LONDON: Neal Maupay was the pantomime villain with a stoppage-time strike to steal Brighton a 2-1 victory over Arsenal in the Premier League.
The French forward was blamed by Arsenal players for a serious injury to goalkeeper Bernd Leno in the first half before he stole all three points in the fifth minute of stoppage time.
Substitute Alexis McAllister made an immediate impact by playing a part in the build-up to the goal, which sealed Graham Potter’s side’s first Premier League win of 2020.
There was unsavoury scenes at full-time as players clashed, Maupay in the thick of it. He apologised to Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta at half-time after Leno’s injury and said sorry again following the full-time whistle.
Maupay said: “At half-time I went to Arteta to apologise because I never meant to injure their keeper. I just jumped to get the ball maybe and I think he twisted his knee, I never meant to hurt him. I am really sorry. I apologise again and I wish him a speedy recovery.”
Arteta’s Gunners, who have lost three first-team players to injury since the league’s restart, have now been beaten in back-to-back games in the space of four days.
The visitors went in front after 68 minutes, when Nicolas Pepe cut onto his left foot on the right-hand side of the penalty area and curled a wonderful effort beyond Ryan.
Brighton were level seven minutes later, however, when Lewis Dunk poked the ball over the line from close range after a short corner routine caused problems for the Arsenal defence, with goal-line technology confirming the effort went in.
With the match heading for a draw, a quick move by Brighton saw Maupay peel off his defender to latch onto Aaron Connolly’s ball and coolly finish past substitute goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.
Palace win a Bournemouth
Bournemouth’s relegation fears increased after Crystal Palace secured a comfortable 2-0 win at the Vitality Stadium thanks to goals from captain Luka Milivojevic and Jordan Ayew.
The first Premier League fixture broadcast live on the BBC was one to forget for Eddie Howe’s side, who suffered a fourth defeat in five games.
It leaves the Cherries in the bottom three and with a tricky run of matches to come, the future looks bleak for the south coast club.
For Roy Hodgson’s Palace, they made it four straight victories – albeit the most recent before this was 105 days ago – with a professional display to throw their name into the hat when it comes to European qualification.
The return of David Brooks after a year out gave the hosts a boost before kick-off and he looked lively from the outset.
Palace were able to settle quickly though and picked up where they left off before the suspension of football by going ahead in the 12th minute.
Wilfried Zaha – not long after curling over – won a free-kick after contact from Brooks and it provided Milivojevic with the chance to open the scoring.
The Serbian curled over the wall and despite Aaron Ramsdale getting a hand to it, the shot hit the crossbar and went in for the first top-flight goal shown live on the BBC since March 1988.
Bournemouth responded initially with Callum Wilson heading over Brooks’ cross but by the midway point of the first half the Eagles had extended their advantage.
Zaha spotted the overlapping run of Patrick Van Aanholt on the left and he found Ayew, who side-footed home in the 23rd minute for his ninth goal of the season.
Despite netting for the third consecutive game, the Eagles striker was becoming increasingly frustrated with referee Stuart Attwell and received a caution just before half-time.
Howe had seen enough and introduced Arnaut Danjuma in place of Harry Wilson during the break, but was forced into another change early in the second period when Joshua King had to be replaced by Dominic Solanke.
King injured his ankle after a strong challenge by Gary Cahill, which was reviewed by video assistant referee but not deemed a red card.
Brooks’ return from a long-term ankle injury lasted just past the hour mark but after suffering cramp he was withdrawn with Junior Stanislas taking his place, and it was the substitute’s corner which saw Nathan Ake head straight at Vicente Guaita.
The 63rd-minute effort was Bournemouth’s first on target, although it was not the beginning of a recovery.
Palace continued to keep the hosts at bay and moved above Arsenal with a fourth successive clean sheet ahead of their visit to Liverpool on Wednesday.
West Ham felled by Wolves
West Ham were on the end of a stunning Adama Traore cameo as Wolves ran out 2-0 winners at the London Stadium.
The Spanish winger had to watch a goalless first half from the bench at the London Stadium before coming on in the second.
It took him just nine minutes to set up Raul Jimenez for the opener, the sixth time he has set up the Mexican in Premier League this season – no other combined duo have scored more.
Traore then played through Matt Doherty to tee up Pedro Neto at the far post, who fired an unstoppable volley past Lukasz Fabianski to seal all three points and keep Wolves’ Champions League hopes on track.
Defeat for the Hammers worsens their relegation fears. With clashes against Tottenham and Chelsea next up, and following the news of Brighton’s dramatic victory over Arsenal, the hosts were in dire need of a win over their high-flying visitors.
But in a game played for 70 minutes with such a lack of intensity it could have been a testimonial, they ended up empty handed.
Craig Dawson’s first Watford goal earned a last-gasp point for the relegation-threatened Hornets as they deservedly held Leicester to a 1-1 draw at Vicarage Road.
With Ben Chilwell’s brilliant strike putting the visitors ahead at the start of stoppage time, Watford were still able to find an equaliser as Dawson’s acrobatic finish saw both side’s first game back finish in a thrilling 1-1 draw.
Kicking off early, Nigel Pearson’s side were above the bottom three on goal difference alone and the point could yet prove vital.
Marc Albrighton had earlier hit the crossbar for the visitors, while Kasper Schmeichel was forced into some smart saves as Watford looked to pull themselves clear of the relegation zone.
Meanwhile, Jamie Vardy’s wait for his 100th Premier League goal goes on.