Ramos: Let’s have two Ballon d’Or awards – one for Messi and Ronaldo and one for everyone else

Sergio Ramos jokes Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo should have their own prize, to allow everyone else a chance of Ballon d’Or glory.

Sergio Ramos has joked there should be one Ballon d’Or award for Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – and an alternative trophy for the rest of the world’s footballers to fight over.

Real Madrid captain Ramos has a stack of individual accolades alongside the host of trophies he has won in his Santiago Bernabeu career.

But like so many great players of the last 12 years, he has been put in the shade by Messi and Ronaldo when it comes to the biggest awards.

From 2008, when Ronaldo first landed the Ballon d’Or, through to Messi scooping the honour earlier this month, the pair have had a near total duopoly, interrupted only in 2018 by Luka Modric’s success.

Ronaldo has taken the prize five times and Messi six, prompting Ramos to jest that the pair should be left alone to slug it out for one trophy, while giving everyone else a chance of taking another.

“They could make a Ballon d’Or only for Cristiano and Messi depending on results…and another for the rest,” Ramos told Mexican broadcaster TUDN. “In the end it would be better for football.”

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk split Barcelona star Messi and Juventus forward Ronaldo this year, taking second place in the vote conducted by France Football magazine.

But the star goal-getters have been the dominant figures in the world game for over a decade, establishing a rivalry for who will be remembered as the greatest of their generation.

Ramos played alongside Ronaldo for many years at Madrid, before the Portuguese moved to Italy in July 2018.

At the age of 33, and as he approaches 15 years as a Madrid player, the captain of Spain is targeting next year’s Olympic Games football tournament and sees himself playing on for several seasons yet.

“I will play until the excitement goes, but my excitement is very great,” Ramos said, according to Marca. “I will make the most of everything football has to offer for as long as I feel good. I look after myself well and I hope to continue for many years.”

Rory McIlroy not interested in Saudi International

World number two Rory McIlroy has no interest in competing in the 2020 Saudi International, confirming he turned down the event.

Rory McIlroy will not compete in the Saudi International, with the world number two confirming there is a moral factor to his decision.

Dustin Johnson – who won the inaugural Saudi International this year – Phil Mickelson and world number one Brooks Koepka have been confirmed for the European Tour event, which runs from January 30 to February 2 in King Abdullah Economic City.

However, four-time major winner McIlroy will not be taking part, with the Northern Irishman stating playing in Saudi Arabia is not something that interests him.

McIlroy, who has been joined by current Masters champion Tiger Woods in deciding not to feature in Saudi Arabia, also added he would rather focus on playing in front of large crowds on the PGA Tour early in 2020.

“It’s just not something that would excite me,” he told Golf Channel’s Morning Drive show. “One-hundred per cent, there’s a morality to it as well.

“You could say that about so many countries, not just Saudi Arabia, but a lot of countries that we play in that there’s a reason not to go, but for me, I just don’t want to go.

“I think the atmosphere looks better at the events on the west coast [of America] and I’d much rather play in front of big golf fans and play in a tournament that really excites me.”

Saudi Arabia’s regime have been attempting to bring more big sporting events to the country in recent years, and on Saturday it hosted Anthony Joshua’s heavyweight title rematch with Andy Ruiz Jr in Diriyah, on the outskirts of Riyadh.

Hummels wake-up call for quiet men of Dortmund

Mats Hummels admits Borussia Dortmund’s form has fluctuated this season, but European and Bundesliga success could still come their way.

Mats Hummels has called for Borussia Dortmund to find their voice and become a big noise again after admitting the team can be “a bit quiet”.

It is coming up to 23 years since Dortmund won their only Champions League title, and almost seven years since they last reached the final of Europe’s top club competition.

Domestically, they have been left standing by Bayern Munich’s dominance of the Bundesliga, with Dortmund’s back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012 followed by seven in a row by the Bavarians.

Hummels swapped Bayern for Dortmund last June, joining for a second spell with the club, and the former BVB club captain believes that, as a senior figure in Lucien Favre’s squad, he can play a motivating role.

“I try to fill the role with life and take responsibility. Especially on the pitch where I verbally drive, order and cheer,” he said.

“It is already an issue in our team that sometimes we are a bit quiet. That is why it is very important that the leaders stand up.”

Dortmund headed into the final round of Champions League group games with their last-16 hopes in the balance, targeting a home victory over Slavia Prague on Tuesday and hoping for Barcelona to deny Inter three points at San Siro.

Centre-back Hummels, who turns 31 next week, knew Dortmund could not afford a sleepy performance if they were to achieve their ambitions.

He told DAZN: “Parts of us sometimes have to be woken up a bit in the game. The 4-0 against Leverkusen [in September] sounds clear, but in fact we had big problems in the first 20 minutes.

“We sometimes go into the games and see how it works. Sometimes we turn the switch over only when there is no other way.

“If we get that under control, we can be a top team. But that is not a thing you change in one or two days. We have to work it out for ourselves. When you look at the training sessions, there has been a development in recent weeks: mentality, attitude and sharpness.”

Dortmund sit third in the Bundesliga, having slipped off the pace in November when thumped 4-0 by Bayern and held 3-3 by Paderborn, yet a 5-0 weekend win over Fortuna Dusseldorf, achieved without the suspended Hummels, showed what potential they have.

“We just look at our performances – and they were very changeable in the current season. But nothing is lost yet,” Hummels said.

“In the Bundesliga, no team really marches ahead. This is mainly because the level – and I see that contrary to what is often written – clearly increases. The small teams no longer travel to Dortmund or Munich to be shot down. They have become much stronger tactically and individually and have a clear plan. That’s why the well-known teams lose many more points.”

Ljungberg ‘so pleased’ as Pepe helps Arsenal to sink West Ham

Nicolas Pepe cost Arsenal a club-record fee and interim boss Freddie Ljungberg was thrilled to see him produce in a big London derby.

Freddie Ljungberg always knew it would take Nicolas Pepe time to find his feet in the Premier League – so he was thrilled to see the Arsenal forward turn on the style.

Signed in August from Lille for an Arsenal club record fee of £72million, the 24-year-old Ivory Coast international has struggled to make the transition to the English top flight.

However, a sparkling goal and an assist from Pepe against West Ham on Monday helped interim boss Ljungberg guide Arsenal to a 3-1 win at London Stadium.

Pepe’s all-round performance impressed Ljungberg, with the former Gunners midfielder acknowledging the price tag for Pepe means there is an expectation that he should consistently deliver.

“People always ask me about Nico and I try to explain,” Ljungberg said. “He comes from the French league to the Premier League, in my opinion, the best league in the world, it’s a lot faster and a lot harder.

“He needs to adapt and people put pressure on him and it’s not easy, but I thought what he did [on Monday], he worked really hard offensively and defensively and showed his quality.

“I’m so pleased for him because at the same time he was a big, big buy for the club and there comes pressure with that as well.”

Ljungberg predicted Pepe would “fall asleep with a smile on his face” after his goal, which was sandwiched by strikes from team-mates Gabriel Martinelli and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Arsenal’s goals came in a nine-minute burst midway through the second half, after Angelo Ogbonna gave West Ham a 38th-minute lead.

It meant that for the first time since beating Chelsea 5-3 at Stamford Bridge in October 2011, the Gunners managed to win a Premier League away game in which they were trailing at half-time.

Victory lifted Arsenal to ninth place – two points off Manchester United in fifth – and left West Ham struggling in 16th.

Reports say PSG eye Mane as Neymar replacement, Napoli agree Gattuso deal

Paris Saint-Germain have reportedly identified Liverpool forward Sadio Mane as a transfer target, should Neymar leave the French capital.

With Neymar’s future far from certain, Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly planning for life without the star forward.

Neymar appears to covet a Barcelona reunion, after leaving the LaLiga champions two years ago.

Should Neymar’s wish be granted, an African sensation lighting up Anfield is said to be on the agenda.

TOP STORY – NEYMAR OUT, MANE IN

Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain want Liverpool star Sadio Mane to replace Neymar, report France Football and Mundo Deportivo.

PSG star Neymar wanted to leave Paris during the previous transfer window, but a proposed return to Barcelona did not materialise.

Doubts remain over Neymar – who left Barca for PSG in a €222million transfer in 2017 – and the French powerhouse are said to have identified Mane should the Brazilian depart the capital.

 

What a performance from the lads #keep on going!YNWA

A post shared by Sadio Mane (@sadiomaneofficiel) on 

ROUND-UP

– According to Calciomercato, Napoli have agreed a deal for former Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso to replace head coach Carlo Ancelotti. It comes with Ancelotti on the brink amid a nine-match winless streak ahead of Tuesday’s crucial Champions League clash against Genk.

– Manchester City are set to rival Chelsea for Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake, says Sky Sports. Chelsea want to bring Ake back to Stamford Bridge following his exit in 2017. However, Premier League champions City are reportedly interested amid their defensive woes.

– Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been offered an 18-month contract by Napoli, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. The 38-year-old is a free agent after leaving MLS outfit LA Galaxy and he has been linked to Milan andInter.

– Sport claims Inter want to sign either Ivan Rakitic or Arturo Vidal from Barcelona in January. Antonio Conte is determined to bolster his squad as Inter challenge for Scudetto honours and juggle Champions League commitments. Rakitic has also been linked to Serie A holders Juventus.

– Everton hope to have Vitor Pereira installed as manager for Sunday’s Premier League fixture at Manchester United, according to Sky Sports. After sacking Marco Silva, the Toffees are ready to offer the Shanghai SIPG coach a three-year deal. It comes as Sky Sports also reports former Arsenal boss Unai Emery was approached about the Everton job.

– The Mirror says Manchester United are ready to show their faith in manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer by backing him in moves for Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez and Salzburg sensation Erling Haaland. The spotlight was on Solskjaer following a poor run of form and Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham exit. However, the Norwegian has overseen consecutive victories over Tottenham and Manchester City.

 

– Bayern Munich and Manchester City are monitoring the progress of Rangers teenager Kai Kennedy, says the Daily Record.

Patrick Reed says it’s personal amid backlash ahead of Presidents Cup

American golfer Patrick Reed

American golfer Patrick Reed fronted the media on Tuesday, full of confidence as he dismissed cheating allegations.

Patrick Reed said his motivation for the Presidents Cup in Melbourne is “turning personal” amid backlash and claims of cheating after his penalty controversy.

American golfer Reed takes to the course at Royal Melbourne Golf Club as the villain following his two-stroke penalty during last week’s Hero World Challenge.

Already a maligned figure on the PGA Tour, Reed was penalised for improving his lie in a bunker, hitting the sand twice during his practice swings, sparking controversy.

The International team – led by Ernie Els – have been outspoken, with Cameron Smith saying, “I don’t have any sympathy for anyone that cheats” during the Australian Open last week.

Having been backed by United States captain Tiger Woods earlier on Tuesday, 2018 Masters champion Reed fronted the media full of confidence as he strongly dismissed cheating allegations.

“It goes from wanting to beat those guys to it now turning personal, so it’s going to be a fun week,” Reed told reporters, with the Presidents Cup set to start on Thursday.

Asked how he felt about the word “cheat” being bandied about, Reed replied: “It’s not the right word to use. At the end of the day, if you do something unintentionally that breaks the rules, it’s not considered cheating and at the end of the day that’s what it is.

“If you’re intentionally trying to do something, that would be considered cheating, but I wasn’t intentionally trying to improve a lie or anything like that, because if it was, it would have been a really good lie and I would have hit it really close.”

On the backlash and comments made by members of the International team, Reed added: “They’re not supposed to talk good about us and we’re not supposed to talk good about them leading into this event, that’s normal. At the end of the day, all I can do is control me and what comes out of my mouth. Can’t whole what comes out of theirs.”

“Of course they are going to speak out, because they want to get their crowds going and get on their side,” Reed continued. That’s the name of the game. At the end of the day, all I can do is control what I can do and how I play, and so it doesn’t matter who I’m playing on the other team. My job this week as Captain [Woods] has told all of our guys, “Go out and win your point.”

“Whenever your name is called, you have to go out and win your match and that’s what we’re going to try and do, go out and win the point. Not to do anything wrong, but strictly win the point for myself and our team and my country.”

Man Utd star Marcus Rashford can emulate Cristiano Ronaldo, says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer heaped praise on in-form Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford.

 

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Marcus Rashford can reach the level of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

Rashford continued his excellent form to start the season with another goal in United’s stunning 2-1 derby win at Premier League champions Manchester City on Saturday.

The 22-year-old United and England star has scored 13 goals this term – 10 of those coming in the Premier League.

And Solskjaer backed Rashford to emulate five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo, who claimed three Premier League titles and the Champions League with United before leaving for Real Madrid in 2009.

“It’s very easy to compare the two of them, yeah,” said United boss Solskjaer. “Both with skills, body shape, attitude, attributes – everything.

“The boy [Rashford] has every chance in the world to become a top, top player. Let’s hope he continues like this.

“I don’t want to talk about the amount of goals. As long as he keeps being positive and being direct and thinking about getting in front of the goal and getting chances, he’ll score goals.”

United – up to fifth in the Premier League standings following wins over City and Tottenham – welcome Everton to Old Trafford on Sunday.

Not before United face AZ in their sixth and final Group L Europa League fixture on Thursday.

Ernesto Valverde hails reported Barcelona target Lautaro Martinez: He’s a great player

Ernesto Valverde was asked about Barcelona-linked Inter forward Lautaro Martinez on the eve of Tuesday’s Champions League clash.

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde said Lautaro Martinez is a “great player” as the Inter star continues to be linked with the LaLiga champions.

Inter forward Martinez has reportedly emerged as a top target for Barca, who are looking to identify a long-term heir for the aging Luis Suarez.

Martinez has scored 13 goals across all competitions this season, including a goal away to Barca in the Champions League on October 2.

The 22-year-old Argentina international will come up against Barca again when Inter welcome the Spanish giants to Milan on Tuesday, in a battle of first against second in Group F on the final matchday.

Asked about Martinez on the eve of the clash, Valverde – whose Barca have already qualified for the last 16 – told reporters: “He is a great player and he’s having a great season. He is quick and strong.

“He scored a great goal in the first game at the Camp Nou. I know he is comfortable with [Romelu] Lukaku, they’ve found the right mechanism to help Inter.

“As for Lautaro being similar to Luis Suarez, they are a little different but both are born goalscorers.

“But Inter have so many good players, Lautaro, Lukaku, [Milan] Skriniar…”

 

Bologna rule out Zlatan Ibrahimovic signing amid Napoli & Milan links

Walter Sabatini addressed Bologna’s pursuit of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, while Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti also discussed the 38-year-old.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not be joining Bologna, according to the club’s director Walter Sabatini.

Ibrahimovic had been linked with a return to Serie A via Bologna after leaving MLS outfit LA Galaxy at the end of his contract.

But the 38-year-old striker will not be moving to Bologna amid speculation over a switch to either Napoli or former club Milan.

“Ibrahimovic will not be coming to Bologna. He has made other choices,” Sabatini told Tuttomercatoweb.

A return to Milan has been mooted for Ibrahimovic, who won the 2011 Scudetto during his two years at San Siro.

Italian rivals Napoli, however, have reportedly offered the ex-Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain star an 18-month contract.

Asked about Ibrahimovic on the eve of Napoli’s Champions League clash with Genk, head coach Carlo Ancelotti told reporters on Monday: “I haven’t spoken to Ibra today but I did yesterday [Sunday] evening.”

“He told me he is in Los Angeles at the moment,” added Ancelotti. “He feels really good and weather conditions are just perfect there.”

Belief the difference for Freddie Ljungberg as Arsenal get back to winning ways

Arsenal came from behind to beat West Ham courtesy of a fine second-half display Freddie Ljungberg credited to his side’s belief.

Freddie Ljungberg identified belief as the key to a turnaround that ended a seven-game Premier League winless run for Arsenal after they beat West Ham 3-1.

With Ljungberg having overseen a draw with Norwich City and a home defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion in his first two games since replacing Unai Emery on an interim basis, it looked as if he was set for further disappointment when Angelo Ogbonna put West Ham ahead in the 38th minute.

Arsenal lost Hector Bellerin in the warm-up on Monday and Kieran Tierney suffered a shoulder injury in the first half, but the Gunners bounced back from those setbacks and a lifeless first-half display to get back to winning ways against their London rivals.

Gabriel Martinelli’s first Premier League goal levelled matters and Nicolas Pepe bent home a stunning effort before teeing up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as Arsenal scored three in the space of nine minutes.

The win moves Arsenal up to ninth in the table, seven points off the top four, and afterwards Ljungberg told Sky Sports: “It means so much for the players. They have been living under enormous pressure and you see it in their performances.

“I could feel West Ham getting tired and our passing getting crisper. The boys did amazing.

“The boys stepped up in the second half. They worked so hard and that’s something we talked about.

“This is down to the players. I’m just there to guide them.

“You can see the players have been a bit low and you see in the dressing room the relief and how happy they are. We enjoy tonight and we continue working tomorrow. We have to work on our belief – that was the difference.”

Mesut Ozil and Aubameyang echoed the sentiments of Ljungberg post-game.

“Especially in the second half, we showed what we can do on the pitch if we believe in ourselves,” Ozil said to Sky Sports. “We deserved to win and we are now happy, especially for our supporters.”

Aubameyang added: “At half-time, Freddie told us to play with a higher tempo. It was tough but we have the quality in the squad, and if we believe in ourselves, we can go forward and win games.

“We will take this second half as an example for the rest of the season.”

 

Jurgen Klopp in ‘competition mood’ as he confronts translator at media conference

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was in a fiery mood ahead of the game against Salzburg, telling a translator: “I can do it by myself.”

Jurgen Klopp was in “competition mood” at Monday’s media conference ahead of Liverpool’s crunch Champions League clash with Salzburg, taking exception to a translator’s response in German.

The Reds require a point from Tuesday’s trip to Salzburg to guarantee a place in the last 16 of the Champions League, a competition they won last season.

Klopp was unhappy with how his compatriot translated Jordan Henderson’s answer in front of the assembled media, taking particular issue with the translator’s assertion that the Liverpool captain said his team would “go easy in this game”.

Liverpool boss Klopp said: “It’s s**t when next to the translator sits a coach who speaks German. The question was if the Champions League title from the last year helps us because we have always delivered in situations like this.

“He [Henderson] doesn’t talk about going easy in this game. We are aware of this challenge. He is speaking about all this normal stuff. You should really listen. Otherwise, I can do it by myself. It’s not too difficult.”

Switching to English, he then told the media: “I am in a competition mood already, I can tell you.”

Klopp will surely hope his side show the same fight in Salzburg.

Tiger Woods lauds USA’s strength in depth ahead of Presidents Cup bid

The United States are heavy favourites to retain the Presidents Cup and Tiger Woods has full faith in his side in Australia this week.

Tiger Woods is confident his United States team have the strength in depth to claim victory in the Presidents Cup, despite a lengthy journey to Australia “in a luxurious tin can”.

The USA will seek to win an eighth consecutive edition of the competition against their International opponents in Melbourne, with captain Woods headlining a star-studded visiting line-up.

Even with four-time major winner Brooks Koepka forced out through injury, the USA are heavy favourites to prevail and Woods has faith in his team to deliver the goods this week.

“I think our strength is that we are a very deep team,” he said at the captains’ media conference on Tuesday.

“The guys have played well this entire year, and you know, we had 11 out of 12 guys play last week, so it was nice for them to shake off some rust, get a feel for things.

“Today is an important day for us to just walk and to stretch our legs a bit. Getting in yesterday after a 26-hour ride in a luxurious tin can, it’s nice to actually get out there and feel some fresh air.”

 

One man sure to attract attention from the crowd is Patrick Reed, who has been embroiled in controversy since being hit with a two-stroke penalty at the Hero World Challenge at the weekend.

The American was penalised for improving his lie in a bunker, hitting the sand twice during his practice swings in a move he insists was unintentional.

It is expected that Reed, already a divisive figure, will come in for some rough treatment, but Woods had some kind words for the local fans.

“Well, I’m sure somebody’s going to say something out there,” he admitted.

“But I think that in general, all the times I have been to Australia and have played here, the fans have been fantastic.

“They are the most knowledgeable, the most excitable fans. They love their sport. They are going to come out and it’s going to be bipartisan, as it should be.

“They are going to root for the Internationals more so than they are us. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

Opposing captain Ernie Els struck a defiant tone despite history weighing heavily against the International side, who have not won the tournament since 1998.

“I’ve got a great young team [and] I’ve got some experienced players,” said the South African.

“Guys are naturally just standing up; guys who are quite comfortable to speak – and I like that. I like the spirit we have this week.”

West Ham 1 Arsenal 3: Freddie Ljungberg off the mark as Nicolas Pepe inspires Gunners comeback

Nicolas Pepe played a starring role as Arsenal came from behind to end their winless run and beat West Ham 3-1 at London Stadium.

Arsenal ended a seven-match Premier League winless run as they came from behind to beat West Ham 3-1 and give Freddie Ljungberg his first victory as interim head coach.

The sacking of Unai Emery had not yielded the expected upturn in fortunes most would have expected, with Ljungberg overseeing a 2-2 draw at Norwich City and a 2-1 home defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion in his first two games in charge.

It looked set to be another chastening evening for Ljungberg when Angelo Ogbonna put West Ham ahead in the 38th minute at London Stadium.

Arsenal’s display had been limp and lifeless in the first half but Gabriel Martinelli’s goal on his full Premier League debut sparked them into life.

A spectacular Nicolas Pepe strike made it 2-1 and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang converted a cross from the former Lille star for the Gunners’ third goal in the space of nine minutes, a blitz Manuel Pellegrini’s struggling Hammers never recovered from.

The early omens for Arsenal were worrying as they lost Hector Bellerin to injury in the warm-up.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles took his place in the starting XI and, having been deprived of one full-back, the Gunners then saw another forced off as Kieran Tierney suffered a shoulder injury and was replaced by Sead Kolasinac.

There was further frustration for the visitors when Mesut Ozil headed over from point-blank range from Aubameyang’s left-wing cross.

The impact of that miss was exacerbated as Ogbonna broke the deadlock.

Arsenal failed to clear a Snodgrass corner and Pablo Fornals whipped a right-wing delivery in for Ogbonna, whose effort deflected in off Maitland-Niles and was allowed to stand despite it appearing to come off his shoulder.

Ljungberg’s men had offered little to suggest a fightback was on the cards but, against the run of play, they levelled matters as Martinelli got off the mark in the Premier League.

Kolasinac did excellently to pick out the Brazilian, who found the bottom-right corner with a confident first-time finish, and six minutes later the turnaround was completed in stunning fashion.

Pepe cut in from the right and bent an unstoppable strike into the far corner before then lofting a cross into the box for Aubameyang to fire an acrobatic strike into the ground and beyond David Martin, who, despite getting a hand to the ball, could not keep out a shot that proved the telling blow in the contest.

What does it mean? Ljungberg helps his case

Ljungberg is reportedly a serious contender to replace Emery long term and the resilience Arsenal displayed in the second half will do his chances no harm.

As for his counterpart Manuel Pellegrini, the haste of West Ham’s collapse will be a significant concern. West Ham are 16th, just a point above the bottom three, Arsenal move up to ninth.

Pepe proves his worth

Pepe had done little in the first four months of his Arsenal career to justify his €79million transfer free, but his instrumental performance should give the Ivory Coast international confidence to make the consistent impact that was expected following his arrival.

Masuaku fails to fill the void

Pressed into service at left-back by an injury to Aaron Cresswell, substitute Arthur Masuaku had a night to forget.

He allowed Pepe to cut in from the right far too easily for Arsenal’s second goal and was similarly lax as the same man supplied a superb ball in for Aubameyang to make it 3-1.

Key Opta Facts

– West Ham have lost three in a row at home in the Premier League for the first time since August 2015.

– Arsenal ended a run of nine games in all competitions without a win (D6 L3).

– They came from a losing position at half-time to win a Premier League away game for the first time since October 2011 (5-3 v Chelsea).

– Martinelli is Arsenal’s fourth-youngest scorer in the Premier League (18 years 174 days), after Cesc Fabregas, Serge Gnabry and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

– Aubameyang has been involved in 12 goals in his last 11 Premier League London derbies (nine goals, three assists).

– Since his Premier League debut in February 2018, Aubameyang has scored 43 goals in the competition, a joint-high along with Jamie Vardy.

What’s next?

Arsenal can secure progression from Europa League Group F when they visit Standard Liege on Thursday before welcoming Manchester City to Emirates Stadium on Sunday, a day after West Ham travel to Southampton for a crucial clash at the bottom.

‘No chance’ of imminent return to Premier League, insists Rafael Benitez

Though there are managerial vacancies at Everton and Arsenal, Rafael Benitez is adamant he is happy in the Chinese Super League.

Rafael Benitez says he would like to go back to the Premier League in the future but insists there is “no chance” of an imminent return.

The Spaniard left Newcastle United following the expiry of his contract at the end of June before joining Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang – a move Magpies managing director, Lee Charnley, said was motivated by money.

Everton and Arsenal are in the market for new managers after recently sacking Marco Silva and Unai Emery respectively, while West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is under intense pressure.

Benitez says he remains open to a return to the English top flight but has no intention of leaving China just yet.

“Obviously in the future I would like to come back to the Premier League, but at the moment I must be very clear, there is no chance I will come back now,” he told Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.

“I am happy, really pleased, they trust me, we have a lot of staff working on a big project.

“We want to leave a legacy, it’s a challenge for me, and I’m learning a lot, it’s a great experience, and I’m quite happy at the moment.”

Benitez enjoyed a successful spell in charge of Liverpool between 2004 and 2010, guiding them to Champions League success in 2005, before leading Chelsea to the Europa League as caretaker boss in 2013.