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Arsenal celebrate a goal. Photo: photosport

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Arsenal sent out a huge statement in a gripping Premier League title race with a 3-0 rout of Brighton and Hove Albion to go top after Manchester City's 4-2 win at Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Liverpool, who had begun the day on top of the table, will now be under immense pressure to respond when they face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Goals by Bukayo Saka, Kai Havertz and Leandro Trossard ensured Arsenal made it 10 wins from their last 11 league games with only last weekend's 0-0 draw at City costing them points.

Mikel Arteta's side, bidding to deliver a first English title since the 2003-04 season, have 71 points from 31 games with Liverpool, who have a game in hand, on 70. Reigning champions City also have 70 points.

In such a tight tussle Arsenal's far superior goal difference, could prove crucial.

A 3-0 home defeat against Brighton in May last season ended any realistic title hopes Arsenal had, but they have made a massive improvement since.

Arsenal - Figure 2
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From the moment Saka stroked home a penalty in the 33rd minute they looked unshakeable, and second-half goals by Havertz and former Brighton man Trossard had the away fans singing loudly in the south coast rain.

"Really happy, a big performance," Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta told Sky Sports. "Brighton hadn't lost at home since August and that says everything really. Today we were outstanding and needed that level today."

Arsenal have not conceded a goal in their last five away league games, while scoring 20 goals in the process, and City and Liverpool will know that Arteta's team are not going away.

Earlier at Selhurst Park, Manchester City suffered an early shock as they fell behind to a goal by Jean-Philippe Mateta.

But Kevin De Bruyne struck twice with Rico Lewis and Erling Haaland also on target as City cruised home.


Odsonne Edouard grabbed a late consolation for Palace.

Arsenal - Figure 3
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"It's just like every other title race. We have to win every game," the 19-year-old Lewis told TNT Sports. "There's three teams in it and we have to be the strongest team."

De Bruyne, who along with Haaland was rested for Wednesday's 4-1 win over Aston Villa, produced a vintage display as he clocked up his 100th goal for the club.

"Without him we would not be able to win this. You talk about managers but players like Kevin make this game easy," Pep Guardiola, whose side is seeking a fourth successive Premier League title, said.

"He has been one of the best players in City's history."

Aston Villa dropped points in the battle for fourth place as they drew 3-3 at home to Brentford. Villa had been 2-0 up with goals by Ollie Watkins and Morgan Rogers, but Brentford scored three times in nine minutes through Mathias Jorgensen, Bryan Mbeumo and Yoane Wissa to lead before Watkins grabbed his second to secure a point for the hosts.

Arsenal - Figure 4
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"It's frustrating, we lacked that big team mentality where they kill games off which is disappointing," Watkins said.

Villa have 60 points to fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur's 57 but Tottenham have two games in hand, the first of them being Sunday's home game against Nottingham Forest.

Luton Town secured a massive three points in their bid to avoid relegation as they hit back to win 2-1 at Bournemouth.

Carlton Morris struck the late decider as third-from-bottom Luton claimed their first win since January to move to 25 points, the same as 17th-placed Nottingham Forest.

Everton also claimed a vital victory as they won 1-0 against 19th-placed Burnley, Dominic Calvert-Lewin profiting from a bad error by Burnley goalkeeper Arijanet Muric.

It ended a 13-game Premier League winless streak for Everton who are four points above the relegation zone.

Newcastle United boosted their hopes of qualifying for Europe as they won 1-0 at Fulham, while West Ham United claimed a 2-1 win at Wolverhampton Wanderers to stay seventh - their winner coming directly from a superb James Ward Prowse corner.

- Reuters

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