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Three talking points from the Premier League weekend

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Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham have taken advantage of reduced Premier League fixtures due to police pressure ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral, with the top three blown from the top of the table.

City and Arsenal were well ahead 3-0 away at Wolverhampton and Brentford respectively, while Tottenham thrashed Leicester 6-2 and the Foxes still rooted to the bottom of the standings.

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West Ham are also struggling to live up to the standards they have set in recent seasons as a 1-0 loss to Everton left the Hammers in the bottom three ahead of the international break.

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AFP Sports has been considering three topics for discussion since the Premier League weekend.

Are Arsenal in contention for the title?

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Brentford boss Thomas Frank lauded the Gunners and advised Mikel Arteta’s men to challenge City for the title.

Arsenal have not been champions of England for 18 years and have failed to even reach the top four for the last six seasons.

However, the arrival of Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Fabio Vieira, as well as the return of William Saliba after three loan spells, cemented the progress made by Arteta last season.

On a field where Arsenal lost 2-0 on the first night of last year’s campaign, Saliba withstood the physical presence of Ivan Toni and even scored the opening goal.

Then Jesus and Vieira hit the target, and the guests felt so comfortable that Arteta was even able to lose the debut to 15-year-old Ethan Nwaneri in the final stage.

Dethroning the City team, now endowed with the firepower of Erling Haaland, proved too much of a challenge in 38 games for Arteta’s men.

The Norwegian brought his tally to 14 goals in 10 matches for City as the champions marched to victory at Molineux.

But Arsenal’s improvement should force Spurs, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United to sweat through stiff competition to qualify for the Champions League next season.

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