Arsenal win overshadowed by Ramsey injury  

Sunday, 28 February 2010

Two stoppage time goals give Arsenal a crucial victory in the title race but at a cost, with Aaron Ramsey suffering a serious injury.
The win moves Arsene Wenger's side to within three points of leaders Chelsea with ten games remaining, but this evening's victory was overshadowed by a horrific looking injury to youngster Ramsey.

Midway through the second half, Ryan Shawcross hammered into a challenge with Ramsey just inside the Arsenal half. Both players went immediately to the floor and Ramsey was left with what looked like a very badly broken leg. Shawcross was immediately shown the red card by referee Peter Walton and the Stoke man was in tears as he left the pitch.

Arsenal, however, battled on and with the game heading into injury time and the score still deadlocked at 1-1, Arsenal were awarded a penalty for a handball by Danny Pugh. Up stepped their captain Cesc Fabregas, who slotted past Sorensen into the corner to give them the lead.

Minutes later, the visitors found the killer third goal to wrap up the points. Rosicky struck a shot from the edge of the area. Sorensen got down well to his right to make the save, but Fabregas followed in sharply to turn the ball back across goal and there was Vermaelen to tap the home into an empty net.

It was little more than Arsenal deserved after dominating the final hour of proceedings, but they were slow to a start and yet again they were undone by a Rory Delap throw-in. With just over seven minutes on the clock, Delap's long throw-in was headed on towards the far post by Shawcross and Danny Pugh stooped to head home from a couple of yards.

Immediate thoughts will now turn to the well being of Aaron Ramsey but after tonight's victory, Arsenal can again look towards the end of the season still in the hunt for honours

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Premier League Player Ratings: Arsenal 2-0 Sunderland  

Sunday, 21 February 2010


Manuel Almunia - 7 - Denied Bent the equaliser with vital save. Largely untroubled.

Emmanuel Eboue - 8 - Menaced down the wing. Jinking run into the area followed by shot-cum-cross led to a tap-in for Bendtner. Sagna will have to watch that he doesn't lose his first-team place.

Mickael Silvestre - 6 - Wasn't particularly stretched by Sunderland's attack.

Thomas Vermaelen - 7 - Stung Gordon's palms with a vicious free kick in second half.

Gael Clichy - 6 - Played conservatively by his standards. Rarely got forward.

Cesc Fabregas - 7 - Not at his creative best but that's still very good indeed. Booked in the second half. 'Won' and dispatched penalty in 92nd minute.

Alexandre Song - 6 - Patrolled back line effectively.

Aaron Ramsey - 6 - Played with maturity. Beautifully disguised pass misread by Bendtner.

Samir Nasri - 7 - Seriously troubled Hutton down the wing. Driving shot from short corner only just deflected over bar.

Nicklas Bendtner - 7 - Useful link up play. Screwed shot wide on 17 minutes. Got on the end of cross-shot from Eboue to score opening goal.

Theo Walcott - 4 - Pace gives Arsenal a new dimension but lacked invention. Put clean through in first five minutes but failed to finish with a cross-shot that went wide.


Tomas Rosicky - N/A - On for Nasri on 72 mins.

Bakari Sagna - N/A - On for the ineffective Walcott.

Denilson - N/A - On for Eboue.


Craig Gordon - 7 - Had no chance with the opening goal. Saved from Nasri, Walcott and Bendtner to deny Arsenal the second. Came close to reaching Fabregas's penalty.

Alan Hutton - 4 - Lacked the skill and pace to cope with Nasri.

George McCartney - 4 - Badly troubled by Walcott's pace. Great sliding tackle in the box to deny Bendtner.

Michael Turner - 6 - Managed to keep Arsenal from scoring a second. Cautioned for silly handball that was born out of frustration.

Darren Bent - 5 - Forced to play wide midfield and defended like a forward.

John Mensah - 5 - Foul on Fabregas on edge of area led to vicious free kick from Vermaelen. Booked for another foul on Fabregas.

Kieran Richardson - 6 - Stole the ball from Arsenal and fed Jones for what should have been the equaliser.

Anton Ferdinand - 5 - Looked off the pace in the unfamiliar role of central midfield. Moved to left-back eventually.

Lorik Cana - 7 - Booked for two-footed lunging tackle on Eboue. Could have been a harsher punishment.

Fraizer Campbell - 5 - First chance of the game for Sunderland after 20 minutes but is crowded out. Missed a sitter in second half - lucky to be ruled offside in the end. Brought down Fabregas for penalty.

Kenywne Jones - 4 - Guilty of a terrible miss after going one-on-one with Almunia but then put shot wide.


Bolo Zenden - N/A - On for Richardson on 75th minute

Benjani - N/A - Replaced Jones up front

Phil Bardsley - N/A - Replaced McCartney in last five minutes.

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Arsenal weigh up move for £2m-rated Swiss forward Nassim Ben Khalifa  

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Arsenal are considering a £2million move for Swiss teenager Nassim Ben Khalifa but face competition from Wolfsburg and Inter Milan.

Wolfsburg have held talks with Khalifa's club Grasshoopers Zurich - who play in the Swiss Super League - and could be close to completing a deal for the talented forward by the end of the week.

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is a known admirer of Ben Khalifa after watching the 18-year-old star for Switzerland at the Under-17 World Cup in November.

But Wenger will have to make his move quickly as Wolfsburg are desperate to conclude a deal for the player before Arsenal and Inter join the bidding.

Khalifa has scored two goals in 12 appearances for the Grasshoopers and has represented Switzerland at Under-15s, 16s, 17s and 18s level - scoring a total of 17 goals in 40 appearances.

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Arsenal Complete £10.4m Signing: Summer Deal Finally Sealed  

Saturday, 13 February 2010

MAROUANE CHAMAKH will be an Arsenal player this summer after saying yes to a four-year, £10.4million deal.
The free agent Bordeaux ace has snubbed a BIGGER offer from Liverpool and put pen to paper on a Gunners pre-contract agreement.

It will mean £50,000 a week for the man Arsene Wenger believes can be the ‘new Emmanuel Adebayor’.

We told you first on Boxing Day that Arsenal boss Wenger had stepped up his bid to land the striker, even though publicly he had ended his interest in Chamakh.

Liverpool were offering the 26-year-old £10,000 a week more.

But the 6ft 2in Moroccan was desperate to work with Wenger and his decision will be a stinging snub for under-fire Kop chief Rafa Benitez.

Chamakh is rated one of France’s top frontmen and was a key member of Laurent Blanc’s title-winning team last season.

Arsenal tried to land him last summer in a £6m swoop. But Bordeaux wanted double that and the deal stalled. (Daily Mirror)

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Arsenal 1-0 Liverpool  

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Abou Diaby headed a second-half winner to revive Arsenal's faltering title hopes and end Liverpool's recent unbeaten league run.
Neither keeper had a save of note to make in the first 45 minutes and both defences were firmly on top, despite the best efforts of Nicklas Bendtner, who made his first start since October

The second period was a far more open affair. Tomas Rosicky and David Ngog both went close but it was the Gunners who gradually gained control, with Cesc Fabregas central to all of their good play.

The breakthrough was made by the home side on 72 minutes, when Rosicky fired in a brilliant cross from the right and Diaby powered home a header from six yards out.

Liverpool showed more adventure after falling behind, with substitute Ryan Babel forcing Manuel Almunia into fine save in the 85th minute, the Spaniard tipping a 25-yard effort onto the crossbar.

Arsenal held on to reaffirm their manager's belief that the title race is wide open, and with all of their games against the 'big four' behind them, the Gunners still have hope.

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Arsenal set to beat Liverpool in race to sign striker Marouane Chamakh  

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

The Morocco international is available on a free transfer and Benítez was initially hopeful of bringing him to Anfield.

Only last month Liverpool appeared to lead the race for his signature but the player has since admitted his first choice would be a move to Arsenal, and Benítez believes any chance of securing the player is now dead.

The 26-year-old has reportedly hit out at Liverpool for being "fussy" over contract negotiations but Benítez is angry at the breakdown of the deal.

"I think that we will not sign him - but I will not say [any more]," said the Spaniard.

Arsenal turned down the chance to sign Chamakh last summer after his current club, Bordeaux, demanded a £15 million transfer fee, but he is available for free at the end of the season after he refused to sign a new contract.

Benítez, meanwhile, has admitted he would welcome any new investors into the club but remains to be convinced of their impending arrival.

It had been suggested two tycoons from the sub-continent were competing for bids to buy a significant stake in the club, but representatives of Mukesh Ambani, head of Reliance Industries and the seventh-richest man in the world, denied claims he was interested in doing business with Liverpool's co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

"We can see a lot of rumours in the press but we have to concentrate on football," Benítez said. "Everyone knows we need a new stadium and investors if we want to go forward so it would be good for the club.

"Over the last two years everyone is talking about new investors and the new stadium and so all the fans are waiting for this good news and me too.

"I'll be really pleased if we can bring [in] people who can help to bring the new stadium closer. If I signed a new (five-year) contract last year it was because they (Hicks and Gillett) told me they would be going forward.

"I am waiting for a while. The only thing I can do now is just concentrate on football and do our best on the pitch."

Liverpool's co-owners are in talks with a number of parties about investing in the club and will consider any possible offer on its own merits rather than setting out a definitive investment package.

However, chief executive Christian Purslow is currently working on securing £100 million of outside investment which will significantly reduce the club's £237 million debt by the end of the season.

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Zidan in Premier link, Arsenal and Barcelona want Egyptian, says player's father  

Monday, 8 February 2010

The father of Borussia Dortmund forward Mohamed Zidan claims his son has been targeted by a number of top European sides.

The Egypt international impressed again at this year's African Cup of Nations as his country won the competition for the third consecutive time last month.

The 28-year-old's form has put him in the spotlight once more, with his father Abdullah adamant a deal with a top European club may be struck this summer.

"There are clubs like Arsenal, Barcelona and Manchester United that have asked his agent about Mohamed," said Abdullah Zidan told Egyptian station Dream TV.

"Mohamed has a contract at Dortmund until 2012, but he has a clause allowing him to leave the club at the end of the season for a certain amount of money."

Dortmund are Zidan's fourth German club and the playmaker has grabbed two Bundesliga goals in 16 appearances this season.

Zidan, who has 33 international caps, netted seven times in 29 games in the previous season - his first at Signal Iduna Park.

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Arsenal Attempted To Buy Stoke City Goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen In January - Report  

Sunday, 7 February 2010

According to the Sunday Telegraph, the Gunners boss has already admitted he tried to sign a player just before the window slammed shut, which the paper “understands to be [Thomas] Sorensen”.

The Danish international has come under pressure for his number one berth at the Britannia Stadium following the arrival of goalkeeper Asimir Begovic from Portsmouth. While Wenger might have considered replacing gloveman Manuel Almunia at the Emirates because of his recent dip in form.

Wenger has also admitted that he thinks the role of goalkeeper is a “terrible job", particularly in English football.

“Goalkeeper is maybe the most difficult job in the world because everything is so quick," explained the Frenchman.

"In England it is even harder because people stand on your feet at crosses. It is a terrible job.

"The goalkeeper always gets negative publicity. If a striker misses two chances but scores two goals he is a hero, but if a keeper has a fantastic game and makes one mistake, he is a villain. It is the most pressurised job in football."

The 60-year-old Frenchman also added that he felt Almunia was suffering by putting too much pressure on himself, saying: “I think he [Manuel Almunia] puts a lot of pressure on his own shoulders, perhaps too much.”

The Spaniard is certainly set for a testing afternoon as Arsenal travel to Stamford Bridge on Sunday, but Wenger is confident his team can prevail, despite being thumped 3-1 by Manchester United last weekend.

"I believe we will respond on Sunday [against Chelsea]. Last year we turned up in a similar situation and won the game,” he added.

"We are six points behind them [Chelsea] with 14 games left to play. We are still a very young team, and it is a miracle to be where we are today, if you listen to what people were saying at the start of the season.

"So why should we suddenly feel we are useless? We have surprised everybody, so we should really go for it.

"We have top quality, and we want to add that fraction of self-belief we have to find within our group.”

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Chamakh wants Arsenal move  

Marouane Chamakh has revealed that he wants to move to England this summer when he becomes a free agent, and has stated Arsenal are the club he wants to sign for.

A host of teams have been chasing the highly-rated Moroccan international, who is out of contract at Bordeaux in the summer, but he has now revealed he wants to sign for the Gunners.

Arsenal tried to sign the 26-year-old last summer but could not agree terms, but Arsene Wenger has retained his interest.

However, in recent times Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea, Everton and Sunderland have all made contact with Chamakh's representatives as he is now free to talk terms with any interested clubs.

Inter Milan, Juventus and Sevilla have also been in touch, but Chamakh has now confirmed that he wants to move to the Emirates.

"My future? Well, I hold all the cards, I have no reason to be under pressure but everyday passing by, I am a little less a Bordeaux player," he revealed.

"My choice is to join Premier League and if I could choose, I will go to Arsenal.

"Bordeaux has brought me so much. I will soon clearly state things so the club can prepare to find my replacement peacefully."

Chamakh is full of praise for Bordeaux boss Laurent Blanc.

"Laurent Blanc has brought us a winning state of mind, he has taught us how to hate defeat," he told L'Equipe.

"Both on mental and physical levels, I am at my best. Three years ago, I was still a little crazy. Now I can manage my efforts, which allows me to be more clear-sighted at the end of the match.

"I have improved, but I can still improve. I am not only happy to play anymore. I have become someone who wants to win. I am more a scorer, but not enough yet. There are too many situations where I still do a pass for a player in a better position."

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Lucky for Gunners' Tigers dent Blues' title charge  

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

battling performance from relegation contenders Hull City saw them claim a well-deserved point from a 1-1 draw with Premier League leaders Chelsea at the KC Stadium.

Phil Brown's men took the lead on 30 minutes thanks to a thumping header from defender Stephen Mouyokolo, only for Didier Drogba to grab the equaliser with a pin-point free-kick just before half time.

The visitors came closest in the second half through Drogba and Daniel Sturridge, but Hull fought hard to ensure the points were shared.

Frank Lampard came close for Chelsea early on with a rasping shot from 30 yards, stinging the hands of keeper Boaz Myhill. The rebound fell to the in-form Nicolas Anelka, but he failed to control the ball; sending it spinning out for a goal-kick.

Carlo Ancelotti's men then had a great chance to take the lead as a cross from Branislav Ivanovic found the head of an unmarked Michael Ballack, but the Germany international directed his diving effort straight at Myhill, who was able to make a comfortable save.

Moments later Hull broke the deadlock when a curling corner from Hunt was met by a towering Mouyokolo, whose powering header from close range left keeper Petr Cech with no chance.

However, the visitors were back level just minutes before half-time as George Boateng scythed down Anelka on the edge of the box allowing Drogba to step up and fire a free-kick into bottom corner of the net to register his eighth goal in nine games for the Blues.

Moyokuolo could have scored a second for Hull in first-half injury time as Tom Cairney floated in a dangerous ball towards the French defender, however, Anthony Gardner powered his way in front of his colleague and sent the ball looping over the bar.

Chelsea came close to taking the lead early in the second half as a corner from Florent Malouda was met with a thumping header from Drogba, but keeper Myhill managed to make a tremendous save down to his right.

However, this result give Arsenal relief and maybe will be easier for Gunners to bounce back against Chelsea this sunday.

John Terry powered in a header in the following melee, but again Myhill was equal to it; palming the ball to safety.

Drogba had another chance on the 75-minute mark, but his header from an Ivanovic cross looped just over the bar.

Substitute Sturridge nearly stole all three points for the visitors in injury time, but his long-range half-volley was well brilliantly turned away by Myhill.

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Savic claims Gunners deal  

Claims: Defender Stefan Savic (left) is capped at youth level for Montenegro

Montenegrin defender Stefan Savic claims he has agreed a deal to join Arsenal in the summer after snubbing interest from other Premier League clubs.

Savic has recently been linked with a move to Emirates Stadium and says he will sign a pre-contract with Arsene Wenger's side later this week to join from BSK Borca.

The 19-year-old also claims Birmingham City and Tottenham Hotspur were keen on a deal, but he is looking forward to the opportunity to play for Wenger.

He told Serbian newspaper Blic: "There were offers from Tottenham and Birmingham, but once a call came from Arsenal, I had no more doubts.

"Wenger made sure my papers were arranged for me and my work permit extended so I can be at more training sessions.

"He is the man. He has incredible authority at the club, everyone listens to him, assistants lead training sessions and he just supervises. Nothing can escape him."

Savic added: "A pre-contract will be signed on Thursday and then I will return to Belgrade and join BSK for their preparations.

"I will be staying with BSK until May."

The centre-half has five Under 21 caps and, if the deal goes through, his arrival will go some way to softening the blow of missing out on Chris Smalling, who opted to instead join Manchester United.

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