Watford 2 Arsenal 3

Arsenal climbed into the Champions League places on Sunday with an entertaining victory over lowly Watford in a game with five quality goals. The Hornets, who remain in the relegation zone, thought they had taken the lead within the first 20 seconds as Emmanuel Dennis slotted home but he was offside. Martin Odegaard put Arsenal ahead not long afterwards after flicking the ball into the path of Bukayo Saka and then running into the centre to slot in Saka’s cross. Watford levelled with the best individual goal of the game, Cucho Hernandez’s acrobatic flying volley from Kiko Femenia’s cross.

The visitors restored their lead when Saka won the ball off Tom Cleverley and found Alexandre Lacazette, who rolled the ball back into Saka’s path to fire into the top corner. England star Saka was involved again in the third goal as his quick throw-in set up a move with Lacazette laying the ball off to Gabriel Martinelli to finish. They looked as if they were cruising, and Eddie Nketiah hit the post, before Moussa Sissoko controlled the ball on his chest and beat Ben White before slotting in. That set up a tense finale with Watford debutant Samuel Kalu forcing Aaron Ramsdale into a save with a long-range shot.

Arsenal move above Manchester United into fourth spot, with United losing 4-1 to Manchester City in the derby. Watford, who blow hot and cold too often, remain three points off safety. The Gunners continued their surge up the table with an entertaining albeit ultimately tense win, keeping them unbeaten in the league since New Year’s Day. They played some really top-quality, slick football, even though they only had four efforts on target and were hanging on in the end after Sissoko struck. But Saka was excellent again and involved in all three goals. He has scored or assisted 13 Premier League goals this season, with only Bayer Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz (17) involved in more in Europe’s top five leagues among players under the age of 21. Gunners boss Mikel Arteta had a big hand in the third goal, too, grabbing the ball after it went out of play and quickly passing it to Saka, who took the throw-in that led to the goal.

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