Watch – Chelsea race into early 4-0 lead vs. Arsenal, Gibbs sent off in bizarre mistake

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Chelsea raced into a 3-0 lead after 15 minutes at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, but a bizarre mix up from the referee Andre Marriner stole the show.

Samuel Eto’o, Andre Schurrle, Eden Hazard  and Oscar put Chelsea 4-0 up at half time, but the most incredible refereeing decision in recent times came in the 15th minute. A shot from Hazard was going towards the corner, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain tipped the ball wide with his hand to stop a goal. Referee Marriner awarded a penalty kick to Chelsea… but then sent of Kieran Gibbs in a bizarre case of mistaken identity. As Gibbs was sent off despite protesting.

Incredible.

A frantic start took place in the sun at Stamford Bridge, as Arsenal pushed early on and Olivier Giroud spurned a glorious chance put them 1-0 up in the 3rd minute as Petr Cech saved his tame effort. Arsenal were made to pay for that, massively, as Chelsea then went ahead in the fourth minute as Samuel Eto’o cut inside with a beautiful turn, then curled home a left-footed shot into the far corner to make it 1-0.

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Two minutes later Chelsea led 2-0, as Andre Schurrle ran at the Gunners defense and drilled a low shot into the bottom corner as Stamford Bridge erupted. But the drama was not over, not by a long shot.

In the 15th minute Eden Hazard smashed a shot towards the bottom corner that had beaten Arsenal’s ‘keeper Szczesny but out of nowhere Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain arrived to tip the ball wide with his hand. Referee Andre Marriner spotted the handball, awarded a penalty… but sent off Kieran Gibbs in a case of mistaken identity. Arsenal’s players protested, including Oxlade-Chamberlain who told the referee it was him but Gibbs was still given his marching orders in one of the most bizarre dismissals in Premier League history.

Eden Hazard converted the penalty kick to make it 3-0 to the Blues after 16 minutes, as Arsenal were down to 10-men and reeling from a remarkable opening few minutes at Stamford Bridge. Then Oscar scored just before the break to make it a rout… with 45 minutes left.

Can the Gunners fight back? Or will Chelsea extend their lead and pile the misery on Arsenal?

Report: USMNT’s Arriola drawing transfer interest abroad, in MLS

AP Photo/LM Otero
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Paul Arriola’s motor was constantly running as the United States men’s national team claimed its sixth Gold Cup title, and it could drive him all the way from Club Tijuana to Europe or a prime spot on an MLS roster.

There’s a snag, though.

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Arriola is reportedly wanted by Real Salt Lake and clubs in both the Netherlands and Portugal, but the LA Galaxy has what Goal.com describes a “dubious homegrown player” claim on Arriola, who participated in a minimal of practices with the Galaxy when he was younger.

As you’ll see below, there isn’t much “homegrown” about it and, to its critics, it is peak MLS monopolized tomfoolery. Here’s how Goal describes it:

“He was already a U.S. youth national team player when he traveled the 120 miles from Chula Vista to take part in a handful of training sessions with the LA Galaxy academy and eventually the Galaxy first team.

“The Galaxy are believed to hold a homegrown player claim on Arriola, and would have the right of first refusal on making Arriola an offer if he comes to MLS. The Galaxy’s current salary-cap situation might not allow them to make a serious bid for Arriola.”

But… here’s how the Galaxy described his choosing to sign for TJ instead of a pro deal from LA in 2013:

“It’s a little disappointing,” Galaxy technical director Jovan Kirovski told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Friday. “He went through our system, we offered him a contract and he decided to move on and go somewhere else. But that’s going to happen. It’s something that has happened before, and it’s something that will happen again.”

Arriola’s response in the same article? “I thank the Galaxy for giving me a wonderful opportunity to train with their first team and be a part of their first team which really taught me a lot.” That doesn’t read as much like he “went through their system.” He played in at least one U-18 game, debuting in October 2012, did more training with TJ in December 2012, and signed for the Mexican side in May 2013.

Should that qualify him as Homegrown?

https://www.transfermarkt.com/paul-arriola/leistungsdaten/spieler/189876

Did Arriola spent significant time with LA, or is it possible the Galaxy might reap rewards from having an already established youth national teamer to practice when he was a kid? Whether you’re okay with that or not, consider that it encourages clubs to pilfer rights without actually registering or training the player.

Not to mention there is no guarantee that playing in the Netherlands or Portugal will be better for his development than MLS. Benfica or Ajax and potential action in European tournaments? Maybe. NAC Breda or Tondela? Maybe not.

Nevermind the quagmire that is American youth soccer clubs’ not earning money from transfer fees, the Arriola drama seems baseless. We don’t know the Galaxy will hold the player hostage, but they would actually be depriving MLS of a talent, as LA would theoretically get nothing should TJ sell him to a European club.

In any event, check out Arriola’s use chart from Tijuana and you’ll see why he’s valued by Bruce Arena as well as his suitors. He’s a Swiss Army Knife. Here’s hoping Tinseltown doesn’t stop him from a proper next step (assuming he’s ready to leave Liga MX).