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Arsenal star Hector Bellerin makes brilliant pledge for Grenfell Tower victims Featured

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Published in England Premier League
Sunday, 18 June 2017 09:22

Arsenal defender Hector Bellerin says he will donate £50 to a fund for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire for every minute he plays at the European U21 Championship.

The official death toll from the inferno which engulfed the high-rise tower block in west London on June 14 stands at 30, although an estimated 70 people are still unaccounted for and the death toll is expected to rise considerably.

Residents have been displaced, and scores of families affected, in an event which has shocked the entire country.

Manchester City star Raheem Sterling has already pledged to donate in support of the victims as they try and rebuild their lives, with Bellerin, a resident of London, joining in.
Spain start their campaign at the finals when they take on Macedonia at 7:45pm this evening.

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  • Arsenal hit BATE Borisov for six to end group stage in style

    Europa League Group H, Emirates Stadium – Arsenal 6 (Debuchy 11’, Walcott 37’, Wilshere 43’, Polyakov 52’ (OG), Giroud 64’ (P), Elneny 74’) BATE Borisov 0

    Arsenal scored six against BATE Borisov on Thursday evening to end their Europa League group stage in style.
    BATE Borisov, who have conceded 10 goals to Arsenal in this season’s Europa League, rarely ventured forward in front of a threadbare crowd at the Emirates. And at the back, Belarusian centre-backs Dzianis Polyakov and Nemanja Milunovic struggled to contain the constant threat posed by Jack Wilshere, Olivier Giroud, Danny Welbeck and Theo Walcott, as Arsene Wenger made eleven changes from the defeat to Manchester United on the weekend.

    Mathieu Debuchy broke the deadlock with his first goal in nearly three years, hitting a powerful shot across goal moments after Walcott was felled with a strong penalty claim.
    As the home side dominated possession and attacked relentlessly, Walcott took advantage of the space and time he was offered on the BATE six-yard box, by pouncing on a loose ball for the second of the night.

    Wilshere was in exceptional form, often dictating the Arsenal attack and frequently threatening to score his first Arsenal goal since 2015. He did so just before the break, with a powerful 15-yard strike that came courtesy of some excellent service from Walcott.

    Wilshere was involved again in the fourth goal, as his defence-splitting pass found Theo Walcott, whose cross was awkwardly turned into the net for a Polyakov own-goal.

    Walcott earned a penalty shortly after the hour mark, which was dispatched by Giroud at the second time of asking. The referee spotted encroachment when the French striker converted the first attempt.
    Mohamed Elneny wrapped up a magnificent display with a sublime first-time curling finish. Once again, it was Wilshere at the heart of the action, providing the assist.

    BATE managed a few speculative efforts, but were ultimately not aggressive enough to make an impact on an Arsenal side who will advance to the knockout phase with confidence.

    TALKING POINT

    Will Jack Wilshere earn a permanent spot in the Arsenal XI? Wilshere was in superb form, with his goal and assist giving only a glimpse of his overall contribution. But has he earned a spot in the regular Arsenal side? Will he feature for Gareth Southgate’s national team this summer?

    MAN OF THE MATCH

    Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) The English midfielder was the beating heart of an Arsenal side with many other fine performances, often conducting the attacking movements and offering several dangerous shots on goal
    PLAYER RATINGS

    Arsenal - Ospina 7, Debuchy 9, Chambers 8, Holding 8, Maitland-Niles 8, Elneny 9, Coquelin 8, Wilshere 9, Walcott 9, Welbeck 8, Giroud 8. Subs: Nelson 6, Willock 6, Nketiah 6.

    BATE Borisov - Scherbitski 6, Berezkin 6, Ivanić 6, Rios 6, Milunović 6, Rodionov 5, Dragun 5, Stasevich 5, Polyakov 5, Volodko 6, Gordeichuk 6. Subs: Yablonski 6, Signevich 5, Tyominen 6.

    KEY MOMENTS

    11 - GOAL! Walcott goes down in the box and has a strong penalty claim, but the ref plays advantage as Debuchy strikes the ball from the right-side of the area. It's an absolutely magnificent hit!

    37 - GOAL! Danny Welbeck beats a defender in the box and Polyakov intercepts, only for the ball to fall to Walcott. He has plenty of space to slot in the second!

    43 - GOAL! Wilshere gets the goal he deserves! Walcott finds Wilshere on the edge of the area, he takes one touch and blasts a powerful shot from 15 yards!
    52 - GOAL! It's a terrible own goal for Polyakov. Wilshere splits the defence with a wonderful pass to Walcott on the right. His cross finds Polyakov, whose clearance ends up in the net.

    64 - GOAL! Giroud converts the penalty on the second time of asking, although the 'keeper got a hand to it.74 - GOAL! It's a beauty from Elneny! Wilshere receives the ball at the top of the box, looks up and passes to the Egyptian on the left side of the area. He hits a wonderful first-time left-footed curled shot past the 'keeper.

    KEY STATS

    This is the sixth occasion on which Arsenal have scored six or more goals in European competition.

    BATE have only won two of their last 21 European away games.

    Debuchy's goal was Arsenal's 100th of 2017.

  • Jesse Lingard strikes twice as Manchester United beat Arsenal, Pogba sent off for horror tackle

    Premier League, Emirates Stadium - Arsenal 1 (Lacazette 49') Manchester United 3 (Valencia 4', Lingard 11', 63')

    Manchester United produced a counter-attacking masterclass to beat Arsenal in a match full of chances and controversies.
    The Gunners started strong and dominated possession in the opening movements, but were caught out after just four minutes when Laurent Koscielny’s poor cross-field pass was pounced upon by Antonio Valencia. The Ecuadorian drilled the ball through Petr Cech's legs after a smart one-two with Paul Pogba.
    United doubled their lead when another defensive error saw Shkodran Mustafi needlessly give possession to Jesse Lingard. The England forward slotted home after a superb flicked assist from Anthony Martial.

    Mourinho’s men sat back on their lead and invited wave after wave of Arsenal pressure. Aaron Ramsey and Alexandre Lacazette came close to reducing the deficit, while a Romelu Lukaku clearance from an Alexis free-kick was only kept out by a wonderful David De Sea save.

    Lacazette brought the home side back into the game shortly after half-time, blasting in a close-range shot after Aaron Ramsey cleverly beat the United offside trap.
    Ten minutes later, Arsenal had a golden chance to draw level, but Lacazette and Alexis were denied by a stunning double save from De Gea. The Spaniard put in a world-class performance, producing 14 saves in total.

    Just past the hour mark, Lingard put the game beyond reach with his third goal in two games, capitalising on some fantastic build-up work from Pogba.

    The Frenchman put in an exquisite shift, but blotted his copybook with around 15 minutes to go when his cynical studs-up challenge on Hector Bellerin earned a straight red card.
    Pogba will now miss the Manchester derby next weekend.

    TALKING POINT: Can Manchester United offer a title challenge to their noisy neighbours?

    Mourinho’s men are now just five points behind their local rivals, who face West Ham tomorrow, and play them next weekend. Will this title race run closer than is currently expected? That match will reveal so much – will City buckle under the pressure or potentially go 11 points clear? Can United perform without Pogba?

    MAN OF THE MATCH: David De Gea

    The Spaniard made 14 saves in this game – a joint record for a Premier League match. Without him between the sticks, it is likely Arsenal would have gained a meaningful result.
    PLAYER RATINGS

    Arsenal: Cech 6, Koscielny 6, Mustafi 4, Monreal 6, Bellerin 6, Ramsey 7, Xhaka 7, Kolasinac 5, Ozil 7, Sanchez 6, Lacazette 6. Subs: Iwobi 7, Welbeck 6, Giroud 6.

    Manchester United: De Gea 9, Valencia 8, Lindelof 6, Smalling 8, Rojo 7, Young 8, Matic 8, Pogba 8, Lingard 8, Martial 8, Lukaku 5. Subs: Darmian 6, Herrera 6, Rashford 6.

    KEY MOMENTS

    4 - GOAL! That came from nowhere! Antonio Valencia dispossesses Kolasinac after a poor pass from Koscielny. He plays a one-two with Pogba on the edge of the area and drills a low shot past Petr Cech.

    11 - GOAL! Another goal from another defensive mistake. Mustafi gives up possession to Lingard, who picks out Lukaku. The striker passes to Martial on the edge of the area, and he beautifully puts the ball in Lingard's path. Lingard sidefoots it past Cech.

    42 - CHANCE: Ramsey has a golden chance to pull one back with a shot from eight yards but it deflects for yet another corner!
    45+2’ - Alexis floats in a free kick and Lukaku's clearance has to be saved by De Gea! Lacazette has a few chances to get a shot off in the scramble in the area, but United escape the danger!

    49 - GOAL! Alexis picks out Ramsey with a superb cross into the area. The Welshman beats the offside trap and chests down to Lacazette. The Frenchman expects to see a flag up but he rifles it into the roof of the net!

    63 - GOAL! Arsenal fall foul to another United break! Lingard breaks and finds Pogba on the right. Pogba does brilliantly to beat two men on the right side of the area, then picks out Lingard for a tap-in to an open goal.

    74 - RED CARD! Pogba is in trouble for fouling Bellerin on his way into the area. And it's a straight red!
    KEY STATS

    Manchester United secured back-to-back away wins for the first time since April.

    Jose Mourinho has only lost two of eighteen encounters with Arsene Wenger (W9, D7).

    Arsenal have won four of their last six Saturday evening kick-offs. Both losses were to Manchester United.

  • Arsenal suffer Alexandre Lacazette blow for Manchester United showdown

    Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette will miss the weekend Premier League clash with Manchester United after hobbling out of the 5-0 win over Huddersfield at the Emirates Stadium.

    The France international grabbed the early opener, only to trudge off at half-time with a groin problem and Gunners boss Arsene Wenger confirmed Lacazette has been ruled out against the Red Devils.
    Wenger said: "Lacazette has a groin problem and will be out certainly for Saturday's game."

    Meanwhile, Wenger says Mesut Ozil has shown new-found "fight" to steer Arsenal to successive wins over Tottenham and Huddersfield.

    Ozil remains linked to a move away from Arsenal at the end of the season, but Wenger continues to prefer to focus on the Germany playmaker's on-field credentials. Olivier Giroud bagged a brace, while Lacazette, Alexis Sanchez and Ozil all found the net too as Arsenal powered to victory.
    "Nobody has to convince us he's a great football player," said Wenger, of Ozil.

    " Everybody knows in the stadium he's a great football player, but at the moment as well he shows he can fight. Our job is to encourage people to fight, but I think he always covered the distances in games, but he's at an age where he's more mature and understands what is more important and what is less important. Everybody wants to be acknowledged for his quality, and the judgements are sometimes harsh in a footballer's job. But overall I believe the majority of people here love him, and always loved him. When you look at the percentage of possession during a game, no matter what the game is, he always wants the ball. He never hides, he's always available. If you are dominated you touch the ball less, but when you win the ball, he always wants the ball."
    Huddersfield had posed plenty of problems for Arsenal in a battling first-half, only to slip to a hefty defeat once the Gunners had grabbed their second goal through Giroud.

    Manager David Wagner insisted he remains confident that his side can consolidate their Premier League status, despite their sizeable loss in London.

    "We are strong enough to leave these two defeats behind us very quickly, because we know what we've done wrong and what we need to solve," said Wagner.

    " I'm very confident we can stay in the division, with everything we've done and what I've seen in the 14 games so far. If we are strong enough mentality and can keep our key players healthy. If you've seen Arsenal's squad next to ours on the back of the programme, it's clear we have to keep our key players healthy. And if we do that I'm very confident we have every chance to stay up."

  • Santi Cazorla comeback delayed, confirms further surgery

    Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has confirmed that he has had to undergo surgery on the tendon in his foot, which has further delayed his comeback.

    Cazorla initially injured his ankle playing for Spain in 2013 and he last played for Arsenal in October 2016, when he was injured in the Champions League.
    In a recent interview with Marca, Cazorla made it clear that he wanted to get back onto the pitch in the New Year, but on Wednesday he released a statement confirming that his timeframe has been pushed back due to further surgery.
    Cazorla, who had also undergone surgery to repair a ruptured knee ligament, revealed that the ankle had nearly had to be amputated due to infection.

    The Spaniard's contract with Arsenal is set to expire at the end of the season.

  • Alexis Sanchez spot-kick in final seconds sees Arsenal beat Burnley

    Premier League, Turf Moor - Burnley 0 Arsenal 1 (Sanchez 90+2)

    Alexis Sanchez scored a penalty in the dying seconds of injury time as Arsenal finally broke down Burnley to take a 1-0 win from their trip to Turf Moor.
    Arsenal started in sixth, with Burnley behind them only on goal difference in seventh. A win would have taken either side into the Champions League places.
    The away side were without Mesut Ozil, missing through illness, and Burnley started the brighter of the two. Arsenal could not claim tiredness from the Europa League, as so few squad members were present for both matches.

    In the second half, early Arsenal pressure set the tone for the rest of the game, and Hector Bellerin might have had a penalty after being caught by a Robbie Brady slide tackle.

    Burnley thought they had held on for at least a point, but when James Tarkowski shoved Aaron Ramsey to the ground with two minutes of injury time to play, he gifted Sanchez the chance to win it. Arsenal have somehow now crept into fourth.
    TALKING POINT

    Sanchez is still crucial to Arsenal. After a drab performance across the pitch, it fell to Sanchez to once again rescue his side. He did nothing to win the penalty, courtesy of Tarkowski's lack of focus, but there was nobody else on the Arsenal side who could be trusted with such responsibility. It is impossible to think they will adequately replace him when he leaves.

    MAN OF THE MATCH

    Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal): Ramsey was the most impressive player on the pitch for Arsenal. Tarkowski had shown the most consistency for almost all of the match, before undermining his performance with a late error, but that was one caused by Ramsey's relentless running into the box throughout the game. His commitment earned the penalty that won the match.

    PLAYER RATINGS

    Burnley: Pope 6, Lowton 6, Tarkowski 6, Mee 6, Ward 6, Gudmundsson 7, Cork 5, Hendrick 5, Defour 5, Brady 6, Barnes 6. Subs: Wood 6.

    Arsenal: Cech 6, Koscielny 5, Mustafi 5, Monreal 5, Ramsey 7, Xhaka 6, Bellerin 6, Kolasinac 6, Iwobi 5, Alexis 7, Lacazette 6. Subs: Wilshere 7, Welbeck 6.
    KEY EVENTS

    15' - GUDMUNDSSON SHOT - Brady collects a loose ball and shifts it right for Gudmundsson. He runs into the box, feints past Monreal, and his rising shot to the near post is slapped by Cech against the post.

    39' - CECH SAVE - Brady curls a shot over the wall, but Cech is able to walk over to tip it over the bar after the free-kick from 25 yards didn't move far enough towards the top corner.

    60' - LACAZETTE SHOT - Lacazette falls as he shoots from the edge of the box, and it's deflected just wide of the near post.

    63' - RAMSEY VOLLEY - Sanchez lifts a ball into Ramsey, he controls it, and on the half-volley sends a left-footed shot just over the bar.

    80' - WILSHERE SHOT - Wilshere exchanges passes with Sanchez in midfield, driving towards the edge of the box, and his shot is deflected just wide of the post.

    90+2' - GOAL! Burnley 0-1 Arsenal. Sanchez scores - Arsenal dink the ball into the box, and from a ball across the six-yard box, Tarkowksi is penalised for a shove on Ramsey at the near post. A calm run-up and fierce drill into the corner from Sanchez, low to Pope's right, has won it.

    KEY STAT

    Arsenal have won each of their last three games against Burnley with goals coming in the 90th minute.

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