Emiliano Martinez

Arsenal stuns Liverpool to end 100-point dream

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Liverpool will not become the second Premier League team to post a 100-point season following a 2-1 loss to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.

Alexandre Lacazette had a goal and an assist as Arsenal capitalized on atypical errors from two of Liverpool’s brightest.

Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker gave away the ball deep in Liverpool territory after the Reds had opened up a 1-0 lead through Sadio Mane.

[ MORE: Premier League summer schedule ]

Liverpool now maxes out at 99 points if it beats Chelsea and Newcastle to complete its championship season.

The Gunners move onto 53 points, three back of sixth place and six back of the top four. Arsenal hosts Man City in an FA Cup semifinal on Saturday.

Liverpool can no longer meet Man City’s record of 100 points in a Premier League season, the Reds looking like the latest early clincher to lose their intensity.

ARSENAL – LIVERPOOL FULL MATCH REPLAY


Three things we learned

1. Intensity replicated is difficult: Jurgen Klopp bristled in a big way when reporters asked him about Liverpool’s mentality following a whooping at the hands of Man City days after winning the Premier League. It would be difficult for him to say there’s any other reason his Reds have failed to keep up their historic pace following the completion of their massive goals. There’s not too much wrong with that either, by the way, when you consider how much was poured into chasing City last year and roaring through this season. And that’s before the effects of a global pandemic.

Liverpool won the league with seven matches to play. Here’s how their finish resembles the four teams to share the previous record of clinching with five to go.

Everton 1984-85: 2W-3L
Man Utd 1907-08: 1W-2L-2D
Man Utd 2000-01: 1W-1D-3L
Man City 2017-18: 4W-1D
Liverpool 2019-20: 2W-1D-2L (two matches remaining)

2. Mikel’s glorious ‘oops’ win: Arsenal worked really hard to get its points and Mikel Arteta will rightly hang his hat on a win over the champions, but he’ll also have a chuckle considering he was clearly choosing his lineup to rest up for the weekend’s FA Cup semifinal against old pals Man City. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came off the bench, where Dani Ceballos and Hector Bellerin also started the day. Arsenal is deep enough to challenge anyone on a given day

3. Defense matters: For all the hope Arsenal’s engendered with the offensive fireworks of Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka, and the like, what Arteta’s done with his defensive shape and organization has been key to providing optimism regarding his project. The marking on Liverpool’s opener wasn’t great but this is Liverpool nonetheless and chances are going to come their way. The Leicester City draw and Spurs loss following what felt like a momentous win over Wolves asked questions of Arteta. Wednesday was a fine response.

Man of the Match

Lacazette’s goal and an assist make him an easy mention, but Martinez’s eight-save day was a good one. He had an early mistake but the 27-year-old Argentine made four of his stops from inside the box. Not bad.


Arsenal – Liverpool recap

The Reds got on the board after a lengthy feeling out period that saw the visitors in relative control when Mane belted home from close range in the 20th.

Andrew Robertson cut back for the Senegalese scorer as Arsenal fell asleep at the back.

A rare error from Van Dijk gave the lead right back. Hassled by Reiss Nelson, the Dutchman made a poor pass back to Alisson Becker that Lacazette stole to make it 1-1.

The Reds then allowed a second goal when Nelson lashed past Alisson from close range after Lacazette stole the keeper’s goofy clearing attempt. It’s Nelson’s first PL goal.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Liverpool looked ready to tie the game in the 54th when Trent Alexander-Arnold slid the ball to Mohamed Salah outside the six.

The Egyptian used quick feet to move around David Luiz and shoot but Martinez poked it over the bar.

Substitute Takumi Minamino saw a 63rd minute shot deflect off David Luiz and wide of Martinez’s far post.

Salah hit a free but tame header to Martinez off a Mane cross in the 70th minute.

Arsenal did an effective job of keeping the Reds outside the danger areas in fighting for the final whistle, which came after one lost incredible stop from Martinez.

Tottenham strikes late, leaps over Arsenal

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Heung-min Son had a goal and an assist on Toby Alderweireld’s late winner as Tottenham Hotspur beat Arsenal 2-1 in a home North London Derby on Sunday.

[ MORE: JPW’s Three Things ]

Alexandre Lacazette scored a spectacular goal for the Gunners to give Mikel Arteta’s men an early lead, but Arsenal sees its rivals climb above them and into eighth place on 52 points.

Arsenal’s 50 points drop them into ninth place, four back of seventh-place Sheffield United. The Gunners are in danger of missing out on European competition for the first time since 1996.

WATCH TOTTENHAM – ARSENAL FULL MATCH REPLAY


Key points

Europe without Arsenal? Eighth-place looks set to deliver the Europa League to the Premier League thanks to Man City’s European ban and Arsenal and Spurs are locked in a four-team battle for seventh and eighth. Sheffield United’s 54 points lead the pack by 2 over Spurs and the Blades don’t have a soft out on the schedule with Leicester, Everton, and Southampton. Spurs have Newcastle, Leicester, and Palace and a 2-point lead on Arsenal. The Gunners have Liverpool, Villa, and Watford, while Burnley has 50 points and faces Wolves, Norwich, and Brighton.

A very Mou second half wins it: Arsenal was the better team on the day but Mourinho got goalkeeping from Hugo Lloris whenever Spurs opened the door in the second half. Mourinho let Arsenal have the ball with the hopes of conjuring danger in different parts of the field. Spurs registered seven shots on target and, like Arsenal, could’ve had more goals had the keepers not played quite well. But Spurs were credited with the only “big chances created” of the game as Arsenal’s best opportunities were supreme individual efforts from Aubameyang and Lacazette.

Man of the Match

You’d say Son by default given his goal and assist, and he could’ve had a hat trick had Martinez and David Luiz each denied him from close range, but advanced stats site SofaScore makes a brilliant case for the notes industrious day of Lucas Moura, who had two key passes, 10 tackles, and charged in 26 duels to win 16.


Tottenham – Arsenal recap

Emiliano Martinez leapt high to snare an in-tight Harry Kane chance.

Hector Bellerin then roasted Ben Davies on the right flank to play an invitation through the 18 that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang couldn’t pick up.

That’s when the fireworks started, Lacazette having some time with the ball outside the 18 and lashing an absolute piledriver past a flying Hugo Lloris.

But Spurs had an answer when Heung-min Son beat David Luiz to a wayward Sead Kolasinac pass and popped the ball over a desperate Martinez for 1-1 in the 19th minute.

Davies hammered a shot that Martinez pushed off the bar in thrilling fashion as the game passed the half-hour mark.

Nicolas Pepe answered that shot with a curled shot wide at the other end.

Aubameyang tore into a 26-yard free kick that just missed the far post in the 40th. Pepe then pumped another shot to Lloris as Arsenal crept closer to a second goal.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The second half began tamer, with Hector Bellerin winning a corner kick and Shkrodan Mustafi popped an overhead kick into the hands of Lloris.

Aubameyang then smashed the woodwork in the 59th minute before Pepe won a free kick on the edge of the 18.

Mikel Arteta took off Nicolas Pepe for fellow live wire Bukayo Saka with 20 minutes to play.

Martinez made an incredible save on Son when Kane drove the left side of the box and cut back for the South Korea, only for the keeper to react so well.

Lloris made a fine stop on an Aubameyang arrow for the far corner in the 79th.

That’s when Alderweireld put Jose Mourinho’s men on top with his close-range header of Son’s corner.

Kane hit the post in the 83rd as Spurs aimed for comfort.

Aubameyang, Vardy score in Arsenal-Leicester draw

Arsenal - Leicester City recap
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
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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.

[ MORE: Premier League summer schedule ]

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.

Arsenal bests Eintracht behind teen Saka

AP Photo/Michael Probst
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Arsenal got its Europa League campaign off to a pleasant if uneasy start, riding a deflected first half goal and solid goalkeeping before breaking out late for 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt at the Commerzbank-Arena on Thursday.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Joe Willock scored the early marker, while newly-minted 18-year-old Bukayo Saka capped a strong performance with a late insurance marker and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put it to bed.

American defender Timothy Chandler was a second half sub for the Bundesliga hosts.


Three things we learned

1. Goalkeeper matters huge: Even as underrated Bernd Leno got a night off, Arsenal got a big performance from its goalkeeper. Eintracht took double the shots of its visitors over the first hour of play. Emiliano Martinez made his season debut and was very, very good for the Gunners. He played just one Europa League match last season and spent half the year with Reading on loan, but the 27-year-old looks in line for more experience this season and even played a role in Arsenal’s second goal.

2. Young stars shine: Willock was very good in the win, and produced several nice chances, but it’s fair to say that his goal was a good deal of Fortune. Saka’s big day was even brighter. The 18-year-old was a menace for most of the day, and scored a deserved goal late off a Nicolas Pepe feed. Saka then forced the turnover that led to Aubameyang’s goal, Arsenal’s third.

What a hit for his goal, too.

3. Emery deploys star subs: Unai Emery knows a bit about winning this competition, and he took out Willock and Smith-Rowe in order to protect the lead late (He also put in Ainsley Maitland-Niles for Sead Kolasinac, who was on a yellow card). He deployed fire power in Nicolas Pepe and Dani Ceballos, which was unlikely a welcome site for the hosts.


Martinez was exceptional in posting his clean sheet, needing many big moments in the first half to allow Arsenal its 0-0 score line before fortune smiled upon the Gunners.

Willock’s shot took a mean turn off Eintracht mainstay center back David Abraham to produce a halftime lead (see video below Thing No. 3).

[ LIVE: Europa League scores  ]

The floodgates opened late, doubtlessly aided by a second yellow card dished out to Eintracht’s Dominic Kohr.

Martinez’s day went to the wire, tipping a Danny da Costa ball away before denying Filip Kostic with less than 10 minutes on the clock.

He then started the play that led to Arsenal’s second goal, finding Pepe for a long dribble en route to Saka’s career milestone. He turned 18 just two weeks ago.

It was a day to remember for Saka and one to forget for Abraham, as the teen stripped the Eintracht captain of the ball before making a silky pass to Aubameyang.

22-year-old set to start for Arsenal as injury woes hit goalkeepers

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Goalkeeper was not supposed to be a problem for Arsenal. If anything, the addition of World Cup goalkeeper David Ospina was going to push clear No. 1 netminder Wojciech Szczesny a bit harder.

But with Szczesny suspended for Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League title against Anderlecht and Ospina nursing a thigh problem, the Gunners are going to have to turn to 22-year-old Emiliano Martinez between the sticks.

[ UEFA: Real Madrid hit by injuries to Bale, Ramos pre-Liverpool match ]

The youngster, once called up to the Argentina senior squad, has not played for the Gunners outside of a pair of League Cup matches. His lone appearances in English football have been on loan to Oxford United and Sheffield Wednesday.

From the BBC:

Defender Calum Chambers is available after a domestic ban, while forward Lukas Podolski has overcome an illness.

Centre-back Laurent Koscielny (Achilles) and forwards Mesut Ozil (knee), Yaya Sanogo (hamstring) and Olivier Giroud (foot) are all out.

Theo Walcott is not yet fully fit as he recovers from a nine-month injury lay-off, while France full-back Mathieu Debuchy also remains a long-term absentee with an ankle problem.

It’s a big match for Arsenal, who are second to Borussia Dortmund in Group D with three points through two matches. Anderlecht and Galatasaray are both two points back of the Gunners heading into the weekend. Missing Koscielny is a far bigger blow than having to start a 22-year-old, though.