Premier League: Arsenal Ends 2022 Seven Points Clear
By Chidi Nwoke, Abuja.
In the final Premier League game of 2022, leaders Arsenal went seven (7) points clear at the top of table after a 4-2 victory against Brighton & Hove Albion at the American Express Community Stadium in England, courtesy of goals from Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli.
Arsenal started with Nketiah in attack, with Saka and Martinelli supporting on the wings. For Brighton, Leandro Trossard featured up-front with Solly March and Kaoru Mitoma on the flanks as they looked to cause an upset.
Saka opened the scoring after 65 seconds when Martinelli’s deflected shot fell into his path and the England winger calm placed the ball into the net.
Brighton tried to find its rhythm in the match and missed a few chances from forward Trossard.
Arsenal captain Odegaard then extended the lead for the table toppers in the 39th minute, pouncing on a loose clearance from a corner kick and firing a shot that bounced up and into the net.
Early in the second half, the Gunners looked to have wrapped up the victory as Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez spilled another Martinelli shot into the path of striker Nketiah, who then bundled the ball into the net from close range to make the scores 3-0
Brighton winger Mitoma gave his side a glimmer of hope when he scored in the 65th minute to make the game 3-1. However, Brazilian star Martinelli had something up his sleeve when he latched onto a brilliant defence-splitting pass by Odegaard, beating his man and scoring against the run of play to mark a remarkable 2022.
Brighton’s fight was not over and they scored another goal through Evan Ferguson to make it 4-2, after an error from Arsenal defender William Saliba. However, Arsenal held on to claim all three points as the match finished 4-2.
The Gunners top the standings with 43 points from 16 games while second-placed Manchester City, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Everton, on 36 points while. Newcastle United are in third on 34 points after their 0-0 draw with Leeds United.
“Of course, at the start of the season if you asked us if we wanted this, we would bite your hand off. We are really happy,” Saka said in an interview.
“It is a great opportunity we have, a great place we have put ourselves in.”
Premier League results
Wolves 0-1 Manchester United
Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal Palace
Fulham 2-1 Southampton
Manchester City 1-1 Everton
Newcastle 0-0 Leeds United
Brighton 2-4 Arsenal.