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Arsenal's German midfielder #29 Kai Havertz celebrates scoring the team's second goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Brentford at the Emirates Stadium in London on March 9, 2024. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS

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Arsenal's Kai Havertz scored a late winner to put them top of the Premier League despite keeper Aaron Ramsdale's calamitous first-half error in a 2-1 home win over Brentford, as the Gunners recorded an eighth league victory in a row.

The hard-fought win puts Arsenal in provisional top spot on 64 points, one point ahead of Liverpool and two in front of Manchester City who play each other at Anfield tomorrow.

Declan Rice's glancing header from a Ben White cross gave Arsenal the lead after 19 minutes as the hosts dominated possession from the start at The Emirates.

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The Bees levelled against the run of play just before halftime as Ramsdale dawdled in his box and Yoane Wissa's sliding challenge sent an attempted clearance into the net.

The keeper, making his first league start since November in place of Brentford loanee David Raya who was ineligible, made amends with two good saves, clawing Ivan Toney's long-range effort wide and tipping Nathan Collins' header over.

Arsenal pressed for the winner and Rice rattled the woodwork 15 minutes from time with a curling effort from outside the box that left keeper Mark Flekken stranded.

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Havertz headed home in the 86th minute from another superb delivery by White to give Arsenal a deserved win, which means the Gunners will end the weekend in at least second spot and could stay top on goal difference if Liverpool and City draw.

Brentford remain 15th, five points above 18th-placed Luton Town and the relegation zone having played a game more.

- Reuters

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