12 games to go: Taking stock of all 20 Premier League teams

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With just under a third of the 2015-16 Premier League season to go, things are beginning to take shape in the table.

[ MORE: PL schedule

The title contenders look settled, the relegation battlers have been decided and plenty of teams ensconced in midtable are pushing for a top 10 finish.

[ MORE: Latest PL standings ]

Below we take a look at each PL team and the story of their season so far, plus also look ahead to the final months of the season.


Arsenal

Best win: 3-0 win vs. Manchester United – Could be the big Leicester win but in terms of showcasing everything good about Arsenal, it was the opening 30 minutes of this game. Sublime.
Worst loss: 4-0 defeat at Southampton – Abysmal display for the Gunners and even though Wenger complained about no-calls it could’ve been more.
Star man: Mesut Ozil – Grabbing assists all over the place and is finally delivering consistently.
Toughest games remaining: Feb. 14 vs. Leicester City, Mar. 5 vs. Tottenham, May 7 at Man City
Preseason hopes: Another top four finish expected, but title hopes were in the air.
Reality: The Gunners now have momentum and are the favorites to win the title. If they don’t, huge disappointment.


Aston Villa

Best win: 2-0 vs. Norwich – Well, there’s only been three so far and the latest gave them a smidgen of hope they could survive.
Worst loss: 6-0 vs. Liverpool – Just a week after beating Norwich they were stuffed. They gave up in the second half. A new low.
Star man: Idrissa Gueye has been the best of a bad bunch.
Toughest games remaining: Mar. 5 at Man City, Mar. 12 vs. Tottenham, May 15 at Arsenal
Preseason hopes: With Tim Sherwood in charge there was talks of a midtable finish or top 10 even.
Reality: Remi Garde has a huge job on his hands to keep Villa up. Eight points off safety with 12 games to go, Villa very likely to drop out of PL for first-ever time.


Bournemouth

Best win: 2-1 win vs. Man United – The Cherries dominated and it was a real David vs. Goliath moment.
Worst loss: 5-1 vs. Tottenham – Back-to-back 5-1 defeats at Man City and then against Spurs showed their defensive frailties.
Star man: Charlie Daniels – Flying left back has been a rock all season and whips in a mean cross.
Toughest games remaining: Mar. 19 at Tottenham, Apr. 2 vs. Man City, May 15 at Man United
Preseason hopes: Everyone thought Eddie Howe‘s side would just avoid relegation and play some lovely stuff.
Reality: They have been fun to watch but big injuries to key players has hurt. Cherries hovering just above the bottom three. Relegation scrap is on.


Chelsea

Best win: 5-1 vs. Newcastle – Total demolition job of a poor Magpies side proved their resurgence is in full flow.
Worst loss: 3-0 at Man City – This was early in the season but it was when you realized Chelsea was way off the pace.
Star man: Diego Costa – A few lean spells this season but Costa has rebounded and found form to dig Chelsea out of trouble. Willian superb, but Costa key down the stretch.
Toughest games remaining: Mar. 13 at Liverpool, Apr. 16 vs. Man City, Apr. 30 vs. Tottenham
Preseason hopes: Well, everyone thought they’d win back-to-back titles but it has been a horrendous season.
Reality: Instead of title hopes, Jose Mourinho was fired and they were struggling above the drop zone. Guus Hiddink has steadied the ship. Top six isn’t out of the question.


Crystal Palace

Best win: 5-1 vs. Newcastle – A game where everything went right and the attacking talents clicked.
Worst loss: 2-1 vs. Bournemouth – Not the biggest defeat but it marked five losses on the spin. Rock bottom.
Star man: Scott Dann – The center back has chipped in with goals and looked as solid as ever.
Toughest games remaining: Mar. 12 at Man United, Mar. 19 vs. Leicester, Apr. 16 at Arsenal,
Preseason hopes: Hope was high that Alan Pardew‘s would qualify for the Europa League.
Reality: They have faded badly with only one point gained in 2016 so far but qualifying for Europe isn’t out of the question.


Everton

Best win: 3-1 vs. Chelsea – A Steven Naismith hat trick stunned the Blues and got Everton’s season going.
Worst loss: 3-0 vs. Man UnitedLouis Van Gaal‘s side dominated and the Toffees were in a sticky patch. There’s still concerns over their defense.
Star man: Romelu Lukaku – The big Belgian is banging in goals for fun this season.
Toughest games remaining: Mar. 19 vs. Arsenal, Apr. 2 at Man United, May 7 at Leicester
Preseason hopes: The Toffees were expected to push for the top six this season after Roberto Martinez’s men stumbled in 2014-15.
Reality: A top six finish is well and truly on despite some struggles at the back.


Leicester City

Best win: 3-1 at Man City – So many stunning wins this season for Claudio Ranieri‘s men but this truly rubber-stamped their surprising title credentials.
Worst loss: 2-1 at Arsenal – Only three to pick from but the last-gasp loss at Arsenal seemed to be a pivotal moment. Can they recover.
Star man: Jamie Vardy – He leads the PL in goals and scored in 11-straight games to set a new record. Fairytale stuff. Riyad Mahrez a close second.
Toughest games remaining: Feb. 14 at Arsenal, Apr. 30 at Man United, May 15 at Chelsea
Preseason hopes: Well, everyone thought they’d be relegated when Nigel Pearson left and Ranieri arrived.
Reality: They are two points clear at the top and are title contenders. Can they see it through? Even if they finish in the top four it will be a monumental achievement.


Liverpool

Best win: 4-1 at Man CityJurgen Klopp‘s side ripped apart Man City away from home and provided plenty of promise.
Worst loss: 3-0 at Watford – Totally outplayed and outfought by the Hornets, Klopp saw how much work he had to do to rebuild things.
Star man: Roberto Firmino – He has really come into his own in recent weeks and is adding goals to his lively runs.
Toughest games remaining: Mar. 2 vs. Man City, Mar. 19 at Southampton, Apr. 2 vs. Tottenham
Preseason hopes: Everyone through Brendan Rodgers‘ side could challenge for the top four. He was sacked a few months into the season.
Reality: Now that Klopp has everyone fit, a fifth-place finish will be the aim plus winning the League Cup and going far in the Europa League.


Manchester City

Best win: 3-0 win vs. Chelsea – They were flying at the start of the season and won five on the spin without conceding.
Worst loss: 4-1 at Tottenham – Awful defensive display as the absence of Vincent Kompany was crucial. A main theme of the season.
Star man: Sergio Aguero – Whenever City need him he pops up with vital goals. De Bruyne has been influential too before his injury.
Toughest games remaining: Mar. 2 at Liverpool, Mar. 20 vs. Man United, May 7 vs. Arsenal
Preseason hopes: Manuel Pellegrini was expected to lead City to the title after a big summer of spending, but now he will leave and Pep Guardiola arrives this summer.
Reality: They are six points off the top with 12 games to go and fading after two defeat to Spurs and Leicester. History shows they can make a late charge, plus they can still four trophies.


Manchester United

Best win: 3-1 vs. Liverpool – Even in a season of struggled, beating your bitter rivals is key. A huge win for the Red Devils.
Worst loss: 2-0 at Stoke – On Boxing Day all of United’s flaws were exposed as they were totally dominated. Rumors around Louis van Gaal’s future began.
Star manDavid De Gea – Despite starting the season on the bench due to a contract dispute he’s been sensational. Honorable mention for Anthony Martial too.
Toughest games remaining: Feb. 28 vs. Arsenal, Mar. 20 at Man City, Apr. 9 at Tottenham
Preseason hopes: Van Gaal was expected to lead United towards a top two finish after spending plenty of cash. Yeah, about that.
Reality: Six points off the top four with 12 games left, it looks like LVG will leave this summer and be replaced by Mourinho. Another poor season. 


Newcastle United

Best win: 2-0 vs. Liverpool – A solid display from Steve McClaren‘s side saw everything go to plan.
Worst loss: 5-1 at Chelsea – 3-0 down after 17 minutes, a shocking display from the Magpies which saw them drop into the bottom three.
Star man: Georginio Wijnaldum – Popped up with plenty of goals early in the season and remains Newcastle best hope of creating and scoring goals.
Toughest games remaining: Mar. 5 vs. Bournemouth, Mar. 20 vs. Sunderland, Apr. 2 at Norwich
Preseason hopes: Everyone thought Newcastle would be in a relegation battle and they are.
Reality: Well, they are in the bottom three and despite plenty of money being spent they still seem woeful at the back. Expect a straight-battle with Sunderland for survival.


Norwich City

Best win: 2-1 at Man United – Historic victory for the Canaries away at United and everyone thought they’d be after this.
Worst loss: 5-4 vs. Liverpool – Okay, so they put up a heck of a fight but the fact they lost it with the last kick of the game was a sucker punch.
Star man: Dieumerci Mbokani – A real handful up front. Hasn’t scored that many goals but always an outlet.
Toughest games remaining:
Preseason hopes: Alex Neil‘s side were expecting a relegation battle and they are right in the thick of one.
Reality: So, in and out of the bottom three all season, five defeats on the spin recently has seen them drop like a stone.


Southampton

Best win: 4-0 vs. Arsenal – Everything clicked for Ronald Koeman‘s side and they were worthy winners.
Worst loss: 3-0 vs. Everton – First home game of the season resulted in a big defeat. The team took so long to gel.
Star man: Virgil Van Dijk – A rock at the heart of Saints’ defense, doesn’t get the plaudits but a big reason they recovered so well.
Toughest games remaining: Feb. 27 vs. Chelsea, Mar. 19 vs. Liverpool, May 7 at Tottenham
Preseason hopes: Saints fans were hoping for another top eight finish and maybe to sneak into the top six.
Reality: They are sixth as things stand and Koeman is even talking about the top four. If they better last season’s seventh-place finish it would an even bigger achievement.


Stoke City

Best win: 2-0 vs. Man City – Total domination from Stoke as they showcased their talent with Bojan, Shaqiri and Arnautovic dominating.
Worst loss: 3-0 vs. Everton – They were outclassed throughout and the defeat was a third on the spin. Dark moment in the season.
Star manJack Butland – The young goalkeeper has been superb in his first full season in the PL. Pushing Joe Hart all the way for England.
Toughest games remaining: Apr. 9 at Liverpool, Apr. 16 vs. Tottenham, Apr. 23 at Man City
Preseason hopes: Mark Hughes‘ men were looking to break into the top seven and do well in the cups.
Reality: Despite a recent wobble and losing on PKs in the League Cup semis, Stoke is on track to challenge for a top six finish.


Sunderland

Best win: 2-1 vs. Man United – A real momentum boost for Big Sam’s boys as they totally deserved the win.
Worst loss: 6-2 at Everton – Okay, so they looked dangerous going forward but the realization that new defenders were needed was painfully evident.
Star man: Jermain Defoe – Despite his age he is still banging in goals and has been a real threat this season.
Toughest games remaining: Mar. 20 at Newcastle, Apr 2. vs. West Brom, Apr. 16 at Norwich
Preseason hopes: With Dick Advocaat in charge the Mackems were hoping to push into midtable. Nope. He lost his job as another relegation battle occurs.
Reality: Allardyce will have to use all his nous to drag the Black Cats out of this mess but they can do this. They look very solid of late.


Swansea City

Best win: 2-1 vs. Man United – A big early season win saw Garry Monk‘s men tipped for big things. We all know how that worked out…
Worst loss: 4-2 vs. Sunderland – A defensive nightmare against a relegation rival showed that the Swans were all over the place.
Star man: Ashley Williams – The captain has had to stand up big, especially in recent weeks, as Swansea’s attackers have faltered.
Toughest games remaining: Mar. 12 at Bournemouth, Mar. 19 vs. Aston Villa, Apr. 16 at Newcastle
Preseason hopes: Everybody thought the Swans would challenge for the top six under Monk but he was fired before Christmas.
Reality: Francesco Guidolin has a relegation battle on his hands. Swansea have shown signs of recovery but are right in the battle against the drop.


Tottenham Hotspur

Best win: 2-1 at Man City – This was a landmark moment for Spurs as they beat a title rival away from home and proved they’re the real deal.
Worst loss: 1-0 vs. Leicester – A game they should have won and lost late on after switching off at a set piece. Could be big down the stretch.
Star man: Dele Alli – The teenager has been a revelation and has knitted midfield and attack together superbly.
Toughest games remaining: Feb. 14 at Man City, Mar. 5 vs. Arsenal, Apr. 9 vs. Chelsea
Preseason hopes: Hopes of a top four finish was high and they looks to have been achieved already.
Reality: They are the real deal and could win the title. Just two points off the top with 12 games to go, Mauricio Pochettino‘s has Spurs’ fans dreaming.


Watford

Best win: 3-0 vs. Liverpool –  A marquee win where Watford got their tactics spot on. So many great victories for the Hornets this season.
Worst loss: 2-0 at Southampton – They just didn’t show up at St Mary’s and put in a dreadful display.
Star man: Odion Ighalo – The Nigerian striker has been a beast this season scoring 15 times. Troy Deeney a close second for the newly-promoted club.
Toughest games remaining: Mar. 12 at West Ham, Apr. 9 vs. Everton, May 7 at Liverpool
Preseason hopes: Everyone would have been expecting a relegation battle but Hornets fans have been pleasantly surprised.
Reality: They are comfortable in midtable and a top 10 finish is easily attainable for Quique Sanchez Flores’ well-drilled outfit.


West Bromwich Albion

Best win: 2-1 vs. Arsenal – Baggies rallied from behind to beat the Gunners in dramatic fashion. Great grit to dig deep.
Worst loss: 3-0 at Southampton – Failed to turn up and ever really threaten Saints. Pulis almost apologetic afterwards.
Star man: Jonny Evans – After arriving from Man United he’s improved West Brom’s defense markedly.
Toughest games remaining: Mar. 19 vs. Norwich, Apr. 2 at Sunderland, May 7 at Bournemouth
Preseason hopes: After surviving under Pulis last season the hope was to push into the top 10.
Reality: That hasn’t been achieved but the Baggies have picked up just enough wins. Inching towards the magic 40-point marker.


West Ham United

Best win: 3-0 at Liverpool – Early season away form was sensational and Slaven Bilic‘s side battered Liverpool.
Worst loss: 4-1 at Tottenham – Outclassed by their London rivals, that one will have hurt the fans.
Star man: Dimitri Payet – A classy playmaker who the fans adore, he’s at the heart of the Hammers’ top six push.
Toughest games remaining: Mar. 2 vs. Tottenham, Mar. 19 at Chelsea, Apr. 23 vs. Man United
Preseason hopes: With Bilic coming in, a top 10 finish was acceptable despite lots of money being spent.
Reality: A superb season so far for West Ham as they look likely to finish in the top six if they can keep everyone fit.


Americans Abroad: Weekend Roundup

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One of the youngest Americans playing abroad had arguably the biggest weekend of any of his USMNT-eligible teammates.

Playing in his first derby for Ajax against PSV in league play, Dest started and set up teammate Dusan Tadic for a goal. Interestingly, with the Netherlands FA working to get Dest to commit to the Oranje moving forward, Dest had the chance to match up against Denzel Dumfries, the current first choice right back for the Netherlands.

The other big story? Christian Pulisic didn’t play again. More on that below.

Here is a list of several other USMNT affiliates making a name for themselves (or not) abroad this weekend.

Premier League

Christian Pulisic, Chelsea — Pulisic made the bench but didn’t appear for a third-straight match. Lampard explained to our own JPW why Pulisic has been on the sidelines.

DeAndre Yedlin, Newcastle — The fullback returned to training following a serious groin injury. There’s no timeline on his return yet, however.

EFL Championship

Antonee Robinson, Wigan Athletic — Robinson is a fixture at Wigan. The young left back started and played the full 90 minutes as Wigan picked up a win over a top-ten opponent, Charlton Athletic

Matt Miazga, Reading (loan from Chelsea) — The 24-year-old is out with a hamstring injury. There’s no timeline on his return.

Eric Lichaj, Hull City — The Tigers captain started and played the full 90 minutes in Hull City’s 3-0 win over Luton Town.

Geoff Cameron, QPR — The 34-year-old defender started at centerback and went the full 90, picking up a yellow card in QPR’s 2-1 win over Millwall.

Tim Ream, Fulham — Ream started and played 90 minutes in Fulham’s 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday.

Cameron Carter-Vickers, Stoke City (loan Tottenham Hotspur) — Carter-Vickers started and went the full 90 minutes as Stoke City picked up just its second point of the season in a scoreless draw with Brentford.

Duane Holmes, Derby County — Holmes made his second-straight start after coming back from injury, and his first 90 minutes on the pitch as Derby County secured a last-gasp 1-1 draw with league-leading Leeds United.

EFL League One

Lynden Gooch, Sunderland – Gooch started and played the full 90 minutes, though Sunderland needed a last-minute goal from Aiden McGeady to draw at Bolton. .

Bundesliga

Weston McKennie, Schalke —  McKennie started, picked up a yellow card in the second half and then was substituted in the 76th minute, before Schalke scored a late winner in a 2-1 victory over Mainz.

Zack Steffen and Alfredo Morales, Fortuna Dusseldorf — Steffen started and played all 90 minutes in Fortuna Dusseldorf’s 2-1 defeat to rivals Borussia Monchengladbach. Steffen recorded a handful of incredible, point-blank saves to keep Fortuna in the game. Morales did not dress again.

Josh Sargent, Werder Bremen  With an injury crisis, Sargent got the start and played 80 minutes. Unfortunately for Sargent and Werder, they were routed by Leipzig – even without Tyler Adams.

Tyler Adams, RB Leipzig — Adams remains inactive with a groin injury. There’s no timeline on his return.

Fabian Johnson, Borussia Mönchengladbach Johnson didn’t make Borussia Monchengladbach’s 18 for their match against Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Timmy Chandler, Eintracht Frankfurt — The veteran defender entered off the bench in the 83rd minute as Eintracht secured a massive 2-2 draw with Borussia Dortmund.

Julian Green, Greuther Furth – The 24-year-old midfielder started and played the full 90 minutes for Greuther Furth. Unfortunately, they lost 2-0 to league-leading Stuttgart in the 2. Bundesliga.

Eredivisie

Sergino Dest, Ajax — Dest started at right back in his first edition of “De Topper,” starring as Ajax drew 1-1 at PSV Eindhoven. Dest played the full 90 minutes and had an assist on Dusan Tadic’s goal.

Haji Wright, VVV-Venlo — The 21-year-old striker came off the bench in the 71st minute of VVV’s 1-0 loss to Willen II.

Desevio Payne, FC Emmen — The U-23 MNT fullback was left out of FC Emmen’s 18 once again. 

Ligue 1

Timothy Weah, Lille — Weah remains sidelined with a muscular injury. There’s no timeline on his return.

Theoson Jordan-Siebatcheu, Rennes — Siebatcheu made the 18 but did not feature in Rennes 1-1 draw with Lille.

Honorable Mentions:

Chris Richards, Bayern Munich II – The young Alabama native started and played the full 90 minutes as FC Bayern II defeated FC Ingolstadt, which was in the 2. Bundesliga just last season.

Andrija Novakovich, Frosinone – The 23-year-old striker, now in Serie B after five seasons on the books with Reading, made his first start for Frosinone, going 55 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Venezia.

Giovanni Reyna, Borussia Dortmund U-19 – Reyna started, scored, and played 77 minutes in Dortmund U-19s 6-1 win over Leverkusen. The 16-year-old attacker also scored earlier in the week in a 2-1 win over Barcelona U-19s in the UEFA Youth League.

Luca De La Torre, Fulham Reserves – Luca de la Torre is still stuck at Spurs without getting first team minutes, but he had a night to remember in the PL2. The 21-year-old midfielder scored the first, and game-winning-goal in a 90-minute performance as Fulham beat Reading U-23s, 5-4.

Serie A Roundup: Roma, Napoli, Lazio all win

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Edin Dzeko‘s last-gasp winner for AS Roma headlines a busy day in Serie A action on Sunday.

[ MORE: Serie A scores, schedule ]

Bologna 1-2 Roma

Roma kept its unbeaten start to the 2019-2020 Serie A season thanks to a 94th-minute Edin Dzeko winner. The American-owned club first took the lead in the 49th minute through another former Premier League player, Aleksandar Kolarov. The Serbian delightfully placed a free kick at the top of the box over the wall and into the top corner.

However, Bologna quickly capitalized after Kolarov bundled over Roberto Soriano in the box, leading to a penalty kick call that VAR confirmed. Nicola Sansone waited for Roma goalkeeper Pau Lopez to move and then slotted the ball into the right corner to tie the match.

Roma went down to ten men in the 85th minute when new signing Gianluca Mancini, a centerback, picked up his second yellow card for a foul on Felipe Santander as he was about to run into the box. And yet, even though Roma was on the ropes, Dzeko popped up in a pocket of space at the top of the six-yard box and powered home a header just before the final whistle to win the game. With the win, Roma jumps into the top four with eight points from four games.

Lecce 1-4 Napoli

Don’t tell Fernando Llorente that his best days are behind him.

Having left Tottenham in search of more first team minutes, Llorente just scored for the second-game straight as he bagged a brace in Napoli’s rout on the road over Lecce. At 34-years old, the crafty veteran may be the perfect age for star striker in Italy, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Fabio Quagliarella (26 goals last year at age 36) all at a similar age.

Llorente took advantage of his experience in the 28th minute, latching onto a blocked shot from Arkadiusz Milik that dribbled into the middle of the box, leaving Llorente for an easy finish past Lecce goalkeeper Gabriel.

VAR gave Napoli a controversial penalty kick in the 35th minute off a handball from Panagiotis Tachtsidis in the box. Lorenzo Insigne stepped up to take the penalty kick and his spot kick was saved expertly by Gabriel. However, the referee awarded a do-over after seeing Gabriel was a step off his line before the ball was kicked. Insigne didn’t miss on the second attempt, putting Napoli up 2-0.

Fabian Ruiz in the second half curled home an absolute beauty to put Napoli up 3-0. Lecce cut the decide by one with a penalty kick goal, but Llorente gave Napoli their three-goal lead again with another one-on-one finish from close.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Sassuolo 3-0 SPAL

Sampdoria 1-0 Torino

Atalanta 2-2 Fiorentina

Lazio 2-0 Parma

What should Emery do with Xhaka?

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Arsenal fans have directed their ire at many different people, but aside from manager Unai Emery, many fans have been criticizing the recent play of midfielder Granit Xhaka.

Named Arsenal captain this summer after Laurent Koscielny‘s insubordination and eventual departure, Xhaka looked set to take Arsenal to the next level this summer, with three stars up top and a veteran defense behind him. However, in Premier League matches where Arsenal has struggled, it seems that Xhaka has been right in the middle of it. Sometimes, that’s just because of his holding midfield position. Other times, it’s because he didn’t make the play that was necessary.

[READ: 10-man Arsenal beats Aston Villa in a thriller]

Take Saturday’s eventual 3-2 win by Arsenal over Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium. Despite having a decent game by all accounts, Xhaka allowed Ahmed El Mohamady to run right past him on a mazy run through the middle of the field, eventually centering to Wesley which gave Aston Villa a 2-1 lead. It gave the visitors the advantage yet again right after Arsenal equalized.

Xhaka had every chance to try and make a tackle, or at the least bring El Mohamady down farther from goal if there was no choice but to foul and give up a free kick. Instead, Xhaka just followed El Mohamady before passing him off to a teammate in the box, who was equally as poor.

Not long after, Xhaka was substituted, with some Arsenal fans raining boos down on their captain. And whether it had to do with him or not, Arsenal went from a goal down to a goal up once Xhaka left the field.

According to manager Unai Emery, Xhaka was taken off in the 72nd minute not due to his performance, but to bring on fresh legs. It was a double substitution, with Dani Ceballos also coming off in place of Lucas Torreira and Joe Willock.

“My opinion is we need our supporters and we need our supporters helping each player but our responsibility is to transmit our capacity, our spirit, our commitment and behavior,” Emery said after the game. “And Xhaka is doing that. He played very well on Thursday and also last week in Watford he played with a good individual performance. Today I changed him because on Thursday he played 90 minutes and prefer to use fresh players for today a chance for him but for me Xhaka is very good player for us. He has a very big commitment here. He is improving and I am not asking the people to support him but I am sure that he is going to achieve the best thing individually and collectively for the supporters to help him.”

Just one week earlier, Xhaka claimed that his Arsenal teammates – and presumably himself as well – were “scared” in the second half as Watford stormed back for a 2-2 draw. Man City’s 8-0 pummeling of Watford makes that draw look even worse in retrospect.

If Arsenal is “scared,” and they’re giving up two goals in two straight matches each to two of the worst defensive teams in the league, then perhaps the club captain isn’t doing enough. It seems that although Xhaka has experience, he’s going through a rough patch of form in the Premier League – he looked good in Europa League action – and might do well with a match off.

Luckily for Arsenal, if Emery does agree to give Xhaka a rest, he has a talented player in Lucas Torreira who will run himself into the ground for the team. In addition, he’d likely have stopped that run from El Mohamady instead of letting him glide into the box with hardly a challenge.

It appears Unai Emery is publicly sticking with Xhaka. Arsenal needs Xhaka at his best to make it back into the top four. But right now, he’s clearly not there, and he needs to figure things out on the training pitch so he can shine once again.

Neymar scores late again in PSG win

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Paris Saint-Germain fans may have to return to liking Neymar again.

For the second consecutive Ligue 1 match, Neymar scored late to give PSG all three points in a massive 1-0 win at Lyon. With the win, PSG moved into a three-point lead in the Ligue 1 table.

[READ: Lampard explains why Pulisic has remained on the bench]

After being involved in the buildup in the 87th minute, Neymar found a pocket of space at the top of the box. After receiving the ball and facing up his defenders, he made a quick move to his left, took two steps and fired a strike into the low far corner to put PSG in front.

PSG fans have come out pretty clearly since the summer when news reports surrounding Neymar and his camp made it clear he preferred to leave PSG for a return to Barcelona. It appeared he was willing to give up on his dream to lead the line and be a new star for a team in another league, but the transfer never happened, mainly for financial reasons.

And yet, despite missing most of preseason recovering from his ankle injury suffered on international duty, Neymar returned to the side for coach Thomas Tuchel and has scored two massive goals to help earn PSG six points.

To Neymar’s credit, it appears he’s put his head down since the end of the transfer window and is working hard for his club and his teammates. Despite his hatred from fans and general observers for some of his on-the-field and off-the-field antics, he seems to have the trust of his PSG teammates, and there were many reports that Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi were the ones pushing for Neymar to come back from within Barcelona.

Even if he can’t win over some PSG fans for threatening to leave the club, more goals like these will certainly endear him to fans who may have been indifferent over the transfer saga.

Watch the goal below: