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Liverpool stumble at home as Arsenal go top in EPL title race

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Manchester United ended Liverpool’s perfect home record in Matchweek 17 of the English Premier League on Monday morning (AEDT), allowing Arsenal to reclaim top spot with their win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Reds came into the clash with 11 wins from as many games at Anfield in all competitions this season, and while they dominated possession and scoring chances, United held firm to scrape a 0-0 draw against their fierce rivals.

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk was less than pleased with United’s approach to the contest, telling reporters afterwards: “There was only one team trying to win the game.”

That result opened the door for Arsenal, and they took full advantage with a 2-0 win over Brighton in London.

While the Gunners wasted a slew of chances in the first half, they made amends after the break with strikes from Gabriel Jesus and Kai Havertz.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta dubbed it an “incredible performance” and “a joy to watch from the start to the end”.

“Even at halftime, the scoreline didn’t reflect that,” he told the press.

“We fully deserved to win the game.”

Across town, Aston Villa kept up the pressure on the leading pair with a 2-1 victory over Brentford.

The Birmingham club had to work hard for the result, however, as Keane Lewis-Potter put the Bees ahead in the 45th minute.

Late strikes from Alex Moreno and Ollie Watkins were enough for the Villans in a game where both Ben Mee for the hosts and Boubacar Kamara for the visitors were sent off.

Arsenal hold a one-point lead over both Liverpool and Aston Villa, with the Reds in second spot due to their superior goal difference.

Online bookmakers still have fourth-placed Manchester City pegged as EPL title favourites, although the market has shifted significantly in recent weeks.

City were as short as -153.85 at the start of December, but they have eased out to +138 with BetOnline.

Meanwhile, Arsenal have shortened from +333 into +240, while Liverpool have come from +400 into +275.

Villa have plunged into +1100 with the top soccer betting sites, while Tottenham Hotspur are lurking at +2500 after back-to-back wins.

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