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Arsenal 3-2 Manchester United: Late goal by Eddie Nketiah gives Arsenal win over United

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Arsenal’s equaliser in the first half after Manchester United had taken the lead through Marcus Rashford

Arsenal retained control of the Premier League title race after Eddie Nketiah’s 90th-minute winner gave them a dramatic victory over Manchester United in a thriller at Emirates Stadium.

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Manchester City’s earlier win over Wolverhampton Wanderers applied pressure on the Gunners but they responded with character and quality, even after going behind, to secure a five-point advantage at the top with a game in hand.

United’s man of the moment Marcus Rashford fired home a superb right-foot strike from 25 yards to give them a 17th-minute lead.

Arsenal responded fiercely and were level seven minutes later when Granit Xhaka’s cross created a heading opportunity for Nketiah, who got in ahead of Aaron Wan-Bissaka at the far post.

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Bukayo Saka’s angled drive put Arsenal ahead eight minutes after the break but their advantage lasted only six minutes, with Lisandro Martinez heading his first goal for the club after keeper Aaron Ramsdale dropped a corner.

Arsenal looked the more likely winners in the closing stages, with Saka hitting the post and Nketiah denied by David de Gea’s outstanding save.

The pressure paid off in the closing moments when Nketiah – a striker who is doing an outstanding job filling in for injured Gabriel Jesus – turned in from close range to spark wild scenes of celebration at Emirates Stadium.

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Unstoppable Arsenal roll on
The celebrations on and off the pitch at the final whistle showed the huge significance of Nketiah’s late winner.

A draw would hardly have been disastrous for Arsenal coming against Erik ten Hag’s improving Manchester United – but the whole mood was lifted sky high by Nketiah’s last-gasp intervention.

Aware Manchester City were on their shoulders after beating Wolves, Arsenal’s nerve was further tested when Rashford’s golden run continued and he put United ahead.

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Arsenal responded with the intensity and quality that has marked their game on their route to the top of the table – ordered and composed; still creating opportunities until Nketiah settled matters.

Saka and captain Martin Odegaard are creating chances and threat, while Nketiah is ensuring the absence of Gabriel Jesus – which many feared would seriously sabotage the Gunners’ title challenge – is not stopping them winning matches.

Manchester United denied in dramatic style
Manchester United thought they had done all the hard work as the clock ticked down and their defence – with Martinez outstanding – held firm.

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So it was understandable that they looked so devastated when the brief hope offered by a VAR check on Nketiah’s winner was extinguished and they simply did not have enough time to salvage a point.

Arsenal deserved the win and United may look back on the expensive absence of the suspended Casemiro, who would have provided vital experience and game management in those frantic closing stages, and the fact that giant striker Wout Weghorst is still adjusting to life back in the Premier League.

There was still plenty to admire in United, who gave as good as they got for the first hour and fought back strongly after Saka put Arsenal in front.

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In the end, United were left bitterly disappointment by the defeat, with a heavy recent programme leaving them looking weary-legged near the end.

Arsenal fully merited the victory but there is no doubt tenacious United are heading in the right direction.

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U-20 AFCON: Flying Eagles change travel plans for Morocco tour

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Nigeria’s Flying Eagles will now travel to Morocco via Accra, Ghana for their training tour on Wednesday.

Ladan Bosso’s side was initially expected to travel to Morocco via the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.

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According to sources, the team will now fly from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja to Accra from where they will connect to Morocco for the training tour.

The stint in Morocco is to help the team acclimatize to the weather condition in Egypt, the host of the 2023 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations.

The seven-time African champions are expected to engage in friendly matches while in Morocco.

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The Flying Eagles are drawn in Group A with Egypt, Mozambique and Senegal.

The competition will start on February 19 and run through March 11.

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Just in: Chelsea hires new coach

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West London giants, Chelsea have hired another coach to handle the mental aspect of the game.

The Blues have brought in a veteran mental skills coach, Gilbert Enoka to create a winning mentality in their players.

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Enoka became popular working with the All Blacks and now has the burden of creating a winning mentality at Stamford Bridge.

According to Chelsea news Enoka, who is having his first job in football after years in rugby, netball and cricket, was signed on a short-term consultancy role.

Enoka’s role will include helping to bed all Chelsea’s signings in and create some unity in the squad.

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The Chelsea hierarchy will be hoping their new coach has a very swift impact on the players as they are really struggling despite spending over 600 million pound on players, recording just one win in their last seven games and just three goals scored in that time.

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How Premier League table will look if Man City are docked same points as Juventus

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Manchester City face a massive fight to get into the Champions League if they’re docked the same amount of points as Juventus following revelations about their FFP breaches.

Shocking news emerged on Monday morning that City, the reigning Premier League champions, have been accused of breaching the league’s financial rules between the 2009-10 and 2017-18 seasons.

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Although City could reportedly face expulsion from the league altogether, it appears far more likely that they will receive a significant points deduction if the charges levelled against them are proven.

And if Pep Guardiola’s side receive the same 15-point deduction as Juventus in Serie A following their own financial misdemeanours, it would have a serious effect on the Premier League table.

The Cityzens are currently second in the top-flight on 45 points, five points adrift of runaway leaders Arsenal. But a 15-point deduction would drop them to just 30 points, putting them ninth, just ahead of Chelsea.

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Not only would it be a huge moral blow to the current champions, it would also leave them scrambling to qualify for the Champions League and the riches that come with it.

Not only would it be a huge moral blow to the current champions, it would also leave them scrambling to qualify for the Champions League and the riches that come with it.

Other beneficiaries would include Brighton, Brentford and Fulham, all three of whom would move up one place in the Premier League.

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In a statement released on Monday morning, the Premier League said City breached rules requiring them to provide “accurate financial information that gives a true and fair view of the club’s financial position”.

This included the club’s revenue, plus sponsorship revenue and operating costs. Additional breaches related to rules requiring full info concerning “manager remuneration”.

These charges relate to the period between 2009-10 to 2012-13 seasons, when Roberto Mancini was in charge.

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