David Luiz

Arsenal - Leicester City recap
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Aubameyang, Vardy score in Arsenal-Leicester draw

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Premier League Golden Boot leaders Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Jamie Vardy both scored as 10-man Arsenal held on to draw Leicester City 1-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.

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Eddie Nketiah was sent off with 15 minutes to play for Arsenal, giving the Foxes a chance to fight back after Aubameyang scored his 20th of the PL season.

Vardy poked home his 22nd with five minutes to play, giving Leicester 59 points and keeping them a point back of third-place Chelsea.

The Foxes have a four-point lead on fifth-place Manchester United and are six clear of Wolves, but have played one more match than both.


Three things we learned

1. Aubameyang, Vardy pace league: Aubameyang’s first-half goal was his 20th of the season and moved him within one Jamie Vardy’s Premier League lead only to see the Leicester City hit man regain his 2-goal advantage late.

For those wondering the ways home for both players, Arsenal finishes with Spurs, Liverpool, Aston Villa, and Watford. Leicester will finish the season with Bournemouth, Sheffield United, Tottenham, and Manchester United. It’s going to be tight.

2. Schmeichel remains underpraised: Remember those years ago when Leicester made its big charge and it was simply a fun note that its goalkeeper was the son of Premier League royalty? Well, Kasper might not have the EURO title or collection of PL crowns his father amassed, but he’s an incredible goalkeeper. The Dane made five stops before halftime and another great move to thwart a David Luiz free kick after the break.

Leicester can count its lucky stars he’s been there to bail them out a few times this season. His 12 clean sheets are one off the Golden Glove race and his 86 saves tops amongst top four contenders.

3. Vardy equalizer defies offside: VAR did the right thing when it comes to super fine margins. Vardy wasn’t onside when he started his run to meet the late equalizer, but he was a shade off if Ayoze Perez’s flailing boot got a piece of the ball. The cameras couldn’t tell for sure, and the call rightly stood.

Man of the Match

Schmeichel — Arsenal’s subbing all of its stars at the hour mark if the Dane doesn’t stand on his head in the first half.


Arsenal – Leicester City recap

Emiliano Martinez was busy early and made no better play than his leg save on a Kelechi Iheanacho shot that came through a sea of bodies and Shkrodan Mustafi’s legs.

The Gunners went ahead when Dani Ceballos played an exquisite long pass to Bukayo Saka behind the line, the teenager sweeping across for Aubameyang to finish. The term “inch-perfect” comes to mind.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Schmeichel made a tremendous point-blank save on Alexandre Lacazette to keep it 1-0 before impressing with another stop on Hector Bellerin within 30 seconds.

Both teams had goals ruled offside by the linesman, Lacazette’s 69th minute hit one that could’ve put the rain-drenched tie to bed.

The Gunners looked prepared to outduel Leicester but handed a chance back to the Foxes when Eddie Nketiah’s dangerous high challenge was reviewed by VAR.

Vardy was offside when he fired into the outside of the net in the 80th minute but he got his goal four minutes later when he charged over a sliding Shkrodan Mustafi to score his 22nd of the season.

Reports: Luiz signs new Arsenal deal, Gunners to buy Mari

David Luiz contract
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David Luiz is getting the new deal he wanted, though certainly not in the most ceremonious of circumstances, as Arsenal nears making two center back deals for the future.

Arsenal’s mop-topped defender is set to sign a new one-year deal after being sent off of an error-strewn performance against Man City, according to Sky Sports.

The report also says Arsenal is close to activating a $16 million purchase option on the loan of Flamengo center back Pablo Mari.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The ex-Man City defender, 26, has been on loan since Deadline Day and played against West Ham and his former club in Premier League play as well as an FA Cup win over Portsmouth.

As for Luiz, he’s an interesting signing. He’s capable of absolute horror shows like the aforementioned City match but is only a year removed from an outstanding season at Chelsea under Maurizio Sarri.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Luiz has won league titles with Benfica, PSG, and Chelsea, as well as Champions League and Europa League crowns with the Blues. He was a PFA Team of the Year member as recently as the 2016-17 season.

Another year won’t hurt the player or the team, though it’s sure to provide at least one mind-numbing on-field gaffe and a handful of “How did he do that?” passes.

As for Mari, it’s difficult to tell whether he certainly has the goods but Mikel Arteta and the Arsenal brass have seen the Spaniard a lot more than most of us.

Arsenal’s Arteta on David Luiz red card, contract

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Mikel Arteta did not hold back when it came to the disastrous day of substitute David Luiz in Arsenal’s 3-0 loss at Man City.

[ RECAP: Man City 3-0 Arsenal ]

Luiz failed to clear a cross on City’s opening goal and conceded a penalty and took a red card to present the hosts with their second.

Arteta did not expect to use Luiz given the player’s fitness. Now he won’t have to for some time as Arsenal figures out whether the 33-year-old will be back in a Gunners shirt.

[ MORE: Sterling on goal, Black Lives Matter tributes ]

Luiz signed a one-year deal with the Gunners last summer and his contract expires on June 30.

From Football.London:

“I don’t know what will happen with his contract. I know what happened today, I know the way David reacted, as a player and as a person as well he can handle the situation. There was a reason why I didn’t select him from the start and he had to play because Pablo got injured. He’s always going to try to give you his best for the condition that he’s at and he’s tried again. It didn’t work out for him or the team but that’s it.”

Arteta also said Mesut Ozil’s absence from the 20-man roster was “tactical.”

Luiz took all the blame for the loss, and also said he should’ve made a move regarding his contract status before now.

There are just 13 days left on his deal.

“It’s my fault and that’s it,” he said. “It’s not the team’s fault. It’s my fault. I took the decision to play. I should take another decision the last two months and I didn’t. The team did well, especially with the 10 men. The coach is amazing. The players did amazing. It’s just my fault.”

He said he’d like to stay at Arsenal beyond June 30, something Arteta said he wanted before the match. Who knows if Wednesday changed anything?

“I love to be here. That’s why I continue to train hard… I want to stay. The coach knows and the coach wants me to say and we are waiting for the disease.”

Man City drops 10-man Arsenal

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Kevin De Bruyne wasted little time reminding the Premier League his status as its elite playmaker in a 3-0 win over 10-man Arsenal on Wednesday at the Etihad Stadium.

De Bruyne converted a penalty and set up Raheem Sterling for a goal (video), both opportunities aided dramatically by sloppy sub David Luiz.

Phil Foden converted a rebound from a Sergio Aguero shot as part of 11 minutes stoppage after a scary injury late as Ederson clattered into Eric Garcia, who was prone on the field for almost 10 minutes while being tended to by trainers. City played the rest of the match with 10 men after using all five of its subs prior to the injury.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ] 

City’s win means Liverpool cannot win the league versus Everton on Sunday, as City pulls within 22 points of the leaders with nine matches left for each club.

Ninth-place Arsenal stays on 40 points, a point back of Tottenham, five back of fifth-place Manchester United, and eight behind the top four.

The match began with tributes to the National Health Services workers who’ve been battling COVID-19 as well as the Black Lives Matter movement worldwide.


Three things we learned

1. Arteta v. Pep drama stymied by injuries: Injuries to Granit Xhaka and Pablo Mari in the first 24 minutes really hurt our chances of seeing whether Mikel Artet could better plan for old boss Pep Guardiola than most. Already without Lucas Torreira, Arsenal’s midfield took another hit when Xhaka was stretchered off in the 8th minute. Ceballos replaced him, not exactly a huge bummer but a big difference in terms of tactics. Then Mari was injured and replaced by David Luiz, who made two huge errors in the loss.

2. Gunners’ European hopes take a hit in a hurry: Even with eighth-place probably going to Europa League and fifth likely a Champions League spot, Arsenal really wanted to use this match-in-hand to climb above Tottenham and move even with Wolves. Sheffield United’s draw with Villa also opened a door to Arsenal. Arteta will need to remind his players that this one didn’t mean as much as it might appear, with Spurs, Wolves, Blades, and Leicester still on the docket in what you’d deem “European six-pointers.” Still, it doesn’t feel good after months of imagining that Arteta might’ve conjured Arsenal into a better version of itself.

3. De Bruyne furthers Player of the Year case: Just as Liverpool claimed back-to-back PFA Players of the Year when Man City won the league, KDB looks set to enjoy his first and much deserved honor despite Liverpool running away with the silverware. De Bruyne is now three assists shy of equalling Thierry Henry’s PL single season record of 20, and he’s one goal away from joining the select players to hit double-digit goals and assists in a top five European league this season.

The healthy lead allowed Guardiola to sub him off with 20 minutes to play, keeping the Belgian fresh after completing 80 percent of his passes including 7-of-8 longballs, converting all three of his dribbles, and making three interceptions (Sofascore).


Game flow

Bernd Leno picked up where he left off in tipping a De Bruyne third-minute free kick over the bar.

Xhaka’s injury happened not too long after, and the Swiss international required a stretcher to get off the pitch. Dani Ceballos entered the fray.

New boy Pablo Mari, the ex-Man City man, also needed to be replaced early with David Luiz entering the fray after 24 minutes.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The first half was all Man City if a bit rusty, Raheem Sterling lively but unable to produce an opener until he received help from the opposition.

De Bruyne’s swept in cross bounded off Luiz and onto the path of Sterling, who beat an otherwise strong Leno.

The goalkeeper had little hope early in the second half after Luiz hauled down Riyad Mahrez to earn a red card and send De Bruyne to the spot.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

WATCH: Raheem Sterling goal gives Man City halftime lead

Raheem Sterling goal
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Raheem Sterling has the first goal of the Premier League’s restart, thanks in large part to a David Luiz gaffe.

The Man City star scored his 12th goal of the season in stoppage time of the first half at the Etihad Stadium.

Kevin De Bruyne has been credited with an assist, his 17th of the season. The Belgian is now three from tying Thierry Henry’s single season Premier League record.

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Playing after Sheffield United drew Aston Villa 0-0 at Villa Park with a goal controversially not awarded despite clear visual evidence, City and Arsenal rare big chances between them in the first half.

Luiz didn’t start the game and was one of two Arsenal players to enter the match due to first half injuries.

The center back couldn’t handle De Bruyne’s swirling cross and it skittered off his thigh and onto the path of Sterling, who beat a strong Bernd Leno to make it 1-0.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]