Arsenal cruise to 2-0 Premier League win at Newcastle

The Gunners keep themselves in the hunt for the Top Six ahead of the final few weeks of the campaign with Newcastle confident they have already secured their safety.

And it went to plan for the visitors right from kick off, as Hector Bellerin’s cut back reached Mo Elneny inside the box, the Egyptian steered home his first ever Premier League goal.

Newcastle struggled to muster a response before the break as Mat Ryan tipped over Allan Saint-Maximin’s drive before Jonjo Shelvey hacked away Elneny’s header.

And with neither side really turning the screw after the restart Arsenal’s patience paid off just before with 25 to go.

Martin Odegaard’s through ball was latched onto by Gabriel Martinelli and his back post was acrobatically finished off by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

And with the game fizzling out in the final minutes, Newcastle miserable afternoon was completed as Fabian Schar was dismissed for a late lunge at Martinelli.

Full Time from St. James’ Park it’s Newcastle 0 Arsenal 2

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Premier League: Newcastle v Arsenal

Riding high after making it four games without defeat, Newcastle United host Arsenal on Sunday hoping to extend their best run of the season so far.

The Gunners come into the game in typically topsy-turvy form. It looked like their season was improving when they beat Slavia Prague 4-0 in the Europa League quarter final two weeks ago, but a draw with Fulham, defeat to Everton and a loss to Villarreal on Thursday has once again put Mikel Arteta back at square one.

With the crucial second leg against the Spaniards looming on Thursday, Arsenal may have an eye on that game rather than the one at St James’ Park, as they sit tenth in the Premier League table, with European qualification looking dead in the water.

That will be good news for Newcastle, who can practically guarantee another year in the top flight if they win and move onto 39 points.

The two sides have differing luck with regards to injuries going into this one as well. Steve Bruce has Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson ready to start together for the first time in 11 games, having slowly introduced Wilson back into the team after a hamstring injury. Saint-Maximin has been in fine form since returning from a groin problem, and has one goal and two assists in his last three outings.

Fabian Schar made his return from a knee injury for Newcastle’s under-23’s on Monday afternoon, playing 45 minutes of a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace. He could make the squad, but after 11 weeks injured is unlikely to get any time on the pitch.

There’s a slight doubt over Matt Ritchie, but Bruce expects the former Bournemouth man to be available after a calf problem. Recent super sub Joe Willock, who has three goals in his last three games, is unable to face his parent club, while Jamaal Lascelles, Ryan Fraser, Karl Darlow and Isaac Hayden are all out with injuries.

Arteta named an unusual side to face Villarreal on Thursday night, opting for a formation which used three recognised defenders, seven midfielders and no strikers. Granit Xhaka filled in at left-back in the absence of Kieran Tierney, and Nicolas Pepe played up front.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang played five minutes in the Europa League after recovering from malaria and Arteta confirmed he’s not fit enough to start, while Alex Lacazette is also missing. Pepe could continue up front, or Eddie Nketiah could come in for a rare start.

If Newcastle can get the win, they could move as high as 13th by the end of the weekend, while Arsenal will go back above Leeds into 9th if they can better their result against Brighton.

Newcastle United take on Arsenal at St James’ Park on Sunday, May 2nd. Kick-off is at 2pm.

Former Arsenal Head of Recruitment Sven Mislintat questions Arteta’s decisions

Former Arsenal Head of Recruitment Sven Mislintat has questioned Mikel Arteta’s decision to send both Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi out on loan this season.

Mislintat left the Emirates in 2019, and was responsible for signing the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bernd Leno for the Gunners, as well as the aforementioned midfield pair.

The German is now Sporting Director at Bundesliga side Stuttgart, and has insisted that Guendouzi in particular could become a midfield monster if coached right.

Speaking to The Athletic, Mislintat said that Guendouzi could still add something to the current Arsenal midfield, pointing to how much his value increased after his debut season. The Frenchman signed for Arsenal from French Ligue 2 club Lorient for just £7m, before making 48 appearances in all competitions in the 2018-19 campaign.

A confrontation with Brighton striker Neal Maupay and some other discrepancies led to Guendouzi going out on loan to Hertha Berlin this season, where he has been a first-team regular.

Mislintat said he’d like to speak to Mikel Arteta one day to understand his reasons in sending the Frenchman and Torreira out on loan.

“I respect Mikel a lot. ‘I’d love to talk to him one day, to understand his reasons for sending Matteo as well as Lucas Torreira on loan, and tell him my view in relation to their qualities. But it’s his decision of course.

“My personal opinion remains that Matteo would still add some extra qualities to Arsenal’s midfield, like Lucas could. Their market values increased hugely after their debut season.”

Guendouzi and Torreira will be back at Arsenal at the end of the season, with their future on the table. The Gunners are likely to be keen to raise funds for further incomings, so at least one of the pair is likely to leave on a permanent deal.

Arsenal held to 1-1 VAR-dominated draw at Burnley

The Gunners dominated the majority of the tie in Lancashire, but the VAR gods, and referee Andre Marriner, denied them a crucial win.

Mikel Arteta’s side looked slick as they flew out of blocks at Turf Moor, with skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang cutting inside to lash past Nick Pope.

And they looked set to push on from their in the opening half hour as teenage star Bukayo Saka poked one just wide.

However, in classic Arsenal style, despite bossing the first half, Granit Xhaka thumped the self-destruct button before the break.

The Swiss international bizarrely tried to play a blind pass inside his own box and Chris Wood reacted smartly to deflect home an equaliser.

That goal did open up the game at both ends after the restart as Pope denied Martin Odegaard and Bernd Leno saved from Wood.

But despite looking likely to fizzle out in the final ten, the Gunners were then denied a winner by a string of wild decisions.

Marriner and VAR opted against awarding a clear handball against Erik Pieters inside the box, before the Dutchman then saw a last gasp red card overturned and Dani Ceballos rattled one off the post.

Full Time at Turf Moor it’s Burnley 1 Arsenal 1

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Premier League: Leicester City v Arsenal

The Foxes finished 5th in the top flight last season, missing out on a top four place following a final day defeat to Manchester United.

Manager Brendan Rodgers is keen to avoid that same disappointment this time around and so far his side are in good shape, with even a loss to Arsenal on Sunday keeping them inside the top four.

However, Leicester were left to lick their wounds on Thursday after exiting the Europa League at the Round of 32.

The Foxes were knocked out of the competition by Czech side Slavia Prague much to the disappointment of the supporters – but there were contrasting fortunes for Arsenal.

The Gunners’ below-par Premier League performance this campaign was put on hold as Mikel Arteta’s side were able to squeeze past Benfica in their second leg tie which saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang grab a late winner.

Targeting the Europa League may well be one of the only remaining options for Arteta when it comes to European qualification this season, with Arsenal 11th in the top flight standings heading in to the game with Leicester.

The Foxes are 15 points better off than their North London counterparts and it would take a remarkable effort for Arsenal to finish in the top 6 come the end of the season, let alone top 4.

That being said, it’s improbable but not impossible; although any remote chance will need to begin with victory at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.

One positive for the Gunners is that Mikel Arteta has a near fully-fit squad to choose from, with defender Rob Holding the only doubt as he recovers from suspected concussion.

The same can’t be said for Leicester, though, who have a multitude of fitness issues to contend with. The influential James Maddison is the latest Foxes player to pick up a knock and the England midfielder is expected to be out for a few weeks.

Maddison joins the likes of Dennis Praet, Ayoze Perez, Wesley Fofana and James Justin on the sidelines who are all ruled out.

Leicester v Arsenal at the King Power Stadium is a 12pm kick off on Sunday 28th February.

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Arsenal cruise to 4-2 Premier League win over Leeds

Mikel Arteta’s side have leapfrogged the Whites to move back into the Top Ten as their returning skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fired home a superb hat trick.

Neither team could really get a grip of it early on as Aubameyang’s touch of class edged the Gunners in front.

Granit Xhaka’s pass freed him inside the box and he measured a perfect curler past Illan Meslier.

That strike did open things up before the break, as Jack Harrison tested Bernd Leno, but a quickfire Arsenal double put them three up before half time.

Meslier’s casualness saw him concede a penalty on Bukayo Saka, which Aubameyang confidently slotted home, before Spaniard Hector Bellerin forced in Dani Ceballos’ flick.

And the Gunners weren’t finished there as Aubameyang headed home his third of the day within seconds of the restart.

But with nothing to lose in the final half hour, Leeds did come roaring back into as Pascal Struijk headed home a corner and Helder Costa slid home to break some life into it.

However, Arsenal could and should have increased their advantage in the closing stages as Aubameyang and Saka fired against the woodwork and Meslier smartly denied Martin Odegaard.

Full Time from the Emirates Stadium it’s Arsenal 4 Leeds United 2

Nine-man Arsenal self-destruct at Wolves

It was Joao Moutinho’s stunning 30-yard strike that sealed victory for the hosts but it was 9-man Arsenal’s self-destruction and capitulation in front of goal that saw the London team miss out on the spoils.

The visitors had virtually total control of the first half and could have had the game out of sight early doors with Bukayo Saka hitting the post and having a goal ruled out by VAR for offside.

However, they only had a solo effort from Nicolas Pepe to show for their efforts.

Pepe winning the ball off Semedo in the Wolves half leaving the defender in a heap before nutmegging Ruben Neves and lashing a low shot across Patricio and into the bottom corner of the goal.

Arteta would have no doubt been pleased to have seen his team’s superiority bear fruit but would have been equally dismayed with what happened in first-half stoppage time.

David Luiz was judged to have clipped debutant Willian Jose in the area as he raced on to collect Daniel Podence’s pass. It was careless of Luiz who was struggling to recover his position but there was clearly no intent to bring down the player. None the less referee Craig Pawson deemed the non-challenge worthy of the 3rd red card of Luiz’s short Arsenal career. Neves stepped up to take the resulting penalty and fired high past Leno to bring the teams in level at the break.

Gabriel replaced Lacazette at half time to sure up he Gunners backline but it also blunted their attack and it was Moutinho who put the midlands side in front just four minutes after the restart.

The midfielder had not scored at Molineux since he joined from Monaco in 2018 but ended that drought in emphatic style with a fierce drive that Leno could do nothing about as it flew in off the post.

From here Wolves were in control as 10-man Arsenal struggled to capture the form of recent weeks.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came off the bench but made no impact and the Gunners imploded as Leno was sent off with 18 minutes left.

The keeper raced out of his area to get to a ball before Adama Traore, misjudged the pace and bounce and inexplicably palmed it out of play – resulting in a far less disputed red card than Luiz’ earlier dismissal.

Runar Runarsson came on in net replacing Partey and saved Arsenal from more misery, beating away late shots from Neves and Pedro Neto.

The defeat ended Arsenal’s seven-match unbeaten run and dented their attempts to catch the Premier League’s top five, leaving them four points adrift whilst Wolves picked up just their second win in twelve games to ease any potential relegation worries.

Premier League: Arsenal v Manchester United

The Gunners’ early-season collapse finally seems to have subsided, with Mikel Arteta’s switch to a back four system reaping rewards recently.

Starting with their 3-1 win over Chelsea on Boxing Day, Arsenal have won five of their last six league games, with only Crystal Palace managing to avoid defeat. The run has got the Gunners up to ninth in the table, and well positioned for a late run for a European place.

The form of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe has been central to Arsenal’s improvement, while even Nicolas Pepe recently started showing signs of being the player expected when he signed from Lille for over £70m last summer.

The trio combined to put Southampton to the sword last time out, deputising well for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who missed that game due to personal reasons. The Arsenal captain is likely to miss this game as well.

Pablo Mari and Dani Ceballos have only recently resumed training with the squad after injury, and unlikely to play any part when Man United visit London, but Arteta is hopeful Kieran Tierney and Thomas Partey can play. New signing Martin Odegaard could also be involved, albeit likely from the bench, if at all.

Manchester United were shocked by basement boys Sheffield United at Old Trafford last time out, and will be hoping to regain the form that saw them lead the Premier League for the first time since 2013 recently.

Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof could return after missing that game through injury. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed that the Ivorian was due to play against the Blades but suffered a knock in training, meaning Axel Tuanzebe deputised.

Brandon Williams and Phil Jones are injured, while Marcos Rojo and Facundo Pellestri are set to leave the club before the transfer deadline. Rojo is set to return to Argentina, while Pellestri is joining Deportivo Alaves on loan for the rest of the season.

Edinson Cavani could replace Anthony Martial or Mason Greenwood up front for United, with the Frenchman turning in a lackadaisical performance against Sheffield United, as he once again failed to find the net. Cavani’s record of a goal every 132 minutes is the best in the United squad, so he’ll be hoping to get the nod ahead of his younger counterparts.

A win for United would see them at least maintain the gap behind rivals Manchester City, and ensure Leicester City don’t overtake them.

Arsenal could go level on points with North London rivals Tottenham before they play on Sunday night – something that didn’t look possible just over a month ago as Arsenal flirted with the relegation zone and Spurs topped the league. It’s been a funny old season.

Arsenal take on Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, January 30th. Kick-off is at 5.30pm.

Premier League: Southampton v Arsenal

Of the two games already played between the sides this season, Saints are yet to lose to Mikel Arteta’s side, drawing the league game back in December, before knocking the Gunners out of the FA Cup at the weekend, thanks to an own goal from Gabriel.

The fact that Southampton won the game courtesy of an own goal is a sign of one of their recent struggles, having only scored two goals in their last six league games. Speaking of goals, Danny Ings’ future has became a talking point this month, with the England striker mentioning his ambition to play for a club in Europe – a subject Ralph Hassenhuttl has handled shrewdly, challenging him to score enough goals to fire Southampton there rather than seek a transfer.

Arsenal’s improvement since the turn of the year sees them going into this game knowing that a win will take them above Saints and into the top half of the Premier League for the first time in months. They’ll be hoping the form of Emile Smith-Rowe and Bukayo Saka can help them get there, as the pair of youngsters have been integral to the Gunners’ recent improvement.

The signing of Martin Odegaard should be complete in time for the game, but the Norwegian playmaker won’t be involved after joining until the end of the season from Real Madrid. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang missed the FA Cup game at the weekend due to a personal issue, and is likely to miss out again.
Dani Ceballos is struggling with a calf injury and is rated 50/50, meaning a midfield partnership of Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey is expected from the start.

Things are worse for Southampton on the injury front, with ten first-teamers struggling with various issues. Jannik Vestergaard, Ryan Bertrand, Kyle Walker-Peters, Oriol Romeu, Moussa Djenepo, Michael Obafemi, Nathan Tella, Mohamed Salisu and Will Smallbone are all definitely missing. Nathan Redmond will be in the squad despite not being fully fit after injury.

If a patched-up Saints can get a win, they could move as high as sixth in the table ahead of another midweek fixture list, and ensure that the gap between themselves and the bottom half remains a healthy five points.

Southampton take on Arsenal at St Mary’s on Tuesday, January 26th. Kick-off is at 8.15pm.

Arsenal 3-0 Newcastle United: Aubameyang brace piles more misery on Magpies

The Gunners captain struck either side of a Bukayo Saka goal as the hosts recorded a 3-0 victory which sees them move into the top-half of the Premier League table.

Bruce made eight changes from the side beaten by bottom club Sheffield United last week but they were outplayed at the Emirates Stadium, where Mikel Arteta continues to oversee an upturn in form.

Aubameyang was guilty of a huge miss in the early minutes of a first half of few chances – with all the goals coming after the break as Arsenal’s superiority began to shine through.

The hosts had started slowly but the Gabon forward had a chance to open the scoring, instead hitting a post from three yards – a tight angle the only thing working in his defence.

Thomas Partey was back in the side and impressed once more but he fired high and wide as the hosts began to enjoy a period of dominance.

Miguel Almiron flashed a shot just over to show Newcastle could threaten if given a chance, but the opportunities would continue to come the way of the hosts.

Aubameyang came close with a rising shot after being found by Emile Smith Rowe and the Arsenal skipper was not having the best night in front of goal as he sent his next effort bobbling wide.

A slice of luck is what he needed and he almost got just that, seeing a cross deflect off Emil Krafth to send goalkeeper Karl Darlow scrambling to turn the ball behind for a corner which David Luiz then headed wide when completely unmarked.

Alexandre Lacazette had endured a quiet opening 45 minutes but he drew a smart save out of Darlow shortly after the restart with a low drive.

The Newcastle keeper would have no chance moments later as Aubameyang latched onto a long ball from Partey, running in on goal unchallenged before finishing well.

Andy Carroll shot wide as Newcastle looked to strike back from a rare foray forward but instead, Bruce soon saw his side slip further behind.

Arsenal’s two academy stars combined to double their advantage, Smith Rowe darting into the box down the right before squaring for Saka to turn home.

Arsenal scored a third as Aubameyang tucked home his second from a Cedric cross, a VAR check confirming the ball did not go out of play before the Portugal full-back played it into the box.

It was another blow to Bruce and his players as criticism continues to mount on the Magpies boss.

A 1,000-strong supporter group named Toon For Change is now calling for Bruce to be sacked and it remains to be seen if he survives following another deserved defeat.

Arsenal, meanwhile, with the likes of Partey now fit and Aubameyang back among the goals, will continue to look up rather than down.

Premier League Preview: Arsenal v Newcastle

Goals from Emile Smith-Rowe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang secured a 2-0 FA Cup win in that tie and Arsenal Mikel Arteta will be hoping for another positive result against Steve Bruce.

The Spanish coach is expected to shuffle his options however after his team slipped to a disappointing 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace in midweek.

Scottish international Kieran Tierney should be fit to come back in alongside the returning Thomas Partey and Nicolas Pepe.

Meanwhile the pressure continues to build on Bruce with no Premier League wins in over a month.

The former defender will make a few late fitness checks before naming his team with Jamal Lewis, Jonjo Shelvey and Jamaal Lascelles all battling to be fit.

Argentinian centre back Federico Fernandez has already been ruled out due to a thigh problem with Ryan Fraser serving a one game ban.

And Kick Off is all set for 8pm start on Monday night at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal edge out Newcastle in FA Cup win

The Gunners finally broken their visitors resistance after the 100 minute mark with crucial goals from Emile-Smith Rowe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Arsenal looked bright and breezy in the opening stages with Reiss Nelson and Nicolas Pepe testing Martin Dubravka.

But despite the positive start in North London the game descended into a slug fest after the break with half chances for Willock and Andy Carroll.

The introduction of Smith-Rowe tipped the balance for Arsenal in the extra 30 as the England U20 international superbly fired home.

Newcastle threw the kitchen sink at it in the final minutes but Arsenal wrapped it up in last few seconds as Aubameyang tucked home his first goal in over a month.

Full Time at the Emirates Stadium it’s Arsenal 2 Newcastle 0