Arsenal continue title charge, Manchester United struggle at Southampton

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Arsenal restored their five-point lead in the Premier League with a 3-0 win over Fulham on Sunday and produced a small piece of top-flight history in the process. Elsewhere, Manchester United drew 0-0 at Southampton and West Ham and Aston Villa ended 1-1.

At Craven Cottage, Gabriel, Gabriel Martinelli and captain Martin Odegaard scored in the first half as the Gunners became the first team to win five successive London derbies without a goal.

Leandro Trossard provided three assists as Mikel Arteta’s side capitalized on Fulham’s defense.

Gabriel, who also netted his debut goal against Fulham in 2020, put Arsenal on the score sheet in the 21st minute with a header inside the six-yard box from Trossard’s corner.

Trossard teed up Martinelli in the 26th minute when his cross fell wide for an easy header, the Brazilian’s 12th goal of the season. Only four Premier League players have scored more.

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Seconds before half-time, Odegaard got two touches to control Trossard’s cross before firing the ball past Fulham – and former Arsenal keeper – Bernd Leno.

The Gunners started the day with second-placed Manchester City hot on their heels after a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday brought the defending champions within two points.

Brazilian Gabriel Jesus sparked uproar from Gunners fans when he came on in the 77th minute, his first since injuring his knee at the World Cup in November. Jesus almost scored in the 85th minute, but his shot went straight to the keeper.

At Old Trafford, Manchester United endured a frustrating afternoon with a nil-all draw against Southampton that was marked by the expulsion of Brazilian midfielder Casemiro.

At Old Trafford, Casemiro was sent off in the 34th minute for a high boot against Carlos Alcaraz, giving confidence to the visitors in an entertaining game with great chances at both ends.

The referee had originally given Casemiro a yellow card before changing it to red after a video check.

Captain Bruno Fernandes came closest for Manchester United in the second half with a low shot off the post while prolific striker Marcus Rashford saw a shot well saved in a one-on-one with Southampton goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu in the first period.

Southampton missed a string of chances, with Theo Walcott seeing a point-blank header and curling shot both brilliantly saved by David de Gea, while Kyle Walker-Peters hit the post and James Ward-Prowse saw a couple of free kicks go close.

The result was not what Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag wanted after last week’s 7-0 drubbing by Liverpool in the league and it was a disappointing follow-up to the scintillating 4-1 Europa League win over Real Betis in mid-week.

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