Matteo Guendouzi

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Comical errors doom Arsenal in draw with inspired Watford

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Watford gave Quique Sanchez Flores a fine “re-debut” for the Hornets in thrilling fashion.

Well, maybe it’d be better said that Arsenal gave the manager his moment.

Arsenal made two silly mistakes in their own box, giving Watford a come-from-behind 2-2 draw at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Watford out shot the Gunners 28-7, but needed big help to solve Bernd Leno.

The Gunners led on a pair of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goals scored 11 minutes apart in the first half, but Tom Cleverley and Roberto Pereyra had the answers thanks to grave errors from Sokratis Papastathopoulos and David Luiz.

Arsenal now sits seventh with eight points, while Watford remains 20th with two.


Three things we learned

1. Fullbacks on parade: Arsenal’s early lead came by their very different attack-minded fullbacks. Sead Kolasinac drove with power down the left to slip a ball to Aubameyang for the opening goal, while flying Ainsley Maitland-Niles found space on the right to cross for Aubameyang’s second. Beautiful stuff.

2. Leno bright early: Gunners goalkeeper Bernd Leno picked up where he left off in the North London Derby, making a number of key saves or claims as Watford came out the gates with brightness and purpose. He had little chance of stopping either Watford goal, and made a point-salvaging save on Abdoulaye Doucoure in stoppage time.

3. More laughs at the back:  Just when you thought Nicolas Otamendi had the “Worst Giveaway of the Weekend” award on lock down, enter Sokratis Papastathopoulos. The veteran defender couldn’t quite sense the danger in his pass to Guendouzi, could he?

David Luiz’s mistake was nearly as glaring, as he blocked Roberto Pereyra‘s 80th minute dribble into the 18. Pereyra wrong-footed Leno for 2-2.

Man of the Match: Aubameyang.


[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

The first proper chance of the match was produced by Gerard Deulofeu, whose curling shot gave Bernd Leno a little trouble.

Leno then made a fine save on Tom Cleverley in the 11th minute to led to a corner, and had to stop another shot from the same players off the set piece.

The chances kept coming, with Deulofeu cueing up Jose Holebas for a shot that sailed well over the bar.

Arsenal went ahead 1-0 in the 21st minute through a powerful Sead Kolasinac dribble up field to find Aubameyang for a classy turn and finish.

The second goal was electric, with Ozil playing a role in the build-up to Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ perfect cross for Aubameyang.

A bad giveaway by Matteo Guendouzi opened the door for Watford, but the Hornets couldn’t challenge Leno.

A spicy affair saw a touch line skirmish between Holebas and Arsenal duo Matteo Guendouzi and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

Watford pulled one back off a terrible giveaway from Sokratis, who gave Cleverley a wide open look at either side of Leno.

Then substitute Ismalia Sarr dragged a shot wide of the frame. Watford was knocking, and David Luiz opened the door with a block on Roberto Pereyra at the top of the 18. Pereyra fooled Leno and got the equalizer.

Pogba out of France squad with injury; Guendouzi gets first call-up

Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images
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PARIS (AP) An ankle injury is keeping Paul Pogba out of international duty with France, opening the door for Arsenal’s Matteo Guendouzi to win his first cap.

[ MORE: Transfer Deadline Day in Europe: Deals galore ]

Pogba was limping after playing 90 minutes in Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Southampton on Saturday in the English Premier League.

France says he is out of the squad for upcoming European Championship qualifiers against Albania on Saturday, and Andorra on Sept. 10.

United says “it remains unclear how serious his injury may be” ahead of an assessment. United next plays Leicester on Sept. 14.

[ MORE: Premier League player Power Rankings ]

France has called up the 20-year-old Guendouzi to replace Pogba. He’s started all of Arsenal’s four league games, and set up a goal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on Sunday in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham.

France is level on nine points at the top of qualifying Group H with Turkey and Iceland.

Arsenal showcase depth in blowout of Qarabag

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  • Sokratis opens scoring
  • Smith Rowe, Guendouzi bag 1st senior goals
  • Ozil, Lacazette on bench
  • Aubameyang, Ramsey, Mkhitaryan left home

Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Emile Smith Rowe, and Matteo Guendouzi scored in Azerbaijan as Arsenal popped Qarabag 3-0 in the Europa League on Thursday.

Arsenal is now 2-0 in group play while Qarabag falls to 0-2. Arsenal now get Sporting Lisbon back-to-back in one of the league’s best group stage pairings.

[ MORE: Europa League standings ]

Arsenal, clad in red shorts to go with their red shirts, controlled play early and went ahead within a few minutes of said control.

Mohamed Elneny‘s corner kick was headed towards goal, and Sokratis was onside to redirect the ball over the line.

Emile Smith Rowe was very close with a sliding effort to meet Sead Kolasinac‘s cross to the back post in the 18th minute.

Bernd Leno made a fine save on Filip Ozobic in the 40th minute, with Sokratis clearing the rebound.

[ MORE: Europa League schedule ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Qarabag thought it was level in the 49th minute, but Mahir Madatov’s run was a split second too early before the Azerbaijan international slotted past Leno.

Arsenal made it 2-0 under pressure, with Smith Rowe running onto a feed from Alex Iwobi in the 52nd. Then Guendouzi joined Smith Rowe with historic career moments by potting his first senior goal.

Man City eases to win at Arsenal

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  • Sterling, B. Silva score
  • Maitland-Niles limps off
  • Mendy sets up two
  • De Bruyne, Sane start on bench

Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva scored in each half as Manchester City eased to a 2-0 win over Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday.

Plenty of big names were on the bench to start the game, with Leroy Sane, Kevin De Bruyne, and Alexandre Lacazette all waiting to enter the fray.

Benjamin Mendy set up both of Man City’s goals.

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Arsenal boss Unai Emery handed a surprise start to 19-year-old Matteo Guendouzi, while Man City manager Pep Guardiola left Leroy Sane and Kevin De Bruyne on the bench.

The game itself began with a surprising early chance for Aaron Ramsey which perhaps caught the Welshman himself offguard, his outside of the boot shot arriving safely to Ederson.

Raheem Sterling saw an early yellow card for a reckless tackle on Guendouzi’s ankle.

Petr Cech punched a Kyle Walker cross out for a corner in the eighth minute, and would have to stop Sterling at the other post within a minute.

Sterling got the opener in the 14th minute, ripping a shot through the packed-in Arsenal defense. It took the smallest turn off a defender, but appeared destined for the goal regardless of deflection.

Cech almost scored an amazing own goal when he turned a back pass from Guendouzi just past his far post.

Sokratis then saw yellow for a takedown of Sergio Aguero on the edge of the box following a poor giveaway from Granit Xhaka.

The ensuing Riyad Mahrez free kick nearly found the corner far and low, but Cech palmed it. Aymeric Laporte‘s effort at the rebound was stymied, and the defender took a cleat from Cech before colliding with the goal post.

Alex Maitland-Niles needed to leave the match in he 32nd minute, walking off gingerly, but had to stay at left back while a replacement was readied by Emery. Stephane Lichtsteiner relieved Maitland-Niles in the 35th.

Ramsey led a rare Arsenal charge in the 33rd minute, moved by Mesut Ozil to Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who couldn’t get room to shoot past John Stones.

Mahrez couldn’t get enough of a bend on a left-footed effort in the 42nd minute, well-watched by Lichtsteiner and Sokratis.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tried to steal an equalizer with a rare touch, but his rip was well wide of the goal.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

A Guendouzi error sent Aguero on a 50-yard run toward Cech, and the Argentine took a shot rather than pass left to De Bruyne.

The complaints were quickly forgotten in a haze of Bernardo-inspired celebration, as the Portuguese attacked beat Cech with an 16-yard bid.

Watch Live: Arsenal vs. Manchester City

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Unai Emery’s first Premier League match finds him matching wits with Pep Guardiola and his reigning champions, as Arsenal hosts Manchester City on Sunday (Watch live, 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Emery hands a start to 19-year-old Matteo Guendouzi, with Alex Maitland-Niles also in the XI. Alexandre Lacazette, Stephane Lichtsteiner, and Alex Iwobi are on the bench.

[ STREAM: Arsenal vs. Manchester City live ]

Guardiola has a load of All-Stars on the bench, with Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane, Vincent Kompany, and Nicolas Otamendi all listed as subs.

LINEUPS

Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Mustafi, Sokratis, Maitland-Niles, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Ramsey, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang. Subs: Leno, Holding, Lichtsteiner, Elneny, Torreira, Iwobi, Lacazette.

Man City: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Laporte, Mendy, Fernandinho (C), Gündogan, Bernardo, Mahrez, Sterling, Agüero. Subs: Bravo, Kompany, De Bruyne, Sané, Otamendi, Jesus, Foden