Arsenal 1-1 Spurs: Harry Kane penalty atones for Wimmer own-goal

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  • Arsenal went ahead on an own-goal
  • Harry Kane scored from the spot on his return
  • Spurs draw again as Gunners concede top spot

The Gunners looked more desperate to win it, but things finished even in a testy North London Derby from the Emirates as a Harry Kane penalty just after halftime cancelled out a Kevin Wimmer own-goal minutes before the break. Both sides smacked the post once as well, in a game deserving of a draw.

Arsenal had openings early, but the offside flag proved a worthy foe. Neither team backed down physically, as expected, and Kevin Wimmer picked up the game’s first yellow card just six minutes in as he sent Francis Coquelin airborne. Spurs also forced the Gunners into some last-ditch defending. A cross in for Harry Kane from the left was deflected just before reaching him in the opening 10 minutes, and he headed one just wide on 21 minutes.

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The best chance yet came just past the half-hour mark on the counter for Arsenal. A fizzing cross from Danny Rose was blocked, and it sent the Gunners away, with Alex Iwobi on the final ball but his weak shot was saved low by Hugo Lloris.

Theo Walcott nearly opened the scoring with a beautiful strike from just outside the box on 39 minutes, but just missed by inches, smacking the top right corner of the bar with Lloris beaten. The rebound fell to Mesut Ozil, but his off-balance volley skied well over.

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The opener came just minutes before halftime, as a foul by Moussa Dembele left the Gunners with a dangerous free-kick outside the box, and swung in beautifully by Ozil, Kevin Wimmer got a head to it under heavy pressure, but put it in his own net looking to nod it behind. Replays showed a number of Arsenal players may have been offside on the delivery, but the goal stood.

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Spurs went level after just six minutes after the break. Laurent Koscielny spilled Moussa Dembele at the top edge of the box, and Harry Kane slotted it home for his first goal since his last Premier League appearance on September 18th. Spurs could have gone into the lead minutes later as a long ball for Heung-Min Son fell instead at the feet of Christian Eriksen, but his shot was well saved by Petr Cech.

The visitors had yet another big chance at the hour mark as a Rose cross from the left crossed the face of goal to Kane at the far post, but Nacho Monreal made a vital tackle to keep the striker from doubling his tally. Hugo Lloris was forced to make an important smothering save on Ozil after a host of Arsenal changes saw Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Olivier Giroud make their way on.

Spurs looked happy to kill as much time as possible, satisfied to see this out with a fourth straight Premier League draw. But then, with seven minutes left, a free-kick in from Eriksen nearly found its way in, missing all targets and clanging the far post. To pile on Spurs’ injury problems, Kyle Walker was forced off, replaced by Kieran Trippier. Giroud had one big chance in added time, but he headed straight at Lloris.

Arsenal will be most disappointed with the draw, as they lose pace at the top of the table and open the door for Liverpool. However, Spurs also may feel aggrevied, as they slump to their fourth straight draw in Premier League play, now four points off the top thanks mostly to slip-ups by others at the top.

VIDEO: Breaking down some celebrated Premier League derbies

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The kickoffs aren’t coming back soon, so we’re finding solace in anticipating the biggest matches on the Premier League calendar.

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Certain rivalries are circled on the fixture list when it arrives each summer, the sort of games that seem to level the playing field regardless of the gulf in class.

Is Arsenal struggling? No better way to bounce back than Spurs.

Liverpool sliding a bit? It’ll snap back to form when Everton hits Anfield.

PST lead writer and editor Joe Prince-Wright has prepped up for several of these derbies over the years, and here’s a cheat sheet for those new and a tasty summation for those missing their hated foes.

Liverpool-Manchester City

Arsenal-Tottenham Hotspur

Liverpool-Everton

Manchester City-Manchester United

Chelsea-Tottenham Hotspur

Bournemouth’s Howe takes voluntary pay cut, first PL manager to do so

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Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe is the first Premier League manager to take a pay cut due to the coronavirus suspension.

Howe joins Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake, first team technical director Richard Hughes, and assistant manager Jason Tindall in taking “significant, voluntary” pay cuts.

Howe is the longest-serving manager in the PL. He started with Bournemouth’s academy in 1994 and spent just a few short seasons away from home (Portsmouth and Swindon Town) during his playing career.

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The club has also furloughed employees throughout the organization. From a Bournemouth statement:

There is no script for moments like this. No tactics and no set plays to find a winning formula. But as a board we are continually looking at ways to ensure the future of the club and our employees is protected when the season returns.

We have also advised a number of staff across all areas of the club that they will be temporarily furloughed, as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

These measures have been taken to safeguard the financial stability of the club during what is such an uncertain period, not only in football but for businesses in all industries across the world.

Surely Howe won’t be the last during this uncertain time for clubs and businesses all over the world.

Ex-Marseille president first coronavirus-related death in Senegal

Pape Diouf
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DAKAR, Senegal (AP) Pape Diouf, a former president of French soccer club Marseille, died Tuesday in Senegal after contracting the coronavirus. It was the West African country’s first COVID-19-related death, according to the health ministry. He was 68.

Diouf, who was president of Marseille from 2005-09, had been treated since Saturday in intensive care in Dakar, health minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr said.

Senegal President Macky Sall wrote on his official Twitter account that he had followed Diouf’s health closely after he was admitted for treatment.

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“I pay tribute to this great figure in sport,” Sall wrote. “I pay tribute to the medical staff at Fann Hospital who spared no effort to save him.”

Relatives said Diouf was meant to be moved to France. He had recently traveled to several countries in the West Africa region.

In its most recent count, Senegal has reported 190 cases of the coronavirus, with 45 of those having recovered.

Diouf was a charismatic and popular leader who was close to the fans and players at Marseille, the only French team to win the European club title.

“Pape will forever remain in the hearts of Marseille people and (is) one of the great architects of the club,” Marseille wrote under a photo of Diouf.

Shortly before his time at the club ended, Diouf signed Didier Deschamps as the new coach and Deschamps won the French league title and League Cup in his first season in charge. It was Marseille’s first league title in 18 years.

Deschamps, who coached France to World Cup success two years ago, described Diouf as “a man of convictions, a spirited man, passionate about football” adding that his “sudden and brutal death deeply saddens me.”

“I could measure his popularity, which was immense with the Marseille people whose hearts he had won,” Deschamps said on L’Equipe’s website.

The French soccer league called Diouf’s death “a moment of immense sadness for French soccer.”

Diouf was born in Chad to Senegalese parents. After arriving in Marseille at the age of 18, he became a sports journalist and then a players’ agent.

Diouf was not afraid to take risks in signing unheralded players, such as the diminutive Mathieu Valbuena from third-tier side Libourne in 2006 when he was 21.

The 1.67-meter (5 feet, 5 inches) Valbuena went on to prove Diouf right, and all the doubters wrong, playing 52 times for France.

“A great man with a great heart,” Valbuena said. “We were hypnotized by his speeches, he had a lot of charisma.”

Diouf was awarded the French Legion of Honor medal in 2012, one of the country’s highest honors.

Pugmire reported from Paris. AP reporter Babacar Dione in Dakar, Senegal contributed.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Report: Griezmann plus cash could finally get Neymar back to Barcelona

Neymar
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Neymar’s long-rumored return to Barcelona hasn’t quite reached the point of exhaustion, but it’s close.

A new report has said Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain may be coming to terms with what’s been a fairly obvious swap deal for some time.

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According to Sky Sports, PSG would send Neymar to Barcelona in return for French hero Antoine Griezmann and money.

The $167 million price tag attached to Neymar is significantly more than the $110 million on Griezmann, and there’s no doubt the former is more of a gamechanger at this point on their careers.

While Neymar gets both the #whenhealthy and #whenavailable tags to his rep, he’s scored 18 times with 10 assists in 22 matches across all competitions this year.

Before the full phrase ‘Ligue 1’ exits your lips, he’s scored against Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Celtic, Galatasaray, Liverpool, Anderlecht, and Red Star Belgrade in his three seasons with PSG.

Griezmann is a full year older than Neymar and, while one of the world’s elite attackers, he’s a step below the Brazilian’s tier. He’s also said to want to keep finding his way at Barca, with Gerard Pique and others ready to lend support.