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Gunners go top of EPL, City's Foden also on fire

Arsenal have launched a pivotal month in their pursuit of silverware by returning to the top of the Premier League table thanks to a routine 2-0 win over relegation-threatened Luton Town.

Martin Odegaard's 10th goal of the season set the Gunners on course for a straightforward evening at Emirates Stadium.

Daiki Hashioka's own goal completed the job before halftime on Thursday (AEDT) as Mikel Arteta's men backed up a battling goalless draw with title rivals Manchester City to maintain their unbeaten top-flight record in 2024.

"We managed to rotate and freshen the team up a bit. Those who came in did really, really well," Arteta said having made five changes to the starting line-up for the visit of the Hatters.

"We scored two really good goals in the first half, in the second half, because of the way they play, we didn't get the right rhythm."

Pep Guardiola's City remain third on 67 points, one point behind Arsenal and trailing Liverpool on goal difference, after beating Champions League-chasing Aston Villa 4-1 thanks to a brilliant Pohil Foden hat-trick.

After Jhon Duran cancelled out Rodri's opener, the 23-year-old put City back in front with a free-kick late in the first half before two excellent strikes settled it just after the hour mark, taking Foden to 21 City goals for the season.

Phil Foden.
Manchester City's Phil Foden lashes home one of his three goals against Aston Villa. (AP PHOTO)

"Obviously I'm just loving my football at the moment," Foden told TNT Sports.

"I'm just playing with a smile on my face and trying to help the team because I know I'm capable of scoring goals and I know today I showed that, so I'm delighted."

Brighton & Hove Albion could not turn a lucrative week off the pitch into a profitable one on it after they were held to a goalless draw at Brentford.

The Seagulls announced an eye-watering annual profit of £122.8 million ($A236.6 million), a record for an English club, following the most successful season in their history.

Injury-hit Luton posed little threat in north London and remain 18th, three points from safety during a winless run which now stands at 10 games.

Ross Barkley's long-range free-kick, which was comfortably collected by David Raya, was their only attempt on target in a one-sided opening period.

In the face of relentless Arsenal possession, Luton held out until the 24th minute.

Emile Smith Rowe dispossessed the dawdling Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu inside the visitors' half before captain Odegaard exchanged passes with Kai Havertz to slam a first-time left-footed finish beyond Thomas Kaminski.

The visitors dug in and looked set to go into the interval only a goal behind after goalkeeper Kaminski saved well from Smith Rowe and Havertz.

But Rob Edwards' side suffered a major setback just a minute before the break when Japan defender Hashioka inadvertently turned Smith Rowe's low centre into his own net under pressure from Reiss Nelson.

With AP.