Ospina Collapses After Head Injury

Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina was taken to hospital after collapsing during Napoli’s Serie A match against Udinese on Sunday. The Colombian, on a season-long loan at Napoli, sustained a blow to the head when he collided with Ignacio Pussetto early in the match. He then fell to the ground shortly before the break after Udinese levelled at 2-2 having been 2-0 down. The 30-year-old received treatment before he was brought off the field. Napoli, who beat Udinese 4-2, later released a statement revealing that Ospina would remain in hospital overnight under observation.

Coach Carlo Ancelotti said: “Fortunately it’s nothing serious, he’s conscious. They did a CAT scan that is negative.” Ospina signed for the Gunners in July 2014 but has only made 27 league appearances for the Premier League side. He joined Napoli on a season-long loan deal in August 2018. It is not yet known whether he will remain part of the Colombia squad which is due to face Japan on Friday and South Korea on Mar. 26.

Arsenal 3 Rennes 0

Arsenal manager Unai Emery says he is “excited” by the prospect of winning his first trophy with the club following their 4-3 aggregate victory over Rennes to reach the quarter-finals of the Europa League. Emery has already won the competition three times with former club Sevilla. Arsenal were knocked out in the semi-finals of the Europa League last season under Arsene Wenger. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang inspired a Gunners comeback as they overturned a two-goal deficit from the first leg to reach the quarter-finals. The striker put the Gunners ahead within four minutes, firing in Aaron Ramsey’s cut-back, before setting up Ainsley Maitland-Niles at Emirates Stadium. He then poked in Sead Kolasinac’s low cross after the break to make it 3-0 as Arsenal joined Chelsea in the last eight following their 8-0 aggregate thrashing of Dynamo Kiev.

Both English clubs are favourites to win the competition after five-time champions Sevilla’s shock exit in the last 16 and Italian giants Inter Milan failed to progress. Emery sees success in the Europa League as an extra ticket into the Champions League as Arsenal – who are currently fourth in the Premier League – battle to remain above Manchester United and Chelsea in the table. “The last eight teams are very important teams and it is going to be very difficult,” said Emery. “The Europa League is giving us a big opportunity also to make one way to the Champions League. “And also, it’s one title. I said to the players, I am excited about this competition. It’s not just because you can get to the Champions League.” The draw for the quarter-finals takes place on Friday at 12:00 GMT.

Despite trailing 3-1 from the first leg and needing to score at least twice, Arsenal remained favourites to progress to the quarter-finals and they got off to a brilliant start. Alexandre Lacazette, who was eligible to play after a ban was reduced, had a great chance after just three minutes when he latched onto Ramsey’s ball over the top, only to be denied by Rennes keeper Tomas Koubek. A minute later, Aubameyang did put Arsenal in front when Maitland-Niles cut inside the defender and laid it off to Ramsey, who put it on a plate for the Gabonese striker. Aubameyang was energetic, efficient and dangerous throughout and it was his willingness to chase the ball down which led to the second goal. There was some fortune as he appeared to be offside when Ramsey’s threaded pass was kept in on the byeline but with no video assistant referee, Maitland-Niles finished off the move with a thumping header in the centre. Aubameyang continued to play with confidence – trying an audacious overhead kick in the first half, before poking in Arsenal’s third goal after 72 minutes.

Arsenal 2 Manchester United 0

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suffered his first Premier League defeat since being appointed Manchester United’s interim manager as Arsenal leapfrogged their opponents to move into the top four. Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka beat David de Gea with a swerving shot from outside the penalty area, which the United keeper was expected to stop. Romelu Lukaku hit the bar while the game was goalless, when it appeared easier to score, and, soon after Arsenal took the lead, Brazilian midfielder Fred struck a post for United. Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno also produced two crucial saves to keep out Lukaku, before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang doubled the hosts’ lead from the penalty spot after Fred’s foul on Alexandre Lacazette.

Soon after Arsenal’s second goal, a fan ran on to the pitch and shoved United defender Chris Smalling before being removed by stewards. The Gunners have won seven out of 10 top-flight games in 2019 and are one point behind north London rivals Tottenham, who sit third in the table, with eight games remaining. United, who started the weekend in fourth, drop to fifth in the race for a Champions League spot next season. Last weekend, Aubameyang left Wembley dejected after his last-minute penalty was saved by Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris to deny Arsenal victory in the North London derby. Against United, he stepped forward and beat De Gea from the spot to seal a first victory over the Red Devils in five league and cup meetings. It was awarded after Fred’s forearm nudged into Lacazette, sending the French forward tumbling inside the box. Lacazette inspired one of Arsenal’s finest days under Unai Emery’s command.

The Gunners were sharp, lively and industrious as they made amends after United eliminated them from the FA Cup six weeks ago. Emery named six players who started Thursday’s Europa League defeat by Rennes in his starting line-up, but there was little sign of fatigue as the hosts came flying out of traps. They opened the scoring with their only shot on target in the first half, Xhaka deceiving De Gea with a shot that left the United keeper rooted to his line. Leno was also key for Gunners. The German did well to frustrate Lukaku as the Belgium forward threatened to go around and equalise, before denying the same player with an outstretched leg after half-time. Arsenal have now played all their Champions League chasing rivals – a place in Europe’s most prestigious competition next season is very much in their own hands.

Rennes 3 Arsenal 1

Arsenal manager Unai Emery says he has “confidence” his side can overturn Rennes’ 3-1 lead at Emirates Stadium in the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie. Alex Iwobi’s early cross-shot had put Arsenal in front but they lost control of the game after Sokratis Papastathopoulos’ dismissal for a second booking. Benjamin Bourigeaud immediately drew the hosts level with a stunning strike into the top right corner, with Nacho Monreal’s own goal and Ismaila Sarr’s late header compounding a miserable evening for Arsenal. Arsenal go into the second leg having overturned a 1-0 deficit in the last-32 stage. On that occasion, they progressed with a 3-0 home victory over Belarus side Bate Borisov.

Arsenal arrived at Roazhon Park having never lost an away game against French opposition. For large parts of the first half, that record looked like remaining intact as they gathered an early lead courtesy of Iwobi and controlled possession. But while Lucas Torreira’s effort was superbly saved by Rennes goalkeeper Tomas Koubek and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also tested the Czech keeper they proved architects of their own downfall in an 86-second spell. Having already been booked for a foul on Hatem Ben Arfa, Greece defender Papastathopoulos pulled Sarr’s shirt to earn his second yellow card, shifting the momentum of the game in the hosts’ favour.

With attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan operating as a makeshift right-back, Arsenal faced one-way traffic in the second period. Petr Cech, who replaced Bernd Leno in goal, produced a string of superb saves, denying Adrien Hunou, Sarr and Ben Arfa with the score at 1-1. But he was helpless to prevent Rennes’ second of the night as the Arsenal defence clocked off and Mehdi Zeffane’s cross flicked off Monreal into the top corner. And after carelessly losing possession late on, James Lea Siliki escaped to deliver the perfect ball for an unmarked Sarr to head past Cech at the far post.

Tottenham Hotspurs 1 Arsenal 1

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw a last-minute penalty saved by Hugo Lloris to cost Arsenal victory and ensure Tottenham retained a crucial advantage over their arch-rivals in the battle for a top-four place after a dramatic north London derby at Wembley. Harry Kane’s contested penalty put Spurs level with 16 minutes left after Aaron Ramsey’s coolly taken 16th-minute goal threatened to inflict a third successive league defeat on boss Mauricio Pochettino for the first time in his reign. Arsenal were then handed a golden opportunity to close to within one point of Spurs after Davinson Sanchez fouled Aubameyang, but the striker’s tame penalty was easily saved low to his right by the diving Lloris. And to add to the late chaos, Arsenal’s Lucas Torreira was sent off for a reckless challenge on Danny Rose in the closing seconds.

After Ramsey’s strike, keeper Bernd Leno kept Arsenal on level terms with a miraculous double save from Christian Eriksen and Moussa Sissoko but the Gunners paid a heavy price for a glaring second-half miss from striker Alexandre Lacazette before Aubamayeng’s wayward spot-kick. Lacazette failed to hit the target from eight yards and Spurs took advantage, Kane scoring from the spot to equalise after referee Anthony Taylor adjudged he was fouled by Shkodran Mustafi. Arsenal were also angry as they believed offside should have been given in the build-up but Kane stayed calm amid the chaos to send Leno the wrong way from the spot for his ninth goal in this fixture and keep Spurs four points ahead of Unai Emery’s side. The Gunners, however, have only themselves to blame after wasting that late chance to seal a league double over Spurs.

And in the end, Spurs will be grateful to Arsenal’s wastefulness for a draw that maintains their four-point gap over their local rivals in fourth, and six over Manchester United in fifth. Emery’s initial team selection, which saw Aubameyang, Torreira and Mesut Ozil on the bench, raised eyebrows but it almost resulted in a win that would have put them within one point of Spurs, only for Arsenal to suffer from self-inflicted wounds. Lacazette was a major culprit having been given the nod ahead of Aubameyang, wasting an early chance then repeating his mistake in the second half, skewing wide from close range after superb build-up play from Alex Iwobi and Nacho Monreal. It would have given Arsenal a two-goal cushion and only increased the tension mounting around Wembley at that time.This was a result that could have been much better – and Arsenal may yet look back on it as a very damaging one in their pursuit of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Arsenal 2 Southampton 0

Arsenal punished struggling Southampton with two first-half goals to move back into the top four of the Premier League. The Gunners led when Alexandre Lacazette reacted quickest to turn in Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s shot, with the Saints’ claims for offside proving futile. And they doubled their lead shortly after when Mkhitaryan drilled a shot into the bottom corner. Arsenal should have scored more in a dominant first half, but ultimately it mattered little as those goals were enough to move Unai Emery’s side above Manchester United, who drew at home to Liverpool. Saints, who missed good chances through Nathan Redmond and Matt Targett before each of Arsenal’s goals, offered more resistance after the break.

But they remain in the bottom three, a point adrift of fourth-bottom Cardiff, after failing to win for a fourth successive league game. Arsenal have struggled for consistency under Emery in the second half of the season, alternating between wins and defeats in each of their 10 previous matches before Southampton’s visit. In truth, anything other than a home win against the Saints looked unlikely. However, Emery may be concerned with his side’s inability to demolish their lowly opponents. The Gunners looked potent every time they burst forward, particularly in the first half, and in the closing stages, against a Southampton side which looked fragile at the back. Lacazette was allowed the space to turn in the opener, with the visitors’ defence unorganised and too concerned about appealing for offside, for his 13th goal of the season. After Mkhitaryan doubled the lead, the France striker should have added another but somehow scooped over the bar from a few yards out.

Arsenal’s dominance was illustrated by the 11 shots which they attempted in the first half, nine of which came from inside the Saints area. After the break they failed to assert themselves in a similar fashion, until Pierre-Emerick’s Aubameyang’s introduction as a late substitute stretched the visitors again. The Gabon striker was unable to add to his 18 goals for the season, tamely side-footing at Saints keeper Angus Gunn from close range and seeing another effort blocked by Jannik Vestergaard’s sliding challenge. Ultimately, they still had enough to see off Southampton, but are likely to need to be sharper in the final third if they are to stay ahead of United and Chelsea to secure a return to the Champions League next season. That is also particularly pertinent as, despite keeping a rare clean sheet, they still needed keeper Bernd Leno to be alert to prevent Southampton finding a foothold in the game.

Arsenal 3 Bate Borisov 0

Arsenal powered into the last 16 of the Europa League with a comfortable second-leg victory over Bate Borisov at Emirates Stadium. Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, they scored inside four minutes when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s cross was turned in by Bate defender Zakhar Volkov. Centre-back Shkodran Mustafi made it 2-0 before the break with a powerful header following Granit Xhaka’s corner. Substitute Sokratis Papastathopoulos headed in the third goal after an hour. After a disappointing performance in losing the first leg in Belarus, Arsenal needed to score at least twice to go through.

Bate were denied an equaliser just four minutes after Arsenal had taken the lead, when Stephan Lichtsteiner slid in to make a goalline clearance from Stanislav Dragun’s header. The visitors also went close when Maksim Skavysh hit the side-netting in the first half, but Arsenal had better chances through Alex Iwobi, Xhaka and Aubameyang. The Gunners looked full of energy in the opening stages – winning two early corners and forcing a save from keeper Denis Scherbitski when Iwobi pounced on Lichtsteiner’s cross. They were rewarded when the ball bounced off Volkov’s shin and into the back of the net to give them a crucial equalising goal in the tie.

Arsenal continued to press high up the pitch and created chances in both halves. They had 22 shots – including 15 in the box – and put in 24 crosses from open play. Xhaka forced Scherbitski into a smart save with a powerful long-range effort in the first half, while Mesut Ozil – making just his second start of 2019 and first in four games – poked a shot wide of the left post and Aubameyang’s free-kick was saved after the break. Bate did come close on a few occasions – Skavysh got in behind Nacho Monreal only to slam the ball into the side-netting, before Dragun’s header was kept out by Lichtsteiner. But Arsenal were dominant throughout and never really looked like conceding a costly away goal.

Bate Borisov 1 Arsenal 0

Alexandre Lacazette was sent off as Arsenal slumped to a disappointing first-leg defeat against Bate Borisov in the Europa League last 32. Stanislav Dragun nodded home Igor Stasevich’s free-kick for the game’s only personal home loans goal just before half-time. Lacazette had a goal disallowed early in the second half before being sent off for elbowing Aleksandar Filipovic. A resolute Bate held on for the win, their first over an English side at home in European competition.

The Belarusian champions will now take a slender lead to Emirates Stadium for the second leg next Thursday. It was no more than Bate deserved as Arsenal faded quickly after a bright start on a bumpy pitch and sub-zero conditions in Belarus. Aliaksei Baga’s side were playing their first competitive match since December and doggedly held on to their lead in the second half. Arsenal, in contrast, managed just three shots on target despite enjoying nearly 77% possession. Unai Emery will have hoped the resumption of the Europa League would have given his side some momentum after an inconsistent few weeks.

The Gunners’ final Europa League group game against FK Qarabag in December extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 22 games. But since then Emery’s side have lost six out of 13 matches, going out of both domestic cups in the process. Emery responded to that patchy form by naming a strong side for the game in Belarus, showing just two changes from the team that won at Huddersfield last weekend. There was early promise as Henrikh Mkhitaryan drew a smart stop from Denis Scherbitski within 90 seconds. Further chances for Lacazette and Alex Iwobi followed, but the Gunners quickly deteriorated.

Huddersfield 1 Arsenal 2

Arsenal manager Unai Emery said finishing in a top-four spot will be “difficult, but we can” after his side’s first away win since November at Premier League strugglers Huddersfield. The result saw the Gunners, who remain sixth, move within a point of fourth-placed Manchester United and level on points with fifth-placed Chelsea, who face Manchester City on Sunday (16:00 GMT). “We have played 26 games and there is one point between Manchester United and us,” Emery said. “If we ask ‘is it easy or difficult for us?’ then yes, I think it’s difficult, but we can. We are on our way.”

Once Alex Iwobi’s strike deflected into the bottom right corner off defender Terence Kongolo, the visitors rarely looked like relinquishing the points in Yorkshire. Alexandre Lacazette’s tidy finish from Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ cross ensured victory despite a late Huddersfield fight-back. After Iwobi and Lacazette had squandered chances to increase Arsenal’s winning margin, Adama Diakhaby and Laurent Depoitre both went close to scoring for the hosts. And while Saed Kolasinac’s own goal represented the Terriers first, in 597 minutes of football, it was not enough to retrieve a point. Huddersfield remain marooned at the bottom of the table, 13 points from safety with 12 games remaining.

Arsenal arrived in West Yorkshire in the middle of an indifferent period of form, with three defeats in seven outings during 2019 underlining long-standing defensive issues. Unai Emery’s side was able to brush off the absence of top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and win without being at their best. In attack, Arsenal’s thrust was generally provided down the flanks courtesy of right wing-back Ainsley Maitland-Niles and team-mate Kolasinac on the opposite side.

Arsenal Sign Denis Suarez On Loan

It’s complete. Arsenal have completed the loan signing of Denis Suarez. He joins from Barcelona on loan until the end of the season with an option to purchase for £18million.

He’s got five months to really impress and earn that deal. Suarez, who has one cap for Spa apply for a small loan in, has also agreed a new contract with Barcelona to protect his market value should a permanent move to the Emirates not work out, with his new deal expiring in June 2021.

He will link up again with Arsenal boss Unai Emery, who he worked with during a loan spell at Sevilla during the 2014-15 season. Arsenal will be paying Suarez’s wages during his loan spell. Suarez played 71 games in three seasons with the first team at Barcelona, scoring eight goals and has won five trophies: La Liga, two Copas del Rey and two Spanish Super Cups. Born in Salceda de Caselas, Pontevedra, Galicia, Suárez played youth football in his home country for Porriño Industrial and Celta de Vigo.

Suárez signed for Manchester City on 23 May 2011. Manchester City beat off interest from Barcelona, Chelsea and rivals Manchester United signing him for an initial fee of £850,000 with the potential to rise by £2.75 million depending on appearances and performances. On 22 August 2013 Suárez completed a transfer to Barcelona for an undisclosed fee, signing a four-year contract. During the 2013–14 season he played mostly for Barcelona B in the Spanish Segunda División to continue his development. In July 2014, Suárez was loaned to Sevilla for two seasons as part of the deal which saw Ivan Rakiti? move to Barcelona.

He made his competitive debut on 12 August in the 2014 UEFA Super Cup at Cardiff City Stadium, playing 78 minutes before being substituted for José Antonio Reyes in the 2–0 defeat to Real Madrid. On 29 August 2015, government loans for bad credit Suárez completed a transfer to Villarreal for an undisclosed fee, signing a four-year contract which includes a buy back clause. On 4 July 2016, Barcelona announced the return of Suárez after exercising the buy back clause. Barcelona paid €3.5 million and Suárez signed a four-year contract, with an option of a further year depending on the number of appearances. In his first season, Suárez managed only 12 La Liga starts.

Arsenal 2 Cardiff 1

Arsenal secured a hard-fought win over Cardiff on an emotional night at Emirates Stadium as the Bluebirds played for the first time since the disappearance of striker Emiliano Sala. Despite the defeat, Cardiff boss Neil Warnock praised his side’s performance as their “best of the season”. “We talked about Emiliano before the game and I thought it was appropriate that we gave a good account of ourselves against a good side – we could’ve quite easily won the game,” said Warnock. “What a performance. If Arsenal had our chances they would’ve beaten us by four. We had some great chances and with the effort we put in we should’ve got at least a point.”

Argentine forward Sala, 28, and pilot David Ibbotson were on board a light aircraft that disappeared from radar over the Channel Islands while travelling from Nantes following Sala’s club-record £15m move to Cardiff. Tributes were paid to Sala before the game from both sets of players, club officials and supporters. Neither side had a shot on target in the first half, but Arsenal went ahead through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 66th-minute spot kick after Bruno Ecuele Manga clumsily brought down Sead Kolasinac.

Alexandre Lacazette doubled Arsenal’s lead with a fine low strike into the bottom corner, although substitute Nathaniel Mendez-Laing pulled one back for Cardiff in added time when he curled a shot past Bernd Leno. However, it was not enough for Cardiff and the Gunners’ win takes them to 47 points, the same as fourth-placed Chelsea. There was a surprise in the Arsenal line-up as Mesut Ozil made his first Premier League appearance of 2019 and was handed the captaincy by Unai Emery.

Will Arsenal Sign Perisic?

Arsenal already have a personal agreement in place for Inter Milan’s Ivan Perisic and will look to press on with a deal today. That’s according to Italian football journalist Nicolo Schira. The Gunners have been linked with a move for the Croatian winger in recent days and Inter confirmed last night that Perisic has asked to leave the club. Director Giuseppe Marotta told Sky in Italy: “Perisic has asked to leave but there is no offer for him. We will see in the coming days. We will listen to the request of Perisic. We must try to satisfy him but also respect the value of him.”

The 29-year-old played no part as Inter lost 1-0 at Torino yesterday with manager Luciano Spalletti saying: “If he doesn’t want to play then of course he’s going to be left out.” Arsenal can only complete loan moves this month due to their restricted finances but want to strengthen. Having continued to fail to reach an agreement with Barcelona for Denis Suarez, Unai Emery wants to recruit Perisic on an initial loan move. And Schira – a reporter for La Gazzetta dello Sport – said on Twitter that Arsenal and Inter remain in talks over a deal.

It is claimed the player has already agreed to move to north London but that Arsenal sporting director Raul Sanllehi’s offer is a six-month loan with an option to buy in the summer. Schira adds that Inter chief Marotta wants the deal to be a permanent one or with an obligation, rather than an option, for Arsenal to make the move permanent. He adds that the two clubs will be in contact once again today. Perisic, who was heavily linked with Manchester United last summer after helping Croatia to finish as runners up at the World Cup, is a key figure at San Siro. Sky in Italy claim Inter rejected Arsenal will have to pay a €5million (£4.3m) loan fee for the winger.

Arsenal 1 Manchester United 3

Alexis Sanchez made a goalscoring return to Arsenal to set Manchester United on their way to a fourth-round FA Cup win which makes it eight straight wins for interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Sanchez has struggled to produce his best form since swapping Emirates Stadium for Old Trafford a year ago but was at his sharpest to take Romelu Lukaku’s superb reverse pass in his stride and round Petr Cech to give United a 31st-minute lead.

Lukaku was the creator again two minutes later as Jesse Lingard’s precise finish doubled United’s advantage – and even though Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pulled one back before the interval, Solskjaer’s side were always in control. United keeper Sergio Romero’s superb save from Aaron Ramsey at the start of the second half was crucial in keeping Arsenal at bay and United were rarely troubled afterwards.

Arsenal’s cause was not helped by injuries to key defenders Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Laurent Koscielny; substitute Anthony Martial wrapping up United’s latest success when he pounced after Petr Cech could only palm out Paul Pogba’s shot with eight minutes of normal time left. This disappointing defeat came at a heavy cost for Arsenal and manager Unai Emery – the exit from a competition in which he had high hopes of making progress compounded by further injuries that will drain his defensive resources.

After losing Hector Bellerin for nine months to a knee injury sustained in the win against Chelsea, Emery is now waiting on injury bulletins for Sokratis, who limped off early on with an ankle problem after falling awkwardly, and Koscielny, whose facial injury resulted in 10 minutes of added time.

Will Ramsey Leave Earlier?

Aaron Ramsey could yet be allowed to join Juventus this month if Arsenal can tie up loan deals for Denis Suarez and James Rodriguez. According to the Independent , Arsenal are currently working on temporary deals for the two midfielders and would allow Ramsey to leave in January for a fee of around £10million.

Ramsey is close to signing a pre-contract agreement with Juventus and has already undergone his medical in Turin. He is set to become the club’s second-highest paid player, behind Cristiano Ronaldo. The offer of a new contract for the Welshman at Arsenal was taken off the table at the start of the season, and he has since fallen down the pecking order under Gunners boss Unai Emery. Emery is confident of being reunited with the man he coached at Sevilla five years ago as Suarez has played just 17 minutes of La Liga action this season and has featured mostly in the Copa del Rey.

Arsenal have had a loan bid for Manchester United defender Eric Bailly rejected, according to the Mail. The paper claims that the cash-strapped Gunners made an approach for the centre-back to strengthen their defence until they can make permanent signings in the summer transfer window. But United have no intention of sending a player on loan to a Premier League rival.

Arsenal 2 Chelsea 0

Arsenal earned an important win in a pulsating London derby against Chelsea to keep themselves in the race for the Premier League top four. The victory moves the Gunners to within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea payday loans providers and back above Manchester United, who had gone fifth by beating Brighton. Alexandre Lacazette put Arsenal ahead in the 14th minute when he made the most of a poor Hector Bellerin cross with a fine first touch before turning and beating Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga at his near post with a fierce strike.

Arsenal’s intense pressing hampered Chelsea’s ability to play the ball from the back, particularly in the first half, and the Gunners deservedly added a second through captain Laurent Koscielny in the 39th minute. Chelsea failed to mark well enough at another set-piece and Koscielny missed a free header but the ball fortuitously looped in off his shoulder. Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea struggled to create in the first half but did hit the post on the stroke of half-time through Marcos Alonso’s header at a corner. They posed greater threat in the second half but failed to have a shot on target until the 82nd minute as Arsenal’s defence, led by the excellent Koscielny, held firm.

Arsenal and Chelsea both appointed new managers in the summer and both came into the game at the Emirates with questions marks over their progress after difficult recent results. Arsenal had lost four of their last eight games, having been unbeaten in their previous 22, while Chelsea had only won four of their last seven games. Defeat to the Blues would have seen a seven-point gap open between the Gunners and the top four but their intensity and work-rate in the early stages put their opponents on the back foot from the outset.

Mislintat Could Leave Arsenal

Arsenal are refusing to comment on reports their head of recruitment Sven Mislintat is set to leave the club. The Gunners are looking to appoint a technical director, for which Mislintat was expected to be a contender. But it is likely the German, 46, will be overlooked for the role and that is among the factors which could result in his departure. A number of potential scenarios are being discussed and no timescale has been placed on the process. However, sources believe that Mislintat will be the latest high-profile departure in a period of major upheaval for the club.

He joined the Gunners from Borussia Dortmund in November 2017, forming a key part of the of-field restructure overseen by then chief executive Ivan Gazidis. Mislintat was followed into Emirates Stadium by former Barcelona executive Raul Sanllehi, who was named head of football relations.Mislintat was involved in all eight of the signings Arsenal have made since then, most notably the club-record acquisition of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for £56m in January 2018. He also played a key part in the appointment of Unai Emery as head coach to succeed manager Arsene Wenger last summer.

Sanllehi stepped up to become head of football and Vinai Venkatesham switched from chief commercial officer to managing director. With Sanllehi and Venkatesham now in joint leadership – and no change of position for Mislintat – some felt the German could be on his way out. It is thought Sanllehi has been seeking a candidate who is either well known by Emery or has a connection to Arsenal, with ex-Gunners midfielder Edu among those linked. Although there has not been a major breakdown in relations with Mislintat, Arsenal’s lack of money to spend in the January transfer window has also caused issues.

Petr Cech To Retire By Season End

Arsenal keeper Petr Cech is to retire at the end of the season. The 36-year-old joined Arsenal in June 2015 from the club’s London rivals Chelsea, where he spent 11 years. “Having played 15 years in the Premier League and won every single trophy possible, I feel like I have achieved everything I set out to achieve,” said the monthly loans no credit check ex-Czech Republic international. “I will continue to work hard at Arsenal to hopefully win one more trophy this season.” Cech’s career was in doubt in October 2006 when he required surgery for a skull fracture after a collision with Reading’s Stephen Hunt.

The keeper was out for three months and has since worn a protective headguard during games. He added: “This is my 20th season as a professional player and it has been 20 years since I signed my first professional contract, so it feels like the right time to announce that I will retire. “I am looking forward to seeing what life holds for me off the pitch.” Cech arrived in England when he was signed by Chelsea from French club Rennes in July 2004.

He went on to win 13 trophies with the Stamford Bridge club, including one Champions League and four Premier League titles. He also set a club record of 228 clean sheets in all competitions, beating the previous mark of 208 set by former England international Peter Bonetti between 1960 and 1979. Cech eventually lost his place to Belgian Thibaut Courtois before joining Arsenal and helping the Gunners win the FA Cup in 2017.

West Ham 1 Arsenal 0

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini believes Declan Rice is becoming a “complete player” after the 19-year-old gave the Hammers victory over Arsenal. Rice’s superb finish – his first Premier League strike – was the only goal at London Stadium, denting Arsenal’s top-four ambitions. Rice beat Bernd Leno with a first-time shot after a good lay-off by Samir Nasri, who was making his first top-flight appearance in England since August 2016. The maiden top-flight goal comes two weeks after Rice signed a new contract that will keep him with the Hammers until 2024.

Before that, the international future of Rice, who can play at centre-back or in centre midfield, had been in the headlines. He has earned three caps for the Republic of Ireland, all in friendlies, and the London-born man could yet decide to declare for England. In a highly-competitive London derby, Alexandre Lacazette was denied by an excellent save from Lukasz Fabianski as Arsenal failed to score in the league for the first time since the opening day of the season. West Ham were full value for their win, with Marko Arnautovic, Rice, Nasri and Felipe Anderson all going close when the game was goalless.

While West Ham move up to eighth in the table after a sixth win in nine league games, Arsenal remain fifth. The Gunners are three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea, who entertain Newcastle at 17:30 GMT. Arsenal are now without a win in five league games away from the Emirates Stadium and are playing catch-up in the race for a Champions League place. Only leaders Liverpool and Manchester City have found the net more than the Gunners, but against West Ham they failed to score in the league for only the second time this season – and have not kept a clean sheet since 8 December.