Can the Gunners extend their lead at the top? Or will they come unstuck against the Toffees?

Arsenal 2-0 Hull City: Bendtner and Ozil keep Gunners top (video)

Leave a comment

Arsenal kept on rolling as they won their sixth-straight home PL game with a 2-0 win against Hull City on Wednesday. Nicklas Bendtner and Mesut Ozil grabbed the goals as the Gunners kept their terrific form going with an easy win.

The damage was done early on as Bendtner headed home superbly from Carl Jenkinson’s fantastic cross from the right inside two minutes, the goal marked his first start in the league for the Gunners in over 1000 days as he put the home side 1-0 up. It remained that way at the break as Arsenal dominated but couldn’t break down a resilient Hull side. But after half time Mesut Ozil finished off a sublime move to put the game out of the Tigers reach and give Arsenal all three points.

With their fifth shutout win in four games Arsenal stay top on 34 points, while Hull are in 12th with 17 points.

It took under two minutes for the North London side to go ahead as Bendtner headed home in his first PL start since March 2011. The Danish international has scored three goals in his last four games against Hull and the league leaders were relentless early on after taking the lead. Hull could not get out of their own half Aaron Ramsey and Ozil combined superbly in and around the box.

Jenkinson went close with a header as he reacted to a flick in the box and a scrambled clearance from the Tigers kept them just 1-0 down. The Gunners, as usual, continued to dominate possession and Hull were struggling to contain the home sides fluid attacking movements. In the the first half Arsenal had 67 percent of possession and had 13 attempts on goal against Hull.

source: AP
Ozil slots home Arsenal’s second as yet another shutout win keeps them top.

Arsenal nearly got their second when Ramsey was found on the edge of the box and his shot was tipped wide by Alan McGregor as the Scot got down low wide. Hull held their own and forced Wojciech Szczesny into a good close range stop but that sparked Arsenal back into life as just before the break Bendtner crossed for Ozil who headed just wide of the far post.

After the interval Arsenal carried on attacking and just one minute and 57 seconds into the second half Ozil made it 2-0. Ramsey played a perfect pass into the German international who slotted home superbly to give the league leaders a commanding lead. By this point Hull were fighting fires across the midfield and defense and Bendtner saw his header cleared off the line in the 55th minute.

Hull had a few good chances to reduce the deficit as Jake Livermore made some good runs forward from midfield, however Arsenal were drifting through the gears as they eased towards full time with their two-goal lead intact. Wenger may be slightly worried at how easy Hull created some chances in the second half, as Elmohamady whipped in a great ball late on but George Boyd drifted into an offside position.

Arsenal shut up shop and played out the win to stay top of the league, after their 11th victory from 14 games.

LINEUPS

Arsenal: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Flamini, Ramsey (Arteta, 80), Rosicky (Wilshere, 73), Cazorla, Ozil, Bendtner (Walcott, 73)

Goals: Bendtner (2), Ozil (47)

Hull City: McGregor, Figueroa, Elmohamady, Chester, Bruce, Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore, Brady (Rosenior, 58), Graham (Boyd, 58), Sagbo (Nagy, 73)

Gerrard urges Liverpool to “try and bid for Van Dijk”

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28:  Virgil van Dijk of Southampton celebrates as he scores their first goal during the Premier League match between Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary's Stadium on December 28, 2016 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Virgil Van Dijk‘s quick rise in the Premier League has caught the attention of many around England, and one of the division’s greats has high hopes the Dutchman will join his former side in the future.

[ MORE: Saints wallop Leicester in complete effort ]

Steven Gerrard has suggested that Liverpool come out and pursue Van Dijk, who joined Southampton back in 2015 from Scottish side Celtic.

Gerrard — who is set to take a coaching position with Liverpool’s academy — believes the budding star would be a strong fit for the Reds, however, the ex-midfielder realizes it’ll be a hard sell.

“Who I think we need, I would go and try and bid for Van Dijk from Southampton,” Gerrard told BT Sport. “But we’ve had enough of their players so that will probably go down like a lead balloon.”

The 25-year-old has made waves in England’s top flight after quickly proving to be one of the division’s top defenders and helping guide the Saints towards the top half of the table since his arrival.

Report: San Diego making push to become future MLS expansion site

FBL-US-MLS-LOGO
JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
Leave a comment

With the NFL no longer the biggest show in town, San Diego could be bringing another football to the city in the near future.

[ MORE: USMNT’s Hyndman provides assist in Rangers debut win ]

According to NBC 7 San Diego, FS Investors founder Mike Stone and former Qualcomm Vice Chairman Steve Altman are prepared to reveal their proposal on Monday that will bring a future MLS franchise to San Diego.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

The proposed move includes a stadium plan that will reside where the Chargers’ Qualcomm Stadium currently sits. With the NFL franchise now playing in Los Angeles, the San Diego Padres of Major League Baseball are the only remaining professional team in the area, out of the five major sports in the U.S.

NBC 7 is also reporting that a future San Diego team would share its facility with the San Diego State Aztecs football team.

MLS is currently up to 22 teams entering the 2017 season, while Los Angeles FC is also tabbed to enter the league next year. David Beckham’s Miami project is also considered to be the league’s 24th team, and MLS is likely to hold off on further announcements regarding expansion until later in 2017.

If San Diego were to be chosen as an expansion site, the club would become the fourth to call California home in the current state of MLS, joining the San Jose Earthquakes, Los Angeles Galaxy and LA FC (2018).

In addition to San Diego, several other cities are currently vying to enter MLS in the future, including St. Louis, Cincinnati, Sacramento and Charlotte.

Hull’s Ryan Mason hospitalized following collision with Gary Cahill

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22: Ryan Mason of Hull City lies injured after the collision with Gary Cahill of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Hull City at Stamford Bridge on January 22, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Ryan Mason has undergone surgery following a scary collision with Chelsea’s Gary Cahill on Sunday.

[ MORE: Chelsea goes eight points clear at top of PL ]

The Hull City midfielder was injured after knocking heads with Cahill during first half of the 2-0 defeat to the Blues. Nine minutes of first-half stoppage time were needed after Mason stayed down on the pitch at Stamford Bridge.

[ MORE: Xhaka’s red card makes him most sent-off player in Europe ]

It has been confirmed by the club that Mason suffered a skull fracture, while it is has also been speculated that the 25-year-old could have had bleeding on his brain.

Mason will remain hospitalized for the “next few days,” according to the Tigers.

“The Club can confirm that Ryan Mason sustained a skull fracture in our fixture at Chelsea this afternoon. He was taken to St Mary’s Hospital where he has undergone surgery.

“Ryan is in a stable condition and is expected to remain in hospital for the next few days.
“Everyone at the Club would like to express their sincere thanks for the excellent and swift care given to Ryan by both the Accident and Emergency department and Neurosurgery Unit at St Mary’s Hospital.

“A further update will be issued tomorrow.”

While Mason was forced off during the match due to the injury, Cahill managed to continue for Chelsea and scored the game’s second goal.

Watch: Scott Sinclair nets stunning curler in Celtic victory

Leave a comment

Celtic is enjoying another fine campaign in Scotland, and much of the team’s success can be attributed to the play of Scott Sinclair.

[ MORE: Burkina Faso, Cameroon progress at AFCON 2017 ]

The Englishman was at it again on Sunday during Celtic’s 3-0 Scottish Cup win over Albion Rovers when the 27-year-old curled an absolutely sublime effort into the top corner for the game’s opening goal.

The finish, Sinclair’s 13th of the season in all competitions, came after the winger picked up the ball on the left side of the Albion penalty area. Sinclair then proceeded to slot his dipping shot just under the bar and into the far post.

Celtic now moves on to the fifth round of this season’s tournament, joining the likes of Rangers and Aberdeen. In addition to the team’s success in the competition, the Bhoys have yet to lose a match in the Scottish Premier League this campaign (19 W, 1 D).