Brighton embarrass Gunners, City beat Chelsea
MAT Ryan's Brighton have heaped further misery on a woeful Arsenal side overnight, while league leaders Manchester City accounted for Chelsea to extend their lead at the top to 18 points.
The Gunners are in shambles, with the loss their third in just seven days, with pressure continuing to intensify around Arsene Wenger.
Chelsea opted against fielding a recognised striker at the Etihad, and were criticized heavily for it, as they fell to a 1-0 defeat against City.
Their display was described as "a crime against football" by Sky Sports' Jamie Redknapp, as Antonio Conte's men slipped five points behind fourth placed Spurs.
The Gunners are now 13 points out of fourth place, and haven't won in the league for a month.
BRIGHTON 2-1 ARSENAL
Arsene Wenger insisted he was still the right man to turn around Arsenal's fortunes after a 2-1 loss to Brighton on Sunday saw the Gunners suffer their fourth straight defeat in all competitions.
Successive 3-0 reverses by Manchester City, the first in the League Cup final and the second in the league, could be explained in part by the dominance of Pep Guardiola's runaway table-toppers, but the losses to Ostersunds in the Europa League and to Brighton verged on embarrassing.
City won 1-0 at home to Chelsea later on Sunday, with Bernardo Silva scoring the decisive goal, as they moved a commanding 18 points clear of the chasing pack.
First-half goals from Lewis Dunk and Glenn Murray put south coast club Brighton in command and, although Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pulled one back before the break, that was as good as it got for the Gunners.
Arsenal's eighth loss since the turn of the year left their hopes of a top-four finish in tatters, with Wenger admitting it was "already gone" even before the Gunners were left 13 points adrift of the leading quartet.
Their best chance of qualifying for the elite and lucrative Champions League appears to lie instead in winning the second-tier Europa League, where Arsenal face Italian giants AC Milan in the first of a two-legged last-16 clash at the San Siro on Thursday.
Veteran French boss Wenger has been in charge at Arsenal since 1996 and it remains to be seen whether US-based owner Stan Kroenke has the stomach to sack a manager who has never given the slightest hint he will resign.
"It's the first time its happened in my whole career and it's not easy," Wenger told Sky Sports. "I have enough experience and desire to turn things around. When the team struggles for confidence it's even more difficult."
MANCHESTER CITY 1-0 CHELSEA
Manchester City's relentless run towards the Premier League title continued as they opened up an 18-point lead by inflicting more damage on Chelsea's chances of a top-four finish with a 1-0 home win on Sunday.
Bernardo Silva scored the only goal of the match 35 seconds into the second half at the Etihad Stadium when he prodded home at the back post from David Silva's low cross.
Chelsea's fourth defeat in five league games left Antonio Conte's reigning English title-holders five points adrift of the Champions League places.
And the Italian's negative approach will come under scrutiny after he again opted to start without a recognised centre-forward by leaving Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud on the bench.
City now need a maximum of four wins from their last nine league games to seal the title and were well worthy of another victory despite not needing to hit some of the heights they have so far this season.
Just as in a 3-0 win at Arsenal on Thursday, Leroy Sane was the inspiration for much of City's best attacking play.
Sane created the hosts' first big chance 21 minutes in when he slalomed past three Chelsea defenders before feeding Bernardo Silva.
However, unlike his opening goal at Arsenal, Silva's shot dipped just too late and dropped onto the roof of the net.
City were fortunate to escape moments later, though, when Oleksandr Zinchenko wiped out Victor Moses with a wild lunge that could easily have drawn a red rather than a yellow card from referee Michael Oliver.
Sane thought he had opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark when he caught Kevin De Bruyne's cross flush, but Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta bailed out his side with an excellent goal-line clearance.
The German winger sparked the danger once more moments later as his pass picked out Bernardo Silva via a dummy from David Silva, but the Portuguese blazed high and wide on his favoured left foot.
So anonymous were Chelsea as an attacking threat that their own fans sarcastically cheered when a rare foray forward earned a corner just before the break.
However, Conte's contain and counter-attack game plan was undone within a minute of the second period when Sergio Aguero's reverse pass picked out David Silva and his namesake Bernardo knocked the ball into the ground and over the helpless Thibaut Courtois for his seventh goal of the season.
Thereafter, City were quite content to keep possession as Chelsea still refused to abandon their cautious approach.
Conte eventually introduced Giroud with 12 minutes remaining. By then it was nearly too late as Sane again escaped the clutches of Victor Moses but his low teasing cross just evaded Aguero in the middle.
Chelsea's club-record signing Morata had to wait until the final minute to get on, but even then it was top scorer Hazard who was sacrificed and the Belgian cut a frustrated figure as he trudged off in the pouring rain.
The visitors could have snatched an unlikely point in stoppage time only for Marcos Alonso's mishit strike from the edge of the box to dribble wide.
And a jubilant Pep Guardiola celebrated wildly at full-time safe in the knowledge it would now take a monumental collapse to miss out on delivering his first Premier League title.