Arsenal’s grip on the English Premier League lead is suddenly looking shaky.
The Gunners were held by Brentford to 1-1 at Emirates Stadium on Saturday, dropping points for the second game in a row and giving Manchester City renewed hope of overtaking them atop the table.
The result means City can cut Arsenal’s lead to three points with a home win over Aston Villa on Sunday. With Arsenal then hosting City on Wednesday, Pep Guardiola’s team would go top on goal difference if it wins both matches — although the Gunners have played one game less.
ALSO READ| Premier League: Chelsea Held to 1-1 Draw at West Ham
Leandro Trossard’s first Arsenal goal gave the hosts the lead in the 66th minute when he steered in a cross from Bukayo Saka. But Ivan Toney equalized with a close-range header eight minutes later after the Gunners failed to clear a free kick.
Coming off a 1-0 loss at Everton last weekend, Arsenal looked flat again for much of the game and was even fortunate not to be behind at the break as Brentford wasted two great chances.
Toney’s cross from the right evaded Arsenal defenders to give Rico Henry an opportunity to score into an open net, but the full-back couldn’t make clean contact with the ball and it sailed wide.
Toney then nearly scored in the 25th after Bryan Mbeumo teed him up inside the area, but the striker’s shot hit the corner of the goal frame.
With Arsenal’s attack sputtering, Trossard came off the bench to provide a much-needed spark. The former Brighton forward, who joined Arsenal in the January transfer window, was on hand at the far post to slot the ball into an empty net after being picked out by Saka.
But the lead didn’t last long.
After Arsenal couldn’t clear an in swinging free kick into the area, Brentford kept the ball alive with three straight headers before Christian Norgaard squared the ball across the goalmouth, where Toney had an easy header into an empty net. The Brentford celebrations were put on hold for a lengthy VAR check for a possible offside before the goal was allowed to stand.
Oleksandr Zinchenko shot narrowly wide in the 80th as Arsenal looked for an immediate response but the hosts never came closer to a winner.
Read all the Latest Sports News here(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed - Associated Press)