Arsenal drop points against Southampton

Premier League leaders Arsenal surrendered the lead to draw 1-1 at Southampton on Sunday and drop points for the second time this season while Aston Villa trounced Brentford 4-0 in their first match since manager Steven Gerrard was sacked.

Leicester City continued their revival by thrashing Wolverhampton Wanderers 4-0 away to ease the pressure on coach Brendan Rodgers but Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch faced calls to go from his own supporters after a 3-1 home defeat by Fulham.

Granit Xhaka scored a superb early goal for Arsenal, who looked untouchable for large parts of their trip to St Mary’s but Southampton rallied in the second period and Stuart Armstrong netted a deserved second-half equaliser.

The draw meant Arsenal’s four-point lead over second-placed Manchester City from last week was reduced to two points after the champions beat Brighton & Hove Albion 3-1 on Saturday.

Villa parted ways with coach Gerrard on Thursday an hour after their 3-0 defeat by Fulham and gave an emphatic response under caretaker Aaron Danks, taking the lead in the second minute when Leon Bailey hammered home a first-time shot from a well-worked corner.

Striker Danny Ings then scored twice, including a penalty, giving the home side a 3-0 lead after only 14 minutes, while Ollie Watkins added a fourth in the second half to round off a win that lifted Villa to 14th in the standings on 12 points.

Leicester were in a similarly ruthless mood on their trip to Wolves, who sacked Bruno Lage at the start of the month and are still yet to appoint a permanent successor.

Youri Tielemans and Harvey Barnes struck in the first half for Leicester while James Maddison and Jamie Vardy, who scored his first goal of the season, completed the rout in the second half.

Leicester coach Rodgers was under serious pressure after losing seven of his first eight matches of the season but his side have now won three of their last five and moved up to 16th on 11 points.

American Marsch is the latest manager to feel the heat after sections of fans at Elland Road chanted “You’re getting sacked in the morning” during Leeds’ 3-2 defeat by Fulham.

But he insisted he was still the right man to lead the club despite his side sitting 18th in the standings and failing to win in eight matches.

“We are unified here, from the board to the staff and the players. We are hurting, it’s painful,” he said.

“I understand the fans, their ire should be directed at me. But I’m focused on helping this team to get better and improve.”

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