Sokratis Papastathopoulos

Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP

10-man Real Madrid comes back to draw 10-man Arsenal

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Maybe Zinedine Zidane ought to rethink his stance on Gareth Bale?

Of course it’s just preseason, but the on-the-market Real Match forward subbed into Tuesday’s match in Maryland on Tuesday and spearheaded a comeback 2-2 draw against Arsenal.

Real won in penalties, as all International Champions Cup matches must have a winner.

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Real was down a man after 10 minutes when Nacho Fernandez handled a ball on the goal line, and Arsenal also went down a man when Sokratis Papastathopoulos saw his second yellow of the contest in the 40th minute.

Alexandre Lacazette converted a penalty, then set-up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for a goal 14 minutes later as the Gunners handled their business early.

The chemistry between two remains very real.

Real started new boys Eden Hazard, Ferland Mendy, and Luka Jovic in addition to Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Karim Benzema, and Sergio Ramos.

Bale came in for Hazard at halftime and poked a 57th minute rebound home and Marcelo set up Marco Asensio two minutes later to complete the comeback.

Asensio, sadly, would only last a few more minutes, needing to be stretchered off with injury.

Reports: Arsenal to spend big for Pepe, Tierney

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If the latest reports are to be believed, Arsenal’s transfer budget is actually much bigger than expected.

In a pair of reports, Arsenal is looking at paying as much as around $120 million in transfer fees to sign Lille attacker Nicolas Pepe and Celtic left back Kieran Tierney. L’equipe states that Arsenal has made a $90 million offer for Pepe, while Sky Sports reports Arsenal has made a bid of $31.4 million to Celtic for Tierney.

[READ: Premier League friendly roundup]

If true, it would certainly be an upgrade at left back for Arsenal. Tierney, at 22-years of age, is one of the top young left backs in Europe and if not for Andy Robertson, would be playing a lot more for the Scotland National Team. Regarding Pepe, he’s had a strong last couple of seasons with Lille, including scoring 22 goals with 11 assists in Ligue 1 last season.

However, Pepe really struggled with the Ivory Coast National Team at the Africa Cup of Nations, perhaps due to exhaustion and a lack of gas in the tank. In addition, his position as a forward and winger isn’t exactly a position of need for the Gunners. Arsenal currently has Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette, Alex Iwobi, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and even Reiss Nelson.

Last summer, Arsenal was able to bring in the vast majority of its signings by July 11. Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Bernd Leno and Stephan Lichtsteiner all signed early.

This summer, it’s only signed academy players and 18-year-old Gabriel Martinelli so far, with the necessary signings now late to arrive for preseason training. Arsenal certainly needs a replacement for Aaron Ramsey, David Ospina/Petr Cech, and Lichtsteiner.

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 ]

Stade Rennes beats Arsenal in first leg (video)

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  • Iwobi scores within three minutes
  • Sokratis sent off after second yellow
  • Bourigeaud scores terrific equalizer
  • Monreal own goal puts Rennes in front

Benjamin Bourigeaud and Ismaila Sarr scored and Arsenal conceded an own goal in a soft 3-1 loss to Stade Rennes at Rhazoan Park in the first leg of the Europa League’s Round of 16 on Thursday.

Alex Iwobi scored what could be a critical away goal should Arsenal regroup for Thursday’s second leg at the Emirates Stadium.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

It started so well, with Iwobi’s mishit cross skipping off the post and into the goal following a 1-2 with Nacho Monreal in the 4th minute.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos then saw yellow for a foul on the edge of the area, a precursor to his sending off under 10 minutes later.

Hatem Ben Arfa sent Ismaila Sarr toward Sokratis, and the Greek defender took down the young Senegalese striker for his second yellow.

That’s when Rennes struck, with Bourigeaud collecting a free kick rebound off the wall and sending a beauty past Petr Cech.

Beauty may be an understatement.

Monreal turned a Mehdi Zeffane cross into his own goal to give Rennes its first lead of the afternoon.

James Lea Siliki completed the scoring with a cross that Sarr turned beyond Cech with a strong header.

Arsenal’s head of recruitment leaving club after one year

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Sven Mislintat was appointed 14 months ago as Arsenal’s head of recruitment, a key component to the club’s plan heading into the post-Arsene Wenger era.

[ MORE: LAFC’s Carlos Vela leaves door open for Barcelona move ]

Fast-forward the second half of last season and the first half of the current season, and the former Borussia Dortmund mastermind is set to leave the club on Feb. 8, Arsenal announced on Monday.

Mislintat arrived at Arsenal when then-chief executive Ivan Gazidis was still calling the shots. Gazidis has himself since departed the club, for AC Milan in September, which has reportedly created some difference in opinions between those left behind.

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Despite only spending roughly 14 months in the job, Mislintat will have done a great deal of work in re-shaping what was — but arguably still is — an aging squad requiring a full facelift before returning to the Gunners’ days of competing for — let alone winning — Premier League titles.

A full list of first-team players to come to Arsenal during Mislintat’s tenure reads as follows: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ($72 million), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (swap deal with Alexis Sanchez), Sokratis Papastathopoulos ($23 million), Lucas Torreira ($33 million), Bernd Leno ($24 million), Stephan Lichtsteiner (free) and Matteo Guendouzi ($9 million).