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As Aston Villa thrash Arsenal 3-0 at home, Mikel Arteta says we were not a team



Arsenal boss left frustrated after Aston Villa ran riot with 3-0 win at The Emirates; Ollie Watkins scored twice in a dominant performance from Dean Smith’s side; Arsenal drop to 11th in Premier League table.

Mikel Arteta took full responsibility for Arsenal’s 3-0 defeat at home to Aston Villa on Sunday, saying “we weren’t a team”.

Victory at Old Trafford last weekend was another step in the right direction under Arteta, and the Spaniard would have expected his side to build on that morale-boosting result.

However, they slipped to 11th with this defeat and Arteta wasn’t impressed with what he saw.

“First of all congratulations to Aston Villa for the way they played and the victory,” he told Sky Sports.

“After that, we performed below our standards and I have to say it’s the first time I’ve seen us play and we weren’t a team.

“I take full responsibility. We didn’t start well enough, we got away with VAR for an offside situation but we lost all the races, the duels and we were sloppy on the ball. When we created chances we didn’t hit the target. It’s a really bad combination. We left spaces and on the counter we looked really vulnerable.

“I take full responsibility. I am responsible to make the team perform on the pitch and today we were not a team and it is my job. It is why I am standing here.

“It is a frustration. It takes a lot to build momentum, to build a way of being, living and performing and when something like that comes up it’s a hard one to take but in a hard moment you learn more than in a positive moment and I want to see how we react.”

Speaking in his press conference, he added: “I didn’t see the spirit for the first time – and it’s totally my fault as that’s why I’m here. Today I’ve not managed to get the team to play at the highest level like we need to every three days.

“I’m struggling to find the reason but obviously there was something there today. They wanted it more than us. If you can’t defend your box, it’s a really complicated way to win football matches.

“We need to be more ruthless but today it was about how we went about the job and who we were as a team. I didn’t like it from the first whistle when we got away with the goal and then afterwards. It just wasn’t good enough.”

Smith: Just as good as Liverpool performance

Dean Smith was delighted with his side’s performance in their win over Arsenal, particularly the defensive side of their game.

The fine away victory was a real statement of intent from Dean Smith’s Villa, who have now beaten Liverpool, Leicester and Arsenal this season. It’s a result that lifts them up to sixth in the Premier League – with a game in hand. Win that and they would go level on points with leaders Leicester.

“Personally, I felt it was as good a performance as when we beat Liverpool 7-2,” Smith told Sky Sports.

“Our work without the ball was the most pleasing aspect of it. We worked with the whole 11 to restrict a good Arsenal team.

“We looked so composed and played with such intensity with and without the ball. We were a threat whenever we went forward. It was a really top performance. The players are really excited about the win after the last two results. We were in no doubt we had to be at our best tonight.”

Ollie Watkins, who helped himself to a hat-trick against Liverpool, has adapted quickly at this level – but Smith was never in doubt that the 24-year-old would swiftly make the step-up in class.

“I was always confident that he would hit the ground running,” he added. “The kid’s a young lad but he’s played 250 games. He was a regular at Exeter and at Brentford. When you’ve played that number of games, you understand it. Working with better players helps him, that’s for sure.”

What’s next?

Arsenal travel to face Leeds live on Sky Sports Premier League on Sunday, November 22; kick-off is at 4.30pm, while Aston Villa host Brighton on Saturday, November 21 at 3pm.


Ronaldo moving supercars out of Italy fuels Juve quit speculation



Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has fueled the speculation of a possible summer exit from Juventus, after having his seven supercars moved away from the garage of his luxury home in Turin.
Footage has emerged of Ronaldo’s multi-million pound vehicles being loaded onto a truck of a well-known Portuguese moving company headed to Lisbon.
Italian publication Tuttosport published the video posted on the web by Per Semper Calcio, in which a group of men could be seen working under the cover of darkness, loading the cars onto a Rodo Cargo haulage vehicle.
The operation was carried out at 3 o’clock in the morning away from prying eyes.
The company chosen for the luxurious move is a well-known transport company based in Lisbon, suggesting Ronaldo is taking his rare pride and joy supercars back to his homeland, while deciding on what comes next for his football career.
Workers were seen busying themselves loading cars onto a truck to free up space in his huge garage in Turin.
The Portuguese superstar could leave Juve a year earlier than the end of his contract, which is set to expire in June 2022.
Talk has gathered regarding the possibility of Ronaldo returning to his boyhood side Sporting Lisbon, after his mother Dolores recently insisted she would try to talk him round to the idea.
The movement of Ronaldo’s cars is seen as significant, after their arrival in Turin in the summer of 2018 gave the earliest indication of his transfer to Juve, giving definitive certainty to talk of a Real Madrid exit.
The fact that the cars have now left the garages and are on course towards a new destination could mean the opposite.
Ronaldo has been linked with a potential switch to French football with Paris Saint Germain, while an emotional swansong at Manchester United is never far from conversation.

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Nigeria’s Oshoala leads Barcelona to first women’s Champions League win



Asisat Oshoala won the Women’s Champions League title with Barcelona Femeni after humbling Chelsea 4-0 in the final on Sunday.

The triumph is the first Champions League title for Barcelona Femeni and Oshoala became the first African woman to win the trophy.

Lluis Cortes’ girls took Chelsea apart with some blistering football at the Gamla Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Melanie Leupolz netted a freak own goal 33 seconds into the one-sided first 45 minutes.

Despite not getting on the score sheet, Lieke Mertens, the 2017 UEFA and FIFA women’s player of the year, was simply unplayable. The midfielder contributed to three of the four goals her side netted.

After making it 2-0 with a controversial spot kick, Alexia Putellas put a sensational pass through to Aitana Bonmati, who scored the third.

A glorious run from Martens ended with a tap-in for Caroline Graham Hansen to compound Chelsea’s woes in the first half.

Chelsea came into the second half guns blazing but were successfully contained by the Blaugranes.

Oshoala came off the bench in 71st minute for Jennifer Hermoso. The Super Falcons captain scored in added time but the goal was ruled offside.

Barcelona Femeni clinched their league title last Sunday with eight games remaining. They have won all 26 Primera Division games this season.

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Joshua, Fury heavyweight showdown confirmed for August 14



Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury world heavyweight title showdown will take place in Saudi Arabia on 14 August, Fury has said.
He announced the fight date Sunday in a video on Twitter, saying, “All eyes of the world will be on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and I cannot wait to smash Anthony Joshua on the biggest stage of all times.
“This is going to be the biggest sporting event ever to grace the planet earth. Do not miss it.”
Neither Joshua, his promoter Eddie Hearn nor Fury’s co-promoters Bob Arum and Frank Warren have confirmed the fight date.
Last week, Hearn confirmed that the fight would take place in Saudi Arabia.
The all-British bout has been billed as one of the biggest in heavyweight boxing for decades and the winner will become undisputed champion.
Joshua, 31, holds the WBA, WBO and IBF belts while Fury, 32, is WBC champion.
The fight will see all four belts contested in a heavyweight bout for the first time in history.
The last undisputed heavyweight champion was Britain’s Lennox Lewis from 1999 to 2000 before a boxer had to also hold the WBO belt to be recognised as undisputed champion.

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