Alexandre Lacazette

Getty Images

Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette ruled out with injury

1 Comment

Arsenal will have to do without French international striker Alexandre Lacazette for a pivotal stretch of their season.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Lacazette, 26, has suffered a left knee injury and has undergone surgery which will keep him out for up to six weeks.

The North London club released a statement on Lacazette’s injury.

“Striker Alex Lacazette had an arthroscopy on his left knee in London on Tuesday morning. The minor procedure was a success and he will now undergo a period of rehabilitation. It is envisaged that he will return to the squad within four to six weeks.”

It was expected that Lacazette would play a significant number of minutes in the UEFA Europa League, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ineligible to play in European competitions following his arrival from Borussia Dortmund in January.

Before Aubameyang arrived for a club-record $79.6 million fee, Lacazette was Arsenal’s record signing with the predatory forward signing from Lyon last summer for $73 million but he has only been used as a sub in each of the Gunners’ last two games. Lacazette had two glorious chances to equalize late on against Spurs in the 1-0 North London Derby defeat on Saturday but was off target with both attempts.

How much will Arsenal miss their fox in the box?

Lacaztte has scored nine goals in 26 PL appearances for Arsenal this season, which is a decent return but a little less than was expected given his record of 100 goals in 171 starts for Lyon in Ligue 1.

Danny Welbeck will be the main man for their Europa League Round of 32 games against Ostersunds, and likely the last 16, if they advance, which is far from ideal. Welbeck has once again struggled with injuries this season and has scored six goals in 25 appearances in all competitions, mostly off the bench.

Aubameyang will ease the burden of losing Lacazette but with Alexis Sanchez joining Manchester United and Theo Walcott leaving for Everton in January, all of a sudden Arsene Wenger‘s forward options are limited.

Arsenal still have options, but not what you need when you’re trying to claw back an eight-point gap to the top four, have a League Cup final against Manchester City and are in the latter stages of the Europe League.

AT HALF: Arsenal hangs four on Palace; Unreal WBA assist (video)

Leave a comment

No Alexis, no problem for Arsenal, while West Bromwich Albion saw a classy pass from Grzegorz Krychowiak open their scoring at Goodison Park.

[ LIVE: Stream every Premier League game ]

Arsenal 4-0 Crystal Palace

This match looks nothing like the 3-2 thriller in late December, and has drawn plenty of banter with Alexis Sanchez out of the Arsenal picture.

Alexandre Lacazette, Alex Iwobi, Laurent Koscileny, and Nacho Monreal all on the board for the Gunners, with Lacazette’s goal just gorgeous football (embedded above).

Burnley 0-0 Manchester United

Sean Dyche‘s men are frustrating the visitors in a match with an over/under of two for “oohs and aahs” for the second half.

Leicester City 1-0 Watford

Jamie Vardy knows how to draw a penalty, and beat Orestis Karnezis after Molla Wague fouled him in the box just before halftime.

Everton 0-1 West Bromwich Albion

Big Sam Allardyce‘s Everton tenure continues to morph into a version of his West Ham United tenure, as Jay Rodriguez converted this incredible pass from Krychowiak to give Alan Pardew‘s Baggies a somewhat surprising lead.

Stoke City 0-0 Huddersfield Town
West Ham United 0-0 Bournemouth

Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea: London rivals thrill

Leave a comment
  • Courtois stars between sticks
  • Wilshere opens scoring
  • Hazard wins, converts PK
  • Alonso puts Chelsea ahead
  • Bellerin levels in stoppage

Hector Bellerin‘s stoppage time goal was the final marker of a 2-2 thriller between Arsenal an Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.

Eden Hazard and Marcos Alonso scored and Thibaut Courtois was strong in goal as Chelsea came back to take a lead on Arsenal 2-1.

Jack Wilshere had put Arsenal deservedly ahead in the 63rd minute, but the match was only level for four minutes.

The draw means Chelsea stays third behind Manchester United, while Arsenal remains sixth. That’s a point behind North London Derby rivals Spurs, who play West Ham to finish the festive fixture season on Thursday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

There was heightened intensity at the Emirates, leading to some overcooked passes and stylish interventions, but goals looked likely four times in the first 30 minutes.

  • Alvaro Morata ran onto an overcooked cross and had a 1v1 with Petr Cech, but screwed his effort wide of the net.
  • Alexis Sanchez stepped onto a ball inside the 18 and forced Thibaut Courtois to push the ball off not one, but both goal posts.
  • Eden Hazard danced through the Arsenal defense to set up ex-Gunners mid Cesc Fabregas, but the Spaniard blazed over the bar.
  • Alexandre Lacazette turned neatly near the penalty spot off a Sanchez feed, but Courtois again got his paw on the ball from a horizontal perspective.

Granit Xhaka fouled Tiemoue Bakayoko on the edge of the Arsenal 18, opening the door for Marcos Alonso’s dangerous left peg. The Spanish defender’s effort wasn’t his best, though, as it ballooned over the bar to keep the match scoreless

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Another good-looking turn from Lacazette sent Gary Cahill to the moon and cued up an early second half chance for Arsenal, but Courtois made a wonderful leg save.

The breakthrough came in the 63rd minute through longtime Gunners midfielder Wilshere, who belted a deflected and loose ball into the roof of the goal.

Courtois returned to his game-saving ways, deterring a Lacazette shot moments later.

Hazard then drew and converted a penalty and had it level in the 67th minute, as Hector Bellerin kicked Hazard’s boot in a duel for a bouncing ball. 1-1.

Morata then bodied Chambers off a breakaway ball, but his chip failed to find the frame. That wouldn’t be the case for Alonso, who finished his sixth goal of the season off a hard low pass from substitute Davide Zappacosta.

But Bellerin scored in stoppage time before Zappacosta ripped an effort off the cross bar at the other end!

Lingard, De Gea lead Man Utd past Arsenal

Leave a comment
  • 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

Getty Images
Leave a comment

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 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.