Leicester City 0 Arsenal 2

A Christian Fuchs own goal and Eddie Nketiah’s poked finish gave Arsenal victory over Leicester City and set up a potential Carabao Cup fourth-round tie against Liverpool.There was little Fuchs could do as Nicolas Pepe’s angled effort hit him after coming off the post and went in. Nketiah settled the tie in the closing stages, stabbing in after fine work from substitute Hector Bellerin. Earlier, City’s James Maddison hit the post on his first start of 2020-21. Arsenal will play Liverpool in round four if the Premier League champions beat League One Lincoln on Thursday.

Wednesday’s result continued the Gunners’ impressive start to the season, during which they have won the Community Shield on penalties and secured back-to-back Premier League victories. Manager Mikel Arteta made seven changes but still fielded a strong side, although there was again no place for Mesut Ozil. The XI did include previously maligned club record signing Pepe, who was solid without being spectacular on Wednesday, but played a key role in the opening goal with a good run and persistence at the end of it. Bukayo Saka again demonstrated his readiness for regular first-team action, while Nketiah remains a predatory finisher. He almost scored with a chip that Wes Morgan headed off the line, before he did settle the tie by prodding the ball past Danny Ward from close range.

Arguably just as interesting as those included by Arteta were those he left out of his side, including midfielders Ozil and Matteo Guendouzi. Ozil has not been involved at all since the 2019-20 season resumed in June, having previously started every Premier League game under Arteta before lockdown.

Reunnarsson Joins Arsenal

Goalkeeper Alex Runarsson has joined us on a four-year contract from French club Dijon. The 25-year-old Iceland international (full name Runar Alex Runarsson) joined the Ligue 1 club in July 2018 and made 13 appearances for them in all competitions last season. Alex started his career with KR Reykjavik in his home country. He went on to join FC Nordsjaelland in Denmark, where he made 62 appearances during a three-year spell, before moving to Dijon. Alex will wear the number 13 shirt.

Technical director Edu said: “We’re very pleased to welcome Alex to our squad. We have been monitoring him for some time and from the analysis, he has strong attributes that we look for in a goalkeeper and as a person.” Mikel Arteta added: “We want to create healthy competition for places and we look forward to seeing Alex bring further depth to the goalkeeping position.” Runarsson will replace Emiliano Martinez as the no.2 to Bernd Leno after the Argentine international sealed a £20m transfer to Aston Villa earlier in the week.

His father Rúnar Kristinsson, a former midfielder, is the only Icelander to have more than 100 caps. Having previously represented his country at youth level, Rúnar was called up to the Iceland senior squad for the 2017 China Cup. He earned his first senior cap in a friendly against the Czech Republic on 9 November 2017. n May 2018, he was named in Iceland’s 23-man squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Arsenal 2 West Ham 1

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta praised his side’s mental strength after Eddie Nketiah’s late winner maintained their 100% start to the season against West Ham.The result condemned the Hammers to a second successive defeat – the third time in the past four seasons they have lost their first two matches. “What I like is the approach the boys had in the last 25 minutes where I could see they were a bit down and then they lift it,” Arteta said. “Probably a few months ago we would have drawn or lost that game and today we win it. In the end you have to find a way because there will be games like this through the season.” The Gunners largely controlled the opening stages of the contest and deservedly went ahead when Alexandre Lacazette headed in from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s chipped cross.

However, the Hammers, who always looked dangerous on the counter-attack, levelled just before the interval when Michail Antonio bundled in Ryan Fredericks’ cross at the end of a sweeping move. While Arsenal continued to enjoy more of the ball after the break, David Moyes’ side created the better openings in front of goal with Antonio heading against the bar and seeing a scuffed close-range effort saved by Bernd Leno. But, Nketiah’s late tap-in from a Dani Ceballos pass ensured Arsenal continued their fine home record against the Hammers, having won 11 of the last 12 meetings at Emirates Stadium.

While there have been considerable signs of improvement at Arsenal since Arteta took charge last December this performance appeared to fizzle out after Lacazette had registered his 50th goal in all competitions for the club. The crispness of passing, swift attacking and solidity at the back were all noticeably missing and it allowed West Ham a route back into the encounter. However, the pleasing aspect for the Spaniard will be that his team were still capable of eking out a victory from an under-par showing. Nervy at the back throughout, Arteta’s side survived several close scares and struggled to break free of their lethargy despite the introduction of £72m winger Nicolas Pepe. It took another substitute, Nketiah, to make the difference, with his tap-in coming eight minutes after he had come on to replace Lacazette.

Martinez Joins Aston Villa

Emiliano Martinez became Aston Villa’s third signing of the summer transfer window on Wednesday. And the goalkeeper was quick to get to know his new surroundings at Bodymoor Heath as he posed for photos around the training ground.

The goalkeeper arrives at Villa Park on a four-year deal with a stellar reputation following an outstanding end to the 2019/20 campaign with the Gunners. With trophies in the cabinet, Martinez felt like it was the right time to start a new journey.

“When I won the FA Cup and the Community Shield, I told my family that it’s time to have a new challenge,” he told VillaTV. “He [Dean Smith] explained why he wants me here, the process that he wants from the club and also the playing style, and that’s why I decided to come here. “Aston Villa gave the opportunity, I trust the process, the playing style and I truly believe that we can have a good season. “I always decide with my family, I ask for opinions and they all said good things about Villa. “I always follow my instincts, and I had no doubts about coming here.” Martinez, who had two years remaining on his Arsenal contract, impressed when he stepped in for Bernd Leno when the German was injured following June’s Premier League restart, but was absent from the matchday squad for the opening weekend win at Fulham.

The Argentine kept nine clean sheets in 23 games last season and helped Arsenal win the FA Cup, and also started in their Community Shield triumph over Liverpool at the start of 2020/21. The 28-year-old posted an emotional farewell message to Arsenal supporters on Tuesday, in which he outlined his frustration at a lack of playing time during the majority of his time at the club. In a post on Instagram, Martinez, who joined Arsenal from Independiente in 2010, said: “I could not be happier to leave through the front door, with the Arsenal fanbase supporting me.

“I’m very grateful for the 11 years at Arsenal, even if it was hard for me and I suffered through my time. “Season after season I was trying come back to the club I love to try and have my chance. “I’m proud to have overcome my frustration and show the Arsenal fanbase what it missed ten years ago. I knew I could do the same thing years before. “It was hard, but I knew there was light at the end of the tunnel.”

Aubameyang Signs New 3 Year Arsenal Deal

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has signed a new three-year contract with Arsenal. Having put pen to paper on his new deal, our 31-year-old captain wanted to break the news on Arsenal.com and on social media by telling fans LIVE that he was staying, with the ambition to lift more trophies and leave a long-term legacy. The Gabon international signed from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018 and has since made 111 appearances and scored 72 goals. In his first full season with us, Auba jointly won the Premier League Golden Boot with 22 goals.

Last season he netted 29 goals in 44 appearances in all competitions, scoring twice in the Heads Up FA Cup final victory against Chelsea. He kicked off this season in similar fashion, scoring against Liverpool in the Community Shield as we lifted the trophy on penalties.

“Signing for this special club was never in doubt,” Auba said. “It’s thanks to our fans, my team-mates, my family and everybody at this club that I feel like I belong here. I believe in Arsenal. We can achieve big things together. We have something exciting here and I believe the best is to come for Arsenal.”

Mikel Arteta added: “It was important for Pierre-Emerick to stay with us.  He’s a superb player with an incredible mentality. Being the player to have taken the least amount of time to reach 50 goals with this club tells you everything you need to know about him and his way of working. He’s an important leader for the team and a big part of what we’re building.  He wants to be up there with the best players in the world and leave his mark. He can achieve that here.”

Technical director Edu said: “It’s clear Auba loves the club and everything we stand for on and off the pitch. He’s obviously a very important part of the team so we’re all delighted he has committed his future to us. It’s a big boost for everyone – fans, team-mates and staff.”

Fulham 0 Arsenal 3

Debutants Gabriel and Willian impressed as Arsenal blew away promoted Fulham in the opening game of the Premier League season. Former Chelsea winger Willian had a hand in all three goals and Gabriel – a £23m signing from Lille – scored in his first game in English football. Arsenal were highly impressive, while Fulham caused themselves too many problems at the back. Both sides have played and won at Wembley – twice for the Gunners – in the 48 days since the last Premier League season finished. Alexandre Lacazette scored the opener from close range after Willian’s effort was saved. Centre-back Gabriel then scored from Willian’s corner with his shoulder. Willian, who also hit a post from a free-kick, picked out Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng with a perfect cross-field ball and the captain curled home Arsenal’s third.

Arteta admitted he was surprised at how well Gabriel played on his first game since March when Ligue 1 was curtailed. “He hadn’t played any football for six months so to come and play a game in the Premier League after training with the team for three or four days is a big task,” he told BBC Sport. “The boy showed a lot of character and what he can do. He can still improve a lot but he had a really good game. “Willian knows the league, the country and is very settled here so I knew his performance would settle straight away.” Fulham created few chances, with last season’s top scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic coming on with only 27 minutes to go and forcing Bernd Leno into a save.

There were signs of improvement under boss Mikel Arteta last season, with Arsenal showing a new defensive solidity and looking confident going forward. They won the FA Cup final and Community Shield – against Chelsea and Liverpool respectively – at either end of August. Despite a pre-season break of less than a month, they are in good shape if this performance is anything to go back. Fulham had little answer to Arteta’s tactics. Ainsley Maitland-Niles was nominally a left wing-back but spent a lot of his game in midfield, with central defender Kieran Tierney playing almost as a left-back. Mohamed Elneny and Granit Xhaka, whose Arsenal careers looked over last season, had solid performances in midfield. Leno started in goal, with Emiliano Martinez, who ended last season as number one with Leno injured, set to join Aston Villa for £20m.

For the fourth season in a row it took less than 10 minutes for the opening goal of a Premier League season, with Lacazette becoming the first player to score the first goal in two different seasons. He made no mistake from close range after Marek Rodak parried Willian’s shot. The dominant Gunners should have been further clear at half-time, with Willian striking the base of a post with a fine free-kick. The second half followed the same pattern and Arsenal made the game safe. Gabriel became the third Arsenal defender to score on his Premier League debut as he turned home Willian’s corner. He tried to head the ball but it went in via his shoulder. The new laws this season say if the ball hits the area where a T-shirt sleeve would be, that it is not handball. Aubameyang scored the pick of the goals with a trademark curling effort from another Willian pass. Willian is the first player to assist two goals on his Premier League debut for Arsenal since Ray Parlour in August 1992 against Liverpool.

Dani On Loan With Arsenal For Another Year

Dani Ceballos has rejoined Arsenal on a season long loan from Real Madrid. The Spanish international become an important component of Mikel Arteta’s side last season, and played a key part in our FA Cup success. He formed a solid partnership with Granit Xhaka, catching the eye with his energetic, committed performances, which also brought some small measure of creativity to our midfield. It was quite a turnaround from a few months previously when he gave serious consideration to cutting short his loan spell, but having been challenged by the Arsenal boss, he responded by ‘training like an animal‘, winning over his compatriot to become a regular starter.

Arteta was keen to bring him back, saying, “Dani knows really well what I think about him. He was pretty clear with me as well that his intention was to remain with us. Last season, Ceballos made 37 appearances in all competitions, despite missing months due to a serious hamstring injury, scoring twice and making two assists. He will be looking to improve on those stats during the new campaign. It’s good news for the Arsenal midfield, which is still an area of uncertainty, but securing the 24 year old – who is desperate to play for Spain in next summer’s European Championships – is a positive development.

It’s believed there are no obligatory purchase clauses attached to the deal. Ceballos becomes Arsenal’s third summer signing, with the arrivals of Willian and Gabriel Magalhaes boosting the Gunners’ squad ahead of Arteta’s first full season in charge. Last season Ceballos wore the number eight shirt at the Emirates, and the Gunners have confirmed that he will once against wear the same jersey.

PSG Interest In Bellerin

Arsenal may agree to sell Hector Bellerin to Paris Saint-Germain to help fund summer moves for Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar. Gunners chiefs know they have few saleable assets to cash-in on this summer, but they also need some additional cash to bring in manager Mikel Arteta’s top targets – including Atletico Madrid midfielder Partey. Bellerin is one of those Arsenal are considering cashing in on to help strengthen the team, following an approach from Paris Saint-Germain. PSG have made their interest in Bellerin known and the clubs have opened talks about a possible move in the coming weeks.

Bellerin has been linked with an Arsenal exit before, and is also being eyed by Juventus and Bayern Munich, but the French champions have made contact and want him as a replacement for right-back Thomas Meunier, who joined Borussia Dortmund in a free transfer earlier this summer. There has been regular contact between the two clubs over the last week with the French giants looking to pay around £30million. Arsenal would prefer Bellerin to stay – he is under contract until 2023 – but will not stand in his way if the 25-year-old full-back wants to move to Paris and the club receive the right fee.

And that will aid Arteta in his chase of Atletico Madrid’s Partey – who has a £44.5million release clause – while the Premier League club has also held talks over a possible move for Lyon playmaker Aouar. If Bellerin does leave, Arsenal will also scrap their plans to sell Ainsley Maitland-Niles this summer. The versatile 23-year-old is a target for Wolves, who reportedly had an opening bid of £15m rejected by Arsenal and are expected to come back with an improved offer.

Gabriel Joins Arsenal | New #6

Central defender Gabriel has joined us from French side Lille on a long-term contract. The 22-year-old Brazilian has completed his move and will wear our number 6 shirt. Gabriel, whose full name is Gabriel dos Santos Magalhaes, started his career in Brazil with Avai FC, before joining Lille in January 2017. During his time in France, Gabriel spent time on loan with Troyes in France and latterly in Croatia with Dinamo Zagreb. On returning from his loan spells, the Sao Paulo-born defender became a regular in the Lille side, helping them to a fourth-placed Ligue 1 finish last season and starting all six of their Champions League group-stage matches.

Technical director Edu said: “We are delighted to have signed Gabriel. He is a player we have been studying for a while and he was in demand from many clubs, so we are proud to have agreed and completed this transfer with Lille and the player. Gabriel is a player of high quality and Mikel and his coaches are looking forward to integrating him into the club.” Mikel Arteta said: “We welcome Gabriel to Arsenal. He has many qualities which will make us stronger as a defensive unit and as a team. He has proved with Lille that he is a defender with many outstanding attributes and we are looking forward to watching him grow as an Arsenal player.”

Gabriel was born in the Pirituba District of São Paulo. At age 13, Gabriel took a 12-hour bus ride to Florianopolis to begin his career at Avaí but returned to São Paulo after a week due to homesickness. However, Gabriel reconsidered his decision and returned to Avaí after two weeks, eventually going on to earn his first professional contract at age 16. He went on to be part of the team that won promotion to Brasileiro Série A in 2017. On 31 January 2017, Gabriel joined Ligue 1 side Lille, signing a four and a half year contract. When he arrived, Gabriel taught himself French and went on to conduct most of his interviews in the language. After playing several matches for Lille B, he was loaned to Troyes and Dinamo Zagreb, where he made just one league appearance for each club’s senior team. Gabriel returned to Lille in 2018, starting his first match on 10 February 2019 against relegation-threatened Guingamp in a 2–0 win. He went on to make 14 appearances over the course of the season, scoring his first goal for Lille in a 5–1 win against Paris Saint-Germain on 14 April 2019.

The following season, Gabriel began to play more regularly, forming a centre-back partnership with José Fonte. Gabriel was a starter in all six of Lille’s Champions League group stage matches. Gabriel represented Brazil at under-20 level at the 2017 South American U-20 Championship. Gabriel was scheduled to be part of Brazil’s under-23 national team at the 2020 Summer Olympics; however, the event was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gabriel is a left-footed centre-back who normally plays on the left side of a centre-back partnership. However, Gabriel can also play as part of a back three. Despite his height, Gabriel is known for being pacey. Christophe Galtier spoke about Gabriel, saying “He has a lot of character for a 22-year-old boy. Despite his ninety meters, he is monthly loans no credit check super fast and covers his side well. He is the player who has won the most aerial duels in the first part of the season.

Arsenal Win Community Shield 2020

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a superb goal and netted the winning penalty in a shootout as Arsenal beat Premier League champions Liverpool in the Community Shield at an empty Wembley Stadium.His curling strike gave FA Cup winners Arsenal the lead in the first half before Liverpool substitute Takumi Minamino equalised after the break. Minamino’s flicked pass to Mohamed Salah bounced back kindly for him to slot home from close range. There was a quick VAR check for handball by Salah but the replay showed no clear contact. It is the second year in a row Liverpool have lost on penalties after Manchester City’s victory in 2019.

Aubameyang’s importance to Arsenal was once again shown in another impressive performance. The Gabon international, who scored twice in the FA Cup final at the same stadium this month, cut inside from the left and whipped the ball into the far corner in emphatic style to open the scoring. He continued to terrorise Liverpool’s defence, exposing young right-back Neco Williams. And when Aubameyang stepped up to take the final penalty, with the score 4-4 in the shootout, there was no way he was going to miss. He has netted 71 goals in 110 Arsenal appearances and no Gunners player has scored more than his five goals at the venue.

After lifting their second piece of silverware in a month, it would cap off a very pleasing summer for Arsenal if Aubameyang does eventually put pen to paper. Liverpool were without regular starters Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson but they fielded a side many would feel were capable of overthrowing Arsenal. They started off on the front foot, with Sadio Mane getting in behind on numerous occasions on the left and linking up with full-back Andy Robertson. But sloppiness crept into their game as the first half wore on – Virgil van Dijk had words with Georginio Wijnaldum and Fabinho on separate occasions for giving the ball away too easily in midfield. Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles was impressive and caused problems, while Bukayo Saka was busy in and around the Liverpool box.

Mari & Cedric Sign Permanent Arsenal Deals

Arsenal have confirmed Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares have joined the club on permanent deals. Both players moved to the Gunners initially on loan in January. Spanish central defender Pablo, who made three appearances before suffering an ankle injury, has cost £14million from Flamengo. The 26-year-old joined Flamengo from Manchester City, where he had been since 2016. The left-footed central defender spent his time with City on three different season-long loan spells – in Spain with Girona for the 2016/17 season, then to the Netherlands with NAC Breda in 2017/18, before returning to Spain for the 2018/19 campaign with Deportivo La Coruna.

Mari developed his youth career in Spain with RCD Mallorca, where he made his La Liga debut at the age of just 17. Three years later in 2013 Mari joined Spanish side Gimnastic, where he made nearly 100 appearances in his three seasons with the Catalonian club.

Portuguese right-back Cedric joins permanently on a free transfer from Southampton where he appeared 100 times. He made five Premier League appearances for Arsenal during the restart, scoring on his debut in the 4-0 home victory over Norwich City. He made five Premier League appearances for us during the restart, scoring on his debut in our 4-0 home victory over Norwich City. The 28-year-old started his career at Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon, developing through the youth ranks before making his first-team debut in the Portuguese Primeira Liga at the age of 19.

An experienced international, Cedric has made 33 appearances for his country. He featured in the 2018 World Cup and was also part of the Portugal squad which won the European Championships in 2016. During his career, the defender has also had spells on loan at Academica in Portugal and Inter Milan in Italy.

A statement on the club’s website read: “We have reached agreement with both Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares to join the club on permanent deals. “Both players joined us initially on loan in January, and after impressing on and off the pitch over the past eight months, all parties have agreed to make their moves permanent.”

Sanllehi Leaves Arsenal Club

Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi has left the club and has been replaced by Vinai Venkatesham. Venkatesham moves from his previous role as managing director to become head of football. “Raul has made a big contribution during his time with us and will always be part of the Arsenal family,” read a statement from Stan and Josh Kroenke on the club’s website. “We thank him for all his hard work and expertise and wish him every future success. We have no doubt that Vinai is the right person to take the club forward.

“He has shown outstanding leadership during the current crisis and is held in high regard internally and externally. We know everyone will rally round him so we can move forward successfully.” Sanllehi joined the club in November 2017 after a 14-year spell at Barcelona and has been a key figure in north London ever since, alongisde Ventaketasham and technical director, Edu Gaspar. Following the confirmation of his departure he 53-year-old, insisted he was proud of the work he’s done with the club and is believes Arsenal are in good hands to push forward.

Venkatesham, who has been with the club since 2010, also spoke following the confirmation that he will be taking the lead at Arsenal. “I am thankful to Stan, Josh and the rest of the Arsenal Board for their trust in me. I will miss working closely with my colleague and friend Raul, but I am looking forward to this new challenge,” he said. “There is much work to do to return Arsenal to the top of the game where we belong, which is what our fans rightly demand. While this will not happen overnight, I believe we have many of the critical ingredients to do so. There are many positives to build on across the club.

Willian Joins Arsenal On 3 Year Deal

Arsenal have bolstered their attacking options for next season by signing Brazil international Willian on a three-year deal following his departure from Chelsea. Willian’s contract with Chelsea expired after their Champions League tie with Bayern Munich and Arsenal have beaten off competition from Barcelona and Inter Miami to sign the 32-year-old. Willian made 47 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions last season and finished in fine form, with four Premier League goals after the restart taking his tally for the season to nine.

“I decided [to join] because Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world,” Willian said. “They have a new project with Mikel Arteta. “I think this club deserves to shine again and I want to be a part of this project – to be a part of the Arsenal family is amazing. I’m very happy to do that. “I come to try to win trophies, because this club deserves to win again, and I think you have to do the best as possible to win every game. I always train hard and go on the pitch giving 100 per cent to help this team to win games and to win titles as well.”

Willian, who will wear No 12 at Arsenal, won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and the Europa League during his seven years at Chelsea. “I believe he’s a player that can really make a difference for us,” said Arteta. “We have been monitoring him for the past few months, we had a clear intention to strengthen in the attacking midfielder and the winger positions [and] he is a player that gives us a lot of versatility, he can play in three or four different positions. “He has the experience of everything in the football world but to still have the ambition to come here and contribute to bring the club where it belongs. I have been really impressed with all the talks I have had with him and how much he wanted to come.”

Willian remains a key part of Brazil’s national squad, having made 70 appearances since making his debut in 2011. Arsenal technical director Edu, who also represented Brazil, said he knew Willian “very well”. “He has a lot of fantastic attributes as a person, as a football player of course, his character,” said Edu. “I’m 100 per cent sure that everybody in the dressing room, the fans, myself and Mikel will enjoy having Willian in our side.”

Arsenal Transfer Rumours – 10-Aug-2020

Arsenal are so desperate to get rid of Mesut Ozil that Mikel Arteta is reportedly willing to offer him an £18m deal to cancel his contract. Ozil has reportedly been offered an £18million pay-off from Arsenal to end his Emirates nightmare. The £350,000-per-week midfielder is unwanted by Gunners boss Mikel Arteta and the board want to sell him off. Ozil has been hanging out with Istanbul Basaksehir’s manager after the Turkish side offered him a transfer lineline.

The Arsenal playmaker, 31, headed back to Turkey following the completion of his side’s elongated season. And he was pictured posing for a personal home loans selfie with Basaksehir boss Okan Buruk – the man trying to sign him. The pair were joined by Turkish TV mogul Acun Ilicali, who shared the snap on his Instagram story to his 13.6million followers. And the picture will no doubt add fuel to the speculation of a move to Turkey.

Vilarreal have made a formal loan-to-buy offer for Matteo Guendouzi, according to Football Insider. The £30million-rated midfielder has fallen out of favour under the management of Mikel Arteta. And the Spanish side are keen to sign him with an option to make the deal permanent this summer. But it is reported that Arsenal would prefer to sell him now to raise funds for other signings.

Arsenal are close to completing two huge deals this week. Willian is set to join the Gunners on a free transfer after rejecting a two-year deal from Chelsea. The Brazilian star is expected to earn £100,000-per-week at the Emirates as part of his deal. And Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also set to agree a three-year deal with the club worth £250,000-per-week.

Turkish club Besiktas want to sign Reiss Nelson, according to reports in Turkey. As cited by Sport Witness, Besiktas want to sign the 20-year-old on loan for the 2020/21 season. But the report states that Mikel Arteta will be reluctant to sell Nelson – who is under contract until 2023. He chipped in this season with one goal in 17 Premier League appearances for the Gunners.

Arsenal Win The 2019-20 FA Cup

Arsenal’s talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang worked his Wembley magic once again as they came from behind to beat Chelsea and win the FA Cup for a record 14th time. Chelsea took the lead in the Heads Up FA Cup final inside five minutes through Christian Pulisic’s smart finish but then fell victim to the brilliance of Aubameyang, who was also Arsenal’s hero when he scored twice in the semi-final win over Manchester City. The Gabon forward drew Arsenal level from the penalty spot before the break after he was fouled by Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta, then produced a moment of world-class finishing to make the defining contribution to the first behind-closed-doors FA Cup final.

Chelsea were hampered by a first-half injury to Azpilicueta and were struggling even further when they lost the outstanding Pulisic to a hamstring problem after the break. As the Blues battled to overcome those setbacks, the brilliant Aubameyang was able to give Mikel Arteta silverware in his first season as the Gunners’ manager. Aubameyang, who Arsenal are understandably desperate to secure on a new long-term contract, turned Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma inside out in the 67th minute before delivering the most audacious finish, chipping over keeper Willy Caballero from an angle.

Chelsea’s agony payday loans providers increased further when Mateo Kovacic was very harshly sent off for a second yellow card, awarded by referee Anthony Taylor for the most innocuous of challenges on Granit Xhaka. Arsenal closed out the win to secure a place in the Europa League next season but it was bitter disappointment for Chelsea manager Frank Lampard at the conclusion of his first campaign in charge. Arteta’s delight at the final whistle was obvious as he secured his first major trophy as a manager, having only succeeded Unai Emery in December. There have been some mixed moments – but in recent weeks, Arsenal have shown their development by defeating new Premier League champions Liverpool and ending Manchester City’s hopes of retaining the FA Cup by beating them to reach the final. Now the Gunners have the trophy in their hands after seeing off Chelsea.

In each game they have shown character, courage and resilience – all qualities they have regularly been accused of lacking – and have a world-class spearhead in Aubameyang. The Gunners’ match-winner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang concluded the victory celebrations by stepping down alone from the winners’ podium, scrambling his way through gold streamers scattered on the turf before taking polite applause from those left inside a virtually deserted national stadium.

Arsenal 3 Watford 2

Managerless Watford were relegated from the Premier League on the final day of the season as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang inspired Arsenal to victory. The Hornets, who dropped into the bottom three for the first time since 28 February in midweek, started the day level on points with 17th spot knowing a positive result could keep them up. But they were 3-0 down after 33 minutes at Emirates Stadium and, despite pulling back two goals, finish a terrible campaign 19th in the table following a 20th league defeat. Arsenal scored with their first three attempts on target, Aubameyang getting the first with a penalty after Craig Dawson’s clumsy foul on Alexandre Lacazette inside the opening minute.

Scotland defender Kieran Tierney doubled the lead after Aubameyang’s assist before the Gabon forward’s classy overhead kick – his 22nd league goal of the season. Watford pulled a goal back from the penalty spot through Troy Deeney after David Luiz’s foul on former Gunners forward Danny Welbeck, who then made it 3-2 from close range. Arsenal keeper Emiliano Martinez made a great save to deny Welbeck an equaliser that could have set up a dramatic finish. With Bournemouth beating Everton and Aston Villa drawing at West Ham, a point would not have been enough to save the Hornets because of their inferior goal difference. Many of their players looked upset when Mike Dean signalled the end of the match – and Watford’s place in England’s top flight. The Hornets are left to reflect on a chaotic season on and off the pitch which saw their Italian owners sack three managers over the course of the campaign, including Nigel Pearson a week ago.

Pearson was given his marching orders two games from the end of the season despite steering the team out of the relegation zone, with Hayden Mullins named interim head coach for the final week. Tierney made it 2-0 and Aubameyang’s overhead kick after holding off Dawson added to Watford’s misery before Deeney launched a spirited comeback. Welbeck’s clever backheel finish gave his side hope but they could not find an equaliser as they slipped to a sixth straight away defeat. Skipper Deeney, one of the last Watford players to leave the pitch, looked crestfallen as he made his way back to the dressing room.

In October 2017 Deeney accused Arsenal’s players of lacking “cojones” after the Hornets came from behind to beat Arsene Wenger’s side at Vicarage Road. Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka and France forward Lacazette, who featured in that game three years ago, were part of the Arsenal side that sent Watford down.

Aston Villa 1 Arsenal 0

Aston Villa’s players must prepare for a “cup final” after showing “courage” to secure a priceless win over Arsenal and move out of the Premier League relegation apply for a small loan zone with one game to go, says boss Dean Smith. Trezeguet beat Emiliano Martinez with a powerful first-time finish after Tyrone Mings had diverted a corner into the Egypt international’s path to lift Villa out of the bottom three for the first time since 28 February. Villa moved above managerless Watford, who had started the day 17th before a heavy 4-0 home defeat by Manchester City, on goal difference.

The Midlanders’ second win in three games sets up a dramatic final day at the bottom of the table on Sunday, which Villa will begin level on points with Watford and three points ahead of Bournemouth – with two of those three teams likely to go down. Meanwhile, 16th-placed West Ham, who also play on Wednesday, still require one point to secure safety, although their goal difference ought to keep them up. Villa’s last game is away to West Ham and if they win – providing Watford do not win by a margin two or more goals greater than they do – Smith’s men will secure another season in the top flight, having spent much of it in the bottom three. A 10th league defeat means Arsenal, playing in their first match since reaching the FA Cup final, will finish outside the top six for the first time in 25 years.

They can come no higher than eighth after a disappointing performance by Mikel Arteta’s side, Eddie Nketiah going closest to equalising with a header which hit the post. However, the Gunners will still have a big say in the relegation battle when they host Villa’s rivals Watford on Sunday. During the match, a banner reading “Back Arteta Kroenke Out’ was towed by an aeroplane over Villa Park in reference to Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke.

Arsenal 2 Manchester City 0

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta outmanoeuvred his mentor Pep Guardiola as the Gunners reached the FA Cup final with victory at Wembley. Arteta, who left his job as Manchester City assistant manager to succeed Unai Emery at Arsenal in December, now has a chance to mark his first season in charge with major silverware when they face Chelsea or Manchester United in the final on 1 August. The match-winner was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the world-class striker Arsenal are desperate to secure on a new long-term contract, as he ruthlessly exposed City’s defensive deficiencies.

Aubameyang had already shot straight at Ederson with one clear chance but there was no escape for City after 19 minutes when he showed great technique to steer home Nicolas Pepe’s cross with the outside of his foot at the far post. City dominated possession after the break but squandered their opportunities and Aubameyang made them pay once more in the 71st minute when he raced away on the angle to slide a composed finish under the keeper. This was a personal triumph for Arteta and completes a superb week after the victory over Premier League champions Liverpool at Emirates Stadium on Wednesday. And there was so much to admire about Arsenal’s willingness to adopt a courageous gameplan, happy to patiently keep possession – often in their own area – with one such passage of play leading to Aubameyang’s opener.

As against Liverpool, Arsenal were well-organised and resilient at the back, willing to throw bodies on the line to repel the wave of City attacks in the second half as the holders tried to hold on to the FA Cup. David Luiz had the sort of nightmare many believed would end his Arsenal career when they played City in their first post-lockdown game at Etihad Stadium, making a mistake leading to a goal then being sent off after conceding a penalty. This was the other side of the maverick Brazilian defender, a rock at the heart of Arsenal’s defence and a central figure in this victory. The spearhead, however, was the 31-year-old Gabon striker Aubameyang, who was a huge threat throughout and illustrated exactly why he is among the game’s elite group of strikers.

An ever-present menace, his two finishes were of the highest quality and demonstrated his big-match temperament.This is why Arsenal are so keen to get his signature on a lucrative new deal – and why they will have a chance of winning the FA Cup no matter who they face in the final.