Alex Iwobi

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Chelsea win Europa League after Arsenal capitulate (video)

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Chelsea are champions of the Europa League after thumping Arsenal, who hit the self-destruct button ahead of an ultimately decisive 20-minute period to begin the second half, thus kissing goodbye their last remaining chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

[ MORE: Sepp Blatter wants to sue Gianni Infantino ]

The final score in Baku, Azerbaijan: 4-1.

Things didn’t start out all bad for Arsenal, though. The Gunners had a claim for a penalty kick denied in the 18th minute, when Alexandre Lacazette was played in behind the Chelsea backline. Arrizabalaga came rushing out and arrived just after Lacazette scooted the ball out of reach. The contact between goalkeeper and forward was minimal, if any at all, but that didn’t stop Lacazette from going to ground in dramatic fashion. With video review in play for the final, no second viewing was recommended.

Granit Xhaka was next to go agonizingly close for Arsenal, but the 20-yard screamer he struck in the 28th minute grazed the top of the crossbar and would have likely been covered and pushed over by Arrizabalaga had it been on target.

Emerson unleashed a well-hit strike right in the chest of Petr Cech, playing in the final game of his glorious career, in the 33rd minute, followed six minutes later by a decent chance for Olivier Giroud, which proved to be Chelsea’s best of the first half. The former Arsenal man forced Cech to make a full-stretch save with his left hand, though he never appeared to be scrambling to cover his far post.

[ TRANSFER RUMORS: Sadio Mane plays down Real Madrid links ]

Chelsea needed just five second-half minutes to break the deadlock, though, as Giroud got his head on the end of Emerson’s cross at the near post and and redirected the ball, with power, past Cech and snuck it just inside the woodwork. The 32-year-old Frenchman opted for a largely subdued celebration against his club of five and a half seasons.

Pedro made it 2-0 exactly 10 minutes later, when Eden Hazard sprang to life for the first time in the game. The Belgian, perhaps playing his final game for the club, broke down the left side of Arsenal’s penalty area before cutting the ball back to Pedro near the penalty spot. The Spaniard swept the ball just inside the far post.

The meltdown was complete on 64 minutes, when Ainsley Maitland-Niles barged through the back of Giroud just inside the box. Hazard stepped to the penalty spot, sent Cech one direction and rolled the ball over the line the other way.

Alex Iwobi pulled the goal back for Arsenal — far and away the greatest moment of quality in the game (WATCH HERE) — just four minutes later, the Nigerian’s right-footed volley proved powerless in changing the course of the game, because Hazard struck again three minutes later.

Transfer gossip: Maguire to Man City; Carrasco to Arsenal

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The Premier League transfer window is officially open again and that means one thing: transfer reports are going to start kicking up a few notches.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Here’s a look at some of the latest gossip from around the PL…


Harry Maguire is a wanted man, with both Manchester clubs set to battle out to sign him for $100 million this summer. If that fee is north of $100 million it means Maguire will become the most expensive center back in history and eclipse the fee Liverpool paid to sign Virgil Van Dijk in January 2018.

A report in the Daily Mail claims that Man City are the frontrunners as Maguire, 26, is seen as the number one replacement for legendary center back and captain Vincent Kompany who has left the club at the end of his contract.

Maguire’s ball-playing ability from defense and his penchant to stroll into midfield with the ball suits Pep Guardiola‘s playing philosophy perfectly. John Stones was supposed to be the man filling that role, but Kompany and Aymeric Laporte were the go-to partnership this season with Stones and Nicolas Otamendi the odd men out.

Even with Kompany’s departure, City don’t really need another center back as Tosin Adarabioyo (he spent the 2018-19 season on loan at West Brom) could make the step up as a fourth-choice central defender.

Maguire signed a new contract last summer after prolonged interest from Manchester United, as the former Sheffield United and Hull City player underlined his meteoric rise with a superb tournament for England at the 2018 World Cup last summer.

Unlike some of City’s other defenders, Maguire wants to defend first but then has the ability to turn defense into attack with one surging run. United’s need for a commanding center back is far greater than Man City’s but if you are Maguire, how do you turn down the chance to work for Guardiola and a team who plays a style that perfectly suits your own game?


Arsenal are said to be back in for Yannick Carrasco.

The Belgian winger, 25, has spent the past 18 months playing for Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang but told the Sun Arsenal were interested in signing him in January, along with a “lot of teams in January giving me the chance to go back to Europe” but the club didn’t want to sell him.

Carrasco, who arrived from Atletico Madrid in February 2018, wants to move back to Europe this summer if the right opportunity crops up.

“All that you want is to be close to your family, and to go back to Europe is a good solution. I’m OK here, the club is good with me, the players and fans also are nice with me. But you know, when you are far from your family, and I think I can do good things in the European game, I am thinking it’s a solution if I can go back.”

Do Arsenal need another winger? The form of Alex Iwobi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been up and down in Unai Emery‘s first season as Arsenal manager, while Mesut Ozil no longer seems to be played out wide. Carrasco is available to play anywhere across the frontline but is most comfortable as a left winger and that is an area where Arsenal need some reinforcement.

He spoke about his ability to defend as well as attack and that is something which will be music to the ears of Emery as he aims to strike a better balance in his team which conceded 51 goals in the Premier League in 2018-19 to finish in fifth place.

Signing Carrasco, or other players of a similar ilk, is determined by one thing: qualifying for the UEFA Champions League by beating Chelsea in the UEFA Europa League final in Baku on May 30.

Aubameyang double helps Arsenal down Burnley (video)

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A Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang double saw Arsenal finish the Premier League season on a winning note, and the Gabon international draw level with the Premier League top scorers as Arsenal topped Burnley 3-1 at Turf Moor on the final day of the season.

Aubameyang started the day off strong, hitting the bar in the opening minutes. A free kick from a lateral angle swung in to the near post and the Arsenal striker clattered the crossbar with a chested ball. Tom Heaton was also forced into action in the early going, with Aubameyang again coming close minutes later.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Arsenal was nearly broken down past the half-hour mark on a scrum in the box but a critical tackle from Mateo Guendouzi kept Burnley off the board. Just before the break, James Tarkowski got his head to a corner, but it fired just wide.

The Gunners had a familiar sight when Konstantinos Movrapanos went off injured past the half-hour mark, with Laurent Koscielny coming on in his place. The back line for the Gunners this season has been a revolving door with injuries dotting the landscape, and now with the Europa League final on the horizon, they will have to deal with another.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Burnley finally broke thanks to a poor back-pass from Jack Cork, leaving Ben Mee in trouble. Aubameyang snatched the wayward ball, and he finished cooly through on goal for the opener 52 minutes in, his 21st goal of the season.

The second came 10 minutes later with Aubameyang on the double, smashing home a looped cross from Alex Iwobi to the far post. The goal was notable in the Golden Boot race, but Burnley made sure the celebration was short-lived as a header from Ashley Barnes pegged the Gunners back.

Aubameyang had a glorious chance to not only seal his hat-trick but also to win the Golden Boot, and he somehow missed. Henrikh Mkhitaryan‘s pinpoint cross came right to a sliding Aubameyang at the doorstep, but he managed to put it wide with the goal gaping.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

19-year-old Eddie Nketiah finished off the scoreline with the final kick of the game as he scored from an absurdly tight angle, squeaking it through a defender’s legs right on the end line and into the far corner. The goal was somewhat noteworthy given that Aubameyang was wide open at the penalty spot calling for the ball, and another goal for him would have sealed not only the hat-trick but the Golden Boot outright. Instead, Nketiah took it himself and wrapped up the game.

With the win, Arsenal finished the season in fifth, just a point off the Champions League places with 70, inches behind rival Tottenham’s 71-point haul. Burnley ends up in 15th, right on the magical 40-point mark.

Leicester hammer 10-man Arsenal (video)

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  • Tielemans, Vardy score
  • Maitland-Niles sent off
  • Leicester up to 8th

Leicester City beat 10-man Arsenal 3-0 at the King Power Stadium on Sunday, with Youri Tielemans scoring the opener after the Foxes dominated the game and Jamie Vardy added two more goals late on.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles was sent off in the first half to complicate the game for Unai Emery’s side, and Leicester deservedly won with Bernd Leno the only reason the defeat wasn’t a heavier one for the Gunners.

With the win Leicester move up to eighth and their battle to qualify for Europe rolls on, while Arsenal missed the chance to make up ground in the top four battle with their third-straight defeat.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

The first big chance of the game arrived for Arsenal as Alex Iwobi’s cross found Alexandre Lacazette but he couldn’t finish.

Leicester dominated the early stages but didn’t convert their chances as Bernd Leno denied Wilfried Ndidi’s header, then Vardy went close.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

However, the game then swung in Leicester’s favor as Maitland-Niles was shown a second yellow card (his first was for a push on Ben Chilwell) for a foul on James Maddison and Arsenal were down to 10 men before half time.

Leno denied Vardy before the break as the German goalkeeper kept Arsenal in the game with the Gunners a slight threat on the break.

In the second half Leicester continued to dominate and eventually broke through.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Tielemans scored a superb header from Maddison’s cross to finally open the scoring as Leicester kicked on late in the game.

Vardy struck twice in the closing stages — his first goal saw his initial shot hit the bar but he finished the rebound — to put the result beyond doubt, as Arsenal’s terrible form away from home continues.

Watch Live: Arsenal v. Newcastle

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Arsenal host Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com), with the Gunners able to move up to third place in the Premier League table.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE HERE

Unai Emery‘s men are in a very strong position in terms of their remaining schedule, and they will be aiming for a tenth-straight home win in the Premier League. As for Newcastle, they have been in good form with just one defeat from six and Rafael Benitez’s men are now aiming for a top 10 finish.

In team news Arsenal have Aaron Ramsey as skipper, while Matteo Guendouzi starts with him in midfield with Granit Xhaka out. Mesut Ozil and Alex Iwobi start in support of Alexandre Lacazette with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Shkodran Mustafi comes in for Laurent Koscielny.

Newcastle make one change from the team which drew at Bournemouth before the international break, as Jamel Lascelles comes in for Federico Fernandez as the Magpies skipper returns from injury.


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