Report

Arsenal thrash Sheff Utd to close gap on leaders Liverpool

4 Mar 2024
Arsenal

Gunners win 6-0 at Bramall Lane in a first half that featured five goals as they move to two points off the top

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Arsenal maintained their pace in the title race as they outclassed Sheffield United 6-0 in an outstanding performance at Bramall Lane.

Martin Odegaard's early goal was followed by strikes from Gabriel Martinelli, Kai Havertz and Declan Rice before the break, along with an own goal from Jayden Bogle.

Ben White added a sixth goal in the second half as Arsenal move back to within two points of league leaders Liverpool, who face second-placed Manchester City on Sunday. The north London side could move into first before that match as they face Brentford on Saturday while they will know one of their rivals will drop points the following day.

Title race

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
1 Man City MCI 32 +44 73
2 Arsenal ARS 32 +49 71
3 Liverpool LIV 32 +41 71
How the match unfolded

Arsenal made a fast start at Bramall Lane as Bukayo Saka hit the woodwork inside two minutes and Martinelli's rebound was cleared off the line.

But it did not take long for Arsenal to take the lead as captain Odegaard opened the scoring in the fifth minute when he slotted the ball into the bottom-right corner from Rice's cutback. It was the Norwegian's fifth direct goal contribution in his last four matches.

Odegaard goal

The Gunners continued their dominance and doubled their lead in the 13th minute. Saka skipped past Auston Trusty and his cross was put into the net by Bogle. Through this goal, Arsenal became the first team in the Premier League to score at least twice in eight consecutive halves of football.

Two minutes later Martinelli's deflected strike wrongfooted Sheff Utd goalkeeper Ivo Grbic at the near post to make it 3-0 before the Brazillian was involved again in the 25th minute when he won the ball off Anel Ahmedhodzic and allowed Havertz to go through on goal and score a fourth.

Havertz goal

Rice added a fifth goal before the break as he side-footed the ball past Grbic following good wing play from Saka.

And that goal meant Mikel Arteta's side are now just the second team in English top-flight history to score five or more goals in three consecutive away matches after Burnley did so in September 1961.

And it is the first time in the Premier League that Arsenal have been five goals ahead in a first half.

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The goals continued in the second half as White scored with a brilliant left-footed finish inside the box just before the hour-mark. It was another landmark goal for the club, with White scoring the 10,000th goal in their history.

The only blemish on the victory was a potential injury blow as Martinelli was forced off with an ankle injury after a collision with Ahmedhodzic.

But having become the first side in league history to score five or more goals in their last three away matches, Arsenal will feel confident of ending their 20-year drought for the title.

Sheff Utd finished the match with only four shots, with none of them being on target as they remain bottom on 13 points, 11 off safety.

Relegation battle

Position Pos Club Played Pl GD Points Pts
17 Nott'm Forest NFO 33 -16 26
18 Luton LUT 33 -24 25
19 Burnley BUR 33 -35 20
20 Sheffield Utd SHU 32 -54 16

Sheff Utd report | Arsenal report

Next Premier League fixtures
Key facts

Sheffield United are the first side in English football (top four tiers) to concede 5+ goals in four successive home games in all competitions and the first side in English league football to lose three consecutive home league games by at least a 5+ goal margin.

Kai Havertz has both scored and assisted in each of his last two Premier League games for Arsenal, becoming the first player for the Gunners to do so in successive matches in the competition since Henrikh Mkhitaryan in February 2019.

Bukayo Saka registered his 50th assist for Arsenal in all competitions – since his debut for the Gunners in November 2018, he’s just the sixth different Premier League player to register at least 50 goals (54) and 50 assists in all competitions after Mohamed Salah, Son Heung-min, Bruno Fernandes, Riyad Mahrez and Kevin De Bruyne.

Jayden Bogle’s own goal was the fifth time Sheffield United have put the ball through their own net in the Premier League this season, more than any other side in the competition in 2023/24.

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