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Sunday, March 26, 2023

Arsenal beat Watford to keep Premier League top-four bid on track

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Arsenal boosted their Premier League top-four hopes with a 3-2 win at Watford, as Bukayo Saka starred in a match containing five terrific goals.

Martin Odegaard opened the scoring for Arsenal when he capped a scintillating move on five minutes before Watford’s Cucho Hernandez went one better with a fantastic overhead kick after 11 minutes.

Read Also: Arsenal edge Wolves to rekindle top-four bid

Saka finished into the top corner after half an hour, before Gabriel Martinelli wrapped up the three points by finishing sweetly from outside the area after the break – although Moussa Sissoko’s late response did keep Arsenal on their toes.

Prior to Manchester United’s derby against Manchester City later on Sunday, Arsenal moved up to fourth in their pursuit of Champions League qualification for the first time since 2016.

Watford had the ball in the net after just 17 seconds in a frantic opening, but Emmanuel Dennis was narrowly offside and the visitors took an early lead instead, with Odegaard finishing neatly on his left foot after playing a superb give-and-go with Saka.

The Hornets needed just six minutes to respond, however, as Hernandez met Kiko Femenia’s right-wing cross in acrobatic style to give Aaron Ramsdale little chance.

After Ramsdale almost spilled Dennis’ shot to Joao Pedro, Arsenal reclaimed the lead when Saka bent a shot into the top corner from Alexandre Lacazette’s backheel.

This brilliant display of goalscoring continued soon after the break, with Martinelli hitting a fine right-footed strike past Ben Foster after Lacazette’s lay-off.

Dennis spurned a great opportunity to half the arrears on 70 minutes, and Arsenal could have pulled further ahead as substitute Eddie Nketiah struck the post.

Instead, Sissoko ensured a nervy ending when he turned Ben White and placed a neat finish beyond Ramsdale, but Mikel Arteta’s men were able to hold on for a fourth consecutive league win.

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