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How Arsenal finally ended winless streak against Man City

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As the fifth meeting of Manchester City and Arsenal in 2023 ended like the first, with the only goal going in off Nathan Ake, there was a significant difference. This time, unlike in January’s FA Cup tie, Arsenal were the victors.

Ake may have bookended a year where rivalries were renewed with greater frequency with an unfortunate touch, heading Gabriel Martinelli’s shot past Ederson, but it was enough for the majority present to revive a chant from George Graham’s days. One-nil to the Arsenal? It was, and the eventual significance may only be measured in May.

If stalemate had beckoned, if much of the match had the feel of a phoney war, it was nevertheless the case that Arsenal had lost both the battles and the wars beforehand. They had 12 consecutive Premier League defeats against City, no win against them in the division since 2015. The unlucky 13th came for Ake.

And if Arsenal’s Community Shield triumph came on penalties and this courtesy of a deflection, there are times when the ends justify the means, when even purists like Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola have to focus on the pragmatic impact of the result.

And this was huge for Arsenal. Had City won, the temptation would have been to say that they could not catch City. Arsenal topped last season’s table for 248 days, boasted an eight-point lead at one point and were still overhauled. So then try playing catch-up against the treble winners.

And at times it feels as though Arteta has tried everything in his bid to outwit Guardiola. He has tried playing possession football, only to be beaten when City went direct. Arsenal had 64 percent of the ball at the Emirates last season and City scored 75 percent of the goals. He has tried signing Guardiola’s players, in Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus. He has tried signing the player who got a Champions League final winner against City, in Kai Havertz. He has tried signing a major target for Guardiola, in Declan Rice.

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Liverpool offer too big to reject – Arne Slot

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Arne Slot says the opportunity to work at one of the "biggest clubs in the world" was "difficult to ignore" as he was confirmed as Liverpool

Arne Slot says the opportunity to work at one of the “biggest clubs in the world” was “difficult to ignore” as he was confirmed as Liverpool’s new head coach.

The Reds agreed a compensation deal worth £9.4m with Feyenoord in April after the 45-year-old was identified as the man to succeed Jurgen Klopp at Anfield.

Klopp, who had been in charge of Liverpool since October 2015, left the club following their season-finale win against Wolves on Sunday.

After the game, the 56-year-old German called on Liverpool fans to get behind their new boss, chanting “Arne Slot, na na na na na”.

Slot’s three-year contract at Liverpool will officially start on 1 June, subject to a work permit.

“It is certainly not an easy decision to close the door behind you at a club where you have experienced so many wonderful moments and worked successfully with so many wonderful people,” Slot told Feyenoord’s club website.

“But as a sportsman, an opportunity to become a head coach in the Premier League, at one of the biggest clubs in the world, is difficult to ignore.”

Following Liverpool’s announcement on Monday, Mohamed Salah appeared to suggest he would remain at Anfield next season.

“We know that trophies are what count and we will do everything possible to make that happen next season. Our fans deserve it and we will fight like hell,” the 31-year-old posted on X.

Liverpool rejected a £150m offer from Al-Ittihad for Salah last summer, but the Saudi Pro League’s director of football Michael Emenalo later said the door was not closed to the Egypt winger.

 

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Burnley’s Kompany surprise candidate for Bayern job

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Burnley boss Vincent Kompany is a surprise name on Bayern Munich’s list of potential candidates to become their new coach.

Burnley boss Vincent Kompany is a surprise name on Bayern Munich’s list of potential candidates to become their new coach.

The Bundesliga giants have struggled to find a replacement for Thomas Tuchel, whose exit was confirmed last week after initially being announced in February.

Bayer Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso, Germany manager Julian Nagelsmann and Austria coach Ralf Rangnick have all turned the job down.

Talks aimed at persuading Tuchel to stay on failed to reach a positive conclusion, leaving Bayern with a problem.

Kompany has built a decent reputation during his time at Anderlecht and Burnley, although the Clarets’ relegation – following lofty pre-season expectations – has not reflected well on the Belgian.

However, he has knowledge of the Bundesliga from his time as a player at Hamburg and speaks German.

If Bayern were to make a formal approach, it is sure to be attractive to Kompany, who signed a five-year contract extension at Burnley in 2023 but refused to answer questions about his future after Sunday’s season-ending defeat by Nottingham Forest.

Bayern endured a trophyless campaign under Tuchel, finishing third in the league behind unbeaten champions Leverkusen and second-placed Stuttgart.

 

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Mikel Arteta is ‘creating a monster’ at Arsenal – Fabregas

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Cesc Fabregas has backed Arsenal to continue challenging Manchester City for the Premier League title next season, claiming that Mikel Arteta

Cesc Fabregas has backed Arsenal to continue challenging Manchester City for the Premier League title next season, claiming that Mikel Arteta is ‘creating a monster’.

Arsenal suffered disappointment on the final day of the Premier League season on Sunday as City sealed a 3-1 win at home to West Ham to be crowned champions for the fourth campaign in a row.

Arteta’s side ended up two points behind Pep Guardiola’s men but Fabregas believes City have not received enough credit for their historic success in the Premier League.

‘It’s still an achievement,’ Fabregas told El Larguero.

‘They don’t give it that much attention either because it’s, ‘oh, they always win’, but it’s very difficult, very difficult.

‘They have a lot of money and they have the best players but it is also very difficult because you are competing in the Champions League against Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Barcelona.

‘In the Premier League, Arsenal are creating a monster too and they [City] continue to beat them and compete well and it’s not the end.

‘My admiration comes from knowing what I do now and how much work does not stop to continue improving and analysing and creating game plans, what they do at the highest level every three days and switching from cup competitions to the league is amazing and I hope that one day I have the opportunity to be on the same pitch as them.’

When asked what he learned during his time under Wenger at Arsenal, Fabregas said: ‘How to be a manager.

‘Like now I am lucky to be experiencing something unique because when I know when I leave I will be a normal coach.

‘In the club where I work now I am lucky to control everything a little bit. The truth is that I think a lot not about how Arsene was the manager but how to control everything when it comes to scouting, how to manage staff, where to get your staff, how to control different groups, how to create a work culture within the club to make the whole family grow together.’

Asked what he took from playing under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, Fabregas said: ‘How to manage the dressing room.

‘How to play with the players’ heads. He is the coach who has known the best how to play with my mind, both when I was not well or when I was.

‘He always made me feel the best and this is very important as I am seeing it day by day now.’

 

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