Arsenal feud played down as Unai Emery rattled by Newcastle coach

Sean McCormick
Arsenal pair Ben White and Oleksandr Zinchenko had to be pulled apart

The Premier League returned in some style last night after the FA Cup break, with hat-tricks, shocks and records being broken on an exhilarating night of action.

Arsenal kept the pressure on in the title race with a big win over Nottingham Forest, while Newcastle ended Aston Villa’s 17 match unbeaten run at home in the Premier League.

Luton Town stunned Brighton and Hove Albion to climb out of the Premier League’s relegation zone at Everton’s expense after they drew at Fulham.

And Crystal Palace twice came from behind against bottom side Sheffield United to give under pressure Roy Hodgson a much needed win.

Here’s five things Dexerto Sports learned from the latest round of action.

Arsenal’s forgotten man stars as duo clash

Emile Smith Rowe returned to the Arsenal starting XI for the first time since October and the former England under-21 international impressed in their 2-1 win at Nottingham Forest.

“I’m really pleased with Emile as well because it’s been a long time since he had an opportunity to start a game. He’s been training really well, really sharp,” manager Mikel Arteta said, describing him as a ‘beautiful footballer to watch’.

But it was the post game feud between team-mates Ben White and Oleksandr Zinchenko that attracted the most headlines.

Arteta played it down as the players ‘pushing each other’ and ‘demanding excellence’ after the Gunners lost their clean sheet late on.

Arsenal may need to retain that edge if they are to mount a meaningful Premier League title challenge.

Newcastle back to electric best as coach rattles Unai Emery

Newcastle have been dreadful away from home this season, while Aston Villa were unbeaten in 17 Premier League home matches ahead of Tuesday’s fixture.

So nobody saw the Magpies emerging from Villa Park with an emphatic 3-1 win which could revitalise their season.

Eddie Howe’s men looked back to their electric best of last season which saw them qualify for the Champions League.

At full-time, Unai Emery snubbed a handshake from Howe’s assistant Jason Tindall, who has become the subject of plenty of memes for his touchline antics, and social media predictably loved it.

Free scoring Luton Town could still shock us all

Luton Town jumped out of the relegation zone with a shock 4-0 win over high flying Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday, with Elijah Adebayo grabbing a hat-trick.

In fact, the Hatters went 2-0 ahead inside two minutes and 17 seconds against Brighton. In Premier League history, only Leicester vs Derby in April 1998 have ever scored twice earlier from the start of a match.

They did it in front of returning captain Tom Lockyer, who was at Kenilworth Road for the first time since suffering a cardiac arrest last month.

The team spirit at Luton is palpable and the goals and results are beginning to follow. Odds on for relegation at the start of the season, Rob Edwards’ men may just defy the odds and achieve Premier League survival.

Jordan Pickford sets Premier League pace despite Everton woes

Everton dropped into the relegation zone as a result, despite picking up a valuable point at Fulham.

Dogged by their 10 point deduction for FFP breaches, Everton would be in 12th place without being penalised.

When you consider that, it perhaps makes it less surprising that Jordan Pickford’s clean sheet in the 0-0 draw at Craven Cottage was his eighth in the Premier League this season – better than any other goalkeeper.

Crystal Palace duo give Roy Hodgson stay of execution

Palace had won just one of their last 12 games heading into Tuesday’s clash with rock bottom Sheffield United. Therefore, defeat against the Blades could have left manager Roy Hodgson scrapping to keep his job.

Twice they fell behind to Chris Wilder’s side but they emerged with a 3-2 victory, thanks largely to the brilliance of star men Michael Olise and Eberechi Eze.

It gave Hodgson a stay of execution for now but Palace may well face a struggle beyond this season to keep Olise and Eze as they continue to attract admiring glances from elsewhere.

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