Arsenal 4-1 West Ham: Big win for Wenger

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  • Monreal scores fifth of season
  • Arnautovic answers
  • Lacazette thunders home beauty

Aaron Ramsey‘s hopeful cross turned into a match-winning goal as Arsenal beat West Ham United 4-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Substitute striker Alexandre Lacazette scored a beautiful insurance goal en route to a brace for Arsenal, who moves four points clear of Burnley in the race for sixth. West Ham is six points clear of the drop zone with four matches to play.

Nacho Monreal gave Arsenal a lead and Marko Arnautovic equalized to set the stage for the winner, a ball unclaimed by neither Declan Rice nor Joe Hart.

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Arsenal had almost all of the ball, but a slip in defense forced Gunners goalkeeper David Ospina to make a nice parry on Marko Arnautovic’s shot from the right of the box.

Nacho Monreal caused a West Ham turnover deep in West Ham territory, and found Danny Welbeck for a hard shot that bounded wide of the far post.

Granit Xhaka was saved in his 35th minute free kick bid and Welbeck couldn’t get on top of a Hector Bellerin cross to head home less than a minute later.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

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Monreal put Arsenal ahead in the 51st minute with a low finish past Joe Hart off a corner kick, but the lead didn’t last much more than 10 minutes.

Cheikhou Kouyate‘s shot was blocked to Manuel Lanzini, who quickly fed Arnautovic for a finish.

PL Sunday preview: Spurs look to go 3rd; Arsenal holding onto 6th

AP Photo/Matt Dunham
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Following Liverpool’s loss to Manchester United on Saturday, the door to third place has been left wide open for Tottenham Hotspur. Meanwhile, can Arsenal hold off Burnley for sixth?

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup — Man United top Liverpool ]

Arsenal vs. Watford — 9:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

It’s been 23 years since Arsenal finished a season outside the Premier League’s top five places (they finished 12th in 1995), a formidable streak which set to end this season as Arsene Wenger‘s men sit sixth, 11 points back of fifth-place Chelsea, ahead of Sunday’s visit from Watford. If the Gunners aren’t careful over the season’s final nine games, they could easily find themselves in seventh, looking up at Burnley, who are only two points back.

Wenger can expect a particularly toxic atmosphere inside the Emirates Stadium on Sunday with Arsenal having lost three straight league games — by a combined score of 6-1 — though he remains unfazed and unmoved by calls for his resignation.

“It’s not the person they hate, they hate the manager who doesn’t deliver the performance,” he retorted this week. “I can make that difference. But I’m just unhappy that we lose the games. I want to win, win with style even, so it’s very ambitious. When we don’t do it of course I’m suffering like everyone else. Arsenal is 30 million people, it’s not the suffering of one person, you want to make 30 million people happy and that’s what you care about.”

Watford, on the other side, have won three of their last four (including two straight) and have risen to the top half of the table. The Hornets have won on two of their last three trips to the Emirates, including in the 2016 FA Cup quarterfinals, and would reclaim ninth place from Everton with another positive result on Sunday.

INJURIES: Arsenal — OUT: Alexandre Lacazette (knee), Hector Bellerin (knee), Nacho Monreal (back), Santi Cazorla (achilles); QUESTIONABLE: Sead Kolasinac (ankle), Calum Chambers (thigh) | Watford — OUT: Gerard Deulofeu (foot), Tom Cleverley (hamstring), Tommy Hoban (knee), Nathaniel Chalobah (knee), Younes Kaboul (foot), Jose Holebas (ankle), Christian Kabasele (hamstring)

Bournemouth vs. Tottenham Hotspur — 12 p.m. ET, on NBCSports.com

Tottenham must immediately rebound from Wednesday’s Champions League heartbreak at the hands of Juventus and finish the league season in fine form in order to secure a third straight top-four finish, and a second straight season ahead of Arsenal. Despite the defeat to Juve, Spurs enter the weekend as one of the league’s most in-form sides with not only three straight wins, but having dropped just six points during their current 11-game unbeaten run (they were unbeaten in 17 across all competitions before Wednesday).

“Last season, we complained a lot about not being able to compete in the Champions League, but this year we showed in the group stage against Dortmund, Real Madrid and then Juventus that the club is ready to compete,” Mauricio Pochettino said. “The basis is there. Now it’s to keep going and try to be clever and work hard.

“It was tough on Wednesday and the effort was massive, but we need to move on. The Champions League is in the past. Now we need to believe more and compete in the Premier League and FA Cup, two competitions in which we’re alive.”

Bournemouth, meanwhile, are winless in their last three games (two draws) and have slipped to 12th in the table, now just six points (though, still six places) clear of the relegation zone. Spurs’ congested fixture list, which includes an FA Cup quarterfinal clash away to Swansea City next weekend, could lead Pochettino to rotate his starting lineup for Sunday’s game.

“We need in our starting 11, to pick players who are capable to fight and feel fresh,” Pochettino said. “That is now a tough job for us to choose the starting XI to play at Bournemouth.”

INJURIES: Bournemouth — OUT: Tyrone Mings (back), Marc Pugh (ankle),Rhoys Wiggins (knee); QUESTIONABLE: Jordon Ibe (knock) | Tottenham — OUT: Toby Aldeweireld (hamstring)

Arsenal 0-3 Man City: Yes, again

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  • City goes 16 points clear
  • Gunners 10 back of fourth
  • Sane with goal, assist
  • Ederson stops Aubameyang PK
  • Arsenal allows 3 first half home goals for first time in history

Leroy Sane helped assist Silva times two, then scored one of his own as Manchester City opened up a three-goal halftime lead on Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

Bernardo and David Silva, new and old City men, scored a pair of goals as City picked up where Sunday’s League Cup Final left off (only in a different part of London).

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was stopped by Ederson on a 53rd minute penalty attempt, and the stadium was home to loads of empty seats well before the final whistle.

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An early save from Ederson on Henrikh Mkhitaryan was not a sign of what was to come for Arsenal.

Sane picked up a direct assist when he played square for Bernardo to cut back and curl overt a flying Petr Cech in the 15th minute.

The second goal was one for the poets, with Sane cutting the ball inside for Sergio Aguero, who hesitated just a moment before passing to David Silva. The Spaniard touch a deft touch past Hector Bellerin, and cooked Cech. 2-0.

Sane got his goal in the 34th minute, a bit of luck in his jab step to meet a cross — off more wonderful combination play — that dribbled just inside the post.

Arsenal found some life through a Nicolas Otamendi foul on Mkhitaryan inside the box. Andre Marriner pointed to the spot, and Aubameyang was stopped by the guessing right Ederson.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

WATCH: All three goals as Man City routing Arsenal at half

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Everything starts (and finishes) with Leroy Sane, who is showing no ill effects from a reported hair dryer halftime rant from Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.

[ WATCH: Second half/full first half replay ]

Sane has a goal and an assist to go with starting Manchester City’s first goal — it’s only halftime — as City is clobbering Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday. That gives him 12 goals and 15 assists in 36 total matches.

He played just a half on Feb. 19 as City was bounced out of the FA Cup at the hands of Wigan Athletic, and went 77 minutes as City beat Arsenal 3-0 in Sunday’s League Cup Final. What happened at Wigan? From The Independent:

The Catalan was already irate before he entered the dressing room after a series of angry confrontations on the pitch and then in the tunnel with Wigan manager Paul Cook in the wake of City defender Fabian Delph’s red card in the final minute of the first period.

Guardiola’s mood then darkened further when he turned on Sane, with one source claiming the manager’s dismay with the 22-year-old could even be heard in the corridor outside the City dressing room, although the matter was considered dealt with at the time.

All’s well and good now.

Sane picked up a direct assist when he played square for Bernardo to cut back and curl overt a flying Petr Cech in the 15th minute.

The second goal was one for the poets, with Sane cutting the ball inside for Sergio Aguero, who hesitated just a moment before passing to David Silva. The Spaniard touch a deft touch past Hector Bellerin, and cooked Cech. 2-0.

Sane got his goal in the 34th minute, a bit of luck in his jab step to meet a cross — off more wonderful combination play — that dribbled just inside the post.

Ostersunds 0-3 Arsenal: Gunners too much in first leg

Robert Henriksson/TT News Agency via AP
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Nacho Monreal and Mesut Ozil joined an Ostersunds own goal on the score sheet as Arsenal cruised past their Swedish hosts in the first leg of a UEFA Europa League Round of 32 tie on Thursday.

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David Ospina stopped a stoppage time penalty kick to preserve the clean sheet and deny the Swedish hosts the lifeline provided by a poorly-timed Hector Bellerin tackle.

Arsenal didn’t need to do too much to get a lead thanks to an Ostersunds side which had knocked off some strong sides but looked uncomfortable with the Gunners speed of play.

The second goal came when Henrikh Mkhitaryan‘s hard cross took a turn off Sotirios Papagiannopoulos and into the Ostersunds goal.

Ozil rounded off the scoring with this run into the box to tap the ball over the sliding keeper.