Arsenal missed the chance to go fourth in the Premier League after Swansea City came from behind to beat the Gunners 2-1 with two late goals at Liberty Stadium on Sunday.
Victory saw the hosts leapfrog Arsenal into fifth as Arsene Wenger’s side suffered only their second league defeat of the season following their loss to leaders Chelsea.
Arsenal were on course for victory as Alexis Sanchez scored his sixth goal in four games in all competitions when he swept in Danny Welbeck’s cross to seal a flowing counterattack in the 63rd minute.
However, Swansea equalized 15 minutes from time when Gylfi Sigurdsson curled in a brilliant long-range free-kick that went past the right hand of helpless goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.
Barely three minutes later, Swansea were in front, thanks to substitute Bafetimbi Gomis, who had only just been sent on by manager Garry Monk. Gomis put the Swans ahead by rising above the Arsenal defense to head in his first Premier League goal.
It was the second time in a week that the Gunners have squandered a lead, having been 3-0 up before being held to a 3-3 draw at home to RC Anderlecht in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday last week.
“The game was completely in our hands,” Arsenal centerback Per Mertesacker told Sky Sports. “But then we have to play serious football and not make mistakes.
The result left Arsenal 12 points behind Chelsea and a delighted Monk praising Swansea’s spirit.
“We talked about belief before the game, about how good we have been and how good we can be. We showed our character,” he said.
Earlier, Newcastle United’s impressive revival continued with a 2-0 victory away to West Bromwich Albion that put them in eighth place.
Goals from Ayoze Perez and Fabricio Coloccini at The Hawthorns saw Newcastle, who struggled at the start of the season, extend their unbeaten league run to five straight games — a sequence that now includes four successive victories.
Perez put Newcastle ahead on the stroke of halftime when he backheeled Daryl Janmaat’s cross in.
Janmaat was again the provider as Newcastle doubled their lead in the 62nd minute when Magpies captain Coloccini headed in his cross.
One meager consolation for Arsenal was that bitter north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur also lost on Sunday, with Stoke City’s 2-1 win at White Hart Lane seeing the Potters move up into ninth spot.
Former Barcelona star Bojan Krkic scored his first Premier League goal to give Stoke a sixth-minute lead and the visitors were 2-0 up before halftime when Jonathan Walters finished from close range.
Tottenham pulled a goal back in the 77th through Nacer Chadli, but their hopes of a draw were dented when they had to play the final five minutes with 10 men after defender Kyle Naughton was sent off for a crude foul on Victor Moses.
Sunday’s other early kickoff saw Sunderland and Everton share the points in a 1-1 draw at the Stadium of Light.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Coming from the business world, New York Liberty owner Joe Tsai (蔡崇信) did not understand why his WNBA franchise did not have a chief executive officer similar to the team’s NBA counterpart the Brooklyn Nets, which Tsai also owns. For Tsai, it was about equality, so he did something about it. The 56-year-old Taipei-born billionaire businessman and philanthropist promoted Keia Clarke to the position last week — making her the first chief executive officer in the team’s history. The WNBA veteran became the third black woman to currently be in charge of a franchise in the league, joining Los Angeles Sparks president
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
MONEY MATTERS: While COVID-19 played a major role in the decision, the CTBA also found it hard to secure sponsorship, and ticket sales would have been affected The Yonex Taipei Open badminton tournament has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a funding shortfall, the CTBA said yesterday. This was the first time that the tournament, a Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Super 300-level competition, has been canceled since it began in 1980. The Taipei Open has been held annually since 1980. The tournament was to be played at the Taipei Arena from Sept. 1 to Sept. 6, with total prize money of US$500,000. The CTBA said that it was deeply concerned about whether the Taipei Open would proceed as scheduled after the BWF announced changes