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Declan Rice proves Arsenal saviour in Luton thriller as Raya vs Ramsdale debate reignited

Declan Rice proves Arsenal saviour in Luton thriller as Raya vs Ramsdale debate reignited

This always had the potential to be a tricky trip for Arsenal, but Mikel Arteta surely can’t have predicted it playing out like this.

In the end, the Gunners left Kenilworth Road with all three points after a truly bonkers 4-3 win.

It was a night of chaos and errors, with poor defending and individual mistakes costing Arsenal for all three of the goals they conceded.

Declan Rice was their saviour at the end, continuing his remarkable start to life at Arsenal with a winner in the final minute of the match.

It sparked wild scenes on the touchline, with Arteta’s staff charging to the away end and fans engulfing Rice in a sea of bodies.


The emotion was understandable given that this win takes the Gunners five points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Arteta will be a relieved man as for so long this looked like it would be a night of frustration for Arsenal.

Luton, to their credit, made this a real battle and their desolation at the end was in stark contrast to the joy on the Gunners bench.

Arsenal have been the best defence in the Premier League this season, but this was an off-night and a throwback to their early days under Arteta.

Luton’s first goal came with their opening shot of the game and was the result of sloppy marking from a corner.

Gabriel Osho lost his marker, Gabriel Martinelli, far too easily and the defender was able to head home relatively unchallenged.

The worst was still to come for Arsenal, who had got themselves back in front before the break through Gabriel Jesus.

That hard work was undone, however, as twice David Raya was guilty of errors. First, he came for a corner and got nothing but thin air as Elijah Adebayo beat him to the ball.

Eight minutes later, the Spaniard was undone again as he allowed Ross Barkley’s shot to squirm under him.

Unsurprisingly the television cameras swiftly panned to Aaron Ramsdale sat on the bench and, just when the debate over whether he or Raya should start seemed to be dying down, it could easily rear its head again.

Raya looked solid during Arsenal’s win over Wolves at the weekend, but he was shaky here on what was so nearly a chastening night for the Gunners.

Rice came to the rescue, but on another night this could have been so different.