Arsenal into FA Cup quarter-finals

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott scored his landmark 100th goal for the club in a 2-0 win at Sutton United in the FA Cup as they safely negotiated the minefield of a visit to the minor league team and secured a place in the quarter-finals.

Arsenal into FA Cup quarter-finals

The England striker reached his century after the break, adding to a first-half strike from Lucas Perez, as the Premier League giants were relieved to put their recent woes behind them and end the National League club’s fairytale run.

Arsene Wenger’s men, determined not to entertain the concept of a Cup giant-killing, forgot their European troubles and coped with an artificial pitch in a ramshackle south London ground to beat, but not overwhelm, the courageous fifth-tier dreamers.

Sutton had fantasised about pulling off the greatest Cup upset of all in front of 5,000 fans and hosting a sixth-round tie with fellow National League club Lincoln City, who are the first minor league side to reach the last eight in 103 years.

Yet Sutton’s chances of emulating Lincoln’s sensational win at Premier League Burnley on Saturday were effectively extinguished once Arsenal’s Spanish striker Lucas broke the deadlock in the 26th minute with a left-foot curler.

Walcott killed the tie with a slickly-worked team goal in the 55th minute but Sutton refused to bow out quietly, creating several good chances and seeing their best player, Roarie Deacon, smash a fierce shot against the bar.

It was not enough, though, to stop a slightly under-strength Arsenal side from easing towards a home date with Lincoln as they seek to win the FA Cup for a record 13th time.

DRAW FOR THE FA CUP QUARTER-FINALS

Chelsea v Manchester United

Middlesbrough v Huddersfield Town /Manchester City

Tottenham v Millwall

Arsenal v Lincoln City

The matches will be played from March 10-13.

Uefa Champions League draw-Arsenal to play Bayern Munich in last 16

Arsenal have been handed the toughest road possible in the Uefa Champions League draw, landing Germany heavyweights Bayern Munich for the third time in the past five years.

Uefa Champions League draw-Arsenal to play Bayern Munich in last 16

The Champions League’s round of 16 draw has been a yearly source of dread for fans of the London-based club, with the worst possible outcome usually being the result – in the past six seasons they had drawn Barcelona and Bayern Munich twice each, as well as AC Milan and Monaco.

The other English sides in the draw fared better, with Leicester City being drawn to play Spanish side Sevilla and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City to take on Monaco.

Aside from Bayern v Arsenal (a draw which seemed preordained to the point where one of Bayern’s accounts joked about it on Twitter), undoubtedly the tie of the round pits French champions Paris St Germain against the defending Spanish champions, Barcelona.

Lucas Perez scores his first Arsenal hat-trick as Gunners Tops the group

Lucas Perez made the most of a rare start by scoring a hat-trick in Tuesday’s 4-1 rout of Basel that sent Arsenal through to the Champions League last 16 as group winners.

Lucas Perez scores his first Arsenal  hat-trick as  Gunners Tops the group

The Spaniard missed over a month with an ankle injury following his move from Deportivo la Coruna in August but played a leading role in Switzerland as Arsene Wenger’s men stole first place from Paris Saint-Germain in Group A.

The French champions were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Bulgaria’s Ludogorets, allowing Arsenal to wrest back top spot and avoid the likes of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in the next round. “We made a great result to be top of this group which is what we wanted,” Wenger told BT Sport.

Perez tapped home from close range following a Kieran Gibbs cross in the eighth minute and the 28-year-old soon added to his tally when the left-back’s low drive was tipped into his path by Basel goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik.

The striker had netted just twice – in a 4-0 EFL Cup victory over Nottingham Forest – since his arrival at Arsenal in a deal worth 17 million pounds ($22.3 million, 20 million euros).

But he capped a memorable first Champions League start with his third goal of the evening just two minutes after half-time when he slotted Alexis Sanchez’s pass low into the far corner.

Mesut Ozil unselfishly squared to Alex Iwobi as the Nigeria international netted Arsenal’s fourth on 53 minutes. Substitute Seydou Doumbia gave the St. Jakob-Park faithful something to cheer with a consolation effort 12 minutes from time but defeat ended Basel’s European adventure.

“We did the job I think in a convincing way, we were mobile, we started very well, we scored goals on all our accelerations and overall we had a convincing performance,” said Wenger.

The Gunners will find out their opponent for the last 16 when the draw is made at UEFA headquarters in Nyon on Monday.

“It is difficult to know but you feel a bit less guilty if you have a bad draw (after finishing) first rather than second – we have done our job and let’s see what happens,” he added.AFP

Arsenal beat Bournemouth with Sanchez brace

An Alexis Sanchez brace helped Arsenal beat Bournemouth 3-1 and keep within striking distance of league leaders Chelsea .

Arsenal beat Bournemouth with Sanchez brace

Theo Walcott was also on target for Arsenal, scoring with a header as the Gunners overcame a contentious penalty that Callum Wilson converted in a fiercely fought game at the Emirates Stadium.

Having struggled offensively in recent weeks, Sanchez inspired Arsenal to produce some scintillating attacking play and avoid a third consecutive league draw.

Sanchez earned some heavy praise from manager Arsene Wenger for his performance.

“Even when he looks dead (Sanchez) is still alive and finds the resources to do something special,” Arsenal manager Wenger said.

“We started well, but after they equalised we became nervous and that’s where you could see the draws played on our mind.”

Bournemouth can take heart from a promising attacking display, which was delivered without Jack Wilshere, who was ineligible due to the terms of the midfielder’s loan from Arsenal.

“I thought we were very good today, it’s very difficult when you go behind early in the game, but the group responded very well, with maturity,” Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe said.

“Today when you look at the players we were without, the fact that we managed to produce the performance we did without them shows the quality in the squad.”

Arsenal’s early intensity forced a mistake from Steve Cook in the 12th minute, as the Bournemouth defender’s back pass gifted Sanchez the chance to round Federici and calmly place the ball into the empty net.

Arsenal believed it should have had a penalty two minutes later but referee Michael Jones waved play on as Sanchez went down under a challenge from Nathan Ake.

The home fans were doubly aggrieved in the 25th when Jones awarded the visitors a penalty as Nacho Monreal and Wilson went shoulder to shoulder in the Arsenal box.

With Arsenal visibly rattled by the equaliser, Bournemouth spurned opportunities to take the lead, most notably when Adam Smith headed narrowly over when unmarked six yards out.

However, Wenger’s side began to rediscover its rhythm as Sanchez twice came close just before halftime, striking narrowly over after a neat exchange with Ozil before rattling the bar with a powerful effort from the right side of the box.

Arsenal began the second half as it ended the first and Monreal went some way to redeeming himself by supplying the cross for Walcott to restore Arsenal’s lead in the 53rd after good work from Sanchez and Ozil.

Sanchez then iced the game in the 90th minute to keep the Gunners three points behind league leaders Chelsea and in fourth.

Wenger: Arsenal will always be bigger than Tottenham

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is not worried about Tottenham’s recent progress and believes the Gunners will always remain stronger.

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal will always be a bigger club than Tottenham so long as the club do their job on the pitch.

Spurs will play at a newly developed White Hart Lane from 2018, which with a capacity of 61,000 will be bigger than Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium home.

Under Wenger, Arsenal have never finished below Tottenham in the Premier League, but Spurs have closed the gap and Mauricio Pochettino’s men were only pipped into second on the final day of last season.

However, Wenger insists he is not concerned by Tottenham’s standing and the Frenchman stoked the fires ahead of Sunday’s North London derby by claiming that Spurs will remain in Arsenal’s shadow as long as the Gunners continue to go from strength-to-strength on the pitch.

“I do not think about Tottenham ever becoming a bigger club than Arsenal,” Wenger, whose side are just three points clear of Spurs in the table, was quoted as saying by several national newspapers.

“I think about Arsenal and making us as big as possible, making us stronger.

“We have a strong fan base, maybe the strongest in London, and as long as we do our job Arsenal will always be the stronger.

“No position is guaranteed. It is about doing our job, but at the end of the day everything is decided by what happens on the pitch. That is what the size of a club is about; consistency at the top level. That is just down to us.”

 

Tottenham don’t compare to Arsenal – Pochettino

The stability of a 20-year spell under Arsene Wenger means Arsenal should not be compared with Tottenham, Mauricio Pochettino has said.

Tottenham don't compare to Arsenal - Pochettino

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino says there is no point comparing his club with Arsenal, given the decades of stability enjoyed by Arsene Wenger.

The Gunners host Spurs in the north London derby on Saturday a month after Wenger celebrated his 20th anniversary in charge of the club.

Pochettino has transformed expectations at White Hart Lane since his appointment in 2014, having inspired them to an unlikely Premier League title challenge last term, while they remain the only unbeaten side in the top flight in 2016-17.

But the former Argentina defender says that the ongoing work to rebuild both Spurs’ stadium and the squad itself means trying to draw comparisons with their fierce rivals is futile.

“Arsenal, after 20 years of Arsene Wenger, are one of the most consistent clubs in the world. It’s difficult to compare us with Arsenal,” he said.

“We want to be one of the best but we’re still building the training ground, the new stadium and our squad. But you put that away when you compete. We need to be aggressive and try to play better than them.”

Spurs’ 1-0 Champions League defeat to Bayer Leverkusen at Wembley on Wednesday means they are without a win in six games in all competitions since beating Manchester City 2-0.

“We’re not in a positive situation, we’ve struggled to win games after beating Manchester City,” Pochettino said. “We need to work hard and try more than before because we’re in a difficult moment.

“You need to be ready to change the dynamic and we have a very good opportunity on Sunday.

“It will be an exciting game for us and for them, too. It will be tough for both teams. It’s a big challenge for them to beat us and for us to win.

“I was very disappointed with the performance on Wednesday. We know we were poor and we cannot play that way against Arsenal. But it’s a completely different competition and it will be a completely different game.”

Harry Kane is back from an ankle injury and in contention to start, but Pochettino expects to be without defender Toby Alderweireld and potentially midfielder Mousa Dembele.

“Toby is struggling a little bit in his recovery but he should be available after the international break. He’s very close but it’s a very slow recovery,” he said.

“I can only say [Dembele] is a doubt, we’ll assess him tomorrow and then decide. It’s not a big deal but it’s painful on his ankle.”

 

Arsenal 2-0 Reading: Oxlade-Chamberlain sends Gunners through

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain bagged a brace to help Arsenal to a 2-0 victory over Reading in the fourth round of the EFL Cup this evening.

Arsenal 2-0 Reading: Oxlade-Chamberlain sends Gunners through

The England international scored in either half at the Emirates Stadium to take his tally to three in three since announcing that he may have to leave the club in search of first team football next term.

Arsenal were comfortable winners in the end in a match that inevitably did not match the excitement levels of their 7-5 win over the same opposition at this stage three years ago – a joint-record scoreline in the competition.

Alex Iwobi, one of just two players to retain his place in a much-changed side from last time out, tested Reading stopper Ali Al-Habsi inside the opening stages after being picked out by the returning Carl Jenkinson.

The hosts continued to knock on the door, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles coming close and Lucas Perez very nearly picking out Jeff Reine-Adelaide in front of goal, but the Gunners were made to wait.

Arsenal did have their breakthrough goal 10 minutes before the break, however, thanks to Oxlade-Chamberlain’s surging run into the box and a sweeping finish into the bottom corner.

Reading, who have now lost all 14 meetings with Arsenal, did come close to pulling a goal back when Callum Harriott sent one narrowly over the bar, but Oxlade-Chamberlain also had a chance to make it two as he failed to convert when played through.

Olivier Giroud was introduced with an hour played for his first appearance in a month, coming close to making an immediate impact by sending a bullet header on target which Al-Habsi kept out.

This was to be Oxlade-Chamberlain’s night, though, as he blasted a deflected shot into the net to double his scoring tally and already make this his best season in front of goal for the Gunners.

Emiliano Martinez was required late on to keep out a free kick from the visitors, though that was well kept out and Arsenal can now look forward to a quarter-final tie.

Wenger to field Youngsters in EFL CUP

Arsene Wenger will again turn to youth when Arsenal take on Reading in the EFL Cup this evening.
Youngsters Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Rob Holding, Jeff Reine-Adelaide and Chuba Akpom played in the 4-0 win at Nottingham Forest in the previous round and could feature again along with Spanish forward Lucas Perez.

Oliver Giroud could return from a toe injury as Wenger is determined to get back to winning ways after the goalless league draw against Middlesbrough on Saturday.

ArsenaWenger to field Youngsters  in EFL CUP

“That’s our target,” the Frenchman told Arsenal Player. “We have a game on Tuesday night so let’s come back to winning habits straight away.

“It’s about how you deal with disappointment and how you bounce back and I believe that the group is strong enough.

“We lost the first game here against Liverpool, and after that we bounced back in a very strong way so that’s what we want to do again.”

Elsewhere, Aaron Ramsey (hamstring), Per Mertesacker and Danny Welbeck (both knee) are still missing.

Provisional squad for EFL CUP: Cech, Martinez, Ospina, Debuchy, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Gabriel, Monreal, Gibbs, Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Reine-Adelaide, Xhaka, Akpom, Elneny, Lucas, Mavididi, Iwobi, Giroud.

Arsenal signs up Octopus Energy for green energy switch

Arsenal signs up Octopus Energy for green energy switch

Arsenal signs up Octopus Energy for green energy switch

Club’s new official energy partner to promote renewable power offer to Arsenal fans

Arsenal has announced it is working on a plan to source renewable power for the club and its Emirates Stadium, after inking a deal with solar energy specialist Octopus Energy.

Octopus Energy announced late last week it has become the club’s official energy partner, under a deal that will see it provide renewable power to the Arsenal estate.

A spokeswoman for the company said the full switching of Arsenal’s power supplies to a 100 per cent renewables tariff was “imminent”.

The partnership also includes a wide-ranging marketing deal that will see Octopus Energy offer Arsenal fans a tariff that will provide them with the same renewable electricity that will power the Emirates Stadium.

The tariff will see fans offered a range of club-related benefits including official signed merchandise and VIP stadium tours, while Octopus will promote its brand at domestic fixtures will be able to access Arsenal’s digital channels and run promotional activities and marketing initiatives featuring first-team players.

“This partnership with Octopus is a positive step towards improving our contribution to environmental sustainability,” said Vinai Venkatesham, Arsenal’s chief commercial officer. “We will be working closely with them to develop renewable power supplies, as well as providing special offers for Arsenal fans in the UK. We look forward to supporting Octopus Energy in the growth of their business.”

Greg Jackson, founder of Octopus Energy, said the partnership was “a massive step for us in championing greener, fairer energy for Britain”.

“We are thrilled to be working with the club to switch Emirates Stadium to green energy,” he said. “We are passionate that greener energy is critical to the future of our planet, and for many people can be cheaper than with big energy companies. Arsenal and Octopus are both leaders in their fields, and we look forward to working closely together to take this message to their fans and the wider football audience.”

Octopus is a major investor in UK solar projects and earlier this year it branched out with a new offer to sell green power direct to consumers. The company said it has has signed up more than 40,000 energy accounts since the launch of the tariff in April and is now looking to accelerate the growth of the business through the partnership with Arsenal.

Mesut Ozil Agree new contract,he will be handed the No.10 shirt-Reports

Arsenal Star Mesut Ozil has reportedly agreed a new contract to stay at the emirates and will be handed the No.10 shirt as part of his new deal.

Mesut Ozil Agree new contract,he will be handed the No.10 shirt-Reports

Ozil nicknamed the king of assists is out of contract in 2018 but manager Arsene Wenger has already confessed he is keen for Ozil, who joined the club from Real Madrid in 2013,  to stay at the Emirates and was focused on on having new deal agreed.

 The Frenchman now appears to have been granted his wish with Henning Feindt of Sport Bild reporting that Ozil has agreed a massive new deal and will be handed the No. 10 shirt.

 

This is a massive news for gunners all over the world as the German is a fan favorite at emirates,also this proves clubs ambitions as we are no longer the selling club,now we can attract big names in the game and keep them at Arsenal.

I hope that this deals will help another of our star  Alexis Sanchez to follow in Ozil’s footsteps and commit his future to the club. Like Ozil, the Chilean’s contract also expires in 2018 with Arsenal desperate to keep their talisman who has once again been in inspirational form this season.

Arsenal vs Basel-Arsenal Predicted line up

Arsenal play Basel on Wednesday night in their second Champions League game. The Gunners gained a tough point against PSG in their first match of the competition, and will be looking to gain three points against the Swiss side.

Arsenal seem to have discovered some form and after dismantling Chelsea last weekend, they’ll be hoping to continue that run of form.

So let’s look at the possible team Wenger could play in order to continue this form.

 

Goalkeeper: Ospina

Ospina looks set to come back in as Wenger has confirmed the Colombian will play in the Champions League group stages so Cech will drop to the bench.

Defence: Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal

Our first choice centre-back pairing of Koscielny and Mustafi are forging an excellent partnership and along with full-backs Bellerin and Monreal, we now look to have the foundation of a top class back four.

Gabriel is fit again while Gibbs is also pushing for game-time but I see no reason why we should change the defence right now considering how well they are all playing.

Midfield: Xhaka, Elneny

With Coquelin now facing a spell on the sidelines with the knee injury that forced him off against Chelsea on Saturday, Xhaka is set to come in and stake his claim as a first choice regular. I’m gutted to see Francis injured but can’t wait to see Xhaka get a run in the first team.

Cazorla has been excellent recently but I’d give him a rest for this game. Ramsey is still nursing his hamstring injury that’s kept him out since the opening game of the season so I’d like to see Elneny come in.

Attack: Walcott, Ozil, Iwobi

Our attack was excellent against Chelsea on Saturday. Walcott continued his superb start to the new season with another goal while Iwobi enhanced his reputation with another excellent performance so both should keep their places.

However, for me, Ozil was the star at the weekend and I hope we see him running the show again on Wednesday.  Oxlade-Chamberlain will provide an option from the bench.

Striker: Sanchez

I’ve openly questioned the wisdom of playing Sanchez through the middle but he was outstanding against Chelsea so maybe he’s starting to get used to the role. With Giroud suspended following his dismissal against PSG, Sanchez should once again lead the line against Basel with Lucas among the substitutes.

This would be my line-up to face Basel:

Arsenal vs Basel-Arsenal Predicted line up