Arsenal 1 Slavia Prague 1

Slavia Prague scored a dramatic stoppage time equaliser to leave Arsenal’s Europa League ambitions hanging in the balance. Substitute Nicolas Pepe thought he had earned the Gunners a slender quarter-final first-leg advantage when he broke the deadlock in the 86th minute. But Tomas Holes headed home in the dying moments of the game from close range to give Slavia Prague a precious away goal. The second leg in Prague takes place next Thursday (20:00 BST) and Gunners boss Mikel Arteta, despite his side conceding so late, still believes they will progress to the semi-finals.

Arteta stated he was in “shock” after his side’s¬†tame 3-0 surrender to Liverpool last weekend, a performance which brought stinging criticism from both fans and pundits. He reacted by making six changes – three of which were forced because of injuries – to his starting line-up, with captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang the most high-profile casualty. Aubameyang, who has 13 league and cup goals for his club this season but none since 6 March, cut a frustrated figure as he watched Willian, from a free-kick, clip the outside of the post before Alexandre Lacazette raced through, only to hit the bar.Aubameyang was finally sent on after 78 minutes and made an impact as his pass allowed club-record ¬£72m signing Pepe to race into the box and produce a composed finish past keeper Ondrej Kolar.

But Arsenal failed to see the game out and Holes’ back-post header means Arteta’s side have it all to do against the 2019-20 Czech champions in a week’s time. With the Gunners lying 10th in the Premier League table, 10 points off a top four spot, winning the Europa League represents their most realistic chance of securing a Champions League spot next season. They have not graced the Champions League stage since 2016-17 and they face a big test next week if they are to make it through to the semi-finals of Europe’s second-tier club knockout competition. While this was an improvement on their previous outing, Arsenal rarely looked convincing against opponents who have beaten Leicester City and Rangers this season.

Rob Holding had a header tipped over the bar when the game was goalless, but at the other end Bernd Leno saved Jan Boril’s deflected shot while Lukas Provod hit the post before Holes got to a rebound inside the six-yard area to head his side level in the 93rd minute.

Arsenal 0 Liverpool 3

Liverpool thrust themselves firmly back into the battle for a place in the Premier League’s top four as they outclassed abject Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.Chelsea’s shock thrashing at home to West Brom earlier in the day opened the door for Liverpool – and Jurgen Klopp’s men burst straight through it in style with a victory that leaves them in fifth, only two points behind Thomas Tuchel’s side. The only surprise was that it took dominant Liverpool so long to make their superiority count. They finally got the breakthrough they deserved after 64 minutes when Diogo Jota headed Trent Alexander-Arnold’s brilliant delivery past Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno moments after he replaced Andy Robertson.

It was not only the decisive moment of the contest but also a timely reminder of the quality Alexander-Arnold possesses at a time when England manager Gareth Southgate feels he can do without him. Liverpool doubled their lead four minutes later when Mohamed Salah took advantage of poor defending by Arsenal’s Gabriel then slid a cool finish through Leno’s legs. Jota was the beneficiary of more good work from Alexander-Arnold when he slammed home his second from close range with eight minutes left – by then, though, the game had become a formality. The only positive about this Arsenal performance was the fact they kept Liverpool out for 64 minutes – although that was more down to the Premier League champions’ lack of cutting edge up than especially good work by the Gunners.

The hosts were dreadful and fortunate not to be beaten far more heavily. This was miserable stuff from Arsenal. The only work Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, complete with extravagant new moustache, had to do all night was clutch a straightforward shot from substitute Cedric Soares in the second half. Yes, Arsenal lost influential left-back Kieran Tierney right on half-time, but that was no excuse for what Mikel Arteta’s side served up. They offered no punch in attack, no fight in midfield and were eventually overwhelmed in defence. Arsenal saved themselves by coming from three goals down to earn a point in their last league game at West Ham but there was never the slightest hope of a comeback against Liverpool. They sit in ninth place, four points adrift of Everton having played two games more, and much now rests on their Europa League quarter-final against Slavia Prague.

Wesh Ham 3 Arsenal 3

Arsenal came from three goals down to rescue a point in a stunning game against London rivals West Ham in the Premier League. The Hammers raced into a three-goal lead at London Stadium through Jesse Lingard, Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek, who touched in a Michail Antonio header. The visitors gave themselves hope when an Alexandre Lacazette effort went in off Soucek for an own goal just before half-time. West Ham defender Craig Dawson turned in Arsenal full-back Calum Chambers’ low cross for another own goal in the 61st minute.

And Lacazette completed the comeback with a thumping header from Nicolas Pepe’s cross, before both sides had late chances to win the game. The result leaves the Hammers two points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in fifth, while Arsenal move above Aston Villa into ninth. Arsenal were second best in the first half and looked almost certain to lose further ground in the race for European places after a frantic opening. At 3-0 down, they looked a beaten side but Lacazette inspired Mikel Arteta’s side to a point, hitting a volley which took a deflection off Soucek for Arsenal’s opener. Lacazette saw his dinked attempt cleared off the line by Issa Diop seconds after the restart as the Gunners dominated in the second period.

After Dawson turned in Chambers’ cross to further cut the deficit, the France striker rose highest to level the game late on. A defeat would have opened up a 10-point gap between the two sides and arguably end Arsenal’s hopes of qualifying for a European competition through a top-six finish. And while questions will be asked about their poor first-half performance, Arteta will take heart from his side’s superb reaction against a disciplined West Ham.

Arsenal 0 Olympiakos 1

Arsenal were given a scare by Olympiakos but had enough from the first leg to beat the Greek side on aggregate and reach the Europa League last eight. Leading 3-1 from the game in Greece, the Gunners were comfortable throughout the first half in London. Some nerves began to show after Youssef El-Arabi’s shot found the net via a deflection off Gabriel to give the visitors hope of repeating last season’s shock – when¬†they knocked the Gunners out of the Europa League¬†in the last 32 by scoring in the final minute of extra time at Emirates Stadium.

However, Olympiakos were unable to build on El-Arabi’s goal as Arsenal managed the remainder of the tie adequately to progress, helped by a red card shown to Ousseynou Ba for dissent late on. They will discover their quarter-final opponents when the draw is made in Switzerland at 12:00 GMT on Friday. Arsenal have developed a habit of making life hard for themselves under Mikel Arteta. Once again, they were their own worst enemies at Emirates Stadium with a tame and occasionally sloppy second-leg display that offered the incentive to their opponents. Thankfully for the Gunners, most of the heavy lifting for this win had been done in¬†the first leg in Pireas,¬†where late goals from Gabriel and Mohamed Elneny made amends for some poor defending which allowed the Greek side to briefly regain parity in the tie.

That frailty at the back resurfaced again in London, though, with Dani Ceballos’ loose pass allowing the Greek side to set up El-Arabi for his goal. The Morocco striker could also have scored before then to offer an earlier incentive to the visitors, but Bernd Leno’s save made amends for the lax defending that allowed him to get within sight of the target from a long ball. The poor Gunners defending was allied with a profligacy in attack. Pepe could have settled the tie for good after beating the onrushing keeper but saw his subsequent finish from an angle deflected just wide by a covering defender. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, recalled after being left out of Sunday’s north London derby win over Tottenham for breach of “pre-match protocol”, could have had a hat-trick and certainly should have taken at least one of the numerous good chances that came his way.

Arsenal 2 Tottenham 1

Arsenal came from behind to secure a fully deserved north London derby win and inflict damage on Tottenham’s hopes of a place in the Premier League’s top four. The Gunners were vastly superior until a Spurs rally in the closing stages but fell behind to a piece of genius from Erik Lamela – on for the injured Son Heung-min – when he curved a magnificent ‘rabona’ finish beyond Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno in the 33rd minute. Arsenal, who had seen Emile Smith Rowe’s long-range shot smack against the bar, then suffered more ill-luck when Cedric Soares hit the post, but were level on the stroke of half-time when Martin Odegaard’s effort was deflected out of the reach of Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris.

Mikel Arteta’s side continued to dominate a largely dreadful Spurs and took the lead from the penalty spot after 64 minutes when Alexandre Lacazette missed his kick but was fouled by Davinson Sanchez. Lacazette recovered to send Lloris the wrong way for his 12th goal of the season. Spurs’ day got worse when Lamela was sent off for a second yellow card, shown by referee Michael Oliver for a hand-off into the face of Kieran Tierney with 14 minutes left. But they almost snatched a point in the closing moments when Harry Kane’s free-kick bounced off the post, with Arsenal defender Gabriel heading Sanchez’s goal-bound shot off the line from the rebound.

Arsenal, who dropped captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the game for disciplinary reasons, stay in 10th place but Spurs are now six points adrift of Chelsea in fourth, although with a game in hand. Arteta showed discipline is paramount – and no one is above his law – by dropping skipper and main striker Aubameyang to the bench for what Arsenal described as “a breach of pre-match protocol”. It was a big game to have to make this choice but Arteta demonstrated who was boss and was rewarded not just with an important derby victory but also a fine performance, watched from the sidelines by the solemn figure of the chastened Aubameyang. Arsenal, even without their captain and most prolific marksman, were by far the more dangerous side, taking control from the start and only showing signs of nerves when Spurs mounted a belated late surge which almost brought them a point they did not merit.

Smith Rowe was outstanding for Arsenal while Odegaard got his first Premier League goal and Lacazette won and scored the decisive penalty. Arsenal remain a team in transition but they played some fine football here and this will surely boost confidence and self-belief as they try to navigate a route into Europe next season, the three points tasting even sweeter as they were taken at the expense of their arch-rivals. Aubameyang will no doubt return in due course, punishment served, but Arteta showed the courage of his convictions and this turned out to be a highly satisfactory day for Arsenal’s manager.

Olympiakos 1 Arsenal 3

Mikel Arteta says his Arsenal side need to stop being their own worst enemy after defensive lapses undermined their last-16 first-leg victory over Olympiakos in the Europa League. While Martin Odegaard’s opener paved the way for their win, familiar failings at the back saw the Greek champions level and made life uncomfortable until late goals from Gabriel and Mohamed Elneny swung the contest back in Arsenal’s favour. Lax play from both David Luiz and Odegaard had gone without punishment but Arsenal were not as fortunate when Bernd Leno played substitute Dani Ceballos into trouble and Youssef El Arabi stroked in an equaliser.

It added to a litany of recent errors, with Arsenal guilty of conceding soft goals against¬†Burnley¬†and¬†Benfica in fixtures over the last month. Thankfully for Arteta, three valuable away goals mean his side are well placed to avoid a repeat of their¬†dramatic exit to Olympiakos last term. In general he will also be satisfied with a display that saw Arsenal create several early openings and take the lead courtesy of Odegaard’s powerful 20-yard drive. The Norwegian midfielder could and perhaps should have opened the scoring earlier than that, skewing a left-footed effort wide, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was also superbly denied a goal when home goalkeeper Jose Sa diverted his header on to the crossbar. Twelve minutes after El Arabi had spurned a chance to put the hosts ahead, Gabriel towered above his marker to head in Willian’s right-wing corner, with Elneny’s late effort adding deserved gloss to the result.

Arsenal have won eight of their nine Europa League games this season (D1), and are the highest scorers in the competition so far (27 goals). Having won their first three home meetings with Arsenal in all competitions, Olympiakos have now lost their last three against the Gunners at home. Willian has provided more assists for Arsenal in all competitions than any other player this season (7), including setting up all three of Gabriel’s strikes for the Gunners. All four of Mohamed Elneny’s goals for Arsenal have come in European competition (1x Champions League, 3x Europa League), with three of those coming from outside the box.

Burnley 1 Arsenal 1

Arsenal were denied victory by the woodwork, some heroic Burnley defending and the video assistant referee amid a dramatic late onslaught as Granit Xhaka’s error ultimately cost the Gunners dear. After Xhaka’s errant pass struck Chris Wood for a bizarre equaliser to cancel out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s opener, Arsenal piled on relentless pressure in the closing stages. The Gunners thought they had been awarded a penalty against Erik Pieters but the spot-kick and the defender’s red card for deliberate handball were overturned by VAR after replays showed he had diverted Nicolas Pepe’s shot onto the bar with his shoulder.

That was not the end of the late drama as Ben Mee’s block denied Aubameyang a sure-fire winner in stoppage time before Dani Ceballos crashed an effort against the post with almost the last kick of the game. Ultimately, however, the blame for the dropped points will be laid at the door of Xhaka, who was sent off in the Gunners’ December defeat by Burnley and had another day to forget against the Clarets. Receiving an ill-advised short pass facing his own goal from keeper Bernd Leno, he tried to clip a square ball to David Luiz across the penalty area but succeeded only in hitting Wood in the midriff and the ball bounced into an empty net for the softest of levellers.

Buoyed by the unexpected gift, Burnley controlled a scrappy second half before Arsenal’s late siege but Leno first produced a fine save to keep out Erik Pieters’ dipping 30-yard volley, and then used his leg to deny Wood in a one-on-one. A fifth successive home draw inches 15th-placed Burnley seven points clear of the Premier League bottom three, while Arsenal remain 10th, their hopes of a late push for European qualification hindered by two dropped points.

Leicester City 1 Arsenal 3

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said his side are “taking a direction I like” after they followed up their Europa League win over Benfica with an impressive comeback victory at high-flying Leicester. Things started badly for a much-changed Gunners side, with poor defending allowing Youri Tielemens to run unchecked down the right before firing a low shot into the far corner with just six minutes played. Arsenal refused to be adversely affected, though, and took control of the game with impressive attacking intent and far greater fluency than Leicester. David Luiz headed them level from a free-kick before Alexandre Lacazette levelled from the penalty spot after the video assistant referee (VAR) judged that Wilfred Ndidi had blocked Nicolas Pepe’s shot in the box with an outstretched arm.

Pepe sealed the deserved win with a close-range finish to take the Gunners into the top half of the table. Leicester’s loss comes three days after their disappointing Europa League exit to Slavia Prague and is a big blow to their increasingly forlorn-looking pursuit of Premier League leaders Manchester City. On a miserable afternoon at the end of a dire week for the Foxes, they also had influential winger Harvey Barnes carried off on a stretcher with his leg in a brace to add to their already considerable injury problems. The Foxes’ sixth home loss of the campaign leaves them 10 points behind a Manchester City side who have won their past 20 games.

Arsenal move up to ninth, eight points off the top four but with a renewed interest in events above them in the table. Arteta actually chose to rest a number of key players on Sunday, including Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whose late winner had won their Europa League tie against Benfica. In naming a stronger side on paper for Thursday’s game and resting key players at the King Power, Arteta appeared to be suggesting that success in Europe represented his side’s best route back into the Champions League. Granted, they got off to an appalling start, practically waving Tielemens in for his early opening goal. But they did not allow the incident to alter the gameplan – one designed to sensibly take the game to Rodgers’ side.

Arsenal 3 Benfica 2

Perre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a dramatic late winner to help Arsenal edge past Benfica into the last 16 of the Europa League. In a ‘home’ leg played at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus, Greece, because of Covid-19 restrictions, Aubameyang opened the scoring to give the Gunners a 2-1 aggregate lead. Diogo Goncalves levelled for Benfica just before the break with a superb free-kick after Dani Ceballos had needlessly fouled Julian Weigl. The Spanish midfielder compounded that error after the interval with a poor defensive header that saw Rafa Silva race clear to put the visitors in front.

With Arsenal needing two goals to advance because of the away goals rule, Kieran Tierney’s low drive set up a grandstand finish before Aubameyang rescued the tie. Having exited the Europa League at the same stage last season to Olympiakos, it looked as though circumstances had conspired for another European campaign to end in desperate fashion. Faced with a four-hour flight for a fixture technically billed at home and inside a stadium where they have enjoyed mixed fortunes in the past, Arteta’s side started brightly enough. When Aubameyang raced on to Bukayo Saka’s incisive pass to lift the ball beyond Benfica goalkeeper Helton Leite, they were firmly in control having drawn the first leg 1-1 in Rome’s Olympic Stadium.

But from that point the game began to unravel as Benfica scored from their first two efforts on target – thanks to a helping hand from Ceballos. To their credit, though, the Gunners, who had won just one of their past six matches, displayed plenty of resolve to come back from the brink of a damaging defeat that would surely have left their hopes of lifting a trophy this season in tatters. Tierney was rewarded for a fine individual display by becoming the first Scottish player to score in a major European competition for the club since 1980. And Aubameyang, who came in for criticism after missing several chances in the first leg, atoned with his second of the night from Saka’s back-post cross.

Arsenal 0 Manchester City 1

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says he is surprised by his side’s imperious run of form “when everyone is suffering in this world” as they extended their winning run to 18 games with victory at Arsenal. The Premier League leaders have not dropped a point since 15 December and have taken control of the title race as they sit 10 points clear at the top of the table with 13 games remaining.

City looked confident right from the outset at Arsenal, taking the lead with just two minutes on the clock as Raheem Sterling somehow managed to outjump Rob Holding to head in Riyad Mahrez’s cross. The visitors had four shots to Arsenal’s none in the opening quarter of an hour and it looked as if the Gunners were in danger of being on the end of a heavy defeat as Guardiola’s side poured forward at every opportunity. To Arsenal’s credit, they weathered that early storm and grew into the game as Kieran Tierney tested Ederson with a strong effort from distance, while there were glimpses of a threat on the break through the pace of Bukayo Saka.

City failed to kick on after the break although still looked the most likely to add to their lead as Kevin de Bruyne – making his first start in more than a month – lifted an effort just wide while Ilkay Gundogan saw a shot saved by Bernd Leno before Joao Cancelo clipped a lovely strike inches past the post late on. In the end, a second goal was not needed as City took the three points to ensure they stay in control at the top of the standings. Arsenal, meanwhile, are 10th and six points off the top six.

Benfica 1 Arsenal 1

Played in Rome’s Olympic Stadium instead of Portugal for Covid-19 reasons, the Gunners were the better side but failed to take a number of first-half chances before falling behind to a Pizzi penalty. However, they responded quickly with Cedric Soares crossing low for England winger Saka to level from close range. The England winger is now determined not to allow his side to suffer the same European fate as last season, when a goal in the last minute of extra time saw Olympiakos advance to the last 16 on away goals at Arsenal’s expense.

Benfica’s penalty was awarded when Emile Smith Rowe was adjudged to have handled in blocking Diogo Goncalves’ cross, with Pizzi converting to take his goal tally to a tournament-high of seven. Fresh from scoring a hat-trick against Leeds in the Premier League, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had two big chances in the game but inexplicably side-footed wide from close range with the score at 0-0 and then dragged an effort off target at 1-1. In positive news for the Gunners, left-back Kieran Tierney and forward Gabriel Martinelli made welcome returns from injury as second-half substitutes. The second leg is in Athens in a week’s time, sandwiched between two big league fixtures for the Gunners – the visit of Manchester City to the Emirates and a trip to Leicester.

Arsenal have improved in recent weeks, both in performances and results, but such was their inconsistent start to the season, the Europa League probably represents their most realistic route back into the Champions League. The Gunners’ starting XI suggests Mikel Arteta agrees, with the Spaniard naming the same side that began Sunday’s impressive 4-2 win over Leeds at the Emirates. Remarkably, it is the first time Arsenal have named an unchanged XI since September 2018 but it brought with it some of Sunday’s attacking fluency, especially down the right, with Hector Bellerin a constant and energetic menace. What it lacked, though, was similar lethal finishing, most notably from the weekend’s hat-trick hero Aubameyang.

Excuses can be made for why his second chance was spurned, with it being at a tight angle, but not his first. Bellerin’s low cross laid the strike on a plate for the forward but somehow he found a way to put his shot past the post instead of in the net where bit belonged. Thankfully, Saka was sharp enough to finish when required from a similar distance at the other end, the goal his 10th in a Gunners shirt and further evidence of his rapidly growing importance to Arteta’s side. Since the start of last season, the 19-year-old is the youngest Premier League player to have scored 10+ goals and made 10+ assists across all competitions.

Arsenal 4 Leeds United 2

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang thanked Arsenal for helping him through a “tough period” after his hat-trick led the Gunners to a convincing win over Leeds at Emirates Stadium. The 31-year-old missed two matches at the end of January with his mother in ill health. “Everyone was giving a lot of love to me, my mum and my family,” the Arsenal skipper told Sky Sports. “I have to say thank you to everyone at the club, and the fans.” Aubameyang opened the scoring in the 14th minute before doubling his side’s advantage from the spot towards the end of the first half. Right-back Hector Bellerin grabbed a third on the stroke of half-time, with Aubameyang completing his first Premier League hat-trick with a header moments after the restart.

But from 4-0 down Leeds grabbed two second-half goals through Pascal Struijk and substitute Helder Costa to give Arsenal a late scare. Making his first start in almost a month, Arsenal skipper Aubameyang proved just how valuable he is to the north London club. Since he was last named in a starting XI, the Gunners had gone out of the FA Cup and taken four points from four games in the league. Right from the off the Gabon international looked lively, cutting in from the left and finding the bottom corner with a cultured finish in the opening quarter. And he was denied a second moments later when Leeds defender Luke Ayling superbly blocked his shot after good work from David Luiz. VAR intervention led to referee Stuart Atwell overturning an Arsenal penalty after Bukayo Saka was brought down by Liam Cooper in the 35th minute.

But the 19-year-old won another spot-kick minutes later, being tripped by Leeds keeper Illan Meslier after the stopper was unable to clear a routine backpass. Aubameyang made no mistake from 12 yards – sending Meslier the wrong way – before Bellerin caught out the Frenchman at his near post to net Arsenal’s third. Arsenal started the second half just as they finished the first, with Aubameyang heading home Emile Smith Rowe’s cross to net his second ever Arsenal hat-trick – his first since the Gunners beat Valencia 4-2 in the Europa League in May 2019. The result means Arsenal leapfrog Leeds to go 10th in the table, six points off the top four. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his 199th, 200th and 201st goals in Europe’s big-five leagues in what was his 369th appearance. He is one of just nine players to score 200+ goals across the five divisions.

Aston Villa 1 Arsenal 0

Dean Smith says his Aston Villa players “like to make history” after they completed a first top-flight double over Arsenal for 28 years. Goalkeeper Mat Ryan conceded 74 seconds into his debut for the Gunners as Villa followed up a 3-0 win at Emirates Stadium in November with a narrow victory at Villa Park. Former Arsenal keeper Emiliano Martinez started the move which led to Bertrand Traore pouncing on a mistake by Cedric Soares before Ollie Watkins scored with a shot that deflected off Rob Holding.

Boyhood Gunners fan Ryan,¬†signed on loan from Brighton in January and starting in place of suspended first-choice keeper Bernd Leno, produced a fine save to deny Traore a goal on his return to the Villa side. Martinez frustrated his former club further when the Argentine produced an excellent save to keep out Granit Xhaka’s free-kick. Villa move up to eighth in the Premier League while Arsenal’s second successive defeat leaves them 10th. This was Villa’s sixth game in 18 days but there was little sign of fatigue as they worked hard to return to winning ways after being¬†picked off by West Ham on Wednesday. John McGinn and Jack Grealish were both denied by Ryan while Watkins forced the new Arsenal keeper into two further saves.

Burkina Faso forward Traore brought fresh energy after being a substitute on Wednesday, while Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings helped limit Arsenal to three attempts on target. During a sustained period of Arsenal pressure, Mings did well to block Emile Smith Rowe’s goal-bound attempt and Matty Cash got in the way of Bukayo Saka’s shot. Aubameyang came on for the final 30 minutes at Villa Park but, despite a spell of sustained pressure towards the end, Mikel Arteta’s side failed to score for the third time in five games. After scoring against Wolves on Tuesday, Nicolas Pepe wasted two good chances while Martinez saved well from Hector Bellerin. Substitute Martin Odegaard blazed a late chance over the bar. The Gunners, who had two players sent off at Wolves in the previous game, were unhappy when Konsa’s first-half foul on Saka did not result in a red card.

Wolves 2 Arsenal 1

Arsenal had two players sent off as they threw away a lead and lost to Wolves – who won for the first time in nine Premier League games. The Gunners, who had earlier hit the woodwork twice and had a goal disallowed, went ahead when Nicolas Pepe held off two Wolves challenges and curled a fine finish into the net. But Arsenal were reduced to 10 men when defender David Luiz brought down Willian Jose, with Ruben Neves equalising with the resulting penalty in first-half injury time. Joao Moutinho scored with a brilliant strike from 30 yards out to put the hosts ahead soon after the restart.

However, the Gunners were then reduced to nine men as goalkeeper Bernd Leno handled the ball outside of his penalty area after racing out trying to deny Adama Traore. This was Wolves’ first league victory since a 2-1 victory at Molineux against Chelsea on 15 December, although they had also won two FA Cup ties – against Crystal Palace and National League North side Chorley – since then. Wolves remain in 14th and Arsenal – who would have gone sixth with victory – stay 10th, eight points behind fourth-placed Leicester City in the final Champions League qualification spot. The turning point came in first-half injury time when Arsenal were leading 1-0 and were dominant.

Daniel Podence played the ball through to Jose and the Brazilian, on his home debut, had his heel clipped from behind by compatriot Luiz. Referee Craig Pawson decided that Luiz had made no attempt to play the ball and sent the centre-back off. It was Luiz’s third red card for Arsenal after also being dismissed in the 2-2 draw at Chelsea in January 2020 and then again in the 3-0 loss to Manchester City in June. After the match, both managers had contrasting opinions with Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo saying Pawson had “no other option” but to award the penalty and send off Luiz. However, Gunners manager Mikel Arteta said he “cannot tell you where the contact is” and suggested the club may appeal Luiz’s red card.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta made a defensive substitution at the break as centre-back Gabriel came on for forward Alexandre Lacazette, but it only took the hosts four minutes of the second half to go ahead, through Moutinho’s superb strike. The visitors brought on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for goalscorer Pepe in the 61st minute in an attempt to rescue something from the game. But Leno made a shocking decision in the 72nd minute as he sprinted out of his box, trying to reach the ball before the pacey Traore, but the goalkeeper misjudged the bounce, handled the ball and was dismissed. With Mat Ryan, who signed from Brighton last month, injured, third-choice goalkeeper Runar Runarsson was given a Premier League debut.

Willock & AMN Go On Loan Deals

Joe Willock and Ainsley Maitland-Niles sealed loan moves away from the Emirates, while Shkodran Mustafi completed a permanent transfer to Schalke on a busy deadline day for Arsenal. Mikel Arteta’s rebuilding project at the north London club stepped up a gear as the Gunners rounded off an active January transfer window with multiple last-minute departures. Willock joined Newcastle on loan until the end of the season, while Maitland-Niles moved to West Brom on a six-month loan spell.

The two Gunners academy graduates found playing time hard to come by this season and will be likely to feature more regularly at their new clubs. Meanwhile, Mustafi’s contract at Arsenal was terminated, allowing him to move to Schalke on a six-month deal to replace Ozan Kabak, who joined Liverpool on deadline day. The Germany international made the switch to Arsenal from Valencia for £35million back in 2016 but fell down the pecking order of centre-backs at the Emirates this season. Arsenal technical director Edu and boss Mikel Arteta both wished the 28-year-old well upon his exit from the club.

Earlier in the January window, the Gunners also let William Saliba and Sead Kolasinac go out on loan, while the contracts of Mesut Ozil and Sokratis were terminated. In terms of incomings at the Emirates, Arsenal brought in midfielder Martin Odegaard and goalkeeper Mat Ryan both on six-month loan deals.

Mustafi Leaves To Join Schalke

Shkodran Mustafi terminates Arsenal contract to join Schalke on a six-month deal; Bundesliga club will pay compensation fee; Mustafi replaces Ozan Kabak, who joined Liverpool on loan with option to buy after a deal agreed on Deadline Day.  With this move the Gunners are due to be paid a small compensation fee. The 28-year-old became keen on a move back to Germany after falling out of favour under manager Mikel Arteta this season, making just nine appearances, three of which have come in the Premier League.

Mustafi, a World Cup winner with Germany in 2014, signed for Arsenal in 2016 from Valencia in a £35m deal. In his four-and-a-half-year stay at the Emirates, he won the FA Cup twice and helped the Gunners reach the Europa League final in 2019. Schalke needed a replacement for Ozan Kabak, who has sealed a move to Liverpool after a deal was agreed on Deadline Day. The Merseyside club, who have been racing to get a deal done for the 20-year-old, are paying an initial £1m, rising to £1.5m in potential add-ons, to take the defender on loan.

Liverpool will have the option to buy him in the summer for an initial fee of £18m, potentially rising to £26.5m with add-ons depending on his appearances for the club as well as their performance in the Champions League.

Arsenal 0 Manchester United 0

Manchester United dropped points for the third time in four Premier League games with this goalless draw against an under-strength Arsenal side at Emirates Stadium.United striker Edinson Cavani had two good chances late on but Arsenal fully deserved their point on a bitterly cold night in north London. The Gunners went closest when Alexandre Lacazette’s clipped free-kick hit the bar after the break while United keeper David de Gea saved well from Emile Smith Rowe and Nicolas Pepe also threatened to break the deadlock. De Gea’s counterpart Bernd Leno also distinguished himself with an athletic fingertip save from Fred in the first half. United came within inches of winning it in the closing stages when Cavani saw a close-range effort deflected wide off Leno and the Uruguay striker then hooked a superb cross from Aaron Wan-Bissaka just wide when he looked certain to score.

Arsenal gave a late debut to Martin Odegaard, signed on loan from Real Madrid, but he had little impact and the stalemate leaves United three points behind Manchester City having played a game more. Arsenal will always hope to win games at home but manager Mikel Arteta is unlikely to be too unhappy with this point against United. The Spaniard suffered a couple of significant injury blows before kick-off when Bukayo Saka and Kieran Tierney were ruled out, adding to the absence of leading striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was missing for personal reasons. Arsenal’s reshuffled side acquitted itself well, although they were breathing a heavy sigh of relief when Cavani missed two openings that such an accomplished marksman might be expected to convert.

Arteta’s players have responded well to last Saturday’s bitterly disappointing FA Cup fourth-round loss at Southampton with a league victory away at Saints followed by this hard-earned point against United. The Gunners went close to making it two victories since that exit, with Lacazette’s free-kick bouncing to safety off the woodwork as De Gea stood motionless – although that would have been harsh on United. Arteta, constantly cajoling from his technical area, has a side that is very much a work in progress but their endeavour here – especially given the absence of key players – demonstrated he has something to build on.

√ėdegaard Joins Arsenal On Loan

Norwegian international Martin Odegaard is joining us from Real Madrid on loan for the remainder of the season. The attacking midfielder started his career in Norway with Stromsgodset, where he made his debut as a 15-year-old in April 2014, becoming the youngest-ever player to feature in the top division. After featuring regularly in the Stromsgodset team in his first season, Odegaard was signed by Real Madrid in January 2015 and subsequently became their youngest player in May 2015.

In the three seasons from 2017/18, Martin spent loan spells with Heerenveen and Vitesse Arnhem in the Netherlands and then last season back in Spain with Real Sociedad, where he helped the club reach the final of the Copa Del Rey and also qualify for the Europa League.

The 22-year-old has also made 25 appearances for Norway, making his debut in August 2014 when he became the youngest debutant for his country‚Äôs senior national team at the age of just 15 years and 253 days making his international debut against the United Arab Emirates. On 13 October 2014, he became the youngest player to feature in a qualifying match for the UEFA European Championship. Martin will wear the number 11 shirt.

√ėdegaard is the son of former footballer Hans Erik √ėdegaard, who played as a midfielder for Str√łmsgodset and Sandefjord Fotball and was assistant manager of Mj√łndalen IF from 2009 to 2015.