Theo Walcott Moves To Everton

Theo Walcott has joined Everton in a bid to revive his career after 12 years at Premier League rival Arsenal. Everton announced the signing of the 28-year-old winger on Wednesday. Financial details weren’t disclosed but he has reportedly moved for around 20 million pounds ($28 million). Walcott, who scored 108 goals in 396 appearances for Arsenal, hasn’t been a first-choice pick for the past year and made the last of his 47 appearances for England in November 2016. He has yet to start a Premier League game this season.

Walcott is the second high-profile signing by Everton in the January transfer window, after Turkey striker Cenk Tosun, as recently hired manager Sam Allardyce looks to improve his options in attack. Arsenal’s longest-serving player aims to relaunch his faltering career after 12 years at the Emirates. And he says he joined the Toffees to WIN TROPHIES – having lifted just two under Arsene Wenger.

Walcott Has Medical At Everton

Theo Walcott has passed a medical and agreed personal terms with Everton ahead of his proposed move from Arsenal. Walcott was seen entering Everton’s training ground, Finch Farm, on Tuesday afternoon, and has completed and passed a medical ahead of his transfer. Sky Sports News understands the fee for the winger is in the region of £20m with just the final details of the deal left to be finalised. It seems the England international, 28, has played his last game for the Gunners, whom he joined from Southampton 12 years ago. Everton’s offer is expected to fend off rivals for his signature, including Southampton.

Walcott is also enticed by the prospect of Toffees manager Sam Allardyce helping to reignite his career. He has scored 108 goals in 397 appearances for Arsenal but has fallen out of favour with manager Arsene Wenger. If a deal goes through, Arsenal plan to use the funds to reinvest, with concrete interest in Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bordeaux forward Malcolm. They are hoping to sign Manchester United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan in a deal which would involve Alexis Sanchez going the other way. However, it is unlikely Arsenal would recruit all three players, and a source close to Mkhitaryan has told the BBC no agreement is close.

Allardyce has said Walcott would be a “fantastic addition” who would offer “goalscoring threat”. Wenger said he has told Walcott he wants him to stay but added on Friday he has not guaranteed game time to the player, who has 18 months left on his contract. Meanwhile, the Gunners have offered a new deal to England midfielder Jack Wilshere. The offer is worth less than his current deal but is heavily incentivised. The 26-year-old is out of contract at the Emirates at the end of the season.

Bournemouth 2 Arsenal 1

Arsenal’s miserable recent run continued as goals from Callum Wilson and Jordon Ibe saw Bournemouth come from behind to put a further dent in the Gunners’ pursuit of a top-four place. Arsene Wenger’s men are now without a win in five games in all competitions, and five points adrift of fourth place in the Premier League, after Bournemouth extended their unbeaten run to four games to move further away from the bottom three. Defender Hector Bellerin had given the visitors – playing without forward Alexis Sanchez – the lead when he latched on to a defence-splitting Alex Iwobi pass to squeeze the ball past Asmir Begovic. But Wilson took advantage of Petr Cech’s indecision as he got to Ryan Fraser’s low cross before the Arsenal keeper and poked it past him.

The 25-year-old then turned provider, bringing down Lewis Cook’s cross for Ibe to rifle home. Eddie Howe’s side savoured a first ever Premier League victory over Arsenal, at the seventh attempt, the victory moving them up to 13th place and four points away from danger. But for Wenger, who was completing his three-game touchline ban for verbally abusing an official, it was further disappointment as speculation mounts that Sanchez’s departure is imminent. A strong first-half Gunners performance, in which 20-year-old Ainsley Maitland-Niles rattled the crossbar, was undone in less than five calamitous second-half minutes.

AND STILL THAT FUCKING WANKER ARSEHOLE MOTHERFUCKING WANKER is in charge. Ivan Gazidis and Wenger suck Kronke the donkey’s balls on a nightly basis and keep their job! Fuck off!

Coquelin Traded To Valencia

Valencia have completed the signing of French midfielder Francis Coquelin from Arsenal. The La Liga club confirmed the move for the 26-year-old on their official website, with a fee in the region of £12m thought to have been agreed. Coquelin arrived payday loans providers at Valencia in the early hours of Thursday on a private plane and underwent a medical in the morning before putting pen to paper on a contract that is to run until June 2022. A statement read: “Valencia CF have agreed a deal this Thursday with Arsenal regarding the transfer of Francis Coquelin, who will wear the black and white colours of the club during a deal that will run until June 30th 2022, with a buy-out clause of €80 million. “The player will be presented to the media at 17:15CET, at the club’s Media Center at Paterna.”

Coquelin joined Arsenal’s academy at 17 in 2008 and made 105 Premier League appearances for the Gunners. He signed a personal home loans new deal at Arsenal a year ago but Arsene Wenger confirmed on Wednesday evening that the player was leaving in search of first-team football. Coquelin said he is excited by the new challenge that awaits him at Valencia, but admitted it is one he probably should have taken up six months ago. He started four of Arsenal’s Europa League games this season but has made just seven Premier League appearances and only one as a starter. He told a press conference as reported by the Spanish media: “It’s true that there was interest in the summer but in my head I wanted to continue at Arsenal and do well there. It wasn’t to be and now this opportunity has come up.

“I almost regret not having come before. I think it’s an excellent opportunity for me and I’m very grateful. It’s a big challenge, and a new start in my life for me, which I’m very excited about.” The former France Under-21 international, who has yet to make a senior appearance for his country, says he spoke to several of his Arsenal colleagues — including Spain international Santi Cazorla — before committing to a move to La Liga. He said Cazorla “told me it’s an excellent club which I will not regret joining. I respect Cazorla’s opinion a lot, so when he told me this, he convinced me. I trust what he tells me.” Coquelin completed his first training session as a Valencia player on Thursday and could make his debut in Saturday’s game at Deportivo La Coruna.

He is Valencia’s second reinforcement in the winter transfer window following the arrival of Argentina striker Luciano Vietto on loan from Atletico Madrid. Valencia, coached by Marcelino, are third in La Liga, 11 points adrift of league leaders Barcelona.

Chelsea 0 Arsenal 0

The ‘VAR’ was used but this was more a ‘Very Average Response’ as Chelsea and Arsenal played out a goalless stalemate in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final. The Video Assistant Referee was called upon, to help adjudicate on two penalties claims, one for each side, and it was correct that neither was given even if the sight of the official Martin Atkinson pressing his finger to his ear added to the fans’ confused frustration. Instead it was an encounter which also left Arsenal supporters wondering if Alexis Sanchez will be at the club for the second leg, in a fortnight’s time, after he started on the substitutes’ bench and with a January move to Manchester City appearing increasingly likely.

Arsene Wenger later denied that was the case while confirming that Jack Wilshere, his captain for the night, had suffered yet another injury to add to Arsenal’s worrying roll call of absentees. However the midfielder’s apparent ankle strain, received in blocking a shot, should not keep him out too long. It is hoped. Wenger watched the match from the press box – serving the second game of his three-fixture ban – and was, frankly, more entertaining that what happened out on the pitch, at times. It was a close-by study for reporters on the agonies that a manager goes through as he slammed his desk, kicked the seat in front of him and failed to stifle the odd shout over decisions or his players not being in position even if he was 25 yards away.

By the end Arsenal commendably kept Chelsea at bay and there was also a sense that there is too much of a familiarity about these two teams now. This was their fourth meeting of the season, their fourth draw, but this was a far cry from the thrilling 2-2 draw at the Emirates last week. There were chances. But, crucially, both Chelsea and Arsenal are carrying strikers at present who are suffering from a lack of confidence which was evidenced in the opening two minutes when Alvaro Morata was put through by Eden Hazard only to snatch at the chance and prod the ball into the side-netting.

Chelsea struck the post in the first-half, from a Victor Moses shot, although goalkeeper David Ospina will have felt he had it covered, and did so again late on when Cesc Fabregas’s cross was deflected onto the outside of the goal-frame. The first penalty claim came when Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois beat out Iwobi’s powerful shot, after a mistake by Antonio Rudiger who unwisely tried to pass the ball out of his own area to Danny Drinkwater only for it to be intercepted. The rebound fell to Ainsley Maitland-Niles and he attempted to burst past Moses, going down.

Nottingham Forest 4 Arsenal 2

Arsene Wenger was condemned to his first FA Cup third-round exit as managerless Championship side Nottingham Forest stunned holders Arsenal at the City Ground. The hosts took the lead when Eric Lichaj headed in from close range, although the advantage lasted just three minutes as Per Mertesacker followed up after Rob Holding’s header had struck the post. Lichaj reclaimed the lead for a Forest side led by caretaker boss Gary Brazil, the American defender scoring a spectacular dipping volley from the edge of the area a minute before half-time.

Forest pulled further clear in the second half when Ben Brereton sent David Ospina the wrong way from the penalty spot after Holding upended Matty Cash. Danny Welbeck reduced the deficit for Wenger’s much-changed side after Forest goalkeeper Jordan Smith failed to hold a through-ball. But Arsenal’s first FA Cup third-round defeat since January 1996 – in a replay against Sheffield United – was confirmed courtesy of Kieran Dowell’s 85th-minute penalty, before Forest’s Joe Worrall was shown a straight red card in the closing stages for a late tackle. Wenger sent out a side showing nine changes from Wednesday’s thrilling 2-2 draw with Chelsea, the manager clearly with one eye on next week’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against the Blues.

The 68-year-old has fielded weakened sides in cup competitions countless times down the years, but on this occasion he appeared to underestimate his mid-table Championship opponents, who showed great desire en route to a famous upset. For their part, Arsenal’s youthful side produced a disjointed display, with the experience provided by Mertesacker and Welbeck not enough as the visitors saw their hopes of winning this trophy for the fourth time in five years comprehensively ended at the first hurdle.

Arsenal Sign Greek Defender

Arsenal announce first signing of January transfer window as they have announced the signing of Greek defender Konstantinos Mavropanos from PAS Giannina. Mavropanos, who broke into the PAS Giannina side last season, arrives at Arsenal as the club’s first signing of the January transfer window. The 20-year-old is said to have cost the Gunners £2.2m and is expected to leave on loan for the rest of the season. Bundesliga side Werder Bremen are reportedly ready to take the youngster on a six-month loan deal. An Arsenal statement read: “Young Greek defender Konstantinos Mavropanos has signed for us.

The 20 year-old centre-back arrives from PAS Giannina, where he has made 16 Greek Super League appearances since breaking into the first team last season. “We’d like to welcome Konstantinos to the club and wish him well for the future.” The club are yet to disclose where Mavropanos will spend the rest of the campaign, but Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed he will be loaned out. Following last night’s 2-2 draw at the Emirates, Wenger revealed: “He’s not ready to play for us. We’ll give him out on loan.”

Trust that moron Wenger to sign a total unknown defender who is not ready for the top flight football of the EPL and loan him out – WHEN THE SQUAD IS DESPERATELY IN NEED OF SHORING UP IN DEFENSE! This fucking idiot is clueless!

Crystal Palace 2 Arsenal 3

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says he is not worried about losing Alexis Sanchez in January despite the forward scoring twice as the Gunners won at Crystal Palace. After Andros Townsend cancelled out Shkodran Mustafi’s first-half opener, Sanchez struck twice in four minutes. The Chile forward squeezed a clinical strike in at the near post to make it 2-1 before bringing Jack Wilshere’s superb ball from his own half under control and flicking into the net. James Tomkins headed in late on but Sanchez’s double was enough to secure a win that keeps sixth-placed Arsenal level on points with Tottenham, who are fifth, and one point behind fourth-placed Liverpool.

Sanchez’s contract expires at the end of the season and the 29-year-old has been linked with a move to league leaders Manchester City, who failed in their bid to sign him in the summer. After three draws and just one win from their four previous Premier League outings, this was arguably an important game for the Gunners in their bid to remain in the hunt for a top-four finish, especially after wins for rivals Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea in midweek. They started the day with six points fewer than they had at the same stage last season – and Wenger’s side ultimately finished outside the Champions League places – so a positive result and performance was needed to help ease any Arsenal fans’ concerns their campaign was in danger of fizzling out.

For large periods, the performance was certainly there. The visitors often produced some of their best attacking play of the season, particularly in the first half when Palace could not cope with short, intricate passing that time and again opened up the defence. But their inability to finish off the many opportunities they created meant their opponents always had a chance to get back into the game. That proved the case early in the second half when Zaha’s cross caught Arsenal’s defence asleep and Townsend struck. A five-minute spell of Arsenal disarray followed and the Gunners could easily have found themselves falling behind, but Sanchez – so often Arsenal’s saviour – settled the nerves with two moments of quality.

But even with a two-goal cushion Arsenal were never at ease, and Wenger’s concern about his side’s defensive frailties was highlighted by his decision to replace striker Lacazette with Francis Coquelin late on. That was still not enough to prevent Palace from reducing the deficit to one, setting up a tense finale.

Arsenal 3 Liverpool 3

Roberto Firmino’s powerful finish earned Liverpool a draw in an incredible Premier League encounter that had seen Arsenal score three goals in just five second-half minutes. The Gunners had been trailing 2-0 after Philippe Coutinho scored his first headed league goal in England before Mohamed Salah added a second early in the second half with a deflected strike. But Arsenal suddenly came alive as Alexis Sanchez headed in Hector Bellerin’s cross from close range before Granit Xhaka’s thumping strike was too powerful for Simon Mignolet’s weak save. Barely two minutes later Mesut Ozil put Arsenal ahead with a neat clip over Mignolet.

Play swung from one end of the pitch to the other at blistering pace, with both sides looking capable of scoring with every attack. But it was Liverpool who had the final say in one of the most thrilling Premier League encounters in years as Petr Cech could only take the sting out of Firmino’s shot and the ball bounced over the line. The point meant Liverpool held onto fourth place, with Arsenal remaining fifth – a point behind the Reds. This had looked like being a routine win for Liverpool after a dominant first half. They led through Coutinho’s clever header and should have had more but for some uncharacteristically wasteful finishing by Sadio Mane and Salah. However, it was not long until the Premier League’s top scorer had his 15th of the season, and so began an incredible six minutes…

52 mins: Salah races on to Firmino’s superb pass and makes it 2-0 with a deflected monthly loans no credit check finish. Arsenal, who have not had a single shot on target, look beaten.

53 mins: Out of nowhere, Arsenal are back in it. Sanchez is well placed to nod in Bellerin’s cross from close range.

56 mins: What’s going on!? Arsenal are level! Xhaka tries his luck from 25 yards and the ball fizzes through Mignolet’s hand.

58 mins: Goals! Goals! Goals! Arsenal are ahead as Ozil is on to Alexandre Lacazette’s backheel before clipping the ball over Mignolet.

The Gunners were no doubt helped by Liverpool’s poor defensive performance, but Arsene Wenger praised the character of his side to stage such a fightback.

Arsenal 1 West Ham United 0

Manager Arsene Wenger says Arsenal cannot afford further injuries over the busy Christmas period after striker Olivier Giroud suffered a hamstring problem in their Carabao Cup quarter-final win over West Ham. Wenger, who made 11 changes from the weekend triumph over apply for a small loan Newcastle, saw his side struggle to break down the defensively resolute visitors in the first half. But England forward Danny Welbeck broke West Ham’s resistance just before the break, turning in Mathieu Debuchy’s header across goal as the hosts stayed on course for a first League Cup win since 1993.

The Gunners’ night was soured by the loss of Giroud to an injury that could rule him out for three weeks, while Francis Coquelin also limped out of the match late on. With Arsenal embarking on a run of 10 games in 36 days, Wenger admitted the loss of Giroud had come as a blow. West Ham boss David Moyes also named a much-changed side but they failed to click in attack, with the belated introductions of Andy Carroll, Diafra Sakho and Marko Arnautovic unable to undo the home defence. Neither Joe Hart, restored to the West Ham side for the rested Adrian, nor Arsenal’s second-choice goalkeeper David Ospina were forced into much action in what was a disjointed contest.

Moyes’ side had been content to sit back and try to catch Arsenal on the counter during a low-quality first half, but even with the attacking changes they could not muster a single shot on target. Arsenal will face Chelsea in the semi-finals. The Blues host the first leg in the week commencing 8 January. The second leg is two weeks later. Manchester City and Bristol City meet in the other semi.

Arsenal 1 Newcastle 0

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez said his side “need something in January” after they dropped into the relegation zone with a fourth straight defeat at Arsenal. The Magpies have lost eight of their last nine Premier League games, gaining just one point from a 2-2 draw at West Brom. They rose to as high as fourth earlier in the season, and were in sixth place after beating Crystal Palace on 21 October, their last win to date. “We’ll try to bring in some additions that will bring a lift to the team,” said Benitez. Mesut Ozil’s brilliant volleyed goal in the first half was enough for Arsene Wenger’s side, who dominated until Newcastle rallied late in the game.

Newcastle are reported to be the subject of a £300m takeover bid by PCP Partners, with club owner Mike Ashley said to have recently met with PCP’s owner Amanda Staveley. Ainsley Maitland-Niles hit the side-netting for Arsenal before the break, but Newcastle only came to life in the latter stages, with Ayoze Perez failing to take advantage of two rare chances when he put a shot and then a header over the bar. The result puts Arsenal into fourth place while Newcastle have now claimed just one point from the last 27. Jack Wilshere came closest to giving Arsenal breathing space late on when he saw his side-footed shot saved by the recalled Rob Elliot in the Newcastle goal.

It was Newcastle’s 10th straight Premier League defeat to Arsenal and they are now without a league win since 21 October when they beat Crystal Palace 1-0. Seventh in the table at kick-off and without a win in three matches is not the sort of run-in to the busy festive schedule that Arsenal are accustomed to. And hamstring and groin injuries to Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott respectively also gave Wenger much to ponder in the lead-up to the meeting with Newcastle. They looked slick for much of the afternoon and threatened around the government loans for bad credit edge of Newcastle’s area on a regular basis, but the lack of the killer instinct in front of goal led to some edginess as the match wore on.

Ozil’s moment of magic was the one real ray of light on a grey afternoon, the Germany international showing impeccable technique and balance to strike the ball beyond a helpless Elliot after Newcastle failed to clear. With Liverpool the next league visitors to the Emirates, Arsenal will be thankful for the split second of brilliance that helped to end a worrying dip in results.

Southampton 1 Arsenal 1

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said his side’s slow start in games is becoming a problem, after they scraped a draw against Southampton. Substitute Olivier Giroud glanced in a superb late header to salvage a point after the Gunners had trailed since the third minute. Charlie Austin clipped home an early opener for the home side with the away defence mere onlookers. The Southampton striker drilled a stinging shot into Petr Cech’s gloves shortly after, then hit the post from an offside position. A sharp save from Aaron Ramsey apart, Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster had little to do as the visitors struggled to carve out clear-cut chances before Giroud climbed above Virgil van Dijk to steer home Alexis Sanchez’s cross and make Arsenal’s possession finally pay.

Southampton were left to rue several wasted chances on the counter attack, with Ryan Bertrand missing a fine opportunity and Oriol Romeu’s long-range effort glancing off the bar in the second half. A draw briefly moved Arsenal level on points with fourth-placed Liverpool, but the Reds edged back a point clear with a 1-1 draw against Everton. Southampton broke into the top half of the table, until Everton’s point meant the Saints slipped back to 11th. Wenger made one change from the line-up that started with so many errors against Manchester United, but Per Mertesacker’s inclusion did not remove that flaw at St Mary’s. The German centre-back gave possession away cheaply and was made to pay as Dusan Tadic’s cute reverse ball picked out Austin, who clinically found the net. It could easily have been worse for the Gunners in the opening 10 minutes too, as the visiting defence lacked any cohesion or organisation collectively.

Individually, Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal failed to track runners or show the commitment of the Saints attackers. Just as against United, Arsenal spent plenty of time on the ball in the second half, with 70% possession after the break – but moments of real concern for the Southampton defence were rare before Giroud’s equaliser. The Frenchman’s celebration, pointing to the name on the back of his shirt, might have been a reminder to his manager that he is available from the start. He has scored four league goals in 13 substitute appearances during this campaign yet is still to make his first start.

Arsenal 6 Bate Borisov 0

Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott hope they have given manager Arsene Wenger a “selection headache” by impressing during Arsenal’s comfortable Europa League win over Bate Borisov. Neither midfielder Wilshere nor forward Walcott have started a Premier League game for the Gunners this season, but both found the net as Arsenal finished their Group H campaign with a comprehensive victory.

The Gunners, who had already secured top spot, went ahead with an angled finish from defender Mathieu Debuchy. Walcott added Arsenal’s second with a close-range finish and Wilshere then scored a fine goal after he cut on to his left foot inside the penalty area and arrowed the ball into the net. Bate defender Denis Polyakov put Walcott’s low cross into his own net after half-time before striker Olivier Giroud converted from the penalty spot following Nemanja Milunovic’s trip on Walcott. Mohamed Elneny added a sixth with a curling effort after being set up by Wilshere.

In the wake of Arsenal’s 3-1 home defeat by Manchester United, this fixture represented a chance for some of their fringe players to impress. Wenger made 11 changes from the side that lost to United in the Premier League, although the starting line-up still boasted plenty of experience. Bate had a chance of qualifying for the knockout phase but did not present much of a test for the Gunners, who did not have to exert themselves to secure a routine victory. In truth, the margin of victory probably could have been even greater given Arsenal managed 22 shots on goal.

Arsenal 1 Manchester United 3

Manchester United ruthlessly punished defensive errors to become the first side to win a league game at Arsenal since January in one of the matches of the season so far. Jose Mourinho’s side were reduced to 10 men late on when Paul Pogba was sent off for a dangerous tackle and they were aided by a stunning goalkeeping display by David de Gea throughout. But they did telling damage early on when Antonio Valencia pounced on a loose Laurent Koscielny pass to drill the opener, before Jesse Lingard side-footed a second after robbing Shkodran Mustafi to link smartly with Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial.

The strikes meant United had scored as many goals in 11 minutes as they had in eight away fixtures against the Premier League’s so-called ‘big six’ clubs. An end-to-end first-half, which delivered 20 shots on goal, saw Arsenal hit the woodwork through Alexandre Lacazette and Granit Xhaka during a frenetic goalmouth scramble, before De Gea denied Hector Bellerin, Sead Kolasinac, and spectacularly prevented a Lukaku own goal. The Spaniard could do nothing about Lacazette’s simple finish on 48 minutes but after Lingard had hit the post in a breathless start to the second half, De Gea produced an unbelievable double save from Lacazette and Alexis Sanchez.

His heroics maintained the advantage during an opening 15 minutes to the second half which saw United have just 26% of possession, but Lingard was on hand to tap in a third on 63 minutes after good work by Pogba. Pogba was dismissed when he mistimed a tackle to effectively stamp on the back of Bellerin’s leg, and the Frenchman will now miss the Manchester derby next Sunday. But his moment of woe felt merely a footnote in a riveting encounter which moved second-placed United to within five points of their city rivals.

Arsenal 5 Huddersfield 0

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger praised “fighter” Mesut Ozil after the German inspired the Gunners to a dominant win against Huddersfield. Ozil scored one goal and provided two assists as Arsenal made it seven wins from seven Premier League home games this season. The midfielder, who has been linked with a move away in January, is showing a different side to his game, according to Wenger. Alexandre Lacazette gave Arsenal an early lead with a confident finish after being put through by Aaron Ramsey’s clever flick. The visitors went close to an equaliser when Petr Cech pushed Steve Mounie’s shot onto the bar not long after the restart.

But Arsenal scored three goals in four minutes to end Huddersfield’s hopes of getting a surprise result. Ozil played a one-two with Alexis Sanchez before the former teed up substitute Olivier Giroud to convert from six yards out. Soon after, Sanchez made it three with a volley from Ozil’s lofted pass. Ozil capped a superb individual display with a goal, placing the ball beyond Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl after being put through by Ramsey, before Giroud’s close-range finish in the final minutes completed the rout. Arsenal, who remain fourth, host second-placed Manchester United on Saturday, while Huddersfield drop to 14th. The Gunners had won their 11 previous Premier League games on home soil prior to the visit of Huddersfield, a run stretching back to April.

Against a side that had not won away from home since the opening game of the season, win number 12 for the hosts always seemed likely, a view that was only enhanced when Lacazette struck after just three minutes. The early goal hinted at a long night for the visitors, but Arsenal – initially – failed to build on it. They laboured for more than an hour against a disciplined Terriers side, misplacing passes in defence and leaving gaps that more clinical sides than Huddersfield would have exploited. But when the second goal arrived on 68 minutes, the Huddersfield defence wilted and, with Giroud also hitting the post and Sanchez shooting over from close range, the win could have been even more comprehensive.

The victory for Arsenal, who have now scored 20 goals in seven home games and conceded just four, sets them up nicely for the visit of Jose Mourinho’s side this weekend. Should the Gunners win that game then they will move to within a point of United.

Burnley 0 Arsenal 1

Burnley manager Sean Dyche was left “raging” after Alexis Sanchez scored an injury-time penalty to give Arsenal victory at Turf Moor. It was a repeat of last season’s meeting between the sides at Emirates Stadium, when Chilean Sanchez slotted in a 98th-minute spot-kick to win the game. It was also the third consecutive time that the Gunners had grabbed a winner in stoppage time against the Clarets. The win moves Arsenal up to fourth in the table ahead of north London rivals Tottenham, who drew 1-1 against West Brom on Saturday. Burnley remain seventh. The result was harsh on Dyche’s side, who defended valiantly and looked like grabbing at least a point, before referee Lee Mason pointed to the spot after defender James Tarkowski pushed Aaron Ramsey.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger said: “From outside it looked 100% a penalty. I don’t know why he pushed him in the back. I would like to see it again.” Arsenal’s Petr Cech was the busier of the two goalkeepers, making two crucial saves to deny Johann Berg Gudmundsson, brilliantly tipping the Iceland international’s drive onto the post and keeping out a low, rasping shot. Robbie Brady also had a free-kick towards the top corner pushed away by Cech. Before the game, Arsenal had earned just four points away from home this season and their poor form on their travels looked to be continuing before Sanchez’s intervention.

Wenger’s side were missing the guile of playmaker Mesut Ozil, who was out through illness, and had just one other shot on target in the match, Lacazette’s low drive which was easily dealt with by keeper Nick Pope. Nacho Monreal drilled a fizzing shot from 25 yards narrowly wide and substitute Jack Wilshere’s deflected effort wrong-footed Pope but sailed wide of goal. Arsenal have now won all six league games in which both Sanchez and Lacazette have started, moving into a Champions League spot behind the two Manchester sides and defending champions Chelsea. Arsenal extended their unbeaten run to 10 top-flight matches against Burnley (won seven, drawn three).

Koln FC 1 Arsenal 0

Manager Arsene Wenger said Arsenal “had got the job done” by advancing to the Europa League knockout stage as Group H winners despite losing at Cologne. A penalty by Sehrou Guirassy, after Mathieu Debuchy was harshly adjudged to have fouled the French striker, earned Cologne only their second win in 17 Bundesliga and Europa League games this season. The closest the Gunners came to scoring was when Francis Coquelin hit the post when the game was goalless in the first half. With one match remaining, Arsenal have 10 points from five games, four ahead of Cologne and Red Star Belgrade, who were held to a goalless draw by Bate Borisov.

A second successive Europa League win for Cologne means they could qualify for the knockout stage after losing their first three matches. Of the five defeats Wenger’s side have suffered this season, this was the least damaging after qualifying for the last-32 stage with two games to spare. Yet a much-changed Gunners line-up failed to build on the afterglow of victory over neighbours Tottenham on Saturday as they were beaten again in Germany. They were hammered 5-1 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League in February 2017 and November 2015, as well as losing 2-0 to Borussia Dortmund in September 2014.

Wenger changed the entire starting XI from the north London derby, forward Danny Welbeck returning from a groin injury after missing the past seven games. Arsenal’s side, which featured Olivier Giroud and Jack Wilshere, had only 16 Premier League starts between them this season, and it was a lacklustre performance against the Bundesliga’s bottom club. Coquelin twice went close to scoring his first goal for four years, the French midfielder fizzing a shot narrowly wide from 20 yards before another effort bounced off the foot of the Cologne post. Welbeck lasted 45 minutes before he was replaced at the start of the second half by Alex Iwobi.

One of the few positives for Arsenal was another eye-catching display by Reiss Nelson. The 17-year-old has impressed in the Europa League and Carabao Cup this season, and again caught the eye after replacing Calum Chambers midway through the second half. In one sublime move, Nelson danced his way around three defenders before forcing a save from Timo Horn, who also stopped a long distance effort by Wilshere in the closing stages.

Arsenal 2 Tottenham Hotspurs 0

Arsenal closed to within a point of Tottenham and maintained their arch-rivals’ miserable record at Emirates Stadium with a comfortable north London derby victory. The pressure was on Arsene Wenger and the Gunners as they trailed Spurs in the Premier League table – but they responded in style and were superior in all areas of the pitch to win with plenty to spare. Shkodran Mustafi headed a free-kick powerfully past Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris in the 36th minute after referee Mike Dean had contentiously penalised Davinson Sanchez for a challenge on Alexis Sanchez. The German defender also looked to have been offside.

Arsenal’s domination was underlined five minutes later when Sanchez finished emphatically at the near post, effectively securing the Gunners’ first league win over Spurs since 2014. Tottenham – who have only once in 12 league visits to the Emirates – suffered with Harry Kane, looking well short of match fitness after missing England’s friendlies against Germany and Brazil with a hamstring injury, rarely threatening, although Arsenal keeper Petr Cech saved athletically from Eric Dier’s late header.

Wenger has mysteriously often decided against using Ozil, Lacazette and Sanchez as a potent three-pronged attack this season. This was only the third time he has used the three players together and the combination’s potential and threat was obvious as Spurs were outplayed for most of this north London derby. It also begged the question why it was not used – with £52m Lacazette the most obvious victim of Wenger’s selection policy – in the 4-0 thrashing at Liverpool and the 3-1 loss at Manchester City earlier this season. The France striker is already a popular figure among Arsenal fans, as proved by the fierce jeering when he was replace by Francis Coquelin with 17 minutes left, while Sanchez and Ozil have long been providing the attacking class for the Gunners.