Aubameyang Deal Shows Arsenal Are Among European Giants, Arteta Says

arteta-aubameyang
Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (L) and Arsenal’s Spanish head coach Mikel Arteta hold 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. Arsenal won the match 2-1. / AFP / POOL / Catherine Ivill /

 

 

Mikel Arteta said Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s decision to sign a new deal at Arsenal showed the Premier League club were on the same level as European giants such as Barcelona.

The Gabon forward, 31, committed his future to Arsenal this week after months of speculation that he would leave for a club in the Champions League.

The deal is reported to be worth £250,000-per-week ($324,000), with bonuses that could take it beyond the £350,000-per-week contract of the club’s highest earner, Mesut Ozil.

Arsenal boss Arteta, speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, said he was delighted the transfer saga was over.

“It was a big boost because I think everybody was hoping for Auba to stay but it was creating some uncertainty around the place and obviously it’s great as well to be able to finish those sort of speculations, move on and find some more stability,” he said.

“It was worrying me because it’s so hard to find replacement strikers of that calibre, so I’m really pleased,” he added.

 

File photo: Arsenal’s Spanish head coach Mikel Arteta shouts instructions to his players from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Sheffield United at the Emirates Stadium in London on January 18, 2020. Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

 

The Spaniard said it was a “joy” to work with Aubameyang, who signed for the FA Cup holders in 2018 and has scored 72 goals in 111 appearances.

“The way he trains, the way he behaves himself and the way he performs is exactly what I want from him so I want him to do that again consistently in the next few years,” Arteta said.

The manager admitted that when he joined the club last December he was not as positive as he had been in the past few weeks that Arsenal would keep hold of their star forward.

“Financially we were in a position that it was difficult to get what we wanted to get,” he said. “I think Auba had his doubts as well at the time.

“Things evolved in a natural way. I had a feeling that the club wanted to move forward, I had a feeling that Auba wanted to stay here and we were just trying to glide those things together and that sometimes takes time but if the outcome is what we both wanted then we’re happy.”

– Arsenal ambition –

Aubameyang had been linked with a move to Barcelona but Arteta said the deal showed Arsenal were as big a name as the Spanish giants.

“I think the big reason Auba is staying is because we have an incredible football team, an incredible club,” said Arteta, who started his career in the Barcelona youth system.

“We have some fantastic people working here and because he feels as well how much love he’s got from the fans.”

Arteta, whose side host West Ham on Saturday, said the club were looking to bring in a new goalkeeper to compete with Bernd Leno after the departure of Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa.

Emiliano Martinez. [email protected] Villa

 

Iceland international Runar Alex Runarsson is believed to be close to joining.

“We’ve been looking in the market and I think we will be shortly in a position to announce our new signing,” said Arteta.

AFP

Aubameyang Vows To Become Arsenal ‘Legend’ After Signing New Contract

Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium in London on October 22, 2018. Glyn KIRK / IKIMAGES / AFP

 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vowed to become an Arsenal “legend” as the Gunners captain ended speculation over his future by signing a new three-year contract on Tuesday.

Aubameyang’s contract saga had dragged on since last season amid speculation he wanted to join a club in the Champions League.

But the Gabon forward revealed he had committed his future to Arsenal in a live Instagram stream from the Emirates Stadium.

The deal is reported to be worth £250,000-per-week ($321,000), with bonuses that could take it beyond £350,000-per-week contract of the club’s highest earner Mesut Ozil.

“Arsenal fans, finally as you know I just signed the thing,” Aubameyang said.

Arsenal confirmed the news themselves on their website in a statement that said: “Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has signed a new three-year contract with us!”

After scoring the goals that fired Arsenal to last season’s surprise FA Cup semi-final and final victories over Manchester City and Chelsea, Aubameyang had refused to confirm he wanted to stay at the north London club.

At one stage last term, the 31-year-old admitted he faced a big decision over his future, fuelling reports that he was ready to leave amid interest from Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona.

But Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta remained confident Aubameyang was happy at the club and wanted to stay.

Over 100,000 people were watching the announcement via the official Arsenal Instagram account as Aubameyang pledged to follow in the footsteps of Gunners greats like Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Ian Wright.

“Everybody knows how special this club is, I have seen incredible players, passionate players, Invincible players,” Aubameyang said.

“I dream of being one of them, amongst the best, and staying in the hearts of the fans forever.

“I want to become an Arsenal legend just like Thierry, Wrighty, Adams and Bergkamp – too many to mention.

“My dad is my biggest inspiration, he was captain of his club and his country so it means so much to me to be the captain of this special club.

“I want to leave a legacy, this is where I belong, this is my family.”

– ‘Best is to come’ –

Aubameyang was joined on the call by Wright and his current team-mate Alexandre Lacazette, who praised both his decision to sign the contract.

“Thank you for signing. Others have left us in the past but you stayed when we needed you most,” Wright said.

Aubameyang wants to win more silverware and he added: “Signing for this special club was never in doubt. It’s thanks to our fans, my team-mates, my family and everybody at this club that I feel like I belong here.

“I believe in Arsenal. We can achieve big things together. We have something exciting here and I believe the best is to come for Arsenal.”

Aubameyang moved to Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund in January 2018 and has scored 72 goals in 111 games in all competitions, including one in Saturday’s 3-0 victory at Fulham on the opening day of the new season.

He also scored a superb goal as Arsenal beat Liverpool in the Community Shield at Wembley last month.

The 2015 African Footballer of the Year finished as the Premier League’s joint top scorer in 2019.

It is major coup for Arsenal to keep Aubameyang and securing his future will maintain should allow Arteta to maintain the team’s improvement since he took charge in December.

Acknowledging the significance of keeping Aubameyang, Arteta said: “It was important for Pierre-Emerick to stay with us.

“He’s a superb player with an incredible mentality. Being the player to have taken the least amount of time to reach 50 goals with this club tells you everything you need to know about him and his way of working.

“He’s an important leader for the team and a big part of what we’re building. He wants to be up there with the best players in the world and leave his mark. He can achieve that here.”

AFP

Aubameyang ‘Close’ To Signing New Arsenal Contract, Says Arteta

Aubameyang
File photo: Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Watford and Arsenal at Vicarage Road Stadium in Watford, north of London on April 15, 2019. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

 

Mikel Arteta claimed Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is close to signing a new contract after the Gunners beat Liverpool 5-4 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the Community Shield on Saturday.

Aubameyang put Arteta’s side ahead in the first half at Wembley with a typically eye-catching strike.

Japan’s Takumi Minamino equalised with his first goal for Liverpool late in the second half of the annual pre-season friendly between the Premier League champions and FA Cup winners.

In the shoot-out, Liverpool’s young striker Rhian Brewster was the only player to miss, hitting the bar with their third penalty before Aubameyang calmly dispatched the decisive spot-kick.

As if Arteta needed any reminding, it was another sign of the influence wielded by his captain Aubameyang, who is yet to commit his long-term future to the club as he enters the final year of his contract.

Gabon forward Aubameyang has kept Arsenal waiting nervously during protracted talks and he demurred when asked in a post-match interview if he was ready to sign the club’s contract offer.

 

File photo: Arsenal’s Spanish head coach Mikel Arteta shouts instructions to his players from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Sheffield United at the Emirates Stadium in London on January 18, 2020. Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

 

“We are going to see, today we will just take the trophy and that is it,” he said.

Arteta has remained confident the 31-year-old will stay and he insisted his talisman’s status will be resolved to his satisfaction before the Premier League season starts on September 12.

“We are close,” Arteta said of the contract. “He was magnificent in the FA Cup final and again today.

“I try to do my job, which is convince him that he is in the right place, that he has the environment here to produce the moments like he’s done today and he’s done here three weeks ago.

“I am very positive that he’s going to sign but a lot of time there’s a lot of things involved in a contract deal and we are trying to show him.”

For Liverpool, it was the second successive season they have lost the Community Shield on penalties after being beaten by Manchester City last term.

That is unlikely to concern coach Jurgen Klopp too much given the champions’ lack of rest and preparation since winning the title for the first time in 30 years.

“For these types of games, you need the final punch. We created enough, had the ball quite a lot, but had to be careful of their counter-attack,” Klopp said.

“A penalty shoot-out is always a little bit of a lottery and we were unlucky there, so congratulations to Arsenal.”

The Community Shield traditionally serves as the curtain-raiser to the new English season.

But Liverpool and Arsenal were back in action just 34 days after the end of the coronavirus-delayed Premier League campaign and only six days after the Champions League final concluded the entire 2019-20 season.

– Tactically astute –

After only one week of pre-season training, it was a more encouraging result for Arteta, whose team emulated their FA Cup final win over Chelsea with another determined, tactically astute display.

 

Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang lifts the trophy after winning the English FA Community Shield football match between Arsenal and Liverpool at Wembley Stadium in north London on August 29, 2020. JUSTIN TALLIS / POOL / AFP

 

 

Liverpool were without the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold and the naivety of his teenage replacement Neco Williams was exposed by Aubameyang in the 12th minute.

Cutting in from the left to reach Bukayo Saka’s pass, Aubameyang was given too much time and space by Williams.

Aubameyang made him pay with a superb curler into the far corner from the edge of the penalty area, celebrating the goal by crossing his arms in tribute to “Black Panther” actor Chadwick Boseman, who died Friday aged 43.

It was Aubameyang’s fifth goal for Arsenal at Wembley, making him the club’s joint-highest scorer at the national stadium with Alexis Sanchez.

He scored a brace in each of his previous two Wembley appearances against Manchester City and Chelsea.

Liverpool equalised in the 73rd minute when Minamino slotted home from close range for his first Reds goal in his 15th appearance since his January move from Salzburg.

AFP

Arteta Hopes FA Cup Win Convinces Aubameyang To Stay At Arsenal

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Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Watford at the Emirates Stadium in London on July 26, 2020. NEIL HALL / POOL / AFP

 

 

Mikel Arteta believes Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future at Arsenal could be influenced by the outcome of Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea as the Gunners try to convince the Gabon international to extend his contract.

Aubameyang, 31, has just one year left on his deal at the Emirates and given Arsenal’s financial predicament, it would make sense to sell in the close season if he cannot be convinced to prolong his contract.

Despite his strike rate as one of Europe’s deadliest forwards over the past six years, Aubameyang has just two major trophies to his name with cup wins at St Etienne and Borussia Dortmund.

Arteta captained Arsenal to two FA Cup wins during his playing career and believes experiencing that success could convince Aubameyang to trust the club are going in the right direction.

 

Arsenal's Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates after scoring a goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Norwich City at the Emirates Stadium in London on July 1, 2020. (Photo by Shaun Botterill / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /
Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates after scoring a goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Norwich City at the Emirates Stadium in London on July 1, 2020. (Photo by Shaun Botterill / POOL / AFP)

 

“No, I don’t have that feeling,” said Arteta on Friday when asked if Saturday’s clash could be Aubameyang’s final game for the club.

“It’s a package at the end. You need to have a lot of ingredients on the table to persuade a player of his level to be at this football club.

“Don’t forget that he still has a contract here with us. We want to do it in a long-term, at the moment he’s with us and he should be really proud of where he is.

“Winning a trophy helps to really believe and feel ‘wow’, I want more of these moments. If you are wearing the armband and able to lift that cup, it is such a moment. This is going to help for sure.”

Winning a trophy in his first season in management would also be a huge bonus for Arteta to prove he can restore Arsenal’s former glories.

“It generates trust when you win titles,” he added. “It generates moments when together you go through some good emotions.

“It brings everybody together, you have memories, there is a lot of things about winning a trophy that is so positive for any group and when you are in a process of (development) that makes it even more important, so we have a great opportunity tomorrow, let’s go for it.”

Beating their London rivals behind closed doors at Wembley would also ensure Arsenal do not miss out on European football next season for the first time since 1995/96 by qualifying for the Europa League.

 

File photo: Arsenal’s Spanish head coach Mikel Arteta shouts instructions to his players from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Sheffield United at the Emirates Stadium in London on January 18, 2020. Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

 

“It’s a final, the only focus is on winning that trophy tomorrow,” said Arteta.

“Financially it would be really helpful and on the sporting side, to play European football for this club is a must.”

AFP

Arteta Hopes Arsenal’s FA Cup Run Can Persuade Aubameyang To Stay

Arsenal's Spanish head coach Mikel Arteta (R) embraces Arsenal's Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (2R) at the end of the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium in London, on July 18, 2020. (Photo by MATTHEW CHILDS / POOL / AFP) / NOT FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING USE / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE
File photo: Arsenal’s Spanish head coach Mikel Arteta (R) embraces Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (2R) at the end of the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium in London, on July 18, 2020. (Photo by MATTHEW CHILDS / POOL / AFP).

 

 

 

Mikel Arteta hopes Arsenal’s run to the FA Cup final can persuade Wembley hero Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to stay at the club.

Aubameyang underlined his value to Arsenal with a brace in their shock 2-0 win over FA Cup holders Manchester City in the semi-final on Saturday.

But the Gabon forward has just a year to run on his contract and has been linked with Barcelona and Paris Saint Germain, with talks over a new deal to stay at Arsenal yet to produce an extension.

 

File photo: Arsenal’s Brazilian defender David Luiz (R) celebrates with Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (2R) at the end of the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium in London, on July 18, 2020. (Photo by MATTHEW CHILDS / POOL / AFP).

 

 

The 31-year-old has admitted he has a big decision to make over his future.

But Arsenal boss Arteta is confident his team’s improved form and their forthcoming FA Cup final appearance could be enough to convince Aubameyang to stay.

“Good and beautiful moments, they are always better than the bad ones,” Arteta said.

“As I told you, the way I look at him when I speak with him, he sounds pretty convinced.

“But obviously if he can see that success and the direction we are taking is the right one, I think he will be more positive about it, yes.

“Hopefully it will help him to be more convinced we are going in the right direction.”

 

File photo: Arsenal’s Argentinian goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez (L) celebrats with Arsenal’s Brazilian defender David Luiz (2L) and Arsenal’s Spanish midfielder Dani Ceballos (3L) at the end of the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium in London, on July 18, 2020. (Photo by MATTHEW CHILDS / POOL / AFP).

 

Arsenal have clearly improved since Arteta arrived in December and Gunners defender Kieran Tierney said the Spaniard has created a better team spirit.

“It’s a good feeling in the squad now, it’s positive and that’s all you can ask for,” Tierney told Arsenal Digital.

“We’ve been working on that since the first day (Mikel) came in and we’re getting closer to where we want to be.

“I think you always need to believe, and coming into this game as well you had to believe we could win and we did that. We take confidence, we take belief and we’ll keep building on it.”

AFP

I Have Not Gotten A Fresh Offer From Arsenal, Says Aubameyang

Aubameyang
File: Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Watford and Arsenal at Vicarage Road Stadium in Watford, north of London on April 15, 2019. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Arsenal forward, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, has said the club has not offered him a fresh contract and he is waiting for them to do so.

Aubumeyang, 30, has a contract with the Premier League side until June 2021 with several clubs including Barcelona and Inter Milan lurking around to snap the Gabonese away from the Emirates Stadium.

According to the former Borussia Dortmund star, he spoke to the club a few months ago but nothing yet has come out of it.

READ ALSO: Ex-Real Madrid Star Casillas Ends Spanish Football Federation Presidency Bid

“I haven’t had an offer recently, but I did speak to the club quite a few months ago, and they know why nothing has happened yet,” he told French football programme Telefoot.

He said signing a new deal with the Gunners will be “a turning point in my career” but admitted that the club’s management will decide if he is going to have an extension.

The striker admitted that penning a new deal with the North London side will be “a very difficult decision to make.”

Since joining Arsenal from Dortmund in 2018, Aubameyang has netted 61 goals in 97 games.

The Gunners, ninth on the domestic league table, will be away to second-placed Manchester City as the league resumes on Wednesday.

 

With Aubameyang Out, Pepe And Lacazette Have To ‘Step Forward’ – Arteta

Arsenal’s Spanish head coach Mikel Arteta reacts at the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal at Selhurst Park in south London on January 11, 2020. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

 

The pressure is on record signing Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette to score goals with Arsenal’s leading scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang suspended for three matches, according to manager Mikel Arteta.

Aubameyang took his tally to 16 goals in all competitions this season in the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on Saturday but was also sent off, earning the suspension at a critical time for the Premier League side.

The dropped points leave the Gunners 11 points adrift of a Champions League spot next season and only seven points clear of the relegation places.

Hence Arteta’s call for both Pepe and Lacazette especially to be more clinical in front of goal for the three matches which will not feature Aubameyang.

They host sixth-placed Sheffield United next weekend and also have a tricky league match with Chelsea as well as an FA Cup fourth round tie away at out of form Bournemouth.

Pepe has yet to live up to his £72 million ($93 million) fee scoring just five times this term while Lacazette has six goals to his name, but has not found the net in six matches since scoring in the Europa League match with Standard Liege on December 12.

“They have to make a step forward now,” said Arteta.

“If he (Aubameyang) is not able to contribute to the team with goals like this, then someone else has to do it and I want to see that reaction too.

“Probably the most important player is missing so it is not nice, but we have other players who can play in that position and we will find a way and be as competitive as possible.”

Arteta’s alternative would be to call on younger players such as Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli, who is Arsenal’s second top goalscorer this season with a tally of eight, although the majority of them have occurred in cup competitions.

Another alternative is the talented Eddie Nketiah, who returned early from his loan spell at Championship side Leeds having failed to secure regular first team football.

“At the moment we have to think mid-to-long term with Eddie,” he said.

“We have to respect his evolution and development and we don’t have to make a decision just based on two or three games.”

 

AFP

Palace Hold Arsenal As Aubameyang Sees Red

Arsenal’s French striker Alexandre Lacazette (L) tackles Crystal Palace’s English defender Martin Kelly during the English Premier League football match between Crystal Palace and Arsenal at Selhurst Park in south London on January 11, 2020. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

 

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opened the scoring at Crystal Palace on Saturday but was later sent off as the hosts fought back to draw 1-1 at Selhurst Park.

New Gunners boss Mikel Arteta was on course for a third straight win when his skipper made the breakthrough in the first half, but a deflected effort by Jordan Ayew cancelled it out early in the second period.

When Aubameyang received a red card with 23 minutes left, the experienced Roy Hodgson would have fancied his chances of gaining three points against the youngest manager in the league and but had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Arsenal’s difficulties this season were highlighted by the fact this was the first time Palace were facing the Gunners after Christmas in a top-flight match with the Eagles higher in the table.

Hodgson was boosted by the return of Wilfried Zaha after he missed the defeat to Derby with a knock but new loan signing Cenk Tosun was only named on the bench.

Captain Aubameyang was recalled by Arteta after sitting out the FA Cup win over Leeds and opened the scoring at Selhurst Park in the 12th minute.

Mesut Ozil’s licence to roam had already caused the hosts problems and he moved inside to combine with Alexandre Lacazette, who played in his fellow forward to curl into the bottom corner for his 16th goal of the season.

It was a breathtaking Arsenal move, which started with a brave through ball between the lines by David Luiz, and Palace struggled to gain possession during the opening 30 minutes.

Zaha cut a frustrated figure and this was highlighted when he shoved Nicolas Pepe into Lucas Torreira, with the visiting pair needing treatment.

Palace settle

The Eagles slowly settled into the London derby and Cheikhou Kouyate had their first effort of note shortly before half-time, which Bernd Leno unconvincingly parried.

Arteta introduced Matteo Guendouzi at half-time, with Torreira not returning but Palace continued to win free kicks in dangerous positions after the break.

Eventually they made one count, when Jairo Riedewald found Max Meyer in space down the right. His cross was poor, but Kouyate was first to it and set up Ayew, who saw his strike take a big deflection off Luiz and loop over Leno in the 54th minute.

Arsenal’s problems deepened when Aubameyang caught Meyer high on the ankle with a poor challenge by the touchline.

Referee Paul Tierney showed a yellow card but VAR had a look and after a two-and-a-half minute delay, the caution was upgraded to a sending off.

Aubameyang was distraught as he left the pitch in the 67th minute and Meyer had to follow him down the tunnel after failing to recover from the tackle.

That allowed Hodgson to introduce Tosun for his debut, while Arteta withdrew Ozil for Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli.

James Tomkins almost produced a winner 12 minutes from time, but his header was cleared off the line by Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Arsenal then almost stole it.

Vicente Guaita came to the rescue though, when he superbly tipped Pepe’s shot on to the post and saved Lacazette’s follow-up in the 83rd minute as it finished all square.

African Players In Europe: Iheanacho And Aubameyang Shine In England

 

Nigerian international Kelechi Iheanacho showed he knows how to make an impact as he came off the bench to drive Leicester to a victory that keeps them as Liverpool’s closest challengers in the Premier League.

Among other outstanding performances by Europe-based African players this weekend, Jeremie Boga opened the scoring for minnows Sassuolo and they went on to hold Serie A champions Juventus to a 2-2 draw in Turin.

ENGLAND

KELECHI IHEANACHO (Leicester)

Iheanacho had a massive impact on his first league outing of the season to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win for the Foxes over Everton.

The Nigerian came off the bench to set up Jamie Vardy’s equaliser before scoring himself for the first time in the Premier League since September 2018, deep into stoppage time.

PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Arsenal)

Aubameyang scored twice to salvage a 2-2 draw for Arsenal at Norwich in Freddie Ljungberg’s first game in caretaker charge.

The new Gunners’ captain had fortune on his side after seeing his first take at a penalty saved by Tim Krul only to be handed the reprieve of a retake for encroaching by Norwich players.

Aubameyang was clinical with his second chance from the spot and produced another fine finish just before the hour mark to finish at the back post from a corner.

WILFRIED ZAHA (Crystal Palace)

Zaha scored for the second consecutive game as Palace ended a five-game winless streak with a 2-0 win at Burnley.

The Ivorian caught England international goalkeeper Nick Pope napping with a fierce strike that sneaked in at the near post for just his second goal of the season.

SPAIN

PAPAKOULI DIOP (Elbar)

Senegalese midfielder Papakouli Diop’s goal could not prevent Eibar from losing 4-1 away at high-flying Real Sociedad in La Liga on Saturday.

Diop tucked away Takashi Inui’s pull-back to equalise in the 35th minute at Anoeta but Real Sociedad struck three times in the second half to seal a convincing win as Eibar dropped to 16th in the table, two points above the relegation zone.

LAGO JUNIOR (Real Mallorca)

Lago Junior scored a penalty and Lumor Agbenyenu was sent off as Real Mallorca were beaten 2-1 at home by Real Betis on Saturday.

Ivory Coast forward Lago came on at half-time and gave Mallorca hope of a comeback by reducing the deficit from the spot after Betis had scored twice in the first half.

But they were unable to find an equaliser and Ghanaian defender Agbenyenu was given a second yellow card in injury-time for pulling back Betis Diego Lainez.

ITALY

JEREMIE BOGA (Sassuolo)

Ivorian Boga opened the scoring for Sassuolo in a 2-2 draw at Serie A champions Juventus. The 22-year-old dinked over Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon for his fourth goal this season as 14th-placed Sassuolo claimed their first ever point at the Turin giants who lost top spot in Serie A.

KEVIN-PRINCE BOATENG (Fiorentina)

Ghanian midfielder Boateng returned for Fiorentina after being overlooked for the last three Serie A games with the 32-year-old coming on for the injured French Franck Ribery after the break in a 1-0 defeat to Lecce which piled the pressure on the 13th-placed Tuscany side.

KALIDOU KOULIBALY (Napoli)

A wayward header from Senegalese defender Koulibaly resulted in the equaliser for Bologna, who fought back to win 2-1 in the San Paolo Stadium. Koulibaly headed to clear the ball away from goal but instead Bologna’s Andreas Skov-Olsen latched on to volley in. Napoli are seventh as their winless run extended to eight games in all competitions.

KHOUMA BABACAR (Lecce)

Senegalese striker Babacar came off the bench in the second half of a 1-0 win over his former club Fiorentina. The 26-year-old, on-loan from Sassuolo, missed two chances to score a second goal late, but his side held on for their third win this season.

GERMANY

STRELI MAMBA (Paderborn)

Mamba scored a cracking goal to kickstart a Paderborn fightback against RB Leipzig on Saturday. Although Paderborn eventually lost 3-2 after trailing 3-0, Mamba caused Leipzig’s defence constant problems, with his fifth goal of the season a just reward for the DR Congo-eligible striker.

ACHRAF HAKIMI (Borussia Dortmund)

Moroccan defender Hakimi put in another breathtaking performance for Dortmund, setting up one goal and providing a consistent threat throughout. Hakimi’s cross for Thorgan Hazard’s first-half goal was first class and will have Dortmund’s sporting director Michael Zorc going over the loanee’s contract with a fine-tooth comb to try and prevent his return to parent club Real Madrid.

FRANCE

VICTOR OSIMHEN (Lille)

Nigeria striker Osimhen scored his first Ligue 1 goal since October 6 with a penalty in first-half stoppage time as Lille claimed a much-needed 1-0 win over Dijon. The 20-year-old has scored 15 goals in all competitions for club and country this season.

GAEL KAKUTA (Amiens)

Former Chelsea forward Kakuta scored his first goal for Amiens since returning for his second spell at the club in the close-season in Saturday’s 4-2 loss at Montpellier. The 28-year-old, who previously played for Amiens on loan from Chinese outfit Hebei China Fortune in 2017-18, has played two friendlies for the Democratic Republic of Congo this year.

HABIB DIALLO (Metz)

The Senegalese international continued his prolific form for Metz by scoring in their 1-1 draw at fellow strugglers Nimes. The 24-year-old Diallo, who scored 26 goals in Ligue 2 last term, has now netted nine times in the top flight this campaign and trails only Lyon’s Moussa Dembele in the goalscoring charts.

AFP

Aubameyang Gives Arsenal Winning Start At Newcastle

Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (L) chips the ball over Newcastle United’s Slovakian goalkeeper Martin Dubravka to score the opening and only goal of the game against Newcastle United. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP

 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fired Arsenal to a 1-0 win at Newcastle in their Premier League opener on Sunday, providing hope of an improved run this season for Unai Emery’s side.

The Gunners finished last season in turmoil after blowing their bid for a top-four place with a disastrous spell in the final weeks.

Adding to Emery’s woes, Arsenal were crushed by Chelsea in the Europa League final to shatter their dreams of Champions League qualification.

But Arsenal have enjoyed a profitable close-season, with a host of new signings raising morale around the Emirates Stadium.

And Aubameyang gave Arsenal fans renewed belief they can get back in the top four this term with a typically predatory second-half finish to give the north Londoners a winning start.

Arsenal had a wretched away record last season, keeping just one clean sheet on their travels, so taking three points without conceding was the perfect way to turn over a new leaf.

Their often-criticised defence held firm, with centre-backs Calum Chambers and Sokratis keeping Newcastle at bay.

Aubameyang’s strike ruined Newcastle manager Steve Bruce’s first match in charge of the club he supported as a boy.

Bruce left second-tier Sheffield Wednesday to join Newcastle in the close-season following the departure of fan favourite Rafael Benitez, who had grown tired of a lack of backing from controversial owner Mike Ashley.

Bruce’s appointment was hardly greeted with widespread joy on Tyneside and the season started with Newcastle fans staging a protest against Ashley in the streets and then boycotting the match in large enough numbers to leave numerous empty seats around St James’ Park.

Emery’s decision to leave new signings David Luiz, Dani Ceballos and Nicolas Pepe on the bench was rewarded by a determined, if only sporadically cohesive, display from his team.

There were starts for 19-year-old academy graduates Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock, but Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac were absent after two men were arrested following a fresh incident after the pair were the victims of an attempted car-jacking in July.

Cool finish

Joelinton made his first Newcastle start after his club-record £40 million switch from Hoffenheim and the Brazilian striker needed to impress to lift the gloomy mood on a rainy day in the north-east.

He had his first sights of goal when he flicked a header just wide from Matt Ritchie’s cross and then blasted straight at Arsenal keeper Bernd Leno.

Jonjo Shelvey went even closer for Newcastle as the midfielder hit the outside of a post with a stinging strike.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan squandered a golden chance to give Arsenal the lead, the unmarked midfielder firing wildly over the bar from 10 yards.

After a quiet start, Arsenal star Aubameyang, the joint top-scorer in the Premier League last season, sprang to life when he tested Martin Dubravka with a powerful strike after superbly controlling Mkhitaryan’s long pass.

It was a warning that Newcastle failed to heed as Aubameyang put Arsenal ahead in the 58th minute.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles was the provider, making a timely interception of Paul Dummett’s under-hit pass to Jetro Willems and surging away from inside his own half.

Unfurling a pin-point pass that curled over the back-tracking Newcastle defence, Maitland-Niles found Aubameyang in space and the Gabon striker took a touch before clipping his cool finish past Dubravka.

Ivory Coast winger Pepe, Arsenal’s £72 million club-record signing, and Spanish midfielder Ceballos, on loan from Real Madrid, came off the bench for the last 20 minutes.

The new boys didn’t make much of an impact as Arsenal’s much-maligned defence took the plaudits.

 

Aubameyang, Ozil Star As Arsenal Make It Perfect 10

Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium in London on October 22, 2018. Glyn KIRK / IKIMAGES / AFP

 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil stole the show as Arsenal swept to their 10th successive win with a dominant 3-1 victory against Leicester on Monday.

Unai Emery’s side trailed to Hector Bellerin’s first-half own goal at the Emirates Stadium.

But Ozil, captaining Arsenal on his return to the side after back spasms, produced a majestic display to lead the Gunners’ impressive fightback.

Ozil, shrugging off his poor start to the season, equalised just before half-time and played a key role in Aubameyang’s second-half double.

Gabon striker Aubameyang scored twice in quick succession after coming off the bench, ensuring Arsenal won 10 consecutive matches in all competitions for the first time since 2007.

They have scored 30 goals in that blistering streak and climb to fourth place in the Premier League, just two points behind leaders Manchester City.

On the 69th birthday of Emery’s predecessor Arsene Wenger, this was the kind of swashbuckling show that recalled Arsenal’s glory days under the Frenchman.

It was the perfect start to a hectic week that sees Arsenal travel to Portugal for a Europa League tie against Sporting Lisbon on Thursday before returning to domestic action at Crystal Palace on Sunday.

 

Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (L) celebrates with teammates after scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Leicester City at the Emirates Stadium in London on October 22, 2018.
Glyn KIRK / IKIMAGES / AFP

 

Emery has made a remarkable impact since replacing Wenger in the close-season.

The Spanish manager’s two-game losing streak at the start of his Arsenal reign is now a distant memory as Gunners fans start to dream of a title challenge after their seventh successive league win.

Initially, Arsenal struggled to get up to speed and Kelechi Iheanacho made a break behind Stephane Lichtsteiner, leaving him trailing in his wake as he cut into the area for a shot that was deflected over by Rob Holding.

Iheanacho threatened again moments later, taking possession on the edge of the area before unleashing a curling effort that Bernd Leno pushed away.

Driving forward 

Leicester had a strong claim for a spot-kick when Holding raised his arm above his head and clearly handled as he jumped to meet Jamie Vardy’s flick on, yet referee Christopher Kavanagh waved play on.

Harry Maguire’s towering header forced a good save from Leno and Leicester’s pressure reaped a tangible reward in the 31st minute.

Wilfried Ndidi’s pass picked out Ben Chilwell, who made a superb run in behind Bellerin and drilled a low shot that deflected off the Arsenal defender on its way past the wrong-footed Leno.

Stunned into action by that setback, Arsenal nearly snatched an immediate equaliser when Granit Xhaka’s free-kick was tipped over by Kasper Schmeichel.

Suddenly, Arsenal were driving forward with purpose and they drew level on the stroke of half-time.

Ozil was the catalyst as his pass sent Bellerin away down the right and when the defender crossed into the Leicester area, it was the German midfielder who timed his run perfectly to guide a delicate finish into the far corner.

Ndidi led the Leicester response with a powerful header that rattled the bar from James Maddison’s corner.

But Emery sent on Aubameyang for Lichtsteiner after 61 minutes and it the match-winning switch paid instant dividends two minutes later.

Ozil played a superb pass to Bellerin and the Spaniard’s low cross was just right for the unmarked Aubameyang to slot home from close-range.

Aubameyang was in the right place at the right time again in the 66th minute as Arsenal conjured up another incisive raid.

This was Arsenal at their finest as Ozil and Lacazette combined to carve open the Leicester defence in a blur of flicks and tricks, presenting Aubameyang with a simple chance to tap in his eighth goal of the season.

Rounding off a depressing evening for Leicester, Vardy was forced off, leaving the visitors, who had already made all their substitutions, down to 10 men for the final minutes.

Aubameyang Hands Arsenal Flattering Victory Over Stoke

Stoke City’s English goalkeeper Jack Butland (L) stops a shot from Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium in London on April 1, 2018. PHOTO: Oliver GREENWOOD / AFP

 

Arsenal warmed up for their crucial Europa League quarter-final with a flattering 3-0 victory against relegation-threatened Stoke on Sunday.

Three goals in the final 15 minutes put a gloss on a largely soporific performance at a well-below capacity Emirates Stadium.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the first two, including a penalty opener.

Substitute Alexandre Lacazette netted the third, also from the spot, after he had been fouled.

Arsenal clinched back to back league wins for the first time since November.

But the result left both clubs in the same positions in the Premier League table, with Arsenal sixth and Stoke second bottom.

The Gunners will have to play better in the first leg against CSKA Moscow on Thursday in Europe.

With little chance of finishing in the Premier League’s top four, Arsenal must win the Europa League to qualify for next season’s Champions League — a target that looks essential for under-fire Gunners boss Arsene Wenger as he fights to save his job.

Jack Wilshere may have missed both England’s friendlies with the Netherlands and Italy but the Arsenal midfielder recovered from a knee niggle to claim the captain’s armband for the day, with goalkeeper Petr Cech absent and defender Laurent Koscielny on the bench.

Stoke’s preparations had seen Ibrahim Afellay jettisoned by manager Paul Lambert for not trying in training, but Eric Pieters was restored to the starting line-up after being fined for going clubbing before the previous match.

The game’s first chance belonged to Stoke, the team with the greater need of three points, as Mame Biram Diouf laid the ball back to Xherdan Shaqiri, who shifted the ball onto his preferred left foot and curled it inches wide of David Ospina’s right-hand post.

Stoke continued to take the game to the hosts, who were giving away possession cheaply.

Aaron Ramsey and Wilshere were both culpable in the first 15 minutes.

Arsenal almost took an undeserved lead when Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland produced a punch that will not have improved his chances of being England’s number one in the World Cup.

It landed at Ramsey’s feet on the right of the six-yard box and the Welshman’s hook cleared the goalkeeper and bounced off the top of the crossbar.

Barren desert of mediocrity

It was to prove a shallow oasis in a desert of barren first-half mediocrity however as Arsenal continued to waste possession.

Neither side made any changes in the interval but Arsenal at least began with added urgency, with Danny Welbeck lashing a chance just wide.

Mohamed Elneny saw a shot blocked before Butland dived to deny Nacho Monreal.

Wenger finally made a switch as the fit-again Lacazette came on for Welbeck, while Diouf, having taken a knock, was replaced by Saido Berahino.

Shaquiri curled a right-footer straight at Ospina before seeing a corner deceive the keeper and bounce off the back post.

Aubameyang was denied by a good block by Butland moments before the award of the game-deciding penalty in the 75th minute.

Bruno Martins Indi’s clumsy trip of Mesut Ozil was needless and Aubameyang made him pay as he sent Butland the wrong way from the spot.

Stoke gave Aubameyang too much space for a simple second goal in the 86th minute.

And when Badou Ndiaye bundled over Lacazette in the 89th minute, the France striker was given a chance to convert the penalty instead of Aubameyang going for a hat-trick.