Arsenal stunned in front of home crowd as Crystal Palace run away with three points (Match Report)

Arsenal missed the chance to break into the top three as Crystal Palace confirmed another season of Premier League football with a 3-2 win at Emirates Stadium.

A five-goal thriller in north London brought Roy Hodgson’s men their fourth win in five PL away matches as they held out to see off Arsenal’s fightback.

Palace took the lead on 17 minutes when Christian Benteke scored on his 200th Premier League appearance, Christian Benteke was gifted a chance by the deft boot of Luka Milivojevic, whose cross from distance glided over the Arsenal defence and onto the head of the Belgian frontman, who buried the ball adeptly – the exact marksman needed in the perfect situation.

Alexandre Lacazette played in Mesut Ozil to equalise two minutes after the restart.

But Wilfried Zaha restored the visitors’ lead when a lapse of concentration from Shkodran Mustafi allowed Wilfried Zaha to dart around him into the area and beat Bernd Leno one-on-one after a Benteke flick-on.

James McArthur extended Palace’s lead on 69 minutes as the Gunners failed to clear a corner from Milivojevic, leaving McArthur with the simple task of heading home from close range.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang took matters into his own hands to reduce the arrears, finding the bottom corner after a driving run forward, when the ball deflected back to him on the edge of the area.

There were still 15 minutes for Arsenal to find an equaliser, and should have scored it late on, only for Iwobi to shoot tamely at Guaita from a good position.

But the Eagles held on to move up to 12th place with 42 points.

Arsenal remain fourth, a point behind Tottenham Hotspur, and level on 66 points with Chelsea, who could themselves go third with a win against Burnley on Monday night.

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Liverpool keep Premier League title hopes alive after win at Cardiff City (Match Report)

Liverpool kept their Premier League title hopes alive as two second-half goals by Georginio Wijnaldum and James Milner sent the Reds back to the top of the Premier League at Cardiff City.

Liverpool’s ninth successive victory in all competitions was secured thanks to an upping of the tempo after a comparatively reserved opening 45 minutes in south Wales.

Wijnaldum’s controlled half-volley from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner shortly before the hour put the visitors in front in the 57th minute of the match.

Sean Morrison had a chance to equalise for the hosts when Alisson missed a cross, but the Cardiff captain was unable to guide the ball into the empty net.

The home side were made to rue that miss when Liverpool sealed their win with nine minutes remaining.

Henderson could have doubled the advantage almost immediately, but the skipper was leaning back as he shot from Mane’s unselfish pass inside and therefore cleared the bar.

A gilt-edged opportunity to equalise was then wasted by Morrison, who nodded wide from no more than three yards out after an in-swinging corner found its way past Alisson at the near post.

That miss was soon brought into sharper focus, too, when Cardiff’s captain – attempting to atone after Firmino had blocked his clearance – hauled Salah down in the box with 10 minutes left.

Milner did the rest: the vice-captain planting a firm spot-kick into the bottom-right corner with certainty to seal a vital three points.

The Reds go two points clear at the top with 88 points from 35 matches, having played a match more than second-placed Manchester City.

Cardiff remain in the bottom three, with 31 points from 35 matches played.

Half-Time Report: Arsenal 0-1 Crystal Palace… Benteke makes the difference

Christian Benteke’s 17th-minute header is separating Crystal Palace from Arsenal in the first half of the Premier League encounter.

The home side made a bright start to the match and had a very early chance through Ozil in the opening minute, but a good save by Guaita denied him.

Arsenal started to give away needless free-kicks though as they struggled to keep hold of possession and one of those led to the goal.

Luka Milivojevic delivers a perfect free-kick from the right and Benteke arrives unmarked with a diving header to put the Eagles in front.

The Gunners have had a lot of opportunities since going behind, but they troubled Guaita in Palace’s goal.

Arsenal got into a lot of dangerous positions in the first half and had a couple of half chances, but if they want to find a way back into the game, then they need to be more clinical in front of goal.

Aubameyang has also struggled to get on the ball so far, so they will need to get him involved more often as he is a threat in front of goal.

Hodgson will be happy with his team’s performance so far and they have caused Arsenal a lot of problems when they eventually get forward.

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Half-Time Report: Everton 2-0 Manchester United… Richarlison and Sirgurdsson hand Toffees lead

Everton are two up at the break and seemingly in total control against a lacklustre Manchester United at Goodison Park.

Superb strikes from Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson leave United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with plenty of work to do during the break.

Richarlison opened the scoring after a long throw-in was flicked on by Calvert-Lewin and then the Brazilian produced a superb acrobatic strike to fire the ball past De Gea.

Sigurdsson doubled their lead after a quick counter-attack, he fired the ball into the bottom corner from 30 yards out.

It’s been a poor half by United, they struggled to get going and they have it all to do to get back into the game.

Whilst Everton will be delighted by their performance and they’ll be hoping to score another goal in the second half, that should wrap up the victory.

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Manchester City set to beat Real Madrid, Manchester United, Juventus to sensational striker

Reports in Portugal claim Manchester City are set to sign Joao Felix as they are prepared to pay Benfica the striker’s €120m release clause.

The teenage sensation scored his first Europa League hat-trick this month, although he was unable to get his team past Eintracht Frankfurt in the quarter-final.

Juventus, Manchester United, among others, have been linked with the young talent for several months.

However, Portuguese television station TVI claim Manchester City are prepared to pay the massive €120m release clause in his contract to capture Joao Felix.

Goal claims that City’s sporting director, Txiki Begiristain, travelled to Lisbon last week to watch Benfica’s Europa League game against Frankfurt, where Felix scored a hat-trick.

Sources said that Begiristain paid particular attention to both Jovic and Felix.

Agent Jorge Mendes is overseeing Felix’s potential transfer and that could help City’s cause.

The reports added Begiristain recently met Mendes to ascertain the lay of the land regarding Felix’s future, as well as several topics regarding current City players who are represented by the Portuguese agent.

Solskjaer warns Paul Pogba, explains his expectations from midfielder

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told Paul Pogba he can’t always play where he wants.

Solskjaer admits he and his coaches have spoken with Pogba over the best midfield position that’ll bring the most from him, and that sometimes means sacrificing himself for the good of the team, reports the Sunday Mirror.

“Everyone has got an opinion on Paul. And of course, together with Paul, we have sat down and discussed his positioning,” said Solskjaer.

“We know he can play as a 10 or a six, we know he can play in probably his preferred position as one of the three in midfield — high, like he did for us at the beginning, like he has done with Juventus.

“With France he has played as one of the two sitters, or one of the two central midfielders with N’Golo Kante.

“So that is the great thing with Paul. He can do both and what we have to to do with all the players is adjust to the games, what that game needs.

“Some games have needed Paul to drop back, sometimes it has needed him high up the field.

“You can see teams now thinking more about what Paul’s position is and trying to stop him in that position. He is no different to others in that we tweak his position a little bit for the team’s benefit.”

REVEALED: Why David de Gea, Ander Herrera, Juan Mata are not happy at Manchester United

Reports have emerged in England about the problems Spanish-speaking stars at Manchester United are facing with regards to new contracts.

They, according to The Daily Mail, feel preferential treatment is being given to the club’s English players — leaving Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a problem of dressing-room harmony in the closing weeks of the season.

Spaniards David de Gea, Ander Herrera and Juan Mata and their representatives believe they are being treated differently as the club attempt to return to the ‘home-based’ strategy that made them successful under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Luke Shaw, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Ashley Young have all signed new contracts at Old Trafford this season but there has been no similar agreement with the Spanish contingent.

Herrera, 29, is close to joining PSG having failed to reach terms with United, amid briefings the midfielder was asking for too much money. Herrera is in contention to face Everton at Goodison Park today after returning from injury.

De Gea, 28, considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world despite his blunder against Barcelona last week, will enter the final year of his United deal at the end of the season despite protracted negotiations. Mata, 30, is also due to leave and is yet to renew his stay.

In addition to the ‘three amigos’, Chile international Alexis Sanchez — a close friend of Herrera — has unsettled United staff with the odd temper tantrum during a frustrating season for the former Arsenal forward.

Though Mata and Herrera are popular members of the squad, the Spanish speakers have formed their own little clique at United.

In general, the club have failed to assimilate their Latin players over the long term, compared with Manchester City, for whom David Silva and Sergio Aguero have been instrumental over several years.

United want to promote academy and British players as part of the club’s DNA, having had their fingers burnt in the transfer market under Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho. But as they attempt to strike the right balance, there is a risk it could put off overseas targets.

The aggrieved Spaniards have left Paul Pogba in a difficult position with a foot in each camp.

The French World Cup winner grew up as a trainee in Manchester, alongside English players such as Jesse Lingard, but has also established close friendships with the foreign legion.

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Arturo Vidal makes Barcelona promise as club fight for trophies

Barcerlona midfielder Arturo Vidal has promised to give everything for the Catalan club as they fight for titles.

The Chilean midfielder started in the 2-1 win over Real Sociedad this weekend, and Ernesto Valverde will have a selection headache ahead of the Champions League semi final at the end of April.

The former Bayern Munich has normally been used as an impact substitute this season, but he is firm in his commitment to Barcelona – from the bench of from the start. His performances in recent weeks have seen him force his way into the starting line up.

“I try to leave everything out there on the field.

“I will take every chance I get before the end of the season to help the team to win trophies.

Barcelona are now six points away from defending their title, but Vidal acknowledged there is still work to be done in the upcoming games against Alaves and Levante.

“We are six points away, but it will still be difficult.

“We you are this close, things can get complicated. We just need to focus on picking up points.”

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