EPL: Saka stars massively as Arsenal eight points clear | football news

London: armory lead by eight points Premier League As Bukayo SakaKay’s brace inspired a 4–1 defeat diamond palace on Sunday.
Gabriel Martinelli opened the scoring in the first half at the Emirates Stadium to set the leaders up for their sixth consecutive league win.
It was redemption for Martinelli, whose missed penalty in Thursday’s shoot-out against Sporting Lisbon condemned Arsenal to a Europa League last 16 defeat.
Mikel Arteta’s side needed just 45 minutes against struggling Palace to erase the bitter taste of that loss.
Saka followed Martinelli’s goal to double Arsenal’s lead before half-time.
Granit Xhaka scored the third goal after the interval and Jeff Schlapp’s reply was no consolation as the impressive Xaka’s second capped Arsenal performance was stylish.
Arsenal now have a substantial eight-point lead over second-placed Manchester City, who took a weekend break from Premier League duty after beating Burnley in the FA Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.
With a game at Arsenal and a crucial clash with the Gunners on April 26, Pep Guardiola’s champions will still believe they can win a fifth title in six seasons.
But heading into the international break, Arsenal have ensured that the fate of the title race will be in their hands in the final 10 games.
After surrendering top spot with a defeat against City in February, Arsenal have responded impressively, showing far more maturity and composure than Gunners’ teams that have regularly faltered in recent years.
Arteta deserves immense credit for turning around a team that finished in the top four last season.
Less than a year later, Arsenal, the first English team to win nine London derbies in a single season, are in the sights of the champions-elect.
Arteta had labeled the Palace clash as the most important match of his managerial career and his players once again rose to the challenge.
Arsenal played out a grueling 120 minutes against Sporting before their Europa League campaign ended in painful fashion.
Such a quick turnaround could test Arsenal mentally and physically.
But they have ideal opponents in a Palace team reeling from their 13-match run of wins in 2023 and the sacking of boss Patrick Vieira on Friday.
Vieira was a key member of the Arsenal team that won the last title 19 years ago and Gunners fans chanted his name throughout the game.
Arteta described Arsenal’s run-in as “11 finals” and he made six changes to freshen up his team for the first of those hurdles.
Palace, led by interim boss Paddy McCarthy, almost suffered a setback when Wilfried Zaha’s shot hit the post, deflected off the diving Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale and went just wide.
This served as a wake-up call for Arsenal and they made the breakthrough in the 28th minute.
Saka broke free to pick up Ben White’s pass in the penalty area and pulled his cross back past Martinelli.
The Brazilian forward took a clever touch to round out Joel Ward before curling a clinical finish past Joe Whitworth from 12 yards for his sixth goal in his last eight games.
Saka made sure Arsenal’s relentless pressing paid dividends again in the 43rd minute.
He played the ball back to White and his return pass was perfectly weighted for the England forward, who scored a cool finish into the far corner from close-range.
Arsenal were massive and Xaka put the result beyond doubt in the 55th minute.
A brilliant exchange of passes around the Palace area sent the spectators into a tizzy, before Xhaka put in a deft finishing touch to Leandro Trossard’s through-ball.
Schlupp stabbed in Palace’s first league goal in nearly seven hours after Arsenal failed to clear a 63rd-minute corner.
But Saka had the last word with his 13th goal of the season, a fine first-time finish from Kieran Tierney’s 74th-minute pass.


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