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Important wins for Arsenal and high-flying Sheffield

Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette celebrates scoring the only goal of the game.

A goal from substitute Alexandre Lacazette earned Arsenal a hard-fought 1-0 win over a wasteful West Ham United side at the Emirates on Saturday, extending the Gunners’ unbeaten Premier League run to eight matches.

Both sides struck the woodwork in the first half, but the visitors had the better chances and goalkeeper Bernd Leno came to Arsenal’s rescue with an excellent save from Michail Antonio after the break.

Mikel Arteta’s side found the breakthrough when Lacazette fired home from a Mesut Ozil knock-down, although the Frenchman’s celebrations were delayed after the goal was initially ruled out for offside before a VAR review overturned the decision.

The result moved Arsenal ahead of Burnley into ninth place, level on 40 points with eighth-placed north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur. West Ham remained 16th on 27 points, outside the relegation zone only on goal difference.

Elsewhere, a bullet header from Billy Sharp gave Sheffield United a 1-0 win over bottom side Norwich City to lift the Blades to sixth place in the Premier League table and move them closer to their dream of European football next season.

With Manchester City facing a possible European ban over breaches of financial fair play rules, Sheffield United have their sights set on a top-six finish, a feat they haven’t managed since the 1974-75 season.

The hosts took the lead in the 36th minute when John Lundstram crossed for an unmarked Sharp to plant a firm header past Tim Krul, and they could have had a couple more before the break as Norwich struggled to match their intensity.

Norwich bolstered their attacking options at the break by sending on Josip Drmic to partner Teemo Pukki, and Drmic came close to scoring when his shot deflected off David McGoldrick and bounced off the crossbar in the 75th minute.

The visitors continued to throw everything forward in an effort to find an equaliser, but United keeper Dean Henderson pulled off a string of fine saves, prompting the home fans to chant for him to be made “England’s number one”.

In other games, Crystal Palace and Newcastle beat Watford and Southampton respectively. Both games ended 1-0, but, while the Eagles were playing at home, the Magpies were playing away at St Mary’s Stadium.

The match between Wolverhampton and Brighton ended in a goalless draw.

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