The Roar
The Roar


'He can do whatever he wants': Foden fires City with hat-trick, Arsenal edge back on top with Luton cruise

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4th April, 2024

Arsenal have launched a pivotal month in their pursuit of silverware by returning to the top of the Premier League table thanks to a routine 2-0 win over relegation-threatened Luton Town.

Martin Odegaard’s 10th goal of the season set the Gunners on course for a straightforward evening at Emirates Stadium.

Daiki Hashioka’s own goal completed the job before halftime on Thursday (AEDT) as Mikel Arteta’s men backed up a battling goalless draw with title rivals Manchester City to maintain their unbeaten top-flight record in 2024.

Asked how important it was for Arsenal to be top of the table, Arteta said: “That means that we are there. We are really close.

“We are showing a lot of consistency to be where we are. Now that’s it. Sleep, eat, prepare well. Now it’s Brighton [on Saturday].”

Pep Guardiola’s City remain third, one point behind Arsenal, after beating Champions League-chasing Aston Villa 4-1 thanks to a brilliant Phil Foden hat-trick.

After Jhon Duran cancelled out Rodri’s opener, the 23-year-old put City back in front with a free-kick late in the first half before two excellent strikes settled it just after the hour mark, taking Foden to 21 City goals for the season.


 “He can do whatever he wants. He’s a really top-class player,” Guardiola.

“He’s still open-minded and he still has to understand some parts of the game, especially attention as he is sometimes distracted in the defensive parts. But his work ethic is unbelievable. He is so special, especially when he is playing in that central position.”

Brighton & Hove Albion could not turn a lucrative week off the pitch into a profitable one on it after they were held to a goalless draw at Brentford.

The Seagulls announced an eye-watering annual profit of £122.8 million ($A236.6 million), a record for an English club, following the most successful season in their history.

Injury-hit Luton posed little threat in north London and remain only three points from safety during a winless run which now stands at 10 games.

The 18th-placed Hatters were back in the capital four days on from a narrow 2-1 loss at Tottenham. 


Ross Barkley’s long-range free-kick, which was comfortably collected by David Raya, was their only attempt on target in a one-sided opening period.

In the face of relentless Arsenal possession, a resolute Luton starting XI held out until being undone by costly defensive dithering in the 24th minute.

Emile Smith Rowe dispossessed the dawdling Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu inside the visitors’ half before captain Odegaard exchanged passes with Kai Havertz to slam a first-time left-footed finish beyond Thomas Kaminski. 

The visitors dug in and looked set to go into the interval only a goal behind after goalkeeper Kaminski saved well from Smith Rowe and Havertz. 

But Rob Edwards’ side suffered a major setback just a minute before the break when Japan defender Hashioka inadvertently turned Smith Rowe’s low centre into his own net under pressure from Reiss Nelson.