenal, who are 2/5 to earn a top four finish, qualified for the Champions League in 19 successive seasons from 1998/99 onwards but they haven't appeared in the competition since 2016/17.

Arteta believes Arsenal is a club that "should be" in Europe and has confidence in his squad to deliver this term.

"Our history obliges to be there but we are not there yet and there are still a lot of games to play," Arteta said.

"We have an excellent group of people at the club who believe in what we do. Then you have to put performance into results. The last few months, we have been more consistent."

Arsenal's winning streak will come under threat when they return to action on Wednesday against title contenders Liverpool.

The north Londoners can be backed at 11/4 to pick up three points at the Emirates, while Liverpool are priced at 5/6 and the draw is 10/3.

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Ronaldo reminds us of his quality

Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up to the plate in fine fashion on Saturday as his hat-trick guided Man Utd to a 3-2 triumph at home to Tottenham.

The veteran Portuguese is comfortably United's top goalscorer this campaign after Saturday's hat-trick took his tally to 18 across all competitions, including 12 in the league.

Some have questioned at times whether he was still capable of delivering when it mattered but he's consistently silenced any critics this term.

Ronaldo has scored some key goals in the Champions League and his trio of efforts on Saturday, which included a stunning opener from range, served as a firm reminder that he is one of the best to ever play the sport.

After going two games without a win in the league, United desperately needed to avoid defeat when Tottenham visited Old Trafford as they attempt to keep alive their hopes of securing another campaign in the Champions League.

The win extended their advantage over eighth-placed Spurs to five points, although the capital club have two games in hand.

United are 7/2 to finish in the top four for a third successive season, while Tottenham are 9/2.

Everton are serious relegation candidates

The old saying 'too big to go down' has been rolled out on numerous occasions regarding Everton, having never been relegated from the Premier League.

However, this could be the season that Everton, who are 15/8 to suffer relegation, finally take the plunge as things seem to be going from bad to worse.

Sunday's 1-0 loss at Wolves was Everton's fourth in succession and leaves them sitting just one place above the drop zone.

Just goal difference is currently keeping the Toffees above water but they can take some comfort from the fact they have games in hand - three in some cases - on the sides below them.

They've failed to score a single goal in each of those four losses and have some tough games on the horizon.

A home meeting with in-form Newcastle comes on Thursday before they face West Ham, Man Utd, Liverpool and Chelsea in April.

Marsch delivers much-needed win

Leeds finally ended their eight-game winless streak courtesy of a last-gasp victory at the expense of relegation rivals Norwich on Sunday.

Marcelo Bielsa was sacked following a run of six without victory, while new boss Jesse Marsch oversaw successive defeats against Leicester and Aston Villa.

Sunday's clash with Norwich was billed as a relegation six-pointer and Marsch would have been delighted with a desire shown by his men.

Rodrigo had the Whites leading early in the first half and they appeared to be on track to secure a 1-0 win.

However, Kenny McLean struck in the 91st minute to seemingly snatch rock-bottom Norwich a share of the points.

There was further drama to follow, though, when Raphinha burst into the box, rounded Tim Krul and squared for Joe Gelhardt to slot home in the 94th minute.

Marsch's men held on for the final seconds to claim a hugely important three points and fans will be hoping that win will be the catalyst to boost their chances of steering clear of the drop.

The West Yorkshire club has subsequently moved four points clear of the bottom three ahead of Friday's trip to Wolves.

Leeds can be backed at 12/5 to make it successive league victories at the expense of 11/10 Wolves, while the draw is priced at 5/2.

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