Gunners work hard for point

Arsenal were forced to dig deep to earn a slightly fortuitous 1-1 draw with Wolves at the Emirates Stadium.

A mistake from Granit Xhaka early in the game helped Wolves grab the lead, Ivan Cavaleiro and Raul Jimenez combining before the former scored from close range.

Arsenal, unbeaten in ten league games going into this clash, enjoyed large swathes of possession thereafter but rarely threatened to get themselves on terms.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck a post from close range midway through the second half as the Gunners appeared destined to suffer a frustrating day.

With four minutes left, Henrikh Mkhitaryan's attempted cross beat everyone and crept into the net beyond Rui Patricio.

Arsenal have now failed to establish a half-time lead in any of their 12 league games under boss Unai Emery – a feat only Cardiff City have also failed to achieve so far this season.

Sub Adama Traore came within inches of scoring for Wolves on the breakaway in stoppage time at the end when his shot beat Bernd Leno but cannoned down off the crossbar to safety.

The Arsenal goalkeeper admitted it had been a 'difficult' day at the office.

"It was a hard game for us, in the first half we didn't play our best and in the second half we had many chances and Wolverhampton had some chances as well," he said.

"They were very deep and had fast players for the counter attack so it was very difficult for us.

"It was a difficult start because we conceded so it was easier for Wolverhampton to defend and they played on the counter so it was more difficult."

Arsenal are 10/11 to win their next league match away at Bournemouth on 25th November. The Cherries are 13/5 while the draw is 14/5.

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Jota back to boost Wolves

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo is relieved that Diogo Jota has recovered from injury and is available to feature in Sunday's match at Arsenal.

The 21-year-old Portuguese playmaker has made 10 appearances for Wolves this term but missed last weekend's 3-2 defeat to Tottenham at Molineux.

Wolves are 17/4 to end their three-match losing run by beating the Gunners on Sunday and 16/1 to win 1-0.

Nuno said of Jota: "He's better. On Friday he started training with the team. He's totally 100 per cent in the squad so he's an option."

Meanwhile, Wolves are reportedly interested in signing Bordeaux striker Francois Kamano.

The Premier League side watched the forward play for the French club in Thursday's Europa League draw with Zenit St Petersburg.

Kamano scored a penalty for Bordeaux in the first half only for Anton Zabolotnyi to make the final scoreline 1-1 with his second-half strike for the Russian visitors.

Guinea international Kamano, who has scored 10 goals for Bordeaux this season, including seven in Ligue 1, is also interesting Atletico Madrid and Newcastle United.

Wolves started the Premier League season brightly before their recent losing run but have only managed to score 11 goals in their first 11 top-flight matches of the campaign. They can be backed at 8/15 to finish in the top half of the table this term.

Welbeck injury overshadows Arsenal qualification

Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck is set for a long spell on the sidelines after suffering a serious ankle injury in Thursday's Europa League clash with Sporting Lisbon.

The Gunners booked their place in the last-32 of the competition courtesy of a 0-0 draw with the Portuguese outfit at the Emirates Stadium.

The home side had enough chances to win it, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hitting the post in the second half, while Sporting ended the game with 10 men after Jeremy Mathieu was sent off late on.

The point for Arsenal, coupled with Qarabag's win over Vorskla Poltava in the other Group E matches, means they have qualified for the knockout rounds with two games to spare and are now 8/1 to win the Europa League.

However, all thoughts after the game were focused on the well-being of Welbeck after he was taken off on a stretcher 25 minutes into the clash.

The 27-year-old, who was named in Gareth Southgate's England squad on Thursday, is now facing another long road back to action having previously suffered two serious knee injuries.

"He is at the hospital. The news is that we are going to wait, but we think it's a serious injury," said Arsenal boss Unai Emery.

"Every injury is different. This could be a break of something in the ankle.

"It's clear that we're with him in these minutes. He's a very good person and his commitment with us is very big.

"It's a very big injury for him, for us, for all people who like and love him as a person."

The Gunners will hope they don't miss Welbeck too badly as they gear up for Sunday's Premier League clash with Wolves.

Emery's side are 8/13 for the win, while Wolves are 19/4 to end Arsenal's 15-match unbeaten run. The draw is 10/3.

Koscielny close to a return

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has indicated that Laurent Koscielny could return to action later this month.

The French defender has not played yet this season after suffering a serious leg injury during the Europa League semi-final against Atletico Madrid six months ago.

However, Koscielny has been able to return to training and could be ready to push for a first-team place after the next international break.

Emery said: "The most important thing is his feeling every day and that he can feel better at each training session.

"He is close to being with us and also (playing) in the competition games but, at the moment, we are happy with him, he is feeling well.

"He is getting better every day and we are going to think after the internationals. I hope we can continue working and start to think about him playing games."

The Gunners are scheduled to play Bournemouth on 25th November  before a Europa League game against Vorskla Poltava four days later.

Arsenal, who came from behind to draw 1-1 with Liverpool on Saturday, entertain Sporting Lisbon in a Europa League clash on Thursday.

Arsenal are 3/10 to win the match while a victory for the Portuguese outfit is available at 10/1. Emery's team are 7/1 to win the Europa League this season while Chelsea can be backed at 5/1.

Xhaka targets top-four spot

Switzerland international Granit Xhaka is convinced Arsenal are good enough to clinch a top-four finish in the Premier League this season.

The Gunners are unbeaten in 14 matches in all competitions after coming from behind to draw 1-1 with Liverpool on Saturday.

Arsenal have finished fifth and sixth in the last two campaigns and are 6/5 to secure a top-four spot this term under Unai Emery's guidance.

Xhaka said: "Each game we know what we do.

"We know the opposition well, where they are good and where they are not. He (Emery) is important. He helps us, not only me but all the players, with the small things. The tactical things. You can see that on the pitch.

"A lot of small things have changed. We have great character. If you are 1-0 down for example against Liverpool, we come back and it's not the first time.

"We knew we would not lose this game because we were so good and showed that character again. If you see this game, you can see we are ready for the top four."

Arsenal are involved in the Europa League this term and are 7/1 to win the competition outright, while they can be backed at 1/3 to beat Sporting Lisbon in their next group game on Thursday.

Emery welcomes Gunners’ character

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery was pleased with the spirt shown by his players as they fought back to secure a 1-1 draw at home to Liverpool.

An Alexandre Lacazette strike eight minutes from time at the Emirates Stadium ensured that the Gunners extended their unbeaten run to 14 games in all competitions, with Emery content with what he saw,

The Spaniard told reporters: "I am happy with the performance. I think on the balance of 90 minutes there were more and more positives in the control against them, but it's very difficult not to let them have chances also.

"You need a little luck in some moments in the matches. The result in the end is a good result for the whole of the match and after we were losing 1-0.

"This was a good test for us, but we need more in our work and also tactically. But the spirit is what we want and this was a good platform.

"I think the progress is with time, long time, (but) football is very difficult to ask for a lot of time."

Arsenal are back in action on Thursday evening when they play host to Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League, while their next Premier League fixture comes next Sunday when Wolves are the visitors to north London.

The Gunners can be backed at 8/15 to defeat Wolves and are 8/1 to do so by a 2-0 scoreline, while Emery's men are 1/3 to beat Sporting on Thursday evening.

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Milner rues late Reds concession

Skipper James Milner admitted that he and his Liverpool colleagues were disappointed not to have taken all three points form their trip to Arsenal on Saturday.

Milner fired the visitors in front on the hour mark at the Emirates Stadium, only for the Reds to pay the price for passing up a number of chances as Alexandre Lacazette rifled home an equaliser eight minutes from time.

And Milner accepted that the Merseysiders should have done better in trying to protect their lead after finally breaking the deadlock.

He told the club's official website: "We are very disappointed really, which is a good thing I suppose, playing away at Arsenal.

"To be 1-0 up in the second half and not see it out, we are disappointed – with the chances we created we should have scored a few more goals.

"It's pleasing we are creating those chances, but we could have been a bit more ruthless and maybe not put as much pressure on ourselves not to concede to win the game."

Meanwhile, Reds head coach Jurgen Klopp played down the loss of two potentially important points in their bid to claim the Premier League title this season.

He added: "It was very intense, Arsenal are in a very good moment. A point at Arsenal will always be a good result, so we take that and move on.

"A point is a good result – Unai Emery can say the same, but we had clear chances."

Liverpool are now 7/2 to win the Premeir League title this season, with Arsenal 50/1 and Chelsea 10/1.

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Premier League: A Share of Spoils in Emirates Thriller

Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool

There is rarely a dull game when these two Premier League rivals meet, and this was no exception.

While not quite the Christmas goalfest the fixture produced 11 months ago, the final score could easily have been the same as the two in-form sides went head-to-head.

And for us fans, there were plenty of Premier League 2018 highlights to talk about.

Highlights of the game

It was claimed earlier this week that Arsenal are ‘no longer a soft touch’.

I personally think the jury remains out on that one, but this performance and result have gone some way to showing Arsenal are improving as they held their own against their fellow rivals – something they had struggled to do so far this term.

Defeats on the opening two weekends to Manchester City and Chelsea could not mask a long unbeaten run they had since embarked on in all competitions.

The facts remained that while the Gunners had won 11 games in a row before they drew at Crystal Palace on Sunday, they had not played a ‘top’ side since the start of the season.

It also showed they had won just three of their last 27 Premier League games against the other ‘big six’ sides, losing the most recent five encounters.

While this result doesn’t improve that record, it does give a glimmer of hope for Arsenal fans that new coach Unai Emery is starting to get his message across.

In an absorbing encounter, chances were fashioned as early as the fourth minute when Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson had to be alert to smother a flick from Alexandre Lacazette.

Then Henrikh Mkhitaryan looped a header narrowly over after beating the onrushing shot-stopper to the ball. Moments before that, Liverpool had a goal disallowed when Sadio Mane was flagged for offside after Roberto Firminio had chipped the ball over Bernd Leno only for it to come back off the post.

Only the reflexes of Leno kept out the visitors when Virgil van Dijk, still in the Arsenal box after a previous attack, expertly controlled a Mo Salah cross and volleyed towards goal.

Leno then kept out Andrew Robertson as Liverpool were on top.

Arsenal finished the half strongly with Lacazette dragging a shot wide after a lovely backheel from Mesut Ozil. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang headed wide before Lacazette was the man flagged for offside after putting the ball in the net.

However, Liverpool would have had a half-time lead only to be denied by a post for the second time through Van Dijk’s header.

The breakthrough arrived just past the hour mark.

Liverpool celebrating James Milner's goal against Arsenal in the Premier League

Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates after James Milner scored the opening goal against Arsenal

The ever-reliable James Milner rifled the ball home past Leno after the goalkeeper was only able to parry a Mane delivery to the edge of the area.

Mane nearly made the game safe for the visitors after a quick-fire break saw him inches away from turning home a cross from Mo Salah – who had worn protective strapping in training all week because of an inflamed wrist tendon. Leno then made up for his poor effort on the goal by superbly keeping out a Van Dijk header.

In between those two chances, and with Arsenal chasing an equaliser, it was a surprise when Aubameyang, who has scored 17 and set up five goals in his 23 Premier League appearances for the Gunners, made way for Aaron Ramsey.

No one could begrudge Liverpool the lead at this stage, and it took something special to draw the hosts level.

Substitute Alex Iwobi threaded the ball through and, despite Alisson narrowing the angle, Lacazette showed neat footwork and powered home an equaliser from a narrow angle.

As the majority of Emirates loudly voiced their delight, Mane gave a warning the game was still to be won on both sides by curling an effort onto the roof of the net.

Five minutes of stoppage time could not provide a winner as Arsenal made a point as well as gained one, and Liverpool returned to the top of the table.

The Premier League 2018 betting odds are ever changing.

Key statistics

Arsenal have not led a top-flight game at half-time all season. Under Emery, they have been behind twice after 45 minutes and level nine times.

Arsenal are winless in seven Premier League meetings with Liverpool (drawn four, lost three), their longest such run against them since a 12-game sequence from 1994 to 2000.

The Gunners have won 11 of their last 14 home league games, with the other two matches both defeats by Manchester City (3-0 in March and 2-0 in August).

More than three-quarters of Arsenal’s league goals this term have come in the second half (19 of 25).

What’s next?

This was the second of four consecutive home games for Arsenal.

Next up at the Emirates is Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League before Wolves are the visitors in the Premier League.

After the international break, Emery’s side travels to Bournemouth.

Liverpool now visit Belgrade to meet Red Star in the Champions League on Tuesday (November 6) before welcoming Fulham to Anfield on November 11.

It’s then a trip to Watford on November 24, straight after the international break.



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Klopp impressed with Emery impact

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has admitted he has been impressed with the impact Unai Emery has had at Arsenal ahead of their meeting on Sunday.

After what was a shaky start for Emery at the Emirates, he has gone on to help the Gunners go on a 10-match winning run before their draw against Crystal Palace last time out.

With Liverpool heading to north London on Saturday, Klopp has spoken highly of what the Spaniard has been able to achieve in the capital so far.

Klopp told reporters on Friday: "He did brilliant after tough start they start impressive run that’s how it is, hopefully they aren’t in it after our game, but it will be a very interesting match for sure, they are organised, clear planned, good counter attacks, they do quick outstanding plays small spaces."

Meanwhile, Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita have both been ruled out of the trip to north London due to injury.

There is positive news regarding Mo Salah, with Klopp revealing the Egyptian star has not sustained a serious injury and should be able to feature against the Gunners this weekend.

Arsenal are 29/10 to win, 29/10 to draw and 19/20 to lose to the Merseysiders.

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Gunners handed derby date

Arsenal will host north London rivals Tottenham in the EFL Cup quarter-finals after edging past League One side Blackpool on Wednesday.

The Gunners appeared to be heading to an easy victory when they cruised into a 2-0 lead thanks to goals by Stephan Lichtsteiner and Emile Smith Rowe.

However, after Matteo Guendouzi had been sent off for a second bookable offence in the 56th minute, Paudie O'Connor halved the deficit with a header.

The Seasiders were also reduced to 10 men in the closing stages when O'Connor was shown a straight red card for bringing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang down.

Petr Cech returned to the Arsenal line-up after spending a month sidelined with a hamstring injury but once again looked uncomfortable when trying to play the ball to a team-mate with his feet.

However, Arsenal boss Unai Emery retains faith in the former Chelsea goalkeeper, saying: "When you play with the goalkeeper like this it is normal, with the centre-backs to play the ball under pressure back, and I want to give them confidence.

"It's true, after this mistake the supporters also see it, as the ball is played to him to continue to give him and others confidence playing our style, our idea of the game. He has experience. He can do good. We will continue with our ideas."

Arsenal are 5/1 to win the EFL Cup outright, while Tottenham can be backed at 6/1, Chelsea at 3/1 and Manchester City at 15/8.

EFL Cup quarter-final draw:
Arsenal v Tottenham
Leicester or Southampton v Manchester City or Fulham
Middlesbrough v Burton Albion
Chelsea v Bournemouth

Matches to be played during the week of 17th December.