Thursday 17 August 2017 / 07:54 AM

Top Six Taking Shape

North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham moved to the top of the Premier League table after comfortable victories at the weekend.

All eyes were on the Gunners and specifically new £42million signing Mezut Ozil at the Stadium of Light as struggling Sunderland played host to Arsene Wenger’s side.

And as expected, the German superstar shone and provided a much needed boost of quality for the visitors who coasted to a 1-3 success.

Ozil set up the first, sending the prolific Olivier Giroud through to score on 13 minutes, before Arsenal were pegged back shortly after half time when Craig Gardner equalised from the penalty spot, Laurent Koscielny the offender on Adam Johnson.

It was then that another Arsenal midfielder, Aaron Ramsey, stole the show with a brace to deservedly secure the points for Wenger and his men who controlled possession throughout and looked a constant threat with Ozil now in the ranks.

Spurs were just as dominant at home to Norwich City and also prevailed by the same margin, winning 2-0 to bounce back in style from their derby defeat a fortnight ago.

In contrast to Arsenal who welcomed Ozil, it was Spurs first official outing without Gareth Bale following the Welshman’s departure to Real Madrid; however AVB’s men showed little sign of missing the former face of the club.

 

Indeed, the fixture invited another Spurs man to step up to the plate and it was Gylfi Sigurdsson who took the opportunity with relish, scoring in each half to seal a routine win for the hosts at the Lane.

 

David Moyes will have been delighted to see his Manchester United team also hit back from a loss as the Red Devils cruised past Crystal Palace 2-0 at Old Trafford.

More pleasing still perhaps for the Scot was the fact that both of his front men, Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney, got on the score sheet and he will be hoping for plenty more goals to come this season from his coveted strikers.

Chelsea nullified United to earn a point at Old Trafford in their last top flight appearance three weeks ago but they were unable to keep Everton out at Goodison Park on Saturday night where Samuel Eto’o also made his debut for the Blues.

The Toffees held on for a superb 1-0 victory courtesy of a goal on the stroke of half time from Steven Naismith who pounced on some major indecision in the Chelsea penalty area.

The result is unlikely to derail the Blues title bid but Jose Mourinho will be disappointed nonetheless at his side’s inability to break through despite numerous chances on goal.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Newcastle triumphed 1-2 against Aston Villa on the road whilst there were draws for Hull, Stoke and Fulham against Cardiff, Man City and West Brom respectively.

Liverpool complete the Premier League fixtures when they face Swansea at Anfield on Monday evening and a point or greater will see Brendan Rogers’ men return back to pole position in the league table.

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Chris Kisby

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