Middlesbrough 1-2 Arsenal: Sanchez, Ozil save Gunners again

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  • Sanchez’s free kick put Arsenal ahead in 42′
  • Negredo answered back 5 minutes into 2nd half
  • Ozil’s winner in 71′ keeps top-four dreams alive

Arsenal’s quest for a top-four finish has improved ever so slightly from where it stood two hours ago, though the Gunners’ performance in a 2-1 victory away to 19th-place Middlesbrough did very little to inspire confidence and relieve the pressure on Arsene Wenger.

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After an opening 40 minutes which saw very little in terms of scoring chances for either side, Alexis Sanchez broke the scoreless deadlock with a stunning free kick from 23 yards out (WATCH HERE). Brad Guzan, who returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Jan. 2 (in PL play), couldn’t move as the Chilean’s dead-ball strike cleared the wall and dipped under the crossbar.

The lead was short-lived, though, as Boro pulled level through Alvaro Negredo in the 50th minute. Stewart Downing hit the perfect cross to the top of the six-yard box, Laurent Koscielny whiffed on his clearance attempt, and Negredo beat Petr Cech to make it 1-1 (WATCH HERE).

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Following Negredo’s equalizer, any semblance of discipline and game plan from either side went out the window. The pace of the game went through the roof as Arsenal chased three points in their bid to catch fourth-place Manchester City (who are now seven points ahead, having played one more game than Arsenal), as Boro sought the same in hopes of fighting off relegation.

Much like his manager, Mesut Ozil’s future remains very uncertain two months before the summer transfer carousel begins spinning once again. Monday offered Ozil a brief reprieve and the chance to play the role of hero (above video). Sanchez played a lofted ball into the box, which Aaron Ramsey chested down into the path of an unmarked Ozil, and the 28-year-old German international slammed his first-time effort past Guzan.

[ MORE: Ahead of FA Cup semifinal, Conte calls Spurs “the best team” in PL ]

The victory sees Arsenal move past Everton (on goals scored) for sixth in the league table, while Boro remain six points off the pace of Hull City, who currently occupy 17th.

Man City 3-0 Burnley: Smooth sailing

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  • Aguero converts early PK
  • Man City’s first PL clean sheet vs. Burnley
  • City equals club record of 11 consecutive victories in all competitions

Sergio Aguero, Nicolas Otamendi, and Leroy Sane scored as Manchester City wore down Burnley for a 3-0 win at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

The win, coupled with Manchester United’s loss at Huddersfield Town, gives City a five-point lead on United. Burnley slips ninth, with 13 points.

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City was undoubtedly the more threatening side in the first quarter-hour, as expected, with Fabian Delph and Kevin De Bruyne particularly involved in the play.

Burnley backstop Nick Pope made a two-handed punch stop of Bernardo Silva as City kept up its attack.

Bernardo Silva then won a penalty kick for City. After a long delay, often a problem for the taker, Aguero proved immune to the pressure and it was 1-0 to the hosts.

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There wasn’t much to most of the second half, as Burnley rarely looked capable of an equalizer.

David Silva snapped the match to a bit of life when he forced Pope into a 72nd minute save, and an ensuing corner kick saw Otamendi nod home an insurance goal. Sane made it 3-0 within moments.

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Swansea 1-2 Leicester: Foxes back to winning ways

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  • Leicester took lead lead via Fernandez OG
  • Okazaki doubled lead
  • Mawson got Swansea back in it

Michael Appleton led Leicester City ti victory in his first game as interim boss following the firing of Craig Shakespeare earlier this week.

Leicester beat Swansea 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday with an own goal from Federico Fernandez and a strike from Shinji Okazaki good enough to secure the Foxes a first win since August as Riyad Mahrez impressed.

Alfie Mawson scored in the second half to set up a tense finish for Leicester but they held on to grab their second win of the season and move away from the relegation zone.

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The visitors looked like the better team early on and Okazaki almost knocked out home after a goalmouth scramble in the box.

Leicester took the lead with Riyad Mahrez’s cross deflecting off Fernandez and in. 1-0 to the Foxes away from home.

Tammy Abraham went close twice in the first half for the Swans but Paul Clement‘s men struggled to get any kind of foothold in the game.

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Leicester doubled their lead early in the second half through Okazaki as the Japan international finished off Mahrez’s ball. 2-0 and cruising.

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Mawson then unleashed his inner-striker with a fine turn and finish to make it 2-1 but that wasn’t enough for the Swans.

Stoke City 1-2 Bournemouth: Cherries secure huge road win

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  • Surman, Stanislas put Bournemouth ahead
  • Stoke have only won one of their last 8 games in all comps
  • Diouf’s goal not enough for a point

Bournemouth beat Stoke City 2-1 at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday as the Cherries secured their first away win of the season.

Early goals from Andrew Surman and Junior Stanislas was enough to grab Bournemouth all three points as Mame Biram Diouf’s goal in the second half wasn’t enough to launch a Stoke comeback.

With the defeat Stoke slip into the bottom with Bournemouth.

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Bournemouth got off to the best possible start as Stanislas set up Surman who fired home to make it 1-0 after 15 minutes.

Three minutes later after it was 2-0 as Stanislas slammed home a penalty kick following Benik Afobe being hacked down in the box.

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Stoke struggled to recover after that awful start but they did grab a goal midway through the second half.

Diouf made it 2-1 with just 17 minutes gone in the second half as a long ball forward caused havoc in the box with Choupo-Mouting knocking it down for Diouf to finish.

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Stoke threw plenty of long balls at Bournemouth late on but the Cherries held on for a crucial three points to leave Stoke in plenty of trouble.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

Afobe and others came close to sealing the win late on for Bournemouth with Stoke pushing forward but the Cherries were well worth their victory.

Huddersfield Town 2-1 Manchester United: Monumental win!

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  • Town’s first win over United since 1952
  • Mooy, Depoitre score
  • Rashford pulls one back
  • United’s first PL loss

Aaron Mooy and Laurent Depoitre scored to give Huddersfield Town its first win over Manchester United in 65 years, a 2-1 win at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday.

Marcus Rashford pulled a goal back for United, which has lost its first PL match of the season and drops five points behind Man City.

Town leaps 10th, with 12 points.

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Anthony Martial collected an early yellow card for United, and a clever move from Tom Ince to Steve Mounie called up Red Devils backstop David De Gea for his first collection of the match.

And Mooy put Town a head when he played Ince in for a shot, then put the rebound behind De Gea.

The keeper wouldn’t be relieved when a Jonas Lossl goal kick sailed over Victor Lindelof‘s jumping intervention, and Depoitretw danced around De Gea to make it 2-0.

Nemanja Matic‘s stoppage time effort through traffic almost pulled one back for United, but Town dealt with a corner kick to get to the break unscathed.

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But how many have?

Rashford lifted the hopes of the visitors with a goal with just under 15 minutes to play.