Football: Arsenal go four clear, Newcastle down Man United

Martin Odegaard (L) of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the Premier League match against Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Emirates Stadium in London, England, December 2, 2023. /CFP

Martin Odegaard (L) of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the Premier League match against Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Emirates Stadium in London, England, December 2, 2023. /CFP

Arsenal took the chance to open up a four-point lead at the top of the Premier League with a 2-1 victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday and Newcastle beat Manchester United 1-0 to climb above them in the table.

Everton enjoyed their first win since being docked 10 points as they beat Nottingham Forest 1-0, while Burnley earned home points for the first time this season by hammering Sheffield United who ended the day rock bottom after a 5-0 thrashing.

“It’s been a good week with some good results. We’re there at the top and we have to keep improving and keep pushing,” Arsenal skipper Martin Odegaard said. “The schedule is tough, but almost the whole season is tough.”

Anthony Gordon (C) of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring a goal against Manchester United during their Premier League match at St. James Park in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, December 2, 2023. /CFP

Anthony Gordon (C) of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring a goal against Manchester United during their Premier League match at St. James Park in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, December 2, 2023. /CFP

Anthony Gordon (C) of Newcastle United celebrates after scoring a goal against Manchester United during their Premier League match at St. James Park in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, December 2, 2023. /CFP

Anthony Gordon scored the only goal in Newcastle’s deserved 1-0 victory over Manchester United that propelled them up to fifth in the table on 26 points.

The Red Devils fell to seventh after a lackluster performance from the visitors until the final desperate minutes.

It marked the first time since January 1922 the Magpies have won three consecutive games in all competitions against Manchester United.

Newcastle’s victory capped a solid eight days that saw them beat Chelsea 4-1 and then draw 1-1 with Paris St Germain in the Champions League.

“I couldn’t be happier with the players tonight,” manager Eddie Howe told TNT Sports. “The performances we put in against three top teams were brilliant so that will give confidence, and when we get some players back we can push on even further.”

Rodrygo (in white jersey) of Real Madrid scores the team's second goal against Granada during their La Liga match at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, Spain, December 2, 2023. /CFP

Rodrygo (in white jersey) of Real Madrid scores the team’s second goal against Granada during their La Liga match at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, Spain, December 2, 2023. /CFP

Rodrygo (in white jersey) of Real Madrid scores the team’s second goal against Granada during their La Liga match at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, Spain, December 2, 2023. /CFP

In La Liga, Rodrygo continued his fine goalscoring form to help Real Madrid ease to a 2-0 win over Granada on Saturday and reclaim the lead in the league.

Brahim Diaz opened the scoring midway through the first half and Rodrygo doubled the lead after 57 minutes at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The Brazilian forward has scored seven goals in his last five games across all competitions, appearing at the perfect time to keep Madrid’s strong start to the season going despite various absences.

Madrid are missing several key figures through injury, from goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois to winger Vinicius Junior.

Luka Jovic of AC Milan celebrates after scoring a goal during the Serie A match against Frosinone Calcio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan, Italy, December 2, 2023. /CFP

Luka Jovic of AC Milan celebrates after scoring a goal during the Serie A match against Frosinone Calcio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan, Italy, December 2, 2023. /CFP

Luka Jovic of AC Milan celebrates after scoring a goal during the Serie A match against Frosinone Calcio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan, Italy, December 2, 2023. /CFP

In Serie A, striker Luka Jovic scored a goal and claimed an assist as AC Milan secured a comfortable 3-1 win over mid-table Frosinone at the San Siro on Saturday, a second straight victory to get them back on track.

Jovic and midfielder Christian Pulisic scored either side of halftime before Fikayo Tomori netted the third for Milan and Frosinone midfielder Marco Brescianini pulled one back for the visitors from a free kick eight minutes from time.

“We hadn’t won two games in a row in the league for two months,” Milan coach Stefano Pioli told DAZN.

“We must have more continuity. It was not an easy game and I consider the team’s performance very positive,” said Pioli.

Florent Mollet (L) of Nantes and Melvin Bard of Nice fight for the ball during their Ligue 1 match at La Beaujoire stadium in Nantes, France, December 2, 2023. /CFP

Florent Mollet (L) of Nantes and Melvin Bard of Nice fight for the ball during their Ligue 1 match at La Beaujoire stadium in Nantes, France, December 2, 2023. /CFP

Florent Mollet (L) of Nantes and Melvin Bard of Nice fight for the ball during their Ligue 1 match at La Beaujoire stadium in Nantes, France, December 2, 2023. /CFP

In Ligue 1, Nice slumped to their first defeat of the season on Saturday as they lost 1-0 at Nantes and missed the chance to reclaim top spot.

Florent Mollet’s first-half strike was enough to get new coach Jocelyn Gourvennec off to a winning start at the Stade de la Beaujoire, where he took over from Pierre Aristouy this week.

Nice had gone eight games without conceding since their 3-2 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in mid-September, but the visitors saw their unbeaten start ended after they fell behind in a match for the first time this season.

“It’s a logical defeat,” said Nice coach Francesco Farioli.

“We need to move on from it. This loss definitely hurts. But, like with our wins, we need to forget about this defeat,” said Farioli.

Serhou Guirassy (L) of Stuttgart in action during the Bundesliga match against Werder Bremen at the MHPArena stadium in Stuttgart, Germany, December 2, 2023. /CFP

Serhou Guirassy (L) of Stuttgart in action during the Bundesliga match against Werder Bremen at the MHPArena stadium in Stuttgart, Germany, December 2, 2023. /CFP

Serhou Guirassy (L) of Stuttgart in action during the Bundesliga match against Werder Bremen at the MHPArena stadium in Stuttgart, Germany, December 2, 2023. /CFP

Stuttgart striker Serhou Guirassy continued his remarkable Bundesliga scoring form this season, scoring a second-half penalty in a 2-0 home win over Werder Bremen on Saturday.

Guirassy, making his first start since mid-October after injury, was brought down in the box by Bremen defender Niklas Stark.

The striker chipped his spot-kick down the middle to chalk up his 16th goal of the season in just 11 games.

Leipzig won 2-1 over promoted Heidenheim, goals from Lois Openda and Yussuf Poulsen sending the home side past Borussia Dortmund to fourth in the table.

Leipzig took the lead from the penalty spot, Openda winning and converting for his 10th goal in 13 league matches this season.

Bayern’s home game against Union Berlin was postponed earlier Saturday due to heavy snowfall in the Bavarian capital.

(With input from agencies)

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