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

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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.

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Haaland, Foden’s hat-tricks sink United in Manchester Derby

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Erling Haaland and Phil Foden scored hat-tricks as Manchester City thrashed Manchester United 6-3 to move to within a point of Premier League leaders Arsenal on Sunday.

Haaland has scored hat-tricks in each of his last three Premier League home games to take his tally as a City player to 17 in 10 competitive games for the English champions.

“You can see the passes we give each other. We always want to go forward and to attack,” Haaland told Sky Sports.

“It’s what I love about the team. In the end, it’s amazing. There is nothing more to say.”

Antony’s strike and Anthony Martial’s late double ensured United avoided a record defeat in the Manchester derby as they remain in sixth, nine points off the top.

Since also conceding four times inside the first 45 minutes at Brentford in August, United had bounced back with four consecutive Premier League wins to offer hope they are heading in the right direction under Erik ten Hag.

But the Red Devils were given a rude awakening of the gulf that still exists between the Manchester giants.

City could have scored many more than the four they managed in a blistering first half performance that swept away any doubts caused by an inconsistent start to the season from Pep Guardiola’s men.

Within four minutes it took two goal-line clearances and a fine save from David de Gea to deny Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne, and Bernardo Silva the opening goal.

Four minutes later, City did open the floodgates when Foden swept home Silva’s cross for the Manchester native’s first derby goal.

Ilkay Gundogan’s free-kick hit the post and Foden blasted another big chance wide before Haaland inevitably made his mark on 34 minutes.

Haaland’s Hat-trick Haul

United were left to bemoan the absence of Raphael Varane to defend a De Bruyne corner as he received treatment on an ankle injury that forced him off at half-time.

Without the Frenchman, there was no match for Haaland’s presence in the penalty box as his header crossed the line before Tyrell Malacia’s attempted clearance.

Moments later, City showcased their ability to counter-attack as Jack Grealish fed De Bruyne, who perfectly picked out Haaland to convert on the stretch at the back post.

Haaland then turned provider with a low cross that Foden converted to leave United trailing 4-0 at half-time for the third time in a year.

Unlike, in a 5-0 defeat at Old Trafford to Liverpool last season and at Brentford last month, there was some semblance of a United response after the break.

Antony smashed home his second goal in as many Premier League appearances since a £82 million ($92 million) move from Ajax.

But Haaland quickly reclaimed centre stage with a thumping finish to meet Sergio Gomez’s cross.

Michael Owen’s record of three hat-tricks in his first 48 appearances had stood as a Premier League record for over two decades, but Haaland has needed just eight.

City were on course to match the record margin of victory in a Manchester derby when Haaland set up Foden to smash home and complete his hat-trick.

That was Foden’s final involvement as he was withdrawn in a quadruple change as Guardiola could afford to also hand a rest to De Bruyne, Gundogan and Grealish.

United took advantage of City taking their foot off the accelerator in the final 10 minutes as substitute Martial scored twice to cut the arrears.

Ten Hag left Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench for the full match and his decision to instead give Martial a chance to impress on his return from injury proved correct.

The Frenchman headed in the rebound after Ederson parried Fred’s shot and then emphatically fired home from the penalty spot. (AFP)

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Djokovic wins 89th career title with Tel Aviv final

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Novak Djokovic won his 89th career title on Sunday with an impressive straight-set victory over Marin Cilic in the Tel Aviv final.

It was also the third title of the 35-year-old Serbian tennis star in 2022.
Djokovic triumphed 6-3, 6-4 to add the Israeli trophy to victories in Rome and Wimbledon this season.
It was Djokovic’s 19th win over Cilic in 21 meetings in a rivalry stretching back to 2008.
Djokovic was playing his first singles tournament since wrapping up a seventh Wimbledon crown and 21st Grand Slam title in July.
He was banned from the US Open and the entire North American hard court swing over his refusal to be vaccinated before returning for Roger Federer’s farewell in the Laver Cup team event in London last month.
On Sunday, Djokovic broke Cilic in the second game of the final and pocketed the first set with a fourth ace after 47 minutes on court.
Former US Open winner Cilic, chasing a 21st career title but the first of 2022, was broken in the first game of the second set and the 34-year-old never recovered.

The Serb only faced one break point in the final which was clinched in 94 minutes.
Djokovic, who didn’t drop a set all week, now heads to the Astana ATP tournament where world number one Carlos Alcaraz takes the top seeding

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Over 120 fans die in Indonesia football stampede

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At least 129 people have died in a stampede at an Indonesian football match, officials say, in one of the world’s worst stadium disasters.

The stampede happened after police tear-gassed rioting supporters.

About 180 were injured in the crush after Arema FC lost to bitter rivals Persebaya Surabaya in East Java.

The country’s chief security minister said that the number of spectators exceeded the stadium’s capacity by around 4,000 people.

President Joko Widodo has ordered that all matches in Indonesia’s top league must be stopped until an investigation has been concluded.

Videos show fans running on to the pitch after the final whistle.

Police then fired tear gas, leading to a crowd stampede and cases of suffocation, said Nico Afinta, police chief in East Java.

“It had gotten anarchic. They started attacking officers, they damaged cars,” he said, adding that two police officers were among the dead.

“We would like to convey that… not all of them were anarchic. Only about 3,000 who entered the pitch,” he said.

Fleeing fans “went out to one point at the exit. Then there was a build-up, in the process of accumulation there was shortness of breath, lack of oxygen”, he added.

Videos on social media show fans clambering over fences to escape. Separate videos appear to show lifeless bodies on the floor.

FIFA, the world’s governing football body, states that no “crowd control gas” should be carried or used by stewards or police at matches.

The Indonesian football association (PSSI) said it had launched an investigation, adding that the incident had “tarnished the face of Indonesian football”.

Violence at football matches is not new in Indonesia, and Arema FC and Persebaya Surabaya are long-time rivals.

Persebaya Surabaya fans were banned from buying tickets for the game because of fears of clashes.

But Chief Security Minister Mahfud MD posted on Instagram that 42,000 tickets had been sold for the match at the Kanjuruhan stadium, which has a capacity of 38,000.
President Widodo called for this to be the “last soccer tragedy in the nation” after ordering that all Liga 1 games should be paused pending an investigation.

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