Arsenal ends EPL losing streak
ARSENAL ended a three-game English Premier League losing streak with a 3-0 victory over Watford yesterday.
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan each contributed a goal and an assist after Shkodran Mustafi’s header had given the Gunners an early lead in a clinical attacking display at the Emirates Stadium in London.
The scoreline was flattering for the home side but Watford only had itself to blame after spurning multiple chances, most notably a penalty miss by captain Troy Deeney.
Arsenal was menacing in attack right from the start as Mesut Ozil slid Aubameyang through on goal within two minutes, only for Watford goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis to save well with his legs.
However, Ozil wouldn’t be denied his 50th EPL assist for long. The Germany midfielder became the fastest man to reach that milestone — in 141 games — when Mustafi headed his precise free kick back across goal in the 8th minute.
As good as Arsenal was going forward, it was vulnerable at the other end. Watford should have leveled when Petr Cech palmed Richarlison’s free kick into the path of Roberto Pereyra, who failed to direct the bouncing ball into an open goal.
Ozil had an equally good chance moments later as he glided into the penalty area before Karnezis made another fine save with his legs.
Watford controlled the game either side of halftime, but was punished for failing to make its dominance pay when Aubameyang doubled the lead in the 59th as he rounded Karnezis after latching onto Mkhitaryan’s through ball.
Watford had the chance to pull a goal back instantly as Ashley Maitland-Niles brought down Pereyra. Deeney, who was extremely vocal with his criticism of Arsenal after the sides last met, was denied by Cech much to the delight of the Emirates crowd. The victory was finally sealed 13 minutes from the end, when Aubameyang set up Mkhitaryan for his first EPL goal in an Arsenal shirt.
Arsenal, which had lost eight of its previous 14 matches in all competitions, remains in sixth place and trails fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur by 10 points ahead of its rival’s trip to Bournemouth later yesterday.
On Saturday, West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan was hit by a coin amid ugly protests as angry fans ran riot during the 0-3 defeat to Burnley at the London Stadium.
Sullivan and fellow co-owner David Gold were forced to flee their seats in the directors’ box as fans crowded around them with thrown missiles mixed with chants of “sack the board” and “you killed our club”.
Former West Ham striker and manager Trevor Brooking cut a lonely figure as he sat in the directors’ box alone for the final stages of the match that saw West Ham slip to 16th in the EPL, just three points above the relegation zone.
And Brooking confirmed Sullivan had been struck. “I think a coin did hit David Sullivan, his glasses,” he told BBC 5 Live.
“I didn’t see it myself but I did have that confirmed, which was part of the reason why the people in the directors’ box had to go inside to save any more problems like that.”
West Ham said an emergency meeting had been called with all London Stadium stakeholders, which includes Gold and Sullivan, whose decision to uproot the club from Upton Park to the site that hosted London’s 2012 Olympic Games has caused resentment.
Saturday’s events are being investigated by the Football Association and the EPL as several West Ham supporters also invaded the pitch.
West Ham captain Mark Noble grappled one fan to the floor and teammate James Collins marched two others away.
Elsewhere on Saturday, it was: Manchester United 2, Liverpool 1; Leicester 4, West Brom 1; Chelsea 2, Crystal Palace 1; Everton 2, Brighton 0; Newcastle 3, Southampton 0; Swansea 0,. Huddersfield 0.