Petr Cech

Wenger aiming to win fans back; Cech on clean sheet milestone

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Arsenal ended two waiting periods on Sunday, and both took longer than expected for the North London side.

[ MORE: Arsenal 3-0 Watford ]

Petr Cech collected his 200th clean sheet as his club won for the first time in four Premier League attempts with a 3-0 win over Watford at the Emirates Stadium.

Cech admitted his milestone is pretty impressive, though the relatively long run between clean sheets Nos. 199 and 200 was difficult.

“It is an unbelievable personal milestone. The first 18 games with nine clean sheets got me to 199 but then the last 11 games was sometimes frustrating but the most important thing is to win and so it was defeats that was more frustrating.”

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger called the record “absolutely remarkable,” adding that Cech showed “fantastic motivation, fantastic desire, and remarkable intelligence.”

The clean sheet subplot has been overshadowed in a big way by Arsenal’s struggles, as the Gunners had lost a Europa League second leg, a League Cup final, and three Premier League matches before beating AC Milan in the Europa League on Thursday and following it up with Sunday’s impressive rout.

Wenger has been the unquestioned target of criticism related to the run, and it’s safe to say he’s feeling a bit of relief.

“We have had a disappointing period and our supporters suffered like we suffered. But our job is to perform and stick together in important moment and get the fans back on side with our game.”

Arsenal 3-0 Watford: Cech gets milestone

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  • Mustafi scores 1,000th Arsenal home PL-era goal
  • Mkhitaryan to Aubameyang for 2-0
  • Cech stops Deeney penalty
  • Arsenal ends three-match losing run

Petr Cech stopped a penalty and kept his 200th clean sheet as Arsenal ended a league losing skid with a 3-0 win over Watford at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan assisted each other’s goals, an Shkrodan Mustafi opened the scoring for Arsenal.

Arsenal sits in sixth, 10 points back of the Top Four, while Watford is nine points clear of the drop zone in 10th.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Mesut Ozil slipped Aubameyang through on goal in the second minute, but the Gabonese striker hit the ball at Orestis Karnezis.

The Gunners went ahead in the 8th, as Mustafi headed an Ozil free kick across goal.

Sead Kolasinac just missed a sliding Aubameyang with a ball through the six in the 17th minute.

Watford missed a sitter in the 27th minute after Richarlison‘s free kick was parried to Roberto Pereyra, who blazed his effort over the bar.

Karnezis then made an outstanding leg save on Ozil within a minute.

Watford won a corner when Rob Holding intervened to stop a dangerous chance, but the Hornets couldn’t find a way past Cech. The Czech goalkeeper also denied Richarlison’s header deep into first half stoppage.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Aubameyang found an insurance goal through old pal Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who cut a ball between the lines to find the striker. Aubameyang walked around Karnezis and passed home to give him his third Premier League goal.

It was less than a minute when Pereyra cut between Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Alex Iwobi to win a penalty, but Cech denied Deeney’s shot down the middle.

Adrian Mariappa escaped punishment despite going cleat-to-ankle on Mkhitaryan in the 64th minute.

Mkhitaryan got a deserved goal in the 77th, spinning a Mkhitaryan pass off Karnezis and home.

Danny Welbeck was saved by Karnezis off a Jack Wilshere feed in the 86th.

Cech says Brighton loss his fault; Wenger blames Man City losses

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Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech is taking the blame for the Gunners’ 2-1 loss at Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

To be fair, the first goal was poor on both the keeper and his men. Cech was slow to collect a back post corner kick, which was nodded back across goal to an unmarked Lewis Dunk.

[ MORE: Brighton 2-1 Arsenal ]

The second goal wasn’t unstoppable, but less on Cech.

Either way, the Czech goalkeeper hit Twitter to accept all responsibility for Arsenal’s fifth loss in six matches, saying, “If you want to win a game away of home in the best league in the world your GK can’t concede 2 goals like I did today … it’s simply not possible … The team fought back but the damage was done.”

Cech hasn’t been himself this year, but the loss is far more on his star center back of so many years, Laurent Koscielny (as well as what must be an insipid at worst and uninspired at best atmosphere under longtime manager Arsene Wenger).

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

As for Arsene Wenger, he’s missing any decent answers at all. He says his team was “heavy legged” in admitting the Top Four is “near impossible.”

Part of his response to Sunday’s loss, at least in the immediate throes of it, was to say this team didn’t respond to the twin losses to Manchester City.

That’s pretty much his job. And now it’s AC Milan in the Europa League, likely the Gunners’ only route to the UEFA Champions League.

“It is important to recover mentally and physically,” he said. “We are still jaded today, we gave a lot on Thursday night and you can see that today.”

Should we keep those words copied for a Thursday pasting?

Brighton 2-1 Arsenal: Scattershot Gunners

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  • Dunk scores first top flight goal, 7′
  • Gross sets up two goals
  • Aubameyang gets one back
  • Gunners losers of five in six

Lewis Dunk and Glenn Murray scored first half goals to power Brighton and Hove Albion to a memorable 2-1 win over free-falling Arsenal at the Amex Stadium on Sunday.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pulled Arsenal to within one, but the Gunners fell for the fifth time in six matches across all competitions. They are still comfortably sixth in the Premier League, eight back of fifth and five ahead of seventh.

Brighton pulls into 10th, seven points clear of the Premier League drop zone.

Arsenal’s next match? A Europa League first leg at an emotional AC Milan, who will no doubt be celebrating the life of deceased alum Davide Astori.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The fourth minute saw Mesut Ozil curl a left-footer just over the bar in a bid to end his seven-match scoreless run.

Brighton took the lead through Dunk in the 7th minute, a set piece goal headed back across goal after Petr Cech failed to claim at the back post. It was 1-0 against the run of play.

Pascal Gross sent in that corner kick, and he blasted a shot that required a diving save from Cech. The ensuing corner was poorly defended by Arsenal, but Jose Izquierdo show low and wide.

Cech had to collect from Knockaert, but was soon picking the ball out of his goal for a second time when Murray nodded Gross’ cross past him.

The Gunners got one back through Aubameyang, redirecting a Granit Xhaka pass off Mat Ryan and into the goal.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Cech had to punch an Ezequiel Schelotto speculation over the bar 10 minutes into the second half.

Ozil worked a 1-2 with Aubameyang to open up an effort that Ryan pushed out for a corner.

And Jack Wilshere earned a dangerous free kick when Dale Stephens made a sliding intervention around the hour mark. That led to a corner, but Ryan eventually eased the danger.

Sead Kolasinac‘s hard challenge on Schelotto led to the calling of a stretcher but no sending off. Schelotto was reportedly knocked out by the brutal bodycheck.

Izquierdo dribbled down the left flank and cut to the middle before curling wide of the near post as the game hit minute No. 71.

Seven minutes of stoppage time delivered an opportunity for Arsenal to steal a point, but Ryan collected Aubameyang’s shot through traffic.

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.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

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 ]