Lacazette’s VAR assisted winner sinks West Ham

Arsenal 1 West Ham 0

Lacazette 78

Arsenal edged past West Ham at the Emirates London derby when Alexandre Lacazette’s VAR assisted winner proved to the the difference. The Gunners have not had much VAR joy up until now. Sokratis was denied a late winner against Crystal Palace last October, but the controversial technology finally came good as far as Mikel Arteta’s side were concerned to deny the Hammers. Substitute Alexandre had been introduced to replace Eddie Nketiah on the hour mark, and his volley past Lukasz Fabianski after 78 minutes from Mesut Ozil’s cushioned header which was ruled out for offside, needed to be looked at again.

Young Gunners fire at Portsmouth in comfortable FA Cup 5th round win

Portsmouth 0 Arsenal 2
Sokratis 45+4, Nketiah 51

Arsenal beat Portsmouth in their FA Cup fifth round encounter against Portsmouth at Fratton Park courtesy of goals either side of the break for Sokratis and Eddie Nketiah. The Gunners evening however was marred with an ankle injury to Lucas Torreira following a heavy tackle by James Bolton. Dani Ceballos replaced him after 16 minutes. Mikel Arteta elected to make nine changes from his side’s Europa League shock exit to Olympiacos, making nine changes, and with seven of his starting line up under 23 years old. Pablo Mari made his debut in an Arsenal defence which held firm from a Pompey who had not been beaten at home in the league.

Arsenal suffer Europa League heartache against Olympiacos

Arsenal 1 Olympiacos 2 (2-2 on aggregate)

Olympiacos win on away goals

Mikel Arteta expressed his “hurt,” following the Gunners Europe League exit at the hands of Olympiacos. “It hurts, big time. We had a lot of hope in this competition. It was a great way for us to be able to go to Europe and it is a very beautiful competition to try to win. I think we did a lot of positive things in the game. I think we created enough chances to win the game, but if you concede two set-pieces again in a tie like this, then you put yourself in big trouble,” said Arteta.

Arsenal recover after sticky start against the Toffees to win at Emirates

Arsenal 3 Everton 2
Nketiah 27, Aubameyang 33, 46 Calvert Lewin 1, Richarlison 45+4

Mikel Arteta was heartened with his side’s reaction having conceded after less than a minute against Everton at the Emirates. The recovery and subsequent win saw the Gunners prevail over determined opposition.

“This is part of the game, you know. This is the reaction I’m hoping for from my team. There’s disappointment and things we can’t control. One day theses things are going to happen, and one day we’re going to have to play with 10 men, or another day it will be the referee… but we kept going, we kept trying, we started to do the things we talked about and we generated the chances and the type of game that we wanted,” said Arteta after Arsenal kep their 2020 unbeaten run going.

Lacazette late strike seals Arsenal’s away win at Olympiakos

Olympiakos 0 Arsenal 1
Lacazette 81

Alexandre Lacazette’s late strike sealed an impressive Arsenal win over Olympiakos in Athens to give the Gunners a first leg advantage in their Europa League last 32. Lacazette who had been going through a barren nine game drought until his Premier League goal in the 4-0 rout of Newcastle last week-end, netted his second goal in as many games. Shkodran Mustafi’s 60 yard pass out from the deep was smartly kept in by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang deep on the left wing. Bukayo Saka surged forward to receive Aubameyang’s pass and as he looked up, Saka’s cross went beyond the outstretched arms of Malheiro de Sa for Lacazette to tap in to the empty net.

Arsenal thrash Newcastle with lethal second half goal salvo

Arsenal 4 Newcastle United 0
Aubameyang 54, Pepe 57, Ozil 90, Lacazette 95

Arsenal thrashed Newcastle United with four unanswered second half goals to earn their second Premier League win since Mikel Arteta took over in December. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang started the goal fest on 54 minutes with Nicolas Pepe doubling the lead three minutes later. Newcastle who had threatened in a lively opening half hour when Joelinton, Allan Saint-Maximin and on loan Valentino Lazaro created chances, but couldn’t deliver the end product.

Gunners fail to fire in draw at Burnley

Arsenal 0 Burnley 0

Arsenal failed to fire in a 0-0 draw at Burnley despite welcoming back leading goal scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from a three game ban following his sending off at Crystal Palace. Like his team mates, Aubameyang had a lively start at Turf Moor, initially setting up Alexandre Lacazette for a header which the France striker headed wide of the target. Aubameyang was then put through by David Luiz’s searching ball but got his angles horribly wrong with a shot which was just as forgetful. The Gabon striker could and should have opened the scoring when this time he was put in by Granit Xhaka. Burnley’s goal keeper came off his line as Aubameyang went for a lob, but Pope’s huge reach enabled him to grab the rising ball before it was able to rise over his head.

Saka and Nketiah strikes guide Arsenal into FA Cup 5th round

Bournemouth 1 Arsenal 2
Surridge 94, Saka 5, Nketiah 26

Arsenal progressed to the FA Cup 5th round with a resounding 2-1 victory against Bournemouth at the Vitality stadium. Bukayo Saka opened the scoring after just five minutes, thumping in from Gabriel Martinelli’s assist. The Gunners were total control in a dominant first half, and when Eddie Nketiah netted his first FA Cup goal, it suggested that Mikel Arteta’s side would score a few more goals. Saka turned provider for Nketiah who had been recalled early from his Leeds United loan spell with worries surrounding a lack of first team action there. Mark Travers was certainly a busy keeper in the opening half. But the Cherries rallied late in the second half and substitute Sam Surridge slotted home when the Arsenal rearguard failed to deal with a cross. Earlier, Shkodran Mustafi had to be stretchered off after landing awkwardly on his ankle, but in truth, Arsenal had been in control for much of the match. They’ll face a trip to Fratton Park to face Portsmouth in the fifth round on the competition.

Luiz sees red, but Martinelli inspires Arsenal comeback to draw at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea 2 Arsenal 2
Jorginho 28, Azpilicueta 84, Martinelli 63, Bellerin 87

David Luiz was sent off after 26 minutes on his return to Stamford Bridge, but Arsenal came back twice to level and earn a point against Chelsea. It may be another draw for the Gunners, but following a pulsating 2-2 encounter against Chelsea which saw Luiz receive a straight red card not even that scoreline seemed likely following the early exchanges in west London. Luiz clattered into Tammy Abraham as he tried to recover possession after Shkodran Mustafi’s poorly weighted back pass to Bernd Leno.

Martinelli’s strike cancelled out as Sheffield United earn a point at Emirates

Arsenal 1 Sheffield United 1
Martinelli 45, Fleck 83

Gabriel Martinelli scored Arsenal’s first half opener at the Emirates stadium, but Sheffield United’s never say die attitude saw them come back for a leveller seven minutes from time through John Fleck for a share of the spoils. The Blades have now taken four points off the Gunners and sit three places above them in the Premier League table, four points better off too. Mikel Arteta has urged his players to step up their fitness and they have come out flying in recent games against Chelsea and Manchester United. However Arteta has seen a return of just one Premier League win in the five matches since his first game in charge at Bournemouth on Boxing Day. The Gunners head coach expressed his disappointment on an afternoon where Arsenal should have upped their game.