Arsenal, Spurs clip rivals
MANCHESTER, England (AP):
Arsenal and Tottenham grabbed late winning goals against title rivals yesterday to move two points off the lead, as the race to win the English Premier League tightened up.
Leicester started the weekend with an unlikely five-point lead but conceded in the fifth minute of stoppage time to lose 2-1 at Arsenal, with Danny Welbeck scoring the winner in his first match back after 10 months out injured.
"This strengthens our belief that we are in the fight," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. "It would have been massive for us to lose."
It was only Leicester's third loss of the season - and two of them have been inflicted by Arsenal.
Christian Eriksen didn't leave it quite so late for Spurs against Manchester City, slotting home in the 83rd minute to also seal a 2-1 win at Etihad Stadium. It will be regarded as a landmark win for a young Tottenham team that is going for the club's first league title since 1961.
"It is true our supporters can dream," Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino said. Second-place Tottenham lead Arsenal on goal difference, while City's second straight home loss kept the team six points behind Leicester, with their squad beginning to look stretched as it goes for trophies on four fronts.
In the other match, last-place Aston Villa slipped to their heaviest home defeat in 81 years, losing 6-0 to Liverpool. The visitors had six different scorers, including Daniel Sturridge in the injury-prone striker's first league start for more than four months.
Relegation candidates all of last season, Leicester are dealing with a different kind of pressure this time round, but a failure to handle rising expectations wasn't the reason behind the defeat at Emirates Stadium.
The biggest factor was probably the sending-off of right back Danny Simpson after two yellow cards in the opening nine minutes of the second half. Leicester were then leading 1-0, thanks to Jamie Vardy's penalty on the stroke of half-time - his league-high 19th goal of the season.
Substitutes came good for Arsenal. Theo Walcott equalised with 20 minutes to go with Arsenal's first shot on target and fellow sub Welbeck, who came on in the 83rd minute, headed in Mesut Ozil's free kick.