Bernd Leno

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Emery: We can achieve ‘two objectives’ in Europa League final

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According to Unai Emery, the Arsenal squad agreed upon two targets at the start of the 2018-2019 season. Qualify for the UEFA Champions League, preferably through finishing in the top four of the Premier League, and winning the Europa League.

On Wednesday, Arsenal has the chance to accomplish both.

[READ: Drama at Chelsea as Sarri storms out of practice]

“We can win one title and also play with the opportunity to go to the Champions League,” Emery said. “Above all we want to enjoy and play with all our good spirit and also I think this competition is improving a lot and over the last years big teams have played in the final. I hope that in the future Chelsea and Arsenal could be a final in the Champions League! We have a lot of very good players and some of the best players in the world, so it’s a very good moment for football in the world.”

Arsenal hasn’t won a European title since winning the UEFA Cup Winners Cup in 1994.

One of the big subplots heading into the match is whether Emery will stick with the retiring Petr Cech, who has been the goalkeeper for nearly the entire Europa League run so far, or regular No. 1 Bernd Leno. Emery wouldn’t reveal whether Cech would start, but did say he had something planned for him one way or another.

“I can speak about Petr Cech a lot, but above all he is a great man, a great professional, amazing in his behavior with us and it will be last match tomorrow because he decided to retire,” Emery said. “I want to do something important with him in the last moment of his career – and this has been my conversation with him, playing or not playing. We want to win for us.”

Arsenal’s top-four dreams crushed in Brighton draw (video)

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  • Arsenal 3 points back of Spurs with inferior GD
  • Aubameyang scores 20th PL goal this season (9′)
  • Murray nets career goal 200 to draw level (61′)

Arsenal, much like Manchester United before them, couldn’t hold onto an early lead and ultimately dealt their own top-four dreams a fatal blow by drawing a bottom-four side on Sunday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

1-0 up on 17th-place Brighton & Hove Albion after nine minutes, Unai Emery‘s Gunners failed to put the game away with a second goal and let the Seagulls back into the game. As such, Arsenal (67 points) trail fourth-place Tottenham Hotspur by three points with just one game left to play. The problem for Arsenal: their goal differential (+20) is eight goals worse than that of Tottenham.

For all intents and purposes, they’re set for another season in the Europa League, unless the can win Europe’s “other” competition later this month.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan went inches from firing the Gunners into the lead after 73 seconds, but the Armenian’s shot from the edge of the penalty area smashed the front side of the post and squirted across the face of goal in agonizing fashion.

It didn’t take much longer for Arsenal to jump out in front, though. Nacho Monreal was tripped inside Brighton’s 18-yard box, which sent Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the penalty spot where he bagged his 20th PL goal of the season.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Shkodran Mustafi very nearly made it 2-0 with a diving header in the 36th minute, but Mathew Ryan leapt into action, and across his goal, to make a spectacular save at a full-stretch. Ryan made an even better stop to deny Aubameyang two minutes later. A cross came in front the left side and found Aubameyang near the penalty spot. He swept his left foot through the ball and sent it toward Ryan’s right-hand post, but the goalkeeper sprang to life once again and pushed the ball just around the post.

Brighton drew level hugely against the run of play. Granit Xhaka needlessly dragged down Solly March who had made a dangerous, but containable, run inside the box. Glenn Murray stepped up and converted to reach the 200-goal mark in his 15-year professional career.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Arsenal’s best chance to win it saw Aubameyang smash the ball just inches wide of the post in the 74th minute. With much of the left side of the goal at his mercy, the Gabonese goalscorer couldn’t keep the ball on frame when he leapt into the air struck a volley with great power.

Brighton had two chances to steal all three points in the 84th minute, but March’s header was saved by Bernd Leno at point-blank range, then Pascal Gross wasn’t able to put his follow-up effort on target. The near post was wide open and required just a bit of composure to touch the ball home.

Arsenal will visit Burnley on the final day of the season, next Sunday, while Spurs will host Everton.

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.

Wolves top Arsenal for 1st time in 40 years (video)

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  • Electric Jota scores
  • Another Neves distance beauty (video)
  • Jonny instrumental in 3-goal first half

Wolves rode an electric first half past a barely-interested Arsenal to reclaim seventh place on the Premier League table with a 3-1 win at the Molineux Stadium on Wednesday.

Arsenal remains fifth with 66 points, while Wolves move to 51 on the season behind goals from Ruben Neves, Diogo Jota, and Matt Doherty.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos scored Arsenal’s goal, as the Gunners lost to Wolves for the first time since 1979.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Wolves had the best of the early chances, with Joao Moutinho curving a 20-yard attempt wide of the near post and Jonny Otto winning a dangerous free kick.

And that second chance hit pay dirt, as Neves did what he often does in such situations. A sensational free kick zipped over the wall and past a flying Bernd Leno.

The Arsenal keeper stopped a fireball cross from Diogo Jota in the 36th. Wolves scored off an ensuing corner kick, with Jonny sweeping a cross into the box for Doherty to nod home.

Jota made it 3-0 for the Wolves before halftime, as Leno certainly will regret his inability to get more than a piece of a low drive. Jota humiliated Sokratis with a shimmy before hitting it under the keeper.

Sokratis pulled a goal back with an 80th minute header that seemed destined to be a mere souvenir, and was.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Benteke leads Palace surprise at Arsenal (video)

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  • Benteke scores first goal since April 28, 2018
  • Zaha nabs ninth of season
  • Ozil goal forges brief deadlock

Christian Benteke scored a goal and added an assist as Crystal Palace handed much-changed Arsenal a 3-2 set back at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Wilfried Zaha and James McArthur also scored for the Eagles, while Mesut Ozil and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang posted Arsenal’s goals.

The win boosts Palace into 12th with 42 points, while Arsenal remains fourth with 66.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Roy Hodgson‘s men took a surprising early lead through a strangely surprising source, given that Benteke was once a prolific and danger scorer.

With room to operate, the Belgian turned a header past Bernd Leno to put the Eagles on top.

Palace was fortunate not to concede a penalty through an Aaron Wan-Bissaka handball in the box, and Cheikhou Kouyate saw two bids to beat Leno saved by the keeper.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Arsenal needed less than two second half minutes to equalize, with Iwobi finding Lacazette with a deft outside-of-the-boot pass. The Frenchman slid Ozil through on goal, and Ozil blasted it near side for a 1-1 score line.

Palace restored its lead thanks to a Benteke flick toward Zaha, with the Ivorian going around Shkrodan Mustafi before beating Leno.

And then it was 3-1, a 69th minute corner kick from Luka Milivojevic finding the back of the goal when James McArthur redirected a header into the goal.

Aubameyang needed a fortunate bounce to line up his shot, but deserved every bit of his 77th minute goal.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]