Joe Willock

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Nketiah leads Arsenal past Fiorentina (video)

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Eddie Nketiah scored twice as Arsenal beat Fiorentina 3-0 in Charlotte on Saturday.

Joe Willock also scored for the Gunners, which beat Colorado Rapids and Bayern Munich in their first two matches of the preseason and meet Real Madrid in Maryland on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Guardiola hails KDB ]

Fiorentina took 18 of the match’s 30 shots, though Arsenal had nearly 60 percent of the ball.

Nketiah, 20, scored against Burnley in last season’s Premier League finale and then late against Bayern Munich earlier this week.

He was deft in a high-pressure spot for this one.

Newport County shocks Leicester City as five PL clubs exit

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A late Padraig Armond penalty helped Newport County to a surprising 2-1 win over Premier League mainstay Leicester City in FA Cup action on Sunday at Rodney Parade.

Jamille Matt also scored for the Exiles, who became the second League Two side to knock off a top-flight team on the day after Fulham was upended by Oldham Athletic.

It was one of several big upsets on Sunday, though we’ll get to those a bit further down the page.

Rachid Ghezzal scored for Leicester, who left Jamie Vardy, Harry Maguire, Wilfred Ndidi, and Kasper Schmeichel out of the 18, and only found their equalizer once Demarai Gray and James Maddison subbed into the game.

Matt scored in the 10th minute.

Leicester needed 72 minutes of play to level the score through Ghezzal, their first success in a match which held 70 percent for the Foxes and a 24-9 edge in shot attempts.

But the stalemate was only three minutes long, as Marc Albrighton handled a ball in the box, and up stepped Armond. Scenes, as they say.

More upsets

League One side Gillingham used home field to beat Cardiff City 1-0 on Saturday.

Huddersfield Town lost 1-0 at Championship side Bristol City.

Bullets dodged 

Newcastle United got a late penalty from Matt Ritchie to dodge Blackburn Rovers upset bid at St. James’ Park, and will face a replay at Ewood Park.

Jordan Ayew‘s late goal helped Crystal Palace avoid a stunning home loss to Grimsby Town.

Burnley got a lone goal in holding off Barnsley.

Southampton tossed away a 2-0 lead at Derby County but will still get the chance to advance through a replay.

A pair of early goals had Everton ticketed for an easy ride past Lincoln City, but the Imps had other ideas and were unlucky not to level the score late in a 2-1 Saturday loss.

Big boys have little problem

Romelu Lukaku and Juan Mata scored as Manchester United beat Reading 2-0 while handing Tahith Chong a debut at Old Trafford.

Manchester City hung seven goals on Rotherham United on Sunday, with Ilkay Gundogan starring with four assists.

Spurs absolutely worked over Tranmere Rovers, scoring seven goals of their own in a Friday clean sheet.

Blackpool was pesky enough in front of a half-empty stadium, but Arsenal mostly cruised in a 3-0 win highlighted by a pair of Joe Willock goals.

Chelsea got a brace from Alvaro Morata in knocking off Nottingham Forest.

Liverpool plays Monday at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Other Premier League teams

Watford dodged a solid challenge from non-league Woking and its assistant coach, long time Premier League broadcaster Martin Tyler.

West Ham United scored in the second minute through Marko Arnautovic and added an Andy Carroll goal in stoppage time to hold off Birmingham City.

Brighton and Hove Albion beat Bournemouth 3-1 at the Vitality Stadium.

FA Cup: Arsenal wins; Huddersfield out

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A day-long journey in the FA Cup came to its conclusion via five 12:30 p.m. ET kickoffs on Saturday.

[ ROUNDUPS: 7:30 a.m. ET kicks | 10 a.m. ]


Newcastle United 1-1 Blackburn Rovers

Elliott Bennett found Bradley Deck for an early second half header, and the visitors were on the path to a victory. But substitute Ayoze Perez won a late penalty which Matt Ritchie converted to save Newcastle blushes.

Blackpool 0-3 Arsenal

Joe Willock scored a pair of first-half goals for the Gunners, and that’s all the North Londoners needed in front of a protesting, half-empty Bloomfield Road. Alex Iwobi scored late to make it 3-0.

Full scoreboard in the FA Cup

Tranmere Rovers 0-7 Tottenham Hotspur — Friday
Manchester United 2-0 Reading
West Ham United 2-0 Birmingham City
Bournemouth 1-3 Brighton and Hove Albion
Sheffield Wednesday 0-0 Luton Town
Shrewsbury Town 1-1 Stoke City
Burnley 1-0 Barnsley
West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Wigan Athletic
Everton 2-1 Lincoln City
Chelsea 2-0 Nottingham Forest
Derby County 2-2 Southampton
Bolton Wanderers 5-2 Walsall
Gillingham 1-0 Cardiff City
Brentford 1-0 Oxford United
Accrington Stanley 1-0 Ipswich Town
Fleetwood Town 2-3 AFC Wimbledon
Middlesbrough 5-0 Peterborough United
Aston Villa 0-3 Swansea City
Newcastle United 1-1 Blackburn Rovers
Crystal Palace 1-0 Grimsby Town
Bristol City 1-0 Huddersfield Town
Blackpool 0-3 Arsenal
Norwich City 0-1 Portsmouth

Still to come
Fulham v. Oldham Athletic — Sunday
Man City v. Rotherham United — Sunday
Millwall v. Hull City — Sunday
Preston North End v. Doncaster Rovers — Sunday
Sheffield United v. Barnet — Sunday
Queens Park Rangers v. Leeds United — Sunday
Woking v. Watford — Sunday
Newport County v. Leicester City — Sunday
Wolves v. Liverpool — Monday

Watch Live: Liverpool vs. Arsenal

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Liverpool looks to grow its table lead and keep its unbeaten league season in tact when longtime Top Four rivals Arsenal visit Anfield on Saturday (Watch live at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Youngsters Bukayo Saka and Joe Willock are on the bench for Arsenal.

LINEUPS

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Lovren, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Shaqiri, Salah, Mane, Firmino. Subs: Mignolet, Clyne, Keita, Henderson, Sturridge, Lallana, Origi.

Arsenal: Leno, Lichtsteiner, Mustafi, Sokratis, Maitland-Niles, Torreira, Xhaka, Kolasinac, Ramsey, Iwobi, Aubemayang. Subs: Cech, Koscielny, Elneny, Guendouzi, Willock, Saka, Lacazette.

Emery praises Arsenal teen: “His personality is very important”

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Unai Emery played the kids in Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Qarabag on Thursday at the Emirates Stadium, as the Gunners claimed the top spot in their group.

[ RECAP: Arsenal 1-0 Qarabag ]

Bukayo Saka, Carl JenkinsonJoe WillockEddie Nketiah, and Zech Medley all got meaningful playing time for the Gunners, and Emery specifically liked Saka (17).

Emery, like Arsene Wenger, believes very much in getting experiencefor his kids.

From The London Evening Standard:

“We have a responsibility to every young player to give them chances to train with us,” Emery told Standard Sport. “We are very demanding of ourselves in his performance. We give them these chances in the games like today when we can do that. They show us positive things in every match.

“Today Saka played with a good performance, with a very big personality. We were speaking at half-time, they were trying one-on-one against the opposition. Not every action was good for us but his personality is very important, continuing in the second half to try to do one-on-ones and break lines with his quality.”

Will anyone have made enough of an impact to get some time in the Premier League? We’ll see, but remember that this Gunners system has sent Reiss Nelson on loan to Hoffenheim.

Also, to put this in perspective: Saka was born six days before Sept. 11, 2001. This class of youngster in the Arsenal system is coming, and coming fast.