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Declan Rice’s stoppage time header saw Arsenal temporarily extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to five points after they snatched a dramatic 4-3 win at Luton. Goals from Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus were each canceled out by Gabriel Osho and Elijah Adebayo respectively before Ross Barkely put the Hatters 3-2 up. Kai Havertz equalised before Rice’s late, late winner.

Declan Rice headed home the winner deep into stoppage-time as Arsenal moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League with a rollercoaster 4-3 victory at Luton Town.

The Gunners took the lead on 20 minutes when Gabriel Martinelli tucked home Bukayo Saka’s cut back but Luton hit back five minutes later through Gabriel Osho’s firm header.

Jesus then nodded Mikel Arteta’s men back in front on the stroke of half time as they looked to reassert their authority.

The hosts refused to be dispirited, however, and stunned the high-flying visitors when Elijah Adebayo and Ross Barkley took advantage of poor errors from goalkeeper David Raya to turn the game on its head.

The Gunners remained a major threat in the attacking third and restored parity on the hour when Havertz stabbed in after fine work from Jesus. Luton were hanging on for the final 20 minutes but endured heartbreak right at the death when Rice nodded in Martin Odegaard’s sublime cross to send the visiting fans into ecstasy.

The result means Arsenal have now won six matches on the spin across all competitions and are five points clear of second-placed Liverpool ahead of the Merseysiders’ trip to Sheffield United on Wednesday.

Luton stay in 17th spot but could slip into the drop zone if Everton beat Newcastle on Thursday. Next up, Arsenal visit Aston Villa on Saturday evening. Luton host champions Man City on Sunday.

TALKING POINT – THE GUNNERS EDGE A THRILLER BUT ARTETA NEEDS TO RECONSIDER HIS STANCE ON HIS NO.1 KEEPER

After an enthralling 90 minutes it was all about the agony for Luton fans and the ecstasy for Gooners. It was the type of dramatic, late win that teams often look back on as significant if they go on to claim the title.

However, despite the three points there will be concern over the manner of the goals the visitors conceded and it was another night to forget for Gunners goalkeeper David Raya. The stopper has clearly been installed as Arteta’s No.1 but he has endured a difficult start to life at The Emirates with a series of gaffes.

This contest was no different. He was left flapping at a corner for Luton’s second of the evening and then allowed Barkley’s tame, low strike to somehow squirm under him.

His teammates got him out of trouble, but Raya continues to look fragile and with someone of Ramsdale’s calibre sitting on the bench it seems bizarre to remain stubborn, particularly if it eventually costs the side points in the future.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH

Declan Rice (Arsenal). This was far from the midfielder’s best performance but with The Gunners in desperate need of a hero, the midfielder stepped up and delivered with a header that gives them clear daylight at the PL summit.

PLAYER RATINGS

LUTON: Kaminski 8, Osho 7, Kabore 7, Mengi 7, Mpanzu 7, Bell 7, Brown 7, Townsend 6, Doughty 7, Barkley 8, Adebayo 7. Subs: Ogbene 6, Morris 6, Chong 6, Clark n/a, Giles n/a.

ARSENAL: Raya 4, White 8, Saliba 6, Gabriel 6, Kiwior 6, Rice 8*, Odegaard 6, Havertz 7, Saka 8, Jesus 8, Martinelli 7. Subs: Trossard 6, Zinchenko 6.

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

20’ – GOAL! – Luton 0-1 Arsenal (Gabriel Martinelli): Martinelli scuffs Saka’s cut back into the bottom corner after Jesus caught Luton cold with a quick throw.

25’ – GOAL! – Luton 1-1 Arsenal (Gabriel Osho): Osho plants a superb header from a left-wing corner into the corner to level matters.

45’ – GOAL! – Luton 1-2 Arsenal (Gabriel Jesus): Jesus nods home at the far post after a magnificent run and cross from White.

49’ – GOAL! – Luton 2-2 Arsenal (Elijah Adebayo): Adebayo leaps early to meet a right-wing corner and power home a header with Raya caught flapping once again.

57’ – GOAL! – Luton 3-2 Arsenal (Ross Barkley): Barkley and Townsend exchange passes before the former England man fizzes a low shot through Raya from the left side of the area.

60’ – GOAL! – Luton 3-3 Arsenal (Kai Havertz): Havertz drags The Gunners level as he stabs home from close-range after great strength and composure from Jesus.

90+7’ – GOAL! – Luton 3-4 Arsenal (Declan Rice): Rice leaps into the air to thunder a header into the far corner right at the death!

Source eurosport.com

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