Arteta wins the first victory when Arsenal sinks Man Utd, but the Spurs and Chelsea stumble
London, January 2 (AFP) Arsenal rang in the new year by giving Chief Mikel Arteta his first victory as the dull Manchester United and his 2-0 defeat, while Tottenham and Chelsea also slipped into the race of the Top four in the Premier League on Wednesday.
Arteta had seen Arsenal take only one point from their first two games, with last weekend's 2-1 defeat against Chelsea especially painful after the Blues scored twice in the last minutes.
But Arsenal had played well for long periods in that London derby and produced an even brighter display to bring United to the sword at Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners took the lead in the eighth minute when the crossing of Sead Kolasinac met Nicolas Pepe on the far post and the Ivory Coast end beat David De Gea from close range.
Arsenal, who last won the league in West Ham on December 9, scored a deserved second goal in the 43rd minute when De Gea kept out Alexandre Lacazette's film and Sokratis reacted faster to whip home.
The Arteta team is nine points out of the first four, but their second victory in 16 games in all competitions offers hope for a brighter future under the management of former Arsenal midfielder.
It feels great, amazing. I am very happy and proud of the players, said Arteta.
Physically, the level dropped in the second half, but the commitment and desire were excellent.
The performances are improving, so I was desperate for the victory and we got it.
United is fifth, five points behind Chelsea, fourth ranked, after the last in a long list of disappointing performances in a problematic campaign.
We started decently for the first five or six minutes, we didn't capitalize, and then they played really well, said United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
We were too slow in the first half, but that is a credit for them. Maybe some tired heads. Chelsea remain in pole position to secure fourth place in the Champions League, but manager Frank Lampard will regret a spectacular draw in the 1-1 draw at Brighton.
César Azpilicueta gave Chelsea the advantage, playing from close range in the 10th minute.
But Brighton scored the goal that his persistence deserved in the 84th minute when Iranian substitute Alireza Jahanbakhsh acrobatically found the lower left corner with an aerial kick.
It was frustrating for different reasons, Lampard said.
We weren't ruthless enough. We got the goal and we had possession. But we don't end the game.
Those lost points gave Joseph Mourinho's Spurs a chance to increase pressure on Chelsea and United, but they fell to a 1-0 loss at Southampton and England's captain Harry Kane suffered a hamstring injury.
- The spurs untangle -
Tottenham was left behind by a goal from Danny Ings in the 17th minute and Kane was injured by turning Christian Eriksen's free kick in the second half, but was flagged for offside.
Mourinho's frustration overflowed when he was shown a yellow card after an altercation with the Southampton bank.
I was rude, said Mourinho. He clearly deserved the yellow card. I had bad words.
In another place at the top of the table, Leicester, second classified, achieved a 3-0 victory in
Newcastle and Manchester City beat Everton 2-1 to give Carlo Ancelotti his first loss since taking over as manager.
Leicester seems to have left a small depression behind them, courtesy of the goals of Ayoze Perez, James Maddison and Hamza Choudhury to move within 10 points of the Liverpool leaders.
City remains in third place after his home victory against Everton, one point behind Leicester.
Gabriel Jesus scored twice in the second half in Etihad before Richarlison withdrew a goal for Everton, but City endured despite some nervous moments.
This period is very difficult. When you are far from the first position, sometimes people give up, but we never give up, said the head of the city, Pep Guardiola.
Fighting West Ham, he began flying under Moyes, returning to the London Stadium for a second period as coach, hitting Bournemouth 4-0 and rising from the relegation zone, with visitors now in the last three.
Watford continued his impressive career under new manager Nigel Pearson, clinging to beat the Wolves, seventh, 2-1. Villa beat Burnley 2-1 with goals in the first half of Wesley and Jack Grealish, while Norwich drew 1-1 with Crystal Palace. (AFP) APA APA