EPL

Arteta demands reaction against Brighton as Arsenal look to reignite top-four bid

By Sports Desk April 08, 2022

Mikel Arteta urged Arsenal to respond against Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday after a shabby performance at Crystal Palace slowed their Champions League push.

The Gunners had surged into top-four contention, but an underwhelming outing at Selhurst Park in a 3-0 reverse on Monday condemned them to a second loss in their last three Premier League games (W1), having lost just one of their previous 11 (W9 D1).

North London rivals Tottenham, who cruised past Newcastle United 5-1 on Sunday, occupy the final place in England's top four, though they are level on points with Arteta's side, who have a game in hand.

Manager Arteta called for a reaction from his team when they host Brighton, who have not defeated, or even scored against, Arsenal in their last three league meetings.

"Monday is gone. We're looking forward to playing in front of our fans," Arteta said in a pre-match news conference on Friday.

"We have to play better and we have to compete much better than we did on Monday. [The setback] has happened and it's happened with nine games to go, and we have to react now.

"We have to show tomorrow the energy, the commitment and the passion that we want to play the game tomorrow in front of our fans. Embrace the challenge."

Matters were made worse against Patrick Vieira's side after it was confirmed Kieran Tierney could miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, and Thomas Partey continues to be monitored for a thigh problem that will keep him out for "some weeks".

"You lost, now you want to win, it's hurting and it's still hurting. We lost two big players, two really important players for us for sure," Arteta said.

"But whenever that happens you can't cry for it because they are not going to be available for us. So we have to find other solutions, and we have to be as good and as competitive as we have been."

 

Nuno Tavares was hooked off at half-time as he endured a torrid outing at left-back against Palace, with Jordan Ayew's strike a combination of his and Gabriel Magalhaes' fault through miscommunication.

However, Arteta assured the young Portugal defender he will bounce back from his mistakes.

"Throughout your career you have to go through difficult moments, and he's had some really good periods since he arrived at the club, and he was playing many more minutes than he was probably expecting," Arteta said of Tavares.

"That's the life of a player, especially at that age. There's ups and downs, and we are here to try and help him and make his career better, and that's what we're going to do.

"He is ready and he is willing, and he will be disappointed, but it's part of the job and we have to make decisions to try to win football matches. There is nothing personal there."

Crucial to Arsenal's hopes against Brighton will be the performance of Alexandre Lacazette, who has not scored from open play in any of his last 16 appearances across all competitions.

That amounts to 22 hours and 28 minutes without an open-play goal for the former Lyon striker since his last against Southampton in December, but Arteta expressed his support.

"Laca's contribution to the team in many other ways has been phenomenal," Arteta said.

Related items

  • T&T's young Soca Warriors rally to join other winners on opening day of U-20 Champs qualifiers T&T's young Soca Warriors rally to join other winners on opening day of U-20 Champs qualifiers

    Trinidad and Tobago's young Soca Warriors were among those that opened their Concacaf Men’s Under-20 Championship qualifying campaign on a winning note, as they downed St Vincent and the Grenadines 3-2 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, on Friday.

    With the twin island republic playing host to Group D, the anticipation was high that the Brian Haynes-coached young Soca Warriors would put on a show for spectators, but they didn't have things entirely their way, and had to come from two goals down to edge St Vincent and the Grenadines.

    Goals from Cody Cooper (36th), Larry Noel (64th) and a last-gasp goal from Michael Chaves (90+5), was enough to give the host victory, after Kirtney Franklyn (3rd) and Steven Pierre (28th) gave Vincy Heat a 2-0 lead.

    The other Group D contest was a stroll for group favourites Canada, who hammered Dominica 8-0.

    A hat-trick from Myles Morgan (8th, 36th, 47th), as well as braces from Santiago Lopez (26th, 65th) and Sergei Kozlovskiy (86th, 90+4) and one from Kevaughn Tavernier (27th), gave the North Americans the expected start, which propelled them to the top of the standings on goal difference ahead of Trinidad and Tobago.

    Meanwhile in other group games:

    Group A

    Cuba started off Group A with a 13-0 beating of Anguilla at the Estadio Nacional in Managua, Nicaragua,

    Marcos Campos (3rd, 25th, 30th) and David Perez (40th, 47th, 71st) each had hat tricks, Maikol Vega (77th, 90+6) bagged a brace, while Leandro Mena (13th), Michael Camejo (15th), Karel Perez (27th), Cristian Mendoza (41st) and Samuel Rodriguez (62nd) also had goals.

    Host Nicaragua also thrilled home fans with an 8-0 victory against British Virgin Islands.

    Joab Gutierrez (6th), Francis Castillo (12th, 39th), Kenler Cayasso (25th), Andres Martinez (47th, 61st), Fredy Ortiz (56th) and Izamuel Martinez (81st), got the job done.

    Group B

    El Salvador got things going in Group B with a 7-0 win over Turks and Caicos Islands at the ABFA Technical Centre in Piggots, Antigua and Barbuda.

    Christopher Argueta (26th), Daniel Espana (37th), Walter Menjivar (41st), Wilber Diaz (67th, 80th), Darwin Lopez (90+1) and Nelson Diaz (90+3), got the job done for El Salvador.

    Meanwhile, hosts Antigua and Barbuda blanked Guyana 4-0 in the feature contest.

    The goals came from Javauhn Parker (2nd), Aiden Jarvis (16th), Christopher Douglas (18th) and Javaughn Jarvis (84th).

    Group C

    An all-important strike from Daminthly Bernardina (90+3), gifted Curacao a 1-0 win over St Martin at the Estadio Doroteo Guamuch Flores in Guatemala.

    Guatemala also started positively with a 3-1 win over Barbados in the nightcap.

    Hector Prillwitz (17th), Olger Escobar (32nd) and Justin Racancoj (80th) scored for the Chapines, while Rovaldo Massiah (28th), pulled one back for Barbados.

    Group E

    In Group E, Haiti secured a 4-1 win over Cayman Islands at the SKNFA Technical Center in Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis.

    A hat trick from Bryan Destin (56th, 80th, 90+5) and a goal from Schneilorens Lebrun (12th) was enough for Haiti to see off Cayman Islands, who got their goal from Joshwa Campbell (61st).

    The action in the group wrapped up with Puerto Rico blanking St Kitts and Nevis 5-0.

    Adrian Biaggi (5th), Sebastian Otero (24th), Daniel Cruz (85th), Luis Medina (88th) and a 47th-minute own goal, saw Puerto Rico to victory.

    Group F

    Action in Group F gets under way on Saturday, with Bermuda facing Grenada in just their second ever meeting in this tournament, while Jamaica, who were quarterfinalists in Honduras two years ago, will square off against Martinique, both at the SKNFA Technical Center in Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis.

     

  • Ephron Mason-Clark earns Peterborough derby spoils against Cambridge Ephron Mason-Clark earns Peterborough derby spoils against Cambridge

    Peterborough capped a memorable week by claiming bragging rights with a 1-0 win at managerless arch-rivals Cambridge.

    Having reached the EFL Trophy final on Tuesday, Posh grabbed the decisive goal 10 minutes into the second half.

    In a seemingly unthreatening position, Ephron Mason-Clark delivered a cross from the left which evaded everyone in the box before finding the far corner of Jack Stevens’ net.

    Their pressure had been building before half-time, with Archie Collins clipping the top of the bar from the edge of the box and the unmarked Kwame Poku somehow firing Malik Mothersille’s cross wide.

    The hosts – who saw manager Neil Harris leave this week to return to Millwall – threatened themselves, with Jed Steer saving well from Jack Lankester’s effort and from the resulting corner Elias Kachunga headed in before being denied by the offside flag.

    Having scored the opener, Mason-Clark nearly turned provider but substitute Hector Kyprianou thumped his effort onto the bar before Joel Randall’s shot was deflected just wide.

    Cambridge’s big chance to equalise came on 80 minutes but Danny Andrew fired narrowly wide from 20 yards.

  • Stefano Pioli highlights the importance of Milan’s match against Atalanta Stefano Pioli highlights the importance of Milan’s match against Atalanta

    Stefano Pioli believes the outcome of AC Milan’s home clash with Serie A rivals Atalanta could determine the trajectory of the rest of their season with the title not yet out of their reach and a chasing pack turning up the European heat.

    The Rossoneri head into Sunday’s match 11 points behind city foes Inter Milan in the Scudetto race while fourth-placed Bologna and Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta are both in excellent form and pushing hard for Champions League football.

    Defeat at San Siro and Milan could lose the initiative in that battle, especially considering the fact Atalanta – in fifth – have a game in hand and are riding a five-game winning streak.

    Pioli said at Saturday morning’s press conference: “Tomorrow’s match is very important in terms of the league standings.

    “Various teams below us continue to pick up points, and we want to get back to winning ways.

    “It’ll be difficult, as we’ll be up against a side who are doing well, but we are also doing well. They’ve beaten us twice this season, so we’re preparing for the game with the aim of doing better.”

    Milan celebrated reaching the Europa League last 16 this week with an aggregate victory over play-off opponents Rennes, and next up will be two legs against Slavia Prague in March.

    This offers the Rossoneri further incentive to up their game and fight for honours on multiple fronts across the run-in.

    “We progressed through our tie in the Europa League, and we’re in the competition to give it a go and fight to win it,” said Pioli. “Our destiny depends on ourselves, not on our opponents and the draw.

    “In Europe, easy opponents don’t exist; Slavia Prague won their group ahead of Roma and are fighting to win their league domestically.”

    Striker Luka Jovic is suspended but the boss hopes to have Pierre Kalulu back in the squad, with the French defender completing a full week of training following an injury lay-off.

    England international Fikayo Tomori is “also doing better but slightly behind in the recovery process” and Pioli is optimistic that their returns will give Milan more bite in the backline as both players are “aggressive and fast and contribute well to our build-up play”.

    Defender Isak Hien and Jose Luis Palomino are sidelined for Atalanta, who triumphed 3-2 in a wild December meeting with Milan before going to San Siro and knocking them out of the Coppa Italia last month.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.