LONDON: Arsene Wenger failed to collect the one birthday present he really coveted as his Arsenal side missed a golden opportunity to open daylight on their rivals at the top of the Premier League on Saturday.
Wenger had hoped to celebrate his 67th birthday with an eighth successive win in all competitions but the Gunners were frustrated in a goalless home draw with Middlesbrough.
Tottenham Hotspur also spurned the chance to go top as they were held 0-0 by Bournemouth while maintaining their season’s unbeaten Premier League record at Dean Court.
The draws for the north London rivals meant Arsenal went top on 20 points, one clear of third-placed Tottenham and Manchester City, who started the day at the summit and could return to it on Sunday when they host Southampton.
Liverpool also have the chance to go top when they entertain West Bromwich Albion in Saturday’s late game.
Champions Leicester City will be relieved to have now won more Premier League than Champions League points after translating their European form to their faltering domestic campaign with a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace.
Ahmed Musa, Leicester’s 16 million-pound ($19.6 million)summer signing, scored his first goal for the club and Shinji Okazaki and Christian Fuchs struck after the break to stretch Leicester’s unbeaten home run to 20 games.
Everton’s push towards the top of the table was halted rudely at Turf Moor where a 90th-minute winner from Scott Arfield gave Burnley a 2-1 win.
Winston Reid struck in the fourth minute of stoppage time to earn West Ham United all three points with a 1-0 victory over bottom club Sunderland, who are mired on just two points.
They are three adrift of Swansea City, who came close to winning but ended up drawing 0-0 with Watford in manager Bob Bradley’s first game in charge at the Liberty Stadium.