Soccer-Leaders Arsenal held by Newcastle, Man United win again

By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Arsenal's hopes of opening a 10-point lead in the Premier League title race were dashed by Newcastle United in a 0-0 draw at The Emirates but Manchester United's fine form continued as they eased to a 3-0 home win over Bournemouth on Tuesday.

The clash between first and third in London did not live up to its billing as Arsenal were frustrated by a Newcastle side who collected a 10th league clean sheet of the season.

Manchester United cemented their top-four place, moving level on points with Newcastle as goals by Casemiro, Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford sealed a 3-0 victory at Old Trafford.

Arsenal, who failed to score for the first time this season in all competitions, have 44 points from 17 games with champions Manchester City on 36 after playing 16.

Newcastle have 35 from 18 matches, ahead of United on goal difference although they have played a game more.

After Everton held Manchester City away on Saturday to snap a three-match losing run in the league, they crashed back to earth as they were hammered 4-1 at home by Brighton & Hove Albion.

Kaoru Mitoma gave Brighton the lead and Everton collapsed after the break as Evan Ferguson, Solly March and Pascal Gross scored in a five-minute burst that left the Goodison Park faithful stunned and heading for the exits.

Defeat left Everton just one point above the relegation zone and with huge pressure mounting on manager Frank Lampard.

"Individual mistakes and collective defending issues. It is what it is," Lampard, whose side could fall into the bottom three on Wednesday, said. "It is not a question of anger. We are disappointed. We want to win games."

In the night's other match, Fulham won 1-0 at Leicester City to move into seventh place in the table.

PERFECT RECORD

Arsenal had a 100% home league record this season but failed to penetrate the tightest defence in the division as Newcastle ground out a deserved point to remain unbeaten since August.

Eddie Nketiah had Arsenal's best chance in the 87th minute but his low shot was superbly saved by Nick Pope.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta's frustration boiled over in stoppage time when he reacted furiously to his side being denied a penalty for handball when a Granit Xhaka cross hit the arm of Jacob Murphy, although it would have been extremely harsh.

"We had some chances and there were two scandalous penalties that weren't given," Arteta said.

Manchester United are now five points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur after a fourth successive league win.

Brazil midfielder Casemiro volleyed them ahead from close range in the 23rd minute and they never looked like dropping points once Shaw made it 2-0 early in the second half.

"We scored great goals and I think we should have scored even more but we could have conceded one or two and I am not happy with that because David (de Gea) had to make good saves," United manager Erik ten Hag said.

"I'm happy with the result. Today it was not our best game. We have to be honest, we didn't play that smart as a team."

United are back in action on Friday when they host Everton in the FA Cup third round.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris)