Wenger aiming to win fans back; Cech on clean sheet milestone

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Arsenal ended two waiting periods on Sunday, and both took longer than expected for the North London side.

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Petr Cech collected his 200th clean sheet as his club won for the first time in four Premier League attempts with a 3-0 win over Watford at the Emirates Stadium.

Cech admitted his milestone is pretty impressive, though the relatively long run between clean sheets Nos. 199 and 200 was difficult.

“It is an unbelievable personal milestone. The first 18 games with nine clean sheets got me to 199 but then the last 11 games was sometimes frustrating but the most important thing is to win and so it was defeats that was more frustrating.”

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger called the record “absolutely remarkable,” adding that Cech showed “fantastic motivation, fantastic desire, and remarkable intelligence.”

The clean sheet subplot has been overshadowed in a big way by Arsenal’s struggles, as the Gunners had lost a Europa League second leg, a League Cup final, and three Premier League matches before beating AC Milan in the Europa League on Thursday and following it up with Sunday’s impressive rout.

Wenger has been the unquestioned target of criticism related to the run, and it’s safe to say he’s feeling a bit of relief.

“We have had a disappointing period and our supporters suffered like we suffered. But our job is to perform and stick together in important moment and get the fans back on side with our game.”

Arsenal 3-0 Watford: Cech gets milestone

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  • Mustafi scores 1,000th Arsenal home PL-era goal
  • Mkhitaryan to Aubameyang for 2-0
  • Cech stops Deeney penalty
  • Arsenal ends three-match losing run

Petr Cech stopped a penalty and kept his 200th clean sheet as Arsenal ended a league losing skid with a 3-0 win over Watford at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan assisted each other’s goals, an Shkrodan Mustafi opened the scoring for Arsenal.

Arsenal sits in sixth, 10 points back of the Top Four, while Watford is nine points clear of the drop zone in 10th.

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Mesut Ozil slipped Aubameyang through on goal in the second minute, but the Gabonese striker hit the ball at Orestis Karnezis.

The Gunners went ahead in the 8th, as Mustafi headed an Ozil free kick across goal.

Sead Kolasinac just missed a sliding Aubameyang with a ball through the six in the 17th minute.

Watford missed a sitter in the 27th minute after Richarlison‘s free kick was parried to Roberto Pereyra, who blazed his effort over the bar.

Karnezis then made an outstanding leg save on Ozil within a minute.

Watford won a corner when Rob Holding intervened to stop a dangerous chance, but the Hornets couldn’t find a way past Cech. The Czech goalkeeper also denied Richarlison’s header deep into first half stoppage.

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Aubameyang found an insurance goal through old pal Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who cut a ball between the lines to find the striker. Aubameyang walked around Karnezis and passed home to give him his third Premier League goal.

It was less than a minute when Pereyra cut between Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Alex Iwobi to win a penalty, but Cech denied Deeney’s shot down the middle.

Adrian Mariappa escaped punishment despite going cleat-to-ankle on Mkhitaryan in the 64th minute.

Mkhitaryan got a deserved goal in the 77th, spinning a Mkhitaryan pass off Karnezis and home.

Danny Welbeck was saved by Karnezis off a Jack Wilshere feed in the 86th.

Cech says Brighton loss his fault; Wenger blames Man City losses

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Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech is taking the blame for the Gunners’ 2-1 loss at Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

To be fair, the first goal was poor on both the keeper and his men. Cech was slow to collect a back post corner kick, which was nodded back across goal to an unmarked Lewis Dunk.

[ MORE: Brighton 2-1 Arsenal ]

The second goal wasn’t unstoppable, but less on Cech.

Either way, the Czech goalkeeper hit Twitter to accept all responsibility for Arsenal’s fifth loss in six matches, saying, “If you want to win a game away of home in the best league in the world your GK can’t concede 2 goals like I did today … it’s simply not possible … The team fought back but the damage was done.”

Cech hasn’t been himself this year, but the loss is far more on his star center back of so many years, Laurent Koscielny (as well as what must be an insipid at worst and uninspired at best atmosphere under longtime manager Arsene Wenger).

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As for Arsene Wenger, he’s missing any decent answers at all. He says his team was “heavy legged” in admitting the Top Four is “near impossible.”

Part of his response to Sunday’s loss, at least in the immediate throes of it, was to say this team didn’t respond to the twin losses to Manchester City.

That’s pretty much his job. And now it’s AC Milan in the Europa League, likely the Gunners’ only route to the UEFA Champions League.

“It is important to recover mentally and physically,” he said. “We are still jaded today, we gave a lot on Thursday night and you can see that today.”

Should we keep those words copied for a Thursday pasting?

Kane leads Spurs to North London Derby win

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  • Tottenham goes third before Liverpool, Chelsea play
  • Spurs dominate with 18-5 shot attempts
  • Kane posts 7th goal in as many NLDs
  • Arsenal six points back of Top Four

Harry Kane‘s second half goal seized North London Derby glory for dominant-if-wasteful Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

The 1-0 win pushes Spurs third for the time being, while Arsenal will finish the weekend at least six points back of fourth place.

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While the goalkeepers weren’t physically tested in the first 15 minutes, both Hugo Lloris and Petr Cech had to be razor-sharp as Spurs and Arsenal each pushed the pace in attack.

The first save, from Cech on Heung-Min Son, may have been going wide in the 18th minute.

Harry Kane pushed a chance over the bar as the match neared the half-hour mark, and Eric Dier missed a more egregious redirection from the edge of the six-yard box following a mishit Mousa Dembele attempt from the edge of the 18.

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Ben Davies and Kane combined for a powerful opener, with the left-sided man sending an inviting cross and Kane rising above Laurent Koscielny to pound a header home. Arsenal wanted a foul on Kane, whose hands caught Koscielny after his leap, but it’s difficult to agree with the visitors.

Spurs won a dangerous free kick when Hector Bellerin dove into Son’s legs two yards outside the 18. Christian Eriksen presided over the opportunity, but Cech made an outstanding punch save on an upper 90-heading effort.

He’d have another chance in the 62nd minute, but his waist-high driven cross didn’t make it into the mixer, going out for a corner.

Spurs had more chances to score, but Son shanked a 17-yard shot into the atmosphere before Dele tried to get too cute with a flick that went wide of goal.

Cech then denied a free-dribbling Erik Lamela. Would Spurs rue their misses? Cech denied Kane again in the 76th minute.

Lamela dragged a languid chance wide of the far post in the 90th minute.

Alexandre Lacazette butchered an opportunity to level the score at the outset of stoppage time, and then dragged a shot past Lloris but wide of the far post two minutes later.

Dembele fouled Welbeck in a dangerous position at the very end of stoppage time. Mesut Ozil lorded over the chance, but the wall did its job.

Swans 3-1 Arsenal: Massive Welsh win

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  • Cech gaffe gives Swans lead
  • Clucas nabs two goals
  • Swans in 17th with 23 points
  • Arsenal sixth, 8 behind fourth

Carlos Carvalhal, take a bow.

The Spanish coach has now led Swansea City to impressive results on the bounce, this time a 3-1 win over Arsenal at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday.

Sam Clucas scored twice for the Swans and Jordan Ayew had a goal and an assist in leading Swans out of the drop zone.

Nacho Monreal scored Arsenal’s loan goal, as the Gunners drop eight points back of the Top Four. New signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan made his debut off the bench for Arsenal.

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Swansea supporters would’ve been forgiven for writing off matches against Liverpool and Arsenal. Swans won ’em both.

Arsenal saw a pinpoint pass from Mesut Ozil set Monreal up for the opener, the German wizard registering his seventh assist of the Premier League season.

The lead was gone in a minute’s time, with Ozil this time setting up Swans for success. His giveaway allowed Alfie Mawson to slip Clucas through to an equalizer.

A Petr Cech error after the break put Swans in front for the first time, as Jordan Ayew was quick to capitalize on a mishit ball.

Ayew’s deflected cross then fell to Clucas for the completion of his brace.

Also, Ayew is the new Sigurdsson. See below:

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