Arsenal were held to a goalless stalemate by high-flying Newcastle on Tuesday but still extended their lead to eight points at the top of the Premier League as Manchester United tightened their grip on a top-four place.
Everton imploded at home to Brighton, losing 4-1 just days after drawing at champions Manchester City, while Fulham condemned Leicester to a third straight defeat.
Mikel Arteta’s men had the better of a fractious encounter at a packed Emirates Stadium but the Spaniard complained his side had been denied two “scandalous penalties” in front of a baying home crowd.
Arteta was furious that Arsenal failed in their appeal for a spot-kick in the final seconds of stoppage-time after a cross in the penalty area struck Jacob Murphy’s arm.
The Gunners boss also complained that Dan Burn was guilty of a shirt pull on Arsenal defender Gabriel in the area earlier in the second half.
Arteta was convinced Arsenal had been denied the chance to score from the spot even though the award of penalties would have been harsh on Newcastle.
“Extremely proud of my players. The way we played, dominated the game. We had so many situations. And then had two scandalous penalties,” Arteta said.
“There were two penalties. It’s very simple. I’m talking about what I’ve seen. It was two scandalous penalties.”
Of the second penalty call, Newcastle boss Eddie Howe added: “Obviously at that stage of the game you’re thinking ‘God no, the lads have given so much’ and that would have been a travesty for us.
“I didn’t think it was a penalty but you just never know.”
Arsenal, who dropped points for only the third time this season, are eight points clear of Manchester City, who have a game in hand.
RASHFORD ON SCORESHEET
Manchester United hammered Bournemouth 3-0 at Old Trafford – their fourth straight Premier League win – to move level on 35 points with third-placed Newcastle.
United, trophyless since 2017, have now won nine of their past 10 games in all competitions as they adjust to life without Cristiano Ronaldo, who was unveiled at his new Saudi club, Al Nassr, on Tuesday.
Marcus Rashford was dropped at Wolves on Saturday after oversleeping and missing a meeting but came off the bench to bag the winner, and he returned to the starting line-up on Tuesday as one of four changes alongside Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Donny van de Beek.
Casemiro broke the deadlock for United in the 23rd minute. Rashford was fouled by Adam Smith on the left and Christian Eriksen floated in a free-kick which the Brazil midfielder met at the near post to apply the finish.
England defender Luke Shaw started and finished the move for United’s second goal early in the second half and Rashford added gloss to the scoreline shortly before full-time.
“I’m happy with the result,” said manager Erik ten Hag, who is in his first season at the club. “Today it was not our best game. We have to be honest, we didn’t play that smart as a team.
“We made great goals, but at times we were quite lucky, and some great saves from David (de Gea). We could have been smarter as a team.”
Brighton’s World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister was named as a substitute against Everton at Goodison Park just over 24 hours after returning from Argentina and came on in the second half.
Kaoru Mitoma gave the visitors a 14th-minute lead but things unravelled quickly for Frank Lampard’s men early in the second half.
Goals from 18-year-old Evan Ferguson, Solly March and Pascal Gross put Brighton 4-0 up before the hour mark.
Everton fans began to head for the exits and a flare was thrown onto the pitch while chants of “sack the board” rang out.
Demarai Gray scored a late consolation from the penalty spot but the chastening defeat leaves Everton just one point above the relegation zone.
Serbia forward Aleksandar Mitrovic scored the only goal of the game at the King Power Stadium as Fulham beat Leicester 1-0 to climb to seventh in the table, level on points with Liverpool. (AFP)