Arsenal surge back to beat Aston Villa in classic


Arsenal fought back to grab a dramatic late win at Aston Villa to send out a message that they are still well in this Premier League title race.

Their first win in four Premier League matches proved the Gunners are up for the fight.


Ollie Watkins and Philippe Coutinho twice put Villa ahead in the first half after Bukayo Saka had equalized but Arsenal dominated the second half and after Oleksandr Zinchenko equalized, Jorginho’s 93rd minute shot hit the crossbar, bounced off Emiliano Martinez’s head and went in.

Gabriel Martinelli then made it 4-2 in stoppage time to seal a superb comeback win.

The victory moves Arsenal back to the top of the Premier League table and the manner of their comeback victory, plus Man City dropping points at Nottingham Forest, will give the Gunners huge belief they can keep this title race going.

For Villa, this defeat is their third in a row as Unai Emery’s side were dangerous throughout but couldn’t cope with Arsenal’s quality in the final third.

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Don’t rule out the gallant Gunners

Arsenal looked like they would cough up two points in this game but they never stopped believing and found a way to win it. If they are to win the title this season, this feels like a pivotal moment. Trailing 2-1 at half time, Mikel Arteta must have said something inspirational at the break because they dominated the second half and in the end were deserved winners. Zinchenko and Jorginho (via the head of former goalkeeper Emi Martinez) were the unlikely heroes and that is what you need in a title push. Everybody stood tall for Arsenal and despite Villa being dangerous on the break, Aaron Ramsdale did his job with a fine save at 2-2 and then Jorginho’s late strike seal the big comeback win. After everyone doubted their title credentials following a defeat at home to Man City, Arteta said he now has more belief that his team can win the title. They proved that belief was well placed with a victory at Villa which was full of character, grit and determination. Beware Man City: this Arsenal side aren’t giving up their title push without a fight.

Mikel Arteta: ‘We totally merited the win’

“Today I think we can take two big lessons. In the first half we did the simple things wrong and in the second half we raised our individual level and did the simple things right. We totally merited the win,” Arteta told BBC’s Match of the Day. “Jorginho produced an incredible moment. For us it will be Jorginho’s goal. Psychological it was really tough to get that result against Manchester City and then less than three days we come to Aston Villa and win which is a difficult thing to do. Character, quality and having the right temperament and personality, not throw our toys away, emotionally I think we coped really well.”

Aston Villa vs Arsenal player ratings; Stars of the show

Bukayo Saka: Fine finish for his goal in the first half and led Arsenal’s second half comeback.

Martin Odegaard: Missed a glorious chance but dictated the tempo of the game and was k

Ollie Watkins: Scored a beauty early on and always a threat on the counter.

Aston Villa vs Arsenal
Graphic via

What’s next?

Villa travel to Everton on Saturday, Feb. 25, while Arsenal head to Leicester City on the same day.

How to watch Aston Villa vs Arsenal live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 7:30am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: USA Network
Online: Stream via

GOALLLL! Game. Set. Match. After Emi Martinez came off for a corner kick, Arsenal break and Martinelli slots home into an empty net. 4-2.

GOALLLL! They’ve done it. In the 93rd minute. Jorginho’s beauty of a strike hits the crossbar, bounces off the head of Emiliano Martinez and goes in. Bedlam in the away end. Arsenal’s fans, players and Mikel Arteta go wild. 3-2.

SAVEEE! Aaron Ramsdale tips Leon Bailey’s thunderous effort onto the crossbar and the ball bounces out. So close to a stunning goal for Villa as Bailey did so well to control, run and spank an effort at goal. Brilliant save from Ramsdale.

WHAT A CHANCE! Nketiah nicks the ball off Konsa and plays in Martin Odegaard who is wide open, 12 yards out, but the Arsenal skipper scuffs his shot wide. What a huge moment.

CLOSE! Eddie Nketiah dinks the ball over the top after a lovely ball from Odegaard. Seems like there will be only one winner now. It is all Arsenal.

GOALLL! There is the goal. After a short corner, Zinchenko with a brilliant low finish and Arsenal totally deserve that equalizer. They have cranked up the pressure. 2-2.

Arsenal cranking up the pressure now. Villa dropping deeper. Saka almost gets in over the top.

CROSSBAR! Ben White’s clipped cross finds Nketiah at the back post and his header hits the bar and goes over. Better from Arsenal.

Bukayo Saka is down injured after he dragged a shot wide. Not great for Arsenal but it looks like he will carry on for now.

Second half is underway! Can Arsenal roar back? Or will Villa extend their lead? Huge 45 minutes for Mikel Arteta’s side…

HALF TIME: Aston Villa 2-1 Arsenal. What a first half at Villa Park. The Gunners are still in this but Unai Emery’s Villa are so dangerous on the counter and have taken their two big chances so far. Just like in midweek, Arsenal have been sloppy defensively and have been punished for big mistakes.

Very tight after that Arsenal equalizer. Villa trying to sit in a solid 4-5-1 and Arsenal look the more likely to grab the next goal.

GOALLLL! Coutinho puts Aston Villa 2-1 up and that is a fantastic team goal. Lovely play down the left from Kamara and Moreno and a superb dummy from Buendia before Coutinho sent Ramsdale the wrong way.

GOALLLL! Wow. What a hit from Bukayo Saka. Incredible volley. Poor clearance from Tyrone Mings but that was a lovely finish from Saka. Arsenal have responded superbly to going behind early. Aston Villa 1-1 Arsenal. Just over 15 minutes in. What a start.

CHANCE! Ben White dinks it in for Eddie Nketiah and he looks certain to score but somehow Tyrone Mings gets a touch on his header from a yard out and it goes over, and then the offside flag goes up. Wow. Incredible clearance.

GOALLLL! With the first real attack of the game Villa lead. Ollie Watkins is played in over the top, surges away and smashes home across goal. What a goal from Aston Villa and they lead Arsenal 1-0. Tom Hanks will be delighted with that.

KICK OFF! We are underway at a loud Villa Park. Let’s see if Arsenal can respond to that midweek defeat. Celebrity Villa fan Tom Hanks is in the house. It is a BIG day in Birmingham. Sorry. Couldn’t help myself with that one.

Key storylines & in-form players to watch

All of the focus will be on Arsenal and how they respond to that home defeat, their first of the season, to Manchester City. All is not lost for Arteta’s young side and if they can cut out some of the big defensive mistakes and also finish the chances they are creating, they will hang in their with Man City for the rest of the season. The fine details alluded them in their top of the table clash but they’ve been very good at being ruthless and scoring early throughout this season.

Villa’s midfield could cause them problems though as Kamara and Luiz have been excellent since Emery’s arrival and Watkins and Bailey have also looked electric in attack.

Aston Villa team news, injuries, lineup

OUT: Diego Carlos (Achilles), Jed Steer (Achilles)

Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup

OUT: Gabriel Jesus (knee), Mohamed Elneny (knee), Thomas Partey (back)


Manchester City vs Liverpool: How to watch live, stream link, team news


Manchester City host Liverpool in a huge game for both teams as they battle for the title and a top four finish respectively.


Pep Guardiola’s Man City can momentarily cut the gap to leaders Arsenal to five points but there are question marks swirling around the fitness of goalscoring machine Erling Haaland heading into this game. City are looking for a three-peat of Premier League titles and five in the last six seasons, but Arsenal don’t look like they’re going to slip up anytime soon. So City can’t afford to either. They’ve won six in a row in all competitions, scoring 23 and conceding once in that run. We all know they love to kick on at this point of the campaign, so let’s see if they can do it again.

As for Liverpool, well, it has been one step forward and one step back pretty much all season long for Jurgen Klopp’s side. After their 7-0 shellacking of Manchester United, they then lost at Bournemouth to infuriate Klopp and their fans further. The front three of Salah, Nunez and Gakpo are all clicking through the gears nicely but Liverpool have to become more consistent and dominant games in midfield if they’re going to close the gap to the current top four. They’ve had success against City in recent years as their contrasting style of play match up well but this seems like a different, more fragile, Liverpool this season.

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Here’s everything you need for Manchester City vs Liverpool.

How to watch Manchester City vs Liverpool live, stream link and start time

Kick off: 7:30am ET, Saturday
TV Channel: Peacock
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium

Key storylines & in-form players to watch

The fitness of Haaland is obviously a huge concern for City as he suffered a groin issue and did not play for Norway over the international break and returned to Manchester for treatment. If he isn’t fit to start then expect Julian Alvarez to come in. Elsewhere, City are flying with Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez and Ilkay Gunodgan having a big role to play with Phil Foden out following his Appendectomy. As always, Kevin de Bruyne is the main man and will relish this chance to cut Arsenal’s lead atop the table.

Liverpool just can’t find consistency right now. They have improved defensively but they are a real Jekyll and Hyde team. Jurgen Klopp isn’t a fan of that and showed his frustration after their defeat at Bournemouth, which was their last Premier League game and was way back on March 11. He’s had a few weeks to stew over that loss and it will be intriguing to see what plan he has come up with. For this game as earlier this season Liverpool beat Man City 1-0 at Anfield by playing a front four which pinned City in.

Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Erling Haaland (groin) | OUT: Phil Foden (appendix removed)

Liverpool team news, injuries, lineup options

OUT: Calvin Ramsay (knee), Stefan Bajcetic (groin) | QUESTIONABLE: Luis Diaz (knee), Darwin Nunez (ankle), Kostas Tsimikas (rib), Thiago Alcantara (hip), Joe Gomez (undisclosed)

Premier League winners – Full list of every champion


The Premier League winners are yet to be determined for the 2022-23 season but there is going to be one epic battle to decide who are crowned champions.

With Arsenal leading the way but Manchester City set to hunt them down in the final months of the current campaign, it makes you think back to some of the great teams, and champs, in years gone by.

From Manchester United’s legendary treble winning side to the Leicester City fairytale and Arsenal’s Invincibles, there have been so many amazing title winners over the 30 seasons of the Premier League.

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Below you will find a list of every Premier League winner since the league was formed in 1992-93, with just seven teams being able to call themselves champions since then.

Premier League winners – List of every champion

1992-93: Manchester United
1993-94: Manchester United
1994-95: Blackburn Rovers
1995-96: Manchester United
1996-97: Manchester United
1997-98: Arsenal
1998-99: Manchester United
1999-00: Manchester United
2000-01: Manchester United
2001-02: Arsenal
2002-03: Manchester United
2003-04: Arsenal
2004-05: Chelsea
2005-06: Chelsea
2006-07: Manchester United
2007-08: Manchester United
2008-09: Manchester United
2009-10: Chelsea
2010-11: Manchester United
2011-12: Manchester City
2012-13: Manchester United
2013-14: Manchester City
2014-15: Chelsea
2015-16: Leicester City
2016-17: Chelsea
2017-18: Manchester City
2018-19: Manchester City
2019-20: Liverpool
2020-21: Manchester City
2021-22: Manchester City
2022-23: TBD

Folarin Balogun to USMNT? England to hold talks after U.S. interest


Arsenal rising star Folarin Balogun held talks with U.S. Soccer last week and now he is set to discuss his international future with England.

Balogun visited Orlando, Florida during the March international break and the USMNT eligible striker being interested in committing his international future to the USA caused quite the stir.

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The England U21 forward missed their March camp due to a small injury and he then posted a photo on social media which showed he was near to the USMNT’s training camp in Florida and he has was around Orlando for the USMNT’s 1-0 win against El Salvador there.

Now, England U21 boss Lee Carsley has revealed that the Three Lions setup will hold talks with Balogun about his future next week, as they will travel to Reims in France where he is currently on loan from Arsenal.

“He’s going to have to make a decision, so all we can do is tell him how much we rate him. The rest is down to him,” Carsley said via the London Evening Standard. Balogun has scored seven goals in 13 U21 games for England.

However, USMNT interim head coach Anthony Hudson last week confirmed that Balogun and U.S. Soccer had held talks over his future.

“We’ve had a dialogue. He is out here [in Orlando] having a bit of a break and training. We’ve had some discussions. It’s now just about him enjoying the rest of his trip… It has been an opportunity for us to share about our program, and that’s it. I hope we speak again,” Hudson said.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Balogun is a man in demand as England, the USMNT and Nigeria all push for him to represent them as he continues to assess his options.


What are the chances he selects USMNT?

Balogun, 21, has scored 17 goals in France’s top-flight for Reims this season as his loan spell from Arsenal has gone incredibly well and only Jonathan David and Kylian Mbappe have scored more goals than him in Ligue 1 so far in 2022-23.

Internationally he is eligible to play for the USA, England and Nigeria and he has represented England’s youth teams in recent years and has previously played for the USA at U18 level.

Balogun was expected to play for the Three Lions during this international break as he is England’s main goalscoring threat at U21 level and Carsley wants him to represent them this summer at the U21 European Championships.

The talented striker used an unexpected window of opportunity to fly to Orlando to meet with U.S. Soccer reps to discuss his potential future with the USMNT. So, will he switch his international allegiance?

Arsenal teammate and USMNT’s starting goalkeeper Matt Turner had this to say when asked about Balogun.

“Yeah, he’d be a great addition to our national team. I think he’s done really well, obviously, for his club on loan, and we’ll see. The decision has to come from the heart, because it’s not necessarily an easy task always, to come and play in these CONCACAF games, and it’s a tough region at times. So for us, we’d be really grateful to have him, but his heart needs to be in it,” Turner said.

What does he think?

Balogun has spoken about this topic before as Pro Soccer Talk asked him about his international future in an interview at the start of last season.

We asked Balogun if other Arsenal academy graduates like Yunus Musah and Bukayo Saka being in similar situations has led to them discussing how they made their decision on which country to represent and if that would help him to decide who he plays for internationally.

“I haven’t spoken to any of them about the nationality situation,” Balogun said. “Even from just the way I’ve known them, it is not something they have put a lot of pressure on themselves about. I think it is a decision that comes naturally to them.

“I think I’m going to do the same and hopefully something will just come to me and then I will make a decision… I don’t want to put too much pressure on the situation. It is just something that will just come to me.”

Maybe that feeling came to him while he was in the Orlando area with the USMNT.

Erling Haaland injury update: Man City star leaves Norway squad


Manchester City star Erling Haaland left the Norway squad during the international break after suffering a groin injury.

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Haaland, 22, joined up with Norway for their EURO 2024 qualifiers but has been sent back to Manchester City for treatment.

The Norwegian striker has been in stunning form in recent weeks, scoring nine goals in his last three games in all competitions for City (including five against RB Leipzig in the Champions League and a hat trick against Burnley in the FA Cup) before the break.

He has scored 42 (yes, forty two) goals in all competitions for Man City this season.

However, Pep Guardiola and Man City now face an anxious wait as an injury to Erling Haaland is the last thing they wanted before a pivotal final few months of the season as they chase the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League treble.

What is the latest update?

Norway’s team doctor, Ola Sand, gave an update on Haaland’s injury.

“We hoped that this was just a familiarity that would carry over to Saturday, but after doing tests and examinations yesterday it became clear that he will not make it to the games against Spain and Georgia,” Sand said. “It is better that he receives medical follow-up at the club.”

Norway face Spain on Saturday and Georgia next Tuesday, so it seems like Haaland is in a race to be fit for Man City’s games after the international break.

Which games could he miss?

After the international break Man City are playing in the first game of the weekend as they host Liverpool on Saturday, Apr. 1 at the Etihad Stadium.

It seems like Haaland could be struggling to be fully fit for that game, and maybe even the trip to Southampton on Apr. 8, so Pep Guardiola may choose to rest him for their massive UEFA Champions League quarterfinal first leg against Bayern Munich on Apr. 11.

Given the form Haaland is in right now, it will be a blow for City if he does miss the next few games but the last thing they want is any long-term damage. Plus, it’s helpful to have the likes of World Cup winner Julian Alvarez in reserve to step in for Haaland.