Goals from academy gradates Joe Willock and Bukayo Saka helped Arsenal overcome a difficult test against Eintracht Frankfurt and begin their Europa League campaign with a victory.
Willock put the Gunners in front with a deflected shot in the first half before Saka smashed in a second in the 85th minute.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang added a third two minutes later as Arsenal ended their three-game winless run.
The Gunners had created further chances but also relied on goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez to come to the aid of their fragile defence.
The Argentine produced excellent low saves to deny Filip Kostic and Andre Silva in the first half.
The second period was frantic in front of a vociferous home crowd with Arsenal’s late goals only coming after Dominik Kohr was shown a second yellow card for a cynical foul.
Youngsters star in attack
Manager Unai Emery opted for a mix of youth and experience for the game in Germany, despite it arguably being Arsenal’s toughest test in Group F, and it was their young players who stood out.
Teenager Saka, playing for the first team for the first time this season and fifth time in total, was excellent on the left flank.
He set up Willock’s goal by beating his marker with fine skill in midfield and was the main threat for the Gunners in the first half.
The only criticism was he spurned a number of chances to increase Arsenal’s lead but he silenced those doubts with an emphatic finish from the edge of the area late on.
Willock played as the Gunners most advanced central midfielder and offered a goal threat but also linked play well, notably with a fine driving run in the second half which ended with Martin Hinteregger excellently blocking an Aubameyang shot.
The scoreline flattered Arsenal in the end but the game will be most memorable for the performance of their youngsters.
Defensive issues remain
The Gunners came into the game on the back of their disappointing 2-2 draw against Watford, after which their defensive display was heavily criticised as they spurned a two-goal lead.
Although Arsenal kept a second clean sheet of the season, they still looked uncertain at the back and allowed Eintracht 24 shots on goal – seven fewer than the Hornets’ 31 on Sunday.
Arsenal’s deeper midfielders Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira failed to control proceedings with the second half end-to-end until Kohr was dismissed.
Eintracht, who reached the semi-finals of the Europa League last season before losing on penalties to Chelsea, lost strikers Sebastien Haller and Luka Jovic to West Ham and Real Madrid respectively in the summer and had either been in their line-up on Thursday, Arsenal’s slack defence may have been punished.
Kostic caused right-back Calum Chambers significant problems but was wasteful, as was AC Milan loanee Silva, who shot well wide in the second half when given another good opportunity.
That said, Martinez, brought in for first-choice goalkeeper Bernd Leno, impressed with key saves in the first half and assured handling when called upon.
More to follow.
|Specsavers County Championship Division One, Cloudfm County Ground (day two):|
|Surrey 174: Smith 34, Foakes 34; Porter 5-62, S Cook (5-53)|
|Essex 302-6: Lawrence 147, ten Doeschate 78*; Clarke 3-52|
|Essex (6 pts) lead Surrey (1 pt) by 128 with six wickets standing|
Dan Lawrence made a timely first Championship century of the season as Essex built a first-innings lead on day two against Surrey at Chelmsford.
Jamie Porter (5-62) and Sam Cook (5-53) collected Surrey’s last six wickets for 37 runs as they were all out for 174.
But title-chasing Essex ran into trouble on 53-3 before Lawrence and Ravi Bopara (34) put on 72.
Ryan ten Doeschate (78 not out) added 173 with Lawrence, who finally fell for 147 as Essex reached 302-6, 128 ahead.
With leaders Somerset bowled out for just 142 against Hampshire and therefore able to take no more than 19 points from the game should they win it, every point is crucial for Essex, who began the match against Surrey just eight behind.
Porter and Cook wasted no time in securing all three bowling points after the latter began the day by knocking out Ben Foakes’ (34) off stump.
Jordan Clark (3-52) claimed the first three wickets when Essex began their reply, including that of Alastair Cook, who was lbw for 24.
But Lawrence grew in confidence as the ball became soft and reached three figures off 182 balls by sweeping spinner Scott Borthwick for four.
Ten Doeschate was typically assertive in the supporting role, collecting nine boundaries before Lawrence was caught at slip from a delivery by Morne Morkel that appeared to bounce a little more than he expected and Jamie Porter was lbw to Rikki Clarke for a duck in the penultimate over.
Essex already had a third batting point, though, and another two are available on the third morning if they can add a further 98 to their total in 23 overs.
A Watford side brimming with attacking intent fought back from two goals down at half-time to draw at home to Arsenal in Quique Sanchez Flores’ first match since being reappointed Hornets manager.
The hosts fired in 31 shots – a club-record for a Premier League game – as Arsenal’s shaky defence finally cracked after the break.
Watford levelled the scores when Roberto Pereyra rolled in a late penalty to secure only their second point of the season.
Tom Cleverley had earlier reduced the deficit when Gunners defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos gave away possession inside his own area.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put the visitors in front when he collected Sead Kolasinac’s pass on the turn before firing past Ben Foster.
Arsenal doubled their lead as Aubemeyang finished a sweeping team move but the hosts improved after the break as the Gunners unravelled in front of the vociferous home support.
The Hornets had their chances to complete a stunning comeback with a decisive third, but the otherwise impressive Gerard Deulofeu dragged his effort narrowly wide.
The result sees Arsenal move into seventh, while the Hornets remain rooted to the bottom.
Aubameyang papers over defensive frailties
The Arsenal striker is one of the most clinical forwards in the English top flight, having scored with seven of his last nine shots on target, and the Gunners are quite capable of blowing teams away going forward thanks to the potency of Aubameyang and the technical ability of Mesut Ozil and Dani Ceballos.
They demonstrated their attacking flair as they went through 20 passes for their second goal – but glaring issues remain at the back.
This was evident as early as the 10th minute as the red and white shirts backed off and space opened up for Cleverley, whose fierce effort was well saved by Bernd Leno.
Five minutes later, and Etienne Capoue was given the same time and space but could only shoot over the bar.
The Gunners want to play out from the back, and even though Matteo Guendouzi lost possession deep inside his own half on two occasions they persisted with their approach.
It was Sokratis who eventually made the mistake that always looked likely to happen, before Deulofeu diverted the ball into Cleverley’s path for Watford’s first goal.
David Luiz was brought in from London rivals Chelsea to shore up the defence over the summer, but the Brazilian has endured a difficult few weeks at the start of his Arsenal career, and has now conceded two penalties in three matches.
Luiz brought down Pereyra with a lunge in the final 10 minutes and the substitute stepped up himself to take the penalty and salvage a point for the hosts.
Cause for optimism for bottom club
Watford welcomed Sanchez Flores for his second spell in charge at Vicarage Road with a bright start as they looked to impose themselves on the visitors.
They were in the ascendancy before going behind against the run of play as Will Hughes was dispossessed inside the Arsenal half. Kolasinac burst down the other end and fed Aubemeyang to rifle home.
Even after Aubemeyang doubled Arsenal’s lead Watford still sensed the visitors’ weakness was in playing out from the back and they crowded around Leno and his defenders, with the high press eventually leading to Sokratis’ mistake.
The record 31 shots Watford produced was also a record for Arsenal, who have never faced more shots since Opta began collecting records.
The problem for Watford is that only 10 of their shots were on target and the return of injured talisman Troy Deeney cannot come soon enough they look to climb away from the bottom of the table.
Man of the match – Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang (Arsenal)
‘They were stronger than us’ – what they said
Arsenal boss Unai Emery: “Physically they are stronger than us so we want to break the lines from the goal-kick and connect to Mesut Ozil, like we did with the first goal.
“We have young players, we are working to improve and they will gain experience from matches like today. We can grow up and learn with these mistakes.
“We knew that 2-0 was not enough at half-time. “
Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores to BBC MOTD: “Have I missed the Premier League? Yeah. I miss all these kind of emotions – I love it.
“I was really happy with the performance of the players. We have one point against a very tough team. It’s good for our confidence. We are positive.”
Error prone Arsenal – the stats
- This was the first time in 22 meetings across all competitions that Watford and Arsenal have drawn against each other, having last done so in December 1984 (1-1).
- New Watford manager Sanchez Flores has only lost one of his eight managerial meetings with Arsenal’s Unai Emery in all competitions (W3 D4 L1).
- This was the first time that Arsenal failed to win a Premier League match in which they were at least two goals ahead since April 2016 when they drew 3-3 with West Ham, and the first time Watford avoided defeat in the league after being at least two goals behind since January 2018 v Southampton (2-2).
- Since his Premier League debut in February 2018, Arsenal forward Aubameyang has been directly involved in 46 goals in the competition (37 goals, 9 assists); only Mo Salah (53) has had a hand in more in this time.
- Aubameyang has been directly involved in five goals in his four Premier League appearances against Watford, scoring four times and assisting once.
- Cleverley scored his first home league goal for Watford since October 2017, which also came against Arsenal, 701 days ago.
- Since the start of last season, Arsenal’s players have made a combined 14 errors leading to opposition goals in the Premier League, at least two more than any other club in this time.
- Since the start of last season, no side has conceded more goals via penalties in the Premier League than Arsenal (10 – level with Brighton), with the Gunners already having already conceded three this season alone.
Watford travel to Manchester City on Saturday, 21 September (15:00 BST), while Arsenal face Eintracht Frankfurt away in the Europa League on Thursday night before hosting Aston Villa on Sunday, 22 September (16:30).
A third person has been charged over the death of an 18-year-old who was found stabbed in a block of flats in Hampshire.
Taylor Williams, 18, from Bromley, London, died in hospital after being found injured in Basingstoke on 31 August.
Terrance Maccabee, 18, from Peckham, London, has been charged with murder and robbery.
He is due to appear before Southampton magistrates on Saturday.
He is also charged with conspiracy to rob and possessing a knife in a public place.
Olamide Soyege, 28, from Dagenham, London, was also charged with murdering the teenager, as well as robbery, conspiracy to rob and possession of a bladed article.
Paige Taylor, 23, of Basingstoke, was charged with robbery and conspiracy to rob.
Both have been remanded in custody and are due to appear at Winchester Crown Court on 7 October.
Mr Williams, of Winlaton Road, was found after officers responded at 22:44 BST to a disturbance at a second-floor flat in Kingfisher House, Shooters Way.
Police are also investigating a second stabbing in nearby Normanton Road on Saturday, which left a man seriously ill in hospital.
Mr Williams was described as “charming, lovely and funny” in a family statement.
|Specsavers County Championship Division Two, Lord’s (day two):|
|Durham 147 & 191: Robson 64; Harris 3-43 Finn 3-49|
|Middlesex 143 & 21-0: Robson 9*|
|Durham (3 pts) lead Middlesex (3 pts) by 175 runs|
Middlesex require another 175 runs to beat Durham in Division Two as wickets tumbled on day two at Lord’s.
Middlesex had started the day on 87-7 in their first innings, and managed to add another 54 as they were all out for 143, Ben Raine finishing with 5-26.
The visitors then posted 191 with the bat to lead by 195 runs, as Angus Robson top scored with 64.
Middlesex had to bat the last five overs of the day but held out on 21-0 as play was suspended for bad light.
Seventh-placed Middlesex started the game 18 points behind Northamptonshire in third, with Durham, in fifth, 10 points better off.
Middlesex kept their target under 200 thanks in part to bowlers James Harris (3-43) and Steven Finn (3-49)
Openers Nick Gubbins (8 not out) and Sam Robson (9 not out) will resume for the hosts on day three.
RugbyX will see the introduction of rugby’s version of the ‘Super Over’, with drawn matches decided by a revolutionary one-on-one contest.
In the event of a draw, a single attacker from one team will try and score past a single defender from the other.
The ‘one-on-one’ has been included as part of the full laws of RugbyX, which have now been confirmed by World Rugby.
Rugby’s newest version launches at the 02 Arena on 29 October.
England, Ireland and the Barbarians are among the teams involved at the debut tournament, which involves both men and women’s teams.
Dubbed ‘Rugby’s Twenty20’, RugbyX is a five-a-side version of the game, is full contact and played on a half-sized pitch.
Halves will be 10 minutes each, with no break in between.
Kicking is allowed, but kicks must not exceed 10 metres in height, with the distance monitored by ball tracking technology.
Among the other confirmed laws:
- Seven rolling substitutes
- Quick throws replace line outs
- No touch kicking – tap penalties / free kick
- Kick-offs replaced by tap restarts on 5m line
- Three-person scrums, with hooking but no pushing
“The RugbyX laws have been developed with the objective of encouraging simple, fast and skilful gameplay with minimal stoppages, whilst retaining the core fundamentals of the game we love,” said RugbyX Technical Director Ben Ryan.
Former England winger Ugo Monye, co-host of the Rugby Union Weekly podcast, believes the ‘one on one’ is a dramatic and revolutionary way of deciding a game.
The attacker will start with the ball 30 metres from the line, while the defender will begin 5 metres out, with a 10 second time limit.
“As a defender it’s a nightmare, but as an attacker the pressure is on you to score,” he said. “I would love to see someone like [Springbok wing] Cheslin Kolbe doing it.
“For me, RugbyX is a simplified and condensed version which cherry-picks the best bits of what rugby is.”
Swindon moved up to fourth in League Two following a well-deserved victory over Leyton Orient at Brisbane Road.
Keshi Anderson put the visitors ahead in the 23rd minute. The 24-year-old was fouled and sent his free-kick into the wall but reacted quickest to pounce on the loose ball and curl into the far corner past Dean Brill.
Richie Wellens’ men continued to maraud forward and their attacking intent paid dividends again two minutes before the break, with Rob Hunt’s audacious side-foot from the corner of the box taking a telling deflection off Orient left-back Joe Widdowson and flying past a surprised Brill.
The game was then over in first-half stoppage time when Lloyd Isgrove provided his sixth assist of the league season.
The former Southampton winger darted through the centre of the pitch before laying off to Jerry Yates, who cut onto his right foot before finishing with aplomb.
Jordan Maguire-Drew curled home brilliantly from 20 yards to give Orient hope with 16 minutes of normal time left but Swindon held on to send their fans home happy.
Report supplied by PA Media
Jo Johnson, the younger brother of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is resigning as an MP and minister, saying he is “torn between family loyalty and the national interest”.
The business minister and Tory MP for Orpington, south-east London, cited an “unresolvable tension” in his role.
Mr Johnson voted Remain in the 2016 EU membership referendum, while his brother co-led the Leave campaign.
BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said it was “unbelievable timing”.
Mr Johnson’s resignation follows the removal of the Tory whip from 21 MPs this week for supporting moves to prevent a no-deal Brexit.
Our political editor tweeted that Mr Johnson was “understood to be upset about the purge of colleagues” and that the brothers were “in very different places” on Brexit.
Speaking at an event in West Yorkshire, Boris Johnson called his brother a “fantastic guy” and a “brilliant minister”.
But he added that he had a “different approach to me about the European Union”.
Jo Johnson resigned as a minister last year in protest at Theresa May’s Brexit deal with the EU. But he re-entered government during the summer, after Conservative Party members elected his brother as leader.
Jo Johnson’s resignation also comes as the government announced it would give MPs another chance to vote for an early election on Monday.
The fresh vote on an early election is scheduled just before Parliament is due to be prorogued – or suspended – from next week until 14 October.
A Downing Street spokesman said: “The PM, as both a politician and brother, understands this will not have been an easy matter for Jo. The constituents of Orpington could not have asked for a better representative.”
Former cabinet minister David Gauke, one of the MPs who lost the Conservative whip, tweeted: “Lots of MPs have had to wrestle with conflicting loyalties in recent weeks. None more so than Jo. This is a big loss to Parliament, the government and the Conservative Party.”
Labour’s shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said: “Boris Johnson poses such a threat that even his own brother doesn’t trust him.”
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage said the resignation showed the “centre of gravity in the Conservative party is shifting rapidly”.
But, in a tweet, Rachel Johnson, the Remain-supporting sister of Boris and Jo Johnson, said “the family avoids the topic of Brexit, especially at meals, as we don’t want to gang up on the PM”.
Jo Johnson appeared at several of his brother’s campaign events during the Conservative Party leadership contest.
In 2013, Boris Johnson predicted Jo Johnson was himself “very likely” to become prime minister, telling The Australian newspaper: “He’d be brilliant.”
At the last general election, Jo Johnson held the Orpington seat by a 19,461 majority.
He is expected to stand down at the next general election, rather than leaving Parliament immediately and prompting a by-election.
Northern Ireland Minister Nick Hurd also announced that he would not stand as an MP in the next election.
He said politics had become “dominated by the ongoing division over Brexit”. He also his life had been “changed profoundly by the birth of my two youngest children”.
Hammersmith Bridge could cost £120m to repair, engineers have estimated as the first stage of work begins.
The 132-year-old bridge was closed indefinitely to motorists in April after “critical faults” in the cast iron casing were found.
Transport for London (TfL) has financed the first £25m of the project but the main funding source has yet to be decided.
The work is expected to take three years to complete.
Hammersmith & Fulham Council is working with TfL to secure funding for the next phase of repairs in spring 2020.
The £120m estimate could change due to the “unknowns, complexities and challenges” of the bridge, the authority said.
Council leader Stephen Cowan said there had been “significant failings” in the bridge structure which has seen cracks appear in some of the pedestals.
“We’re focused on getting the bridge reopened to cars and buses as quickly as possible”, he added.
|Betfred Super League|
|London Broncos (0) 10|
|Tries: Dixon, Morgan Goals: Dixon|
|Leeds Rhinos (18) 36|
|Tries: Briscoe, Seumanufagai, Walker 2, Handley, Dwyer Goals: Martin 6|
Super League’s bottom side London Broncos slipped closer to an immediate return to the Championship as Leeds Rhinos all but secured their own safety with a convincing win in the capital.
Luke Briscoe, Ava Seumanufagai and Jack Walker all crossed to give dominant Leeds an 18-0 half-time lead.
The hosts battled back through Kieran Dixon and Ryan Morgan’s scores, but Rhinos added further late tries.
Ash Handley, Brad Dwyer and Walker’s second completed the visitors’ victory.
Leeds move four points above the Broncos with two matches remaining – and the Yorkshire club have a far superior points difference.
Broncos remain two points adrift of 11th-placed Hull Kingston Rovers, who they face on Sunday, 8 September.
The Londoners must avoid defeat in that match to keep any realistic hopes of their survival alive.
Danny Ward’s side – who won at Catalans last time out to boost their hopes of avoiding the drop – are also just two points behind 10th-placed Huddersfield Giants and ninth-placed Wakefield Trinity, who they travel to on the final day of the regular season.
But Giants and Trinity both have points differences that are more than 100 points greater than Broncos’.
They briefly gave themselves hope of pulling off a stirring comeback when Dixon’s interception try and Morgan’s run and score in the corner brought the hosts back to only 18-10 down, early in the second half.
But Super League top scorer Handley’s 22nd try of this campaign stretched Leeds’ advantage again, before Liam Sutcliffe’s break helped Walker cross. Dwyer then sealed it as Martin once again proved flawless with his boot.
London Broncos: A Walker, Williams, Kear, Dixon, Abdull, Cunningham, Battye, Lovell, Pitts, Morgan, Yates, Krasniqi, Lamb.
Interchanges: Fozard, Gee, Mason, Butler.
Leeds Rhinos: J Walker, Hurrell, Handley, Myler, Merrin, Dwyer, Ferres, Oledzki, Briscoe, Newman, Seumanufagai, Lui, Martin.
Interchanges: Cuthbertson, Sutcliffe, Smith, Donaldson.
Fri 6 Sept: Leeds v Salford, St Helens v Huddersfield, Warrington v Wakefield, Wigan v Catalans
Sun 8 Sept: Hull KR v London Broncos, Castleford v Hull
Fri 13 Sept: Huddersfield v Catalans, Leeds v Warrington, Hull v St Helens, Wigan v Castleford
Sun 15 Sept: Wakefield v London Broncos, Salford v Hull KR