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Goals galore in Arsenal’s last-gasp win

Arsenal's Declan Rice celebrates scoring their fourth goal.— REUTERS
Arsenal's Declan Rice celebrates scoring their fourth goal.— REUTERS

LUTON: With a headed goal in desperation in the dying seconds of this thrilling encounter, Arsenal completed a 4-3 win at Luton which keeps them at the top of the Premier League. It was a game that saw the balance of play keep swinging in favour of one side and then the other.

A relieved Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta said: “Incredible evening, the players were incredible, they wanted it so much and they refused to give up. So happy. We knew it would be a big battle here, we made it hard for ourselves the way we conceded the goals.”

He added: “The spirit of the team, how we fought, showed our quality in the right moments and we never gave up. We went for it and got our rewards today. Credit to Luton. Their delivery was excellent, the finishing was excellent and sometimes you have to credit the opponents. Big compliments to them. It was a tough night.”

It wasn’t until midway through the first half that the game livened up with Arsenal opening the scoring. Gabriel Jesus chased down a pass back to Thomas Kaminsky and the goalkeeper put the ball out of play. Jesus took the throw quickly to Bukayo Saka who passed to Martinelli and the Brazillian drove into the bottom corner.

Within five minutes Luton were on level terms with Gabe Osho timing his jump perfectly to firmly head in from a corner. But on the stroke of halftime the visitor’s lead was restored. Saka and Ben White combined on the right and White put in a lovely cross for the unmarked Jesus to head into the net.

Five minutes into the second half, Luton equalised for the second time. Once again the goal came from a corner taken by Alfie Doughty. David Raya came out to collect the ball but the tall Elijah Adebayo rose above him to head the ball home.

Luton went into the lead in the 57th minute with Ross Barclay running past Martin Odegaard just inside Arsenal’s half and doing a one-two pass with Andros Townsend and beating Ben White on the run before driving a low shot which went under Raya and into the goal. It was another bad mistake by the Arsenal goalkeeper.

Luton’s joy wasn’t to last for long as the Gunners hit back within three minutes and made it 3-3 when Jesus chased a long ball sent across by Saka and passed to Kai Havertz for him to prod past the goalkeeper.

It was a hectic last half hour with the two sides looking to get ahead again. It finally happened in added time with a 97th minute winning goal. Oleksandr Zinchenko passed to Odegaard who promptly crossed for Declan Rice, Arsenal’s £105 million signing from West Ham, to rescue his club with a header into the bottom corner.

Luton’s disappointed manager, Rob Edwards said: “We thought we’d have a go, that’s what our supporters want. That’s our identity. Arsenal wanted a game of order and we made it chaotic at times. I’m really flat for everyone. I’m so proud of the lads.”

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