Arsenal: Transfer News

First of Many

Arsenal makes their first summer transfer move, bringing in Brazilian starlet Gabriel Martinelli. The 18-year-old forward started his career at Sao Paulo Club Ituano and was the first youngest player in this century to make his debut at the age of 16. He then went onto conceding 10 goals and 34 appearances. Also voted as the top goal scorer in the Brazilian league after the team reached the quarterfinals in the Sao Paulo state championships. That was all until he was snapped up by Arsenal this summer for £6 million. Martinelli had recently been called up for the Brazilian national team for the Copa America training in May. And if he’s ready to play in a legendary national team like Brazil, I’m sure he’ll be doing wonders at the Emirates stadium alongside Bellerin, Lacazette and Ozil.

Prep Talk

Crystal Palace are holding tightly onto Wilfred Zaha as his price goes up! Arsenal makes the 40 million bid. That just wasn’t enough for the Eagles, later rejecting the bid, as they look to keep the striker. But with no comments from Zaha, this transfer could be kept under wraps until after the African World Cup, leaving few weeks until the transfer window closes.  The Gunners have up to £70 million remaining for a bid but who’s place would Zaha be taking in the Arsenal team. A fantastic 18/19 season for Aubameyang as he looks to have a strong position in the Arsenal team, after conceding 22 goals last season. Whereas youngster Alex Iwobi has been left sitting on the bench for many games. Looks like more of this for Iwobi if Zaha moves to Arsenal.

It’s over to Spain Unai Emery takes his sights as a £27 million bid is put in for Real Madrid striker Lucas Vazquez. It looks like Arsenal require a striker as Emery sets his sights on yet another striker. Vazquez has won several titles with Real Madrid and has 9 international caps for Spain. If he moves to Arsenal this summer, this may help bring the Real Madrid flare to the Premier League…

The Gunners prepare a £12 million bid for Hull City’s Jarrod Bowen. Hoping to bring the League two player to the Premiership. The young player has been Hull’s top goal scorer in two consecutive seasons, securing them in 13th place in the league. This move could potentially be a fill in for Palace’s Zaha if he doesn’t make the move to the Emirates this season, making Bowen a cheaper option for the Gunners.

The Race Begins!

Another bid bites the dust as Arsenal’s bid for Celtic defender Kieran Tierney is rejected, after the bid made was too low for the Scottish Premiership club. Here come the Italians! As Napoli joins the race for the defender. Arsenal needs to place another bid if they want Tierney, else it currently stands as a move to the Italian league. He might even bump into David Ospina, who has joined Napoli on a permanent contract after 4 years at the London club. Meanwhile Celtic set up new transfer Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo for Tierney’s position, as a summer departure seems realistic for the Scottish starlet.

Marcelo wants out at Real Madrid and he isn’t stuck for offers, with already gaining interest from Arsenal, Juventus and PSG. Leaving everyone wondering where the Brazilian’s next move will be. To secure Marcelo, The Gunners need to set up a huge move as it becomes a three club race for the Real Madrid star. The Brazilian can play in both Midfield and Defensive roles. A very versatile player that will add a lot to whichever team he decides to join this summer. Again, it will probably be a late signing for the Brazilian as he plays in the Copa America with the Brazilian national team.

Youngsters On The Rise

The new talent is here and Arsenal are securing them with their first professional contracts. An amazing time for; Ben Cottrell, James Hillson and Joel Lopez as all three are offered professional contracts at Arsenal. This comes after their outstanding performances in the under 18’s Premier League. It looks like we will be sure to see a taste of Arsenals new talent this season. Well done lads!

Premier League Review: Match Week 3

The Weekend’s Premier League instalment certainly didn’t disappoint this week, with Pochettino’s fluid Spurs side undoubtedly stealing the headlines.

The Lilywhites thrashed Manchester United 3-0 at Old Trafford as the home side’s troubled start to the season continued. Jose Mourinho, critical of his players and frustrated at the failure to make further signings, cut a sombre figure at the end, with some wondering whether it might also be the end for the controversial manager if there is a failure to improve.

Strangely he had midfielder Ander Herrera in a three-man central defensive system alongside Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, with Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof dropped.

Mourinho was desperate to add central defensive reinforcements in the transfer window, yet he was the man who signed Bailly and Lindelof at a cost of more than £60 million. Is third-year syndrome, when Mourinho either leaves clubs or is moved on, about to bite again? Harry Kane’s header put Spurs in command at the start of the second half. Lucas Moura doubled their lead two minutes later and the Brazilian scored a second late on to make things emphatic.

One hundred per cent records for Liverpool, Spurs, Chelsea and Watford, three wins out of three, so far this season.

Liverpool saw Mohamed Salah’s first-half strike secure a 1-0 victory over a battling Brighton side. Salah, who scored a record 38 goals in the Premier League last season, clinically finished off the inside of the post. Wolves managed a deserved point after they held Manchester City 1-1 at Molineux.

The visitors hit the post twice in the first half – first through Sergio Aguero and then when Wolves keeper Rui Patricio brilliantly turned Raheem Sterling’s 25-yard drive onto the bar. Wolves’ striker Raul Jimenez had a goal ruled out for offside. And the hosts took the lead in controversial fashion when defender Willy Boly’s attempted diving header went in off his hand from Joao Moutinho’s free-kick.

An Aymeric Laporte header rescued a point for the champions. Both sides had opportunities in the closing stages, with Aguero’s free-kick glancing off the bar with virtually the last kick of the game.

Arsenal managed their first win under new head coach Unai Emery, beating West Ham 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners were caught out on the counter for the opener, West Ham captain Marko Arnautovic slotting low past Petr Cech. Nacho Monreal struck back, firing into an unguarded net after Bellerin’s cross deflected into his path off Alex Iwobi.

Hammers’ debutant Issa Diop diverted Alexandre Lacazette’s volley across the area into his own net and then Danny Welbeck sealed it in added time. The result perhaps flattered Arsenal whose defensive frailties remain.

Chelsea went to Newcastle and turned over the Geordies 2-1. Eden Hazard, on his first start this season, netted from the penalty spot in the 76th minute before substitute Joselu levelled with a terrific header at St James’ Park. But late on Newcastle were sucker punched when Marcos Alonso’s shot deflected in off DeAndre Yedlin. Chelsea dominated the game with 82 per cent possession.

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Prepare Yourself for a Fabulous Festive Period of Football

The Barclay’s Premier League season has certainly kicked off in style in 2017, with fans having already enjoyed a feast of fascinating fixtures this year. With the latest International break having ended, fans can now relish goals, gaffs and unmissable drama as they witness an action-packed festive period of Premier League football. Eventmasters are delighted to offer the finest football hospitality packages for the thrilling 2017/18 season. Treat your esteemed clientele to a match day unlike any other with our unrivalled corporate entertainment facilities.

In preparation for what promises to be a thrilling December period, we highlight four of the showcase fixtures to follow this term.

Arsenal v Manchester United – Saturday 2nd December 2017

Fixtures between these two Premier League giants always promise to be highly charged. With thrilling drama, splendid goals and a fierce managerial rivalry to match, fans can certainly relish a pulsating 90 minutes of unrivalled action. It was Arsenal who stole the bragging rights when last the two met at the Emirates Stadium, with two quick-fire goals from Granit Xhaka and former Red Devil, Danny Welbeck, securing a famous victory to halt United’s impressive 25-match unbeaten run.

This term Arsene Wenger’s Gunners must rediscover the form that saw them conquer Jose Mourinho’s high-flying side, but with the latter currently jostling for position at the very top of the table, it will certainly prove to be a challenging ordeal. United hope to welcome back midfield maestro, Paul Pogba, to their ranks in the coming days following his recovery from injury, and will also call on Belgian hitman, Romelu Lukaku to supply an imposing attacking threat. Arsenal on the other hand will have an array of offensive options available, with Frenchman, Alexandre Lacazette, who currently boasts 6 Premier League goals, likely to lead the line. It should make for a fascinating encounter.

Liverpool v Everton – Sunday 10th December 2017

The pulsating Merseyside derby barely needs any introduction. With a match-day atmosphere unrivalled by most, fans can certainly relish a fixture brimming with passion and ferocity. Last season the Liverpool faithful were treated to a footballing masterclass at Anfield, with goals from Messrs Mane, Coutinho and Origi dispatching their Evertonian rivals with consummate ease. It will certainly be a fixture to excite the masses this year with Jurgen Klopp’s man eagerly eyeing a place in the coveted top four.

Everton on the other hand are enduring a difficult period of form. Having sacked Dutchman, Ronald Koeman, following a poor run of results that has seen them exit Europe and drop to the lower reaches of the Premier League table, they are in desperate search of some positive results. A vital win at home to Watford on November 5th will have lifted the side’s spirits no-end but with no permanent managerial appointment currently on the horizon, it remains a period of uncertainty for Everton fans.

Manchester United v Manchester City – Sunday 10th December 2017

Immediately following the captivating Merseyside Derby comes the fixture that sits at the very forefront of the English footballing calendar. Two sides. Two managers. One unparalleled rivalry. The two Premier League giants last met at Old Trafford in September 2016, with the Sky Blues stealing a 2-1 victory from the desperate clutches of their Manchester rivals. Goals from the ubiquitous Kevin De Bruyne and Kalechi Iheanacho were enough to claim the spoils despite a late surge from Mourinho’s men to snatch an equaliser.

This season, Pep Guardiola’s City side appear to be in rampant form, having only dropped two points from 11 games all season. With a devastating attacking arsenal which includes the talismanic De Bruyne, the lightening-quick Sane and ever-prolific Aguero, City will be vying to dominate from the first whistle.

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur – Saturday 16th December 2017

As Christmas draws ever nearer, fans can tide their impatience with a trip to this captivating Premier League encounter. With both sides jostling for the top position in the league this season, there will certainly be a great deal at stake. Fans were treated to a fascinating spectacle at the Etihad Stadium in January as the league’s high-fliers played out a pulsating 2-2 draw. Despite Guardiola’s men racing into 2 goal lead after half time, courtesy of Leory Sane and Kevin De Bruyne, it was Pochettino’s men who demonstrated their resilience, pulling two back swiftly to bring the game level.

This term, the playing field looks to be finely poised with both sides enjoying some fine form so far. Will Tottenham’s boy wonder, Harry Kane, be on hand to put a spanner in Guardiola’s seemingly faultless plan, or will City’s Sergio Aguero claim the bragging rights? There’s not long to wait!

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The Premier League’s Ones To Watch

The Barclay’s Premier League season has certainly kicked off in style in 2017, with fans having already enjoyed a feast of fascinating fixtures this year. Eventmasters are delighted to offer the finest football hospitality packages for the thrilling 2017/18 season. Treat your esteemed clientele to a match day unlike any other with our unrivalled corporate entertainment facilities.

As we all look ahead to more frenzied football action in the months to come, why not whet the appetite with our chosen ‘ones to watch’ for 2017/18?

Manchester City – Kevin De Bruyne

The ubiquitous Belgian midfielder, who is already staking a formidable claim for player of the season, appears to be going from strength to strength under the watchful eye of Pep Guardiola. De Bruyne, who endured a frustrating three year spell at Chelsea previously, has dazzled the City faithful with his intricate passing range and keen eye for goal. The City talisman, who boasted the highest assist rate in the 2016/17 campaign has certainly started the new season in the same vein, having already added 5 assists and a goal to his impressive tally.

His skilful showcase on the pitch appears to be matched only by his refreshing modesty and attitude demonstrated off it, and Manchester City fans are surely savouring every moment. The Sky Blues must have one eye over their shoulder however; as when the January Transfer Window looms, Europe’s elite will undoubtedly be keeping tabs on the gifted playmaker.

Manchester United – Romelu Lukaku

The Red Devils’ record signing has certainly lived up to expectations thus far, registering an impressive 7 goals in 8 appearances this season. The towering Belgian has posed as a constant menace to Premier League defences this year with his fantastic aerial presence and devastating pace proving too much for most to handle.

At just 24, United’s striking sensation is undoubtedly an early frontrunner for the 2017/18 Golden Boot Award, having narrowly missed out on the distinguished accolade the previous season. If his tremendous early-season form continues to blossom, there is no reason why Jose Mourinho’s side couldn’t realistically challenge for the title.

Tottenham Hotspur – Harry Kane

The prolific English hitman certainly requires no introduction. Having secured the coveted Golden Boot award for the previous two successive seasons, Spurs’ in-form striker is undoubtedly the one to watch this year. Following his recent captaincy for the National side during the World Cup Qualifiers, the 24 year old is consistently demonstrating maturity beyond his years, acting as an inspirational figurehead for fans and players alike.

With a keen eye for goal, a terrific right foot and an aptitude for finding space in a heavily congested penalty area, Kane is undoubtedly one of the Premier League’s most lethal strikers. His recent nomination for the prestigious Ballon d’Or Award only serves to highlight his fantastic contribution to the sport. Whether Spurs can keep hold of him in the summer remains to be seen.

Chelsea – Alvaro Morata

Antonio Conte had made it no secret that he was keen to add to his attacking arsenal before the beginning of the new season. Having deemed Diego Costa surplus to requirements in the summer, the animated Italian was desperate to see a new talisman to lead the line, with Real Madrid’s Alvaro Morata becoming the subsequent choice.

The prolific front man does appear to represent a fine acquisition for Chelsea so far, with the Spanish International already netting 6 Premier League goals for the Blues in just 7 appearances. He played a pivotal role in Chelsea’s Champions League victory over Atletico Madrid, scoring the all-important equaliser to give the visitors a much-needed foothold in the game.

Boasting a fabulous skillset which includes, pace, precision and a strong aerial presence, Morata is considered an excellent replacement for the recently departed Diego Costa. Whether he will surpass the Spaniard’s impeccable goal-scoring record is another question however.

Arsenal – Alexandre Lacazette

Joining the Gunners from Olympique Lyonnais in the summer, the talented Frenchman is widely viewed by critics as a deadly attacking outlet. Having amassed a phenomenal 129 goals in 275 appearances for the Ligue 1 side, Arsene Wenger will be relishing the thought of having a prolific goal-scorer amongst his attacking arsenal. The French International has already netted on four occasions for the London club following his move to the Emirates Stadium and fans will surely be relishing what is to come from the frontman in the future months.

With blistering pace, a lethal right foot and a commendable goal-scoring record, Lacazette certainly looks to be a coup for Arsenal; could the Frenchman be in contention for the Golden Boot award this year? Time will tell.

Liverpool – Mohammed Salah

Mohammed Salah, has seamlessly settled into life at Anfield following his substantial £34 million move from Serie A stalwarts AS Roma in the summer. With blistering pace, a flawless positional sense and a keen eye for goal, the Egyptian winger has a skillset craved by many. Forming the formidable right arm of Liverpool’s devastating attacking trio, Salah has made a considerable contribution to Liverpool’s offensive outlet, chipping in with 4 goals in just league 8 games.

His electrifying turn of pace and willingness to run in behind has allowed Liverpool to adopt an exciting style of counter-attacking football, and with Messrs Mane and Firmino also in fine form, the Reds have become a real force to be reckoned with. Can they win the Premier League? That remains to be seen.

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Summer Transfer Window – Who Should Your Club Sign?

 

After a fantastic finish to the 2016/17 Premier League season, it’s time for clubs to focus on the summer transfer window. In this article we have given our opinions on who each of the ‘top 6’ clubs should try to sign before the start of the new season.

Arsenal search for a new striker…

Arsenal’s chairman Chips Keswick has given Arsene Wenger £100m to spend this summer. The Gunners’ are looking to sign Malaga duo, Sandro Ramirez and Pablo Fornals, but also looking to keep their talisman Alexis Sanchez and creator Mezut Ozil, both only have 12 months left on their lucrative contracts. Their FA triumph and improved salaries of £200k + will play a big part in the negotiations.

Arsenal targets:

Dream – Kylian Mbappé Lottin

Realistic – Alexandre Lacazette

Eventmasters suggest – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Wildcard – Anthony Martial

Champions Chelsea looks to bolster their squad…

New Champions, Chelsea, are prepared to splash the cash on Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng. Their main target for defence is Dutch centre-back, Virgil Van Dijk, from Southampton but are prepared to explore other options. Despite their Premier League triumph, Conte will struggle to keep Eden Hazard if Real Madrid submit a world-record transfer fee of £100m. The La Liga Champions believes Zidane’s presence will help entice Hazard to leave.

Chelsea targets:

Dream –Jerome Boateng

Realistic – Álvaro Morata

Eventmasters suggest – Andrea Belotti

Wildcard – Alexis Sanchez

Manchester United need real quality to win the Premier League…

The UEL winners, Manchester United, have also been approached by the Spanish giants for their formidable goalkeeper David De Gea. The rumours are that Manchester United have already rejected a £60m bid. Mourinho will be reluctant to sell their star goalkeeper as the summer transfer window kicks into gear.

The Red Devils are keen on signing a list of players from La Liga this year, Antoine Griezmann being one. If the French-man is to leave Atletico this summer Old Trafford looks to be the most realistic destination.

Manchester United targets:

Dream – Gareth Bale

Realistic – Antoine Griezmann

Eventmasters suggest – Paulo Dybala

Wildcard – Sergio Aguero

Manchester City prepares to splash the cash…

Manchester City has made their intentions clear early in the transfer window by signing one of the hottest prospects in Europe; Bernardo Silva from Monaco. If the rumours are true then Benfica’s young goalkeeper Ederson will also be signed for City in the coming days bringing their spending to over £70m… but they are nowhere near finished. Pep Guardiola has already admitted that he wants to bring in new full-backs with Danny Rose, Kyle Walker and Benjamin Mendy all on the shortlist.

Man City targets:

Dream – David Alaba

Realistic – Ederson Santana de Moraes

Eventmasters suggest – Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez (Isco)

Wildcard – Daley Blind

Tottenham search for the missing piece of the puzzle…

Spurs finished 2nd in the 16/17 Premier League despite having the best attack, best defence and the league’s top goal scorer. Tottenham only needs a couple of signings that will add real quality to the squad. So far Tottenham have kept their cards close to their chest but they will, without a doubt, be working hard behind the scenes to prepare for next season.  Crystal Palace’s star man Zaha is a name heavily linked with a move to Spurs, but Palace has said they will accept no less than £30m.

Tottenham targets:

Dream – Marco Reus

Realistic – Wilfred Zaha

Eventmasters suggest – Yannick Ferreira Carrasco

Wildcard – Demarai Gray

Liverpool to make quality additions to their squad…

Liverpool finished 4th in the Premier League last season securing Champions League football. At the start of the season most Liverpool fans would have been more than happy with that, however they started the season so well that some fans would have expected more. The Reds do not have the biggest squad compared to their rivals and really struggled over the Christmas period with a number of injured. Klopp will need to make quality additions to his squad to really challenge for the title. In recent weeks they have been linked with RB Leipzig star Naby Keïta, Virgil Van Dijk and Lacazette.

Liverpool targets:

Dream – Alexandre Lacazette

Realistic – Virgill Van Dijk

Eventmasters suggest – Kasper Dolberg

Wildcard – Ross Barkely

What’s next?

From now until 31st August 2017 every team across Europe will be competition for quality players in the transfer market. Most managers will want to get their transfer business sorted early to avoid the hectic Transfer Dead Line Day.

During summer 2016 Paul Pogba became the most expensive footballer in history following his £89m move to Manchester United. The combined spend of Premier League clubs also exceeded £900m.

Could these records be broken again this summer?

The 2017/18 Premier League Season – Fixture Announcement

Eventmasters are delighted to be able to once again provide official football hospitality packages at a range of clubs during the 2017/18 season.

The fixtures for the new season are released on Wednesday 14th June 2017.

Premier League Review – Game Week 35

Liverpool draw a blank against Southampton

Liverpool faced one of their toughest tasks in their race for Champions League qualification to date… Southampton. The Reds have met Southampton 3 times already this season and have failed to score on all three occasions. The Reds dominated the game in terms of possession but failed for produce that moment of magic to break the Southampton defence. Liverpool were awarded a penalty but James Milner failed to convert from the spot for the first time in his Liverpool career. Klopp’s side are currently 3rd in the table, if they win all of their remaining games they will playing in the Champions League next season.

Claude Puel said after the match:

“It was difficult for them to come into our box and for me it was a harsh penalty and a good save. It was a deserved point.”

Liverpool’s next game is on 14th May 2017 against West Ham United.

Arsenal welcome Manchester United to The Emirates

Manchester United arrived at the Emirates in good form, on Thursday they secured a 1-0 away win against Celta Vigo in the Champions League. The Red Devils were also on a 25-match unbeaten run in the Premier League, their last defeat came against Chelsea back in October.

The first 30 minutes of the game was uneventful both sides wanted to keep things tight and grow in to the game. Out of nowhere Arsenal midfielder Xhaka let a shot fly from 35-yards out, the shot took a massive deflection off Herrera and left De Gea with no chance. Following the goal Arsenal were full of confidence and managed to bag a second goal thanks to a Welbeck header.

Mourinho did react to the goals and brought on Rashford and Lingard, despite their best efforts Arsenal managed to hold on to their lead and won the game 2-0. This was Wenger’s first ever Premier League win over Mourinho and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

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Embarrassing clash between Alexis Sanchez and Christian Fuchs

Alexis Sanchez’s (Arsenal midfielder) received a yellow card during the Premier League game on the 26th April 2017 due to his playfulness, this made Christian Fuchs (Leicester defender) agitated with the referee. With a few minutes remaining of the game at the Emirates Stadium, Sanchez blocked Fuchs’s throw by standing a few inches away causing Fuchs to throw the ball at Sanchez’s shoulder. This led the midfielder collapsing on the ground as the game slowly reached full time.

Nigel Winterburn commented on the incident after the game

Nigel Winterburn believed that the incident should be ‘nipped in the bud.’

“The whole thing is a mess. The referee and the assistant got it completely wrong because they could have diffused it first of all.”  I said straight away when the incident happened that both of them will probably get booked.”

(After the game, Winterburn told Sky Sports)

Ex-Manchester City striker Shaun Goater also spoke on this

According to the FA the rules for a throw is that the defendant should be standing at least two metres away from the thrower, some commented that Sanchez was not aware of the rules.

“He probably wasn’t and he was doing what I probably would have done because I wasn’t aware of the rule until recently. So, Sanchez was only doing what the players do in the modern game.”

(After the game, Goater told Sky Sports)

Sanchez tweets after incident


Arsenal wasn’t affected by the card after they had won the game with Arsenal winning 1-0. Yes Sanchez went overboard but was this all an act for Leicester not to score? This incident took matter too far as this could have been avoided. Sanchez posted a photo on twitter with the aftermath of the event.

Arsenals’ next game is on Sunday 30th April 2017 against Tottenham. Will they be able to beat Man United who are 5th on the Premier League table?

The great Manchester Derby is live tonight 27th April 2017. It could be a close game, who will take the points?

Eventmasters will once again be able to offer Arsenal hospitality for the 2017/18 Premier League season. Call us on 0121 2336500 for more details.

Premier League Game Week 32 Review 2017

Another thrilling week of Premier League action saw stunning goals, controversial decisions and shock results. Read our review of all the action in Game Week 32.

All the big boys stamped their authority on the weekend Premier League games as they ramped their performances up for the final run-in.

The Chelsea title charge continues

Chelsea maintained their seven-point lead at the top of the Premier League, outclassing plucky Bournemouth 3-1.

They got lucky with the first goal – Diego Costa’s scuffed shot went in off the head of grounded home defender Adam Smith.

But the second was magnificent.

Eden Hazard raced onto a long pass, rounded Bournemouth stopper Artur Boruc and slid the ball into the net.

Joshua King got one back with a long-range deflected effort.

But Chelsea were always in control and secured the points through Marcos Alonso.

His lovely free-kick cleared the wall and nestled into the net without Boruc even moving.

Tottenham keep the pressure on Chelsea with impressive win

Tottenham made hay in the sun, thrashing Waford 4-0.

Dele Alli curled a beauty into the top corner.

And then the floodgates opened as Eric Dier smashed in a deflected cross and Son Heung-min added a third just before the break.

After half-time Son further confirmed Spurs’ dominance by meeting Kieran Trippier’s cross with a lovely half-volley at the far post.

He could have had a hat-trick, while Harry Kane, returning from injury as a second-half substitute, smacked the bar with a late strike.

Manchester City end their winless run

Manchester City ended a four-game winless run in the Premier League with an easy victory over struggling Hull City.

Ahmed Elmohamady’s own goal opened the scoring at the Etihad Stadium as the defender turned in Jesus Navas’ low cross.

Raheem Sterling set up Sergio Aguero and then Fabian Delph picked up a rare score.

Andrea Ranocchia pulled one back late on, as dodgy keeper Claudio Bravo allowed a weak effort to trickle past him.

Brazilian magic saves Liverpool at Stoke

A tale of two halves at Stoke as Liverpool came back to win 2-1.

All Stoke in the first period with Jon Walters heading home Xherdan Shaqiri’s cross.

But Liverpool threw on the Ill Philippe Coutinho and the injured Roberto Firmino and both scored.

The Reds owed the sometimes shaky Simon Mignolet who made a number of fine saves.

It keeps Liverpool well in the race for a Champion League place.

Manchester United keep the pressure on the teams in the top four

Bottom club Sunderland’s got hammered by Manchester United 3-0.

Not helped by playing with 10 men for more than 45 minutes after Sebastian Larsson was red carded for a challenge on Ander Herrera.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic put United ahead with a 20-yard effort, Henrikh Mkhitaryan made it 2-0 before Marcus Rashford notched the third.

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Arsenal Out Of Champions League After Bayern Collapse

Arsenal experienced pride and humiliation in equal measure against Bayern Munich in the second leg of their Champions League clash at the Emirates.

Pride in the high tempo first half performance, total humiliation by the end. 5-1 down following an abject performance in Germany the gap was always set to be too big.

The Gunners could surely never have envisaged losing 5-1 at home, but they did, falling at the last 16 stage once again, undone by going down to ten men at the start of the second period.

At least the large crowd had something to cheer about for a while, seemingly able for a night to enjoy a big game to the exclusion of fears that Arsenal may not secure a top four Premier League spot and hence miss out on Champions League qualification for next season, the refusal of Alexis Sanchez to sign a new contract, suggestions Mesut Ozil could quit too, and calls for the head of manager Arsene Wenger.

Yet this defeat and the extent of it put Arsenal’s difficulties into even starker focus. Arsenal showed real fight and verve at the outset before it all fell apart in the second 45 minutes.

Theo Walcott produced first, but a poor touch allowed Manuel Neuer to clear in his sweeper-keeper role. But Walcott was on fire and in the next significant attack played through three opponents helped by lady luck, and then thrashed the ball high into the net.

The sort of world class goal of which Walcott is capable yet produces all too infrequently. And it was the electric Walcott again who was very unlucky not to get a penalty when taken out in the box.

Looked very giveable, but the referee wouldn’t have it. Somewhere in between Olivier Giroud hit a post with a strange effort which came off head and shoulder.

At half time there was still hope even if Arsenal were missing too many chances. But that was cruelly taken away from the re-start.

Bayern were always a threat on the break and their cleverness fashioned an opening for the ever dangerous Robert Lewandowski. Lauren Koschielny fouled him – penalty given. Koschielny shown yellow and then, after consultation between the officials, harshly upgraded to red.

Lewandowski scored from the spot, Arsenal down to ten men, and the tie was over.

Now it was simply a question of whether the home side could keep the score down. They couldn’t. Arjen Robben scored after schoolboy confusion in what remained of the Arsenal defence.

Substitute Douglas Costa was on the score sheet next. Arturo Vidal made it four benefiting from yet another mistake, then added a fifth for good measure. It was agony and embarrassment for Arsenal and may well seal the fate of Wenger despite being one of the greatest managers English football has ever seen.

Wenger disputed the Lewandowski penalty, accused the referee of spoiling the game, hailed the huge effort of the players – he had a point but it was all somewhat akin to clutching at straws.

The end of an era? It is looking likely.

Lincoln City in the FA Cup next for Arsenal, a possible banana skin moment not bare thinking about!

Premier League Continues – Buy Official Corporate Hospitality Packages

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Premier League Game Week 26 Review 2017

Another thrilling week of Premier League action saw stunning goals, controversial decisions and shock results. Read our review of all the action in Game Week 26.

London 2 Provinces 0. A good weekend for the capital’s Tottenham and Chelsea.

Harry Kane scored his third hat-trick in nine games to steamrollers Stoke and go second in the Premier League.

His first was a well-taken finish into the bottom corner, then a left foot half volley and he would not have cared that the fortuitous third came from a massive deflection.

Dele Alli, sent off for a horror tackle in the midweek Europa League defeat to Gent, partially redeemed himself by adding a fourth.

Chelsea notched another victory after disposing of a battling Swansea City at Stamford Bridge.

Cesc Fabregas, marking his 300th Premier League appearance, could have scored four.

After prodding home the opener, the Spanish midfielder had a goal-bound shot deflected behind, was denied by former Arsenal team-mate Lukasz Fabianski and also hit the bar.

But this was no walkover.

Swansea equalised from their first serious attempt on target on the stroke of half-time – Fernando Llorente heading in Gylfi Sigurdsson’s free-kick.

However, Pedro’s curler went under the poor dive of Fabianski, restoring the lead, and Diego Costa netted the third from close range.

It was a weekend when many of the top sides did not feature because of the EFL Cup final at Wembley.

No Manchester derby and Arsenal’s game at Southampton also cancelled.

But what a thrilling final it proved to be, with United squeezing home 3-2.

Will that spur on the Red Devils in the league? It just might.

With Chelsea looking like taking the crown, the three other Champions League places will be fought out by Tottenham, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United.

It is going to be a fight to the finish.

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