Arsenal 2 PSG 2

Arsenal face a struggle to finish top of their Champions League group after they were held to a draw by Paris St-Germain at Emirates Stadium. The Gunners were seeking the win that would put them in pole position in Group A after years of finishing second and six consecutive eliminations in the last 16 in the knockout phase. And it looked like Arsenal were on their way despite going behind early on to Edinson Cavani’s sliding finish from Blaise Matuidi’s cross. Olivier Giroud scored from a penalty just before half-time after Grzegorz Krychowiak fouled Alexis Sanchez. And Arsenal were ahead on the hour when a penalty-box rebound struck Marco Verratti and flew in.

PSG were always dangerous and Lucas’ header, which took a touch off Alex Iwobi, gave them a fully-deserved equaliser 13 minutes from time. Cavani then missed two good chances and although Arsenal and PSG are level on points, the French champions have the advantage on head-to-head away goals with one round of games left after a 1-1 draw between the teams in Paris earlier in the group. Arsenal’s inability to top their Champions League group has cost them dearly as they have failed to get past the last 16 in the past six years – and they now face the same fate again. The odds now seem stacked in favour of Unai Emery’s side, but the side that finishes top could yet end up facing the likes of Real Madrid or Bayern Munich. PSG face Ludogorets at home in their final game, the team Arsenal beat 6-0 at Emirates Stadium, while Wenger’s side travel to Basel.

There is still an opportunity for late twists but it is starting to look like second again after this enthralling draw. They will be entering familiar territory after reaching the last 16 every season in the Champions League’s current format, which has been in existence since 2003-04. Arsenal have suffered in finishing second. Those exits at the last-16 stage in the past six seasons have included two losses to Barcelona, two to Bayern Munich and one each to AC Milan and Monaco. Arsenal may not have been at their best here but they once again showed the resilience that manager Arsene Wenger believes is starting to become their trademark. Arsenal were outplayed until they got a penalty in first-half injury time and while they hardly sparkled in the second half they at least dug deep to earn a point that could yet prove vital.


Manchester United 1 Arsenal 1

Olivier Giroud’s 89th-minute equaliser earned Arsenal a point and denied Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United a victory they deserved at Old Trafford. Juan Mata looked to have put United on course for three points with a sweeping left-foot finish from Ander Herrera’s cut-back after 68 minutes. Arsenal had not had an effort on goal but secured the draw that leaves them six points ahead of United when substitute Giroud rose at the far post to head home Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross. United had controlled a game that was ordinary for long periods, with Arsenal keeper Petr Cech making important interventions and Mourinho left furious that they were denied a first-half penalty by referee Andre Marriner when Nacho Monreal hauled down Antonio Valencia.

Mourinho cut a dejected figure at the final whistle as this result means he has now faced Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal in the league this season and not recorded a win. This is the latest chapter in what is turning into a season of frustration for both Mourinho and Manchester United as they struggle to pick up the momentum required to challenge their rivals at the top of the Premier League. So much of this display will have left Mourinho feeling satisfied. Manchester United looked in control, restricted Arsenal to a single opportunity and were full value for their lead until Giroud struck with a minute of normal time left. Mourinho has still to taste defeat against Wenger in 12 Premier League games – but this will carry the pain of a loss as Arsenal earned an Old Trafford draw their performance did not merit. Wenger has not won at Old Trafford in the Premier League since September 2006 and has experienced a lot of pain here since – but he will happily grasp this point with both hands after a desperately disappointing Arsenal display.

The Gunners barely raised a gallop and one early Alexis Sanchez header apart, Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea was unemployed until Giroud’s header flew past him. Arsenal were grateful for the reassuring presence of goalkeeper Cech, who was faultless, and also to referee Marriner for waving away those first-half penalty appeals. If Wenger is looking for positives, he will point to the fact that Arsenal stuck at it to open the door for that late equaliser – allowing them to take a point from a place that has brought them much misery in recent years. Wenger will know, however, that Arsenal will need to be bolder and perform better against their rivals than this – but on this occasion he will take this draw and move on.


Arsenal 1 Tottenham Hotspurs 1

Harry Kane marked his return from injury with the equaliser that kept Tottenham as the only unbeaten team in the Premier League after a north London derby draw at Arsenal. The England striker, sidelined since 18 September with an ankle injury, scored from the penalty spot early in the second half after Kevin Wimmer’s own goal three minutes before the interval gave Arsenal the advantage. The Gunners knew victory would put them top of the table, and Theo Walcott almost put them ahead, crashing a shot against the post, before Wimmer glanced Mesut Ozil’s free-kick past Hugo Lloris. Spurs responded well with Kane’s spot-kick after Laurent Koscielny tangled with Mousa Dembele. They then threatened to take all three points, Christian Eriksen forcing a fine save from Petr Cech before his angled free-kick bounced back off the post in the closing minutes.

Arsenal could have gone top of the Premier League with victory here – moving ahead of Chelsea and Manchester City – and all the omens seemed good for them. The Gunners were in prime form – they remain unbeaten since the opening day of the season – and faced a Spurs side in reduced circumstances, without a win in six games and missing the influence of injured defender Toby Alderweireld and midfielder Dele Alli. With Kane also returning after a seven-week absence, Arsenal would have entered this north London derby high on optimism – yet had to settle for a draw. Arsenal were pushed on to the back foot for the first 20 minutes but then exerted their authority to lead by half-time, only to be knocked off track by the concession of that cheap penalty. The Gunners still showed plenty of grit but in the end they did not possess enough guile to unlock a resolute Spurs defence, who held out in relative comfort for a point.

Arsenal v Spurs is now the highest scoring fixture in Premier League history with 139 goals. Mauricio Pochettino is the first ever Tottenham manager to remain unbeaten in his first five top-flight north London derbies. Harry Kane is now Tottenham’s joint-top scorer in Premier League games against Arsenal with five goals (level with Gareth Bale). Tottenham have stayed unbeaten in their opening 11 top-flight games for the first time since 1960-61 – which is when they last won the title. Laurent Koscielny conceded twice as many fouls in this game (4) as he had in his previous nine Premier League games this season combined (2).


Sunderland 1 Arsenal 4

Arsenal increased the pressure on Sunderland manager David Moyes with a comfortable victory over a Black Cats side who remain bottom of the table and without a Premier League win this season. Alexis Sanchez put the Gunners ahead when he got in front of defender Lamine Kone to head in Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s cross. The dominant visitors had a strong penalty appeal turned down after Sanchez looked to have been brought down before Jermain Defoe equalised from the spot after keeper Petr Cech had fouled Duncan Watmore. However, Arsenal reasserted their authority and lead with three goals in six minutes and 20 seconds. Olivier Giroud came off the bench to guide in a shot and then headed in a Mesut Ozil corner, while Sanchez’s close range effort was the signal for the home fans to start streaming out of the Stadium of Light.

The win moved Arsenal top of the Premier League – but whether they stay there depends on how Manchester City and Liverpool fare in their later games. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger wanted a win in the early Saturday game to put pressure on his side’s rivals and his players duly delivered. The Gunners were missing the in-form Theo Walcott, but Oxlade-Chamberlain, who scored twice in the midweek EFL Cup win over Reading, competently filled the void. He provided the cross for Sanchez, starting up front instead of Giroud, to head in the opener and the England midfielder has now been involved in seven goals in his past eight games in all competitions, with four goals and three assists. Ozil had a chip saved when clean through and the Gunners were punished for failing to turn their dominance into further goals when Defoe equalised. However, Arsenal regrouped and recovered with a late burst of goals and are unbeaten in 14 matches.

Arsenal were still smarting from referee Martin Atkinson not awarding them a penalty for Kone appearing to pull back Sanchez when Defoe gave Sunderland hope. Wenger sent on Giroud, who was playing his first league game since 24 September following a toe injury, and he scored with his first two touches of the game. “I have been lucky today, I had great assists from my team-mates,” said France striker Giroud, who has scored seven goals in his last seven appearances against Sunderland in all competitions. “It is a big time for me coming back from a tough injury and I’m very happy to be back on the pitch.” Arsenal have lost just one of their past 20 top-flight games (12 wins and seven draws) Alexis Sanchez has been directly involved in eight goals in his past eight Premier League appearances (five goals, three assists).


Arsenal 2 Reading 0

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored twice as Arsenal extended their unbeaten run with a hard-fought EFL Cup win against Championship side Reading. The England midfielder opened the scoring when he skipped into the box and drilled into the bottom corner. Reading almost equalised when Callum Harriott’s deflected shot landed on top of Emiliano Martinez’s goal. Arsenal dominated after half-time, with Oxlade-Chamberlain’s deflected shot completing a 14th game without defeat. Oxlade-Chamberlain, 23, has struggled to claim a regular starting place in Arsene Wenger’s first-choice side during their fine start to the campaign.

He has completed 90 minutes on just two occasions this season, but staked his claim for a bigger role with the standout performance in a much-changed Arsenal team. While there was little to remind the Emirates Stadium crowd of Arsenal’s memorable 7-5 win when the teams met in this competition in 2012, it maintains the Gunners’ hopes of winning the League Cup for the first time since 1993. Reading acquitted themselves well for the most of the contest, but were put on the back foot when a sloppy pass from keeper Ali Al-Habsi allowed Oxlade-Chamberlain to win back possession high up the field and then open the scoring. Al-Habsi partially redeemed himself with several saves after the break, but was powerless to stop the second which deflected off Royals defender Jordan Obita to seal victory.


Arsenal 0 Middlesborough 0

Arsenal’s six-match winning run in the Premier League came to an end against Middlesbrough but a point was enough to move them top of the table. Manager Arsene Wenger – celebrating his 67th birthday – watched his side dominate possession but underwhelm in the final third. The Gunners managed five efforts on target, but only one worried Boro keeper Victor Valdes when he pulled off a great one-handed stop to deny Alexis Sanchez. Aitor Karanka’s side defended brilliantly and, despite conceding much of the possession to the home side, created the better chances. Arsenal keeper Petr Cech blocked Gaston Ramirez’s header, twice denied the outstanding Adama Traore and also saved from Alvaro Negredo. The home side briefly thought they had won it in injury time but Mesut Ozil’s effort was rightly ruled out for offside. Despite remaining in 17th place, Boro should be buoyed by the display and unexpected result.

The invitations have been sent out, the hall is decorated and the party food is prepared – but then only a handful of guests turn up and music is barely audible. That is how birthday boy Wenger must have felt at the final whistle as his side, who have been in tremendous form, had their wings clipped by a resilient and disciplined Boro. Karanka’s side might have only had 25% of the possession but the gameplan was to set up a defensive wall across their area and hit the Gunners on the counter-attack. Wenger’s men tried almost everything. After failing to walk through the Boro defence they tried to play the ball over the top, but lacked accuracy. When they did have a sight of goal they lacked conviction. Sanchez tested former Barcelona team-mate Valdes from 20 yards but should have done much better with one from half that distance. They mustered a final set of attacks in the closing moments and had the ball in the net when Ozil poked in, but the German was clearly offside.

Finding goals was Middlesbrough’s problem coming into this game having scored only seven in the league. Loan signing Negredo netted on the opening day of the season but has been off-key since. At the Emirates he should have beaten Cech with a low shot and then, with moments remaining, he allowed Laurent Koscielny to tackle him in the area. Both Gaston Ramirez and in particular Traore impressed in midfield, with Karanka’s counter-attacking plan suiting the pacy Spaniard, who twice threatened with runs from his own area. One of those ended with a shot that Cech had to push away and another saw him play in Negredo for that late chance. The 20-year-old also had another strike saved by the Gunners keeper in the first half. If Boro build on this display and start finding the net then they might avoid a relegation battle at the end of the season.


Arsenal 6 Ludogorets 0

Mesut Ozil scored a hat-trick after stunning goals from Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott as Arsenal dismantled Ludogorets Razgrad in a ruthless Champions League display. Sanchez got the first with a masterful chip from just inside the box. Walcott powered a curling shot home after Ludogorets’ Wanderson hit a post. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain smashed a loose ball into the corner for the third, before Ozil claimed the first hat-trick of his career. The Gunners have won seven games in a row in all competitions – scoring 23 goals – and are unbeaten in 11 matches. Their last defeat was at home to Liverpool on the opening day of the Premier League season.

Victory over Bulgarian champions Ludogorets means Arsenal top Group A ahead of Paris St-Germain, who beat Basel 3-0, on goal difference. As Sanchez’s drifting lob settled in the Ludogorets net, gleeful manager Arsene Wenger leapt from the bench in celebration. It was just the beginning. The Frenchman’s side were so dominant and full of confidence they perhaps should even have won by a greater margin. Oxlade-Chamberlain certainly might have provided a better finish to Sanchez’s beautifully disguised chipped through pass – the Chilean’s second moment of genius on a night his hard running and quick mind came to the fore. But the player who most obviously embodies Arsenal’s new dynamic mood is Walcott. He impressively put two earlier missed chances out of mind when doubling the lead with a powerful strike that signalled the away side’s slide towards heavy defeat. It was the 27-year-old’s seventh goal in his past six Arsenal games, having scored the same amount in his previous 42.

For 60 minutes, Walcott and Sanchez terrified the opposition backline with their pace, and he went off to huge round of applause when he was replaced by Lucas Perez. There were big smiles as he took up a seat on the bench – from both Walcott and Wenger. In each of the past six seasons, Arsenal have fallen at the first knockout stage, the last 16. In all but one of those seasons, they finished second in their group. With Swiss club Basel and Ludogorets six points adrift with three matches to play, Group A will surely be won by Arsenal or French champions PSG. The Gunners began their Champions League campaign with a battling point in Paris, and the two teams meet in north London on 23 November.

Walcott has scored three Champions League goals this season, already his best return in a campaign. Ozil’s assist for Walcott’s goal was his first in 10 games in all competitions for Arsenal this season. This game was the first time since October 2000 two English players scored in a Champions League match for Arsenal (after Ray Parlour and Lee Dixon v Sparta Prague). The Gunners are unbeaten in their first three Champions League group games for the first time since 2011-12. Arsenal scored six goals in a Champions League game for the first time since September 2010 (6-0 v Braga).


Arsenal 3 Swansea City 2

Theo Walcott scored twice as 10-man Arsenal won their sixth Premier League game in a row, despite a spirited Swansea City display in Bob Bradley’s first match as manager. Gunners and England forward Walcott now has five goals in eight games, taking advantage of a heavy Jordi Amat touch for his first and a poor Jack Cork header for his second. The Swans looked dejected after the quick-fire double, though Gylfi Sigurdsson pounced on a Granit Xhaka error to curl in and give them hope before the break. Mesut Ozil volleyed an Alexis Sanchez cross into the top corner to restore a two-goal lead for the hosts, but substitute Borja tapped in from the impressive Modou Barrow’s cross to set up a tense finale.

Arsenal saw Xhaka sent off for a petulant trip with 20 minutes left and dug in to earn a win which moves them level on points with league leaders Manchester City. Defeat leaves Swansea in the bottom three, winless since the opening day and they have now equalled their worst start to a league season. But it would be wrong to be overly negative about this display. They were competitive early on but two defensive lapses left them facing a deficit they almost clawed back. Walcott was on hand from close range to punish them and he has now scored as many goals in eight outings as he did in all 28 of his Premier League appearances last season. The 27-year-old has only ever reached double figures once in a league season, scoring 14 times in the 2012-13 campaign. But he seemed hungry in front of goal, with six shots – a game high – and showed instinct to sense Amat would have difficulty dealing with a bouncing ball, allowing him to prod the opener. Walcott’s approach play was also sharp – completing 92% of his passes – and he worked hard too, with only Santi Cazorla and Hector Bellerin covering more ground for Arsene Wenger’s side.

Late on he missed two one-on-one chances for his hat-trick, the first of which saw him strike the post and watch as the ball rolled agonisingly back across the goalline. Walcott’s late misses were among 16 Arsenal shots – but Swansea managed 13 themselves. Xhaka was Arsenal’s main negative during what was at times a thrilling encounter. His error for Sigurdsson’s excellent finish gave Swansea a footing, his late kick on Barrow almost put his side under more pressure than they could take. Wenger said he would not appeal the dismissal but admitted it “made it difficult for us” after watching his goalkeeper Petr Cech save headers from Leroy Fer and Federico Fernandez late on. The erratic display by his £35m signing may prompt concern, but Wenger should be pleased to see what he called “good solidarity” to hold on for the win. The recent international break marked 20 years at the club for the Frenchman. With his contract up in the summer, how many more chances will he have to guide Arsenal to their first title since 2004? His side have trailed for just 52 minutes in the league this season. They have been solid and when questioned by Swansea they found the grit which will undoubtedly be needed if they are to end their title wait. The Gunners are the only Premier League side to have won (30) more games than they’ve lost (26) when they’ve had a player sent off.


Burnley 0 Arsenal 1

Burnley suffered, what would seem like a cruel, defeat at Turf Moor as Arsenal secured victory with a controversial Laurent Koscielny goal in the final act of an intriguing match. In added time, Theo Walcott headed across goal towards Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain whose effort went in off what appeared to be Koscielny’s elbow. As well as a possible handball, there was also a hint of offside with captain Koscielny standing on the goalline. Michael Keane had Burnley’s best chance, heading on to the crossbar. But despite the Clarets’ fine defensive display, with Keane in particular impressing as they shut out Arsenal until the 94th minute, they came away with no points for their efforts.

The win allowed Arsenal to close the gap on league leaders Manchester City, who lost 2-0 at Tottenham in one of Sunday’s earlier kick-offs, to two points while overtaking Liverpool to claim third place. Manager Arsene Wenger admitted his team were fortunate in victory but with this result at Turf Moor, and convincing victories over Chelsea in the league and Basel in the Champions League in the last week, the north Londoners have hit a fine run of form, extending their unbeaten stretch to six league games. Immediately after the match, Koscielny – who was credited with the goal – said he did not know whether he had handled. “I tried with my right foot and I don’t know if I touch it with my hand,” the Frenchman said. Even though Burnley did not appeal for handball at the time, their manager Sean Dyche said afterwards the ball “quite clearly” hit the defender’s hand. To add to the confusion Arsenal’s winner caused, Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrated as if he had scored but the England international’s shot did appear to hit Koscielny’s arm before it crossed the line, while Dyche even suggested that it was the Arsenal captain who kicked the ball on to his own arm.

As another caveat, if it were the case that Oxlade-Chamberlain did kick the ball on to Koscielny’s arm, the defender would have been in an offside position. “You have to question the added time, the corner and whether it should have come in, the handball and question whether we should have dealt with it,” added Dyche. “It’s a poor way to end a game.” But no matter what the theories or Dyche’s thoughts, referee Craig Pawson saw nothing wrong with the winner which secured Arsenal a fifth successive Premier League win and ensured another win for Wenger as the 21st year of the 66-year-old’s reign began. Arsenal were their usual selves in possession – accurate, quick, dominant – but their pleasing-on-the-eye play would often break down as soon as they closed in on the Burnley box, in the first half especially.

The visitors had just one shot on target before the break – a trifling Mesut Ozil attempt in the 16th minute – and so organised were Burnley in defence, it quickly became clear why Dyche’s side had conceded only five goals in their last 17 league games at home before this match. Ozil was as disappointing as he was effervescent in the 3-0 win over Chelsea, his game summed up with a wayward shot which sailed into the stands when there were better options available to him. Wenger admitted his team were jaded after three matches in eight days. As the match progressed, the Gunners threatened more with Alexis Sanchez their most dangerous player, forcing a low save from goalkeeper Tom Heaton and then striking the bottom corner of the post after Burnley had failed to deal with an Ozil cross.


Arsenal 2 Basel FC 0

Theo Walcott scored twice as Arsenal put in a dominant home display against Basel in the Champions League. It took the Gunners just six minutes to open the scoring as Walcott headed in from Alexis Sanchez’s cutback. The two Arsenal men linked up again as Englishman Walcott drilled low into the net to complete a swift team move. Basel goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik made good saves to deny Sanchez and Hector Bellerin, with Birkir Bjarnason coming close for the visitors.

Arsenal stunned rivals Chelsea 3-0 in the Premier League at the weekend and impressed again at the Emirates in this Group A encounter. Arsene Wenger’s side are now unbeaten in eight games in all competitions since losing to Liverpool on the opening day of the season. The sublime skill and movement of attacking trio Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Walcott, who already has five goals this season, was too much for Basel to handle and the margin of victory could have been far more emphatic. Santi Cazorla controlled the tempo of the game with 94 passes – more than any other player on the pitch – while centre-backs Laurent Koscielny and Shkodran Mustafi were largely untroubled. Arsenal often start a season strongly before falling away, but if they can avoid major injuries and maintain a settled side, realistic challenges for the league title and the latter stages of the Champions League are not unthinkable.

The Xhaka brothers, Granit of Arsenal and Basel’s Taulant, faced each other again after crossing paths at Euro 2016.
In a quirk of international eligibility, Granit represents Switzerland while Taulant plays for Albania and it was the Gunners man who came out on top on that occasion. And it was the younger Xhaka sibling who triumphed again as his side totally outplayed the Swiss league champions. Midfielder Bjarnason, part of the Iceland side that beat England at the tournament in France, had a long-range effort tipped over by David Ospina, who also saved well from Andraz Sporar late on. Theo Walcott scored his first Champions League double since October 2007 against Slavia Prague. Walcott scored his first headed goal in the competition. Alexis Sanchez has had a hand in 11 of Arsenal’s last 16 Champions League goals (four goals, seven assists). Only Barcelona’s Neymar ( has more Champions League assists since the start of last season than Sanchez.


Arsenal 3 Chelsea 0

Arsenal produced a devastating first-half display to dismantle Chelsea and secure a fourth successive Premier League win. Alexis Sanchez took advantage of Gary Cahill’s error to race clear and lift a composed finish over Thibaut Courtois after 11 minutes, and Theo Walcott completed a brilliant move to steer in Hector Bellerin’s pass three minutes later. Mesut Ozil then left N’Golo Kante trailing to expose Chelsea on the counter-attack and steer home Arsenal’s third five minutes before the break, after an exchange with Sanchez. It was little more than damage limitation for Chelsea after that as they fell to their second league loss in a row as rampant Arsenal moved third in the table.

Arsenal, for all Chelsea’s obvious frailties, were simply untouchable from back to front in a magnificent first 45 minutes that revived memories of their finest days. The Gunners showed pace, skill, pressed Chelsea into submission and probed weaknesses ruthlessly in the manner of a team at the top of its game. Arsenal’s fans, so often frustrated and having already expressed their discontent at home this season, left Emirates Stadium with a spring in their step and sharing the optimism expressed by manager Arsene Wenger. He wrote in his programme notes: “We feel as though we are on the way up.” This was a performance that spoke eloquently on behalf of Wenger’s theory – with the proviso Gunners fans have heard this talk before only to be disappointed. This, however, was a magnificent exhibition of power, pace and end product, from the skills of Sanchez and Ozil in attack to the lightning speed and tackling of Bellerin at the back.

When Sanchez and Ozil are in this mood, Arsenal are a threat to anyone. The pair are world class when at the peak of their powers – and they certainly were here. Sanchez hurried Cahill into a panic before a gloriously composed chip for Arsenal’s first, and he and Ozil combined to leave Chelsea’s defence embarrassed as the latter scored the third. Arsenal were outstanding in all areas – but Sanchez and Ozil provided the final flourishes with the sort of class that makes them central figures in all Wenger is trying to achieve this season. Arsene Wenger inflicted Antonio Conte’s heaviest league defeat since October 2010, when he was manager of Siena (3-0 loss to Empoli). Chelsea found themselves three goals down at half-time in a Premier League game for the first time since May 2012 (v Liverpool, 4-1 FT). This was the first time since October 2012 v Manchester United the Blues had conceded twice in the opening 15 minutes of a Premier League game. This is Arsene Wenger’s first win over Chelsea in the league since October 2011 (drew three, lost six). Chelsea’s first shot on target came in the 82nd minute. Hector Bellerin has provided more assists than any other Premier League defender since the start of last season (six). Theo Walcott scored in consecutive Premier League games for the first time since May 2013 (three in a row for the Gunners).


Hull City 1 Arsenal 4

Alexis Sanchez scored twice and missed a penalty as Arsenal comfortably beat 10-man Hull City in the Premier League. Sanchez put Arsenal ahead when he got a touch on Alex Iwobi’s shot, but failed from the spot after Jake Livermore handled and was sent off. Theo Walcott added a second after the break before Robert Snodgrass pulled one back for the hosts with a penalty. Sanchez stroked a third into an empty net before Granit Xhaka’s spectacular shot rounded off the scoring.

Sanchez’s first goal owed much to fortune rather than brilliance as Iwobi arrived at the back post and saw his effort deflect in off the Chile international. Livermore was shown a straight red card five minutes before half-time when he blocked Iwobi’s goal-bound effort with his hands. Sanchez took responsibility for the penalty ahead of recent regular taker Santi Cazorla only to see his low effort saved by Hull goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic. It was a decision which also mystified Wenger who revealed it was “not planned for Sanchez to take it” and that he wants “to know what happened and for it not to happen again”. Walcott notched a second goal shortly before the hour mark when he got on the end of Iwobi’s clever flick with Hull defender Harry Maguire helping the ball into the net with his head. Snodgrass gave Hull a glimmer of hope when he converted from the spot after Petr Cech had brought down Dieumerci Mbokani, but Arsenal’s response was emphatic.

Sanchez struck after Jakupovic had blocked Walcott’s initial shot, before substitute Switzerland international Xhaka – a £35m summer signing from Borussia Monchengladbach – applied the gloss with the pick of the goals from distance. After three consecutive Premier League wins for the first time since last Christmas, Arsenal’s season now feels properly up and running. Hull made Arsenal work for this victory but the quality in Arsene Wenger’s side shone through. Even when he has an off day Sanchez can be a match-winner. These were not particularly classy strikes from the Chilean, but he got the job done. Wenger, in a season when the pressure is on him to deliver silverware, will likely feel there is plenty to build on from this performance.

Both teams have away trips in the third round of the EFL Cup during the week. Arsenal face Championship Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Tuesday while Hull benefit from a extra day of rest before they travel to the Potteries to play Stoke. Arsenal have won six games at the KCOM Stadium in all competitions – more than any other away side. Hull have lost back-to-back home league games for the first time since May 2015. Sanchez has been involved in eight goals in his five games against Hull in all competitions (six goals, two assists). Sanchez’s penalty miss means he is the only Arsenal player to take more than one Premier League penalty and fail to score with any of them. Arsene Wenger’s side have not lost any of their past 26 Premier League games against newly promoted sides (W22 D4).


PSG 1 Arsenal 1

Alexis Sanchez salvaged a point for Arsenal from their limp Champions League opener at Paris St-Germain. Edinson Cavani glanced PSG ahead after 42 seconds and should have had a hat-trick before half-time, firing wide after rounding David Ospina before slipping to fluff a simple finish. Sanchez rifled in the rebound from Arsenal’s first shot on target. Alex Iwobi might have had a late Arsenal winner before Olivier Giroud and PSG’s Marco Verratti were sent off.

Substitute Giroud was brought on to enliven a tame attacking display and picked up two yellow cards in his 27 minutes, the second for an altercation in which Italian midfielder Verratti also picked up a second yellow. The Gunners were often exposed by the pace of Cavani, Angel di Maria and Serge Aurier and relied on their Colombian goalkeeper Ospina – preferred to Petr Cech – to keep them in it. Iwobi’s low shot was tipped away by Alphonse Areola after Sanchez’s equaliser, while PSG would have had a 94th-minute winner had defender Marquinhos not wastefully headed wide from close range.

Anything more than a point for Arsenal would have been harsh on PSG, who outperformed their Premier League opponents but failed to take their chances. Arsenal produced some slick interplay in front of goal but failed to produce many dangerous moments and looked shaky at the back. By the time Sanchez brought them level by firing home after Iwobi’s shot was parried out, they could easily have been two or three behind. Cech was dropped for Ospina in Arsenal’s first two Champions League games last season but was reinstated after the Colombian scored an own goal from a corner in a 3-2 home defeat by Olympiakos. In the first half Ospina made a brilliant recovery to tip over as Angel di Maria’s corner momentarily threatened a repeat of that calamitous moment, but he had little chance of stopping Cavani’s deft, glancing header.


Arsenal 2 Southampton 1

Santi Cazorla’s stoppage-time penalty gave Arsenal a dramatic victory over a determined Southampton side. Saints took the lead when Petr Cech tipped a Dusan Tadic free-kick onto the underside of the bar but the ball bounced in off the Gunners keeper. Laurent Koscielny equalised with a spectacular overhead kick after Cazorla’s corner was not cleared. The hosts toiled in attack but Cazorla won it for them after Jose Fonte was judged to have fouled Olivier Giroud. The result was harsh on Southampton, who were well-organised at the back and dangerous when they broke forward. Saints remain winless under new manager Claude Puel, while Arsenal are five points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City, who beat Manchester United earlier on Saturday.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger gave debuts to both his recent signings, £35m centre-back Shkodran Mustafi and £17m forward Lucas Perez. A World Cup winner with Germany, Mustafi instantly looked comfortable in his new surroundings, having more touches (94) and playing more passes (86) than anyone else on the pitch, frequently stepping up into the Saints half when he was on the ball. But Spaniard Perez had a much quieter debut, failing to have a shot of any kind in the first half. His only effort at goal after the break was blocked and he was taken off after 63 mostly ineffective minutes. Wenger threw on Giroud, Alexis Sanchez and, eventually, Alex Iwobu too, but his side continued to struggle in front of goal until Fonte tangled with France striker Giroud and referee Robert Madley pointed to the spot.

Southampton are in the bottom three after failing to win any of their first four games of the season, but they were unfortunate not to pick up at least a point in north London. Shane Long was left on the bench until half-time but had three good chances in the second half. Arsenal begin their Champions League campaign on Tuesday, with a trip to play French champions Paris St-Germain, before another away game, at Hull, in the Premier League next Saturday. Arsenal scored with both of their shots on target in this match, from 17 shots in total. Arsenal are unbeaten in their past 22 home league games against Southampton (W16 D6). Koscielny became the fifth Arsenal player to score a Premier League goal on their birthday (after Paul Merson, Robert Pires, Yossi Benayoun and Cazorla). Arsenal are at 6th on 7 points, level with Liverpool.


Arsenal Wrap Up Signings Of Mustafi & Perez

Arsenal have completed the signing of Spanish striker Lucas Perez from Deportivo La Coruna. The announcement of Perez, 27, is expected to be followed by the arrival of Germany international Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia as manager Arsene Wenger brings in the attacking and defensive reinforcements he targeted in the latter stages of the summer transfer window. Perez, whose £17 million release clause was triggered by Arsenal last week, scored 17 league goals and added eight assists last season. Perez only emerged as a late target for Wenger, who also pursued Jamie Vardy and Alexandre Lacazette in this transfer window, but the Arsenal boss is hoping the forward can replicate his breakthrough season in Spain when he comes to the Premier League.

Wenger told the club’s official website: “He’s not only a goal scorer, he’s a guy who combines well with partners, who can give a final ball and makes good runs. He’s got a good eye for goal and had an outstanding season last year.”

Arsenal have completed the signing of Shkodran Mustafi from Valencia in a deal worth up to £35million. The 24-year-old German centre back becomes the Gunners’ second signing of the day following the arrival of Lucas Perez from Deportivo La Coruna for £17m. The club’s new arrivals take Arsenal’s spending close to the £100m mark this summer as they look to compete with the Manchester clubs and Chelsea at the top of the Premier League. Speaking to the club’s website after the deal was completed on Tuesday evening, manager Arsene Wenger said: ‘He is at the right age. He has good experience. ‘He is a very focused player who can play with the ball as well. We have taken a great player but have prepared well for the future.’ Mustafi becomes Arsenal’s sixth signing of the summer, following Granit Xhaka, Rob Holding, Takuma Asano – who has already joined Stuttgart on loan – and Kelechi Nwakali.

Both new players should be available for Arsenal’s next Premier League game at home to Southampton on Sept. 10. They will join Switzerland midfielder Granit Xhaka as the Gunners’ main signings this summer. The deals are reportedly worth a total of £52m — with Mustafi costing £35m — bringing the club’s total spending to over £90m this summer. It’s the most money ever spent by Wenger in a transfer window, which also saw Granit Xhaka join for £30m in May. Wenger had been searching for a striker since Danny Welbeck suffered another long-term knee injury at the end of last season, and Perez will fight with Olivier Giroud for the starting role up front for the Gunners.


Arsenal Transfer Update

We are waiting for the announcements – Arsene Wenger has confirmed that both Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez have undergone medicals ahead of their prospective moves to Arsenal. Mustafi, a centre-back, and Perez, a striker, will join from Valencia and Deportivo La Coruna respectively for a combined total of approximately £52m. “I think they should go through, both of them,” Wenger said after his side’s 3-1 win at Watford on Saturday. “They had medicals. We have to finish the paperwork and I don’t know exactly when we will announce it but look, I think it could be announced at the beginning of the week.” Striker Perez, 27, who will move to the Emirates from Deportivo La Coruna for a reported fee of £17.1m, will link up with the Gunners’ squad as soon as the deal is finalised. Germany centre-back Mustafi, 24, will join Arsenal from Valencia on a five-year deal, according to Sky in Germany, with a fee which could rise to £35m understood to have been agreed this week. However, he will not link up with Arsenal until after the international break with Germany scheduled to play Finland and Norway on August 31 and September 4 respectively.

Meanwhile Middlesbrough have agreed a season-long loan with Arsenal for defender Calum Chambers, the Independent understands. The 21-year-old had been linked with a number of clubs, including Hull, Roma and Valencia, but it looks like Aitor Karanka’s side have won the race to sign Chambers on a loan basis. Chambers moved to Arsenal in July 2014 after rising through the ranks at Southampton. He made his first competitive debut for the Gunners on 10 August, playing the full 90 minutes of the 2014 FA Community Shield against Premier League champions Manchester City. But Chambers has struggled to cement a place in the side’s starting XI and has spent much of his time on the bench throughout the past two seasons. With Shkodran Mustafi’s deal expected to be confirmed imminently, questions have been raised over Chambers’ place at the club. Neither Arsenal nor Middlesbrough have yet to confirm the transfer but it’s expected the move will be announced within the next 24 hours.

And the shocker is that Arsenal are willing to let England midfielder Jack Wilshere go out on loan to get first-team football. The 24-year-old, whose career has been plagued by injuries, only made three appearances for the Gunners last season after fracturing his left fibula. He played six times for England over the summer – including three games at Euro 2016 – but was not named in Sam Allardyce’s first squad this week. Wilshere, who has 34 caps, has only started 80 Premier League games for Arsenal, making two substitute appearances so far this season. He had a loan spell at Bolton in 2010. He has fallen behind in the pecking order with Ozil, Carzola, Ramsey (who is injured now), Xhaka, Coquelin & Elneny more established above him. Wilshere has less than 48 hours to find a loan club before the transfer deadline.


Watford 1 Arsenal 3

Arsenal beat Watford to earn their first victory of the season. Both sides had one defeat and a draw from the opening two league matches but Arsenal’s impressive first-half performance earned them three points. A Santi Cazorla penalty, Alexis Sanchez’s fumbled effort and Mesut Ozil’s header gave the Gunners a 3-0 lead at half-time. Substitute Roberto Pereyra scored for the Hornets on his debut but it proved to be a consolation for the hosts. Walter Mazzarri’s side put in a much-improved performance after the break but the Italian was made to wait for his first win as Watford manager. Much like in previous seasons, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has been under pressure from some Gunners fans to spend money in the transfer market.

It was revealed on Friday that Germany defender Shkodran Mustafi and Spanish striker Lucas Perez were undergoing medicals at the Emirates, and Wenger confirmed after Saturday’s win that the deals were done, which takes the club’s spending to almost £100m since last season. But they did not look like a team in need of extra artillery after a polished first-half display against Watford. The Gunners broke the deadlock when Sanchez was knocked on the head in the area by Nordin Amrabat, and Cazorla slotted the resulting penalty down the middle. Sanchez, who looked lively throughout, made it 2-0 when he scrambled home from an accurate Theo Walcott ball into the box. And Germany forward Mesut Ozil, making his first start for Arsenal after being rested post-Euro 2016, looked to have put the result beyond doubt on the stroke of half-time when he headed in from Sanchez’s pass.

Alexis Sanchez has scored in all three of his Premier League appearances versus Watford, while also assisting two goals in these matches. This was the first league game at Vicarage Road that Watford have conceded three goals in the first half since December 2007 v QPR. Watford have lost all seven of their games against Arsenal in the Premier League. The Hornets have now used 21 different players in the Premier League this season, with 17 different nationalities represented. Arsenal had seven shots on target in this game, six of which were in the first half. Conversely, Watford attempted all six of their shots on target in the second half.


Arsenal Signing Lucas Perez?

Arsenal’s confused approach to this summer’s transfer window has been laid bare by their decision to hijack Everton’s bid for Deportivo La Coruna striker Lucas Pérez Martinez – a player they passed up the chance to sign last week.The Daily Telegraph reporter says Gunners employees have flown out for talks with Deportivo La Coruna to wrap up the transfer. Arsene Wenger is poised to gazump Everton, who had agreed a fee for the striker with the La Liga side first.

They had also agreed personal terms before Arsenal swept in and lured Perez to north London with the promise of Champions League football. Telegraph reporter Matt Law tweeted: “Arsenal are in Spain now finalising the Lucas Perez transfer – huge blow to Everton who thought they had him.” The deal is expected to go through without any problems. Perez scored 17 La Liga goals last term and has been likened to Leicester star Jamie Vardy who Arsenal attempted to sign earlier this summer. The Daily Telegraph can reveal that Arsenal were first offered the man commonly known as Lucas last week, but informed the Spaniard’s representatives that the 27-year-old was not among their top striker targets. Spanish sources close to Lucas were stunned when Arsenal decided to rival Everton’s £17?million bid late on Wednesday, having assumed the Emirates club had decided to pursue targets higher up their list.

Arsenal officials travelled out to Spain on Thursday to conclude a deal for Lucas, despite the previous agreement with Everton and interest from Valencia, with the transfer expected to go through. Wenger has come under fire for his perceived inactivity in this summer’s transfer window and was again urged by the club’s fans to spend more money in last weekend’s goalless draw against Leicester City. Arsenal’s ineffective attacking performance in that game influenced Wenger’s decision that he needed to sign another striker before the transfer window shuts next week. The Spaniard scored 17 La Liga goals for Deportivo last season and netted the winner in their 2-1 victory over Elbar last Friday night, but questions will be asked over whether Lucas represents the sort of top quality Wenger has often claimed he is searching for. A late bloomer, Lucas has never played for Spain at any level and netted only six goals in 21 appearances for Deportivo in the 2014/15 season having previously spent six seasons in Ukraine and Greece.