Alexandre Lacazette

Lingard, De Gea lead Man Utd past Arsenal

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  • Valencia, Lingard put United up 2-0 early
  • Arsenal has 71 percent first half possession
  • Lacazette makes it 2-1 after break
  • Pogba sets up Lingard for 3-1, then sent off
  • Arsenal out-attempts United 33-8

Jesse Lingard bagged a brace as Manchester United took its chances in a 3-1 win over Arsenal on Saturday at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Antonio Valencia also scored for the Red Devils, who moved to within five points of Manchester City before the Premier League leaders play Sunday.

Arsenal got its goal from Alexandre Lacazette, and sits fifth with 28 points.

Paul Pogba was shown a straight red card for a tackle on Hector Bellerin with just over a quarter hour to play in North London.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Valencia looked to have been denied by his extra touch off a Paul Pogba through ball, but spun the ball through Petr Cech‘s legs to make it 1-0.

It was off a bad giveaway, and Arsenal had a second one moments later. United clinically finished again, with Anthony Martial‘s incredibly deft flick meeting Lingard’s impressive side-footed finish inside the far post.

Arsenal liked to attack down the right, and Chris Smalling defended well earn a goal kick in the 20th.

The Gunners were thwarted in a chance to pull one back when David De Gea stopped Alexandre Lacazette at close range before Granit Xhaka laced the rebound wide of the frame.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Lacazette hit on a 49th minute rebound to make it 2-1, with both playmaker Aaron Ramsey and the goal scorer in acres of space.

United saw a ball hit the far post moments later in a bid to restore the two-goal lead.

De Gea made an amazing pair of stops on Lacazette and Alexis Sanchez in the 56th minute.

It was 3-1 after the hour mark thanks to another Arsenal giveaway, with Pogba turning Laurent Koscielny inside out before passing through the six for Lingard to tap home.

But the smiles turned to frowns when Pogba went studs up into Bellerin’s ankle, an easy red card and a huge obstacle for Jose Mourinho in the Manchester Derby.

Wenger reveals reason for Ozil’s improvement; Lacazette update

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LONDON — Mesut Ozil is on fire right now and his manager thinks he knows why.

Ozil grabbed a goal and two assists as Arsenal brushed aside Huddersfield Town 5-0 in the Premier League on Wednesday, with the German playmaker stringing together two fine performances in a row at home after his assist and spirited display in the victory against Tottenham Hotspur 10 days ago.

His manager, Arsene Wenger, will be hoping it’s three fine displays in a row at the Emirates Stadium for Ozil as the Gunners host Manchester United on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com) in a massive top four battle.

“Nobody has to convince us he is a great football player but he’s added something people wanted to see from him as well, against Spurs and tonight again, that he can fight and he can come back and win the ball back,” Wenger said. “Once people see that, they are behind you. Everyone knows in the stadium that he is a great football player and at the moment he shows as well that he can fight.”

With five assists and two goals in his last five Premier League games for Arsenal, Ozil had led their charge back into the top four ahead of a huge clash with Man United.

Asked what the difference has been in his play of late, Wenger believes Ozil’s maturity is shining through and praised his ability to always want the ball, no matter what.

“Our job is to encourage people to fight and he always covered the distance in the game but maybe he is at an age where he is mature and he understands what is important and is less important… I think everybody wants to be acknowledged for his qualities. The judgement’s are also harsh in the job of a footballer but overall I believe the majority of the people here love him, and always loved him,” Wenger added.

His current contract situation isn’t impacting Ozil’s play and even though he’s out of contract at Arsenal on July 1, 2018 and free to talk to non-English teams from Jan. 1, Wenger is only focused on the German’s champagne displays in the here and now.

He will certainly be hoping he produces it against United on Saturday as the Gunners can move just one point behind the Red Devils who currently occupy second place.

It wasn’t all good news for Arsenal on Wednesday, though, as they lost their leading goalscorer this season in Alexandre Lacazette.

The Frenchman scored early on, his seventh PL game of the campaign, but was replaced at half time by Olivier Giroud (who scored twice) and Wenger confirmed he won’t make the clash with United on Saturday.

“Lacazette has a groin problem and he is out, certainly, for Saturday’s game,” Wenger confirmed.

As long as Ozil is pulling the strings and as hungry as he has been, the supporting cast of Alexis Sanchez, Giroud and others around will have plenty of service to punish opponents.

Arsenal’s main man for so long has been Sanchez but Ozil is proving his worth and seems to be digging deeper than ever.

Report: Arsenal set to spend $78m on Lacazette’s old pal

AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani
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Could Alexandre Lacazette‘s Lyon running mate be joining him at Arsenal?

A report from David Woods of The Daily Star says Arsenal is set to spend around $78 million to bring Nabil Fekir to the Emirates Stadium.

[ MORE: MLS star joins Mata’s cause ]

Fekir sprung Lacazette for three goals last season, tied with a bevy of pairings for the second-most prolific connection in Ligue 1.

The 24-year-old playmaker has 11 goals and three assists in 11 Ligue 1 matches this season, adding another goal in the Europa League. Fekir has a goal in 10 France caps.

Usually Star reports comes with not a grain but a mine of salt, but it bears an extra look when a reporter attaches his name to it.

Fekir’s an extremely exciting player, and represents the ideal ‘Wenger buy.’ A natural fit to slide into Mesut Ozil’s role, with far better finishing boots, this one would make a lot of sense for Arsenal should someone else not slide in with a better offer.

Man City tops Arsenal 3-1

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  • Aguero gets guard of honor, then banks PK
  • De Bruyne opens scoring
  • Sub striker Lacazette pulls one back
  • City onto 31 points

Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero, and Gabriel Jesus led Manchester City to another win, this time 3-1 over visiting Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Alexandre Lacazette scored off the bench for Arsenal, who drops to sixth, below Liverpool on tiebreakers. The Gunners are now 12 points behind Man City.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Sergio Aguero was given a guard of honor for breaking Man City’s all-time scoring record.

Aguero nearly followed up his pre-match moment with a fitting salute to the home fans, but he hit a pass from Kevin De Bruyne just high and wide of Petr Cech‘s goal.

De Bruyne was the man to put City ahead in the 19th minute, as the Belgian followed up Cech’s save of a direct shot by playing a 1-2 en route to a team goal which had Arsenal looking like training ground cut-outs.

Raheem Sterling murdered a chance to make it 2-0. On a 2v1, Sterling took multiple superfluous touches before hitting a pass beyond a wide open Leroy Sane.

Aaron Ramsey had a decent chance to pull Arsenal level in first half stoppage, but Ederson went low to make a save.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Nacho Monreal saw yellow and Michael Oliver gave Man City a chance at the spot when Sterling won a clear cut penalty. Aguero banked his shot off the right post and behind Cech. 2-0.

Lacazette was a questionable omission from the Starting XI, and took a feed from in-form Ramsey to make it 2-1 with 25 minutes plus stoppage to play.

Petr Cech made a sliding save on Gabriel Jesus’ hard low shot off a Man City corner to keep it 2-1. He pushed another shot out for a corner.

City would restore it’s two-goal cushion when David Silva was adjudged to have stayed onside for a through ball, then cut back for Jesus for a finish.

Everton 2-5 Arsenal: Ozil, Sanchez star for Gunners

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  • Rooney buries beauty (video)
  • Ozil puts Gunners ahead
  • Lacazette scores after Gana red card
  • Toffees into relegation zone

Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil starred as Arsenal overcame a beautiful Wayne Rooney opener to send 10-man Everton into the Bottom Three after a 5-2 decision at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Ozil scored the match-winner and Sanchez, Nacho Monreal, Aaron Ramsey, and Alexandre Lacazette also scored as Arsenal again showed its potential for greatness in a comeback win. The Gunners move into fifth, behind Chelsea on goal differential.

The loss overshadowed Wayne Rooney’s wonderful strike from outside the 18, and sends Everton 18th on goal differential. Oumar Niasse scored in stoppage time off a laughable back pass from Monreal.

Idrissa Gana Gueye took a second yellow for fouling Granit Xhaka in the 69th minute.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The first 10 minutes may’ve well been subtitled, “Alexandre Lacazette versus Jordan Pickford,” but Rooney changed that.

The Everton hero, two days shy of his 32nd birthday, buried his 15th career goal against Arsenal by picking up the ball after a 50-50 scrap opened the ball into his path.

What a hit.

Arsenal hit back, before the break, when Pickford got horizontal to save a an Aaron Ramsey rip onto the boot of Monreal. Pickford only got a piece of the shot, and it was 1-1.

Pickford some more wonderful Gunner thwarting late in the half when Alexis Sanchez’s crafty dribbling led him to the doorstep.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Rooney’s goal was a distant memory when Arsenal earned its first lead via gorgeous goal production in its own right. Alexis Sanchez chipped a delightful ball into the 18 and Ozil nodded it past Pickford.

There were third and fourth rungs on Ozil and Sanchez’s goal ladder when Hector Bellerin took the ball from a Nikola Vlasic mistake and fed Sanchez, who found Ozil for a cutback to Lacazette inside the 18.

Substitute mid Jack Wilshere cued up Ramsey for a fine team goal just before the whistle, but it wasn’t the final goal. Niasse took advantage of a Monreal gaffe to make it 4-2 before Alexis waltzed to restore the three-goal advantage.

Follow @NicholasMendola