EPL: Gunners battle back to move top, Hendrick stunner helps Burnley

Arsenal came from behind to record a 15th consecutive home win over Stoke City as Arsene Wenger's side moved top of the Premier League on goals scored with a 3-1 victory.


Arsenal's Mesut Ozil celebrates his goal.

Arsenal came from behind to record a 15th consecutive home win over Stoke City as Arsene Wenger's side moved top of the Premier League on goals scored with a 3-1 victory.


The host climbed above Chelsea, which faces West Brom on Sunday, but had to do it the hard way at Emirates Stadium as it made it 14 top-flight games unbeaten.

Stoke took the lead through birthday boy Charlie Adam's 29th-minute penalty after Granit Xhaka clumsily -- rather than maliciously -- elbowed Joe Allen in the face.

But the match swung on an eight-minute spell either side of half-time, with Theo Walcott levelling before a rare Mesut Ozil header put Wenger's men ahead.

The visitor has now been beaten on all nine Premier League visits to Arsenal, who added late gloss through substitute Alex Iwobi.

Arsenal -- fielding the same line-up as that which started the 5-1 win over West Ham last weekend -- secured top spot in its Champions League group with a midweek 4-1 victory at Basel, but faced sterner opposition on Saturday.

Marc Muniesa, who opened his Stoke account against Burnley last time out, unleashed a stunning 35-yard volley that was tipped over by Petr Cech after three minutes, while Xherdan Shaqiri failed to get a shot away at the end of a promising attack.

Lee Grant was caught dwelling on the ball in the box at the other end, inviting pressure from Alexis Sanchez, who saw his block from the goalkeeper's attempted clearance go behind for a goal kick.

But Grant was much more alert when Walcott escaped inside the area and drew a smart near-post stop from the 33-year-old in the 12th minute.

The chances continued to come and Allen sliced wide when well placed midway through the first half, while Arsenal's cause suffered a blow when Shkodran Mustafi was forced off with an apparent hamstring injury.

And the host was soon behind, with Xhaka's inadvertent elbow on Allen handing Adam, who turned 31 on Saturday, the chance to convert from the spot and he duly obliged.

Arsenal sought a quick response before the break and Mame Biram Diouf made a superb clearance to snuff out the threat when Ozil was lurking.

The leveller arrived three minutes before half-time, though, as Walcott netted a simple finish at the near post to cap some excellent build-up play from Wenger's side.

Ozil completed the turnaround five minutes into the second half, flicking a header over the stranded Grant from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's lofted pass.

Stoke had proven more than a match for its high-flying opponent in the opening 45 minutes, but faded in the second period despite creating a couple of presentable chances.

A wayward Marko Arnautovic strike underlined its growing desperation, though Diouf did spurn an excellent opportunity to head on target when he rose to meet Adam's left-wing cross and nodded across goal to nobody in particular. 

Peter Crouch was brought on for the final 20 minutes and immediately forced Cech into a fine save with a powerful downward header, but Iwobi sealed it with a calm finish after collecting Sanchez's pass and racing through to curl past Grant.

Burnley 3 Bournemouth 2: Hendrick stunner helps Burnley to victory

Burnley ended a run of three consecutive Premier League defeats with a hard-earned 3-2 victory over Bournemouth at Turf Moor.


Jeff Hendrick provided a reminder of why Burnley shelled out a club-record fee to sign him from Derby County when he opened the scoring with a goal-of-the-season contender after 14 minutes, and the Clarets doubled its lead through Stephen Ward just three minutes later.

Bournemouth, who dramatically came back from 3-1 down to beat Liverpool 4-3 in their previous outing, dragged themselves back into the game when Benik Afobe slotted home his first league goal of the season.

The Cherries would have risen into the top half of the table with a second away victory of the season, but George Boyd put the hosts back in control with a well-taken goal in the 75th minute, with Charlie Daniels' late strike - after Afobe had seen a second strike disallowed - coming too late.

Sean Dyche's side showed resilience and determination as they fought for all three points – qualities they will need in abundance if they are to take points from trips to West Ham and Tottenham in their next two games.

Bournemouth looked unsure of themselves in defence from the outset but attacked well on the counter and Ryan Fraser's jinking run split the Burnley defence before the rebound from his blocked shot fell to Afobe, who drew a good save from Tom Heaton with a low drive.

Dan Gosling fired a shot just over the crossbar as the Bournemouth pressure built but moments later Burnley's Matthew Lowton clipped the ball forward to Hendrick, who took a touch to tame the pass before putting his laces through a sweetly struck drive that dipped over Artur Boruc and into the net.

Before Bournemouth could react to falling behind, Burnley won a corner that was headed goalwards by Ben Mee and Ward was on hand to bundle the ball home the rebound when Boruc spilled it at his feet.

Having found themselves comfortably ahead after just over quarter of an hour, Burnley took control of the game but Bournemouth continued to probe for an opening and were rewarded when Simon Francis' cross was fired low into the corner of the net by Afobe to put the Cherries right back in the game on the cusp of half-time.

Afobe missed a clear chance to equalise early in the second half, before Burnley introduced Andre Gray and Ashley Barnes to try and put themselves back on the front foot.

Barnes made an immediate impact, crashing a volleyed shot just over the crossbar with his first touch of the ball, and Gray should have put the result beyond doubt when he shot straight at Boruc from close range when put through by Hendrick.

Gray made a crucial intervention 15 minutes from time when he skilfully flicked the ball through to Boyd, who jinked inside his man before picking his spot and scoring with a low shot into the far corner of the net.

Afobe had a goal ruled out for handball in the dying minutes before Daniels pulled one back with an opportunist strike, but Burnley held on to move five points clear of the relegation zone.

Hull City 3 Crystal Palace 3: Campbell equaliser buys Pardew time

Alan Pardew may have earned another stay of execution after Fraizer Campbell snatched a 3-3 draw for Crystal Palace at relegation-threatened Hull City in the Premier League.


The host had been in front at the break courtesy of a contentious Robert Snodgrass penalty at a sparsely populated KCOM Stadium.

Palace levelled, also from the spot, when Christian Benteke stroked home after Snodgrass, who dived to win his own penalty, felled Wilfried Zaha just inside the area early in the second half. 

Zaha put Palace ahead with a brilliant strike in the 70th minute, but Hull responded almost immediately, Adama Diomande netting courtesy of a dynamic solo effort of his own. 

Hull regained the lead through Jake Livermore, the former Tottenham player sauntering unopposed into the Palace area to score with 13 minutes to go.

But just as the visitor's infamous defensive woes appeared set to heap yet more pressure on Pardew, substitute Campbell delivered when his manager needed him most, heading home against his former team to snatch a share of the spoils.

Daunting assignments await both of these teams in midweek, when Hull visit Spurs and Palace stage an FA Cup final rematch against Manchester United at Selhurst Park.

After a slow start, Hull slowly began to exert some control on proceedings. Chances remained hard to come by for the home team, but they were handed an early Christmas present courtesy of Mike Jones when the referee was fooled by a blatant dive from Snodgrass.

The Scotland international went down in the area despite receiving no contact from Palace centre-back Scott Dann, who was booked for his vociferous protest, leaving Snodgrass to get up and emphatically stroke home the penalty in the 26th minute.

The impressive Zaha was involved as Palace drew level six minutes into the second half, the forward drawing a foul -- ironically from Snodgrass -- in the box to afford Benteke the opportunity to equalise from the spot, which the striker duly did by wrong-footing goalkeeper David Marshall with a cool effort. 

The goal sparked both teams into life, Diomande twice going close for Hull after breaking into the area and shooting narrowly wide of the near post.

Palace took the lead with 20 minutes to go, Zaha gathering possession on the edge of the area, beating two defenders with a stepover and some clever close control before lashing a fierce finish past Marshall. 

Their advantage lasted just two minutes, though, before Diomande delivered on his earlier threat, holding off Dann with his back to goal, nutmegging the centre-back and then prodding the ball smartly beyond Wayne Hennessey. 

The Palace defence inexplicably parted in the 78th minute to allow Livermore to waltz into the area and score Hull's third, a defensive aberration worthy of Palace's calamitous 5-4 loss to Swansea City last month and which has become symptomatic of the malaise afflicting the Eagles for much of 2016.

But there was one more twist in the tale, Campbell, who helped Hull to promotion in 2008, returning to haunt his old club by meeting a pinpoint Zaha cross and cushioning home a headed finish out of Hennessey's reach.

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