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Team News: Arteta on, Tierney, Emery, Balogun, Villarreal

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It’s another big week for mikel arteta and our first-team squad

We fly to spain on wednesday afternoon for our europa league semi-final clash with villarreal, before hosting unai emery’s side in next week’s return match at emirates stadium and ahead of the first leg, arteta was asked for his team news, facing our former head coach and much more in his pre-match press conference. here’s every word:

on the feeling in the squad ahead of the semi-final

extremely excited to travel today and play the game tomorrow, knowing that this tie is going to take us to the final if we do the right things and we earn it. we have a tough opponent in front of us but we really want to be there.

on the latest team new

they are all in contention. all of them. including aubameyang, laca and kieran. they are all in contention for the game. yes [it is good news]

on the statement from the board

yes, we spoke to them and i think it was very clear. they show their commitment and their ambition to the football club because we all want a successful team on the pitch. it was very clear and it took any doubts out of the situation i think

on whether it’s a distraction for the player

well a lot of talk and a lot of speculation has surrounded the situation in the last week or so, our fans raised their voices during the game against everton, but now we have a very clear and committed statement from the ownership and i think that is gone when they say what they said last night and show the commitment and desire to take the team where we all want. i think it is very clear where we are moving forward

on whether the kroenkes will lead the team to the good time

said from the very beginning what my perception was, everything i sensed and all the communications i have with them and they are fully excited and committed to this project and they want to push everybody to do what we want to do

on whether he ever spoke to unai emery

i spoke to him a few times, because we had people in common. then i spoke to him before i took over at the club and he was really helpful, a very experienced and successful manager in the europa league in particular with what he has done. so there is no doubt that he has the tools and knowledge to manage at the top level

on whether he spoke to unai before taking the job.

yes, i did. he offered me that opportunity which is sometimes unusual. he was very sincere and open. i was very grateful for that.

on the disruption a potential takeover could cause.

listen, roger, i cannot control the speculation and what is going on. what i’d like to know and talk about is the reality, and the reality is that we have owners that are really, really committed and that they want a successful team on the pitch. they’re going to do everything they can to achieve that. this is what we have and i feel fully supported by them.

on the possibility of seeing more regular protests.

again, that is nothing i can control. they have the freedom and the possibility to express themselves. if you ask me as a manager what i want towards the team, obviously i want the stability around all the sectors of the club because i know it’s best for the players and it’s best for the performance of the team. the players need their supporters fully committed behind the team. the moment we have them inside our stadium, i’m sure that’ll be the case.

on folarin balogun.

it’s done, we’re really happy about it, really excited about it. it took a while because we had to undo a really complicated situation that was developing. i think the club made a big effort, i think edu made a great job and with flo and his agent we were able to find the right agreement for him to save.

on what commitments kse have given him.

it’s always been part of the discussion [to help him improve the team] amongst other things. what i can tell you is that they want to do their best in their capacity to support what we want to do, and have a really successful arsenal on the pitch

on tierney’s fitness.

he didn’t need the surgery that we were afraid of at the beginning and then he’s been working like a beast every single day. i don’t know if he’s going to make it tomorrow but he certainly wants to be as close as possible to that football pitch to give himself the best possible chance

on whether he’s willing to risk players like kieran and auba because of the importance of the fixture.

we do need them, because we know that we have some players that are in contention and they are the ones who can make the difference in a big tie like this. but the word risk, i don’t like to put players on the pitch if they can’t perform and they can’t feel secure that they can perform. if it’s a risk or we’re going to take a gamble, then i don’t think it’s the right thing to do

on ignoring the narrative around unai emery vs arsenal.

again, i cannot control that. that relationship existed and we cannot go against it. unai knows the club really, really well and we know unai as well and what he did before he joined here and what he did at the football club and that’s it

on the statement from kse and whether it will be popular with the fans.

i don’t know, but i think it closes a lot of the speculation about what could happen. they moved straightaway and they made very clear lines of where they are standing and what they want to do with the football club. and that’s it, one thing doesn’t take the other, that the fans express themselves and their opinion, which is completely normal

on whether he thinks stan kroenke should talk to the fans.

well, i don’t know if that will be the case. if we all feel that it is necessary and it would be helpful, i’m sure that they would do anything it takes to bring the fans closer to them. if they get the opportunity to know them, i think most of them will be surprised. if that’s the case, i think that will benefit everybody at the football club, it will benefit the fans and it will bring a lot of clarity. so if there is a way to do that and it’s going to be helpful, let’s do it if that is what is necessary

on what needs to change to shift the ‘difficult’ relationship with the fans.

it’s a question that i’ve been thinking about a lot, but there are a lot of factors which are difficult to control. there are still moving pieces there, but i am positive that in the next few weeks and months, we are going to be in a much better position. the only thing we can do to help that situation is to win football matches and win trophies. that always helps in football to bring that stability and excitement. and then, each party has to do a little bit to try to reunite everybody, because in the end it’s to the benefit of the football club and what they could achieve

on dani ceballos saying la liga suits his style more

we mentioned to you guys and at the end of the season we have a lot to play for yet, so i don’t want any distractions. we will sit with them and we are always in contact and communication with the players and the agents to know what their feelings are, and at the end we have to make a common decision for what’s best for the club and the player

on what he’s expecting from Villarreal

in terms of the club in the last 10 or 15 years they’ve had spectacular progression with various different coaches, but they’ve always had a clear idea of how they want to play. unai’s brought them a lot of experience in this competition and they have a very clear identity in terms of their play style. obviously it’s a two-legged affair and there’s obviously always a bit of uncertainty in terms of the first leg, who is going to be more dominant and who is going to take more risks, but we will see that tomorrow

on his biggest concern about facing Villarreal

well, i’d say the main thing is the clarity of idea that they have both with and without the ball, and in transition and set-pieces they have very clear ideas and some great connections between the players. they have some fantastic individual players in the final third and they can decide a game at any time. they compete throughout the game and they also have an ability to change system using either the same players or different players during a game, and that makes them a very difficult side to read players during a game, and

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📺 Miquel Azeez is Simply Outstanding, Watch As He Nutmegs 3 Defenders To Score A Goal

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Miquel Azeez Has Been Outstanding For Arsenal Un23 side this season, he continues his great run of form yesterday as score a man of the match goal to hand Arsenal Un23 side a victory in the final game of the season.

📺 Watch The Great Goal…

https://twitter.com/ArsenalAcademy/status/1392523112919486473?s=19

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Arsenal to agree deal with Italian head-coach

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Maurizio Sarri could reportedly be in line for a surprise return to Premier League with either Arsenal or Tottenham.

 

The Italian tactician has been out of work since being given the boot by the Serie A giants Juventus last August – in spite of guiding the Old Lady to their 36th Scudetto.

 

Sarri is understood to be eager to get back in the dugout next term, with Italian journalist Carlo Laudisa stating the 62-year-old could very well return to the English top-flight.

 

During an appearance on Radio Punto Nuovo, the Gazzetta dello Sport journalist said: “Sarri could go to England.

 

“The Tottenham solution being the most plausible, but the Arsenal bench could also become free, as [Mikel] Arteta has missed all the Gunners’ season goals.”

 

Carlo’s claim that Maurizio could return to England comes in spite of reports the veteran coach is against the idea of resuming his career abroad.

 

The former Napoli leader is reportedly concerned about upping sticks during the COVID-19 pandemic in case he is unable to return to his homeland.

 

He enjoyed success during his sole campaign in charge of Chelsea, guiding the Blues to UEFA Europa League glory with a 4-1 win over Arsenal in Baku.

 

If Sarri is indeed open to managing the Gunners, he’ll no doubt be keeping tabs on developments at the club over the coming weeks.

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Video Highlights, Full Match Analysis: Chelsea 0 – 1 Arsenal

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Emile Smith Rowe denied Chelsea the chance to cement their top-four status as he took advantage of Jorginho’s howler to give Arsenal a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues would have all but secured their Champions League qualification with a victory which would have taken them 10 points clear of Liverpool, who have four games left to play, but after making seven changes ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final, struggled to create clear-cut chances.

Kai Havertz should have put them ahead 10 minutes in when he intercepted Gabriel’s loose pass for Pablo Mari and raced clean through, but then fired over Bernd Leno’s bar with only his compatriot to beat. Moments later Jorginho’s equally poor back-pass was kept out by Kepa Arrizabalaga at full stretch, but Smith Rowe was on hand to bundle home after being teed up by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Chelsea were dominant for the large majority of the remaining 75 minutes without forcing Leno into any uncomfortable saves until the final minute. They did beat him through Pulisic’s close-range header from a corner, which was swiftly denied by a VAR review, before the German produced a stunning stop to tip Kurt Zouma’s header onto the crossbar, which was then rattled by Olivier Giroud’s shot on the rebound.

Player Ratings

Chelsea: Kepa (6), James (6), Azpilicueta (6), Silva (6), Zouma (6), Chilwell (5), Jorginho (4), Gilmour (5), Pulisic (5), Mount (6), Havertz (5).

Subs: Hudson-Odoi (6), Giroud (6), Ziyech (5).

Arsenal: Leno (7), Gabriel (6), Mari (7), Holding (6), Tierney (7), Partey (6), Elneny (8), Saka (5), Odegaard (6), Smith Rowe (7), Aubameyang (5).

Subs: Bellerin (6), Lacazette (5), Chambers (6).

Man of the match: Mohamed Elneny

What the managers said…

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel told Sky Sports: “We had three days, we are on a good run, we had a good mood. The choices were not so good today from my side for the line-up so that’s on me. We were unlucky, of course. But we did everything today to lose.

“I’m not happy with my line-up. It’s easy to say afterwards. But it was too many changes, I should not have done it like this. It’s something in particular – but I will not tell you!”

 

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta told Sky Sports: “I don’t know how they’re going to try from the outside but from the inside, nothing is broken.

“They’re going to put things on me that I never said, you can see the spirit of the team from the first minute. You can never doubt their efforts and how much they try.”

Match stats

  1. Arsenal completed their first Premier League double over Chelsea since the 2003-04 season, while this was their first league win at Stamford Bridge since October 2011, ending an eight-game winless run there (D2 L6).
  2. Chelsea suffered only their third defeat in 26 matches in all competitions under Thomas Tuchel (W17 D6), with all three defeats coming at Stamford Bridge.
  3. Arsenal have won three consecutive away Premier League matches without conceding for the first time since May 2013 under Arsène Wenger.
  4. Arsenal have had a different player aged younger than 21 score in each of their last three Premier League matches against Chelsea – Gabriel Martinelli in January 2020, Bukayo Saka in December 2020 and Emile Smith Rowe tonight.

What’s next?

Chelsea are off to Wembley in the FA Cup final on Saturday, where they will face Leicester City; Kick-off at 5.15pm.

Arsenal’s penultimate game of the season is also in London, with a trip to Crystal Palace next Wednesday night; Kick-off at 7pm.

📽️ Watch The Video Highlights:

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