Arsenal stay hot, hammer Bournemouth (video)

Leave a comment
  • Arsenal stay fourth
  • Ozil, Mkhitaryan score, grab assists
  • Bournemouth lose fourth-straight away game

Arsenal smashed Bournemouth 5-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday, as the Gunners were dominant from start to finish.

Mesut Ozil started the scoring, then set Henrikh Mkhitaryan up to make it 2-0. After Lys Mousset made it 2-1 in the first half, Laurent Koscielny scored early in the second half to make it 3-1 and late goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette put some extra gloss on the scoreline.

With the win Arsenal remain fourth on 56 points, while Bournemouth sit in 12th on 34 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The Gunners took an early lead after dominating the play, as Ozil was played in free on the left side of the box and dinked a lovely finish over Artur Boruc to make it 1-0.

Arsenal kept pouring forward early on but Bournemouth had a rare chance as Josh King headed just over.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Bournemouth had an ever better chance moments later as Josh King played in Ryan Fraser by Bernd Leno saved well. Arsenal doubled their lead before the break as a slick passing move ripped open Bournemouth’s defense and Ozil was on hand to tee up Mkhitaryan to slot home.

But soon after Bournemouth halved the deficit as Arsenal played around with the ball at the back and Matteo Guendouzi ran into Dan Gosling. He played it to Mousset who stroked home to make it 2-1.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

At the start of the second half Arsenal sealed the victory with Mkhitaryan free on the inside right channel, then pulling the ball back for Koscielny to slot home and make it 3-1.

Arsenal turned on the tricks and flicks in the closing stages as Ozil hit the post as Boruc made a fine stop, and Emery’s men eased to victory with Bournemouth in damage limitation mode.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

The Cherries did hit the bar from distance through Dan Gosling, but moments later Arsenal scored their fourth. Mkhitaryan played in Aubameyang who rounded Boruc and finished with ease.

Lacazette scored a fifth late on from a free kick to rub salt into Bournemouth’s wounds, as the Gunners turned on the style to keep their place in the top four.

Southgate, England players sound off on racist abuse

Getty Images
Leave a comment

England took care of business in Monday’s 6-0 thrashing of Bulgaria, but the Three Lions had to endure some horrendous racist abuse from the crowd during the game.

The match was paused on two occasions I’m the first half by the match officials after racist chanting could be heard from a section of supporters, and a large group of Bulgarian fans were ejected towards the end of the half. However, racist abuse continued during the match from small pockets of fans in the stadium.

[READ: England v. Bulgaria delayed after racist abuse from stands]

“I have to say that the officials were on to everything very quickly,” England manager Gareth Southgate told ITV after the match. “We reported everything immediately when we heard things, we had constant communication with the fourth official and the referee. I was in contact with the players, all the way through the first half in particular, and then again at halftime.

”We know it’s an unacceptable situation, and I think we’ve managed to make two statements. By winning the game, but also we’re raised the awareness of everybody to the situation. The game was stopped twice, I know for some people that won’t be enough, but we as a group were on board with that process.”

Raheem Sterling, who scored a brace in the win, also sounded off on social media, as did former England and Arsenal star Ian Wright.

Ultimately, UEFA and the match officials followed the protocol, but the sad part about this is that England and the officials had a plan for racist abuse, and it was predictable that it would happen.

In a statement after the game, the FA confirmed they would be asking UEFA to investigate what happened. However, any punishment is too little, too late for the players who endured the abuse.

Kane, Sterling star as England rout Bulgaria

Getty Images
Leave a comment

On a night where racist abuse from the stands in Bulgaria marred the overall spectacle, England’s players produced an incredible result and spectacle for the visiting fans, with all things considered.

Harry Kane scored once and assisted on three others as England rolled over Bulgaria, winning 6-0 on Monday evening in the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia, Bulgaria. Raheem Sterling and Ross Barkley both scored a brace for the Three Lions and Marcus Rashford’s thunderbolt from a tight angle gave England the opening goal it needed.

The blowout result was the perfect response after England had suffered its first loss in qualifying for a decade, losing on Friday, 2-1 at the Czech Republic. The six goals England put past Bulgaria was also the fourth time out of six games that England had scored at least five goals in a match. The only other time, aside from the defeat, was a 4-0 win last month at Wembley Stadium over Bulgaria.

This story will be updated.

 

Racist abuse delays England v. Bulgaria qualifier

Getty Images
Leave a comment

England raced out to an impressive 4-0 lead at Bulgaria by halftime, but the wonderful attacking display was marred by horrendous incidents from the crowd.

The match in the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia, Bulgaria was stopped on two occasions with announcements being made to ask sections of the crowd to stop their abusive language. This comes with the stadium already serving a partial stadium closure due to racist chanting from the crowd in previous qualifiers.

Below is UEFA’s protocol on how to intervene in these situations, and what transpired from lead writer Joe Prince-Wright.

Tottenham re-signs goalkeeper Vorm

Getty Images
Leave a comment

With Hugo Lloris set to miss at least another two months of action with a broken elbow, Tottenham has turned to a familiar face to provide some cover between the pipes.

Tottenham announced Monday it had re-signed goalkeeper Michel Vorm to a contract through the end of the 2019-2020 Premier League season. Vorm spent five seasons with Tottenham after signing from Swansea City in 2014. However, after playing second-fiddle to Lloris and later serving as the third backup behind current Tottenham No. 2, Paulo Gazzaniga for the past couple of seasons, Vorm was released at the end of last season.

Its certainly a boost for Tottenham that a player with a long history at the club and plenty of experience was available to help in this situation. Similar to Liverpool picking up Adrian after Alisson Becker’s injury, Tottenham know what it’s getting in Vorm and may play him a few times if Gazzaniga needs a night off in the next few months.

According to Vorm, he had been home in his native Netherlands and was watching the game when he saw Lloris get injured.

“Obviously I saw straight away that he had a bad injury and at the time I thought about how bad it was, Vorm told Tottenham’s website. “After the game I spoke with Jan (Vertonghen), he told me what was going on and I spoke also with Toni (Jimenez, our goalkeeping coach) and, yes, during the week I got the phone call to ask if I was open to come back and help out. I’ve kept in contact with a lot of the players and also with Toni. We were speaking quite regularly and on Thursday he called me, we had the conversation and from there on, it went very quickly.”

In his five seasons with Tottenham, Vorm made a total of 47 appearances in all competitions. He saw plenty of time in the League Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Europa League and Champions League during his stay at White Hart Lane.