UEL Quarters: Arsenal to face Napoli as Chelsea tie against Slavia Prague

Chelsea and Arsenal have both avoided each other in the Europa League quarter-final draw with the Gunners being handed a tough last eight clash with Napoli.

Maurizio Sarri’s side, who are still unbeaten in this season’s competition, were awarded a favourable tie against Slavia Prague at the ceremony in Nyon.

There will be an all Spanish quarter-final draw against Villarreal and Valencia while Benfica and Frankfurt will go head to head for a place in the semi-finals of the competition.

Arsenal will face Napoli in the Europa League quarter-finals while Chelsea play Slavia Prague

The first legs will be played on April 11, with the second legs on April 18.

Chelsea will play the first leg at home first because both they and Arsenal cannot play in London on the same evening.

Should Unai Emery’s men make it through to the semi-finals of the competition, they will come up against the winner of Valencia and Villarreal while also being afforded a home game in the first leg of the last-four encounter.

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The winner of Chelsea and Slavia Prague’s match will face either Frankfurt or Benfica over two legs for a place in the final.

Arsenal have won their only previous home game against Napoli in European competition, where they beat the Serie A side 2-0 in the 2013-14 Champions League campaign, with Mesut Ozil directly involved in both goals.

The German playmaker scored one and assisted the other in that match at the Emirates.

Meanwhile, the Blues, who haven’t lost in this season’s Europa League campaign, are unbeaten in their previous six games against Czech opponents in European competition, having won three and drawn three, while also managing to keep a clean sheet in four of the last five.

EUROPA LEAGUE DRAW

QUARTER-FINAL DRAW

Napoli vs Arsenal

Villarreal vs Valencia

Benfica vs Frankfurt

Slavia Prague vs Chelsea

The first legs will be played on April 11 with the second legs being played on April 18.

SEMI-FINAL DRAW

Napoli/Arsenal vs Villarreal/Valencia

Benfica/Frankfurt vs Slavia Prague/Chelsea

-Dailymail

I have a girlfriend not a wife! Eric Omondi says after losing Man United bet

Eric Omondi cockily dared Joe Muchiri and Sauti Sol with wagers that rested on the result of the Arsenal and Man United match that took place yesterday.

Joe Muchiri
Joe Muchiri

‘While my brother was suffering in the streets people used to hurl insults at me,’ – Eric Omondi

His bet with prominent blogger Joe Muchiri is now getting the most heat.

On his Instagram page, the comedian promised Joe that he would give him his wife and also shave his head bald if Arsenal won.

Eric, you see is a proud Man United fan, while Joe and Sauti Sol are loyal Arsenal supporters.

As most people know now, Arsenal soundly beat Man United and many are now asking for Eric to honour his bet, especially the part concerning him giving out his wife.

Comedian Eric Omondi raised me confesses younger sibling Fred in touching message

Eric Omondi
The comedian with Chantal, his fiancee

Did anyone really think that he would keep this part of the promise?

Eric divulged in a follow-up video that technically he didn’t have a wife but a girlfriend in Chantal.

He hilariously explained:

Majameni ningependa niseme hivi. Tuwache porojo bana. Nilisema jana yakwamba nitapeana bibi lakini kila mtu anajua ya kwamba mimi niko na girlfriend. Sina bibi majameni. Sasa tuwache porojo, tuwache uwongo kusema ya kwamba Eric Omondi apeane bibi. Bibi mimi sina. Niko na fiancee, niko na girlfriend and it is public knowledge.

Eric Omondi apologises After A Video Of Him Swimming At River Turkwel Irks Kenyans

Eric with Chantal
Eric with Chantal

He then went on to address Joe Muchiri telling him to wait until Eric was married.

That is when he could come and speak about people’s wives.

Check out his video response below:

Some of his followers responded saying:

viq_adley: Yani sai Joe Muchiri amekua ule jamaa 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

pavibenard: Weeee nyoa baaana kelele miingi achia watu wa arsenal

immacculate254: Haha,Eric, then we need your hair shaved.

dennisdean554: Ulisema uta shave your head.

Eric then posted an image of himself with a shaved dome but to the discerning eye, it looks like the work of photoshop.

Eric Omondi bald
Eric Omondi bald

So will he be a man of his word and not only shave his hair but also wash Sauti Sol’s car?

We will find out soon.

Rampant Arsenal end Solskjaer’s unbeaten domestic run at the Emirates

Manchester United’s unbeaten run in the English Premier League under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came to an end yesterday as they lost two nil to Arsenal at the Emirates.

Granit Xhaka beat David de Gea with a swerving shot from outside the penalty area, which the United keeper was expected to stop. United improved towards the last minutes of the first half but Arsenal held on and after the break, it was Arsenal who added the second goal through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who scored from the spot after Alexander Lacazette was fouled by Fred.

The Gunners have won seven out of 10 top-flight games in 2019 and are one point behind north London rivals Tottenham, who sit third in the table.

For a manager in his first Premier League season, undertaking a considerable rebuilding exercise on limited resources, Unai Emery is doing a very good job. It was a strange kind of victory — the first goal an unfamiliar sight, the second all too common.

Nobody expects a howler from David de Gea these days, a contentious penalty decision, sadly, seems to happen every game. Arsenal benefitted from both.

That is not to say the win was without merit. Sead Kolasinac was the man of the match, a constant threat from left wing-back, closely followed by goalkeeper Bernd Leno, who was both quick-witted and brave in repelling United’s forwards.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is a prospect, while Granit Xhaka is at last looking a central midfielder capable of holding the fort as well as blasting his way out of it.

Paul Pogba has been running games of late but not this one. It wasn’t that he didn’t play well, more that Arsenal kept him in check. There remains the potential for upset, as happened in Rennes last Thursday, but gradually Emery is getting his team where he wants it.

Europa League: 10-man Arsenal thrashed by Rennes in their last 16 tie

Arsenal yesterday suffered a 3-1 defeat in the hands of French side Rennes in the first leg of Europa League round of sixteen played in France.

Alex Iwobi gave the visitors a perfect start before the host drew level through Benjamin Bourigeaud strike and things went from bad to worse for the Gunners as defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Rennes added two more goals after the break to remain in control of the fixture heading to return leg at the Emirates. Elsewhere Chelsea beat Dynamo Kiev three nil.

Arsenal’s Torreira to serve three-game ban after appeal against red card is rejected

Arsenal's players look dejected after falling behind during Thursday's disappointing Europa League defeat by Rennes

Arsenal are in big trouble and only a remarkable salvage operation at the Emirates next week can keep their Europa League hopes alive.

The problem for manager Unai Emery is that Rennes are a team brimming with swagger and ability – and they look more than capable of finishing the job in the second leg.

Emery will back his team to reach the quarter-finals but on this evidence – despite playing with 10 men following Sokratis’ sending off just before half-time – overturning the deficit could well be beyond Arsenal.

Emery said: ‘We know it’s a bad result and it’s going to be tough. It’s not a good experience because we couldn’t do our work in difficult minutes with one less player.’

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Cech can only watch as Nacho Monreal's (right) deflection makes its way into the net midway through the second half

In France for the first time since leaving Paris Saint-Germain, Emery fielded a strong team that included Mesut Ozil, whose reintegration under the Spaniard appeared to be gathering pace until this showing.

Ozil reverted to type – crumbling at the first sight of difficulty. Emery feels he cannot trust Ozil on tough away days and it is easy to see why.

Rennes have their own maverick, of course. Hatem Ben Arfa, who fell out with Emery in the pair’s time together at PSG, started for the French side.

He said: ‘I saw the same Emery, as agitated as ever. I looked over at him a few times and that made me laugh. He hasn’t changed.’

But it was Ben Arfa’s team-mate, Benjamin Bourigeaud, who stole the show. He was untouchable at times and starred in the game that was billed as the biggest occasion in the French club’s 118-year history.

-Dailymail

 

Two horse race! City and Liverpool win as Chelsea condemn Spurs to another loss

Liverpool yesterday thrashed Watford five nil to remain on top of the league table and a point ahead of rivals of Manchester City.

Two first half goals from Sadio Mane put the Reds on the driving seat with Divock Origi and Virgil van Dijk added three more goals after the break.

Meanwhile, Sergio Aguero’s penalty was enough to give City a one nil win over West Ham. Manchester United bounced back to winning ways with a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace with Romelu Lukaku getting a brace.

Arsenal were in sensational form as they thrashed Bournemouth 5-1 courtesy of goals from Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang, Laurent Koscielny and Alex Lacazette.

Across London, Chelsea put behind their Carabao Cup final woes as they dimmed Tottenham’s title hopes with a two nil win at the Stamford Bridge.

The defeat to Spurs now means that the title race is now between two horses; Liverpool and Manchester City.

It has taken until the end of February and a week before Shrove Tuesday, but finally the race for the 2018-19 Premier League title is a two-horse affair.

After 180 goalless minutes against Bayern Munich and Manchester United, Liverpool surged back to their attacking best with five goals against Watford.

Battered and bruised from 120 gruelling minutes in the Carabao Cup final, Manchester City escaped from the visit of West Ham with three points thanks to a Sergio Aguero penalty.

-Dailymail

 

‘Today he showed what he wants’: Emery praises Ozil following Arsenal’s comeback

Mesut Ozil returned to the Arsenal side as they secured safe passage into the last 16 of the Europa League – but head coach Unai Emery insists he is not certain of a regular place in his team.

The Gunners went into the second leg against BATE Borisov needing to complete a comeback following a surprise 1-0 defeat in Belarus last week.

They responded well and won 3-0 courtesy of a Zakhar Volkov own goal and headers from defensive duo Shkodran Mustafi and Sokratis Papastathopoulos.

Arsenal to honor Carilton Maina who was shot in Kibera during Cardiff match

Mesut Ozil made just his second start for Arsenal since Boxing Day in the win over Malmo 

Emery opted to recall Ozil having left him at home for the first leg – with the highest-paid player in the club’s history relegated to a peripheral role in recent weeks and making just his second start since Boxing Day.

Lucas gets Uruguay shirt cake as Arsenal midfielder celebrates his birthday

Despite a run of indifferent form, Emery has told Ozil he needs to shake off his minor injuries and illness to be more consistent.

The former Germany international put in a good showing against BATE and played the whole 90 minutes, although Emery said after the game that he cannot guarantee Ozil he will stay in the team long-term.

‘Today he showed what he wants,’ he said.

‘If he is available, like the last two weeks, we are going to play a lot of matches and maybe sometimes we need him in the starting XI and sometimes on the bench because we have a lot of players to also help us.

‘His spirit like today is good and his quality and capacity and combination with some players is good, I think we need every player and today playing Mesut was important and positive.’

Alex Iwobi hailed Ozil as ‘world-class’ and admits he is keen to keep playing alongside the 30-year-old.

‘We know what Mesut’s like because we see him in training every day,’ he told BT Sport.

‘He’s world-class. We scored three goals as a result of him playing. I know if I make a run he has the vision to find me. Hopefully he can keep on playing.

‘We showed that we are able to make a fighting comeback as a team. We have had good and bad moments this season but the aim is to keep improving and I’m really happy we got through.’

In other results, Chesea also progressed into the last 16 following a 3-0 win over Malmo.

-Dailymail

Ramsey agrees five-year deal to join Juventus at end of the season worth Sh18million a week

Aaron Ramsey has agreed a five-year deal with Juventus and will leave Arsenal at the end of the season.

Ramsey has been in talks with the Italian champions since last year and is now expected to end his 10-year stay at Arsenal.

According to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, an agreement had been reached for Ramsey to move to Turin in the summer. The deal is said to be worth £36million, with the Wales international set to earn £140,000-a-week.

‘Aaron Ramsey to on next June, done deal,’ Romano tweeted. ‘His agent will be in Italy soon to meet Juventus director Paratici and sign the contract for next season. Here we go!’

The 28-year-old was told by Arsenal at the back end of last year that he was free to leave the club.

It was a decision reached by the club’s senior executives, who believed it was the right move in the long-term interest of Arsenal.

Juventus chief Fabio Paratici said earlier this year in an interview with Sky Sports Italy that Ramsey is an ‘excellent player.’

‘He’s an excellent player. For years he’s been performing at a top level,’ said Paratici. ‘His contract is expiring and we are always attentive to the potential developments. So he falls in that category.

‘Will he join us in the summer? That remains to be seen.

‘At the moment he’s an Arsenal player, certainly we aren’t the only ones following him.’

-Dailymail

FA Cup: Liverpool dumped by Wolves As Arsenal set to host Man United in fourth round

Liverpool have been knocked out of the FA cup after losing 2-1 to Wolves in the third round.

Raul Jimenez opened the scoring for the Wolves in 38th minute before Divock Origi restored parity, six minutes after the break. However, Wolves had the final say thanks to Reuben Neves strike in 55th minute.

Meanwhile, Manchester United’s caretaker manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s will face Arsenal away in the FA Cup fourth round, with the boss aiming to win the competition for a third time.

Solskjaer was in the starting line-up for United’s semi-final victories over the Gunners in 1999 and 2004.

He went on to lift the trophy with the Old Trafford club on both occasions.

Monday night’s draw confirmed Arsenal as the home team.

It again recreates the classic match-up in the final 40 years ago which Arsenal won 3-2 thanks to Alan Sunderland’s late goal.

fa cup draw

Other notable ties include two all-Premier League clashes — Crystal Palace against Tottenham and Manchester City versus Burnley.

Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea, who won the FA Cup under Antonio Conte last season, host either Championship Sheffield Wednesday or League One Luton Town.

Non-League Barnet, the lowest- ranked club left in the competition, were handed a home tie with Brentford.

Manuel Pellegrini’s West Ham will face AFC Wimbledon, the League One side they beat 3-1 in the Carabao Cup third round in August.

That saw Pellegrini secure his first win as Hammers boss.

The winner of the replay between Newcastle and Blackburn takes on Watford at home.

Everton face a trip to London to play Millwall.

-Dailymail

CARABAO CUP: Spurs gain revenge over Arsenal to set up Semis clash with Chelsea

Arsenal have been bundled out of the Carabao cup after losing two nil to bitter rivals Tottenham at the Emirates.

The Gunners defensive crisis saw Granit Xhaka start as a centre back once again. Spurs took a first half lead through Son Heung Min and doubled the lead after the break through Dele Ali.

Heung-min Son gave Pochettino’s team the lead midway through the first half and Dele Alli put them two up with a delectable finish after the interval.

Both goals targeted Arsenal’s greatest area of vulnerability, long balls arrowed into the heart of a makeshift defence.

It proved their undoing at Southampton on Sunday and it returned to haunted them and Unai Emery’s creative forces were not able to compensate as his side crashed to a second defeat in four days.

Paulo Gazzaniga impressed in goal for Tottenham, with one superb save to turn a volley from Aaron Ramsey against a post, and Ben Davies continued to excel at centre-half to repel Arsenal’s attempt to summon a fight back.

Alex Lacazette stabbed a low effort against the woodwork and a miscued cross from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang bounced onto the bar.

Spurs, however, held firm with little fuss to extend the theme of this campaign as one of success in the face of adversity.

To a list of potential excuses which includes an unfinished stadium, no new signings and World Cup fatigue, add United’s covetous pursuit of their manager.

So far, the focus has been strong. No-one has blinked despite the distractions.

Not even Alli, to his credit, when a bottle thrown from the Arsenal fans hit him on the back of his head.

Alli reminded them of the score. It was 2-0 and it ended that way.

The win saw Spurs book a two legged semi final date with London rivals Chelsea who beat Bournemouth one nil thanks to Eden Hazard Goal. Manchester City will play Burton in the other semi final.

 -Dailymail

Europa League: Arsenal extend unbeaten run to 22, Chelsea struggle against Vidi

Twenty-two games and counting for Arsenal. Unai Emery’s men weren’t overly convincing against Qarabag – they didn’t need to be.

Alexandre Lacazette’s first half strike was enough to secure victory for Arsenal in their final Europa League group game.

The win over the Azerbaijanis matched Arsenal’s 22-game unbeaten run at the start of the 1986/87 campaign – George Graham’s first in charge of the club.

If Emery can replicate Graham’s success at Arsenal, then he’ll be a happy man.

They’re still quite a way off the club’s all-time record of 28 games unbeaten – but the way Arsenal are motoring along you wouldn’t bet against them.

In front of a half-empty Emirates Stadium, Emery played it relatively safe with his starting XI – fielding a largely understrength team.

There were starts, however, for Laurent Koscielny – making his first senior appearance since May after recovering from a ruptured achilles tendon and Mesut Ozil, who returned after two weeks out with a back injury.

On his return to action after seven months out, club captain Koscielny said: ‘It was very important for me, now I start a new chapter in my career and I think I’m better in my head and physically.

‘You have some difficult moments, this was my first big injury but you learn a lot about yourself and people around you.

‘With a smile can I restart the story now.’

Arsenal’s vital breakthrough arrived in the 16th minute; Ozil was the orchestrator, though Simeon Slavchev’s slip left Qarabag horribly exposed.

The finish when it arrived was unerring, Lacazette slipping past Rashad Sadygov and Badavi Huseynov to fire fiercely past Vagner.

In the other match played yesterday, Chelsea settled for a two all draw with Mol Vidi.

-Dailymail