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Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli celebrates scoring their fourth goal with Fabio Vieira. Image Credit: Action Images via Reuters

Birmingham:Arsenal reinvigorated their push for a first Premier League title in two decades and retook top spot on Saturday with a thrilling 4-2 win at Aston Villa thanks to two late goals.

With a pulsating and high-quality game going into added time at 2-2, Arsenal midfielder Jorginho saw his shot come off the bar and bounce off the head of Villa’s Argentina World Cup-winning goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez for a cruel own goal.

Empty net

Minutes later, with the final whistle about to go and Villa piling forward - Martinez included - Arsenal broke forward again for Gabriel Martinelli to stroke into an empty net for the Londoners’ fourth in front of their delirious fans.

The result put the Gunners back on top with 54 points after 23 games after Manchester City were held 1-1 by Nottingham Forest.

It was Arsenal’s first win in four Premier League games and followed a dispiriting midweek loss at home to Manchester City.

“From this game, we took an unbelievable lesson for all of us. We just need to believe until the very end that we can achieve everything,” said Oleksandr Zinchenko, who had made it 2-2 with his first goal for Arsenal earlier in the game.

“This group are such amazing people. They can achieve everything they want if we continue this way, if we keep fighting, keep believing. The reaction from all of us in the second half was perfect.”

At a packed and raucous Villa Park in the Midlands, Ollie Watkins had fired home the hosts’ opener - and his fourth goal in as many games - in the fifth minute after a scintillating run into the box and jink past defender William Saliba.

Left foot drive

Bukayo Saka struck back for Arsenal with a fine left foot drive from inside the area in the 16th minute, before Philippe Coutinho restored Villa’s lead with a low shot in the 31st following a clever dummy from Emiliano Buendia.

Zinchenko then levelled for Arsenal in the 62nd minute with a low drive past former Arsenal keeper Martinez.

Ahead of the thrilling finale both sides missed gilt-edged chances, Martin Odegaard pulling wide for Arsenal when he looked certain to score and Villa’s Leon Bailey seeing a shot tipped onto the crossbar, before Arsenal struck to claim the points.

Chris Wood’s late goal earned Forest a point at the City Ground after City’s Bernardo Silva’s rocket from 20 yards out opened the scoring after 41 minutes. Erling Haaland volleyed against the crossbar and then ballooned the rebound over the top after Aymeric Laporte’s header was brilliantly saved by Forest keeper Keylor Navas.

The draw extended Forest’s unbeaten home run to eight games and dealt a blow to City’s title hopes.

Chelsea’s poor form under manager Graham Potter continued as a trademark free-kick from James Ward-Prowse earned the Premier League’s bottom club Southampton a surprise victory at Stamford Bridge.

Curling effort

Ward-Prowse scored the game’s only goal in first-half stoppage time, sending a curling effort over the Chelsea wall and into the corner from the edge of the penalty area.

The result means Chelsea have now won just two games in their last 14 in all competitions under Potter.

Everton deservedly collected a monumental victory over fellow strugglers Leeds to climb out of the relegation zone and send their opponents into trouble.

Seamus Coleman scored the winning goal in the second half, Everton’s second in three games under new manager Sean Dyche, lifting them up to 16th place, while Leeds drop to 19th.