Jose Mourinho won his first game in charge of Tottenham but had his satisfaction tempered by a late West Ham fightback in a 3-2 victory at London Stadium, while rivals Arsenal laboured in a 2-2 home draw against Southampton.

Spurs scored freely for 49 minutes in the lunchtime game at London Stadium but were pegged back as errors crept in. Arsenal needed a late Alexandre Lacazette goal to avoid joining six other Premier League teams who lost at home on Saturday.

Crystal Palace were sunk by a late goal in a 2-1 defeat to leaders Liverpool. Brighton 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 won 3-0 at Watford to clinch back-to-back league wins 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.

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 Unai 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.

Alexandre Lacazette scored deep in stoppage-time to rescue Arsenal a 2-2 draw at the end of a disjointed performance against struggling Southampton.

James Ward-Prowse looked to have scored the winning goal on his 250th appearance for Southampton as his side sensed a first Premier League victory in eight games might have been in the offing.

Unai Emery's men gave supporters precious little cause to believe they have the right coach in place to turn their fortunes around and Danny Ings' second goal in as many games gave a gung-ho Saints side the lead after just eight minutes at Emirates Stadium.

Lacazette - one of few Gunners players to come out of this game with any credit - took advantage of Southampton's rickety defence to fire in an equaliser after 18 minutes but thereafter the hosts were sloppy in attack and ragged at the back.

Ward-Prowse stepped up to take a penalty with 19 minutes left on the clock and buried the rebound after Bernd Leno saved his spot-kick, only for Lacazette to level from close range 96 minutes into a contest his below-par team-mates will want to forget.

Unai Emery insists Lucas Torreira has a bright future at Arsenal despite the midfielder's apparent disapproval of his new role in midfield.

Torreira impressed last season but has started just four of 12 Premier League matches this term amid rumoured transfer interest from AC Milan and Napoli.

His agent, Pablo Bentancur, recently admitted the tenacious Uruguayan was unhappy with having to playing higher up the pitch than usual.

Emery thinks Torreira must hone his tactical nous to be suitable for the base of midfield but still expects him to enjoy a long and fruitful career in north London.

"He is a very good player, important for us, and his focus needs to be with us 100 per cent," Emery said.

"He has very big commitment and very good behaviour. He has a very big future here but he needs to improve. He has to learn in some situations, individually to help us, to do better. It's one process."

Torreira started the club's last fixture before the international break, a 2-0 loss to Leicester City, but faces a fight to hold his spot for Saturday's match against Southampton as Granit Xhaka returns to selection contention.

Emery hopes video analysis sessions will strengthen the 23-year-old's understanding of what Arsenal require in the engine room.

"He played well last year but this year he's not being consistent," the Gunners boss said.

"My challenge to him is to improve, to do better with some tactical issues on the pitch and above all be consistent.

"I spoke with him on Wednesday and Thursday. I showed him some movies about his best performances with us and how he can improve.

"He is young, his process here is starting and he started playing in the Premier League last year and he progressed, but this year again he needs to progress."

Arsenal boss Unai Emery has urged Granit Xhaka to learn from Hector Bellerin's example in his battle to win back the support of the club's fans.

Midfielder Xhaka could be in line to make his first club appearance in four weeks when the Gunners host Southampton at Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

The Switzerland international has not featured for Emery since he was stripped of the captaincy in the wake of his angry outburst towards supporters as he was substituted in the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace on October 27.

Emery is desperate for the squad as a whole to rebuild a positive relationship with fans who have become disenchanted by a run of just one win in seven matches in all competitions.

Xhaka admitted his clash with fans was partly due to appalling messages he has been sent on social media and Emery says full-back Bellerin has also spoken to him of a difficulty coping with some supporter criticism.

Now, Emery wants Xhaka to follow his team-mate by winning back the support of the crowd through application in training and, at the right time, positive performances.

"The most important thing is to achieve the individual performance through the team. If we can connect with our supporters, we can show at home good quality, individually, we are going to do better," Emery said on Thursday.

"In this situation, it's better to do it with him on the pitch. But I'm going to do it giving him a good feeling with us, training, playing – it could be at home or it could be away. But, for me, the most important thing is to improve the performance collectively and then help individuals to feel better and be efficient when they are playing.

"It's not only with Xhaka. It's a special circumstance but it's also with other players. They need to achieve confidence to give the best performance individually.

"He told me this morning he's very convinced to help the team, every training. Then, I decide with him when he starts to play in the matches. The first is Saturday. I am going to decide if it's a good moment or if we need more time, helping him through the team.

"We have here, for example, with Hector Bellerin. He told me two weeks ago he struggled here with the supporters sometimes when his performance wasn't the best, sometimes playing with the team at the Emirates or away. We have some other players where this situation has happened. And they come back. With Xhaka, I want to do the same.

"Don't forget his mistake, but he is coming back. I took the captaincy off him as I felt it was better not to have that responsibility. Then it's playing, helping us, playing and above all defending the Arsenal team.

"He can come back showing his commitment, his good behaviour, his good performance and helping and defending Arsenal. He's a good guy. He's a good player. He loves and respects Arsenal a lot. Now, he's feeling better, and he's feeling he can come back helping us, connecting with the team and connecting with the supporters. Above all, we need confidence in all and to take a good performance and good connection with our supporters."

Unai Emery admits he was surprised by Tottenham's decision to sack Mauricio Pochettino and appoint Jose Mourinho as head coach.

The former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United boss was appointed on a three-and-a-half-year deal on Wednesday just hours after Pochettino's dismissal was confirmed.

Arsenal head coach Emery was shocked by the decision as he considered Spurs' methods under Pochettino to be "perfect", while he is uncertain what Mourinho will do to change their fortunes.

"Yes, it was a surprise," he told reporters on Thursday.

"I think it's a surprise how the relationship with Mauricio Pochettino finished but I don't know exactly why or how he [Mourinho] is going to change their performance.

"He is a very good coach. His career is very strong with the titles and experience. I think also Pochettino's work in Tottenham was amazing.

"In football, things happen very quickly. The last result may be more important than results in the long term because I think Tottenham were doing very good work with Pochettino.

"Maybe [in] the last matches they didn't achieve good results, but I think, overall, their way under Pochettino was perfect. Now they decided to change, I don't know exactly the reason for that, but they have their way and we have our way.

"At the moment we have some distance in the table from them and we want to keep that distance for the next matches."

Pochettino's exit came during a year in which Spurs have managed just 11 wins in the Premier League, only three of which have come this season.

Emery has also been under pressure of late given Arsenal's run of one win in their past seven games in all competitions, with Mourinho linked with the Gunners' job in recent weeks.

Emery now wants to draw a line under the scrutiny of his own position and get the fans back onside as they try to improve results.

"I am optimistic and also, I know we need to improve our performance with the team individually and collectively. I also know how to achieve that," he said.

"First, it is about connecting with our supporters at the Emirates. Above all, it's not only about thinking about the results but about playing better, controlling the game for 90 minutes.

"We are winning and drawing - not losing at home - but not really convincing the supporters and this is our first objective.

"Our success is going to start by being comfortable, strong and confident at home and really deserving to win each match."

The future of Granit Xhaka has dominated talk of Arsenal lately, the midfielder having not played since he was stripped of the captaincy in the wake of his explosive outburst towards fans during the home draw with Crystal Palace in October.

Emery says the player's mindset has improved and suggested he could recall the Switzerland international to the playing squad, although it seems unlikely he will return against Southampton on Saturday.

"He's coming back better in his mind," said Emery. "His mindset is better to help us and closer to play when we need him.

"This morning I had a very good conversation with him. He was training very well before the international break, he trained very well this morning and also my objective hasn't changed.

"My objective is for him to come back helping us and convincing everyone that his commitment with us is going to be better and we are going to be proud of him in the short or long future with us.

"He's feeling better and his team is Arsenal now. He wants to come back with the confidence of the supporters. Little by little, we can help him come back and connect with us and our supporters."

Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos is facing another month on the sidelines due to a hamstring injury.

The Spain playmaker sustained the problem during the 1-1 Europa League draw at Vitoria SC at the start of this month.

Head coach Unai Emery initially referred to that setback as a "small injury" but, in a short injury update posted on their official website ahead of Saturday's Premier League home match against Southampton, Arsenal confirmed damage to Ceballos' left hamstring means he is aiming to return to full training in mid-December.

The 23-year-old has made 17 appearances in all competitions since moving to Emirates Stadium on a season-long loan from Real Madrid

Emery will assess Sead Kolasinac before the Southampton game after the left-back returned to club duty with a tight left hamstring.

Bosnia-Herzegovina international Kolasinac completed 90 minutes of his country's 3-0 defeat to Italy last Friday but sat out the subsequent win over Liechtenstein by the same scoreline.

Emery finds himself under pressure following a run of four winless matches in the Premier League.

Unai Emery is under increasing pressure at Arsenal, with the Gunners sitting sixth in the Premier League with just four wins to their name after 12 games.

A 2-0 defeat to high-flying Leicester City left Arsenal eight points adrift of the Champions League places, while they have a negative goal difference at this stage of a top-flight campaign for the first time since 1982-83.

The contrast between Brendan Rodgers' side and Arsenal was clear to see at the King Power Stadium, but struggling at this time of the year is nothing new for the Gunners.

Indeed, that loss meant they have now lost 34 Premier League games in November, which is more than in any other month across their time playing in the competition.

With Arsenal's defence looking leakier by the match, the onus is on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette to keep firing at the other end of the pitch.

However, there may be light at the end of the tunnel for Arsenal, who face struggling Southampton on Saturday, in the form of young forward Gabriel Martinelli.
 

DOES MARTINELLI HAVE THE MAGIC TOUCH?

If there is one major positive to come from Arsenal's season so far, it would be Emery's willingness to blood the Gunners' youngsters, and one player in particular has stood out.

Before breaking their transfer record to sign Nicolas Pepe or drafting in David Luiz in an attempt to patch up their defence, Arsenal brought in teenager Martinelli from Brazilian side Ituano.

Martinelli has wasted little time in showing Arsenal's fans what he has in his locker, scoring twice on his full debut in a 5-0 EFL Cup win over Nottingham Forest on September 24.

Nine days later, Martinelli followed up his double against Forest with another brace, this time in his first Europa League outing, a 4-0 home triumph over Standard Liege.

A further double against Liverpool in October's frantic cup clash at Anfield came on the back of a fine header against Vitoria Guimaraes, giving the 18-year-old seven goals from nine appearances in all competitions.

Martinelli's best work has come at Emirates Stadium, where he has the best shot conversion rate of Arsenal's attackers this season (29.41 per cent), averaging a goal every 65 minutes at home. Aubameyang has scored every 138 minutes in such matches.

But Martinelli is still waiting on his first Premier League start. It might now be his time.

ARSENAL NO STRANGER TO NOVEMBER MISERY

Arsenal's record in November really is a sight to behold.

The Gunners have not only lost more games in this month than any other, but they also have their lowest win rate of 44 per cent.

They manage, on average, 1.6 points per game and 1.5 goals per game - lower than in any other month - while conceding 1.2 goals per game, a high.

To compound their frustrations heading into Saturday's clash, Emery's side are winless in their last four Premier League games. It is their longest such run since May to August in 2011, when they went six games without a triumph.

Their worst such run in a single season came in a five-match sequence of draws back in 2009.

SOUTHAMPTON THE PERFECT REMEDY?

November may be Arsenal's least favourite month but, in the form of Ralph Hasenhuttl's struggling side, they could just be about to go up against the perfect opponent.

Southampton sit 19th, without a win in their past seven league matches, while the Gunners are unbeaten in their past 24 home league games against the Saints. It is a run that stretches back to November 1987.

No side has scored fewer first-half goals in the Premier League this season than Southampton, while only Norwich City have conceded more times in the opening 45 minutes of games than the Saints.

However, Danny Ings could be the danger man for Southampton, having scored in five different league games so far this term, including in the 2-1 defeat to Everton last time out.

The good omens end there, though, considering Ings is yet to score in a Southampton win this season.

Arsenal need to give Unai Emery time and believe in themselves, according to former Emirates Stadium favourite Santi Cazorla.

Gunners boss Emery is under pressure in his second season in the Premier League, with the team - who missed out on Champions League qualification last term - sixth in the table after 12 games, eight points off the top four.

Arsenal are winless in five in all competitions, while Granit Xhaka has been stripped of the club's captaincy and divisive playmaker Mesut Ozil has struggled for regular minutes.

Yet Spaniard Cazorla, who won two FA Cups in a six-year Arsenal career, is urging patience with countryman Emery and says Arsenal have "everything" to be successful.

"Unai Emery is a good coach and it's a very good team," he told the Independent. "I watch them play often, but he needs time.

"It's a new generation and it's very difficult to compete against teams like Manchester City and Liverpool.

"It's difficult to know [what has gone wrong]. They have the players, they have the fans, the stadium, they have everything to do it but they have to believe it."

Cazorla left Arsenal for former club Villarreal in 2018 amid a near-two-year injury lay-off, meaning he was unable to say goodbye to Gunners fans on the pitch.

The 34-year-old hopes to get the opportunity to play at the home of the London club again before he retires, while he could be open to a role at Arsenal post retirement.

"When you are at a big club like Arsenal, sometimes you don't realise what it means to be there until you are gone," he said. "I never got to say a proper goodbye.

"It was the biggest team I played for in my career and I miss everything about Arsenal. I don't know what my legacy is there, you would have to ask the fans, but I want to say thank you to them all.

"I would like to play at the Emirates one last time before I retire. 

"I don't know what I will do afterwards - maybe a coach, maybe a sporting director - but I would love to go back to Arsenal.

"I lived in London for six years. My son loved it there. In the future, we will see if I have the possibility."

Former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira insists Unai Emery deserves to be given time to turn around the Gunners' recent fortunes.

Pressure is mounting on Emery following last Saturday's 2-0 Premier League defeat away to high-flying Leicester City.

Arsenal are already eight points adrift of the top four after 12 matches and have won only once in their past seven games in all competitions.

While it is believed the club hierarchy remain behind Emery, who was appointed as Arsene Wenger's successor after the 2017-18 season, there is a growing discontent among Arsenal supporters who think a change is essential to save their season.

Vieira, a three-time Premier League champion in a glittering Arsenal career, says now is the time to unite behind the under-fire former Paris Saint-Germain boss.

"It's true Arsenal are going through a tough spell," he told reporters on Monday. "But I haven't watched all their matches, so I can't talk about their game.

"They have a coach who is qualified who works well. When a club is having a difficult time, it's important to be united. I think he has enough experience to get them through this difficult spell.

"We have to get behind him and give him time to change things. I am not sure a change of manager will fix the problems."

Wenger, meanwhile, has lately been tipped to make a first return to management since leaving Emirates Stadium.

The 70-year-old told beIN SPORTS last week that he would be holding talks with Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge over the prospect of succeeding Niko Kovac, but he then clarified on Monday that he was not in the running for the job.

Nice head coach Vieira still hopes to see his old manager make a return to the dugout, saying: "I would like to see him coaching again.

"Arsene has a big passion [for football]. I have never met another coach who spends more time watching football games, analysing their opponent's matches, talking about football.

"It's his passion, it's his life. So, I hope he can find another club to coach. It didn't work out with Bayern Munich; maybe it will work out with another team."

Lionel Messi is seemingly in no rush to extend his Barcelona contract.

Messi's future is regularly talked about after it was revealed earlier this year the superstar can leave the LaLiga giants for free at the end of any season.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner is contracted at Barcelona until 2021, though it remains to be seen if he wants to stay on beyond his current deal.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI IN NO RUSH OVER BARCELONA CONTRACT

Messi has no intention of discussing a contract extension at Barcelona until next season, according to Marca.

The 32-year-old plans to be at the club next season, the report says, but will not open talks regarding a new deal.

Messi has been at Barcelona during his entire professional career, winning 10 LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues among numerous other trophies.

ROUND-UP

- Paris Saint-Germain are looking to the future. Sport reports the Ligue 1 giants are seriously considering a move for Real Madrid forward Vinicius Junior. Kylian Mbappe and Neymar have been linked with moves away from PSG and the 19-year-old could help the French club going forward.

- Manchester City and Real Madrid could be set for a transfer battle. The clubs are interested in Real Sociedad and Spain forward Mikel Oyarzabal, according to CalcioMercato. The 22-year-old has scored 29 LaLiga goals since the start of 2017-18.

- Unai Emery has some time. The Sun reports the under-fire Arsenal head coach will be given until 2020 to turn the club's form around. It also reports Manchester City would allow assistant Mikel Arteta – an ex-Arsenal midfielder – to head to Emirates Stadium, should his former club want to appoint the Spaniard.

- Liverpool could strengthen in January. TalkSPORT reports the Premier League leaders are in advanced talks with Bournemouth over a deal to sign winger Ryan Fraser, who is out of contract at the end of the season. Bournemouth may want Harry Wilson – who is on loan from Liverpool – as part of a deal.

- Struggling in ninth in Serie A, Fiorentina may be ready to move on from Vincenzo Montella. The club are ready to make an approach for former Inter coach Luciano Spalletti, according to Firenze Viola.

AC Milan, Bologna, Perth Glory, Inter and even Juventus have been linked to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Ibrahimovic's LA Galaxy contract is set to expire before the end of the year and the veteran striker is not short of suitors.

And a return to Old Trafford could be on the cards for the 38-year-old.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED TARGETING IBRAHIMOVIC

Manchester United are preparing to make a move for former striker Ibrahimovic, reports Mail Online.

Ibrahimovic left United for MLS outfit LA Galaxy in 2018 and he has flourished in the United States, where he has scored 53 goals across two seasons.

But with Ibrahimovic – who has been linked to AC Milan, Bologna and A-League side Perth Glory – coming off contract and United looking to bolster their attacking options following the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, a Manchester comeback has been mooted.

ROUND-UP

Inter are set to back Antonio Conte in the January transfer window. Following Conte's outburst over a lack of squad planning after Inter's Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund, Calciomercato says the Nerazzurri are ready to sign Parma duo Matteo Darmian and Dejan Kulusevski. Darmian only arrived from Manchester United at the start of the season, while teenage midfielder Kulusevski is on loan from Atalanta.

- Pressure is mounting on Unai Emery but Arsenal are not worried. According to the Mail, the Gunners will not be panicked into sacking head coach Emery – whose side have gone four league games without a win and sit sixth, eight points outside of the top four. Former Spain and Barcelona boss Luis Enrique has emerged as a possible replacement.

- Despite Southampton's poor form, the Premier League strugglers are still behind boss Ralph Hasenhuttl according to The Sun. The Saints are 19th and three points adrift of safety amid a seven-match winless streak in the league – highlighted by a record 9-0 humiliation against Leicester City.

Dries Mertens could be set to leave Napoli. Second on the club's all-time scoring list, Corriere dello Sport and Gazzetta dello Sport claim Mertens has agreed to join Inter as a free agent at the end of the season. The 32-year-old has called Naples home since arriving from PSV in 2013.

Liverpool's unbeaten Premier League season continued in some style as they turned on the style in a 3-1 win over Manchester City, who they have not lost to at Anfield in the top flight since May 2003.

Meanwhile, it was another tough weekend for Premier League fans across North London, with Arsenal and Tottenham both dropping points as the dark clouds continue to gather around both clubs.

Arsenal's defeat at high-flying Leicester City left the Gunners winless in their last four top-flight outings, while Spurs are without a victory in five attempts after their 1-1 draw at home with Sheffield United.

With Arsenal failing to win, Manchester United had the opportunity to narrow the gap between sixth and seventh to just one point and they did just that, bringing Brighton and Hove Albion's two-game winning streak to an end in a 3-1 victory.

All four games produced a feast of milestones and telling stats, the best of which are brought to light below.

DEFEAT LEAVES GUARDIOLA WITH LOWEST CITY POINTS HAUL

Trips to Liverpool have rarely been kind to Pep Guardiola during his time at Manchester City and Sunday's defeat was his fourth during his time in the Premier League.

City have amassed 25 points this season - Guardiola's lowest return after 12 games of a Premier League season - and he is more than three points behind the league leaders for the first time at this stage of a season.

Liverpool sit eight points clear of second-placed Leicester City and only Manchester United in 1993-94 have been further ahead after 12 games in the Premier League era.

The Reds prospered courtesy of goals from Fabinho, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, the latter scoring at Anfield in the league for the 22nd time since August 2018.

No other top-flight player has scored more at a single venue in the same period.

RASHFORD REVELS IN UNITED'S HOME IMPROVEMENTS

Marcus Rashford gave the Old Trafford crowd a rare moment to savour in a difficult season when his shot ricocheted off the underside of the crossbar to put Manchester United 3-1 up against Brighton.

It was the 22-year-old's 30th goal on home turf for the Red Devils, six of which have come in 2019-20, and he needs three more to equal his best goal return in home matches (nine in 2017-18).

Rashford's form has been key to United's recent upturn in fortunes at Old Trafford, where they are unbeaten in their last four Premier League matches and their last seven across all competitions - their longest run under the same manager since March 2018 (eight unbeaten under Jose Mourinho).

Solskjaer named his youngest Premier League starting line-up of the season, averaging 23 years and 350 days, and his side extended Brighton's miserable run on the road against the top flight's "big six": the Seagulls are winless in 15 such games.

ARSENAL IN WORST START FOR 37 YEARS

Unai Emery might be running out of chances after a 2-0 loss to Leicester City condemned Arsenal to their worst record at this stage of a top-flight season since 1982-83.

The Gunners accumulated 17 points from 12 games in 2014-15, as many as they have now, but could at least lay claim to a positive goal difference of +5 at that time, unlike the -1 that resides next to their disappointing points tally this term.

Saturday's trip to the King Power Stadium marked Emery's 50th Premier League match in charge and his 13th defeat.

He has overseen 25 victories and led the club to 87 points, two fewer than Arsene Wenger accrued over his final 50 matches as manager.

The contrast could not be greater to electrifying Leicester, who have now won five successive Premier League home games and boast one more point (26 in total) than they did at this point of their title-winning 2015-16 campaign.

SON SHINING BUT SPURS STILL STUCK IN DARKNESS

If there is some comfort to be found for Arsenal, it is in the malaise affecting north London rivals Tottenham.

Mauricio Pochettino's men could only draw 1-1 with Sheffield United, who became the third promoted side – after Blackburn Rovers (1992-93) and Nottingham Forest (1994-95) – to go unbeaten through their opening six away games of a Premier League season.

George Baldock's goal earned a share of the spoils and means Spurs have dropped a league-high 12 points from winning positions this season.

Worse still, the Champions League finalists have banked only 14 points, their lowest tally after 12 games since 2008-09, a season that cost Juande Ramos his job.

Son Heung-min, scorer of the opener, is one player pulling his weight. The South Korea star has netted five times in his past five appearances in all competitions.

Unai Emery reached the milestone of 50 Premier League matches in charge of Arsenal on Saturday in the 2-0 defeat at Leicester City, but an overriding sense of disappointment is all he has managed to establish at the club.

Emery arrived in 2018 as Arsene Wenger's replacement, with the Frenchman ultimately paying the price for going 14 years without winning the title.

In fairness to Wenger, spending at the club was significantly reduced in the wake of their move to the Emirates Stadium, particularly when compared to the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool over the same period.

It was hoped Emery's introduction would bring a fresh approach and winning mentality after years of stagnation at Arsenal. However, despite his trophy successes in previous spells with Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain, some – justifiably – had doubts about the Spaniard's style of play and training methods often criticised as boring.

After reaching 50 Premier League games, it is difficult at present to see him lasting much longer and his record compared to the division's best highlights the gulf in class.

Going backwards after Wenger

Emery's Arsenal have averaged 1.74 points per game across his 50 matches in the top flight. Of those in charge of the traditional 'big six', that figure is only better than Mauricio Pochettino (1.7) and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (1.30) over their 50 most recent Premier League games – though the latter's figures are obviously skewed by his spell at Cardiff City.

That's where the positives end in terms of points per game for Emery, however.

Jurgen Klopp (2.62) and Pep Guardiola (2.52) are way out in front over their past 50 matches, while Frank Lampard – who has only taken charge of 12 in the Premier League – has accumulated a respectable 2.17 points per outing.

Similarly, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has done significantly better, averaging 1.84 points per game across his last 50 matches in the Premier League with Liverpool and the Foxes.

But the real kicker is the comparison with the much-maligned Wenger, whose 1.76 average means he too collected more points over his final 50 games at Arsenal than Emery has in his first 50.

Way behind the most prolific scorers

Wenger's Arsenal also scored more than Emery's side. During the Frenchman's final 50 games, they scored 96 times, seven more than they have with the Basque coach.

City have set the bar in terms of scoring over the period in question, netting 130 times, 12 more than Liverpool.

Defensively it is the other way round. While City's record of 33 allowed is exceptional, Liverpool's is even better at just 31.

Arsenal's defensive woes have been well-documented under Emery, with Shkodran Mustafi, David Luiz, Rob Holding, Calum Chambers and Sokratis Papastathopoulos hardly convincing.

As such, they have conceded 68 times since the start of last season, more than double both City and Liverpool and four more than in Wenger's final stretch.

Emery's already had enough time to solve issues

Emery can at least point to the fact he has lost fewer matches (13) than Wenger (16) did over the periods highlighted, though it's a pretty hollow victory.

Klopp and Liverpool again set the standard here, having lost just one of their past 50 Premier League matches, though even Rodgers has been beaten fewer times than Emery over his 50 most recent games, losing 12.

The overarching issue for Arsenal and Emery is a complete lack of identity, something one can certainly argue they still had even in Wenger's latter days.

While these statistics highlight how far behind the Premier League's leading pair Arsenal are, their lack of a discernible style and direction is arguably the main problem, one Emery probably will not get much more time to fix.

After all, there is little doubt they have regressed under his stewardship.

Arsenal's 2-0 loss to Leicester City could spell the end of Unai Emery's tenure.

The Gunners failed to win for the fourth Premier League match in succession on Saturday, testing the patience of club officials.

According to reports, contact has been made with Luis Enrique to assess his interest in the job.

 

TOP STORY – ARSENAL MAKE LUIS ENRIQUE ENQUIRY

It could be a case of one Spaniard out, another Spaniard in at Emirates Stadium.

El Confidencial's Kike Marin claims Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi has sounded out Luis Enrique about replacing Unai Emery as head coach.

The ex-Barcelona and Roma boss has been out of football since stepping down as Spain's head coach due to personal reasons in June, two months before the tragic death of his young daughter, Xana.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United have joined the race for in-demand Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana, according to the Mirror. The Red Devils are also rumoured to be chasing Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen and Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, their former player.

- As rumours linking Eriksen to Old Trafford re-emerge, Tottenham are preparing to move for a former United man. The Mirror say Spurs are plotting a £50million bid for Memphis Depay, who has flourished since leaving the Premier League for Ligue 1's Lyon.

- The same British tabloid believes Chelsea could splash £70million on towering Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic if their transfer ban is lifted in January.

- Olivier Giroud could be leaving Chelsea for a fee of around £5million. The Daily Express say Antonio Conte's Inter and Major League Soccer side Vancouver Whitecaps are prepared to offer the France international an escape route.

- Giroud could depart Stamford Bridge for Italy and Mario Pasalic might remain there. The Chelsea-owned midfielder is on loan at Serie A outfit Atalanta, who are considering forking out the €15million required to keep him, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Unai Emery is remaining calm despite coming under pressure at Arsenal, insisting he can turn things around because he has done so before.

Arsenal were beaten 2-0 at Leicester City on Saturday to leave them eight points adrift of the top four.

The result means it is Arsenal's worst start to a top-flight season since 1982-83, with the Gunners only having 17 points and a goal difference of negative one.

Arsenal barely troubled Kasper Schmeichel at all and were arguably lucky to only lose 2-0, yet Emery remains convinced he can get their campaign back on track.

"I am speaking with the club to stay strong and recover," he told reporters after the match. "We also have young players who are growing up with us.

"I know we are receiving criticism, but I have done before and I have recovered.

"I accept all the criticism. It is normal. Today we did one step forward, being better defensively."

Leicester moved up to second with their victory and Emery is conscious of the gap between the Gunners and those at the top.

But he reminded detractors that Arsenal have time to turn things around.

"We are distant from them now, but we will take time to prepare and improve and take the balance in the team," he said.

"Manchester United and Tottenham are also behind us, so it is an equal competition. But we have time to reduce the gap on Leicester."

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