The Gunners were shaken but also showed their craft. Arsenal snatched a very complicated victory on the lawn of Luton Town on Tuesday during the 15th day of the Premier League (3-4). Jostled and even led at the hour mark by biting promotions, the visitors finally won in the last second thanks to Declan Rice (90th + 7). Mikel Arteta’s men thus consolidate their leadership position with 5 points ahead of Liverpool and 6 over Manchester City who will play on Wednesday.
The Gunners entered this seemingly unbalanced meeting a little too calmly against the 17th in the standings. They thus allowed their opponents to slowly gain confidence and look them in the eye thanks to great combativeness and effective pressing. The consistency of the Hatters was, however, chipped by the feverishness of their goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski. Served behind in his area, the Belgian panicked and sent the ball into touch. Gabriel Jesus quickly played it and Bukayo Saka allowed Gabriel Martinelli to open the scoring (0-1, 20th).
Raya very fragile
The Luton players, however, did not think too much. They even quickly equalized on their first shot of the match with a header from central defender Gabriel Osho from a corner (1-1, 25th). If Kaminski stood up to Martinelli (31st) then Saka (39th), he could only bow to the small header in full flight from Gabriel Jesus on a precise cross from Ben White (1-2, 45th).
Arsenal were in the lead at the break but fell back into their mistakes, clearly lacking in aggression. Elijah Adebayo also equalized with a header from a corner from the interesting Alfie Doughty, beating a David Raya too short in the air (2-2, 49th). The Gunners goalkeeper did not digest his mistake and missed again by letting the ball pass under his body on a low cross shot from Ross Barkley, in good form on his 30th birthday (3-2, 57th) . The former Nice player scored his first goal with Luton.
Arsenal responder shows
Exhilarated by the turn of events, the Hatters, however, lost defensive concentration and Gabriel Jesus was able to win between two opponents to ideally serve Kai Havertz who scored from point blank range for a quick response (3-3, 60th). Arteta’s men then definitely raised their voice and showed off their collective technical mastery.
They pushed but Kaminski and his team resisted Havertz (87th) and saw the incoming Leandro Trossard shoot narrowly wide of the target in the process (87th). As the minutes ticked by, the 10,000 spectators at Kenilworth Road saw a draw as a resounding feat. Their hopes collapsed at the end of added time when Martin Odegaard found Rice’s uncrossed header for Arsenal’s winning goal (3-4, 90th +7). Beaten during their last visit to the small Luton stadium in 1991 (1-0), the Gunners achieved their first success there in 39 years. Enough to give them a little more confidence in the fight for the title.
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