Arsenal’s Mohamed Elneny Signs New Contract

Arsenal’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny (L) challenges Everton’s English striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Everton at the Emirates Stadium in London on May 22, 2022. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP)

 

 

 

Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny has signed a new contract with the Premier League club.

The Egypt international has scored five goals in 147 appearances since arriving at the Emirates from Swiss club Basel in 2016.

The length of the 29-year-old’s new deal has not been disclosed by the Gunners.

Manager Mikel Arteta told the club website: “Mo is a really important part of the team. He brings endless energy, enthusiasm and commitment to the team and is loved by everyone.

“He’s an important player for us on and off the pitch, a real role model to our younger players and I’m delighted he’s staying.”

 

Arsenal’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny celebrates at the end of the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Everton at the Emirates Stadium in London on May 22, 2022. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP)

 

Elneny made 14 top-flight appearances this season as Arsenal finished fifth in the Premier League, while also helping his country reach the final of the Africa Cup of Nations, where they were beaten on penalties by Senegal.

He lifted the FA Cup during his first season in north London and spent the 2019/20 campaign on loan at Turkish club Besiktas.

“I love this club and I feel like part of this family,” said Elneny. “I want to continue at this amazing club and I’m very happy and very excited for the future.”

Five Key Moments That Won Manchester City The Premier League

Manchester City’s players run towards the pitch to celebrate after winning the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on May 22, 2022.  Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Manchester City are champions of England for a fourth time in five years after holding off Liverpool in a titanic tussle for the Premier League title.

City’s failure to land a natural striker to replace Sergio Aguero cast doubt on their title credentials as Liverpool and Chelsea strengthened their squads with eyes on the crown.

Pep Guardiola’s men again proved to be well-suited to the marathon grind of a 38-game season, but needed to summon the spirit of champions to seal the deal on the final day.

Trailing 2-0 to Aston Villa with 14 minutes remaining, City needed to score three times to avoid a trophyless season and pulled it off thanks to Ilkay Gundogan’s double either side of Rodri’s strike.

READ ALSO: Arsenal Miss Out On Champions League For Fifth Season In A Row

AFP Sport looks at five defining moments that swung the title race City’s way:

Manchester City’s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola (R) and Manchester City’s English defender John Stones (L) celebrate with the Premier League trophy on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on May 22, 2022. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Chelsea put in their place

Chelsea had City’s number towards the end of last season, beating them three times in three different competitions, culminating in lifting the Champions League in Porto.

The Blues were expected to carry that momentum into a title challenge and started the season strongly.

City were three points behind Chelsea and Liverpool when they travelled to Stamford Bridge in early September having dropped points in two of their first five games.

However, Guardiola’s men laid down a marker with a dominant display that deserved a more comprehensive result than their 1-0 victory.

The same day, Liverpool were held 3-3 at Brentford to nullify the impact of City’s slow start.

Winter Wins

Fans were back in the stands all season but coronavirus still had a major impact as outbreaks among squads led to mass postponements in the winter months.

City were one of the few clubs to escape without a single match being rearranged and produced a 12-game winning run between November and February that took the title race away from the chasing pack.

Rodri’s 92nd-minute winner at Arsenal in an early kick-off on January 1 amid a packed schedule was the stuff that champions are made of.

But there was plenty of the exhilarating football Guardiola’s sides are synonomous with too as Leeds were dispatched 7-0, Leicester hit for six and Newcastle and Norwich thrashed 4-0.

Liverpool Pay Penalty At Leicester

As City motored through the festive period, Liverpool’s title bid came off the rails.

Jurgen Klopp’s men have lost just three of 62 games all season that kept their bid for an unprecedented quadruple alive into the final week of the campaign.

However, one of them came in the most unlikely circumstances at Leicester on December 28.

The postponement of Liverpool’s Boxing Day game with Leeds had given Klopp’s men a rare six-day rest amid the busiest time of the English football calendar.

Leicester, by contrast, had lost 6-3 at City only 48 hours previously and were severely weakened by injuries and Covid cases.

Mohamed Salah missed a Premier League penalty for the first time in four years before Ademola Lookman gave Leicester an unlikely 1-0 win.

Draws at Tottenham and Chelsea either side of Liverpool’s trip to the King Power allowed City to move 12 points ahead on New Year’s Day.

‘Title decider’ stalemate suits City

Liverpool’s stunning form in 2022 gave Klopp’s men the chance to leapfrog City when the top two faced off at the Etihad in early April.

But City maintained a one-point lead at the top after a thrilling 2-2 draw.

Guardiola bemoaned his side had left the Reds “alive” after missing the best chances to win the game.

However, ultimately it proved to be a vital point in retaining the title.

No Hammer Blow

Liverpool’s first dropped points at Anfield since October in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham allowed City to extend their lead to three points going into the final two games of the season.

But they twice nearly threw it away by falling behind 2-0 to both West Ham and Aston Villa.

Jarrod Bowen punished an injury-decimated City defence scoring twice for the Hammers before Jack Grealish and Vladimir Coufal’s own goal did enough to salvage a point and keep the destiny of the title in their own hands.

City did not learn their lesson as Villa also counter-attacked to good effect to take a 2-0 lead at the Etihad on Sunday.

This time Gundogan was the hero off the bench to spark scenes reminiscent of Aguero’s 93rd minute title winner to start City’s era of dominance 10 years ago.

AFP

Arsenal Miss Out On Champions League For Fifth Season In A Row


Arsenal’s Norwegian midfielder Martin Odegaard (L) celebrates after scoring his team’s fifth goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Everton at the Emirates Stadium in London on May 22, 2022. Daniel LEAL / AFP

 

Arsenal have missed out on a Champions League spot despite mauling Everton on the final day of the Premier League. 

The Gunners defeated Everton 5-1 at the Emirates Stadium but that was not enough to send them to Europe’s elite competition ahead of Tottenham who outclassed relegated Norwich 5-0 on the same day.

Spurs just need a point to finish fourth when and they qualified for the Champions League in grand style

“We know the importance of the game. If someone thinks the situation is easy I am not that person and I don’t transfer these thoughts to my players,” Conte said ahead of the match.

With incoming boss Erik ten Hag watching from the stands, sixth-placed Manchester United lost at Crystal Palace.

READ ALSO: Man City Retain 2021/2022 Premier League After Aston Villa Comeback

But they avoided the ignominy of slipping into the Europa Conference League after were beaten by Brighton.

At the Etihad, Manchester City retained the Premier League title in the most dramatic of fashion as they hauled themselves back from 2-0 down to beat Aston Villa 3-2 with three goals in the final 15 minutes on Sunday.

Ilkay Gundogan came off the bench to score twice with Rodri also on target as Pep Guardiola’s men held off Liverpool’s title charge to win the league by a point.

In scenes remiscent of the first of City’s now six league titles in 11 seasons when Sergio Aguero scored a 93rd minute winner to deny Manchester United the title on goal difference, the champions produced a remarkable comeback at the Etihad.

Goals from Matty Cash and former Liverpool favourite Philippe Coutinho looked set to gift the Reds the title.

Jurgen Klopp’s men did their job by also coming from a goal down to beat Wolves 3-1 at Anfield, but City’s rescue act ensured Liverpool’s bid for an unprecedented quadruple is over.

Gundogan started the comeback as he headed in Raheem Sterling’s cross at the back post.

Arsenal Got What They Deserved, Says Arteta

Photo of Mikel Arteta

 

A disappointed Mikel Arteta has commented on his side’s defeat to Newcastle on Monday night, insisting Arsenal deserved the result.

Ben White’s own goal and Bruno Guimaraes’ late strike was the difference between the sides on the scoreboard.

A victory for Arsenal would have moved them above Tottenham into the Champions League places with one game left.

But the manner of the Newcastle performance changed the tempo of the game with an impressive showing from Eddie Howe’s men that sent a message that  they could be challenging for a top-four finish themselves next season.

Facing the media and fielding questions on the defeat, the 40-year old was critical of the North London club’s performance.

“It’s a really tough night. Normally, I can sit here and I can defend, but what we’ve done today, it’s not easy,” a dissatisfied Arteta said.

“Newcastle were one hundred times better than us in every department from the beginning to the end and it’s hard to accept but you have to accept it and that’s the reality of what happened today on that pitch.”

Asked what he puts the performance down to, Arteta said, “We knew [what was at stake], but we didn’t cope with it. We didn’t compete, we never got into the game, we put ourselves in trouble time after time, we lost every duel.”

“In every aspect of the game, we were second best and Newcastle totally deserved to win the match, probably by a bigger margin as well.”

Equally vocal on his side’s defeat was Granit Xhaka, who felt his teammates display showed they could not handle the pressure of chasing a top-four spot.

“If someone isn’t ready for this game, stay at home,” Xhaka told BBC sport on 

“It doesn’t matter your age. If you’re nervous, stay on the bench or stay at home. You need people to come here and play. It’s one of the most important games for us. We’re feeling very disappointed for the people who came over here.”

Arsenal will need to beat Everton at home on Sunday and hope Tottenham – two points ahead and with a much better goal difference – lose at relegated Norwich to stand any chance of making it to the Champions League next season.

 

 

Newcastle Blow Up Arsenal’s Champions League Dreams

Newcastle players mob Newcastle United’s English striker Callum Wilson as they celebrate their opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on May 16, 2022.
Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Arsenal’s exile from the Champions League looks set to stretch into a sixth season after losing 2-0 at Newcastle on Monday.

Tottenham remain two points above their north London rivals in fourth place in the Premier League.

Spurs now realistically only need a draw away to already-relegated Norwich on Sunday to secure a top-four finish thanks to their superior goal difference.

Arsenal’s defeat also guaranteed third-place Chelsea’s place in the Champions League next season.

Ben White’s own goal and Bruno Guimaraes’ late strike was the difference between the sides on the scoreboard.

But the manner of the Newcastle performance was even more impressive as Eddie Howe’s men sent a message they could be challenging for a top-four finish themselves next season.

Only Manchester City and Liverpool have won more Premier League points than the Magpies in 2022 since they began to splash to wealth of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund in the transfer market.

More big money signings are expected to arrive at St. James’ Park in the coming months, but Arsenal’s budget in the transfer market could be severely dented by again missing out on the riches of the Champions League.

Newcastle United’s Swedish defender Emil Krafth helps teammate Newcastle United’s Swiss defender Fabian Schar laying injured on the pitch during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on May 16, 2022. Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Mikel Arteta’s men were in the driving seat with three games to go as they lead Spurs by four points.

But Tottenham’s 3-0 derby win on Thursday cranked up the pressure on the young Gunners who failed to respond.

Indeed Arsenal were lucky to escape without a more comprehensive defeat.

Aaron Ramsdale was nearly embarrassed when Miguel Almiron blocked his clearance early on.

But the England international kept his side in the game with a brilliant save to deny Allan Saint-Maximin at his near post.

The hosts’ pressure was finally rewarded when Joelinton’s dangerous low cross just evaded Callum Wilson and flew into his own goal off the unfortunate White.

Newcastle are firmly rooted in mid-table but looked like the side with more on the line as they continued to storm forward.

Wilson fired over from Guimaraes’ cross and then sent an audacious effort from 40 yards floating inches past the post.

In between times, Ramsdale produced another big stop from a one-on-one with Jacob Murphy.

A second Newcastle goal seemed only a matter of time and it duly arrived five minutes from time when again Wilson was denied by Ramsdale, but Guimaraes swept home the rebound for his fifth goal since a January move from Lyon.

AFP

Spurs Crush 10-Man Arsenal To Keep Top-Four Bid Alive

Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane (L) vies with Arsenal's Japanese defender Takehiro Tomiyasu (R) during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on May 12, 2022. Glyn KIRK / AFP
Tottenham Hotspur’s English striker Harry Kane (L) vies with Arsenal’s Japanese defender Takehiro Tomiyasu (R) during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on May 12, 2022. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Harry Kane scored twice as Tottenham beat 10-man Arsenal 3-0 on Thursday with a north London derby masterclass that kept alive their hopes of finishing in the Premier League’s top four.

Antonio Conte’s side would have been eliminated from the race to qualify for next season’s Champions League if they had lost to their bitter rivals on Thursday.

But Kane tormented Arsenal once again as the Tottenham striker opened the scoring with a controversial penalty.

Crucially, Arsenal’s Rob Holding was sent off for two bookings in seven minutes.

READ ALSO: FG Withdraws Nigeria From International Basketball Competitions

Kane netted again before the interval and Son Heung-min bagged Tottenham’s third goal in the second half.

Instead of sealing a return to the Champions League for the first time since the 2016-17 season, fourth-placed Arsenal now face a nerve-jangling conclusion to the top-four battle.

Arsenal still hold a slender advantage, but the end of their four-match winning run leaves them just one point ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham, with both sides having two games left.

Conte said several weeks ago that it would be a “miracle” if Tottenham reached the Champions League given their lowly position when he replaced the sacked Nuno Espirito Santo in November.

But their victory in arguably the biggest north London derby since Arsenal won the league at White Hart Lane in 2004 ensured that miracle could still come true.

Conte believes finishing in the top four is “like winning a title in another country, a big achievement” given the depth of talent and wealth at the top of the Premier League.

To decide who takes the lucrative prize, Tottenham host struggling Burnley on Sunday then travel to relegated Norwich, while Mikel Arteta’s men visit Newcastle on Monday and entertain Everton.

Arteta’s bewildered expression throughout Arsenal’s capitulation suggested it is far from certain he will be able to lift his players to finish the job.

Third-placed Chelsea, five points above Tottenham, will likely need a draw from their last two games to be sure of their top-four place given their vastly superior goal difference.

As well as the huge European stakes for both sides, Tottenham also felt lingering resentment about Arsenal’s successful appeal to have this fixture postponed in January due to Covid and injury problems.

Kane stars

The acrimony did not take long to boil over in the deafening atmosphere at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with tackling flying in and Conte booked for protesting vigorously after Ben Davies’s foul on Bukayo Saka.

Amid the maelstrom, it was Tottenham who landed the first blow after 22 minutes.

Cedric Soares collided with Son as they contested Dejan Kulusevski’s cross in the six-yard box and the contact was enough to convince Paul Tierney to award a penalty.

Arsenal surrounded Tierney to complain angrily, but Kane stepped up to send Aaron Ramsdale the wrong way with a nerveless spot-kick.

The wall of sound from four sides of the stadium underlined the significance of Tottenham seizing the initiative.

Arsenal were shell-shocked and the game shifted decisively in Tottenham’s favour in the 33rd minute.

Eric Dier’s long pass targeted Son and Holding crudely blocked his path with his shoulder, a needless offence that prompted Tierney to send off the defender for his second booking.

Scenting blood, Tottenham doubled their lead four minutes after Holding’s premature exit.

Rodrigo Bentancur flicked on a corner and Kane stooped to head home from virtually on the line as Conte celebrated with a jig of delight.

Kane, the top scorer in north London derby history in all competitions, now has 13 goals in 17 meetings with Arsenal, who must rue the day they rejected him as a eight-year-old.

The night got even better for Conte in the 47th minute as Kane rolled Gabriel and the ball broke for Son to clip a deft finish into the corner.

Ramsdale made fine saves from Emerson Royal and Kane to stop Arsenal being completely humiliated, but the damage had already been done.

AFP

Arsenal Boost Top Four Bid As Leeds Slump Into Relegation Zone

Arsenal’s French striker Alexandre Lacazette (R) comes on for Arsenal’s English striker Eddie Nketiah (L) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Leeds United at the Emirates Stadium in London on May 8, 2022.
Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Eddie Nketiah boosted Arsenal’s bid to finish in the Premier League’s top four with a brace in their 2-1 win against Leeds as the Yorkshire club dropped into the relegation zone after Everton’s 2-1 victory at Leicester on Sunday.

While second-placed Manchester City waited for their chance to go three points clear of leaders Liverpool with a win against Newcastle later on Sunday, the focus in the day’s early games was on the top four and the relegation battle.

Nketiah netted twice in the first 10 minutes at the Emirates Stadium as Mikel Arteta’s side earned their fourth successive win.

Leeds had skipper Luke Ayling sent off and, although Diego Llorente got one back, it was too little, too late for Jesse Marsch’s strugglers.

Leeds United’s English midfielder Jack Harrison (C) vies with Arsenal’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny (L) and Arsenal’s German-born Portuguese defender Cedric Soares (R) during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Leeds United at the Emirates Stadium in London on May 8, 2022.
Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Fourth-placed Arsenal are four points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham, with three games left for both teams in the race to qualify for next season’s Champions League via a top-four finish.

Tottenham’s gritty 1-1 draw at Liverpool on Saturday had kept them in the hunt, but Arsenal will visit their north London rivals on Thursday knowing a win would guarantee they finish above Antonio Conte’s men.

Arteta signed a three-year contract extension on Friday and he is on course to repay that faith by leading Arsenal to their first Champions League campaign since 2016-17.

Nketiah spent time on loan at Leeds earlier in his career, but the Arsenal forward showed no mercy to his old club.

In the fifth minute, Nketiah punished a poor touch from Illan Meslier, closing down the Leeds keeper and tapping into the empty net.

Nketiah hardly celebrated out of respect for Leeds, but he struck again five minutes later, this time meeting Gabriel Martinelli’s cross with a fine finish from 12 yards.

A dismal day for Leeds took another turn for the worse in the 27th minute as Ayling was sent off after a VAR review of his crude lunge on Martinelli.

Llorente reduced the deficit with a smart finish from Leeds’ first corner in the 66th minute, but Arsenal held on.

Leeds sit third bottom of the table due to having a worse goal difference than Burnley.

– Everton out of bottom three –
Everton made the most of Leeds’ stumble as they beat Leicester to secure a second consecutive win.

Frank Lampard’s side arrived at the King Power Stadium with just one win and three draws from 16 away games, including losses in their last seven matches on their travels.

But Lampard and his players were given a rousing send-off by Everton fans outside the club’s Finch Farm training ground when they left for Leicester on Sunday morning.

Everton responded to that show of support with a dream start.

Ukrainian left-back Vitaliy Mykolenko ran onto Alex Iwobi’s flick and netted with a stunning volley from the edge of the area in the sixth minute.

Everton surrendered the lead five minutes later as Yerry Mina and Seamus Coleman went up for a header, only to collide and allow Patson Daka to run through and beat Jordan Pickford.

However, Mason Holgate won it for Everton in the 30th minute, the defender converting the rebound after Kasper Schmeichel saved Richarlison’s header.

Everton, hoping to avoid playing in the second tier for the first time since 1954, are one point above the relegation zone with a game in hand.

West Ham crushed relegated Norwich 4-0 at Carrow Road to ease the pain of their Europa League semi-final defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.

Said Benrahma put West Ham in front after 12 minutes when his shot deflected off Max Aarons and squirmed past Norwich keeper Tim Krul.

Michail Antonio doubled West Ham’s advantage after 30 minutes with his first league goal since January 1.

Benrahma bagged the third on the stroke of half-time and Manuel Lanzini converted a 65th minute penalty after Jacob Sorensen’s handball.

Mikel Arteta Eyes ‘Next Level’ After Signing New Arsenal Deal

In this file photo,  Arsenal’s Spanish manager Mikel Arteta (L) and Arsenal’s English goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale (2nd L) celebrate their win in the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium in London on September 26, 2021. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Mikel Arteta wants to take Arsenal to the “next level” after signing a new three-year contract that will keep him at the Premier League club until 2025.

The 40-year-old, who took charge in 2019 following the dismissal of Unai Emery, is close to leading Arsenal back into the Champions League after a five-year absence.

The Gunners are fourth in the Premier League table, two points clear of north London rivals Tottenham with just four games to go.

“We want to take the club to the next level and to compete really with the top teams. In order to do that, we have to be playing in the Champions League,” Arteta said in a club statement.

“We have to be able to evolve the team, improve our players, improve all departments, generate even more connection with our fans, improve the atmosphere at the Emirates, be able to recruit top, top talent and the best people for this club to drive this project to that level.”

READ ALSOMbappe’s Mother Denies He Has Agreed Deal To Stay At PSG

In this file photo, Arsenal’s Spanish head coach Mikel Arteta holds the winner’s trophy as the team celebrates victory after the English FA Cup final football match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley Stadium in London, on August 1, 2020. (Photo by Catherine Ivill / POOL / AFP)

 

Arteta, who won the FA Cup during his first year in charge at the Emirates, has steered Arsenal back towards the top of the table after their worst start to a season for decades.

The Spaniard was facing calls for his sacking back in September but he has been rewarded for keeping faith with his young players as well as cutting ties with club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who moved to Barcelona in January.

Arsenal have enjoyed impressive recent wins over Manchester United and Chelsea to take control of fourth place but face a potentially decisive derby against Spurs next week.

Arteta, whose team host struggling Leeds on Sunday, revealed at his pre-match press conference that he was offered the new contract after Arsenal suffered successive defeats against Crystal Palace, Brighton, and Southampton last month.

The former Gunners midfielder took that as a sign of how committed the club were to him.

“The club offered me the contract when we lost three matches,” he said. “That doesn’t happen in football.

“That’s a part of what they think, the conversations that I had, the belief that they have in myself, the coaching staff, in what we are doing, and the people that we have now owning this football club and leading this football club.”

Arteta hopes the new deal will prove a boost to his squad as they battle to return to the Champions League.

“They thought the best moment was to do it right now, to give a final push to the team, to give some clarity about what we have to do in the summer, in the future,” he said.

Arsenal women’s manager, Jonas Eidevall, whose side are challenging for the Women’s Super League title, has signed a new deal taking him to the end of the 2023/24 season.

AFP

Mikel Arteta Signs New Arsenal Contract

Arsenal’s Spanish manager Mikel Arteta celebrates at the final whistle in the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at the Emirates Stadium in London on September 26, 2021. Arsenal won the game 3-1. Ian KINGTON / IKIMAGES / AFP

 

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has signed a new three-year contract that will keep him at the Emirates until 2025.

The 40-year-old took over at the Emirates Stadium in December 2019 following the dismissal of Unai Emery.

The Spaniard is close to taking the Gunners back into the Champions League after a five-year absence, with the side currently fourth in the Premier League as the season enters its final stages.

“I’m excited, grateful and really, really happy today,” Arteta said.

“When I spoke to Josh (Kroenke, son of owner Stan Kroenke) he could see the club at the same point and he wanted to take the club the way I wanted to do it. So everything that he’s said, and that Stan has said when I’ve been together with both of them, they’ve always delivered.

“We want to take the club to the next level and to compete really with the top teams. In order to do that, we have to be playing in the Champions League.

“We have to be able to evolve the team, improve our players, improve all departments, generate even more connection with our fans, improve the atmosphere at the Emirates, be able to recruit top, top talent and the best people for this club to drive this project to that level.”

-AFP

EPL: Arsenal Beat West Ham To Tighten Grip On Top-Four

Arsenal’s Brazilian defender Gabriel (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Arsenal at the London Stadium, in London on May 1, 2022. Ian Kington / IKIMAGES / AFP

 

Arsenal maintained their two-point lead over Tottenham in the battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

They were 2-1 winners at West Ham to move back above Spurs, who earlier beat Leicester 3-1 thanks to a Son Heung-min double.

Arsenal’s centre-backs got the job done to keep the Gunners on course to end a five-year absence from the Champions League.

Rob Holding’s header from Bukayo Saka’s corner put the visitors in front at the London Stadium.

READ ALSO: Everton Shock Chelsea To Boost Premier League Survival Hopes

West Ham had one eye on the second leg of their Europa League semi-final against Eintracht Frankfurt in midweek, but David Moyes named a strong side and was rewarded with an equaliser before half-time from Jarrod Bowen.

The Hammers’ strength from set-pieces has been one of the successes of their season.

But they were undone at the back from another corner as this time Gabriel Magalhaes turned in Gabriel Martinelli’s cross.

Tottenham took full advantage of Leicester naming a much-changed side ahead of their Europa Conference League second leg against Roma.

Harry Kane powered home a header from Son’s corner midway through the first half and Son doubled the lead on the hour mark after a pass from substitute Dejan Kulusevski.

Son scored a third in the 79th minute to kill the game, curling an unstoppable effort into the top corner for his 19th Premier League goal of the season before a late consolation for Kelechi Iheanacho.

“No-one could have imagined when I arrived in November we could be in this race still, but these players are deserving to fight for such an important place,” Conte told the BBC.

“It is not easy to qualify for the Champions League in England.”

The battle for fourth could come down to a north London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal on May 12.

But Mikel Arteta’s men will hope to extend their lead to five points next weekend when they host relegation-threatened Leeds, while Spurs face a daunting trip to title-chasing Liverpool.

AFP

Everton Shock Chelsea To Boost Premier League Survival Hopes


Everton’s Brazilian striker Richarlison (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on May 1, 2022. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Everton kept Premier League survival in their own hands as Richarlison scored the only goal of a vital 1-0 win over Chelsea.

Frank Lampard’s men remain in the bottom three, but narrow the gap on both Burnley and Leeds to two points with a game in hand to come.

Richarlison pounced on an error from Cesar Azpilicueta one minute into the second half to give the home side and an anxious crowd at Goodison Park something to cling onto.

But they needed Jordan Pickford to show why he is England number one with a series of stunning saves to get over the line.

Defeat leaves Chelsea still with work to do if they are to secure a top-four finish and Champions League football next season.

The Blues’ advantage over fifth could be cut to five points by the end of the day if Arsenal avoid defeat at West Ham.

But Everton’s far greater need for the points shone through.

READ ALSO: Man City Thrash Leeds To Leapfrog Liverpool Into Top Spot


Chelsea’s US midfielder Christian Pulisic (L) vies with Everton’s Brazilian midfielder Allan (R) during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park in Liverpool, north west England on May 1, 2022. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

The Toffees have not fallen out of the top flight since 1954 and could face financial ruin if they do not dig themselves out of trouble in their final five games of the campaign.

Burnley’s dramatic late win at Watford on Saturday had left Lampard’s men five points adrift.

But it is Leeds who may now be looking nervously over their shoulders as they have to face Arsenal and Chelsea in their final four matches.

After a tense first 45 minutes, Richarlison gave Everton the hope they needed with a cool finish after Azpilicueta slipped on the edge of his own box.

The Brazilian then teed up Vitaliy Mykolenko for what should have been a second moments later.

Instead, the home side had to withstand wave upon wave of Chelsea attack.

Mason Mount’s shot came back off the inside of one post onto another before Pickford sprinted across his line to repel Azpilcueta’s follow-up effort.

From the resulting corner, Pickford was brave to block Antonio Rudiger’s powerful strike with his face.

The nerves of the home support were shredded during seven minutes of added-on time, during which Pickford came to his side’s rescue again to deny Mateo Kovacic.

Everton, though, held out to given themselves life in the battle to beat the drop.

AFP

Arteta Backs Arsenal Youngsters To Cope With Top-Four Pressure

Arsenal’s Spanish manager Mikel Arteta applauds during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Leeds United at the Emirates Stadium in London on February 14, 2021.
Catherine Ivill / POOL / AFP

 

 

 

Mikel Arteta is confident that Arsenal’s crop of young stars can cope with the mounting pressure as they seek to seal a place in next season’s Champions League.

Arteta’s side are fourth in the Premier League with five games left as they fight to return to Europe’s elite club competition for the first time since 2016/17.

The Gunners, two points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham, have climbed into the top four thanks to a set of gifted players developed by Arteta including Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, Eddie Nketiah and Nuno Tavares.

Now they must prove they can perform when the pressure mounts, starting on Sunday at London rivals West Ham.

“For most of them it is (their first experience) but it’s been like this for the last two or three months where everyone is talking about it,” Arteta told reporters on Friday.

“They can feel the importance of every match but this is what we want in April and May, for things to play for.”

Arteta has steered Arsenal back towards the top of the table after their worst start to a season for decades.

The Spaniard was facing calls for his sacking back in September, but he has been rewarded for keeping faith with the youngsters, as well as cutting ties with club captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who made a January move to Barcelona.

“We have very different players in the squad and we have a very different environment,” Arteta said when asked to explain how he turned the tide.

“I think the unity that exists right now between the team, the staff, our supporters and externally is completely different and is very beneficial for the team.”

Arsenal have enjoyed impressive recent wins over Manchester United and Chelsea to take control of fourth place but with a potentially decisive north London derby looming against Tottenham in May, Arteta knows the top-four battle is likely to go down to the wire.

“There will still be some twists and turns, we all have difficult matches to play,” he said.

“We had two really good results that put us in a really good position. But it is about doing it again at West Ham.”