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Top Football Tweets: Arsenal are in the driving seat

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta’s side have moved eight points clear at the top of the Premier League

London and Manchester were both painted red on derby weekend, Chelsea’s big spending shows no signs of slowing down and Gerard Pique’s spat with ex-partner Shakira got more public.

A win on Sunday sent Arsenal eight points clear at the top of the league. And they did it in Tottenham’s own back yard too.

Manchester United also beat their local rivals on Saturday – thanks partly to some contentious officiating – and in the Women’s Super League, a goal by Sam Kerr blew the title race wide open.

All of that and more is covered in this week’s round-up of the best tweets from the weekend’s football action.

1. Arteta’s young Gunners keep firing

Sunday’s victory was the first time Arsenal have beaten Spurs away in the Premier League since 2014.

At that point, Mikel Arteta was still in the Gunners squad – and the Spanish manager’s faith in youth is paying dividends as a Premier League title win looks increasingly likely.

After the match, former Arsenal player Theo Walcott didn’t waste an opportunity to rub salt in the wound, reminding Spurs fans of an FA Cup game in 2014 when the scoreline was the same.

Meanwhile, in the Women’s Super League, a draw for Arsenal against Chelsea leaves them three points behind Emma Hayes’ leaders with a game in hand.

The WSL title race is wide open, and Arsenal defender Lotte Wubben Moy seems to be savouring the moment.

2. Football shows support for Mead

England’s Beth Mead paid tribute to her mother June on Friday, following her death after “a long and brave battle with ovarian cancer”.

On Sunday, Arsenal’s men’s and women’s teams showed gestures of support for the 27-year-old forward.

Elsewhere, Aston Villa beat Tottenham in the WSL on Sunday and Mead’s former Arsenal team-mate Jordan Nobbs revealed this message of tribute.

3. ‘A shocking decision’

Manchester United made a strong statement by beating Manchester City at Old Trafford on Saturday. It means the Red Devils have now lost just one of their past 19 games in all competitions and are now just a point behind their city rivals.

That win came thanks partially to a controversial equaliser by Bruno Fernandes.

Marcus Rashford, in an offside position, appeared to chase the ball before Fernandes fired home. However, the 25-year-old forward was deemed not to have interfered with play, despite the flag going up.

Micah Richards called it a “shocking” decision.

He wasn’t alone in that view.

4. How far can United go?

Despite Arsenal’s eight-point lead, Gary Neville has made a big call, arguing that they will finish below Manchester United at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, in the WSL, United celebrated a statement win over Liverpool to go second…

… but United forward Alessia Russo is aiming even higher.

5. Rhyme and reason

A loss to bottom-placed Southampton on Saturday dragged Everton further into the relegation mire and leaves manager Frank Lampard fighting for his job.

It threatened to get ugly at Goodison Park, with home fans staging protests against their owners.

But once you hear these banners delivered in the voice of Dr Seuss, as this tweeter suggests, it becomes rather difficult to shake off the thought.

Everton fans hold banners protesting against the club's owners.
Some Everton fans may be excused for not seeing the funny side

6. Chelsea keep splashing the cash

Chelsea are very much going for it in the transfer window. On Sunday, they completed the £89m signing of Ukraine forward Mykhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk.

The Blues obviously rate the 22-year-old because, apart from the fee, they have also committed to an eight-and-a-half-year deal for him.

Mudryk is Chelsea’s fifth signing of the January transfer window. Since a consortium led by American businessman Todd Boehly took control of the club in May 2022, they have spent more than £400m on transfers, but sit 10th in the league.

7. Strong statement

Liverpool once again looked unrecognisable over the weekend compared to the team that have competed for so many years with Manchester City.

They were run ragged by Brighton and have slumped to ninth – 10 points off the top four.

Jurgen Klopp didn’t mince words in his post-match interview.

8. Ings in the right place at the right time

There was a moment of serendipity during Aston Villa’s win over Leeds on Friday, when forward Danny Ings appeared in just the right place, at the right time, in front of the advertising hoardings…

Danny Ings appears in front of wings on advertising hoardings at Villa Park
Can Danny Ings and Aston Villa fly up the league under Unai Emery?

9. Pique v Shakira

Gerard Pique’s ex-partner Shakira dropped a viral ‘diss track‘ last week, in which she called out the former Barcelona defender over their break-up.

Out of Your League was viewed more than 63 million times in just 24 hours, making it the most-watched Latin song in that time period.

In one lyric, Shakira sings about Pique’s new alleged 23-year-old partner, comparing the relationship to swapping “a Ferrari for a [Renault] Twingo”.

Subsequently, over the weekend, the 35-year-old ex-Spain international was seen driving around in a new car.

Is that what one might call ‘owning the joke’, or does it further the embarrassment? You decide.

10. Xavi the manager has arrived

Barcelona legend Xavi claimed his first trophy as manager of the club on Sunday, as the Catalans closed out a comfortable 3-1 win against rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final.

It’s a trophy that Xavi won eight times as a player. And with Barcelona currently three points ahead of Real at the top of La Liga he might well be celebrating again before this season is out.