Premier League: Arsenal thrash Burnley; Liverpool cruise

Bukayo Saka scored either side of halftime as Arsenal crushed second-bottom Burnley 5-0 at Turf Moor on Saturday to go second and keep the pressure on Premier League leaders Liverpool.
Premier League: Arsenal thrash Burnley; Liverpool cruise

LONDON: Bukayo Saka scored either side of halftime as Arsenal crushed second-bottom Burnley 5-0 at Turf Moor on Saturday to go second and keep the pressure on Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Captain Martin Odegaard opened the scoring in the fourth minute, shooting left-footed from the edge of the box into the bottom right corner, and Saka made it 2-0 from the penalty spot in the 41st after a foul on Leandro Trossard.

Saka claimed his second two minutes after the break for his 12th league goal of the campaign, Trossard curled one in for 4-0 and Kai Havertz added a fifth as Arsenal chalked up a fifth straight win in 2024.

The London side are two points behind Liverpool, 4-1 winners at Brentford, after 25 games and three clear of champions Manchester City.

Arsenal, who thrashed West Ham United 6-0 last weekend, have scored 21 goals in their last five games and they could easily have added to the tally against the Clarets.

Trossard, who has now scored three goals in three games, missed several other chances including one big miss early in the first half.

Saka's second goal was assisted by Odegaard but the England forward's hopes of a hat-trick ended when he was taken off in the 69th with one yellow card to his name and the game won.

The match was halted in the 63rd minute when Burnley's Aaron Ramsey was given oxygen and carried off on a stretcher after apparently injuring his knee in a tackle by Odegaard.

Burnley remained deep in trouble at the foot of the table, level on points with bottom club Sheffield United.

Mohamed Salah scored on his return from injury as Liverpool kept their foot on the throttle in the Premier League title race with a 4-1 win at Brentford on Saturday to go provisionally five points clear at the summit.

Darwin Nunez opened the scoring with an exquisite first-half chip, and goals after the break from Alexis Mac Allister and Salah, who was playing his first game for Liverpool in over six weeks after suffering a hamstring injury at the Africa Cup of Nations, effectively ended the contest.

Ivan Toney pulled one back for Brentford, but Cody Gakpo grabbed Liverpool's fourth to wrap up a comfortable win for the visitors.

The victory lifted Liverpool to 57 points and put the ball back in the court of chasers Manchester City in second and third-placed Arsenal, who are both on 52 but can reduce the deficit later on Saturday.

In what is shaping up to be one of the tightest title races in years, Pep Guardiola's City side, arguably still in the box seat with two games in hand, host Chelsea in Saturday's late game after Arsenal visit Burnley.

While his side cruised to a sixth win in their last seven league games, there was a sour note for Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp, who was already dealing with a lengthy injury list before Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota were taken off in the first half and Nunez failed to emerge after halftime.

Klopp cut a frustrated figure on the touchline as Brentford snapped into challenges and forced Liverpool back in the early stages, with Toney spurning a couple of chances. But it was the visitors who broke the deadlock thanks to Nunez's fine finish in the 35th minute.

A long clearance forward from Virgil van Dijk was headed into Nunez's path by Jota and the Uruguayan ran clear before chipping the ball expertly over the advancing Flekken for his ninth league goal of the season.

Salah came off the bench to replace Jota and had two chances either side of halftime but failed to convert a dangerous cross from Luis Diaz and then straight after the interval stabbed wide after running through with only the keeper to beat.

The Egyptian was the creator for Liverpool's second, however in the 55th minute, as he cut in from the right and fed Mac Allister whose first touch took him past the last man before he stabbed it into the net.

Salah was on target 13 minutes later when a long ball forward from stand-in keeper Caoimhin Kelleher was headed on by Gakpo. Salah pounced as the Brentford defence stood still, beating Nathan Collins before finishing left-footed for his 15th league goal of the season.

Toney pulled one back in the 75th minute, firing home on the rebound after Sergio Reguilon's shot was superbly saved by Kelleher. But it proved little more than a consolation, and Liverpool ensured there would be no late drama when Gakpo added a fourth in the 86th minute.

Wolverhampton Wanderers put a dent in Tottenham Hotspur's top-four ambitions as Joao Gomes scored twice in an impressive 2-1 away victory in the Premier League on Saturday.

Brazilian Gomes headed Wolves in front shortly before halftime and struck again in the 63rd minute after Dejan Kulusevski had equalised immediately after the break.

It was Wolves' fourth win in their last six Premier League games at Tottenham and completed the double this season after their victory at Molineux in October.

Defeat, combined with Aston Villa's win at Fulham, dropped Tottenham down to fifth place with 47 points from 25 games.

Wolves moved into 10th with 35 points.

Ollie Watkins scored twice as Aston Villa held off a late fightback from Fulham to move into the top four of the Premier League with a 2-1 away win on Saturday.

Substitute Matt Ritchie scored moments after coming on in second-half stoppage time to snatch a 2-2 draw for Newcastle United against Bournemouth in a rip-roaring match at St James' Park. Agencies

Also Read: Premier League: Liverpool regain top spot with 3-1 win over Burnley

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