Arsenal extended their advantage at the top of the Premier League to five points with a dramatic 4-3 win against Luton Town thanks to Declan Rice’s stoppage time header
Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus goals were both cancelled out by Gabriel Osho and Elijah Adebayo before Ross Barkely put the Hatters ahead 3-2. Before Rice’s late, late victory, Kai Havertz equalised.
Declan Rice scored deep into stoppage time as Arsenal pulled five points ahead at the top of the Premier League with a thrilling 4-3 victory over Luton Town.
On 20 minutes, Gabriel Martinelli tucked home Bukayo Saka’s cut back, but Luton equalised five minutes later with Gabriel Osho’s strong header.
On the stroke of halftime, Jesus nodded Mikel Arteta’s men back in front as they sought to restore their influence.
The hosts, however, refused to give up and startled the high-flying visitors when Elijah Adebayo and Ross Barkley capitalised on sloppy blunders by goalkeeper David Raya to flip the game on its head.
The Gunners remained a huge danger in the attacking third, and Havertz stabbed in on the hour following excellent work from Jesus. Luton were holding on for dear life until the final 20 minutes, when Rice headed in Martin Odegaard’s exquisite cross, sending the visiting supporters into ecstasy.
Arsenal have now won six consecutive games in all competitions, and they are five points clear of second-placed Liverpool, who go to Sheffield United on Wednesday.
Luton are in 17th place but may be relegated if Everton defeat Newcastle on Thursday. On Saturday evening, Arsenal will travel to Aston Villa. On Sunday, Luton will host champions Manchester City.
After an exciting 90 minutes, it was all about anguish for Luton fans and euphoria for Gooners. It was the kind of dramatic, late-game victory that teams frequently look back on as crucial if they go on to win the championship.
Despite the three points, there will be disquiet about the manner in which the visitors allowed their goals, and it was another night to forget for Gunners custodian David Raya. The stopper has obviously established himself as Arteta’s No. 1, but he has had a rough start to life at The Emirates, with a string of errors.
This contest was no exception. He was left flailing at a corner for Luton’s second goal of the night, and then Barkley’s weak, low shot squirmed under him.
Raya’s teammates pulled him out of difficulty, but he still appears frail, and with someone of Ramsdale’s calibre on the bench, it seems strange to be stubborn, especially if it loses the side points in the future.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
This was far from the midfielder’s greatest performance, but with The Gunners in dire need of a hero, he stepped up and delivered with a header that gives them wide daylight at the top of the Premier League.