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Arsenal go top after seeing off struggling Luton

Arsenal 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.

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 half-time 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.

With Liverpool scheduled to host bottom club Sheffield United on Thursday evening, Arsenal’s latest spell at the summit could prove fleeting, while plenty of sterner tests await in the coming weeks.

Injury-plagued Luton were missing Ireland international Chiedozie Ogbene among others, and posed little threat in north London, failing to score for the first time in 19 league outings.

Gunners boss Arteta began the first of eight April fixtures, which include a Champions League quarter-final with Bayern Munich, by making five changes from the dogged Easter Sunday stalemate against Pep Guardiola’s reigning champions.

Reiss Nelson and Emile Smith Rowe were handed rare opportunities to impress as part of the rotation, with Bukayo Saka absent and Declan Rice and Gabriel Jesus among those dropping to the bench.

Luton’s less illustrious list of substitutes contained two goalkeepers and four teenagers, including 16-year-old schoolboy Christian Chigozie.

In the face of relentless Arsenal possession, a resolute Hatters starting XI showing three alterations held out until being undone by costly defensive dithering in the 24th minute.

Smith Rowe dispossessed the dawdling Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu inside the visitors’ half before captain Odegaard exchanged

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