Wenger: Arsenal missing something

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said his side lacked something during their 1-0 Europa League loss at Cologne on Thursday.

Despite losing, the Gunners still finished top of Group H after rivals BATE Borisov and Red Star Belgrade played out a  0-0 draw.

The Cologne goal came from a Sehrou Guirassy 62nd-minute penalty after the same player was adjudged to have been fouled by Mathieu Debuchy.

The Gunners second-string side had plenty of possession on the night, but could not find a way through, much to the disappointment of Wenger.

"We missed a little bit of accuracy in our passing in the final third that is required to score more goals. We had plenty of dangerous situations, but we always missed a little something to finish our chances.

"I must also say that Cologne defended with spirit, with commitment and overall the crowd was absolutely fantastic for them.

And in typical Wenger fashion, he disagreed with the spot-kick decision that cost Arsenal the game.

"We had a lot of possession. We lost the game to one shot, basically.

"It was a very nice penalty that we have to take on board. It was honestly not a penalty at all."

Robinho sentenced to nine years in jail

Former AC Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester City striker Robinho has been sentenced to nine years in jail on charges of violent sexual assault following an incident in Milan in 2013.

An court in Italy ruled that the Brazilian and five other assaulted an Albanian woman, who was 22 at the time, after plying her with alcohol.

Robinho, is now back in Brazil playing for Atletico Mineiro, denied the accusations in a social media post, saying he had: "already defended himself against the accusations, affirming that he did not participate in the episode".

His lawyer said in a statement that the 33-year-old denied the charges and would appeal.

Another member of the group was also sentenced to nine years while the police were still looking for the four other men allegedly involved.

Brazil does not extradite its own citizens when they are sentenced in other countries.

Robinho began his career at Santos, and then joined Madrid where he won two La Liga titles, before joining City for a then British record fee of £32.5m in 2008.

He lasted just 18 months in England before further spells with Milan, Santos, Guangzhou Evergrande  and now Atletico Mineiro.

Atalanta wreak havoc at Goodison Park

Atalanta scored a trio of late goals to beat Everton 5-1 in Thursday’s Europa League tie at Goodison Park.

  • Everton 1 Atalanta 5
  • Cristante scores twice
  • Robles saves Gomez penalty
  • Sandro pulls one back for Everton
  • Gosens and Cornelius strike

Match Summary

Bryan Cristante got his first of the night early on after some industrious play from Timothy Castagne, which proved to be the only goal of the first half due to some wayward finishing from both sides.

Atalanta were awarded a penalty early in the second half, which Joel Robles denied Alejandro Gomez from scoring, only to concede just past the hour mark to Cristante’s second of the evening.

Sandro Ramirez pulled one back for the Toffees in the 71st minute and for a brief while it looked like there might be a comeback, only for Robin Gosens and Andreas Cornelius to kill the match off emphatically.

Full Report

A full-blooded start to the match was capped off with a 12th-minute opener from Bryan Cristante after Timothy Castagne had caused troubled down the right and sent a ball in that was half-cleared by Ashley Williams into the midfielder’s path.

Atalanta No.10 Alejandro Gomez had been causing the Toffees problems all night, but slipped in the middle of one attack in the 29th minute as the weather worsened at Goodison Park, just before Kevin Mirallas failed to finish down the other end and Sandro fired off-target on the rebound.

Tom Davies came close to scoring when his shot on the rebound had Albanian goalkeeper Etrit Berisha beaten only for Rafael Toloi to clear it off the line, while Berisha had to make one more save just before halftime when Mirallas got a sight at goal.

The second half started with Cristante getting caught by Williams to earn his side a penalty, but Joel Robles denied Gomez from the spot and on the rebound. Robles made another save when Gomez went for goal soon afterwards, but was beaten from the resulting corner only for Jonjoe Kenny to clear off the line.

The Italians did eventually get their second goal in the 64th minute, when a corner from Gomez was flicked in by Cristante.

Sandro Ramirez pulled one back for the Toffees in the 71st minute after Mirallas had picked him out from the right flank. Everton pushed for the equaliser, and Sandro almost had his second in the 83rd minute, only for Berisha to make another save.

However, Everton’s hopes of a comeback were shattered in the 86th minute when substitute Robin Gosens smashed home from the edge of the box after another Gomez corner was half-cleared into his smash.

68 seconds later and Andreas Cornelius made it 4-1, cutting inside past Morgan Feeney to put the match to bed and rubbing salt in the wound with an added-time header.

Guirassy shocks Arsenal

Cologne have their first win of the season after Sehrou Guirassy secured a 1-0 win over Arsenal in Thursday’s Europa League clash.

  • Cologne 1 Arsenal 0
  • Guirassy buries penalty
  • Arsenal still top of Group H

Match Summary

Arsenal were unable to convert numerous chances on their visit to Germany, where Cologne were able to pull off a 1-0 win after Sehrou Guirassy earned a penalty that he coolly slotted home.

Full Report

There were a couple of chances early on at either end of the pitch, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles on target in the at the near post after Jack Wilshere had played him through. A few minutes later Jhon Cordoba also forced a save with a shot across goal that helped the struggling Bundesliga side start finding their feet in the game.

The first half an hour saw an open, end-to-end game. Francis Coquelin, who hasn’t scored in four years, came close with a well-hit drive from long range before, in the 30th minute, he hit the near post after Olivier Giroud had played him through.

The Gunners were able to see more of the ball than their opponents, and a period of prolonged possession ended in the 33rd minute with Danny Welbeck looking for the far post after cutting in onto his right foot from the left flank.

Not long afterwards Cologne captain Dominic Maroh injured himself blocking Welbeck’s ball across goal from reaching Giroud. The Slovenian could not continue, and was replaced by Konstantin Rausch.

The second half started with Wilshere working the ball around nicely just outside the Cologne box, opening space for the shot just to have the ball nicked off his toes before he could fire.

Cologne were awarded a penalty in the 61st minute after Sehrou Guirassy was too quick for Mathieu Debuchy, who chopped him down in the box and the ref instantly pointed to the spot. Guirassy took the penalty himself, beating David Ospina by sending it straight down the middle.

Giroud came close to pulling Arsenal level when Per Mertesacker’s header back across goal from a corner just evaded him. As the 90th minute approached there were more chances for Giroud, Nelson, and Nketiah, and Wilshere, but Cologne were able to hold on for an unexpected victory.

Pochettino tells Rose: I'm the boss

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino responded to reports that Danny Rose was left fuming by his omission from the team that played Arsenal.

The left-back started for Spurs in their midweek Champions League win over Borussia Dortmund, and despite Rose saying that "there was no falling out" he did admit that he was "fuming" from the bench in their 2-0 win over the Gunners.

"I'm happy, his performance is good," Pochettino said. "Nothing to complain about his behaviour.

"It's not easy when you take decisions about the starting 11, the players not involved in the squad, not playing regularly, they are not happy, but that is normal.

"He never showed that feeling to me. That is why I was surprised. The day before we had a conversation and he never showed me that he was angry. Of course disappointed, but I understand that after he was angry.

"I like when the player feels that emotion because it means they're interested in helping the team and they want to play. In front of me he was never upset or angry, he never showed that behaviour, he was normal.

"You can ask me about all the players involved. Of course they are 'fuming'. But I am the boss, that is the problem for the players."

Rose faces an uncertain future at Spurs after a media gaffe strained his relationship with the club, but Pochettino insisted that "this is not the moment to talk about that".

"All players have contracts with us, involved in our project," Pochettino said. "You cannot guess what is going to happen in the future."

Lampard: Chelsea need another striker

Former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard believes the club would be wise to buy another striker in January to keep up with their Premier League rivals.

Despite new signing Alvaro Morata seemingly capable of filling Diego Costa’s boots, Lampard isn’t sure about his understudy, Michy Batshuayi, or manager Antonio Conte’s recent deployment of Eden Hazard as a second striker.

"I think they need to add," Lampard told BT Sport. "If you’re looking at Morata there, Michy Batshuayi has come in and had moments where he’s scored but seemingly Conte doesn’t trust him. 

"Then you have to play [Eden] Hazard there and change a lot of things. So I think maybe a backup striker.

"I think they are going to have to strengthen in midfield at some point but that may be next year.

"But I think you have to keep strengthening because everybody else is. Manchester City are, Manchester United are, so to stay in the game you have to keep strengthening."

Morata has scored an impressive eight goals in 11 Premier League appearances, while Batshuayi has two from seven appearances, having scored five from 20 last season.

Cahill: Luiz ideal tutor for Christensen

Chelsea captain Gary Cahill believes promising young centre-back Andreas Christensen will be able to learn a lot from the experienced David Luiz. 

Christensen came into the Blues lineup for Luiz after the devastating 3-0 defeat to AS Roma in the Champions League and helped Antonio Conte's side to a 1-0 win over Manchester United and a 4-0 win over West Brom.

Luiz was reinstated in the back three for the clash with Qarabag on Wednesday, which Chelsea won 4-0, which could give Conte a tough decision to choose between the men for the upcoming clash with Liverpool.

Cahill said, according to the Daily Mail: "David came back in and performed well.

"Andreas is a younger version of him if you like. I feel like David can offer Andreas a lot of help in his progression.

"He has been there and done it at the top, top level, he has won many trophies.

"David is a very experienced defender and Andreas' attributes are very similar. I feel that he [Luiz] can advise him tremendously and he has done up until now."

Shariwa: Fans are carrying Shabanie

Shabanie Mine technical manager Taku Shariwa believes the club's fans played a crucial role in helping the side steer clear of relegation.

Shabanie are not yet safe from the drop, but after claiming two wins and eight points from their last four matches (losing just once in the last 10 games), they are three points clear of the drop zone. 

With only one round of action to go, that should be enough to see the club back in the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League for another season.

Shariwa has revealed that the fans' gave played a big part in the team's survival, going beyond their normal call of duty to fill the stands on match days.

"We have come this far because of individuals who have sacrificed to make sure the club survives. Our fans from Maglas are our heroes, they have been behind this institution since its birth and supporting it has become hereditary," Shariwa told NewsDay.

"Their unwavering support and passion for the team has always been our strength. Our road this season has not been colourful, but because of our fans, we managed to realise our true potential," he continued.

"They gave us confidence when we faced the biggest of challenges. I think we have some of the most passionate fans in this country, probably the best of all. 

"Our objective has been clear since the mid-season break and that is to survive relegation so we want to give our supporters an early Christmas gift by winning our last match."

The Chinda Boys end their season against Yadah FC, who are one point and one place above them on the standings.

Yaya content to be fringe player at City

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure insists he doesn't mind playing fewer games for manager Pep Guardiola's side and is enjoying his time at the club.

The Sky Blues remain unbeaten across all competitions this season and have opened up an eight-point lead over Manchester United at the top of the Premier League standings.

During this incredible run, which now sees City boast a 17-game winning streak, Toure has been downgraded to more of a back-up option. 

The 34-year-old Ivorian has only played 29 minutes of Premier League football this season and has started only one UEFA Champions League game, but he is adamant that it doesn't faze him.

"You want me to play? Tell the manager," he said, as quoted by the Independent. 

"Look at my face; do you think I am frustrated? Am I enjoying? Of course. (If) I am frustrated... I would say to the manager 'I don't want to be on the bench and I want to go home'."

Robben: It could be over

Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben says he is unsure about the longevity of his career, as his contract at the Bundesliga side enters it's final year.

The Netherlands international, 33, has been in Bavaria since 2009, making well over 200 appearances, but is not sure how he wants to end his time at the club.

"My future is uncertain," Robben told Kicker. "It could be over for me after this season, I could try something new or play three more years for Bayern. Everything is possible.

"I try to enjoy my football and play on a high level as long as possible, but I don't know how long it will work out.

"Both sides always showed big appraisal for each other. I know what I have with the club and it's exactly the same the other way around."

Robben has scored three goals in 11 Bundesliga appearances this season, and started in their midweek Champions League win over Anderlecht.