Jorginho believes relentless Arsenal are approaching the Premier League title race with more maturity than last season.

The Gunners were top of the table for a total of 248 days last term before ultimately slipping behind Manchester City in the run-in.

Pep Guardiola’s men are again in the running this time, with the holders sandwiched between leaders Liverpool and Arsenal as the season enters the final straight.

Just two points separate the table-topping Reds and third-placed Gunners, who ran amok at sorry Sheffield United in a 6-0 Monday mauling.

“The performance of the squad (was great) and the mentality to start strong and carry on the momentum,” Jorginho said.

“It was really, really good to see a team playing forward and want to keep going.”

Asked what is different about the team this year compared to the one that just fell short last season, the Italy international added: “I think the maturity.

“We are way more mature how we compete and how we manage the games. I think that’s it.”

That mentality led Mikel Arteta’s side to race out of the blocks, racking up a five-goal lead quicker than any away side in Premier League history – Declan Rice making it 5-0 in the 39th minute.

Ben White’s second-half thunderbolt completed the rout, scoring the club’s 10,000th goal on a night they became the first English league side to win three consecutive away games by five or more goals.

“We are pleased that we are doing all this good stuff, but we need to carry on,” Jorginho said.

“Because if we just think ‘oh yeah, nice, it’s done’… no, we just need to put your head down and keep pushing, being humble and keep going.

“We need to not be just happy for what we are doing. Of course, we are happy but we want to keep being happy.

“So, to be like that we just need to keep pushing and working hard.”

Arsenal’s seventh Premier League win on the bounce pushes shambolic Sheffield United further towards an immediate return to the Championship.

The Blades also made history on Monday, becoming the first English side to lose three consecutive home league games by at least a five-goal margin.

It was the kind of performance that raises questions over Chris Wilder’s future but the United boss says it only strengthened his drive to rebuild his boyhood club.

“It cements it,” he said. “As far as I’m concerned in a way I’ll wake up tomorrow and it’ll strengthen my resolve to get this right because it’s a big job, we understand that.”

Arsenal are preparing to open contract negotiations with Jorginho following a string of standout performances, the PA news agency understands.

The 32-year-old Italy midfielder is out of contract at the end of the season.

Jorginho joined Arsenal from London rivals Chelsea last January and has so far made 41 appearances across all competitions, scoring once.

A Euro 2020 winner at Wembley, the former Napoli player has impressed Gunners boss Mikel Arteta with his professional approach and has added much-needed experience to a young squad at the Emirates Stadium.

It is understood that a one-year deal with the option of a further year is planned as an opening point for talks with Jorginho, who won the Champions League and Europa League during his five-year stint at Chelsea.

He put in a man-of-the-match display in Arsenal’s 4-1 win over Newcastle on Saturday and also shone in the recent 3-1 victory over Liverpool.

Jorginho insists he is happy for Arsenal to be “in the shadows” of the Premier League title race and fight as underdogs against Liverpool and Manchester City.

The Gunners are just two points off the top of the table after easing to a 4-1 win over Newcastle on Saturday night.

A Sven Botman own-goal set them on their way before goals from Kai Havertz, Bukayo Saka and Jakub Kiwior rounded off another fine display from Mikel Arteta’s men, although the returning Joe Willock’s late header ruined another clean sheet.

City won the treble last season and remain the favourites to secure a record fourth consecutive Premier League crown – while Liverpool will be aiming to end Jurgen Klopp’s reign in style by winning a second title under the German.

Arsenal, meanwhile, are aiming to go one better than last year when they topped the division for 248 days before ultimately missing out to City.

“I like to be underdogs,” Jorginho said after returning to the starting line-up to put in a man of the match performance against Newcastle.

“Let people speak, we just need to stay humble and keep working hard in the shadows, keep pushing and keep believing.

“That is what we need to do, just keep pushing, pushing and then we will see where we are going to get but we are on the right path.

“We need to keep the momentum going and we can do that. Just working hard the way we are doing and keep believing, keep enjoying this journey together and I think that’s the way that we need to go.”

Arsenal have turned their form around since a mid-season break in Dubai and Jorginho is enjoying his football.

“I think we were creating before but we were not finishing and now it feels that the calls are coming more,” he added.

“It’s a pleasure to see the boys scoring more and they can have fun with the team working hard as well so we are enjoying this moment and we need to just stay humble.

“I’m really happy, not just with my performance but with the team because the team performed very well and that doesn’t happen with everyone.

“It is just a pleasure to be out there enjoying this moment with an incredible team.”

Fit-again Willock came off the bench against his former club to head in a consolation for Newcastle late on in north London.

The 24-year-old is now keen to move on from the defeat and not let it affect the build-up to Tuesday’s FA Cup fifth round tie at Blackburn.

“I think it was a difficult game, they’re a great side, there’s no denying that,” Willock told the club’s official website.

“I think, for us, we just have to stay positive, find those good things to take from the game and we have to take that on Tuesday, it is a big game for us and for our season and let’s put this game behind us.”

Italy avoided another damaging defeat to North Macedonia to keep their automatic Euro 2024 hopes in their own hands after a 5-2 win in Rome which belied the nerves they suffered in the second half.

The hosts almost squandered a three-goal lead at the interval after Juventus forward Federico Chiesa scored twice to spare Arsenal midfielder Jorginho further agony when he failed to take his shot at redemption from the penalty spot.

It was Jorginho’s last-minute spot-kick miss two years ago in a 1-1 draw against Switzerland which ultimately consigned Italy to a World Cup qualifying play-off and led to North Macedonia’s shock win in Palermo.

But while the 31-year-old, making his first start since June, was fluffing his lines again with the score at 1-0, there was no such profligacy from Chiesa who scored a quick double late in the first half to pave the way for a seemingly comfortable victory.

However, half-time substitute Jani Antonov scored a double of his own to crank up the tension in the Stadio Olimpico before Giacomo Raspadori’s 81st-minute strike eased the nerves and another substitute, Stephan El Shaarawy, scored the fifth in added time.

The win put Luciano Spalletti’s side into second place in Group C and means they now only need a draw against Ukraine in Leverkusen to avoid another dreaded play-off.

It was one-way traffic from the off but Raspadori’s clip past goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski in the 13th minute was ruled out for offside.

Three minutes later Chiesa, who caused Macedonia’s right side numerous problems all night, produced his first key intervention when he collected a return pass from Giacomo Bonaventura and saw his near-post shot denied.

However, from the resulting corner Raspadori’s cross was headed home by Matteo Darmian, his first international goal for eight years.

Chiesa was denied again by defender Jovan Manev before Nikola Serafimov’s handball from Federico Gatti’s close-range header led to Jorginho’s opportunity to banish the memories of two years ago but, having not scored for Italy in three years, he put a poor penalty too close to Dimitrievski.

But Chiesa came to his rescue, drilling home from the edge of the area after Macedonia failed to clear a throw-in from the right and then racing onto a Domenico Berardi through-ball to cut inside on his right foot and see his shot loop up off right-back Manev and over the goalkeeper.

The visitors were missing the injured Aleksandar Trajkovski, who had scored the winner in that play-off against Italy, but appeared to have found another hero in Atanasov.

Introduced for the second half, the 24-year-old scored with their first shot on target with his 52nd-minute header – his first international goal – leading to an unnecessary degree of tension for the hosts.

With 16 minutes remaining the pressure was ratcheted up when Atanasov’s drive from distance took a wicked deflection off Italy defender Franceso Acerbi but Raspadori and substitute El Shaarawy at least ended any fears of the necessity of a must-win final qualifier.

What the papers say

Barcelona are considering making a move for Arsenal midfielder Jorginho, 31, according to the Mirror. Jorginho, who joined the Gunners from Chelsea in January, has featured in six Premier League games so far this season.

The Mirror also reports Spain goalkeeper David De Gea, 32, has caused an online stir after posting a picture in England with on-loan Manchester United defender Sergio Reguilon, with calls for the club to bring the out-of-contract player back to Old Trafford. Current United stopper Andre Onana has made a number of errors since joining the Manchester giants in the summer.

The Daily Mail says Bayer Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso has a clause in his contract which allows him to become the boss of any of the clubs he played for as early as next summer. These clubs include Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Victor Osimhen: Chelsea have added the 24-year-old striker to their transfer list for January, ESPN reports. Osimhen has scored six goals in eight games for Napoli so far in Serie A this season.

Serhou Guirassy: The leading scorer in the Bundesliga this season for Stuttgart has attracted interest from Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, West Ham and Brighton. The 27-year-old has scored 13 goals in just seven games for the German club this campaign.

Arsenal midfielder Jorginho has praised his team-mates for mixing it with Newcastle to keep their Premier League title hopes alive.

The Gunners blended a streetwise tenacity with moments of quality to secure a 2-0 victory which avenged a damaging defeat by the same score at St James’ Park last season.

In the process they dragged themselves back to within a point of leaders Manchester City and while Pep Guardiola’s side have a game in hand, the Gunners came through unscathed from what appeared to be their toughest remaining fixture.

Jorginho told the club’s official website: “It’s a massive win. We knew it was a tough game, to come here and win the way we did.

“There are some times you know you have to fight a lot to get the three points, and I’m just so proud of the team the way we did, the way we fought until the end, the way we pushed. It’s just so nice.

“We knew it was going to be tough and it was just realising that sometimes you can’t play just beautiful football.

“Sometimes you need to adapt and that’s why I am saying that I’m really proud of the team, because when you realise that and you adapt and you do what maybe everyone doesn’t expect you to do, it’s just really, really good for our team.”

Having been frustrated by Newcastle’s game-management in the reverse fixture, a 0-0 draw at the Emirates Stadium in January, Arsenal arrived in the north-east determined to serve up a dose of their own medicine to Eddie Howe’s men.

They were fortunate to emerge unscathed from a testing start during which Jacob Murphy hit a post and the Magpies saw a penalty for handball awarded and then rescinded by referee Chris Kavanagh after Bruno Guimaraes’ goal-bound shot had been blocked by Jakub Kiwior.

However, the Gunners took a 14th-minute lead through the excellent Martin Odegaard before they withstood an onslaught during which goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale and the woodwork kept the home side at bay.

And they cemented the win 19 minutes from time when Gabriel Martinelli’s driven cross flew off Fabian Schar into his own net.

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta said: “When you have question marks, you have to resolve those question marks, it’s the only way.


“And when you had the emotions that we had last year in that dressing room, you have to make sure you feel them again to realise how difficult, how nasty and how unpleasant they are.

“Then you have to find a way to approach the game in a different way because demands were going to be different from last year. The boys did that extremely well so I’m really proud of them.”

For Newcastle boss Howe, who had seen his Champions League-chasing side win eight of their previous nine games to sit third in the table, the task is to re-group for a testing trip to struggling Leeds on Saturday with Liverpool closing fast.

Howe said: “It can be a really memorable season for us. It’s in our hands. If anyone had said at the start of the season we could be in this position, you would definitely have wanted to be in our position.

“But getting over the line will probably be the hardest thing we have to do. That’s the challenge in front of us.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.