Bernd Leno

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Arsenal skid hits nine with home loss

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Arsenal’s winless run reached nine with a 2-1 home loss to Brighton and Hove Albion at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Neal Maupay headed an Aaron Mooy cross past Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno with 10 minutes to play.

Alexandre Lacazette found a second half equalizer after Adam Webster put the Seagulls ahead before the break.

Arsenal stays 10th with 19 points, below Sheffield United and above Newcastle United on goal difference. Brighton rises to 13th with 18 points.

The nine-game run is Arsenal’s worst since 1977.


Three things we learned

1. Freddie not the fix: There’s been no new manager bounce for Arsenal, and perhaps that’s as big of an indictment on player recruitment than anything else. Who knows if Freddie Ljungberg is a future genius manager, but the Gunners had little to offer in being outshot for most of the match.

2. Leno would be Best XI on a good team: Arsenal’s goalkeeper is one of the good ones, and the 27-year-old goalkeeper was credited with seven saves at home. Who knows where the Gunners would sit on the table if Leno wasn’t leading the league in saves? I mean, look at the clubs represented around him on the board. This is a bad, bad, bad defense.

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3. Potter’s men continue to impress: The Seagulls continue on an upward trend, and were the better team on the day inside the home of one of the biggest teams in the league. Their big backs dealt well enough with Arsenal’s talented attack, with midfielder Aaron Mooy the star of their match even before he assisted Maupay’s go-ahead goal.

Man of the Match: It would’ve been Leno, who had no fault on either goal, but Mooy’s assist tips the scales in favor of the Australian.


Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin conceded a free kick on the edge of the box in the 22nd minute, but that came to nothing.

At the other end, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang spun an outside-of-the-boot hit wide of the far post.

But Brighton was producing the best chances over the first half-hour, and were rightly on the board first when Webster slotted a shot from the heart of the 18.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Arsenal brought on Nicolas Pepe at halftime, but it was Lacazette who equalized with a looping header off a corner kick.

Brighton didn’t wilt, and Bernd Leno reacted well to Neal Maupay’s disappointing first touch of a loose ball in the six with just under a half hour to play.

The Gunners saw a goal pulled back by VAR after David Luiz was offside when he headed a free kick past Mat Ryan.

Pepe then slid Aubameyang behind the Brighton back line, but the Seagulls limited the damage to a corner kick.

Maupay put the Seagulls ahead when he held his nerve in front of Luiz to head Mooy’s cross home.

Ljungberg maintains ‘Top four 100 percent achievable’ despite draw

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Arsenal interim manager Freddie Ljungberg is thinking big despite his Gunners’ sloppy performance in the first match of the post-Unai Emery era.

The Gunners drew Norwich City 2-2 at Carrow Road on Sunday, a result aided by VAR controversy and several monumental Bernd Leno saves.

It’s a draw that leaves Arsenal seven points back of fourth place Chelsea after 14 matches.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

“Top four is 100% achievable,” Ljungberg said after the match, via Football.London, adding, “I’m just trying to make it as simple as possible. I’ve been here last year and of course I have an opinion on how we can play and everyone has a fair chance.”

The longtime Arsenal playmaker was an assistant before taking the reins and is appreciative of his current, honor, even on an interim basis.

That honor will involve solving abject defending and seemingly no plan to defend in transition, as Arsenal was torched for two goals and it would’ve been much worse if not for Leno.

“We have a problem on the transition and I want to fix that,” Ljungberg said. “I hope the club knows what I can and can’t do. I’m very honored they have trusted me to do this.”

Arsenal needs January additions to be sure, but might want to appoint a tactician sooner given what more dropped points would mean during a congested December.

Norwich City holds sloppy Arsenal

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Arsenal needed two goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to take a point from Norwich City at Carrow Road, a 2-2 draw which doomed the Gunners to their worst season start since 1975.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The draw comes in the first match after Arsenal fired Unai Emery, as interim boss Freddie Ljungberg oversaw another defensively-challenged performance.

Arsenal needed a number of sensational saves from Bernd Leno to get their point, which leaves them 8th with 19 points.

[ MORE: Ljungberg reacts ]

Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell scored for Norwich City, who sits 19th with their 11th point.


Three things we learned

1. Gunners defense invites Pukki and friends to party: Emery may be gone, but it didn’t instantly fix the Gunners’ defensive woes. Norwich City went ahead when Pukki used a clever change of direction to open up for a perfect Kenny McLean through ball, then watched as the Arsenal backs allowed him to turn and dribble to space for a shot that turned off Chambers and past Leno. The Cantwell goal wasn’t too different, and Bernd Leno was outstanding in denying what could’ve easily been a number of additional goals.

2. VAR denies Krul penalty save: Norwich City goalkeeper Tim Krul has been a penalty-stopping marvel for years, but he was denied his fourth season stop from the spot when VAR spotted his plant leg off the line before he saved Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s effort. Don’t get us wrong: He left his line and this isn’t VAR’s fault as much as it’s the law. In some cases like this, it’s illogical to expect a keeper to hit the line every time unless you make him start inside the goal. Perhaps the idea is to make penalties more automatic, but it’s a tough but correct application from VAR that allowed Arsenal a brief respite.

EDIT: The call was apparently against Max Aarons, who entered the box before Aubameyang’s effort and was the first to touch the rebound. As you were.

3. Cantwell continues to raise profile: Norwich City’s 21-year-old midfielder collected his fourth goal of the season to go with two assists. Born 25 miles from Carrow Road, he’s averaging 1.3 key passes and 1.3 successful dribbles per game in helping the Canaries find, perhaps, their next James Maddison.

Man of the Match: Aubameyang — Saved penalty aside, the Gabonese goal collector gave the Gunners plenty to like (again) in scoring his 52nd and 53rd Arsenal goals (in 82 appearances).


It was mostly Arsenal early, though Onel Hernandez led a 17th minute charge that led to a hard shot directly to Bernd Leno.

Tim Krul produced more brilliance typical of his season with a flying slap of Calum Chambers‘ header.

That’s when Pukki finished Norwich’s lightning counter, calmly turning the ball onto his right foot for a shot that deflected past Leno.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

The score line looked set to change within moments, as Mesut Ozil‘s spun free kick was slapped out of the air by Zimmermann.

Krul came off his line to best Aubameyang’s spot kick, and VAR didn’t let the nominal distance sway it: Aubameyang bagged the re-kick despite Krul’s obnoxious hypeman antics on the touch line.

Norwich retook the lead in the second minute of stoppage time, Cantwell scoring for the second-straight match.

Leno continues to perform well for Arsenal under siege, splaying to make a world-class save on McLean at the hour mark.

AT HALF: Arsenal defense non-existent in first post-Emery match

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Unai Emery is gone, but the defensive woes remain at Arsenal.

The North Londoners trail Norwich City 2-1 at halftime of Sunday’s match at Carrow Road, one of two 9 a.m. ET kickoffs in England.

[ STREAM LIVE: Norwich-Arsenal | Wolves-Blades ]

Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell have scored for the Canaries, though Arsenal backstop Bernd Leno wasn’t given any help from his porous back line.

The first goal, from Pukki, came via the counter attack. The Gunners defenders invited the Finnish star to shoot after a through ball from Kenny McLean. So poor.

The Gunners would level after VAR allowed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a second chance to beat Tim Krul from the spot after the goalkeeper left his line oh-so-early in saving the first, but Cantwell made it 2-1 before half.

Over to Wolves, where Nuno Espirito Santo‘s men are in danger of seeing a long unbeaten league run end via a second minute goal.

The marker came from red-hot Lys Mousset.

Arsenal booed off pitch despite Lacazette heroics

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Arsenal and Southampton will both be disappointed after wasting chances in a 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, the home side booed off the pitch despite a stoppage time equalizer.

Danny Ings scored a goal and won a penalty that led to a James Ward-Prowse goal, as Arsenal twice had to rally for equalizers against their relegation-threatened foes.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Alexandre Lacazette scored both Gunners goals, as Arsenal sits 7th with 18 points. Southampton is 19th with nine points, two back of safety.


3 things we learned

1. Under the radar Lacazette keeps firing: Perhaps its the fact that he’s the fourth-biggest name in his team’s attack, maybe it’s injury history, or maybe it’s just down to Arsenal being a mess, but Lacazette’s two-goal day wasn’t an aberration. The Man of the Match managed seven dribbles, 49 touches, a key pass, four crosses, an interception, and a tackle.

2. Saints lack of finish is stunning: Southampton could’ve put this thing to bed three, four, maybe five times, with Moussa Djenepo particularly wasteful down the stretch. It’s a microcosm of Southampton’s struggles, and their two goals today accounted for 15 percent of their season output.

3. Ings and things: You’d be forgiven for thinking Southampton’s star striker is 10 years older than his 27 marker given how long it feels since he burst onto the scene with Burnley and suffered through injury-marred years at Liverpool. Since returning home to Saints, he’s shown a knack for scoring in big spots, and he was Hasenhuttl’s weapon on Saturday. Ings now has 16 goals and four assists in 39 matches with Saints, close to what he did in his breakout season with the Clarets in 2014/15.


Ings ran onto Ryan Bertrand‘s free kick and pushed a shot off the post and into the goal for an 8th minute lead.

Lacazette found the answer via interplay with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the 18th minute, though the Gabonese striker was anything but at his best on the day.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Kieran Tierney then gave away a penalty to Ings, and Ward-Prowse deposited the rebound of his Bernd Leno-saved effort to give the visitors another lead.

But Lacazette was back post and clinical deep in stoppage time after Saints wasted several chances to put the match to bed.