Arsenal's goalscorers: Kai Havertz and Declan Rice.
Premier League wrap

Arsenal go top after late Kai Havertz winner against Brentford

Earlier today, Wolves boosted their European push, while Luton and Bournemouth snatched late draws.


Today’s Premier League results

  • Arsenal 2-1 Brentford
  • Manchester United 2-0 Everton
  • Crystal Palace 1-1 Luton Town
  • Bournemouth 2-2 Sheffield United 
  • Wolves 2-1 Fulham


KAI HAVERTZ HEADED home a late winner against Brentford to send Arsenal top of the Premier League and spare the blushes of goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

With title rivals Liverpool and Manchester City facing off on Sunday, any victory for Arsenal would have been enough to take them to the summit for the first time in 2024.

It looked like they were on course to miss out after Ramsdale gifted a goal to Yoane Wissa to cancel out a brilliant Declan Rice header, only for Havertz to convert with four minutes remaining to secure a 2-1 victory.

Mikel Arteta has seen his team sweep aside all comers in recent weeks but this was another face to Arsenal, an attritional display that will see them remain as league leaders if Liverpool and City share the spoils at Anfield.

Ramsdale has not played since the return game at Brentford in November after losing the battle for the Arsenal number one spot to David Raya – who is on loan from the Bees and therefore ineligible against his parent club – and this could yet be his final outing for the Gunners.

Ivan Toney, linked with Arsenal throughout January, cleared an inswinging Rice corner off the line early on but unlike recent games away from home Arsenal did not have everything their own way in the opening stages.

They would, however, still break the deadlock as Ben White crossed for Rice to head home like an accomplished Premier League striker as he enjoys the best goalscoring season of his career with six goals.

From that point on, Arsenal looked in control – that was until deep into first-half stoppage time when Ramsdale collected a routine back-pass from Gabriel Magalhaes but dallied in possession and, as he attempted to clear, was closed down by Wissa.

london-uk-09th-mar-2024-declan-rice-a-celebrates-scoring-the-first-arsenal-goal-1-0-at-the-arsenal-v-brentford-epl-match-at-the-emirates-stadium-london-uk-on-9th-march-2024-credit-paul-m Rice scored Arsenal's opener. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

The block could have gone anywhere but looped into the back of Ramsdale’s net to take the teams in level at the break.

Brentford smelled blood and after the interval Toney attempted an audacious effort with Ramsdale off his line – but this time he made a good stop to turn the goal-bound strike behind.

Arsenal were still the more dangerous side and Gabriel almost headed home a Bukayo Saka corner only for Vitaly Janelt to block into the grateful hands of goalkeeper Mark Flekken.

The hosts were getting more and more frustrated with referee Robert Jones as they felt a number of penalty claims went against them, although Havertz was lucky to escape a second booking after seemingly diving inside the box just after the hour.

Brentford were still threatening and Ramsdale was now providing the rearguard protection, brilliantly tipping over a Nathan Collins header as the second half drew on.

The game was opening up into an end-to-end contest as Rice rattled the crossbar with a bending effort from outside the box, with nerves creeping in around the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal, though, manfully stuck to the task at hand and ultimately found a way through as White once again provided the cross, Havertz this time diverting a header past Flekken for his fourth goal in four league games.

Wolves’ bid for European football was boosted by a 2-1 victory over Fulham, but it came at the expense of more injury problems.

Jean-Ricner Bellegarde limped off with just over 10 minutes gone while Pedro Neto, who had been passed fit after feeling his hamstring last weekend, pulled up just before half-time clutching the back of his left thigh.

But the hosts made Fulham pay for missed opportunities, with Rayan Ait-Nouri scoring his first goal since December 2022 in the 52nd minute and Nelson Semedo adding a deflected second before Alex Iwobi grabbed a very late consolation.

The result lifts Gary O’Neil’s side up to eighth in the Premier League table in the week when it was revealed Wolves will open contract talks with their manager this summer.

wolverhampton-uk-9th-mar-2024-rayan-ait-nouri-of-wolverhampton-wanderers-celebrates-after-scoring-the-teams-first-goal-during-the-premier-league-match-at-molineux-wolverhampton-picture-credit-s Rayan Ait-Nouri celebrates after scoring Wolves' first goal. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Wolves’ strong form was halted by a 3-0 loss to Newcastle last time out while Fulham, looking to win at Molineux for the first time since 1985, were chasing a third Premier League victory in-a-row.

Ireland underage international Nathan Fraser started for Wolves, while Matt Doherty came off the bench.

Elsewhere, substitute Cauley Woodrow snatched an equaliser in the final seconds of added time as Luton drew 1-1 at Crystal Palace to hand the Hatters a crucial point in their relegation battle.

Jean-Philippe Mateta’s early opener at Selhurst Park looked to be the winner until Woodrow headed home, extending the Eagles’ Premier League-leading tally of late goals conceded in the process.

Sunny Singh Gill made history as the first British South Asian to referee a Premier League match, and was spotted signing autographs as he waited in the tunnel ahead of the second half.

The result draws Luton within three points of safety, while Palace will be ruing a huge missed opportunity to put more breathing room between themselves and the drop zone.

Chiedozie Ogbene played 86 minutes for the Hatters.

Elsewhere, Enes Unal came off the bench to score his first Premier League goal in stoppage time as Bournemouth fought back from 2-0 down to salvage a 2-2 draw at home to relegation-haunted Sheffield United.

Strikes from Gustavo Hamer and captain Jack Robinson looked to have earned the struggling Blades only their second away win of the season.

However, goals from substitutes Dango Ouattara and Unal in the final 16 minutes earned the hosts a point from a pulsating game in Dorset.

The Cherries missed a 14th minute penalty, with Dominic Solanke and co. chasing the game thereafter. Mark Travers and Sam Curtis were unused subs for the respective sides.

- Updated 20.35 to correct the playing minutes of Chiedozie Ogbene

  • You can read the Manchester United v Everton report here>
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