Britain Soccer Premier League

Arsenal 2-0 Cardiff City: Dominant Gunners break through late (video)

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Arsenal’s back atop the Premier League after wearing down Cardiff City on Saturday for a 2-0 win.

The Gunners were nothing less than dominant but needed 88 minutes to notch the match’s first goal.

The constant knocking was rewarded when Nicklas Bendtner easily collected a doorstep rebound and slotted home in the 88th minute, giving Arsenal their late winner. Theo Walcott added insurance moments later to ice the match.

The game began and the clock struck 13 just after Walcott slid onto the end of a cross to the left side of the area, but the speedy Englishman could only put the ball into the outside of the net.

Arsenal found some danger in the 16th minute when Gary Medel found himself out of position and made a poor tackle. The free kick came just outside of the 18 and Bacary Sagna blasted the ball into the wall.

Cries for a Jack Wilshere penalty in the 25th minute went unheeded after another hatchet job from Medel. Moments later, Walcott sent a strong effort just over the bar.

To be fair to the Gunners, they hadn’t converted upon 35 minutes despite absolutely dominating possession. Cardiff seemed content to block shot after shot from distance.

Arsenal maintained their edge for the first 10-12 minutes of the second half before Cardiff began to mount a true challenge, troubling Wojciech Szczesny on a couple occasions.

And then, it was just more for Arsenal. Free headers, corners, open looks from inside the area… nothing would come. Per Mertesacker’s header glanced off the post in the 69th minute.

Walcott was inches off all match, as his free kick in the 76th minute looked wonderful but went just over the bar.

LINEUPS:

Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal, Arteta, Flamini (Vermaelen, 65), Wilshere, Walcott, Cazorla, Podolski (Bendtner, 64)

Goals: Bendtner (88), Walcott (90+2)

Cardiff City: Marshall; McNaughton, Caulker, Turner, John; Whittingham, Medel (Gunnarson, 61), Kim, Noone, Mutch (Cowie, 67); Campbell (Maynard, 80)

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WATCH: USMNT’s Gonzalez nets first for Pachuca, earns exuberant “Gol” call

Marouane Fellaini, ,Omar Gonzalez
AP Photo/Themba Hadebe
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Come for the goal, stay for the “Gol” call.

Or should we say the “Gol. Goool-Goool-Goool-Goool-Goool-Goool-Goool-Goool-Goool-Goool-Gol” call.

[ MORE: Angry Louis van Gaal rips journalists for “inventing” stories ]

USMNT defender Omar Gonzalez has opened his account for Pachuca with this 88th minute header, and it’s worth it if just for the auditory performance.

Gonzalez also pulls out the high-capacity weapon celebration, though he’s apparently opted to do the version closer to the “Scarface” finale (Spoiler alert).

VIDEO: Premier League Team of the Week – Round 25

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In a week where defenders scored critical goals, it’s no surprise to see a 4-3-3 in the Premier League’s Team of the Week.

Robert Huth‘s brace while blanking Manchester City leads the way for the PL’s top XI from the weekend, while Southampton’s vaunted back line and keeper have two in mix.

[ MORE: Ailing Chelsea, Man Utd showcase obvious deficiencies ]

Liverpool and Arsenal both put offensive forces on the team, while big goals for safety hopefuls Newcastle United and Aston Villa found three players between the two in the XI.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Premier League Team of the Week — Round 25 ARCHIVE ]

Goalkeeper: Fraser Forster (Southampton)

Defenders: Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Robert Huth (Leicester City), Joleon Lescott (Aston Villa)

Midfielders: Aaron Lennon (Everton), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal)

Forwards: Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United), Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa)

Premier League Player of the Week — Round 25

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Score one for the Midlands.

In a season for lowlights, Aston Villa captain Gabriel Agbonlahor is celebrating a bit of hope for his beleaguered club after his classy finish gave the 29-year-old his first goal of the season.

[ REACTION: Agbonlahor says Villa now ready to produce great escape ]

It also inspired Villa to consider that eight points off the Premier League safety chase isn’t unrealistic if it can put together some more gritty performances like the 2-0 defeat of Norwich City on Saturday.

Premier League Players of the Week

Week 1: Riyad Mahrez, Leicester City

Week 2: Romelu Lukaku, Everton

Week 3: Callum Wilson, Bournemouth

Week 4: Bafetimbi Gomis, Swansea City

Week 5: Steven Naismith, Everton

Week 6: Anthony Martial, Manchester United

Week 7: Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal

Week 8: Sergio Aguero, Manchester City

Week 9: Raheem Sterling, Manchester City

Week 10: Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur

Week 11: Arouna Kone, Everton

Week 12: Jesse Lingard, Manchester United

Week 15: Riyad Mahrez, Leicester City

Week 16: Ayoze Perez, Newcastle United

Week 17: Odion Ighalo, Watford

Week 19: Xherdan Shaqiri, Stoke City

Week 20: Jermain Defoe, Sunderland

Week 21: Jermain Defoe, Sunderland

Week 22: Sergio Aguero, Manchester City

Week 23: Dele Alli, Tottenham Hotspur

Week 24: Fraser Forster, Southampton

Week 25: Gabriel Agbonlahor, Aston Villa

Napoli fans wear Koulibaly masks to support defender after racial abuse

NAPLES, ITALY - FEBRUARY 07:  Fans of Napoli  during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and Carpi FC at Stadio San Paolo on February 7, 2016 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images)
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Napoli fans showed their support for Kalidou Koulibaly on Sunday after the Senegalese center-back was the subject of racial abuse in a match against Lazio last week.

[ MORE: La Liga & Serie A roundup ]

The Lazio match was temporarily stopped in the second half as Lazio supporters hurled racial insults at Koulibaly.

At Napoli’s match against Carpi on Sunday, fans wore Koulibaly masks and painted signs in his honor to show their support for the 24-year-old defender.

A statement from Napoli’s supporters’ group read: “Everyone in Naples is offended by what happened to our young star. Because of this, we want to show our full support to Koulibaly.”

[ VIDEO: Van Gaal rips journalist who questions his Manchester United future ]

Lazio was fined more than $50,000 and will be forced to close certain sections of their stadium for the next two league matches because of the incident.