Tag: Aaron Ramsey

Premiership: Burnley 0-1 Arsenal

Aaron Ramsey’s early goal was enough for Arsenal to close the gap on leaders Chelsea to four points with a hard-earned victory at Turf Moor.

The Gunners have played two games more than Jose Mourinho’s men,who play QPR on Sunday, so talk that they are now in a two-horse title race remains premature.

But they are undoubtedly putting more pressure on the Blues than anyone else after securing their eighth straight league win, becoming the first top-flight team to manage that feat this season.

That impressive form has also put them four points clear in second place and means they now look almost certain of securing Champions League football for an 18th consecutive season under Arsene Wenger.

They also showed again that they have added the kind of discipline to their game that they have lacked in previous seasons.

Arsenal’s latest win was not down to the kind of incisive attacking and explosive finishingthat demolished Liverpool last weekend.

Instead it was earned by exactly the kind of considered and controlled defensive performance needed to keep an energetic Burnley side at arms length.

The composure that Wenger’s side demonstrated was in complete contrast to Burnley, who did not lack urgency or effort but paid a heavy price for the poor passing that littered their display.

Ramsey’s 12th-minute goal came after Jason Shackell gave the ball away to Francis Coquelin on the halfway line and, after Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil both had shots saved, the Welshman blasted home.

Read more at BBC Sport

Euro 2016 Qualifier: Israel 0-3 Wales

Wales leapfrogged Israel at the top of their Euro 2016 qualifying group as two goals from Gareth Bale inspired a hugely impressive win that leaves them well placed to reach next summer’s finals in France.

Manager Chris Coleman had described this match as Wales’ most important since the Euro 2004 play-off defeat by Russia in 2003.

And with three wins and two draws from their first five matches, this is Wales’ best start to a campaign since that ill-fated bid 12 years ago as they attempt to reach a first major finals since the 1958 World Cup.

Victory against an Israeli side who had won all three of their previous qualifiers must rank as the finest of Coleman’s three-year tenure.

The visitors had the better of the first half in Haifa and took a deserved lead as Aaron Ramsey headed in from Bale’s flick-on just before the break.

The Real Madrid star doubled their advantage with a superb, swerving free-kick from the edge of the area soon after the restart and, a minute later, Israel’s Eytan Tibi picked up a second booking for fouling Bale as Wales took control.

He then added a final gloss with a sweeping finish late on as Coleman’s side moved two points clear at the summit of Group B.

Wary of their in-form opponents and a hostile atmosphere at a packed Sammy Ofer Stadium, Coleman reverted to a 5-3-2 formation that allowed him to give Bale a roaming role in attack.

Read more at BBC Sport

Champions League: Monaco 0-2 Arsenal (Monaco win on away goals)

Arsenal beat Monaco but crash out of Champions League on away goals

Arsenal won 2-0 in Monaco in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 clash but couldn’t recover from defeat at the Emirates three weeks ago, going out on away goals after drawing 3-3 on aggregate.

Olivier Giroud put the Gunners in front in the 36th minute but they struggled to create clear-cut openings before Aaron Ramsey doubled their advantage 11 minutes from time.

Arsene Wenger’s side piled on the pressure as the clock ticked down but couldn’t force a third goal which would have taken them through against the odds.

After a slow start, Giroud headed a half-chance wide after 13 minutes. Arsenal were lacking a spark as Monaco, who had not conceded a single goal in their three home Champions League group stage games earlier this season, happily took the tempo out of the match.

Giroud, who had missed several chances in the first leg, grabbed a lifeline for the visitors with a well-taken finish nine minutes before half-time.

Monaco continued to ride their luck as Arsenal pressed, with Mesut Ozil’s free-kick tipped over at the start of the second half.

The game then opened up as Arsenal committed men forwards, and finally reduced the arrears further through substitute Ramsey after 79 minutes.

 

There was, though, to be no miracle of Monte Carlo as Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic denied a late header from Sanchez to end Arsenal’s European dreams at the last-16 stage once again — and leave Arsene Wenger’s men counting the cost of conceding a stoppage-time third goal at the Emirates Stadium.

England forward Danny Welbeck started in support of Sanchez and main striker Giroud, with Theo Walcott again on the bench as manager Wenger named an attacking side on his return to the club he led to the French league championship in 1988.

Despite Arsenal’s positive intentions, they remained vulnerable on the counter-attack, with Joao Moutinho curling an early 20-yard effort over following a quick break by the home side.

Officially only around 1,500 Arsenal fans had made the journey to the French Riviera, but given tickets were put on general sale, there were more than double that around the Stade Louis II.

Arsenal, though, struggled to find any sort of early flow as Monaco slowed the tempo, which suited the game of veteran former Tottenham and Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov.

As the quarter-hour mark approached, Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin got away down the right and whipped the ball into the six-yard box, from which Giroud glanced just wide.

Arsenal centre-half Laurent Koscielny cannoned the ball up against the crossbar from close range after a deep free-kick into the Monaco penalty area, but the offside flag was raised.

Arsenal continued to look for an opening, but were frustrated by some solid defending from the hosts as the game.

The breakthrough finally came after 36 minutes. After left-back Nacho Monreal had done well to keep the ball in on the far side, Danny Welbeck darted into the penalty area.

The loose ball fell for Giroud, and his shot was saved but cannoned up against his face, with the French striker alert to sweep in the rebound.

Arsenal almost grabbed a quickfire second when Welbeck’s fierce, low shot hit Aymen Abdennour on the inside of his leg as the defender was sprawled on the ground.

Sanchez was shown a yellow card by Norwegian referee Svein Oddvar Moen for tumbling in the penalty area as Nabil Dirar touched him on the back.

In first-half stoppage-time, Welbeck’s low cross from the right flicked up off Giroud’s knee and into the grateful arms of goalkeeper Subasic.

The Croatian was in the right place again at the start of the second half to acrobatically tip over a curling 20-yard free-kick from Ozil.

Although Monaco did not need to score, they still carried a threat on the counter as Arsenal pressed a high line.

Wenger made a positive change after 63 minutes as Ramsey replaced holding midfielder Francis Coquelin.

Ozil flashed a low drive wide as Arsenal again created a good opening which lacked a telling finish.

With 20 minutes left and two goals still needed, Welbeck was replaced by Walcott.

Arsenal’s pressure finally told when Ramsey made it 2-0 with 11 minutes left. Monreal darted into the left side of the Monaco penalty area, before cutting the ball back to Walcott, whose low shot came back off the base of the post.

Layvin Kurzawa should have cleared but stabbed the ball to Ramsey, who cracked it into the bottom left corner to set up a grandstand finale.

Subasic clawed Sanchez’s close-range header off the line, but despite pouring forward during five minutes of stoppage-time, Arsenal were again left to reflect on what might have been.

The Monaco bench celebrated wildly as the principality club reached a first Champions League quarter-final since 2003-04.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Arsenal 3-0 West Ham

Arsenal warmed up for their crucial Champions League second-leg tie at Monaco on Tuesday with a 10th successive win over West Ham.

The Gunners dominated the first half before Olivier Giroud smashed in an angled drive just before half-time.

Kevin Nolan and Matt Jarvis came close to scoring for the Hammers.

But late strikes from Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini earned a win which puts Arsenal a point behind second-placed Manchester City.

City’s 1-0 defeat by Burnley came after a convincing performance from Arsene Wenger’s side, who will be aiming to overturn a 3-1 deficit in France next week.

An identical scoreline would see them progress but as unlikely as that might be, the Frenchman will be pleased his side came through the game unscathed and finally found their range after wasting a number of chances.

Until the strikes from Ramsey and Flamini, West Ham looked like they might build up a period of sustained pressure, but the introduction of Santi Cazorla helped earn Arsenal a seventh win in their last eight games.

Conjuring up a number of flowing moves from the start, the Gunners should have gone into the break more than one goal ahead. They only held a slender lead thanks to several saves from West Ham goalkeeper Adrian.

The opportunities arrived as early as the fifth minute when the Gunners had a strong penalty appeal waved away by referee Chris Foy after James Collins bundled over Arsenal forward Theo Walcott.

Walcott, in for injured winger Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, showed some rustiness when presented with further opportunities in what was only his third Premier League start of the season.

Other Arsenal players, such as Alexis Sanchez and Ramsey, found Adrian an unbreachable force.

The home crowd began to grow frustrated but they went into the break lifted by Giroud’s goal as the French striker finished another neat interchange by crashing his shot in off the far post. It was his sixth goal in seven games.

With Diafro Sakho a lone threat up front, Hammers boss Sam Allardyce screamed at his players to get further forward in the second half.

It seemed to have an effect as West Ham grew in influence and Jarvis went close, but he could not keep his shot down from a corner.

Giroud played his part in the second goal as he set up Ramsey following a throw-in, with Flamini adding the gloss from close-range with his first touch.

Read more at BBC Sport

Premiership: Arsenal suffer Ramsey hamstring blow

Aaron Ramsey looks set to miss Arsenal’s festive fixtures after manager confirmed he picked up a hamstring injury in Champions League win against Galatasaray.

Ramsey’s stunning volley was a highlight of an impressive win in Turkey, but it seems that may be the last significant contribution he makes to Arsenal’s cause in 2014.

“We have the scan last night and I don’t know enough the extent of his injury,” said Wenger, who refused to put a time scale on the recovery period for Ramsey. “It’s a shame because he was getting close to his form.”

Ramsey’s absence is one of many concerns for Wenger ahead of Saturday’s home game against Newcastle, with his defensive injury crisis reaching critical levels after he confirmed that Nacho Monreal and Laurent Koscielny are out, while Calum Chambers is also suspended.

“Defensively, I have 24 hours to think about it and I will find a solution,” said Wenger. “We have to play someone with almost no experience or someone who is not used to playing in the position.”

Wenger also said that his side’s poor display in the 3-2 defeat at Stoke last weekend was a blip in what he sees as an improving defensive record, despite the injury problems that have affected his squad this season.

“Before Stoke, we got three clean sheets in a row, but always the last game that is judged for the quality of the team,” he said. “This is the modern game. Our last game was Galatasaray and we defended well there. I agree we didn’t defend well at Stoke.

“We work on our weak points, obviously, but it is difficult. We came back [from Turkey] at 5am in the morning on Wednesday morning and we just have to recover at the moment. Our [training] sessions now are recover, recovery.”

Read more at ESPN

Champions League: Galatasaray 1-4 Arsenal

Arsenal ease to victory over Galatasaray as Ramsey nets stunner

Arsenal produced the perfect response to silence their critics with a 4-1 Champions League win over Galatasaray in Istanbul, where Aaron Ramsey scored one of the goals of the season.

Arsene Wenger had come in for abuse from the London club’s own supporters in the aftermath of Saturday’s disappointing 3-2 defeat at Stoke, which left them sixth in the Premier League.

However, there was no European hangover as despite leaving several key players such as Alexis Sanchez back in London, the Gunners, who had already qualified for the knockout stages, romped to a comfortable victory, but still had to settle for runners-up spot in Group D behind Borussia Dortmund.

Arsenal had raced into the lead after just two minutes when Lukas Podolski crashed the ball into the top left corner.

Galatasaray defender Hakan Balta missed a great chance to equalise when he stabbed the ball wide from six yards.

Ramsey made it 2-0 on 11 minutes with a neat finish after a quick break from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Podolski lashed another fierce shot against the crossbar, before Ramsey netted a superb half-volley from all of 30 yards which was applauded by the home supporters.

The second half was a much-more subdued affair, with Arsenal looking to counter after soaking up plenty of pressure with Per Mertesacker blocking a goal-bound shot from Umut Bulut on 65 minutes before Wesley Sneijder clipped home a late 20-yard free-kick.

Podolski grabbed a fourth on the break deep into stoppage time.

Arsenal will now regroup ahead of the knockout stages in mid-February, by which time Wenger could well have several of his injured stars fighting fit again to take on Europe’s best.

Arsenal full-back Mathieu Debuchy returned following three months out, while Wenger named a bench with an average age of just over 18, handing an opportunity to fringe players such as Podolksi, Yaya Sanogo and Joel Campbell.

 

It took German forward Podolski some 122 seconds to prove his point, as he lashed an angled drive the ball past Sinan Bolat from just inside the penalty area.

Galatasaray, who sacked Cesare Prandelli following four successive Champions League defeats, looked to quickly respond, the fans who had bothered to turn out at the Turk Telekom Arena did their best to lift the home side.

Hakan Balta dragged his shot wide from six yards after a corner was not properly cleared, and Arsenal then doubled their lead on 11 minutes.

Tarik Camdal looked to have been tripped by a back-tracking Podolski, but Spanish refree David Borbalan waved play on.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was onto the loose ball in a flash, driving forwards to the edge of the Galatasaray area before slipping in Ramsey, who stroked in a low finish to the far corner.

Podolski was inches away from cracking in a third when another fierce left-foot effort cannoned off the top of the crossbar after more good work from the busy Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Arsenal continued to look dangerous on the break, with Ramsey, Sanogo and Campbell all failing to find a killer touch in the box, before Bolat turned a drive from Podolski behind.

The Galatasaray keeper, however, could do little to prevent a third Arsenal goal on 29 minutes when Ramsey lashed the ball into the top right of the net after a corner was headed clear.

With the match already over as a contest, to their credit the hosts looked to press again.

Umut Bulut glanced a header wide, before at the other end Campbell skipped clear and his angled shot was touched across the face of goal by the keeper.

Wenger decided to give the youngsters a taste of Champions League football for the second half.

German 17-year-old Gedion Zelalem replaced Mathieu Flamini, and teenager Ainsley Maitland-Niles came on for Ramsey.

The tempo of the match dropped, with Arsenal content to soak up plenty of pressure and look to counter.

On 65 minutes, stand-in Arsenal captain Mertesacker – castigated by pundit Jamie Carragher for ‘abandoning ship’ in the defeat at Stoke – produced a brave block to throw his body in the way of Bulut’s close-range effort.

Galatasaray had a consolation with two minutes left when Dutchman Sneijder whipped a free-kick up over the wall into the top-left corner, but there was still time for Podolski to slot in a fourth for Arsenal on the break with what was the last kick of the match.

Arsenal, who blew a 3-0 lead at home to Anderlecht on matchday four, will now await their last 16 opponents in the draw – when the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris St Germain and defending champions Bayern Munich could all yet come out of the top seed pot.

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Stoke 3-2 Arsenal

Stoke held on to beat Arsenal 3-2 after a dramatic afternoon at the Britannia Stadium.

The Gunners are the team Stoke relish taking on more than any other and the home fans were in dreamland after Peter Crouch, with the fastest goal of the Premier League season, Bojan Krkic and Jonathan Walters put them three up at half-time.

But, after Bojan had a fourth ruled out for offside, Santi Cazorla pulled one back from the penalty spot and two minutes later Aaron Ramsey reduced the deficit further.

There were still 20 minutes to play but the sending off of Calum Chambers for two yellow cards reduced the heat a little and Arsenal could not find a third.

The result brought an end to Arsenal’s run of three successive wins and ended a losing sequence of three for the hosts.

The bad blood between these teams dates back to the challenge made by Ryan Shawcross on Ramsey nearly five years ago that broke the Arsenal player’s leg.

Arsene Wenger was unhappy with pre-match comments from Shawcross hyping up the rivalry and the Stoke captain’s name was greeted with loud boos from the visiting fans.

But they were silenced only 19 seconds into the match as Steven Nzonzi got away down the right and sent over a cross that Chambers failed to clear under pressure from Mame Biram Diouf.

The ball ran to Crouch, making his first start in more than a month – and he had the simple task of tapping it in after goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez lost his balance and fell over.

Teenage defender Hector Bellerin was making only his second Premier League start for Arsenal and his fine cross in the 11th minute should have set up an equaliser but somehow Olivier Giroud headed wide.

Bojan has grown into Stoke’s main creative force and his link-up play, in particular with Crouch, was causing Arsenal real problems.

Stoke were relishing the lively atmosphere and tempo and full-back Phil Bardsley got into the spirit with a fierce shot that Martinez could only push uncomfortably away.

Fortunately for the Arsenal keeper, Chambers reacted quickly to ensure Crouch could not take advantage of the rebound.

Arsenal looked sporadically dangerous and Asmir Begovic may well have been struggling had Cazorla’s 20-yard effort been on target rather than just over the bar.

But largely the game was being controlled by Stoke and it was no more than they and Bojan deserved in the 35th minute when the Spaniard classily converted Walters’ terrific cross.

The gleeful chant of ‘2-0 to the rugby team’ rung around the stadium – mocking a famous Wenger jibe about Stoke’s style of play under former manager Tony Pulis.

But even the Arsenal boss must have been impressed by the fluidity of Stoke, who were simply outplaying his side.

Begovic had to be alert to preserve the lead in the 38th minute when a Giroud header deflected off Shawcross, but just before half-time Stoke added a third.

Bojan’s corner was headed down by Crouch and an unmarked Walters slammed the 100th club goal of his career high into the net.

Unsurprisingly, Wenger shuffled things around for the second half, sending on Danny Welbeck for Bellerin, with Mathieu Flamini moving to right-back.

Welbeck was straight into the action, seeing a shot deflected wide, but Stoke continued to pose plenty of problems.

Martinez was having an uncomfortable afternoon and he was caught out by a Bojan free-kick in the 51st minute.

The keeper had to dive back towards his goal to keep it out and was fortunate the ball arrived at Geoff Cameron’s feet too quickly for the defender to do anything with it.

At the other end, Alexis Sanchez almost made Nzonzi pay for a poor error when he ran through on goal, beating Shawcross and Begovic, but shot against the post.

It looked curtains for Arsenal when Bojan found the net for the second time in the 65th minute – but a belated offside flag cut short the celebrations.

The Gunners went down the other end and won a penalty when Diouf tripped Flamini. Begovic got a hand to Cazorla’s shot but could not keep it out – and two minutes later Ramsey reduced the deficit to a single goal.

Begovic produced a fine save from Welbeck but Sanchez’s corner picked out Ramsey at the back post and he shot through a crowd of players.

Arsenal pushed hard for an equaliser but found themselves reduced to 10 men 12 minutes from time when Chambers was shown a second yellow card for pulling Bojan.

And, despite putting Stoke under a lot of pressure, the third did not come.

Read more at ESPN

Football: Arsenal 3-0 Manchester City 0: Arsene Wenger’s men coast to Community Shield victory

Arsenal sent out a statement of intent for the season as they impressively dismissed Manchester City in the Community Shield at Wembley.

The FA Cup winners took the lead through Santi Cazorla’s angled shot and added to that when Aaron Ramsey drove in a strike to finish a counter-attack.

Premier League champions City came close when Stevan Jovetic had a header hit the post and a shot saved.

But Olivier Giroud’s dipping 25-yard strike secured Arsenal’s win.

The victory is the first for Arsene Wenger’s side in the English season’s curtain raiser since 2004, and should give them plenty of belief before they start their top-flight campaign against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

The Gunners fielded three of their four summer signings as forwardAlexis Sanchez, right-back Mathieu Debuchy and defender Calum Chambers started, with the trio appearing to have effortlessly slipped into Arsenal’s trademark one-touch free-flowing football.

City were missing eight key players and, while manager Manuel Pellegrini may play down the defeat, it will serve as a warning sign before they begin the defence of their top-flight title at Newcastle on Sunday.

Pellegrini had insisted he had a stronger squad at his disposal this season as he gave two of his five summer signings in midfielderFernando and keeper Willy Caballero starts.

However, he was not helped by the absence of Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta, Fernandinho, Sergio Aguero, Martin Demichelis, Frank Lampard, Bacary Sagna and Alvaro Negredo for the game.

Read More on BBC Sport