Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

VIDEO: Aubameyang caps off lovely Arsenal move

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finished off a superb Arsenal move in the first half of their game at Crystal Palace.

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The Gabonese striker finished calmly after a flowing 18-pass move to give the Gunners the lead inside the first 15 minutes as Mikel Arteta celebrated on the sidelines.

Arsenal’s skipper was played in by Alexandre Lacazette after a nice flick from Mesut Ozil as David Luiz‘s ball cut through Palace’s midfield.

Click play on the video above to watch poetry in motion, as this was like watching the Arsenal of 15 years ago.

Majestic.

Captain Aubameyang says transfer rumors are ‘made up’

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has denied any and all reports linking him with a move away from Arsenal during the January transfer window, calling the stories “made up” and saying his is “committed and desperate to bring [Arsenal] back to the top.”

[ MORE: FA Cup: Arsenal survive Leeds scare thanks to Nelson goal ]

Recent rumors have linked Arsenal’s new captain with a $90-million move to Real Madrid amid the Gunners’ continued struggles. Aubameyang, however, left no room whatsoever for equivocation. He did so via the club’s official matchday program ahead of Monday’s FA Cup third-round clash with Leeds Unitedquotes from Sky Sports:

“I would also like to react to some of the rumors that are going around about me in the media.”

“People like making up stories and they should focus on what’s happening on the pitch. They talk too much and it does my head in.

“I am the Arsenal captain. I love this club. I am committed to it and desperate to bring it back to the top, where it belongs.”

Aubameyang is 30 years old and will likely retain very little resale value beyond his current contract, which is set to run until the summer of 2021, when he’ll turn 32. While replacing their captain and any player of his caliber would be hard — especially mid-season — perhaps a bid of close to $100 million will tempt the hierarchy at Arsenal and force Aubameyang to prove his resolution to stay.

Norwich City holds sloppy Arsenal

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Arsenal needed two goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to take a point from Norwich City at Carrow Road, a 2-2 draw which doomed the Gunners to their worst season start since 1975.

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The draw comes in the first match after Arsenal fired Unai Emery, as interim boss Freddie Ljungberg oversaw another defensively-challenged performance.

Arsenal needed a number of sensational saves from Bernd Leno to get their point, which leaves them 8th with 19 points.

[ MORE: Ljungberg reacts ]

Teemu Pukki and Todd Cantwell scored for Norwich City, who sits 19th with their 11th point.


Three things we learned

1. Gunners defense invites Pukki and friends to party: Emery may be gone, but it didn’t instantly fix the Gunners’ defensive woes. Norwich City went ahead when Pukki used a clever change of direction to open up for a perfect Kenny McLean through ball, then watched as the Arsenal backs allowed him to turn and dribble to space for a shot that turned off Chambers and past Leno. The Cantwell goal wasn’t too different, and Bernd Leno was outstanding in denying what could’ve easily been a number of additional goals.

2. VAR denies Krul penalty save: Norwich City goalkeeper Tim Krul has been a penalty-stopping marvel for years, but he was denied his fourth season stop from the spot when VAR spotted his plant leg off the line before he saved Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s effort. Don’t get us wrong: He left his line and this isn’t VAR’s fault as much as it’s the law. In some cases like this, it’s illogical to expect a keeper to hit the line every time unless you make him start inside the goal. Perhaps the idea is to make penalties more automatic, but it’s a tough but correct application from VAR that allowed Arsenal a brief respite.

EDIT: The call was apparently against Max Aarons, who entered the box before Aubameyang’s effort and was the first to touch the rebound. As you were.

3. Cantwell continues to raise profile: Norwich City’s 21-year-old midfielder collected his fourth goal of the season to go with two assists. Born 25 miles from Carrow Road, he’s averaging 1.3 key passes and 1.3 successful dribbles per game in helping the Canaries find, perhaps, their next James Maddison.

Man of the Match: Aubameyang — Saved penalty aside, the Gabonese goal collector gave the Gunners plenty to like (again) in scoring his 52nd and 53rd Arsenal goals (in 82 appearances).


It was mostly Arsenal early, though Onel Hernandez led a 17th minute charge that led to a hard shot directly to Bernd Leno.

Tim Krul produced more brilliance typical of his season with a flying slap of Calum Chambers‘ header.

That’s when Pukki finished Norwich’s lightning counter, calmly turning the ball onto his right foot for a shot that deflected past Leno.

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The score line looked set to change within moments, as Mesut Ozil‘s spun free kick was slapped out of the air by Zimmermann.

Krul came off his line to best Aubameyang’s spot kick, and VAR didn’t let the nominal distance sway it: Aubameyang bagged the re-kick despite Krul’s obnoxious hypeman antics on the touch line.

Norwich retook the lead in the second minute of stoppage time, Cantwell scoring for the second-straight match.

Leno continues to perform well for Arsenal under siege, splaying to make a world-class save on McLean at the hour mark.

Arsenal blows home lead, fails to clinch

AP Photo/Matt Dunham
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Daichi Kamada scored twice in the second half as Eintracht Frankfurt extended Arsenal’s winless run to seven matches with a 2-1 win at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

The Gunners still lead the group with 10 points, with Eintracht moving a point behind them. The Gunners travel to Standard Liege for the finale, with the Belgians three points back.

[ MORE: Emery reacts to loss, Xhaka ]

Arsenal is winless in seven matches across all competitions, and manager Unai Emery is in trouble.

Granit Xhaka returned to the Starting XI for the first time since getting booed off the field and reacting with vigor, and was possibly the Gunners’ Man of the Match in the loss.

Arsenal led at the break through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who slashed a dummied pass inside the near post after some fine work from Bukayo Saka.

Japanese midfielder Kamada scored in the 55th minute to tie things up and made it 2-1 less than 10 minutes later, his second and third goals to go with six assists in 24 matches since arriving from Belgian side Sint-Truidense.

[ MORE: Wolves clinch place ]

Here’s Arsenal’s goal:

Xhaka stripped of Arsenal captaincy; Aubameyang takes over

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Granit Xhaka has been stripped of the Arsenal captaincy as one of the final dominoes to fall in the wake of his confrontational actions toward the Arsenal fans who booed him off the field last month.

[ MORE: Son’s red card for tackle on Gomes overturned ]

Unai Emery announced on Tuesday that Xhaka will surrender the captain’s armband with immediate effect and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will take over the honorary position. Xhaka has been left out of the Arsenal squad for Wednesday’s Europa League clash away to Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes.

The only remaining question to be answered is whether or not Xhaka remains an active Arsenal player for the rest of November and all of December, which could then be followed by a month on nonstop speculation during the January transfer window.

Emery didn’t indicate whether Xhaka lost the captaincy for his actions alone, or his refusal to offer an outright apology to the club’s fans, as Emery made it known to all that he thought Xhaka should do.

[ MORE: Raheem Sterling in talks over TV series ]

The 27-year-old said the following in a statement on Instagram last month:

“The scenes that took place around my substitution have moved me deeply. I love this club and always give 100 percent on and off the pitch.

“My feeling of not being understood by fans, and repeated abusive comments at matches and in social media over the last weeks and months, have hurt me deeply.

“People have said things like, ‘We will break your legs,’ ‘Kill your wife’ and ‘Wish that your daughter gets cancer’. That has stirred me up and I reached boiling point when I felt the rejection in the stadium on Sunday.”