Arsenal manager Unai Emery has praised the personality and confidence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after he took the penalty in the 2-0 triumph over Manchester United on Sunday. The Gabon international recently missed the penalty in the north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur which ended in a 1-1 draw but he managed to make amends by converting against the Red Devils.
Speaking in a press conference, Emery spoke positively about the performance of Aubameyang and stated that he was the designated penalty-taker despite fumbling a similar chance at Spurs last weekend, he said: “Aubameyang has experience and he’s a specialist with scoring. Lacazette can also shoot and today I had the same confidence with both.
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Maurizio Sarri has been made as the favourite Premier League manager to lose his job after watching his Chelsea team crumble to a 6-0 defeat against Manchester City. The blues were always expected to struggle against Manchester City at Etihad Stadium, but the manner of the defeat has asked question marks about the future of the manager. After a great start to life at Chelsea, Sarri has been unable to get his team going when things have been difficult. Chelsea have been especially woeful in recent away matches as they have lost by a 10-0 aggregate in the last two away games.
It was not long ago that Chelsea were able to get a 2-0 victory over Manchester City and Maurizio Sarri was receiving a lot of plaudits for becoming the first manager to beat City in the league this season. However, things have quickly gone wrong for the former Napoli manager, who has decided to persuade the club to bring in a 31-year-old striker as a replacement for Alvaro Morata, who is in his prime at 26. The drubbing against Bournemouth and the heavy loss against Manchester City are some of the least problems for Maurizio Sarri, who has admitted that he has been unable to motivate his players.
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Belgium international Eden Hazard has once more refused to rule out a move to Real Madrid, although he has not discarded the option of staying put with Chelsea. The attacker currently has just 18 months remaining on his contract with the west London club and so far, he has not shown any ambition of penning a renewal.
Owing to this, the 28-year-old has been regularly linked with a move to Real Madrid and when asked on the same, Hazard admitted that he harbours the ambition of succeeding with the European champions, he said: “Why not? You know it very well. You’re asking the question, but you know what the answer will be so you don’t have to ask it.”
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Willian has no problems with Maurizio Sarri coming down hard on the team in the aftermath of the loss at the hands of the Spurs. Chelsea was one of the consistent teams in the Premiership in the first three months of the on-going season and hadn’t been beaten by any side before their trip to Tottenham last weekend, but that trip broke their streak as the Spurs absolutely belted them and handed them their first league defeat of the season.
The Blues’ performance at Wembley didn’t amuse Sarri at all and he didn’t hesitate in using the strong words for his boys as he spoke in the post match press conference. While he seemed to be unhappy with the entire team, one player that he was specifically unhappy with was N’Golo Kante. According to Sarri, Kante was given a particular role on the pitch and he should have remained focused on that role only rather than deviating and trying to do a different role.
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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has insisted that the Citizens can improve on their performance despite securing a comfortable 4-0 triumph over West Ham United on the road. The Citizens had gone into the international break with a two-point advantage over second-placed Liverpool and they managed to maintain the lead after picking up maximum points at the London Stadium.
Speaking after the game, Guardiola highlighted that he was delighted with the outcome but stressed that the team were rather lucky that the Hammers could not find the scoresheet with the chances they had. Meanwhile, the Catalan tactician also happened to make a name check on the disappointing performances for Real Madrid and Manchester United on the same match day and suggested that there is room for improvement for his team.
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IFAB discusses one-shot sanctions and conscious handball rules. ‘One-shot’ penalty issues, new handball rules, limited changes in injury time – what laws must be changed in football? The International FA Board (IFAB) – the body governing football laws – meets this week to consider possible changes and discuss whether to submit proposals for their annual meeting in March or not.
Among the reported changes discussed are “one-shot” sanctions and clearance of handball. New penalty issues may mean that if a penalty is saved or returned from the post, the ball will be “dead” and a goal kick will be given. Under these new rules, Paul Pogba would not have had the chance to score his penalty against Everton last month after Jordan Pickford rescued his first move.
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Manchester United are reportedly prepared to kick-start contract negotiations with Chris Smalling with his existing deal due to expire at the end of the current campaign. The England international started the season as one of the backup central defenders in the matchday squad but he has since managed jump ahead in the pecking order with Eric Bailly struggling to impress.
According to The Star, the Red Devils are keen on prolonging the stay of the former Fulham man, who has featured in each of the club’s previous five games across all competitions. It is added that manager Jose Mourinho is unsatisfied with the current options at hand but the arrival of another recruit in the New Year won’t hamper Smalling’s proposed extension with the club.
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Former Arsenal favourite Martin Keown has urged Jose Mourinho to focus on winning matches with Manchester United rather than regularly indicating the club’s failure to sign top players during the summer transfer window. The Red Devils recently suffered an embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford and this has ensured their worst start to a Premier League season since 1992/93.
As a result, there have been plenty of question marks raised over the future of Mourinho but Keown believes the 55-year-old should carry on with the focus of winning games for the club, he said: “One of Mourinho’s main problems is that sometimes he is too honest. He honestly felt in the summer that if United did not buy more players, the group would not be good enough to win the league. Results have endorsed that view. He needs to ignore the media. This is a new Mourinho. I want to see him prove how good he is by turning this situation around. He needs to focus on winning matches, not arguments.”
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Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray and his side have earned praises for their performance in the football season and earning a promotion. At the end of the 2016/17 season, the side failed to make their mark so they were relegated to the League One.
They used to be a formidable Premier League side about a decade ago but their fortunes changed gradually, culminating into their third tier status in the English Football League. Between that time, the club has employed and sacked numerous managers, amid protests from the fans against the owners Venky’s. The public have watched as transfer policies failed and the club sunk in debt.
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Borussia Dortmund have undergone massive changes in the last few years after the sale of several important players like Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski. In order to replace those important names, the club brought in players like Adrian Ramos and Ciro Immobile in the summer. It is estimated that the club parted with around € 10 million for Immobile, while Ramos has been brought in for an undisclosed fee. It is well estimated that both these players have together cost more than € 20 million. Dortmund scored just over a goal per game this season.
Apart from moments of brilliance like that against Arsenal a few weeks ago, they have been struggling in the German Bundesliga. This has led to speculation that Dortmund may look to reinvest in the squad during the January transfer window. The club’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke, however, says that the two players will eventually come good for the club. Immobile has scored three goals in eight appearances, while Ramos has fared slightly better by scoring five in 10 matches. Dortmund, as a whole, have been struggling this season, and they are in the bottom of the table after seven matches.
They have managed only two wins during this period, which has threatened to bring an end to Jurgen Klopp’s brilliant reign at the club. “The future will show whether Immobile and Ramos are right for Dortmund. It’s too soon to judge them now. And let’s not forget that they have already scored 15 goals in official games together with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. That’s a good return. Lucas Barrios and Robert Lewandowski initially struggled as well when they joined Dortmund. It wouldn’t be normal to expect a new signing to fit in perfectly within six weeks. We play a different game than what they were used to,” said Watzke.