EPL Update: Arsenal
Arsenal goals: Alexandre Lacazette 20, Alexandre Lacazette 67 (pen)
Arsenal defeated West Brom 2-0 at home with two goals from Alexandre Lacazette to move up to 5thplace on the England Premier League Table. After opening the scoring at 20 minutes with a header in the first half, French international Lacazette perfectly slotted his powerful, low penalty shot into the bottom right of the net to score the insurance goal at 67 minutes giving Arsenal a much needed boost to their points and confidence. Although West Brom goalie Foster went the right way, he had no chance to save the point. Lacazette became the first Arsenal football player since 1966 to score in his first three home games. Nyom, who was booked for his role in the penalty award, applauded the referee sarcastically. Arsenal deserved their win, however West Brom played well in the roller-coaster match. With five wins in a row, Arsenal is building momentum and has moved up to striking distance for a top finish this season.
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After English Premier League Match Week 6, arch-rival cross-town rivals Manchester City and Manchester United are tied in 1st place with 16 points apiece. Chelsea are in 2nd with 13 points, Tottenham Hotspur is in 3rd tied with Liverpool who both have 11 points. Arsenal is in 5th with 10 points, and Everton is in 14th place with 7 points in the bottom half of the EPL Table. Going into the clash, Arsenal wanted to build more momentum after their recent decent showing at Chelsea, while West Bromwich Albion hoped to rediscover their early-season form, having given Manchester City a close match in the League Cup last week. The Baggies haven’t won at the Emirates since September 2010. But Tony Pulis and his side were aiming to win as well as Arsenal faced the Baggies on Monday night at home. Before the crucial match, Gunners supporters were angry and frustrated with Arsenal veteran manager Arsene Wenger’s squad selection as Wenger decided on a front three of Alexandre Lacazette, Alexis Sanchez and Aaron Ramsey for the Premier League fixture which means Mesut Ozil was left on the bench - a mistake according to many Gunners fans who claim that Wenger should have played their talented trio together for the first time this season, leaving Ramsey on the bench. "Still no Ozil, convinced the whole season will go by before them three start together," complained one fan.
Wenger also named twenty-five year old Jack Wilshere to the bench for the game against the Baggies. Wilshire made his first start for Arsenal since May 2016 in the Gunners 1-0 with over Doncaster Rovers in the Carabao Cup last week. Wilshire’s appearance in the Carabao Cup match was the first time he played a full 90 minutes since 2014.
In a shock move, reportedly the rebel 28-year-old Gunners midfielder Mezut Ozil may be linking up again with Portugese Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho who was his manager during their time together at Spanish La Liga champions Real Madrid. The German international plans to run his contract down which means he will be a free agent next summer. Ozil’s advisors have put out feelers over a possible move to Man United and the return feedback has been positive and encouraging. Mourinho is a fan of the talented Ozil who has been asking Arsenal to pony up around £250,000-a-week. No doubt Ozil who is also wanted by Inter Milan, would like to transfer to a club that has a realistic chance of winning major trophies in the EPL and Champions League this campaign. Man United who are currently on top of the EPL Table tied with Man City have made a bright start to the current season and are likely Premier League title contenders. Mourinho’s style is always to plan for the longer term future and he is considering adding Ozil to his attacking strength. The “Chosen One” also has expressed a strong interest in Atletico Madrid’s brilliant French superstar striker Antoine Griezmann.
Ozil’s Arsenal team-mate Alexis Sanchez is in the same contract situation. And Sanchez has also been linked with a move to join the Red Devils, but the Chilean star may end up at United’s top of the table arch-rivals Manchester City instead in the January transfer window.
The loss of two of his most powerful football players would be a blow to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger seeing another major star leave for one of the Gunners North London clubs rivals. In a similar situation five years ago, Robin van Persie left Arsenal for Manchester United in a £25million deal and ended up with a league title winners medal in his first season. Surely Ozil would love to take the same route with a similar outcome.
Reportedly Aaron Ramsey is tipped to become the future Arsenal Captain by Arsene Wenger.
Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion Squads
Alexis Sanchez was named in the Arsenal starting XI for the first time this campaign at home. Danny Welbeck is out due to injury, while Alex Iwobi was not named. Mohamed Elneny made his first start since the opening day of the season. For West Brom, James Morrison, Chris Brunt and Matt Phillips dropped to the bench; while Allan Nyom, Jake Livermore and Hal Robson-Kanu step up.
Cech, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Bellerin, Xhaka, Elneny, Kolasinac, Ramsey, Sanchez, Lacazette.
Subs: Mertesacker, Wilshere, Ozil, Giroud, Ospina, Walcott, Maitland-Niles.
West Bromwich Albion
Foster, Dawson, Hegazi, Evans, Nyom, Livermore, Krychowiak, Barry, Gibbs, Rodriguez, Robson-Kanu.
Subs: Yacob, Morrison, Rondon, Phillips, Brunt, Myhill, McClean.
Referee: Robert Madley (West Yorkshire).
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Coming up for Arsenal
On September 28th, Arsenal travel to play GATE Borisov in Belarus in the Europa League. Then on October 1, Arsenal host Brighton & Hove Albion at the Emirates Stadium in London. On October 14, Arsenal travel to battle Watford at Vicarage Road. Red Star Belgrade host the Gunners in the Europa League at Rajko Mitic Stadium on October 19. Then on October 22, Arsenal play Everton at Goodison Park in Liverpool. The Swans travel to London on October 28 to play Arsenal. On November 2nd, Arsenal host Red Star Belgrade in the Europa League. Then on November 5, mighty Manchester City host Arsenal at Etihad Stadium in a not-to-be-missed, mouth-watering game. And on November 18, Arsenal host Tottenham Hotspur at home.