Arsenal returned to the top of the Premier League with a comfortable 2-0 victory over relegation-threatened Luton Town on Wednesday despite fielding a much-changed side.

Captain Martin Odegaard opened the scoring after 24 minutes and an own goal by Daiki Hashioka after good work by Emile Smith Rowe put the hosts firmly in control on the stroke of halftime.

Mikel Arteta’s side moved into first place with 68 points from 30 games although Liverpool, who have 67, can reclaim the lead against Sheffield United on Thursday.

Arteta opted to shuffle his pack with Declan Rice and Bukayo Saka on the bench and Smith Rowe, Reiss Nelson and Thomas Partey given starts but his side showed their strength in depth.

Luton, missing several key players, had their moments but remained third bottom with 22 points from 31 games, three behind 17th-placed Nottingham Forest.

Foden hat-trick keeps Man City in thick of title race
Phil Foden scored a stunning hat-track as Manchester City crushed Aston Villa 4-1 on Wednesday to keep their hopes of retaining the Premier League title very much alive.

Arsenal climbed above Liverpool to claim top spot on 68 points with a 2-0 victory over Luton Town and City are third, level on 67 points with Liverpool who can move back to the summit with a home win over Sheffield United on Thursday.

City monopolised possession from kickoff and took the lead in the 11th minute when Rodri poked in Jeremy Doku’s cross.

Villa silenced the home crowd, however, when 20-year-old Jhon Duran slotted into the far corner after a neat one-two with Morgan Rogers in the 20th minute.

With City’s league-leading scorer Erling Haaland an unused substitute, however, Foden went to work, finding a gap in Villa’s wall with a superb free kick just before halftime.

Rodri dribbled through Villa’s defence before laying the ball off for Foden to claim his second in the 62nd minute and the 23-year-old completed his hat-trick with a rocket into the top corner from 25 yards.

It was his 21st goal this season for City across all competitions and the England international left the field to raucous applause and a standing ovation when he was substituted.

Brentford and Brighton play out stalemate
Brentford and Brighton & Hove Albion played out a dull 0-0 draw in their Premier League clash in west London on Wednesday, a game of few clear-cut chances despite the attacking quality on both sides.

It was the first 0-0 draw for Brentford since a stalemate with Leeds United in January last year and moves them six points clear of the relegation zone. Brighton stay in ninth with 43 points from 30 games, unable to make up significant ground in the race for European places next season.

There was a rare event on the stroke of halftime when Video Assistant Referee Michael Oliver suggested referee Andy Madley check for a possible penalty for Brighton as Lewis Dunk and Yoanne Wissa tussled in the Brentford box at a corner.

It has become almost the norm for the referee to rubber-stamp the view of the VAR but Madley correctly decided the first infringement had been made by Dunk as he manhandled Wissa and a free kick was given instead.