Olivier Giroud

Arsenal 2-0 Sunderland: Gunners take Top Four hopes to Sunday

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  • Sanchez scores late double
  • Giroud, Ozil with assists
  • Gunners outshoot Sunderland 36-6

Dominant Arsenal left it late but took care of business in dispatching Sunderland 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.

Alexis Sanchez scored from close range in the 72nd and 81st minutes to help the Gunners to 72 points on the season.

The fifth place Gunners are a point back of Liverpool and three behind Manchester City entering Championship Sunday.

The loss ensures Sunderland will finish dead last in Premier League.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Arsenal must now hope to beat Everton on Sunday and have Liverpool drop points against Middlesbrough.

It was a game that could’ve easily been five or six-nil, but was kept scoreless into the 72nd minute thanks to more outstanding goalkeeping from Sunderland’s Jordan Pickford.

Sanchez broke through when he tapped in Mesut Ozil’s pass, then doubled the advantage when Olivier Giroud cut the ball back for another doorstep finish.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Premier League wrap: Arsenal alive, Swansea makes statement

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The race for the Top Four is tighter after Arsenal seized all three points at Stoke City, while Swansea City’s goal of avoiding relegation is within reach following a big win of their own on a five-match day in the Premier League.

[ CONTE: Chelsea dreams come true ]


Stoke City 1-4 ArsenalRECAP

A dominant first half came close to producing nothing, but Olivier Giroud scored the first goal of his brace to give the Gunners a halftime lead. He scored again in the second, as did Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil, and Hector Bellerin nabbed two assists as Arsenal pulled to within a point of fourth-place Liverpool with two matches to play.

The win is Arsenal’s first in seven tries at the bet365 Stadium.

Manchester City 2-1 Leicester CityRECAP

Riyad Mahrez committed a double-touch on a penalty kick, disallowing his equalizer, and Manchester City was the beneficiary of a questionable onside ruling in a fortunate win over game Leicester to kick off the day of action. Man City is three points clear of fifth place Arsenal and two ahead of Liverpool with two matches left on its docket.

Sunderland 0-2 Swansea CityRECAP

Swansea City is on the verge of ensuring Premier League safety after getting goals from Fernando Llorente and Kyle Naughton in an easy-enough win at the Stadium of Light. If Hull City loses on Sunday, it will be incapable of catching Swans and Crystal Palace.

Middlesbrough 1-2 SouthamptonRECAP

Relegated Boro put a charge into this one when Patrick Bamford scored late, but the equalizer never arrived as goals from Nathan Redmond and Jay Rodriguez lifted Saints into the top half.

Bournemouth 2-1 BurnleyRECAP

Southampton’s Southern neighbors also are firmly in the fight for eighth after knocking off Burnley at the Vitality Stadium. Junior Stanislas put the Cherries ahead only to see Sam Vokes level the score, but Joshua King buried his 16th goal of the PL season to give the win to Eddie Howe‘s men.

Stoke City 1-4 Arsenal: Gunners shoot toward fourth

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  • Giroud scores in each half
  • Ozil just after the break
  • Two assists for Bellerin

Olivier Giroud scored twice as Arsenal won at Stoke City for the first time in seven tries with a 4-1 victory on Saturday at the bet365 Stadium.

Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez also scored as the beneficiaries of well-worked team goals, and Hector Bellerin had two assists for Arsenal in snapping a six-match winless run (3D-3L) at Stoke.

The win boosts the Gunners to within a point of fourth-place Liverpool.

Peter Crouch scored Stoke’s lone goal, leaving the Potters 16th in the Premier League table.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

After a dull quarter-hour, the game found a bit of life when Nacho Monreal headed a cross off the far post.

It didn’t open up the entertainment, however, unless you include a number of hard fouls and tackles.

Arsenal did enjoy the possession, and Alexis Sanchez created some danger before lashing a shot into the side netting in the 34th minute.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Giroud broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute, tapping in a point-blank goal off a square ball through the six from Hector Bellerin.

Ozil was on the end of a gorgeous 1-2 move with Alexis Sanchez to make it 2-0, passing to the Chilean and darting through the 18 to collect and finish.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Stoke nearly pulled one back when Marko Arnautovic cut into the left of the box near the end line and chopped a pass back toward Mame Biram Diouf, but the ball was behind the big striker and he could not adjust his head to catch the drilled pass.

Substitutes Peter Crouch and Saido Berahino were called upon to change the game, and the former scored a handball goal in the 67th minute to make it 2-1.

The atmosphere was elevated, and Stoke had several opportunities to level the match only to misfire with passes or shots.

Sanchez carried a Bellerin pass into the 18 and made it 3-1 soon after, giving the Gunners a two-goal lead with less than 15 minutes remaining in the 90.

Jack Butland saved Aaron Ramsey‘s low shot moments later.

Wenger: Sanchez, Giroud will both be with Arsenal next year

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Arsene Wenger thinks Alexis Sanchez will sign a new deal at Arsenal this summer, whether the manager changes or not.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s visit from Leicester City, Wenger did not offer any clues as to his future with the club. He also said it does not hinge on how the Gunners finish the current campaign, and that he is working on transfers for the benefit of Arsenal regardless of his future.

[ MORE: Will Real open door for Barca? ]

That’s no surprise, given his reputation and fidelity to the club. What may surprise some is Wenger’s confidence that Sanchez will stay at the Emirates Stadium.

From Sky Sports:

“I personally think he will stay and sign. First of all he is happy here, his desire is to stay, that is what I deeply believe.

“I don’t think you would sell him to any Premier League club, that is for sure. The question is why would you sell him to another club? You want to be as strong as you can be and not strengthen the other teams.”

Wenger said both sides want to work out a deal and that the hold-up resides in agent-related matters. He also said Arsenal does not have interest in selling Olivier Giroud, who backed Wenger just over a month ago.

Marseille making Olivier Giroud top transfer target this summer

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Marseille did well to bring in one star this season but could the French side have another trick up its sleeve this summer?

Sky Sports is reporting that the Ligue 1 club is preparing to sign Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud over the summer and the sixth-place side is “willing to pay up to £20m (roughly $25 million).

Marseille made a splash this season when the club re-signed Dimitri Payet, who was playing with Premier League side West Ham at the time.

The team does boast several quality attacking options such as Payet and Bafetimbi Gomis, but Giroud could serve as an ideal target man in the Marseille attack.

Prior to joining the Gunners in 2012, Giroud starred for Montpellier and with a potential link-up in the attack with a creator like Payet, it could present a dangerous attacking threat to the rest of Ligue 1.

Giroud, 30, has scored 95 goals in all competitions since arriving in London with Arsenal.