At the cost of a very big tactical and collective performance, Arsenal went to win Sunday at third Newcastle (2-0) and hang on in the title race, while Manchester United lost to West Ham (1-0) , for the 35th day of the Premier League.
. Arsenal do not abdicate
Relegated on Saturday to four lengths from Manchester City, the Gunners immediately responded to the Magpies who had lost only once at home this season.
Arsenal thus returns to one point behind the defending champion, even if they have one game more.
Newcastle keeps his place on the podium.
If Mikel Arteta’s men have lost their hand in the title race, they have shown that they have no intention of giving up after having been at the top of the standings for 30 days this season.
They were able to recover from a complicated start to the match where Jacob Murphy found the post after only 2 minutes of play, before referee Chris Kavanagh, called to the edge of the sidelines to review the images, canceled the penalty he had whistled for a handball by Jakub Kiwior on a strike from Bruno Guimaraes (8th).
They even quickly regained their footing by opening the scoring in the 14th with a 28-yard strike from Martin Odegaard (1-0), the Norwegian’s 13th goal in the game this season, a record for a midfielder ahead of Frank Lampard in 2009/2010 (12).
It is also his 15th league goal, which allows Arsenal to have two players for the first time, with Gabriel Martinelli, at 15 or more goals in a Premier League season.
With a bit of success or without a great Nick Pope, the Londoners could have made the break before the break, but the international goalkeeper won ahead of Martinelli (21st), Bukayo Saka (24th) or Odegaard, again (45+ 6).
At the start of the second half, Martinelli found the top of the crossbar on a shot wrapped in the area (51st).
But the Brazilian ended up being decisive, even if it was necessary to wait for a boost from their opponent, Fabian Schär deflecting his center back in his cages supported in the 71st to allow Arsenal to break away.
In addition to the post at the very start of the match, Newcastle will regret Aaron Ramsdale’s fine outing at the feet of Callum Wilson (28th) or his save on a header from Schär 7 meters from goal (49th), but he was able to measure what still separates a candidate for the C1 and a candidate for the title, while Arsenal continues to hope for a misstep from the Citizens.
. Manchester United lives dangerously
Beaten for the second time in four days, the Red Devils can begin to tremble for their qualification in the Champions League, with Liverpool coming strong behind.
With 62 points, the Reds, who won their sixth straight victory on Saturday, are only one point behind United and three behind Newcastle, even though they have one game less than these two teams.
But beyond the balance sheet, it is the difficulties of the Mancunians, for a few matches, to create offensively which worries them.
Facing West Ham, who took a seven-point lead in the red zone thanks to their victory, it was not until Anthony Martial broke through, after a one-two with Marcus Rashford, in added time of the second half, to see a dangerous action by the Mancunians.
And to make matters worse, a huge handball from David de Gea, in the 27th minute, on a completely innocuous strike from Saïd Benrahma gave the winning goal to the locals who were the most pressing.
With four opponents still ranked 10th or higher before the end of the championship, Erik ten Hag’s men still have their destiny in their hands. It would now be a question of not letting it slip away.