Shkrodan Mustafi

Arteta, Mustafi flustered by another incomplete 90 from Arsenal

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Mikel Arteta is trying to be patient with Arsenal as the Spanish manager looks to rebuild the fractured side.

It’s not easy, and Arteta’s men look better but still have hardly put together an entire game.

That includes a 0-0 draw at Burnley which really should’ve been three points.

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Is it going to take much longer to coax a full 90 out of this bunch?

“I hope it doesn’t,” he said, via Football.London. “But we need more consistency with the ball. We were so sloppy and we have to improve.”

Arteta also praised Shkrodan Mustafi for his performance in the clean sheet.

The center back is signing from the same hymnal as his boss.

“We need to work more to put our game on the pitch for 90 minutes rather than spells of a game,” Mustafi said. “You cannot defend when they play long balls all the time. We tried to put pressure on so they couldn’t do it easily. It was important to win the second balls and in parts we did it very well.”

Arsenal is off until a Feb. 16 visit from Newcastle United, giving Arteta two more weeks to find the recipe for success.

Arteta praises Saka, Willock, speaks on transfers, Mustafi injury

Mikel Arteta
Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images
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Arsenal’s day got a little dicey in stoppage time of a 2-1 win over Bournemouth in the FA Cup’s fourth round, but it was mostly very comfortable at the Vitality Stadium.

A lot of that comes down to Bukayo Saka‘s exceptional day on the left flank. The 18-year-old had a goal and an assist, and is proving a big part of Mikel Arteta‘s plans to return Arsenal to glory.

“Mikel is trying to bring back the philosophy of the Arsenal way,” Saka said after the win, via the BBC. “We did that well in the first half, not so much in the second half.”

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Saka took a lay-off from fellow teen Gabriel Martinelli to make it 1-0 in the fifth minute, then crossed for Eddie Nketiah‘s 26th-minute insurance goal.

A Sam Surridge stoppage-time marker for Bournemouth made an otherwise easy day feel a bit tricky at the end.

Arteta had praise for his youngsters, especially Saka and midfielder Joe Willock.

“They were terrific,” he said, via Football.London. “Their courage to play and make big decisions. I think Joe can be an outstanding player in that position.”

Saka came through the system as a left winger, but Arteta has asked him to help fill in at left back.

“What I like is that he put his head down and he is very willing to learn the defensive principles.”

Arteta also admitted that a Cup run would be great for the team, adding that Shkrodan Mustafi’s injury is a big cause for concern. He said the club has a clear plan for the rest of the transfer window, and that he wants Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to stay in London.

“We will have to assess him but normally it is not good,” he said of Mustafi. “We had a clear intention of what we want to do in the market and if we can do it, fine.”

Fleck artistry gets Sheffield United point at Arsenal

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John Fleck‘s perfectly lashed side volley gave Sheffield United a 1-1 draw at Arsenal on Saturday.

The Emirates Stadium saw a wasteful first hour from the Gunners give way to a resurgent Blades side and a share of the points.

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Gabriel Martinelli opened the scoring for the Gunners, who sit 10th with 29 points. The Blades move to 33 points and sit seventh.

The match was Mike Dean’s 500th Premier League match, and not without controversy. Dean neglected to award a penalty when Nicolas Pepe was chopped down in the box, but VAR stayed with him.


Three things we learned

1. Blades are for real: There’s a reason Chris Wilder is getting linked with plenty of jobs and got a new contract: Sheffield United’s men are bought into a system about as well as anyone not named Jurgen Klopp. Granted Arsenal let early United errors slide, but once the Blades took hold of momentum it rarely felt like the Gunners would score the game’s second goal

2. Aubameyang absence glaring: It’s no surprise that missing one of the world’s best scorers is a not good, but you’d peg Arsenal’s talented group of attackers to sort it out. Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette had their moments and Martinelli did get his goal, but there was an Auba-sized hole in both the aura and composure of the Gunners in the final third. That red card is stinging like a fresh cut.

3. Xhaka, Torreira steady: Mikel Arteta has found better play from Swiss hard man Granit Xhaka, while Lucas Torreira is working well with his center midfield mate. Their play allows Mesut Ozil to do whatever he wants, more or less. Throw in a fine day from Shkrodan Mustafi, and the Gunners were a Maitland-Niles 50-50 battle away from a clean sheet

Man of the Match: Give it to Fleck for the goal plus four tackles and another day of committed challenges.


Lacazette sent Nicolas Pepe down the right flank, and the Ivorian sent a terrific cross for Gabriel Martinelli. The youngster volleyed across goal and wide of the far post.

Lucas Torreira popped a dipping shot that Dean Henderson smothered in the 32nd minute.

Martinelli didn’t miss his second, punching home a 45th minute deflected cross from Bukayo Saka. The latter had a terrific first half for the Gunners.

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The Blades didn’t quit, and Arsenal was forced into a goal line clearance in the 56th.

Pepe could’ve won a penalty when he was chopped down on a dribble into the box, but VAR upheld Mike Dean’s initial judgment.

Sheffield United scored an equalizerr in brilliant fashion, Fleck slashing a bounding side volley past Leno in the 83rd minute.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles blocked a shot and Leno made a tremendous save in stoppage time to keep the hosts’ point.

Goal scorer Mustafi laments Arsenal lapses in 2-2 draw

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Shkrodan Mustafi had a front row seat for a pair of terrible errors on Wednesday, one that benefited his Arsenal and the other that allowed Manchester United to take a point away from the 2-2 draw at Old Trafford.

[ MORE: Match recap | Mourinho reacts ]

Arsenal led 1-0 when Mustafi’s bounding header was coughed up into the goal by United backstop David De Gea.

The Gunners led again, 2-1, but that only lasted for about 70 seconds as Sead Kolasinac‘s giveaway allowed Lingard to zip past an unsuspecting Mustafi to make it 2-2.

“We tried everything to take the three points home, but we have to be a little more clever and sensitive to danger to avoid the second one,” Mustafi said. “But we have taken four points from two difficult games after Tottenham at the weekend. We gave 120 percent in the derby, but we are not here to give excuses. With a bit of luck we could take three points, but it is always important not to lose.”

Arsenal manager Unai Emery thought his men blew a good chance to win its first league match at Old Trafford since 2007.

“I think we controlled the game, the second half better than the first. We could have won this match in certain moments, but they equalized very quickly after both our goals,” he said. “We need to improve defensively, but we need to have balance and not lose our attacking chances.”

Arsenal unbeaten in 20 after Man Utd draw

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  • De Gea error gifts opener
  • Martial, Lingard score
  • Rojo giveaway previews own goal

Jesse Lingard scored a minute after Marcos Rojo conceded an own goal as Manchester United twice equalized in a 2-2 draw with Arsenal on Wednesday at Old Trafford.

Arsenal has not won a Premier League match at United since 2007, and drops fifth with 31 points. United stays eighth, tied with two teams on 23 points.

Shkrodan Mustafi gave Arsenal a lead, helped by a rare David De Gea error, but Anthony Martial had it 2-1 at the brek.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The Goal Decision System helped Arsenal ahead in the 26th mintue when David De Gea couldn’t handle an up-bounding Mustafi header and Ander Herrera‘s clearance was just past the goal line.

United had an answer in the 31st as Leno palmed a Marcos Rojo free kick toward the end line but Herrera kept it in bounds with an industrious effort that went right to Martial.

Rob Holding was stretchered off the field soon after, forcing Stephane Lichsteiner to take his place.

Things took a scrappy turn with five yellow cards, three to United. Nemanja Matic joined Rojo, Jesse Lingard, Mustafi, and Hector Bellerin in the book.

Arsenal found the goal next through a double Rojo error. The Argentine gave the ball away, then charged down Alexandre Lacazette and pushed the ball into his own goal. 2-1, 69′

But Lingard scored in less than a minute! Sead Kolasinac‘s sloppy touch of a loose ball allowed Lingard to poke an equalizer through Leno’s legs.

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