Henrikh Mkhitaryan

Ramsey hat trick leads Arsenal demolition of Everton

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  • Aubameyang scores 1st Arsenal goal
  • Mkhitaryan sets up Ramsey’s first
  • Ramsey doubles season output
  • Gunners beat Everton 5-2 in reverse fixture

Aaron Ramsey scored a hat trick as Arsenal ran all over Everton in a 5-1 blowout at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Laurent Koscielny also scored for the Gunners, who stay sixth with 45 points.

Everton remains on 31 points, dropping to 10th behind Bournemouth and seven points above the drop zone. Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored for the Toffees.

According to the BBC, Ramsey is the 20th Arsenal player to record a PL hat trick, joining “Henry, Wright, Adebayor, Van Persie, Walcott, K.Campbell, Sanchez, Anelka, Arshavin, Bergkamp, Cazorla, Giroud, Kanu, Ljungberg, Overmars, Parlour, Pennant, Pires, Wiltord.”

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Arsenal was ahead before the clock hit six, with new boy Henrikh Mkhitaryan sliding a ball through the six for Ramsey to pass home.

Given a bit of room from Michael Keane, Mkhitaryan just missed on a laser from 25 yards in the 10th minute.

A corner kick saw Arsenal make it 2-0, as Koscielny’s diving header stopped a debut goal from Aubameyang. Both players had time thanks to lost loanee Eliaquim Mangala‘s marking.

Ramsey made it 3-0 in the 19th minute, his hard shot taking a hard turn off Mangala to defy Pickford’s hopes of a save.

Aubameyang had a chance to lift the lid on the pace with a 32nd minute charge toward goal, but Pickford closed him down.

He did score in the 37th minute, possibly offside, with a tiny chip over a sliding Pickford. And Monreal nodded a ball off the bottom of the cross bar and out as Arsenal attempted to set some recent records.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Everton didn’t quit, to their credit. Well, at least Oumar Niasse didn’t, sliding to put a ball off the post in a characteristic relentless effort.

Substitute Calvert-Lewin did dent the scoreboard for Everton, leaping over Sead Kolasinac to deny Petr Cech a 200th PL clean sheet.

Cech was injured shortly after the concession, and came out of the game for David Ospina.

Ramsey completed his hat trick in the 74th minute, doubling his season output in the Premier League.

League Cup semifinal preview: Arsenal vs. Chelsea

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
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  • Chelsea has won 4-of-7 League Cup matches vs. Arsenal
  • Arsenal leads all-time series 74W-58D-62L
  • Clubs have drawn four times this season

Hardware hopes are on the line when Chelsea hits the Emirates Stadium for a League Cup semifinal second leg with Arsenal on Wednesday.

The sides drew 0-0 at Stamford Bridge, giving Chelsea the advantage of knowing a scoring draw would do the trick and set up a date with Manchester City at Wembley on Feb. 25, though Arsenal has home field advantage in pursuit of a win.

[ MORE: Bristol City 2-3 (3-5 agg.) Man City ]

Henrikh Mkhitaryan may debut for Arsenal, though the club released an interesting note on Tuesday: He’ll wear No. 7 in most competitions, but will have to use a different number in the Europa League because Alexis Sanchez wore it to start the tournament.

Chelsea’s Antonio Conte won’t have Alvaro Morata (back) and Cesc Fabregas for the match, though Andreas Christensen will be available for selection.

The clubs are no strangers to each other in big non-PL spots, squaring off in this season’s Community Shield (Arsenal won in penalty kicks) and last season’s FA Cup Final (Arsenal won).

Nothing has separated the sides on the field aside from those penalty kicks at Wembley Stadium, as Arsenal and Chelsea have drawn 1-1, 0-0, 2-2, and 0-0 since August.

What they’re saying

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger on Henrikh Mkhitaryan“He can play in different positions, but personally I see him first in a wide position, but I’m thinking about him a possibility to play through the middle. You are certain in our job of nothing, that’s absolutely sure. But you believe and I believe he has the qualities to do well, is a team player and our game is based on team attitude and movement and I think he can absorb the quantity of movement in our team.”

Chelsea’s Conte on the lineup: “Every game is different, you change the quality of your opponent and you must be intelligent enough to understand if you should continue with the same players or make some changes.”

The 2 Robbies: Alexis-Mkhitaryan Swap Becomes Reality

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Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe react to the Alexis Sanchez-Henrikh Mkhitaryan swap deal between Arsenal and Manchester United finally becoming reality (0:20), Swansea’s stunning 1-0 victory over Liverpool (9:20), Southampton’s much-needed draw with Spurs (22:30) and Watford’s decision to part ways with Marco Silva (36:20). The gents end the show sharing their memories of the late English striker, Cyrille Regis (39:45).

Join Earle & Mustoe on The 2 Robbies Football Show, Saturdays at 5pm ET. Listen on the NBCSports Radio App and call 855-323-4622 in the U.S. for lively passionate debate.

All of the The 2 Robbies content can be accessed by clicking on this link:

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Follow them on Twitter @The2Robbies

After the swap: Alexis, Mkhi-infused XIs for Man Utd, Arsenal

@Arsenal
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The deal is done: Henrikh Mkhitaryan has moved to Arsenal with Alexis Sanchez going the other way in a monumental January move.

[ MORE: Transfer rumor roundup ]

How will it look for each side once the shape’s settled?

Arsenal

When Henrikh Mkhitaryan was at his very best — for Borussia Dortmund in 2014-15 — he was deployed as a left or right wing. He contributed 23 goals and 32 assists in 52 matches during his final season at the Westfalenstadion, and predictably saw those numbers drop as Jose Mourinho consistently moved him toward an attacking center midfield role.

He’ll get the chance to go out wide again at the Emirates Stadium, though perhaps not always to the extreme flanks. Expect Alexandre Lacazette‘s numbers to explode with this move.

Arsene Wenger used a 4-3-3 to batter Crystal Palace 4-1 at the weekend, with Ozil on the right wing and Alex Iwobi on the left. The club still needs better at center defensive mid while Aaron Ramsey is out, so that will likely keep the lineup similar until he returns (at a minimum):

Cech

Bellerin — Mustafi — Koscielny — Montreal

Elneny (Ramsey, eventually)

Xhaka — Wilshere

Ozil — Lacazette — Mkhitaryan

By the way, a lot of Arsenal supporters aren’t feeling great about this (understatement alert):

Manchester United

Alexis Sanchez prefers left wing, too, and Mourinho has a trio of in-form players who like that side of the field. Anthony Martial is red hot but plays wider than Jesse Lingard, and it seems one of them will take the slot of Juan Mata to the right of Paul Pogba in a 4-1-4-1. Marcus Rashford could also see the far right positioning.

But against top competition — continued apologies to Burnley — it’s usually a 4-2-3-1 for Mourinho with Pogba dropping next to Nemanja Matic a little deeper in the formation. Lingard has been getting the run as CAM here, usually to the detriment of Juan Mata. With Alexis as the clear-cut left wing in this formation, it causes real combat for the two other slots between Mata, Lingard, Rashford, and Martial.

So while it’s likely we’d see something like this in a big game for Manchester United…

De Gea

Young — Jones — Smalling — Valencia

Matic — Pogba

Martial — Lingard —  Sanchez

Lukaku

… We’d love to see something more like this:

De Gea

Young — Jones — Smalling — Valencia

Matic — Herrera

Pogba

Martial — Lukaku — Sanchez

How do you think Wenger and Mou will run ’em out?

Alexis Sanchez-Henrikh Mkhitaryan swap official (video)

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Arsenal and Manchester United have completed their American-style trade, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan joining the Gunners and Alexis Sanchez on board the Red Devils’ train.

Both 29 years old, the playmakers arrive at their new homes with plenty to prove.

More to come…