Petr Cech

Kane leads Spurs to North London Derby win

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  • Tottenham goes third before Liverpool, Chelsea play
  • Spurs dominate with 18-5 shot attempts
  • Kane posts 7th goal in as many NLDs
  • Arsenal six points back of Top Four

Harry Kane‘s second half goal seized North London Derby glory for dominant-if-wasteful Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

The 1-0 win pushes Spurs third for the time being, while Arsenal will finish the weekend at least six points back of fourth place.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

While the goalkeepers weren’t physically tested in the first 15 minutes, both Hugo Lloris and Petr Cech had to be razor-sharp as Spurs and Arsenal each pushed the pace in attack.

The first save, from Cech on Heung-Min Son, may have been going wide in the 18th minute.

Harry Kane pushed a chance over the bar as the match neared the half-hour mark, and Eric Dier missed a more egregious redirection from the edge of the six-yard box following a mishit Mousa Dembele attempt from the edge of the 18.

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[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Ben Davies and Kane combined for a powerful opener, with the left-sided man sending an inviting cross and Kane rising above Laurent Koscielny to pound a header home. Arsenal wanted a foul on Kane, whose hands caught Koscielny after his leap, but it’s difficult to agree with the visitors.

Spurs won a dangerous free kick when Hector Bellerin dove into Son’s legs two yards outside the 18. Christian Eriksen presided over the opportunity, but Cech made an outstanding punch save on an upper 90-heading effort.

He’d have another chance in the 62nd minute, but his waist-high driven cross didn’t make it into the mixer, going out for a corner.

Spurs had more chances to score, but Son shanked a 17-yard shot into the atmosphere before Dele tried to get too cute with a flick that went wide of goal.

Cech then denied a free-dribbling Erik Lamela. Would Spurs rue their misses? Cech denied Kane again in the 76th minute.

Lamela dragged a languid chance wide of the far post in the 90th minute.

Alexandre Lacazette butchered an opportunity to level the score at the outset of stoppage time, and then dragged a shot past Lloris but wide of the far post two minutes later.

Dembele fouled Welbeck in a dangerous position at the very end of stoppage time. Mesut Ozil lorded over the chance, but the wall did its job.

Swans 3-1 Arsenal: Massive Welsh win

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  • Cech gaffe gives Swans lead
  • Clucas nabs two goals
  • Swans in 17th with 23 points
  • Arsenal sixth, 8 behind fourth

Carlos Carvalhal, take a bow.

The Spanish coach has now led Swansea City to impressive results on the bounce, this time a 3-1 win over Arsenal at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday.

Sam Clucas scored twice for the Swans and Jordan Ayew had a goal and an assist in leading Swans out of the drop zone.

Nacho Monreal scored Arsenal’s loan goal, as the Gunners drop eight points back of the Top Four. New signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan made his debut off the bench for Arsenal.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Swansea supporters would’ve been forgiven for writing off matches against Liverpool and Arsenal. Swans won ’em both.

Arsenal saw a pinpoint pass from Mesut Ozil set Monreal up for the opener, the German wizard registering his seventh assist of the Premier League season.

The lead was gone in a minute’s time, with Ozil this time setting up Swans for success. His giveaway allowed Alfie Mawson to slip Clucas through to an equalizer.

A Petr Cech error after the break put Swans in front for the first time, as Jordan Ayew was quick to capitalize on a mishit ball.

Ayew’s deflected cross then fell to Clucas for the completion of his brace.

Also, Ayew is the new Sigurdsson. See below:

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[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Arsenal 2-2 Chelsea: London rivals thrill

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  • 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

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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!

Stars and duds from Arsenal 3-3 Liverpool

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The festive fixtures began with a gift that kept on giving (up goals) as Arsenal came back from 2-0 down in a 3-3 draw with Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on Friday.

[ MORE: Recap | 3 things ]

Who was most responsible for the result, for better or worse? Here are one man’s thoughts.

Three stars

  1. Philippe Coutinho — His clever header to make it 1-0 was a neat bit of skill, and the Brazilian was very much Liverpool’s star.
  2. Mohamed Salah — Didn’t finish as clinically as he has — if he did, the Reds would’ve been up 3-0 at the break — but was a big part of everything the Reds did and attack wasn’t why they lost.
  3. Jack Wilshere — There may be egg on my face after I review the first half — JPW didn’t love JW’s day — but Wilshere did so many little things well in the second half and a big thing, too, covering near-90 yards to break up a Liverpool counter. Was asked to do a lot with Xhaka in what appeared to be close to a double pivot.

Three duds

  1. Laurent Koscielny — Just hasn’t looked right for some time, and seems to physically slip in giving away the ball at least once a match. Very poor and made a mistake in the build-up or the business end of all three goals conceded by Arsenal.
  2. Simon Mignolet — The second goal was a bullet from Xhaka, but to miss that poorly on a shot right at you that sent the match to 2-2 was regrettable.
  3. Joe Gomez — Hasn’t been miserable every match, though he certainly was on the Alexis goal. What Klopp wouldn’t give to have Nathaniel Clyne return to health.

Bonus rating

  1. Petr Cech — Was set to be one of the stars of this until he only got a piece of Firmino’s rip to make it 3-3. Three goals allowed is three goals allowed. Still, a decent game for a 3-3.
  2. Alexandre Lacazette — Was probably frustrated by his wingers not trying to find him often, but he plays a fairly complete game as a center forward. Terrific assist on Ozil’s goal.
  3. Ragnar Klavan — A couple fine interventions make us want to highlight his performance in keeping Lacazette off the score sheet. Then again, three goals allowed.
  4. Alexis Sanchez — Only apparent in short bursts during the first 45, there’s no denying his role in the electric comeback.

Arsenal 3-3 Liverpool: Thriller in London

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  • What in the world did we just see?
  • Reds dominate first 45
  • Coutinho, Salah open 2-0 lead
  • Arsenal answers with three between 53rd-58th 

The festive fixtures got a frenetic start, as Liverpool saved some blushes after allowing three goals in six minutes in a 3-3 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Friday.

Granit Xhaka, Alexis Sanchez, and Mesut Ozl scored to erase a 2-0 Liverpool lead produced by Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho. Roberto Firmino later equalized for the Reds.

Liverpool will meet Christmas in third place, their 35 points one better than Arsenal (unless Burnley hangs a 15-goal win on Tottenham).

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Jurgen Klopp last his captain Jordan Henderson after just 10 minutes, though he didn’t lose a ton when James Milner entered for the man with the band.

Soon after, our first real chance of the match: Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho combining for the Brazilian to rip wide of the frame.

Petr Cech was back post to stop a point blank header from Roberto Firmino off another terrific cross from Andrew Robertson.

Coutinho went to the dirty places to male it 1-0, as Salah showed that fine form leads to luck. Following really nice rondo work off a throw-in, Coutinho’s lung-busting run led him into the six to a deflected Salah cross. The Brazilian nodded over Cech with a deft header.

Firmino curled a shot from inside the 18 over the bar and off the back stanchion as Liverpool asked most of the questions.

A slip allowed Salah to test Cech, and the Czech keeper made a save followed by a Mane flying volley over the goal.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

An injured Nacho Monreal left the match at halftime for Arsenal.

Salah saw a trademarked long dribble end with another fine save by Cech, and Coutinho put an ensuing move wide of the frame.

Fittingly, the Egyptian made it 2-0 after the Reds found gaps in the Arsenal formation and Salah blasted a shot around a diving Cech.

Sanchez made it 2-1 within moments, though, as he ran in front of an awkward Joe Gomez to head a Hector Bellerin cross between the legs of Simon Mignolet. Don’t ignore the touch in traffic from Xhaka during the build-up.

Liverpool’s dominance was erased when Mignolet butchered his parry attempt of a rocket shot from Xhaka. 2-2.

(Insert TV pitchmaster’s voice) But wait, there’s more! Ozil worked a delightful 1-2 with Alexandre Lacazette to lift the Gunners from 0-2 to 3-2 within six minutes!

Klavan interceded to stop Lacazette’s shout at 4-2, but the Gunners had a corner. Ozil’s offering was headed clear for a counter attack.

The Reds leveled it at 3 with 20 minutes to go, as Cech could only get a hand to Firmino’s blast through traffic. Cech had otherwise been very good.