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.

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)

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.

Man City cruises to League Cup title

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  • City wins fifth League Cup
  • Arsenal 2-6 in League Cup Finals
  • Kompany stars at both ends

Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany, and David Silva scored as Manchester City made itself a Wembley home with a 3-0 win over Arsenal in the League Cup Final on Sunday.

Pep Guardiola has his first major trophy as Manchester City boss, and Man City has now won the last three even-year League Cups (2014, 2016, 2018), while Arsene Wenger has yet to win a League Cup.

The two sides meet in the Premier League on Thursday at the Emirates Stadium.

[ MORE: Box score, lineups, play-by-play ]

Man City had a lot of the ball, but it was Arsenal who first properly challenged a keeper. Mesut Ozil’s cross was met before it got to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang by a sliding Kyle Walker, and Bravo had to act quickly to stop an own goal.

The Sky Blue side went direct to go ahead with Aguero’s 30th goal of the campaign. Aguero was behind his mark Shkrodan Mustafi but just onside by Nacho Monreal on the left as he ran onto Claudio Bravo‘s long kick and chipped David Ospina before the match was 19 minutes old.

Sead Kolasinac entered the match for injured Monreal in the 26th minute.

Aaron Ramsey was fortunate not to be sent off after catching David Silva with a high boot, and was only shown a yellow card.

Man City made a terrific physical tackle on Aubameyang in the 36th minute to win back a ball in the 18.

Fernandinho was given a yellow moments later, and Jack Wilshere nearly drew a second off Brazilian before halftime.

Magic-healing Leroy Sane curled a ball into Ospina’s hands before half, and Kevin De Bruyne won a free kick with plenty of potential in the 45th.

Could the below stat give Arsenal hope?

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Kompany got a cutback from Sane and saw his shot deflected out for a corner as Man City started the second half well.

Bravo came out to meet a long ball before Aubameyang and mishit it, but the Arsenal striker couldn’t capitalize on the error and fouled the Man City goalkeeper.

Kompany continued his fine match with a redirection of Aguero’s shot off a training ground corner kick started by De Bruyne.

Silva then bodied off Calum Chambers to meet a Danilo through ball and make it 3-0.

Europa League: Arsenal, Dortmund, Leipzig survive 2nd-leg charges

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A roundup of all of Thursday’s action in the Europa League…

[ MORE: Premier League TV schedule | Man United vs. Chelsea ]

Arsenal 1-2 (4-2) Ostersunds FK

Ostersunds so nearly pulled off the most shocking upset of the 2017-18 season, as the Swedish side scored twice in 70 first-half seconds (WATCH HERE) to pull itself to within a goal of the Premier League giant.

Alas, the Gunners were awakened at halftime, and Sead Kolasinac restored a bit of order less than 90 seconds into the second half, putting Arsenal 4-2 ahead on aggregate and effectively ending the tie after one horrifically botched Ostersunds clearance.

The draw for the round of 16 will be held on Friday, at which point Arsenal and 15 other sides will learn their opponent for the next round.

RB Leipzig 0-2 (*3-3) Napoli

After a disastrous first leg at home, Napoli needed at least three goals to overcome the three away goals scored by RB Leipzig last week in Naples. The Serie A leaders controlled the game in every facet and created more than enough chances over the course of 90 minutes, but came up just short at the final whistle.

Piotr Zielinski bagged the opener after 32 minutes, but the following 50 would prove a frustrating exercise in futility for Napoli, as Lorenzo Insigne’s 86th-minute tally proved to be too little, too late. Now out of both domestic and European cup competitions, Maurizio Sarri’s side can turn its full focus to dethroning Juventus, the six-time defending Serie A champions.

Atalanta 1-1 (3-4) Borussia Dortmund

For the majority of Thursday’s second leg, Dortmund had one step out the door as they trailed Serie A side Atalanta 1-0 on the night, making the aggregate score 3-3 with no away goals of their own (two in the first leg for Atalanta).

Atalanta goalkeeper Etrit Berisha will have nightmares about his 83rd-minute howler, which turned a totally innocuous, speculative ball into a golden opportunity for Marcel Schmelzer to make it 4-3 on aggregate and bail Peter Stoger’s side out of embarrassment.

Atletico Madrid 1-0 (5-1) Copenhagen

Thanks to a 4-1 away victory in Copenhagen last week, Atletico Madrid had very little to play for on Thursday. That didn’t stop Diego Simeone from selecting a largely first-team lineup, a decision which was vindicated when Kevin Gameiro dashed any Danish dreams very early on, as the Frenchman bagged the game’s only goal after seven minutes.

Elsewhere in Europa League

Villarreal 0-1 (1-4) Lyon
Athletic Bilbao 1-2 (4-3) Spartak Moscow
Red Bull Salzburg 2-1 (4-3) Real Sociedad
AC Milan 1-0 (4-0) Ludogorets Razgrad
Lazio 5-1 (5-2) Steaua Bucharest
Zenit St. Petersburg 3-0 (3-1) Celtic
Braga 1-0 (1-3) Marseille
Lokomotiv Moscow 1-0 (4-2) Nice
Sporting CP 3-3 (6-4) FC Astana
Viktoria Plzen 2-0 (3-1) Partizan Belgrade
Dynamo Kyiv 0-0 (*1-1) AEK Athens
CSKA Moscow 1-0 (1-0) Red Star Belgrade