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Just in: Pep Guardiola praises Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal and backs them to fight for the title in the near future

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Pep Guardiola has backed Mikel Arteta to turn Arsenal into ‘real contenders’ for the Premier League title in the near future.

Arteta spent three years at Manchester City as Guardiola’s assistant, helping them win back-to-back top-flight titles and become a dominant force in the English game.

Since taking up his first managerial post at the Emirates, Arteta has already secured silverware with his side’s FA Cup triumph last year, but it is in the league where they have struggled.

Arteta’s side are down in 10th in the table but have improved in recent months.

The Spaniard led the Gunners to an eighth-placed finish last season, and heading into their meeting against league leaders City on Sunday, they find themselves down in 10th place in the current standings.

Arsenal began to turn things around in the winter period after a miserable start to the season, and Guardiola feels their performances in recent months are a more accurate representation of their quality.

Arteta and Pep held wonderful memories at City, the won too many trophies together

The City boss also believes the Gunners have an abundance of attacking quality and thus and tipped Arteta to make his side strong contenders for titles in the ‘early future’.

‘All I can say is the last months show me that all managers need time and he is not an exception,’ Guardiola said on Friday. ‘What I see in the last two months every game Arsenal played is better than the opponent. ‘Tomorrow we will have an incredible performance. They have an exceptional build-up, they move with many, many sense, all the movements they have for the build-up to the final third. ‘The quality for incredible energy, for Smith [Rowe], [Bukayo] Saka and [Pierre] Aubameyang, especially with his runs in behind, and all the players that they have in the middle. ‘In the early future they will be real contenders to fight for the titles.’ 

Despite being his mentor for three years, Guardiola doesn’t feel he inspired Arteta and neglected to take any credit for his coaching capabilities.

‘I did not inspire him, what he knows he knows for himself,’ Guardiola added. ‘I am not any influence. What he is doing, all credit to him and his backroom staff.’

 

 

 

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Mikel Arteta demands answers over ‘obvious’ penalty Arsenal were denied in Burnley draw

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was left fuming following his side’s 1-1 draw with Burnley at Turf Moor because of the ‘obvious and clear’ penalty the Spaniard thought the Gunners should have been awarded.

 

It was a passage of play that saw Nicolas Pepe take on the Burnley left-back Erik Pieters, whose arm appeared to meet the ball and block it. The incident wasn’t flagged up by VAR and the game continued.

 

 

Pieters was later penalised for a separate incident when he blocked a goal-bound shot from Pepe, which deflected onto the crossbar and clear. Referee Andre Marriner pointed to the spot and brandished a red card, but VAR intervened when replays showed it had struck his shoulder.

 

The latter incident was a perfect example of how VAR should work, but Arteta was perplexed as to why the first incident wasn’t ruled a penalty, which could have given Arsenal the win.

 

“I think it’s obvious and clear, I think there is no debate about that. If that is not a penalty, then would someone explain what a penalty is in this league,” he said, via Arsenal.com.

 

“We created, but we didn’t score enough. We gave a goal to the opponent and then don’t get the decision that we should get. It then becomes very difficult to win the game.”

 

Having taken the lead early through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the goal that Arsenal gave away was avoidable and the result of Granit Xhaka trying to play a pass that had been closed off by Burnley forward Chris Wood, who blocked it and diverted the ball into the goal.

 

Arteta defended Xhaka’s decision making in that instance, insisting that possession-based football from the back is still how he wants his team to play, despite the risks involved.

 

“It is what it is, it’s the way that we play and the way that I want to play,” the boss explained.

 

“We just have to know the risk and the rules that we have in certain areas in terms of the type of balls we have to play. But it is what it is.”

 

 

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English FA explains why Arsenal were denied penalty against Burnley

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The Premier League has claimed that Arsenal were denied a penalty against Burnley because Erik Pieters was in ‘close proximity’ to Nicolas Pepe.

The Gunners were forced to settle for a point at Turf Moor after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s early opener was cancelled out by Chris Wood, who benefitted from a huge mistake by Granit Xhaka.

However, Arsenal felt aggrieved in the 75th minute when Pepe’s touch inside Burnley’s box led the ball to hit Pieters’ outstretched arm, but Mikel Arteta’s side were not awarded a penalty following a VAR review.

Earlier this week, Fulham were involved in a similar incident as Mario Lemina was penalised for handball in the build-up to their disallowed goal against Tottenham.

But in a statement after the game, the Premier League clarified why Arsenal were not given the decision.

‘The ball has hit him from close proximity and he’s had no time to react,’ said the statement. ‘It wasn’t given on-field and the VAR didn’t think it was a clear error.’

 

Arteta, meanwhile, was left in no doubt that his side should have been awarded a penalty. ‘Absolutely,’ the Arsenal manager said after the game.

 ‘I think it is obvious and clear. I think there is no debate about that. ‘If that’s not a penalty, then someone will explain what a penalty is in this league.’

 

 

 

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Just In: Xhaka apologizes to Arsenal Fans for his costly mistake against Burnley

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Granit Xhaka is full of remorse for his horrendous display that led to Burnley goal, that cost Arsenal 2 points today.

He has come to apologize to Arsenal fans via his Official Facebook  Page:

It’s class from him.

 

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