Petr Cech

Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal: Reds trample Gunners underfoot

Leave a comment
  • Firmino, Salah goal, assist each
  • Mane scores beauty
  • Lacazette doesn’t start
  • Cech stars in loss

Liverpool is second in the Premier League table heading into the international break after embarrassing rivals Arsenal 4-0 at Anfield on Sunday.

Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, and Daniel Sturridge scored for the Reds, with Firmino and Salah also registering assists.

Arsenal started Alexis Sanchez but it made little difference as the Gunners lost their second in three to fall into 16th.

[ MORE: Wenger reacts ]

Mohamed Salah showed some early wizardry that failed to find a receiver, and moments later Emre Can headed wide of the far post in a bright start for the hosts.

Petr Cech made a back post recovery to thwart Salah’s assumed goal. A better shot should’ve been proffered, but that hardly makes the save less outstanding.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Sadio Mane’s electric left wing play earned a penalty shout one minute and a corner kick the next, the latter played short and handled by Arsenal.

That’s when Firmino made it 1-0, using his head to pound a cross off the ground and past a diving Cech.

Jordan Henderson couldn’t convert from an extremely tight angle with a chance to make it 2-0 in the 19th minute.

Salah forced Cech into another save in the 25th minute.

Mane then punished Rob Holding for given him time and space with a simply marvelous curling finish around Cech in the 40th minute.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Arsenal’s first moments of the second half were promising, and Liverpool was more of a countering side when Salah was stopped by Cech before Henderson blazed over the bar.

Salah didn’t miss with his next chance, a 80-plus yard breakaway began by a cleared Arsenal corner. Hector Bellerin made an absolute mess of the ball, and Cech couldn’t low fast enough to swat away the ex-Roma man’s strike.

Wenger inserted Alexandre Lacazette and Olivier Giroud with about a half hour to play.

Sturridge added the fourth in the 78th on another counter attack, an unreal cross from Salah that the English striker barely had to stoop to meet.

Stoke City 1-0 Arsenal: Jese leads Potters to win

1 Comment
  • New boy Jese scores
  • Arsenal has goal chalked off
  • Gunners have 77% possession
  • First Arsenal loss to Stoke since Dec. 2014

Jese Rodriguez’s second half goal lifted Stoke City to a 1-0 win over Arsenal at the bet365 Stadium on Saturday.

Alexandre Lacazette had a late goal controversially ruled offside — it didn’t appear to be — as Arsenal fell ahead of an Aug. 27 trip to Liverpool.

Arsenal also had two sincere calls for penalties go unheeded.

Stoke heads to 2-0 West Brom on the same day.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Signed on loan from Paris Saint-Germain, Jese had a good early chance when he dribbled into the 18 and hit a left-footed offering that Petr Cech raced to close down.

Arsenal soon settled into expected control of possession, though the first real bit of danger saw Jack Butland stopping a Danny Welbeck effort in the 20th minute. Bellerin drew shouts for a penalty kick moments later.

Stoke had a chance against the run of play when Jese, now on the right, found Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting for a tame chance at Cech.

Butland denied Aaron Ramsey‘s attempt off an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain free kick in the 28th minute.

Choupo-Moting found Shawcross from a dangerous header in the 32nd minute, but the English center back couldn’t get the required mustard nor direction on his attempt.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Saido Berahino played provider on the 48th minute opener, holding the ball for Jese to race past Nacho Monreal and shoot past Cech.

Butland conceded a corner off a pair of Arsenal chances in the 58th minute, but the Gunners couldn’t do anything with the opportunity.

Berahino came close to making it 2-0 on a break, but Arsenal forced a corner kick.

The Gunners stayed in the match, and a lively Welbeck forced Butland to concede a corner off a good lay-off from substitute Olivier Giroud.

Jese subbed out to solid applause in the 71st minute.

Soon after, a nice bit of combination play resulted in a wrongly ruled-out Lacazette goal. He looked to be onside, but the linesman didn’t see it that way.

Giroud flashed a stoppage time header across the goal but wide in what was Arsenal’s last true chance of the match.

Tottenham 2-0 Arsenal: Spurs quick pair wins North London derby

Getty Images
1 Comment

For the first time in 22 years, Tottenham will finish above Arsenal in the league table.

The North London derby finished 2-0 in favor of the home side at White Hart Lane, and the last visit there for Arsene Wenger & company confirms they cannot catch Spurs. Dele Alli scored and Harry Kane struck from the spot just two minutes later as a quickfire double soon after halftime sent Tottenham through.

With White Hart Lane at full throat, Tottenham was the more dangerous side out of the gate. Harry Kane tested Petr Cech with a tight-angled shot inside the opening minute, and Toby Alderweireld had a set-piece header go just over the bar also from a difficult position. The Gunners also spent a bit of time in the opposition area as Kieran Gibbs forced Hugo Lloris off the line to challenge a ball near the end line.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Spurs had the best pair of chances of the opening half on 21 minutes back-to-back. Harry Kane delivered a ball towards the six-yard box, and with a deflection it came to the head of Dele Alli, who should have scored, but put it over the bar from right on the doorstep. Minutes later, Heung-Min Son sliced up Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the left flank and burst into the box, and while his shot was deflected, it fell to Christian Eriksen who also should have scored with the goal gaping, but didn’t hit the volley cleanly and skied it over.

Aaron Ramsey worked Hugo Lloris as the Frenchman was forced into a low save to his left on the midfielder’s shot seven minutes before halftime.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

The hosts had the best chance straight out of halftime as Victor Wanyama charged down a loose ball and unleashed a howitzer on net that was just tipped over the bar by Petr Cech.

The breakthrough came in the 56th minute as Spurs went in front. Kane held the ball up brilliantly and found Alli, and under pressure Christian Eriksen latched onto it, and while his shot was saved, it fell back to Alli and he crashed it home. Immediately after, Spurs doubled their lead as Gabriel caught Kane’s foot in the penalty area, causing the England international to go to ground. Referee Michael Oliver gave the penalty, and Kane slotted it in off the left post.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Arsenal, suddenly down 2-0, looked to push forward to find a way back in. Olivier Giroud forced an easy scoop save from Lloris and then Gibbs fired over past the hour mark. The Gunners seemed shell-shocked at their sudden deficit, and by the time they truly worked themselves onto the ball, they were faced with a bunkered-in Spurs defense.

Tottenham saw the game out with little threat from the visitors, and the three points keeps pace with Chelsea, closing the gap back to four points with their ninth straight win. Arsenal, meanwhile, failed to capitalize on the opportunity brought on by Manchester United and Manchester City both dropping points earlier in the day.

Petr Cech suffers calf injury for Arsenal

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Talk about kicking you while you’re down…

[ VIDEO: Plane carrying Wenger banners

As planes with contrasting messages (#WengerOut and #RespectAW) flew over the Hawthorns on Saturday, Arsene Wenger watched on as his star goalkeeper pulled up with what appears to be an injured calf.

Moments after making a superb save from Darren Fletcher, Cech appeared to pull his calf when passing a ball out of the box.

[ LIVE: Stream every PL game live

He walked off by himself but David Ospina came on and now Wenger faces an anxious wait to find out how serious this injury is.

Cech, 34, has retired from international soccer so now has two weeks to recover over the break but this injury is far from ideal.

With the top four battle so tight this season, every little factor counts.

Ospina is a very able deputy to Cech but there’s no doubting that Arsenal’s defense has improved dramatically since the Czech Republic legend joined from Chelsea in 2015.

Cech: Arsenal players must share blame while Wenger under fire

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Arsene Wenger continues to shoulder the blame of Arsenal’s shortcomings this season, but should the veteran French manager be at the center of the Gunners’ issues?

[ MORE: Longtime Wenger assistant set to leave Arsenal for Turkey ]

One of Arsenal’s key squad players certainly doesn’t think so.

[ MORE: Lukaku reportedly turns down new Everton contract ]

Goalkeeper Petr Cech has come out in defense of the Arsenal boss, suggesting that the supporters and media alike should not treat Wenger unfairly but instead place the blame on the players.

“The players obviously have to share the responsibility, everybody has to share the responsibility for the position we are in and everybody has to work to get ourselves out [of it],” Cech told Arsenal’s official website. “This is the way it is. This week after Bayern especially was a difficult three days, we had to make sure we got ready for Lincoln and this was the reaction you need.

He continued: “We booked our place at Wembley and we are looking forward to the semi-final, which is always great. But obviously we need to improve the form in the league – this is what’s going to be crucial now.

“We have an away game at West Brom then the international break so we need to make sure we go into Saturday’s game ready to get three points.”

It’s only natural that Cech and the rest of the Gunners players want to defend their manager, but regardless of whom is to blame, there are questions that need to be answered when it comes to the London side.

Arsenal recently bailed out of the the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 for the seventh consecutive season after a lopsided 10-2 aggregate defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich.

While Wenger has struggled to find glory in the Premier League during his tenure — with Arsenal’s last title coming in 2003/04 — the 67-year-old has helped the Gunners lift the FA Cup on six occasions and has never finished outside of the top four in the PL since joining the club in 1996.