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Mikel Arteta rubbishes ‘lucky Arsenal’ claim as David Moyes is left frustrated by the officials

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mikel arteta rubbishes lucky arsenal claim as david moyes is left frustrated by the officials

The first touch of the ball for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came after 13 minutes and 48 seconds. Arsenal‘s first shot of the match came after 24 minutes and 17 seconds. They scored with that, too.

There was a time when this club was known as ‘lucky Arsenal’ – a tag born in the 1930s when disgruntled opponents would dominate games but somehow still lose to Herbert Chapman’s side.

Mikel Arteta says he doesn’t believe in luck, but David Moyes might believe in bad luck after this. West Ham were the better side and yet suffered their second defeat of the season.

Mikel Arteta said he doesn't believe in luck despite Arsenal leaving it late to beat West Ham

Mikel Arteta said he doesn't believe in luck despite Arsenal leaving it late to beat West Ham

Mikel Arteta said he doesn’t believe in luck despite Arsenal leaving it late to beat West Ham

This was Moyes’s 20th visit to Arsenal as a manager and he has never won. ‘Thanks for the reminder,’ said the Scot when one reporter mentioned that statistic.

Next up for West Ham in the Premier League are Wolves, Leicester, Tottenham, Manchester City and Liverpool. After this latest loss, seeing in November pointless is starting to look like a very real possibility.

But before tackling that frightening fixture list, Moyes will have to dissect where this match was won and lost.

There was VAR failing to award West Ham a penalty after an apparent handball by Gabriel, on the same day that Manchester United’s Victor Lindelof was penalised for something very similar. There was Michail Antonio failing to finish a chance from three yards, before hitting the crossbar.

David Moyes was left frustrated by the officials and VAR after his side were denied a penalty

David Moyes was left frustrated by the officials and VAR after his side were denied a penalty

David Moyes was left frustrated by the officials and VAR after his side were denied a penalty

Then in the final five minutes, West Ham’s disciplined defence faltered. Andriy Yarmolenko failed to track the run of Dani Ceballos, believing his centre back Issa Diop should have him covered. But Diop was preoccupied with Aubameyang. Ceballos collected the ball and coolly found Eddie Nketiah, the 21-year-old substitute, who made it 2-1 and secured a surprise three points.

To make matters worse for Moyes, Patrice Evra had regurgitated those old, unfounded rumours about his daughter and Wilfried Zaha while acting as a pundit live on Sky Sports earlier, too. So it was little wonder Moyes was in a foul mood when speaking to the press via Zoom afterwards.

Nothing went his way on Saturday, and it was the PGMOL who bore the brunt of his complaints.

‘We’re not really convinced by many of the rules but we have to accept them,’ said Moyes of the handball laws. ‘The hardest part is that we never get any good reporting back. We never get any clarity. They say they do but they don’t. They give you very little.

The Hammers were the better side at the Emirates but were unable to hold on for a draw

The Hammers were the better side at the Emirates but were unable to hold on for a draw

The Hammers were the better side at the Emirates but were unable to hold on for a draw

‘We make lots of mistakes – players and managers. But I’ve got to say the referees rarely make any mistakes. When we get the results back, very rarely have the referees or VAR made mistakes.’

Moyes, who added he wants to sign ‘three or four players’, was asked whether that was sarcasm. ‘I’d love to say it was just sarcasm but what I’m saying is actually the truth,’ he answered.

Arteta preferred to focus on how Arsenal would have lost this match ‘a few months ago’. He feels he has changed his players’ mentalities – and Sportsmail’s suggestion that his side had got lucky is rubbish, apparently.

‘You have to earn luck,’ said Arteta, smiling. ‘People who are lazy, they don’t work, they don’t put their passion into their work – I don’t think they can get lucky.’

Alexandre Lacazette is negotiating an extension after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's new deal

Alexandre Lacazette is negotiating an extension after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's new deal

Alexandre Lacazette is negotiating an extension after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s new deal 

Arteta added he is glad to have those questions on Aubameyang’s contract behind him. But then he was asked about Alexandre Lacazette, who is currently tied down until 2022.

Negotiations have not started yet, but Arteta is confident they won’t let it get into its final year.

For Arsenal, they can look onwards and upwards. For West Ham, it’s looking downhill from here. Moyes could do with something going his way, both in the transfer market and on the field.

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Dias showed what he is about by bouncing back from error to shine for Manchester City against Porto

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dias showed what he is about by bouncing back from error to shine for manchester city against porto

Manchester City‘s detractors might say that Ruben Dias has settled in already. He strode out from the back, purposefully attempted to pass through the lines, gave away possession and the opposition scored on the break.

A fair few central defenders have done that in this stadium over the years and it was not the £64million signing’s finest moment in what has been an encouraging start to his City career.

But he has bashfully rejected comparisons with Vincent Kompany, and severe criticism would be premature. If nothing else, City at least appear more stable for the inclusion of Dias, which is a significant step forward.

Pep Guardiola will take heart from how Ruben Dias recovered after his early mistake

Pep Guardiola will take heart from how Ruben Dias recovered after his early mistake

Pep Guardiola will take heart from how Ruben Dias recovered after his early mistake

Pep Guardiola’s hunt for someone to slot alongside Aymeric Laporte has been a long one, taking in at least five targets over the last 18 months.

City settled on Dias and have already benefited from his rugged defensive ability — a bit of grit in a unit that has been far too porous.

In that sense, the 23-year-old has borrowed a fair amount from his mentor Pepe, described by those around the Portugal squad as something of a father figure. 

Pepe — who captained Porto on Wednesday night — has been one of the best, an unashamed master of the old art for well over a decade. City need that. 

The 23-year-old defender has injected a bit of grit and leadership into City's backline

The 23-year-old defender has injected a bit of grit and leadership into City's backline

The 23-year-old defender has injected a bit of grit and leadership into City’s backline

There will be time to finesse Dias’s distribution when they finally get the chance to take training sessions that are not focused on recovery from the last match or preparation for the next.

What they do not need to hone is his leadership. Although young, Dias has that in abundance, with a ‘mentality of a champion’, according to those who know him. 

His English is flawless and Guardiola will take heart from how he approached this game after his early mistake — notably when he jockeyed Luis Diaz for 20 yards and held him up as Porto threatened to nudge ahead for a second time.

Many who went before him wilted in adversity. There was some evidence here that Dias is made of stronger stuff.

Dias speaks to Eric Garcia during Wednesday's Champions League victory over Porto

Dias speaks to Eric Garcia during Wednesday's Champions League victory over Porto

Dias speaks to Eric Garcia during Wednesday’s Champions League victory over Porto

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Klopp praises Gomez and Fabinho but warns his players ‘there is a lot to improve’ after Ajax win

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klopp praises gomez and fabinho but warns his players there is a lot to improve after ajax win

Jurgen Klopp hailed Liverpool‘s battling qualities that enabled them to emerge from a ‘pressure situation’ in Amsterdam with a confidence restoring victory.

Liverpool beat Ajax 1-0 thanks to an own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico but their performance in their opening Group D fixture was characterised by the way midfielder Fabinho moved back into central defence and never put a foot wrong.

The highlight of his display came just before half-time, when he acrobatically scooped Dusan Tadic’s lob off the line. Ajax were a nuisance throughout and they came close to grabbing an equaliser when Davy Klaassen hit a post early in the second period.

Jurgen Klopp was impressed with how his Liverpool team battled to win three points at Ajax

Jurgen Klopp was impressed with how his Liverpool team battled to win three points at Ajax

Jurgen Klopp was impressed with how his Liverpool team battled to win three points at Ajax

An own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico in the first half was enough for Liverpool to win the game

An own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico in the first half was enough for Liverpool to win the game

An own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico in the first half was enough for Liverpool to win the game

Klopp conceded there is still significant room for improvement in Liverpool’s form but, after a turbulent week that began with Virgil van Dijk being ruled out for the majority of the season, the manager was delighted with his team’s determination.

‘Was there pressure in the situation? Yes,’ said Klopp. ‘It (a clean sheet) is huge but we are not dumb enough to think we didn’t need a bit of luck as Fabinho needed to make a proper stretch to get that ball from the line and they hit the post.

‘The clean sheet is one information but we could have done better. I don’t care in the moment. We wanted to win the game and we have done that but now we don’t hang the clean sheet too high because there were two situations where we were not far away from perfect.

Liverpool registered a clean sheet and Klopp was complimentary of Joe Gomez's performance

Liverpool registered a clean sheet and Klopp was complimentary of Joe Gomez's performance

Liverpool registered a clean sheet and Klopp was complimentary of Joe Gomez’s performance

Fabinho was also a standout performer and made a vital goal-line clearance in the first half

Fabinho was also a standout performer and made a vital goal-line clearance in the first half

Fabinho was also a standout performer and made a vital goal-line clearance in the first half

‘But the result is absolutely OK. Now on Saturday night a completely different challenge. Sheffield United have had their legs on the sofa and we need to recover quickly. It was a good performance but there is a lot to improve – and that is good.’

All eyes were on Fabinho and Joe Gomez, given the injuries to Van Dijk and Joel Matip, but Klopp did not have any doubts about whether the Brazilian would be able to cope with the different demands that were asked of him.

‘For the two at the back, it was their first game together,’ said Klopp. ‘They need to get used to each other, they need to get used to the verbal demands. Fabinho can play the position, he likes playing it actually. If I asked him to play right back I don’t think he would enjoy it as much.

‘In our situation we have to keep those boys fit. I’m not surprised Fabinho plays in the position, otherwise I would have thought about a different solution. That would have been tricky but I’m really pleased.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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‘We are struggling at the moment’: Ilkay Gundogan admits Manchester City are not their usual best

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we are struggling at the moment ilkay gundogan admits manchester city are not their usual best

Ilkay Gundogan has said that Manchester City still haven’t found top gear this season despite a strong second-half display against Porto.

Gundogan scored a sublime free-kick in City’s 3-1 Group C victory in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

City did, however, go behind through Luis Diaz’s goal in the first half which exposed frailties in Pep Guardiola‘s defence.

Ilkay Gundogan scored Manchester City's second goal in the 3-1 win over Porto at the Etihad

Ilkay Gundogan scored Manchester City's second goal in the 3-1 win over Porto at the Etihad

Ilkay Gundogan scored Manchester City’s second goal in the 3-1 win over Porto at the Etihad

And while City have won two of their opening four Premier League games, Gundogan believes they are still some way off their best.

He said: ‘If I’m being honest we are struggling at the moment.’

City were dealt a further fitness blow late on in Wednesday’s win when Fernandinho, who came on as a substitute in the 85th minute, left the pitch nine minutes later with an injury. The Brazilian midfielder could be out for four to six weeks.

There was bad news for City when Fernandinho went off injured nine minutes after coming on

There was bad news for City when Fernandinho went off injured nine minutes after coming on

There was bad news for City when Fernandinho went off injured nine minutes after coming on

Nathan Ake wasn’t included in City’s squad against Porto, raising doubts over his fitness and whether he will play against West Ham on Saturday.

Gundogan, who admits he still isn’t fully fit having tested positive for coronavirus last month, added it would be easy for Guardiola to rotate because of City’s fitness problems.

He said: ‘Fernandinho went off at the end, we have players playing in different positions. I am not 100 per cent there because I had Covid, we are not all at the same moment.

Pep Guardiola could be without his Brazilian defensive midfielder for four to six weeks

Pep Guardiola could be without his Brazilian defensive midfielder for four to six weeks

Pep Guardiola could be without his Brazilian defensive midfielder for four to six weeks

‘That is the challenge for this season, it’s not going to end for a while. It’s not going to be difficult for Pep to pick an XI because players are going to be tired.’

Guardiola said after the game that he was ready to take Gundogan off seconds before he scored in the 65th minute – the 29-year-old came off three minutes later. 

Guardiola added: ‘We decided before the goal he [Gundo] would go off but he made an incredible goal.’ 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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