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Van Persie scores winner, sent off in wild Feyenoord finish

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Robin Van Persie had an eventful final few minutes as Feyenoord pulled into a crowded top of the Eredivisie table seven matches into the season.

With Feyenoord and 10-man Vitesse Arnham even atΒ De Kuip in the 87th minute, van Persie took a free-kick from outside the top-right of the box and unleashed a cannon that found the far corner, past a wrong-footed Eduardo. It put Feyenoord up 2-1, and looked in great shape to move into third in the Eredivisie standings.

That is likely van Persie’s final significant game action for some time.

The 35-year-old lunged in studs up from behind on Vitesse substitute Max Clark, earning him a straight red card. That comes with the standard three-match suspension, which would leave van Persie on the sidelines for the team’s big match against second-placed Ajax on October 28. It’s a big loss for Feyenoord, as van Persie is now joint-third in the Eredivisie goal tally with six goals through the first seven matches.

On the other side, Vitesse eventually saw two of its own sent off. First, Thomas Bruns saw a straight red card in the 63rd minute for a dangerous tackle from behind, whileΒ Danilho Doekhi earned his second yellow three minutes deep into stoppage time after van Persie had already been sent to the showers.

Man Utd wins; Watford no longer perfect

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  • Red Devils score in 35′, 38′
  • Gray pulls one back
  • Watford loses first of season
  • Matic sent off late

Romelu Lukaku and Manchester United handed Watford its first blemish of the season, beating the Hornets 2-1 at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

Chris Smalling scored a beautiful goal for United to join Lukaku on the score sheet. Nemanja Matic was shown a second yellow card in the third minute of stoppage time.

The Red Devils improve to 3W-2L and join both Arsenal and Tottenham on nine points.

Watford’s 12 points are good for fourth, two above Bournemouth.

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It was very much United’s game from the opening kick, with Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku especially lively in the first five minutes.

Good movement from United allowed Paul Pogba to cut back and hit a left-footed shot from atop the 18, but Ben Foster stooped to collect the ball. At the other end, Will Hughes forced David De Gea into a similar save.

De Gea then made an outstanding save against the run of play when Marouane Fellaini gave the ball away inside the 18 and Troy Deeney laced an effort top corner.

Alexis Sanchez had the ball in the goal but was whistled for offside in the 24th. And he zipped past Christian Kabasele to cut a shot on goal that Foster palmed over the bar.

Lukaku gave United a deserved lead in the 35th minute, using his belly to turn a cross inside the goal.

Center back Smalling made it 2-0 when he chest trapped Fellaini’s header before swiveling to volley a striker’s goal past Foster. The Watford goalkeeper would stop Paul Pogba on the doorstep in stoppage time to limit the deficit to two heading into halftime.

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Watford created a goal in the 65th minute with Gray granted plenty of space to hit a cutback cross from Abdoulaye Doucoure past De Gea.

It could’ve been 3-0 had Antonio Valencia sprung Romelu Lukaku on a 2v1, but the Ecuadorian’s later pass led Lukaku to touch the ball to Alexis Sanchez and the Chilean couldn’t manufacture a shot.

That’s when Matic saw his second yellow for breaking up a late rush, but De Gea made a flying save to deprive Kabasele of an equalizer. The ensuing corner kick led to nothing, and the final whistle blew in favor of the visitors.

Wenger’s Best XI as Arsenal manager

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In his 22 years as Arsenal manager, Arsene Wenger has seen more than his share of talented players grace the field in an Arsenal kit.

From Thierry Henry and Robert Pires to Lee Dixon and Tony Adams, some of legends of the Premier League have spent some of their best years playing for Arsenal, leading Wenger to three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups.

No less than 222 players have played under Wenger, from the Invincible greats to one-time American youth product Frank Simek and the latest debutante,Β Konstantinos Mavropanos.

Looking back at the last 22 years, it’s difficult to select just 11 players, but we at Pro Soccer Talk have done our best to select the defining best XI for Arsenal in the Arsene Wenger era.


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Stats behind Wenger’s time at Arsenal

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When you manage for nearly 22 years, you’re sure to accumulate numerous statistical milestones.

Arsene Wenger holds the record for most Premier League games managed (823), FA Cups won (7) and of course, his incredible run of 49 games without defeat with the 2003/2004 Arsenal invincibles team.

[MORE: ALL COVERAGE OF ARSENE WENGER’S DEPARTURE]

Our friends at Opta have put together some statistics together on Wenger’s achievements over his time at the club that spans three decades.

Arsene Wenger’s Career (as of April 20, 2018)

Titles

Premier LeagueΒ πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†

FA CupΒ πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†

Community ShieldΒ πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†πŸ†


Games Managed

Premier League – 823 games, 473 wins, 199 draws, 151 losses, 57.5% winning percentage

UEFA Champions League – 177 games, 83 wins, 41 draws, 53 losses

FA Cup – 109 games, 73 wins, 22 draws, 14 losses

League Cup – 73 games, 42 wins, 9 draws, 22 losses

UEFA Cup/Europa League – 23 games, 14 wins, 5 draws, 4 losses

UEFA Champions League qualifying – 14 games, 13 wins, 1 draw, 0 losses

Community Shield – 9 games, 6 wins, 2 draws, 1 loss

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Giroud completes transfer to Chelsea

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Olivier Giroud is taking his talents across the River Thames to Chelsea.

The club confirmed the transfer, worth a reported $25 million on transfer deadline day, as Giroud comes in to replace the departed Michy Batshuayi, who is set for a loan move to Borussia Dortmund.

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Giroud finishes his 5.5 years at Arsenal with 105 goals, never living up to expectations for him to be the next Robin Van Persie or Thierry Henry, but always a serviceable striker with a strong return rate on goals.

The meaty French forehead heads to Stamford Bridge on an 18-month contract, and crucially for Chelsea, he’s eligible for the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League moving forward in addition to regular Premier League action.