Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Arsenal go top, van Gaal backtracks

Published:Tuesday | December 29, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Manchester United’s Bastian Schweinsteiger (right) is challenged by Chelsea’s Eden Hazard during the English Premier League match between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, yesterday. The game ended 0-0.

LONDON (AP):

Arsenal moved to the top of the Premier League with a 2-0 win against Bournemouth yesterday, while Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal said there was "not any reason" for him to resign despite a 0-0 draw with Chelsea extending his team's winless run to eight matches.

Gabriel Paulista and Mesut Ozil led Arsenal to the top - for 24 hours at least - with goals in each half, while goalkeeper Petr Cech set a Premier League clean-sheet record with his 170th shutout.

The victory was an authoritative response from Arsenal after losing 4-0 to Southampton on Saturday. Arsenal are a point clear of second-place Leicester and four points above Tottenham and Manchester City. Leicester can replace Arsenal at the top by beating City today.

"We were focused from the start," Arsenal manager ArsÈne Wenger said. "It took us a while to get going, but (we) were in control of the game and did very well."

UNITED'S ATTACKING DISPLAY

At Old Trafford, United produced an attacking display against Chelsea to end their four-match losing run, but missed good chances for a first league win since November 21, against Watford.

Juan Mata and Anthony Martial hit the crossbar and the post, while Thibaut Courtois denied Ander Herrera from point-blank range, and Wayne Rooney missed from six yards late on.

Chelsea also had chances to score, with David De Gea turning John Terry's header over the bar, before making an impressive double save from Pedro and Cesar Azpilicueta early in the second half.

The draw leaves United five points behind the Champions League positions, but Van Gaal, who said he could resign as manager after defeat at Stoke two days ago, was encouraged by his team's display.

"When the players can give such a performance, when there is a lot of pressure, then it is not any reason to resign for me," Van Gaal told BT Sport. "I shall not do that. It is not a question of staying, it is a question of fulfilling my contract."

Elsewhere, Tottenham won their third straight league match to provisionally go third with a late 2-1 victory over 10-man Watford, while Stoke beat Everton 4-3 with a last-minute penalty from Marko Arnautovic.

Tottenham will be dislodged from third if City get at least a draw against Leicester.

Also yesterday, Norwich beat last-place Aston Villa 2-0, West Bromwich Albion defeated Newcastle 1-0, and Crystal Palace drew 0-0 against Swansea.

West Ham also came from a goal behind to beat Southampton 2-1 and move seventh in the standings, a point behind United.