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- Sat, 04 Jul 2020 18:43:55 +0000: Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-2 Arsenal: Premier League – as it happened - Arsenal | The Guardian
Bukayo Saka scored his first Premier League goal as Arsenal maintained their upward momentum at the expense of Wolves
Paul Doyle was at Molineux to see Arsenal continue their late dash for European qualification. Here’s his report. Click and enjoy ... and thanks for reading this MBM. Stay healthy, everyone.
Nuno Espirito Santo is philosophical in defeat. “The first half was balanced, there were not too many chances, with the exception of one moment when we lost a bit of focus and Arsenal scored. In the second half we started better, with more pressing, creating chances. But as the game goes by, Arsenal became dangerous on the counter attack. It was not one of our best games, but the work was there, and let’s go for the next one. Mistakes happen, we have to solve it. We have to bounce back and reinvent ourselves. Back to our clean sheet and our process!”
Bukayo Saka, who so calmly steered home a fine goal today, talks to Sky. “It’s very big. We know how good Wolves are. We knew it was going to be tough and we fought for everything. We’re just so delighted to get the win and build some momentum. You can see what the manager’s building, we’re really delighted with the results we’re getting and that I can tie down my future here. It’s been a great week! We fought for each other, together, it feels like we’re more together. I’m 18, this is my dream, and anywhere the boss wants to put me, I’ll play!”
Arsenal move up to seventh (49pts) as a result of that victory. They’re still three points behind Wolves (52pts) who remain in sixth. Wolves can have no complaints about that result. They were ground down by the Gunners, who were initially resolute then increasingly attack-minded, an impressive all-round display. It’s slowly coming together under Mikel Arteta. The tussle between Leicester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Wolves and Arsenal for the remaining two (maybe three) Champions League spots on offer promises to be quite the show.
That was ultimately a very impressive performance by improving Arsenal, who went toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the league and deservedly won. They scored two fine goals, and their dream of Champions League football remains alive.
90 min +4: Arsenal ping it around as the world turns. Textbook clock management.
90 min +2: Xhaka is booked for a late lunge on Jota. Then Kolasinac knocks Jimenez over near the right-hand corner flag, with the Wolves striker going nowhere. The defender is very relieved that Neto’s delivery is useless. Wolves need to do some work on their dead-ball delivery; it’s been truly shocking today.
90 min: There will be five added minutes. Still enough time for Wolves to salvage something, but they’ll need to score very soon.
89 min: Moutinho is replaced by Gibbs-White. Arsenal win a corner. Torreira makes a big deal of doing nothing and is booked for timewasting. Nothing comes of the corner.
88 min: Arsenal come close to a third, Wolves looking utterly deflated. Aubameyang drives towards the box and is within his right to shoot, but the Golden Boot contender selflessly tees up Willock to his right. Willock beats Rui Patricio, but not Neves on the line.
The subs combine to secure all three points for Arsenal! Lacazette, his back to goal 30 yards out, rolls a pass wide right for Willock, who glides down the flank before firing a low cross into the box. Lacazette takes a touch on the edge of the six-yard box, moving right and away from Coady, before spinning and steering a lovely shot into the bottom left.
85 min: Bellerin gets on the end of a long free kick and nearly bustles free, to the right of goal, ten yards out. But he can’t quite work enough space to shoot. Arsenal are doing a fine job of keeping Wolves up the wrong end of the pitch.
84 min: Lacazette is bowled over by Coady, and that’s another name in the referee’s notebook.
83 min: More changes by Arsenal. Lacazette and Torreira come on for Nketiah and Ceballos.
81 min: Neto gives the ball away in the centre circle, allowing Arsenal to flood forward. Ceballos lines one up, 25 yards from goal, but takes too long and the chance is gone.
79 min: Maitland-Niles comes scything through the back of Moutinho. A yellow. On another day, both Saiss and Maitland-Niles could have seen red for the challenges that led to their booking. Michael Oliver’s in a generous mood.
78 min: Another decent chance for Nketiah, who steals the ball from Jota but hesitates fatally when considering a shot from the edge of the box.
77 min: Saiss wants to watch himself here, because now he’s barged into the back of Nketiah. Just a free kick, no second yellow. Nketiah gets on the end of the set piece himself, heading over from six yards. That was a decent chance.
76 min: Before the free kick can be taken, Arsenal make a double swap, sending on Willock and Bellerin for Saka and Cedric. The free kick’s then launched long, but Aubameyang can’t sort his feet out at the far post.
75 min: Saiss is booked for crudely clipping Aubameyang from behind. That was needlessly aggressive, and it’s going to be a free kick out on the right for Arsenal.
74 min: Moutinho floats this one into the mixer, forcing Xhaka to concede a corner out on the right. Moutinho takes it short, allowing Neto to attack at pace down the flank. He sends a vicious cross into the middle, but Martinez claims it spectacularly. Great hands. Safe hands.
73 min: A free kick for Wolves out on the left. Moutinho tries to release Jota with a disguised low fizz down the channel. Wolves’ set pieces have been beyond abysmal this evening. But they’ll get another chance, because Cedric almost immediately clatters Jonny.
71 min: Wolves replace Doherty with Neto, and the game restarts.
70 min: Time for isotonic beverages and tactical pep-talks.
69 min: Not for the first time today, Wolves waste their set piece by faffing around. Moutinho and Neves are the people at fault this time.
68 min: Xhaka clumsily clatters Jota to the ground as the Wolves sub slaloms down the middle. This is a free kick in a dangerous central position, 25 yards out.
66 min: There’s a long-distance back and forth between Luiz and Aubameyang as the former claims the latter isn’t making a run, holding his arms out in annoyance. He gets something back after attempting but failing to find the striker with a clunker of a pass. Arsenal haven’t really got going at all today, yet look at the scoreline. What are the words of that old song again?
64 min: Wolves have regained that aforementioned momentum, then. Jota slips Traore into acres down the inside-right channel. Traore draws Martinez, but clanks his chip over the bar. That really should have been the equaliser.
63 min: Jota sashays at great speed down the centre of the park. Arsenal seem intent on forming a guard of honour for him, and he reaches the edge of the box without being challenged at all. But just as he shoots, Luiz arrives on the scene to block. Marvellous defending by the much-maligned Brazilian.
61 min: A lull. Arsenal will be happy with the way they’ve quelled Wolves’ early second-half momentum.
59 min: Nketiah looks to burst into space down the left and is barged over by Boly. No free kick, which causes Mikel Arteta to blow a fuse. It did look a strange non-decision.
57 min: Arsenal respond with their first change. Tierney goes off, Maitland-Niles comes on.
56 min: Wolves make their first sub, sending Jota on. Eyebrows pop up all around Molineux as Traore’s number goes up. But it’s a mistake by the fourth official, and it’s Dendoncker who makes way.
54 min: Traore, with a blend of determination and great skill, brushes off a couple of Arsenal challenges in the centre of the park before spotting Doherty in space on the right. Doherty’s cross leads to a corner that’s wasted, but what a well-rounded player Traore is.
52 min: Traore tears down the right and whips towards Jimenez at the far post. Jimenez sends a diving header wide left, and claims to have been impeded by Cedric, but the referee isn’t in the least bit interested.
51 min: Neves nearly releases Traore down the right, but overcooks the pass to the extent of nearly knocking his team-mate over. Wolves are first to everything right now.
49 min: Wolves have clearly been given a good talking to, as they’re playing at an obviously higher tempo. Doherty nearly chests down a long ball inside the Arsenal box, but gives up the fight after accidentally handling. He’s frustrated at his own mistake.
48 min: Some space for Traore out on the right. He hooks into the centre but can’t find the advanced Dendoncker.
47 min: Saiss looks a wee bit groggy here. The physios take a good long look at him before he’s allowed to get up and continue.
Arsenal get the second half underway. The action unfolds for all of 15 seconds before it stops again, Saiss having taken an accidental whack on the noggin in an aerial challenge with Saka.
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Arsenal had most of the possession, Wolves looked more dangerous. But it’s Bukayo Saka’s classy finish that makes the difference. With Champions League qualification still a possibility for both clubs, it’s going to be an interesting second half all right.
45 min: There will be two added minutes.
Aubameyang sends Tierney into space down the left. Tierney’s cross deflects off Doherty, and it’s a little bit behind Saka, 12 yards out. Saka shapes his body wonderfully and steers a fine shot into the top right, giving Rui Patricio no chance! That wasn’t as easy as he made it look. A really assured finish!
41 min: Traore dribbles down the inside-right channel and draws a clumsy foul out of Kolasinac. A free kick, just to the right of the D. Wolves over-elaborate, trying to tee up Saiss for a dink, and the chance is gone. Two set-pieces utterly wasted in the space of 60 seconds or so. Decadent behaviour, if nothing else.
40 min: Jiminez sends Doherty scampering down the right. The full back wins a corner off Luiz. Moutinho takes, and curls the ball straight out of play for a goal kick. So careless.
38 min: That’s given Arsenal succour, and Nketiah works wonders down the right to reach the byline. He pulls back with vigour, but there’s nobody in the middle to take advantage of his good work. Wolves clear.
37 min: That was a fine first-time shot by Nketiah, and he very nearly caught Rui Patricio out at his near post. Never a good look for goalkeepers. But Rui Patricio’s strong arm dug him out of bother. Just.
35 min: Xhaka dinks the ball down the inside-right channel. It’s not an accurate pass, but Moutinho deflects it into the path of Nketiah, who takes a fierce first-time shot towards the bottom right. Rui Patricio, surprised, instinctively turns the ball onto the right-hand post and out for a corner. Nothing comes from the resulting set piece, but at least Arsenal have finally shown some teeth in attack.
33 min: From the resulting free kick, the ball drops to Jonny, just to the left of the D. He attempts to steer a shot across Martinez and into the bottom right, but it’s always heading wide of goal.
32 min: Traore revs up on the left wing and threatens to leave Luiz for dust. The defender slides in, and that’s the first booking of the evening. David Luiz with an hour to go on a yellow card, against Adama Traore. Arsenal fans are permitted one long gulp.
31 min: Arsenal with more of the sterile possession. They look impressive until they get near the final third. Then, not so much.
29 min: Wolves, thoroughly refreshed, come at Arsenal just after the restart. Traore works his way down the right, afforded plenty of space by Tierney, who is clearly concerned about his speed. Traore whips a cross into the middle, where Dendoncker heads harmlessly wide left. He should have done better.
27 min: And that’s drinks!
26 min: ... there’s a bit of a scramble in the six-yard box. The ball breaks to Aubameyang, who flicks a shot towards the bottom right that’s easily grabbed by Rui Patricio.
25 min: Tierney works his way down the left and feeds Aubameyang, who wins a corner off Doherty. And from that set piece ...
23 min: Mustafi tries to release Nketiah down the inside-right channel, but Coady glides across to usher the striker away from the danger zone with gentle power.
21 min: It’s not sticking up front for Arsenal at all. They’ve had 73 percent of possession in the last ten minutes, as well, but almost none of it in Wolves’ final third.
19 min: Doherty flings a long throw into the Arsenal box from the right. It nearly drops to Jimenez, with both Kolasinac and Tierney faffing about, but Arsenal eventually clear. Coady immediately reapplies pressure with a long pass down the right; Traore nearly brings it under control but Tierney sticks to him like glue and forces the Wolves man to run it out for a goal kick.
18 min: Saiss rakes a pass down the left to release Jonny. However, Jonny seems in two minds about what to do when he reaches the ball, and it runs out of play before he swings a leg at it. To be fair, there was nobody in the middle to receive a first-time cross. But Arsenal were easily opened up there.
16 min: Arsenal slow it down a tad by clipping it around the back. Wolves seem happy enough to let them be about their business.
14 min: The first sight of Aubameyang this evening, as Tierney slips a ball down the left wing for him. But he slips under pressure from Doherty, and the chance to race into the box is gone.
12 min: Traore tries to release Dendoncker with a sliderule pass down the right channel. There’s not enough space for the ball to fit through, though, and it pinballs off Dendoncker and a couple of defenders before flying through to Martinez. A nice pacy feel to this game, with most of the early pressure being applied by Wolves.
10 min: Traore dribbles infield from the right, some superb ball control at warp speed. He reaches the edge of the Arsenal box, but spoils the effect by blazing wildly over. He is such a handful, though, almost unplayable at times.
9 min: Tierney offers very little space to Traore out on the right, but the winger still manages to buzz past him in a couple of steps and dig out a cross. Nobody in the centre, but that’s given Tierney, an excellent full back, something to think about.
8 min: Saka dwells on the ball out on the Arsenal right, and Jonny is quick to strip him of possession. The counter-attack doesn’t really go anywhere, which is good news for Saka, and a wake-up call as well.
6 min: Some space for Cedric down the right. His cross is to nobody in particular, and Wolves clear. Arsenal are enjoying plenty of possession, but they’re not doing a great deal with it yet. Plenty of time to go, of course.
4 min: Martinez is required to come to the edge of his box again, this time to gather a long punt that nearly releases Neves. A couple of no-nonsense, searching, direct passes already. This could be a long evening for David Luiz.
2 min: After that hectic start, Arsenal settle themselves by stringing a few passes together across the back. “Bugles, eh? If we’re bringing musical instruments into it, then Arsenal have been progressing from kazoo to tin whistle to recorder in the last three matches, so there’s every hope that they might graduate to something orchestral in this one. Not too adventurous - fife or piccolo would do. Of course, there’s an equal or greater likelihood of that old favourite, the swannee whistle.” Charles Antaki busking it, there, a one-man band.
1 min: Within the first ten seconds or so, Traore nearly gets on the end of a Jiminez ball down the middle. Martinez does extremely well to block his toe-poke on the edge of the Arsenal box. What a start that would have been!
Wolves get the ball rolling. But only after everyone takes a knee of solidarity, respect and love. Black lives matter.
The teams are out! Wolves wear their famous old gold, while Arsenal - who played in plain red shirts in the Sixties under Wright, the iconic white sleeves deemed old-fashioned by the groovy folk of swinging London - sport their first-choice colours too. We’ll be off soon! But not before there’s a minute of applause to celebrate the 72nd birthday of the NHS and to honour the selfless work of its heroic staff during this epidemic. So here are some words, ringing down the ages, from the man behind its foundation by Labour, the legendary Aneurin Bevan: “So far as I am concerned [the Conservative Party] are lower than vermin. They condemned millions of people to semi-starvation. I warn you young men and women, do not listen to what they are saying. They have not changed, or if they have they are slightly worse.” Preach on, brother Nye.
Nuno Espirito Santo speaks. “Every game in the Premier League is a very difficult game. Today we have a very difficult opponent in front of us.”
Mikel Arteta adds. “It is better than two weeks ago. Tonight’s game is crucial regarding the future. We come here to win the game. We have no margin for error. We are trying to compete as well as we can.”
The pubs are open again, aren’t they, ahead of the second wave of coronavirus. Here’s one in Wolverhampton, named after Billy Wright, the legendary captain of England and Stan Cullis’s three-time champions of the 1950s. See how the fans congregate with a view to raising a glass to the great defender and leader of men. However, Arsenal fans of a certain vintage may not remember Wright with quite so much affection, the Gunners having descended into extreme mediocrity during his stint as manager in the mid-60s. The low point of Wright’s mid-table reign was a match against Leeds, played out in front of a Highbury crowd of 4,554. One of the punters brought in a bugle, and treated everyone to a tinder-dry rendition of The Last Post. Ah well, nobody’s perfect.
In today’s 3pms ... Leicester City snapped their miserable sequence with a precious 3-0 win over Crystal Palace, while increasingly impressive Manchester United played out an absurd and highly entertaining 5-2 win over Bournemouth. That puts a wee bit of pressure on Wolves to respond in the chase for a place in next year’s Champions League: Leicester are now six points clear of Wolves in third, while United are up to fourth and three points ahead. Wolves are about to play their game in hand; if they win, they’ll barge Chelsea out of fifth spot, for a couple of hours at least. (Frank Lampard’s side host Watford tonight.)
Wolves make one change to the XI that started the 1-0 victory at Aston Villa last weekend. Adama Traore replaces Diogo Jota, who drops to the bench.
Arsenal make three changes to the team that battered Norwich 4-0 midweek. Cedric Soares, Bukayo Saka and Eddie Nketiah take the places of Hector Bellerin, Alexandre Lacazette and Reiss Nelson, who are all named as subs. There’s no room in the squad for Mesut Ozil or Matteo Guendouzi, while Nicolas Pepe is missing as his wife has gone into labour.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Rui Patricio, Boly, Coady, Saiss, Doherty, Dendoncker, Neves, Moutinho, Jonny, Traore, Jimenez.
Subs: Jordao, Neto, Gibbs-White, Jota, Ruddy, Vinagre, Campana, Kilman, Rasmussen.
Arsenal: Martinez, Mustafi, Luiz, Kolasinac, Cedric, Ceballos, Xhaka, Tierney, Saka, Nketiah, Aubameyang.
Subs: Bellerin, Papastathopoulos, Lacazette, Torreira, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Nelson, Willock, Macey.
Wolverhampton Wanderers have had the better of Arsenal since their return to the big time in 2018. They’ve played the Gunners three times, winning one at Molineux, drawing the other two at the Emirates. This fixture last year saw Nuno Espirito Santo’s excellent side run out easy 3-1 winners; on current form - as the only side with a 100 percent winning record in the league since lockdown was lifted, having gone 405 minutes without letting in a goal - they’re favourites to do something similar again this evening.
Having said all that, Arsenal are beginning to turn their Project Restart world around, after a dismal start that saw them lose to Manchester City and Brighton. They’ve since won three on the bounce, against Southampton and Norwich in the league, and Sheffield United in the cup. A win here today would extend their lead over Tottenham - the upcoming north London derby is going to be a belter - and keep their faint hopes of Champions League football next season alive.Continue reading...
- Sat, 04 Jul 2020 18:36:24 +0000: Bukayo Saka hooks home to cast new hope for Arsenal at Wolves - Arsenal | The Guardian
Three days after pledging his future to Arsenal by signing a new contract, the 18-year-old Bukayo Saka brightened the club’s outlook even further by scoring his first Premier League goal. That, and a gritty collective performance crowned by Alexandre Lacazette’s late goal, earned victory for a team that is starting to make strides under Mikel Arteta.
A late dash for Champions League qualification remains improbable but not as far-fetched as it looked two weeks ago. Arsenal’s fourth win in a row had the additional benefit for them of putting the brakes on Wolves’ charge for the top four.Continue reading...
- Fri, 03 Jul 2020 21:30:55 +0000: Mikel Arteta fires warning over bows of Matteo Guendouzi and Mesut Özil - Arsenal | The Guardian
- Manager outlines standards Arsenal players have to meet
- ‘They must be 100% committed to our culture’
Mikel Arteta has outlined the standards Matteo Guendouzi, Mesut Özil and any other wayward Arsenal players have to meet if they are going to play long-term roles under his management, reminding them that they must be “100% committed to our culture”.
Guendouzi has missed the past three matches through what Arteta has termed “internal issues”, and the head coach warned that “some things have to change, and nothing has changed” when asked about his player after Wednesday’s win over Norwich. Özil has missed out since the top flight’s resumption through, variously, Arteta’s volition and a mystery back injury. Questioned about their absences last week, Arteta explained anyone who wanted to “jump on the boat” would be welcome to work under him and he elaborated on the maritime metaphor before Saturday’s crucial match at Wolves.Continue reading...
- Thu, 02 Jul 2020 18:54:06 +0000: Arteta still sure Aubameyang will stay and says Arsenal must not sell assets - Arsenal | The Guardian
- Manager says best player must not finance improvements
- Arteta: ‘I feel Auba wants to continue with us’
Mikel Arteta has warned that Arsenal must not sell their prize assets if they want to improve, with their prospects of building a side that can challenge the Premier League’s leading lights still hanging on how they fare over the final six games of the season.Continue reading...
- Wed, 01 Jul 2020 19:06:01 +0000: Arsenal 4-0 Norwich City: Premier League – as it happened - Arsenal | The Guardian
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang accepted two gifts, while Granit Xhaka and Cedric Soares also scored in Arsenal’s comfortable 4-0 win over Norwich
I shall leave you, now, with Barney Ronay’s match report from the Emirates. Thanks for joining me today!
Aubameyang speaks! “Really proud [of his goal return] but first of all I’m really proud of the team, we deserved to win and did a great job. My performance was I think good and I’m always happy to help the team win.”
Will he sign a new deal?
Everton 2-1 Leicester
“I am very happy to see my team, Arsenal, do a good job today,” writes Paul Chintingiza, in Mozambique. Great to hear from you Paul and thanks for your company – we don’t often hear from readers in Mozambique.
Arsenal are seventh – for now, because Spurs and Sheffield United have games in hand – and six points behind Wolves & Manchester United. Where do they go on Saturday? Molineux. That looks a very big game in the season, now. They have plenty of room for improvement, as that early spell in the second half showed – but something is starting to go right for Mikel Arteta and company, you sense.
Norwich remain six points off West Ham, who are 17th, but their goal difference basically disadvantages them by a further point. It will need some turnaround from them. They do sometimes look very good, as we saw between minutes 46 and 65, but they were ultimately well beaten here and time is running out.
Pepe is wayward with a free-kick, and then that’s it. Arsenal put some real pressure on those Europa League spots, and possibly higher; Norwich edge closer to the drop.
90+1 min: We are in the first of three added minutes.
89 min: Idah, the young Norwich sub, has impressed me. Clearly a bright, direct striker but he makes good decisions on the ball too. He will do well.
87 min: I remember when Norwich were having a really good pop at this second half, but they’ve gone now. Arsenal get another corner and a few more balls fly around the box, but the visitors survive.
84 min: A Tierney ball into the box is just about defended ahead of Nketiah. Norwich really don’t want to concede five. They almost do though, Willock bending one agonisingly wide from 20 yards.
82 min: Pepe comes on now, for Aubameyang.
Now *that* is the long-term deal Arsenal should be toasting! Soares has just come on and, when Xhaka’s corner is half-cleared, has a crack from 20 yards with his left foot. It takes a slight deflection and nestles in the corner!
80 min: Willock does well and earns a corner. Time for number four? Well ...
78 min: Ceballos goes down under a stray arm from Aarons, which didn’t look like much. The Spaniard has done well today, but the histrionics can be a bit much.
76 min: Stiepermann and Vrancic replace Cantwell and Rupp for Norwich, to bring up the five chances. David Luiz is in a little pain, meanwhile, and taking treatment. But he looks to be OK. We now see Nketiah replace Lacazette while Cedric Soares makes his long-awaited debut in place of Bellerin.
74 min: Holding goes on a bit of a novelty jink down the right but is crowded out. The sting has gone from this game now.
73 min: More subs imminent, Eddie Nketiah among them ...
70 min: The last 20 minutes are a perfect microcosm of why Norwich will go down, for all their admirable ways. Couldn’t take advantage during a very good spell; made a silly and avoidable mistake to let more clinical opponents in at the other end.
That’s sealed, then, and you sort of felt it might happen. It’s another Norwich howler, the substitute striker Drmic receiving a throw-in deep in his own half and then carefully laying it back ... straight into Aubameyang’s path. He doesn’t miss those.
66 min: Could have been three there though, Willock finding room after a poor touch from Tettey but driving well over from about 16 yards.
65 min: A Drmic drive is blocked. Norwich are finding all kinds of space when they pour forward. I guess they’ve little to lose but the difference in this half has been massive.
64 min: Lacazette has worked hard but just doesn’t seem right at all this season, to me.
62 min: Norwich are still having a proper go at this. Holding heads away a cross from Lewis, then Tierney hads to shepherd a Cantwell through ball out of play.
60 min: No penalty and, in any case, the possible foul on Cantwell was probably outside the box.
59 min: In case you were wondering whether one of the bottom three might, you know, get a result at some point ... I can inform you that it’s currently Bournemouth 0-3 Newcastle. Hold on, VAR check for a Norwich penalty ...
58 min: Maybe Joe Willock will perk Arsenal back up. He’s on for Nelson, who has done well if not spectacularly so.
57 min: Now Arsenal do produce something after a patient move but Bellerin, just as he seems set to tee up one of several waiting teammates for a third, stumbles near the byline.
55 min: I suspect this is Norwich’s “spell”, but these nonetheless look like completely different sides at the moment.
53 min: Close from Hernandez! Idah finds him on the left and the Cuban blazes one a foot or so off target. Arsenal could do with switching on, unless they want to make this a close-run thing.
52 min: Nothing from Arsenal in this half yet. A frustration throughout the season has been that they don’t put in many 90-minute performances.
50 min: David Luiz makes a foul and the Canaries have another tempting free-kick. It’s in McLean’s range but perhaps on the wrong side for his left foot. He opts for a cross and it sails out of play.
49 min: Norwich have gone for two up top and the wide threat of Hernandez. They’ve certainly come out with a bit more aggression and intent.
46 min: And Norwich almost get back into it! The young sub striker Idah does more than Pukki achieved in the entire first 45, snapping in a low 20-yarder that Martinez saves very smartly down to his left.
Norwich start us off ...
Substitutions! A triple change for Norwich!
Pukki, Trybull and Buendia are all off. Idah, Drmic and Hernandez are on.
Emiliano Martinez did very well for that late save. He’s 27 and has been around for a decade but, look, he is seriously good and I do wonder if Bernd Leno has a massive fight on his hands when he gets back. Profiled him, with help from people who know him well, last week:
“At last – it’s been found! The one team in the Premier League, or perhaps football, who can make Arsenal look like intergalactic world beaters,” proclaims Charles Antaki.
Do you remember when Arsenal and Norwich shared seven goals and a 21-man brawl? Who knows, it might yet happen again today. But in case it doesn’t, this is a superb read from Steven Pye:
It’s a fair scoreline although Krul did give Arsenal a heck of a helping hand for the opener. The second goal was beautiful, though, and Norwich have spent most of the game under the cosh. They have come very close twice from range, mind you. If that last effort from McLean had gone in we could have expected a very different second half; in the event, you’d fancy Arsenal can score one or two more.
45+2 min: Super save by Martinez! He’s had nothing to do but McLean hits an absolute pearler from the set-piece and the keeper dives at full stretch to tip it behind!
45+1 min: Two additional minutes will be played. I’d imagine Norwich just want to get inside. But not before this free-kick, 25 yards out and won by Cantwell ...
50 - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored his 50th Premier League goal in fewer appearances (79) than any other @Arsenal player, and is the 6th fastest to this total among all Premier League players. Clinical. pic.twitter.com/YWjDZJzFsP
Aubameyang is so good; Arsenal really need to keep him.
43 min: This time Krul elects to clear a backpass under pressure. Norwich do spring forward after that but Rupp’s attempt to slip Cantwell in is a little underdone.
40 min: Arsenal should go for a statement victory here, because Norwich do look poor. That was Xhaka’s first goal of the season and the latest step in his rehabilitation from the Autumn unfortunateness. He tries for a second when another corner is aimed towards the edge of the box, but doesn’t catch it brilliantly and a defender blocks.
That is a lovely goal though. David Luiz pings it diagonally to Tierney quite beautifully, and he quickly plays in the breaking Aubameyang. In turn, Aubameyang prods first-time into the path of an onrushing Xhaka, who lashes low through Krul’s legs and probably puts this game to bed.
37 min: Given they’ve scored that goal twice in a week, are Arsenal lucky? Dunno about that – their forwards are working really hard, chasing goalkeepers and defenders down, and I will forever question the efficacy of “building from the back” when it’s just not on. It’s OK not to, sometimes! You will still win games (even if you’re Norwich). And people will still watch games.
Oh, what a howler from Krul! He receives a backpass and, with Aubameyang bearing down, tries to check past the striker rather than put a foot through it. Bad idea! He’s mugged by Aubameyang, who then has an easy pass into an empty net. What a silly mistake, and very similar to the Alex McCarthy mistake that put Arsenal ahead at Southampton last week.
32 min: The subsequent free-kick earns Arsenal another corner and their pressure is constant at the moment. It’s worked to Nelson, who does superbly to wriggle into the left side of the box and centre for Lacazette. But the striker screws his shot wide of the near post. No matter though, because ...
31 min: Ceballos, playing like a man who fancies being here next season, regains possession superbly and Rupp hacks him down. Rupp joins McLean in the book.
30 min: Free-kick to Arsenal 30 yards out. David Luiz steps up in that inimitable style ... and sends a low wobbler through, which Krul watches carefully and gathers well.
28 min: Ceballos again does well and wins the game’s first corner. Up go the cavalry! But that’s as good as it gets, because Ceballos tries a clever one to the edge of the area and it’s cut out. The ball stays alive and a subsequent cross is aimed too high for Aubameyang.
27 min: McLean is booked for a foul on the thus-far impressive Ceballos, whose reaction was somewhat dramatic.
25 min: I did Godfrey a disservice, upon review I reckon that thunderbolt was from 30 yards and maybe further.
23 min: Drinks.
22 min: And a decent chance for Lacazette there, as Arsenal counter well again. Ceballos finds him with a perfectly-weighted cross and, running onto the ball unmarked, he thuds his header straight at Krul. He should have done better.
20 min: Godfrey hits the post! Norwich make a rare excursion upfield and the ball is played back to Godfrey, who has space to move into and is under little pressure. So he pings one from fully 25 yards – it’s a fantastic strike and beats Martinez, but smacks off the outside of his right stick. Closest yet!
19 min: It’s certainly fair to say Arsenal are completely dominant, without battering that hard at the door. Norwich are sitting in and seeing little of the ball. Now Nelson chips a cross in but Krul is well placed to save Aubameyang’s fairly soft header.
17 min: What Arsenal are doing well is getting their wing-backs, Tierney and Bellerin, forward and high. It’s meaning, in turn, that the considerable attacking capabilities of Norwich full-backs Lewis and Aarons are nullified. Everton now lead Leicester 2-0 at Goodison!
14 min: Arsenal look fairly crisp so far and could be a goal up; Norwich haven’t really made their own couple of attacking situations into anything.
12 min: Everton lead Leicester 1-0 (more here). Arsenal host Leicester next Tuesday and might wonder whether, by hook or by crook, they might chase Brendan Rodgers’ side down on current form.
10 min: Ceballos springs Xhaka into yards and yards of midfield space; he then finds Aubameyang to his left, and the captain checks into the area before shooting towards goal. Krul parries well.
Official attendance at the Emirates tonight: 60,472
I think they meant “tickets sold”.
8 min: Norwich enjoy a good, prolonged spell of possession inside their own half although it doesn’t really get them anywhere and, eventually, Arsenal get the ball back. Building from the back so religiously really has to work brilliantly when it does pay off. Arsenal almost make them pay by releasing Bellerin, who this time does get in – but Tettey defends his cutback well.
6 min: Tettey cuts out a raking Xhaka pass that was intended to send Bellerin through. Arsenal have started on the front foot, that is for sure.
4 min: McLean gives possession to Ceballos and Arsenal can counter, something they are fairly good at, with men over on the left. But Buendia is back tigerishly to charge down Tierney’s attempted delivery.
2 min: I wonder if this one will be quite edgy. Neither side can really get away with a draw in chasing their respective dreams. Tierney gets forward and makes McLean defend an early centre.
Arsenal, going left to right, kick us off.
Big chance for Reiss Nelson today. I interviewed him earlier in the year, he’s a lovely lad and a big talent:
Norwich emerge from the away dressing room and onto the pitch. Arsenal will follow shortly. We’ll be underway in a few minutes ...
“I see that our friend with the whistle tonight, Peter Bankes, has dished out yellow cards this season at a rate of 4.45 per game,” notes JR in Illinois.
“For context, the immortal Mike Dean sits at 4.29 this season. Between the referee, the lack of defensive competence on both sides, and the inclusion of Sidesh ... uh, David Luiz, I’m optimistic we’re in for some high entertainment today.”
The Gunners have only kept four clean sheets in their last 17 Premier League games at the Emirates.
There is certainly room for optimism among the visitors tonight.
Arsenal have, of course, played all of their games so far away from the Emirates. Norwich have played all of theirs at Carrow Road. What does all that mean? Probably nothing, although if away sides really do benefit the most from the absence of crowds then perhaps Farke’s miracle survival bid is on.
Unusually good atmosphere at the Emirates
Barney is drinking it all in for us down there this evening.
Arsenal give contract kid Saka a rest. Reiss Nelson is among those to get a go, starting his first Premier League match of 2020. Mesut Ozil misses out again, possibly with a back injury. Matteo Guendouzi also misses out again, definitely not with a back injury.
Norwich look short at centre-back, where it seems as if Alex Tettey will partner Ben Godfrey.
Arsenal: Martinez; Mustafi, David Luiz, Kolasinac; Bellerin, Xhaka, Ceballos, Tierney; Nelson, Lacazette, Aubameyang. Subs: Macey, Papastathopoulos, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Soares, Pepe, Willock, Nketiah, Saka.
Norwich: Krul; Aarons, Tettey, Godfrey, Lewis; Rupp, Trybull, McLean; Buendia, Pukki, Cantwell. Subs: McGovern, Vrancic, Hernandez, Stiepermann, Drmic, Duda, Idah, Thomas, Martin.
Today has already begun well for Arsenal. They’ve announced a new contract for Bukayo Saka and it means one of Europe’s best young players is tied down. Perhaps once upon a time that would not have been a big story – but Arsenal are currently hanging on the coat tails of the leading lights, where once they used to wear that mantle comfortably themselves, and currently need to take pleasure in whatever keeps them clinging on.
Another such thing would be three points against Norwich. That’s what they should be getting, because their opponents are running out of time for an unlikely escape from relegation. Daniel Farke’s side are usually good value and ask plenty of questions; they don’t tend to pay enough heed to the answers, though, and find themselves six points shy of safety. Home defeats to Southampton and Everton in the last fortnight have been limp, though they did show up well against Manchester United in the FA Cup.Continue reading...
Historic News Stories have been added below:
- Wed, 28 Jun 2017 20:24:32 +0000: Arsenal have bid rejected for Lacazette - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Arsenal | BBC
Arsenal have a bid rejected for France international striker Alexandre Lacazette, but negotiations are still ongoing with Lyon.
- Tue, 27 Jun 2017 14:53:47 +0000: Arsenal in Meadow Park groundshare deal - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Arsenal | BBC
Boreham Wood agree a 10-year groundshare deal with Women's Super League club Arsenal Ladies and Arsenal's youth teams.
- Fri, 23 Jun 2017 17:18:25 +0000: Shield proceeds to be given to Grenfell - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Arsenal | BBC
Proceeds from the 2017 FA Community Shield will be donated to support those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire.
- Tue, 20 Jun 2017 11:16:16 +0000: The stars helping Grenfell Tower victims - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Arsenal | BBC
Here are just some of the many famous people who are helping out those affected by last week's tragedy.
- Wed, 14 Jun 2017 08:00:05 +0000: Premier League fixtures in full - Latest Stories, Video, and Commentary about Arsenal | BBC
Find out your club's full fixture list for the 2017-18 Premier League season.
The summer transfer action is beginning to come hard and fast for Arsenal as they now have begun to receive many offers for the want away Dutch striker Robin Van Persie who is out of contract with the gunner at the end of next season. The clubs star player has made it clear he will not be signing a new contract with the gunners and this has prompted all of Europe’s top clubs to begin a bidding war for the phenomenal striker.
Another player who could be set to leave the Emirates stadium is Carlos Vela who is now in the middle of discussions for a transfer to the Spanish side Real Sociedad who are thought to be lining up a £5.000.000 deal for the Mexican international. Vela has been on the sidelines for some time now and it is clear that his future lies elsewhere and away from London.
The capture of Lucas Podolski from Cologne a few weeks back was meant to signal the start of a new era at Arsenal as the club have been trophy less for the past five years. The German international was seen as the perfect partner for Robin Van Persie but with the Dutch striker certainly on his way out of the Emirates it is now more than likely that Podolski will be leading the line along with another new signing up from in the form of up and coming superstar Olivier Giroud.
Another player who could be leaving the London club this summer is Marouane Chamakh who has found himself out of the picture at Arsenal for the past twelve month and has only started a handful of games during this time. The Morroccan international is wanted by Fiorentina and Dutch champions Ajax and the striker is keen on a move to either of these sides in search of first team football.
Arsenal are also said to be in for the highly thought of Egyptian defender Islam Ramadan who plays for his homeland club Haras El Hodood with the twenty one year old thought to be an integral part of Wengers new defensive plans. Ramadan has also attracted a huge amount of interest from some of Europe’s leading clubs including Lyon, Benfica and Sporting Lisbon.