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“Fit, sharp, strong” Wilshere disappointed to miss England cut

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“I’ve felt fit, sharp and strong all season and believe I should be in the squad!”

So goes some of the reasoning why Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere believes England coach Gareth Southgate made a mistake in leaving him out of this summer’s World Cup squad.

[ MORE: West Ham talks manager plans ]

Wilshere, remarkably still just 26, has 34 caps despite being plagued by injuries for three seasons before a 38-match campaign this season.

Southgate is bringing just seven listed midfielders to England, and one is essentially a winger in the form of Raheem Sterling.

Making the squad ahead of Wilshere are Dele AlliEric DierJordan HendersonJesse LingardRuben Loftus-Cheek, Raheem Sterling.

Arsenal sends Wenger off in style

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  • Arsenal sews up sixth
  • Burnley will finish seventh
  • Both headed for Europa League

Alex Iwobi had a world-class day, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang bagged a brace, and Arsenal sent Arsene Wenger off in style with a 5-0 win over Burnley in his Emirates Stadium finale on Sunday.

Iwobi set up multiple goals and had one himself, while Sead Kolasinac and Alexandre Lacazette also scored in the win.

The Gunners will finish sixth in the Premier League, ahead of Burnley.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Arsenal was all over the Clarets despite the absence of playmaker Mesut Ozil, and went ahead inside the first 15 minutes.

Aubameyang slid to knock in an Alexandre Lacazette pass after a 1-2 between the Frenchman and Alex Iwobi.

Ashley Barnes suffered an apparent shoulder injury and had to leave the game with his arm in his jersey like a makeshift sling, clearing the way for Sam Vokes‘ introduction in the 22nd minute.

Nick Pope made a fine stop on Henrikh Mkhitaryan‘s deflected shot in the 44th, but it didn’t stay 1-0 into the break.

Lacazette darted to slap Hector Bellerin‘s cross into goal after another Iwobi set-up. If Lacazette didn’t hit it, Aubameyang may have, as Arsenal was looking fine on the day.

Kolasinac hit a 54th minute strike on the screws after being cued up by Jack Wilshere, and Arsenal was rolling at the Emirates when Mkhitaryan just missed curling a worldie around Pope.

Iwobi got a deserved goal for himself in the 64th when he belted a Mkhitaryan cutback into the upper 90. Little-to-no resistance from Burnley.

Aubameyang got is second in the 75th minute, and Arsenal then introduced old friend Per Mertesacker to the proceedings. That triggered loud applause from the Gunners faithful.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Wilshere hopeful of new Arsenal deal despite talks stalling

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Jack Wilshere could very well be entering into the final 60 days of his time as an Arsenal player, as the 26-year-old’s contract expires at the end of June.

[ MORE: Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, Anthony Martial to Chelsea? ]

While talks with the club over a new deal have reportedly been ongoing for quite some time now, not only has no new contract been announced, but Wilshere has admitted this week that “We’re still in the same position … not much has changed” as negotiations continue to drag on.

Throw in the fact that Arsene Wenger announced only last week that he’ll leave the club at season’s end, which will bring a level of uncertainty all its own with regard to building — and rebuilding — the squad during the summer transfer window, and a new long-term contract begins to feel a lot less like a foregone conclusion than it did just a few months, or even weeks, ago — quotes from Sky Sports:

“We’re still in the same position [of negotiations], really. Not much has changed, we’re still talking.

“Obviously the boss has left, which will change things a little bit because I don’t know who’s going to be the manager next year, and that can change things. But we’re still talking, and I’m hopeful and the club are hopeful, that we can get something done.”

“I haven’t really thought about [the possibility that leaving the club could happen]. I’ve said before that this is where I want to be and I really haven’t had much time to think about moving.”

Wilshere, who’ll likely figure into Gareth Southgate‘s plan for England’s squad at the 2018 World Cup, might soon see the appeal in treating the world’s biggest stage as an open trial with every club in Europe. Not only would he have his pick of future employers, but given the fact that a transfer fee won’t be required, he would almost certainly land a more lucrative contract for himself.

Arsenal 3-2 Southampton: Welbeck gets last laugh

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  • Saints take early lead
  • Gunners claim advantage by halftime
  • Southampton remains 18th

Danny Welbeck‘s brace helped Arsenal defy the efforts of desperate Southampton in a 3-2 win at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Welbeck had just missed a sitter when he connected with the winner, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also scored for the Gunners.

Arsenal moves to within two points of fifth place Chelsea ahead of the Blues match with West Ham United (Watch live at 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Shane Long and Charlie Austin scored for Saints, who led 1-0 and drew level at 2-2 in the second half. Southampton remains three points back of safety.

Jack Stephens was sent off for Saints in stoppage time, and Mohamed Elneny was also shown a red card in the aftermath of the same scrum.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

A goal line clearance came early, with James Ward-Prowse taking a feed from Shane Long and beating Petr Cech but not Calum Chambers.

And Long again threatened for pace moments later as Saints pressed for an opener.

So it was fitting when Long put Saints ahead, taking advantage of a sleeping Shkrodan Mustafi to cut to the near post and redirect a cross beyond the reach of Cech.

Arenal leveld in the 29th minute, with Aubameyang chopped the ball off the ground for a clever nutmegged finish past Alex McCarthy.

Welbeck made it 2-1 in the 38th, leaving McCarthy helpless with a deflected shot from an Alex Iwobi feed.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Both Aubameyang and Granit Xhaka forced top end saves out of McCarthy in the first three minutes of the second half.

Long looked like he had restored the deadlock and the away support had a moment’s joy only to see the flag up. The Irish striker was offside.

Wesley Hoedt then forced Cech into a flying save with a 30-yard effort which may have been destined for the post.

Austin then scored a lunchpail goal, cutting into the box within 80 seconds of subbing into the game to force 2-2. It was a deserved equalizer.

Welbeck missed a sitter when Iwobi spied Wilshere at the back post. The ex-Manchester United man couldn’t get his leg in position to get the ball over the line (with Aubameyang ready for a tap-in, unbeknownst to Welbeck).

He’d get his goal in the 81st minute, stabbing home a header at the back post from an Iwobi cross.

Arsenal 3-0 Stoke City: PKs inspire win

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  • Controversial PK converted by Aubameyang
  • Gabonese striker completes brace, 86′
  • Lacazette scores second Gunners PK
  • Stoke remains in drop zone

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a 75th minute penalty kick and then belted home an emphatic insurance goal as Arsenal beat Stoke City 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Alexandre Lacazette also scored a penalty kick for the Gunners.

The win gives Arsenal 51 points, five more than seventh place Burnley and five less than fifth place Chelsea.

Stoke remains 19th, three points back of 17th place Crystal Palace.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Xherdan Shaqiri threatened from the top of the 18 yard box, but curled his shot across the goal and outside the far post.

For Arsenal, it was all going through an active and armband-wearing Jack Wilshere. He cued up Aaron Ramsey for a blocked shot int he 29th minute. The corner came to nothing.

The second half saw Arsenal find better form as the match neared the hour mark, and Nacho Monreal forced Jack Butland into a low collection.

Shaqiri swept a shot into the arms of David Ospina with 23 minutes to play. The Swiss attacker struck the post with a corner kick moments later.

At the other end, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined Alexandre Lacazette in having in-tight shots blocked by the Stoke defense.

Arsenal won its penalty with controversy, as Bruno Martins Indi pushed the ball away from Mesut Ozil before the German hit the deck. It wasn’t a dive, but the referee had a rough angle and awarded a penalty that Aubameyang converted for 1-0.

Badou Ndiaye tried his luck from just outside the arc but swirled the ball around the post in the 82nd.

Butland made another pair of stops in the 85th, but Aubameyang scored off the ensuing corner to salt away all three points.

Stoke gave away another penalty when Ndiaye shouldered Lacazette to the turf in the 88th. Aubameyang deferred to Lacazette for the PK.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]