LONDON: Kai Havertz’s 89th-minute goal fired Arsenal to the top of the Premier League on Saturday after a 1-0 win at Brentford.Mikel Arteta’s team looked set to miss out on the opportunity to move into first place after Manchester City and Liverpool drew 1-1 earlier in the day.
But Havertz came up with a decisive header to score his first goal from open play for Arsenal since joining from Chelsea in the offseason.
Havertz’s only other goal for Arsenal came from the penalty spot against Bournemouth in September. His strike at Gtech Community Stadium on Saturday was crucial as the Gunners moved a point ahead of defending champion City.
Meeting Bukayo Saka’s cross at the far post, Havertz headed between the legs of Brentford goalkeeper Mark Flekken.
“These late winners are nice, and then to celebrate in front of the fans it was a good feeling for sure,” Havertz said. “The cross was amazing and I thought maybe why not do this run and the ball was perfect and I scored.”
Arsenal’s players were celebrating earlier when Leandro Trossard thought he had opened the scoring, but the goal was ruled offside after a VAR review.
Arsenal led the table for 248 days last season but eventually fell away as City claimed its third title in a row.
Newcastle United overcame a long injury list to bounce back from their defeat away to Bournemouth two weeks ago, with a 4-1 thumping of Chelsea.
Chelsea had scored four goals in each of their last two games, but had looked vulnerable in defense in both outings and Newcastle exploited their defensive problems without mercy.
Alexander Isak opened the scoring in the 13th minute and although Raheem Sterling leveled in the 23rd minute, two goals in two minutes from Jamaal Lascelles and Joelinton turned the game decisively in Newcastle’s way.
Reece James was sent off in the 73rd minute and Anthony Gordon rounded off a good day for Newcastle and a dreadful one for the visitors, with a fourth goal in the 83rd minute.
Brighton won 3-2 away to Nottingham Forest thanks to two goals from Joao Pedro after Evan Ferguson had cancelled out Anthony Elanga’s opener for Forest.
The visitors had to hold on with 10 men in the 75th minute after Lewis Dunk was sent off for committing the penalty that saw Morgan Gibbs-White give Forest hope from the spot.
Elsewhere, Burnley lost to West Ham 2-1, Luton beat Crystal Palace 2-1 and Bournemouth defeated Sheffield United 3-1. Agencies