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Gunners tighten title race, goals flow

Matchweek 23 of the 2023/24 EPL season saw goals galore, Arsenal beat Liverpool in a crucial six-pointer, and a few strikers fill their boots.

Arsenal blow title race open with crucial win

It was a six-pointer, in every sense of the term. Liverpool, travelling to The Emirates, could have gone eight points clear of Arsenal with victory and left Mikel Arteta’s with a dwindling hope of winning their first EPL title since 2003-04. Yet by the time the whistle blew in North London, there was just two points separating the pair, which confirmed that a three-way title race was very much on.

The Gunners went in $2.20 favourites against the league leaders and, despite dominating the first half and going ahead through Bukayo Saka ($6.00 first goalscorer), gifted Liverpool ($2.90) an equaliser on the stroke of half-time. A clumsy Gabriel own goal took the air out of the stadium momentarily, but when Liverpool repaid the favour with an even more farcical error to gift Gabriel Martinelli a simple finish ($2.95 anytime goalscorer), the Gunners were swiftly back on top. And when Leandro Trossard ($2.75) added a third in stoppage time, a pumped-up Arteta sprinted down the touchline ala Jose Mourinho. That in itself showed just how much pressure was on the manager and his side. The relief was palpable.

Out to $8.00 EPL title chances in recent weeks, Arsenal are now into $6.00, while Liverpool have lengthened out to $3.25.

Floodgates open as goals flow

We’ve rarely seen an EPL weekend like it. For the stat lovers amongst us, it was all there to see. Eight of ten matches finished Over 3.5 goals, and five clubs banged in four goals or more. Two of those, Aston Villa and Brighton, clearly turned up angry after upset midweek defeats. In fact, Unai Emery’s men went 4-0 up inside half an hour against Sheffield United, and in doing so became the first team to score 4+ goals in the opening 30 minutes of an EPL away game since Chelsea vs Bolton in October 2011.

But the real goal glut was saved for Tyneside, where underdogs Luton Town scored four for a second consecutive game. Except unlike their midweek clash where they battered Brighton, their opponent (Newcastle) managed four themselves, which saw an incredible 4-4 result. It’s the first time the Hatters have scored four goals in an away top-flight game since 1987. To put that clash into context, Over 7.5 goals was paying $29 pre-match.

Foden, Cunha fill their boots

Given the goal glut, it’s unsurprising that a few players filled their boots across EPL Matchweek 23. Most notably, Phil Foden singlehandedly ensured Manchester City continued their fine recent form, banging in a hat-trick in City’s 3-1 win over Brentford on Tuesday morning (Australian time). The Sky Blues star was $28 pre-match to score 3+ with Palmerbet. More surprisingly, however, given Wolves were $5.00 outsiders travelling to Stamford Bridge, was Matheus Cunha’s hat-trick. A whopping $40 pre-match to score 3+, the Brazilian became just the fourth visiting player to score an EPL hat-trick against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, after Kanu for Arsenal in 1999, Robin van Persie for Arsenal in 2011, and Sergio Agüero for Man City in 2016.

And while he didn’t quite manage three himself, perhaps the league’s most in-form striker in Richarlison scored two ($8.50 pre-match to score 2+) in Spurs’ 2-2 draw with Everton, to become the first player to score home and away against the Toffees in a single EPL campaign having previously played for the club.

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