Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour was not surprised to see Unai Emery sacked as head coach as he believes the players did not understand their roles under the Spaniard.

Emery was dismissed on Friday, less than 12 hours on from the Gunners' 2-1 Europa League defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in front of a sparse Emirates Stadium crowd.

Arsenal fans had grown increasingly frustrated with displays under Emery, who oversaw only one win in nine matches in all competitions prior to his dismissal.

Parlour, a three-time Premier League winner with the London club, felt the Frankfurt loss was "the final straw" when it came to the under-fire head coach's future.

"I'm not surprised," he said on talkSPORT. "I think that was the final straw last night, boos at the end, the performance again... it's been coming, and you could sense the crowd turning on the manager.

"You look at his tactics – the players don't seem to know what their jobs are. Southampton could have gone and won there; Wolves should have won – they had 24 shots on target. They get a lead and they don't know how to defend it.

"Even going back to the Europa League final last season in Baku, I know [Eden] Hazard turned it on, but I looked at the players and I was amazed with how they were playing, especially in the first half.

"It was up to Arsenal to win to get in the Champions League as Chelsea were already in there and I didn't see a performance out of anybody."

Freddie Ljungberg has been confirmed as interim head coach and will take charge of Sunday's league game away to Norwich City.

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo, former Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri and even Mauricio Pochettino, sacked by Tottenham this month, have all been linked with the permanent Arsenal job.

Parlour would like to see former team-mate Patrick Vieira to take the job, although he admits it would be "a gamble" to put the ex-captain in charge.

"Allegri has been linked. Would he want to go to Arsenal? I don't know," said Parlour. "[Mikel] Arteta and Rafa Benitez have been linked.

"I said I want Patrick Viera, but he's gone down the pecking order. He's a young manager, a gamble."

Arsenal sack Unai Emery

November 29, 2019

Arsenal have sacked head coach Unai Emery following a seven-match winless streak, the Premier League club confirmed on Friday.

The Gunners lost patience with Emery following Thursday's shock 2-1 Europa League loss at home to Eintracht Frankfurt in front of a sparse crowd.

Emery leaves Arsenal languishing eighth in the Premier League, eight points adrift of the Champions League places.

The Spaniard's coaching team have also departed, with former Gunners midfielder Freddie Ljungberg promoted to take charge of first-team affairs on an interim basis.

Speaking on behalf of the Arsenal board and owners Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, Josh Kroenke said: "Our most sincere thanks go to Unai and his colleagues who were unrelenting in their efforts to get the club back to competing at the level we all expect and demand.

"We wish Unai and his team nothing but future success."

The statement added: "The decision has been taken due to results and performances not being at the level required.

"We have asked Freddie Ljungberg to take responsibility for the first team as interim head coach. We have full confidence in Freddie to take us forward.

"The search for a new head coach is underway and we will make a further announcement when that process is complete."

Emery arrived as Arsene Wenger's replacement ahead of the 2018-19 season, but the former Paris Saint-Germain boss was unable to deliver.

Despite glimpses of improvement, Arsenal failed to qualify for the Champions League last season after finishing fifth.

They subsequently broke their transfer record by paying £72 million to prise Nicolas Pepe from Lille for the 2019-20 campaign, while Kieran Tierney and David Luiz also moved to the Emirates.

However, their arrivals have not resulted in an upturn of fortunes, with Emery's task made even harder by having to strip Granit Xhaka of the club captaincy.

Xhaka was withdrawn to widespread boos during the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on October 27 and reacted by cupping his ear and mouthing obscenities to supporters.

The Switzerland international subsequently lost the armband and did not make a first-team appearance until the Eintracht game.

Mikel Arteta, Massimiliano Allegri, Nuno Espirito Santo, Patrick Vieira and Eddie Howe have all been suggested as potential replacements for Emery, as has former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Unai Emery refused to discuss his future after Arsenal's 2-1 Europa League defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt piled further pressure on the head coach.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put the Gunners in front in first-half stoppage time as Granit Xhaka played for the first time since being stripped of the captaincy.

But a promising showing unravelled spectacularly after the interval as Daichi Kamada netted a fine brace and the hosts disintegrated.

"I am thinking about the next match and how we can improve and achieve confidence with the players," Emery told reporters afterwards, looking ahead to Sunday's trip to Norwich City and his side's latest opportunity to end a winless run that now stands at seven matches.

"They know we are a little down in our feelings, but if we continue with our first-half performance, that is the way.

"My work and my job is firstly analysing that match, how we are in the Europa League, in our feelings and how we are going to play on Sunday.

"In the first half we were happy with the performance as a team and individually. We started the second half the same but lost control of the game in 15 minutes and they scored twice.

"At the end we changed two players because of injuries and we couldn't make more offensive changes to bring on fresh players. We didn't take chances to draw or win the match."

David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi were forced off, while Xhaka appeared to be playing through the pain of a knee injury.

Nevertheless, forwards Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette looking on as unused substitutes raised questions of Emery's game management after opposite number Adi Hutter introduced Mijat Gacinovic and Dominik Kohr at half-time to change the complexion of the contest.

"We needed to achieve confidence here [at Emirates Stadium] and play well and we improved. We improved some things to take three points, but in 15 minutes we lost all the work of the first half," Emery said.

"I spoke with the players to be consistent and be positive but really, we need to win.

"To recover confidence, we need to win and feel better here with our supporters in the Emirates. Maybe we deserved more, but it is the first match we lost here [this season]."

Xhaka was applauded, after receiving treatment, by a fanbase that barracked him on his previous appearance against Crystal Palace.

In the context, it amounted to a rare positive for the embattled Emery.

"It's very good news with Granit," Emery added. "The supporters helped him and I think it's good news."

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown believes Unai Emery should consider standing down as head coach after "an absolute shambles of a performance" in the 2-1 Europa League loss to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Daichi Kamada's fine second-half brace overturned Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's opener and stretched the Gunners' winless streak to seven matches in all competitions.

A sparsely populated Emirates Stadium, where the officially announced figure of 49,419 tickets sold was hardly represented by the attendance, booed Emery and his players at full time.

Keown, who played in the decorated Arsenal sides managed by George Graham and Arsene Wenger, feels the ex-Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain boss has run out of road – as evidenced by their "relegation form".

"I think he may well have taken the team as far as he can," Keown told BT Sport in his role as a pundit.

"We just witnessed an absolute shambles of a performance in the second half. The team selection, the team motivation, the substitutes, the performance. Everything was missing here. It was a dreadful performance.

"Is he able to motivate this team? He seems to have lost the players. The desire seems to have ebbed away."

Injuries to defenders David Luiz and Shkodran Mustafi further compromised Emery, while Granit Xhaka – back in the side for the first time since being stripped of the Arsenal captaincy – completed 90 minutes despite appearing hindered by a knee problem suffered before half-time.

Forwards Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette looked on as unused substitutes while their team-mates unravelled.

"I could question players," Keown said. "Xhaka stayed on the pitch, perhaps should have gone off; Mustafi couldn't get off quick enough.

"The substitutions that he made, the players that are sitting on the bench. You've got Pepe there, you've got Lacazette – you're trying to get back into the game.

"It's not enough. The manager might be in a position where he might even feel he has to step to one side.

"Serious questions really need to be asked. It's as bad as I've seen it. I know change was needed, Wenger was at the football club just a little bit too long.

"Now it looks as if the club has gone in a different direction. We're going only one way at the moment. This is relegation form.

"Do the club really realise how trying this is now going to be? Football people at the top of the club, make the decisions that need to be made. Otherwise Arsenal are going to plunge even further down the table."

Keown added: "It's a sad day. We don't say these things lightly because we still love the club. The club will never be taken away from former players.

"You have your view. They do their talking with their management and what they do on the pitch, we do that as pundits.

"I feel it's very sad. There were hardly any fans there tonight. They're voting with their feet. They knew what was coming there.

"Where's the desire, where's the identity of the football club. It was there under Wenger and it's ebbed away far too quickly. We've got to get it back."

Daichi Kamada's second-half brace secured a 2-1 Europa League win for Eintracht Frankfurt and piled further pressure on Arsenal head coach Unai Emery.

The Gunners are now without a win for seven matches across all competitions, with two rasping strikes from Japan forward Kamada adding to the impression Emery was on borrowed time at a sparsely populated Emirates Stadium.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Arsenal a deserved lead at the end of a first half they dominated, with Granit Xhaka slotting back into the midfield for the first time since being stripped of the captaincy.

But the brittle nature of their collapse spoke of a club in turmoil and a positive result at Standard Liege in a fortnight's time may be needed to be absolutely sure of progress to the knockout stages.

Who might be in their dugout at that stage feels less clear.

Arsenal were on top early on. Bukayo Saka raided down the Frankfurt right in the 11th minute but Joe Willock and Aubameyang appeared to get in each other's way and the latter headed wide.

Gabriel Martinelli passed up chances to add to his haul of three Europa League goals this season when he shot too close to Eintracht goalkeeper Frederik Ronnow from a Xhaka corner and saw Gelson Fernandes clear his header from the subsequent set-piece off the line.

Ronnow dashed out to deny Saka when the winger darted in behind David Abraham, also saving from the teenage winger in the 41st minute.

David Luiz departed with a chest injury in between those two chances and Aubameyang blasted in via Ronnow's leg and the crossbar during the resulting period of stoppage time.

Martinelli played in Willock shortly after half-time but the midfielder misjudged his dinked finish and Ronnow was able to save.

It meant Kamada's spin infield and shot into the top corner from the edge of the box in the 55th minute was against the run of play.

The same could not be said when, after Emiliano Martinez saved sharply from Filip Kostic, Kamada was afforded ample room from similar range to dispatch a partially cleared  64th-minute corner.

To compound matters, Shkodran Mustafi hobbled off and Arsenal never recovered their poise. It remains to be seen whether Emery will be given the chance to recover his own poise.

What does it mean? Emery crisis at breaking point

If Emery could not get Arsenal back on track here, the obvious question was 'when on earth might he do so?'. A Frankfurt side they beat 3-0 in September were on a run of three straight defeats before this rematch and they lie 10th in the Bundesliga. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, a lot, as it happened, as the hosts missed chances to put the game to bed and suffered injuries before collapsing. Frankfurt coach Adi Hutter changed the match with the half-time introduction of Mijat Gacinovic and Dominik Kohr. In the circumstances, Emery's failure to adequately respond feels grimly significant for his own job prospects.

Kamada's double delight

If the space Arsenal afforded Kamada for his first goal was foolish, the room he enjoyed for his second bordered on gross negligence. Nevertheless, both finishes from the 23-year-old forward were of the highest order and the Gunners never recovered from his initial sucker punch.

Willock wastefulness proves costly

Arsenal's promising youngster have generally proved immune to their club's wider disfunction on these midweek occasions, but the richly-gifted Willock found himself sucked in here. He either needed to finish or get out of Aubameyang's way early on and did neither, while his team-mates surely would not have unravelled to such an extent had he made it 2-0 after half-time.

What's next

Arsenal and their embattled boss will try and claim a first win since the start of October when they travel to Norwich City on Sunday, while Frankfurt can recuperate until Monday when Mainz welcome them in the Bundesliga.

Kai Havertz is reportedly wanted by seven of Europe's biggest clubs.

The Germany and Bayer Leverkusen midfielder has impressed in the Bundesliga, sparking interest from numerous clubs.

Havertz, 20, is contracted at Leverkusen until 2022, but that does not seem to be stopping Europe's best and biggest.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA, MADRID AMONG SEVEN CLUBS WHO WANT HAVERTZ

LaLiga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid are two of seven clubs who want Kai Havertz, according to Sport Bild.

Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United are the other clubs interested in Havertz.

Havertz made his senior debut at Leverkusen in 2016 and has already amassed 121 appearances for the club.

ROUND-UP

- Talks between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Milan are continuing. Sport Mediaset reports the striker wants €3million net until June, while Milan are offering €2m, with Ibrahimovic hoping to arrive at his next club by mid-December.

- Arsenal have started looking at potential replacements for under-fire head coach Unai Emery, according to The Daily Telegraph. Emery is under pressure after a run of six games without a win at Arsenal. Mauricio Pochettino, Massimiliano Allegri and Nuno Espirito Santo are reported candidates.

- Edinson Cavani is out of contract at Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season and the Uruguayan could be set for an MLS move. Cavani's representatives met with LA Galaxy last week regarding a potential switch, according to Le10Sport.

- Arsenal and Lyon are interested in Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti, reports Tuttomercatoweb. The 26-year-old France international has made just three LaLiga appearances this season after dealing with injuries.

- Out of contract at the end of the season, Jan Vertonghen is keen to discuss a new deal with Tottenham, according to Sky Sports News. The centre-back is reportedly a target for Roma and Bayer Leverkusen.

- Inter Miami are still eyeing their first coach ahead of their inaugural MLS season in 2020. The Telegraph reports David Beckham is lining up Nice boss Patrick Vieira.

Nuno Espirito Santo says he will not be distracted over "not real" speculation he could be in line to replace Unai Emery at Arsenal.

Emery is under increasing pressure after a run of six games without a win in all competitions, with reports he is facing the sack.

Nuno, meanwhile, continues to burnish his reputation with Wolves fifth in the Premier League, three places above the Gunners, and on the brink of the Europa League knockout stages.

The Portuguese manager was unwilling to be drawn on the speculation at a news conference on Wednesday.

"[Rumours] are not a distraction," Nuno said.

"You know me. I don't talk about ifs, I don't talk about possibilities, I don't talk about things that are not real.

"I think you know me well enough and you know that I'm not going to answer about that. 

"I will never mention an issue that's not a reality. Mainly because the job has a manager in it. It would be disrespectful."

Asked if he was happy at Wolves, Nuno added: "I think we are doing okay. 

"It requires a lot of work and every day is a chance to improve and this is what we want to do all together."

Wolves and Arsenal are both in Europa League action on Thursday, with Nuno's side away to Braga while the Gunners host Eintracht Frankfurt.

Unai Emery is adamant the Arsenal players still have belief in him and suggested Granit Xhaka will return to the team on Thursday for the first time since clashing with supporters.

The Gunners are without a win in six games in all competitions, with fan frustration hitting new heights in recent weeks.

Emery is reportedly close to being dismissed, with Wolves' Nuno Espirito Santo said to be among those in the running to replace him, though the former Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla boss insists he is only thinking about Thursday's visit of Frankfurt.

Arsenal head into the match top of Europa League Group F with 10 points and Emery is calling on supporters to back the Gunners and specifically Xhaka, who has not played since a confrontation with fans in the clash with Crystal Palace on October 27.

"They are angry and disappointed, as well we are. We have a very good opportunity to [correct] do that," he told reporters.

"Each match here at the Emirates is very important for that... The players need to feel [fans] backing them.

"Xhaka is in the group and he has the possibility to play. I hope every supporter supports him. Xhaka's comeback is going to be important for us."

It has been reported that Emery's relationship with some of his players has fallen apart, with the Basque coach said to have had a row with Alexandre Lacazette, though he has no doubt the squad is behind him.

When asked if the players still believe in him, Emery said: "Yes, of course, they show that.

"As a coach each moment in my career is difficult. This is a very good, but very hard job. When you are winning you feel the support for everybody.

"I believe in us, I believe in the players. I know I am going to work very hard to come back to the performance.

"I am looking forward to playing. In the good moments, the bad moments, the most important thing for me is to show my work.

"Our confidence depends a lot on how we can feel in our stadium with our supporters. Teams are coming here playing fearless. We need to be strong and together. We need to show our supporters our capacity and skills."

Arsenal have set their sights on Nuno Espirito Santo.

Incumbent head coach Unai Emery is running out of time and the Gunners are reportedly plotting to replace him.

Succession planning could result in a raid on Premier League rivals Wolves.

 

TOP STORY – NUNO THE NUMERO UNO FOR ARSENAL

Impressed with his work in the Midlands, Arsenal chiefs have identified 45-year-old Nuno as their preferred replacement for the under-fire Emery.

The Daily Mail reports Raul Sanllehi, the club's head of football, has a "long-standing relationship" with Nuno's agent Jorge Mendes and claims the former Porto boss is now the leading contender for the job.

Nuno guided Wolves to promotion from the Championship two seasons ago and achieved a top-seven finish last term.

ROUND-UP

- LaLiga rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid are monitoring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's situation as the striker stalls on an Arsenal contract extension, says The Daily Star.

- Jorge Jesus has emerged as a candidate to replace Marco Silva at Everton. The former Sporting CP coach guided Flamengo to Copa Libertadores glory over the weekend and his name has been put forward at Goodison Park, reports The Telegraph.

- Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have held fresh talks with Leroy Sane's agent but are unlikely to lodge a transfer bid for the Manchester City winger until the end of the season, according to Goal.

- On-loan Roma defender Chris Smalling's impressive adjustment to Serie A has inspired Juventus to make enquiries to Manchester United, reports Italian broadcaster Radio Radio.

- Zlatan Ibrahimovic's latest transfer hint might not be what it seems. ESPN suggests the Swedish free agent is considering investing in Hammarby, rather than playing for the Allsvenskan side. On Tuesday, Ibrahimovic tweeted an image of a Hammarby shirt sporting his name on the back, sparking rampant speculation.

Keeping faith with the under-fire Unai Emery could have serious ramifications for Arsenal.

According to reports, club chiefs fear key players will question their long-term futures if Emery remains in charge.

Two star attackers are already said to be stalling on new deals with Arsenal sliding down the Premier League.

 

TOP STORY – GUNNERS FEAR EXODUS

Arsenal are at risk of losing Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, according to the Daily Mail.

The newspaper reports the pair have shown little interest in signing contract extensions as a direct consequence of poor results and concerns over Emery's "conservative" methods.

Arsenal have failed to win any of their past six games in all competitions and are facing the prospect of another season outside the Champions League, a problem for the likes of Lacazette and Aubameyang.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marco Silva's position at Everton is in peril but he could remain in charge until after the Merseyside derby on December 4, according to the Daily Mail. The Toffees lie 16th in the Premier League following a 2-0 home loss to Norwich City.

- Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores is likewise feeling the pinch. The Telegraph reports the Spaniard is "on the brink" of becoming the club's second managerial casualty of the season.

- Manchester United are set to trigger a 12-month extension to Timothy Fosu-Mensah's contract, claims The Sun. The Dutch defender is due to become a free agent at the end of the season.

- New MLS franchise Inter Miami are discussing the possibility of making Patrick Vieira their inaugural head coach, says CBS Sports reporter Roger Gonzalez. Vieira is currently in charge of Ligue 1 club Nice.

- Serie A side Roma are tracking Celtic midfielder Olivier Ntcham, according to Tuttomercatoweb. The French midfielder scored a vital Europa League goal against Lazio earlier this month and could be the subject of a January transfer bid from their Serie A rivals.

Pep Guardiola has conceded he is uncertain if Mikel Arteta will remain as his assistant for much longer amid reports of Arsenal's interest.

Former Gunners midfielder Arteta joined Guardiola's backroom staff in 2016 and has become highly thought of as an assistant coach as Manchester City have stormed to domestic dominance.

Arteta, who spent five years at Arsenal after signing from Everton in 2011, was linked with taking over from Arsene Wenger in 2018, only for Unai Emery to be appointed instead.

Despite a run to the Europa League final last season, ex-Paris Saint-Germain coach Emery has failed to impress, with reports suggesting he is on the brink of dismissal following a poor start to the campaign.

Arteta has again being referenced as a front runner for the job should Emery leave his role.

And, while emphasising his wish for Arteta to remain at City, Guardiola acknowledged it may be difficult to keep his compatriot on board beyond the end of the current campaign.

"Emery is manager of Arsenal," Guardiola told a news conference when asked about the reports linking Arteta with a return to north London.

"Of course [Mikel] will be a manager sooner or later, if I was in his position, an assistant coach as young as he is [I'd want to be a manager too], but now we're going to finish this season. In the future I don't know what's going to happen.

"I would like [Mikel] to stay with us as much as possible. Manchester City has an incredible value for a person to work at this club for the future, but personal life is personal life, professional desires are professional for each person.

"Everyone, not just me, is more than satisfied to have him here, but what happens at the end of the season, I don't know."

Guardiola also claimed Arteta's managerial credentials were clear from early on in their working relationship, believing the midfield role which both he and Arteta occupied in their playing days provides the ideal platform for a coaching career.

"He was an incredible player, normally with a holding midfielder they have a vision of all the pitch," Guardiola said. 

"The holding midfielder is an incredible lesson during your career as a player to learn what happens. You don't need to go to [coaching] school, he was so clever in that.

"More than that he is an incredible human being, work ethic, he works a lot. I said after a few months we were together that this guy would be a manager sooner or later. He is already a manager, he works like a manager.

"That is why we're satisfied to have him here."

Robert Pires concedes Arsenal are "in big trouble" but is backing Unai Emery as the right coach to change their fortunes.

A late goal from Alexandre Lacazette – his second of the game – salvaged a 2-2 home draw against Southampton on Saturday, with Arsenal now without a win in their last five Premier League matches.

The Gunners sit a worrying eight points behind fourth-placed Chelsea after just 13 games.

Saturday's result piled more pressure on Emery, with Arsenal's fanbase growing increasingly restless.

But Pires, who won two Premier League titles and two FA Cups during his time at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger, believes Emery can correct their dismal form.

"Everybody knows at Arsenal, even Unai Emery, that they are in big trouble," Pires told Omnisport, speaking as part of the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour driven by Nissan.

"But [Emery] is a competitor, he knows the high level. He was a great manager with Sevilla, with Paris Saint-Germain, but the situation is not so good.

"He is a good manager, I think he will make a success with Arsenal. I hope for him anyway. The situation isn't so good, but him and the players need to find the solution."

Pires said Arsenal must still push for a top-four place, given the Champions League is where the best players want to be.

He said: "The target for Arsenal and for Unai is to finish in the top four because it's very important for Arsenal to play again in the Champions League next season.

"I don't know what will happen at the end of the season, especially for Arsenal. For some players - [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, Lacazette, or even Mesut Ozil - the first thing for them and all the Arsenal players is to finish in the top four."

Arsenal's north London rivals Tottenham underwent managerial upheaval in midweek, with Mauricio Pochettino replaced by Jose Mourinho following a dismal start to the campaign.

Mourinho started his tenure with a 3-2 win at West Ham, and despite Arsenal's rivalry with Spurs, Pires is glad to see the former Manchester United and Chelsea boss back in the Premier League.

"I think it's great news for football generally, and of course for the Premier League. Everyone knows that Mourinho is one of the best managers in the world," Pires said.

"He won lots of titles: Spain, Italy, and of course in the UK. In the UK, we know there is competition between Spurs and Gunners, but this is football and I'm very sad for Mauricio Pochettino.

"He is a great manager, only six months ago he got to the final of the Champions League. Unfortunately for him he lost against Liverpool and now he is sacked.

"So footballers or even the manager, things are tough."

Unai Emery can understand the frustration of Arsenal supporters but has vowed to fight on following Saturday's 2-2 draw with Southampton at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal's players were booed off the pitch at full-time after their winless streak stretched to a sixth match in all competitions - their longest-such run since 1998.

One win in eight matches has left Emery under intense pressure but the former Paris Saint-Germain head coach feels he still has the full support of his bosses.

"They are supporting me every day and I also have my responsibility," he said at his post-match news conference. 

"I know I can do better and I can take more performances with the players and I am going to try and do this."

Asked if he intends to stick around to get Arsenal out of their rut, Emery added: "My job is to analyse, to try and improve the confidence of the players but it's difficult.

"After analysing that match we will play again on Thursday at home and prepare in the best way possible and I know the first is to convince our supporters."

Saturday's result could have been even worse for Arsenal, who needed a 96th-minute goal from Alexandre Lacazette - his second of the match - to earn them a point.

The Gunners are seventh in the Premier League, eight points off the top four, and Emery acknowledged the grievances of home supporters at the end of the match.

"I understand the fans are frustrated, disappointed and angry," he said. "The players also feel the same and my job is to work, analyse and find solutions for how we can improve.

"Our target today was to win but above all to connect and play well and we didn't do that. We lost a big opportunity and we are going to analyse for the matches ahead.

"We need to improve our confidence. Confidence comes with good results but to take that confidence we need to play better and impose our gameplan."

Southampton, beaten 9-0 by Leicester City last month, remain inside the bottom three after being pegged back late on in north London.

James Ward-Prowse put the visitors ahead after Lacazette had cancelled out Danny Ings' early opener, only for the France international to strike again at the death.

Taking positives from the match, Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl said: "Coming now are two home games and we must have a performance like that all the time. 

"That doesn't mean we always play in that shape but today it was perfect and we surprised the opponent a little bit being on the front foot and trying to attack them very early.

"That was the right match plan I think and for this point I am happy but maybe we could have got a couple more."

Jose Mourinho marked his first game as Tottenham head coach with a 3-2 victory at West Ham on Saturday, while Manchester City returned to winning ways with a 2-1 success against in-form Chelsea.

Spurs scored freely for 49 minutes in the lunchtime game at London Stadium but were pegged back by West Ham as errors crept in. Later in the day, City recovered from a goal behind to end Chelsea's winning run, which spanned six league matches heading into the early-evening kick-off.

Arsenal laboured in a 2-2 home draw against lowly Southampton, a late Alexandre Lacazette goal sparing Unai Emery's blushes at the Emirates Stadium.

Crystal Palace were sunk by a late goal in a 2-1 defeat to leaders Liverpool. Brighton and Hove Albion lost to Leicester City and Everton were beaten by Norwich City, both at home by 2-0 scorelines.

Wolves extended their unbeaten run to eight games with a 2-1 win at Bournemouth, and Burnley beat Watford 3-0 to clinch back-to-back league victories for the first time this season.

SPURS FIRE FOR JOSE BUT DEFENSIVE QUESTIONS LINGER

Three goals in 13 minutes put Spurs on course for a resounding result against West Ham but Michail Antonio and Angelo Ogbonna took the sheen off the Mourinho era curtain-raiser.

The visitors were marginally the better side of a tepid first half until the 36th minute when Dele Alli played in Son Heung-min whose angled drive from the corner of the six-yard box beat the flailing Roberto Jimenez for power.

Alli released Son down the left and he sent over a low cross that Lucas Moura bundled into the net at the far post to double Tottenham's advantage two minutes from half-time.

West Ham's defensive frailties came to the fore once again four minutes into the second half when Serge Aurier's cross picked out Harry Kane, who was given an easy ride by Issa Diop as he sent a header past Roberto's outstretched hand.

But when Spurs needed to close out the win, they allowed Antonio to pull one back from close range and Declan Rice had another ruled out for offside before Ogbonna converted from Robert Snodgrass' cross deep into stoppage time.

FIRMINO FIRES WINNER FOR RELENTLESS REDS

Liverpool's three-game winning streak was under threat when Wilfried Zaha scored for Crystal Palace in the 82nd minute to make it 1-1 at Selhurst Park, but the Eagles failed to keep Roberto Firmino at bay late on.

The Brazilian striker poked home in during an 85th-minute penalty box scramble amid heavy Reds pressure, typical of the never-say-die attitude that makes the Premier League front-runners so difficult to stop.

Sadio Mane's eighth league goal of the season had put Liverpool 1-0 in front, the Senegal international advancing into the box four minutes after half-time before unleashing a shot that hit both posts before finding the net.

Zaha's low, angled drive from 12 yards put Palace on course for a point their battling performance would have merited but Roy Hodgson's men failed to park the bus when a Liverpool onslaught was inevitable.

CITY SHOW FIGHTING SPIRIT

Manchester City lost 3-1 at Anfield before the international break to fall nine points adrift of Liverpool, and the Reds' lead over last season's champions was briefly extended on Saturday following their dramatic victory in south London.

Pep Guardiola's side welcomed goalkeeper Ederson back from injury, but the slender win over Chelsea was somewhat soured by Rodri, David Silva and Sergio Aguero all hobbling off.

Kicking off around 40 minutes after full-time at Selhurst Park, City's dwindling title hopes looked set to take another dent when N'Golo Kante marked his 150th Chelsea appearance with a deserved opening goal.

But Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez struck before half-time to give the hosts the lead and, despite Raheem Sterling having a late strike ruled out by VAR, City held on to deny Chelsea a club record of eight straight victories away from home in all competitions.

LACAZETTE BRACE KEEPS EMERY ERA HANGING BY A THREAD

Arsenal looked like a side taking victory for granted before Danny Ings opened the scoring for Southampton after eight minutes at Emirates Stadium.

It was only by virtue of Alexandre Lacazette's work rate and quality that the Gunners gave the home support anything to cheer, and the France international equalised after 18 minutes following scrappy Southampton defending.

The goal should have put the wind in Arsenal's sails, but Emery's men lacked cohesion and consistency, allowing Southampton to break repeatedly. The visitors restored their lead 19 minutes from time through James Ward-Prowse who scored at the second attempt after Bernd Leno saved his penalty.

Again it fell to Lacazette to spare Arsenal's embarrassment and he duly obliged, succeeding where Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil failed by converting a late chance at close range, rifling home from Gabriel Martinelli's cross to clinch his side a point they barely deserved.


Burnley, meanwhile, won 3-0 for the second game in a row with second-half strikes from Chris Wood, Ashley Barnes and James Tarkowski earning a victory at bottom side Watford that lifted the Clarets to sixth in the table.

 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang said Arsenal must ask questions of themselves after a 2-2 draw with Southampton left them without a win in five Premier League matches.

Alexandre Lacazette twice dragged his side back on terms against a team beaten 9-0 by Leicester City at the end of October, levelling after Danny Ings and James Ward-Prowse put the visitors ahead.

The second of Lacazette's goals - his fourth of the season in the Premier League - came deep in second-half stoppage-time and was met with muted celebrations around a disgruntled Emirates Stadium.

Indeed the Gunners left the field to boos and when Aubameyang was asked whether they were deserved, the Gunners' captain told the club's official website: "I don't know.

"When we are playing, we are the first to be disappointed when it doesn't work. We will try to keep fighting. I think we have the quality to come back and we have to fight.

"I think everybody has to try to ask themselves what they can change, what they can give more of. Everybody has to do this, me first. I will try to work hard and to get back to winning ways."

Aubameyang captained Arsenal for the first time against Southampton but his performance was very much overshadowed by that of Lacazette on a day when few Gunners players were anywhere near their best.

With a Europa League clash against Eintracht Frankfurt next up for Unai Emery's side, Aubameyang promised graft from the squad as they aim to pick up a first win in seven attempts.

Asked what has gone wrong at Arsenal, Aubameyang replied: "I don't know exactly. The only thing I can say is that we as a team, as players, will try to continue our work.

"We have to find a solution together. I think we have to stay strong. We are men and we have to carry on our hard work.

"We have a game on Thursday and we will start from this game to try to turn things around. In this case, it's really not easy for everybody but we are men and we have to carry on to try to sort it out. We are a group and we can find a solution internally. That's what we are going to do.

"Everybody is disappointed today, the fans and the players. It didn't work today. It's not a good result for us. Obviously we're playing at home and we have to win games at home. We have to keep fighting and keep trying to sort it out."

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