Wenger cel­e­brates 20 years at Arse­nal in style

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

For once, a land­mark game for Arsene Wenger wasn't spoiled by Chelsea, and this time it was Arse­nal hu­mil­i­at­ing its Lon­don ri­val.

Wenger's 500th and 1,000th games in charge of Arse­nal both ended in losses to Chelsea but his for­tunes fi­nally changed on the 20th an­niver­sary of his ap­point­ment.

Arse­nal turned on the style with a 3-0 vic­tory in the Premier League yes­ter­day that ex­posed Chelsea's de­fen­sive frail­ties and show­cased the north Lon­don side's at­tack­ing prow­ess.

Alexis Sanchez, Theo Wal­cott and Me­sut Ozil pro­vided the goals in the first half that gave the Gun­ners their first home win over Chelsea in six years. Chelsea hadn't even al­lowed a league goal to Arse­nal since Jan­uary 2013 be­fore this ca­pit­u­la­tion.

The 66-year-old Wenger has sur­vived in the Arse­nal dugout de­spite last win­ning the league in 2004, and lift­ing only the FA Cup twice in the in­ter­ven­ing years.

Free-scor­ing Liver­pool won a third straight English Premier League game by thrash­ing 10man Hull 5-1, with James Mil­ner con­vert­ing two penal­ties and its ef­fer­ves­cent mid­field con­tribut­ing the other goals.

With nine goals in its first two home games, a new-look An­field is re­sem­bling a fortress again for Liver­pool un­der Juer­gen Klopp.

Liver­pool's prob­lem in re­cent sea­sons has been putting away the so-called weaker teams, par­tic­u­larly at home, but Hull had no an­swer to the hosts' waves of at­tacks, es­pe­cially after Ahmed El­mo­hamady was sent off in the 29th minute.

Adam Lal­lana scored Liver­pool's opener in the 17th after be­ing set up by fel­low mid­fielder Philippe Coutinho, whose goal-bound shot in the 29th was stopped by the el­bow of El­mo­hamady — mean­ing a straight red for the right back. Mil­ner made no mis­take from the spot.

Winger Sa­dio Mane, who had al­ready hit the cross­bar, made it 3-0 in the 36th after Lal­lana spun to earn enough space in the penalty area to slide a pass into his team­mate. Mane scored with a shot on the turn.

Hull was play­ing with­out a rec­og­nized striker in an at­tempt to stem the tide but still man­aged to equal­ize, David Meyler ram­ming home from a cor­ner just after the break.

Coutinho re­stored Liver­pool's three-goal lead with a dip­ping 20-me­ter shot less than 60 sec­onds later, and Mil­ner scored his sec­ond from the spot after Daniel Stur­ridge was fouled by An­drew Robert­son.

Ser­gio Aguero scored twice on his re­turn from sus­pen­sion as Manch­ester City beat Swansea 31 to clinch a sixth straight win to open the English Premier League yes­ter­day.

Ra­heem Ster­ling grabbed the other goal for City, whose only neg­a­tive was the sight of play­maker Kevin De Bruyne limp­ing off late on with an ap­par­ent ham­string in­jury.

City has won its first 10 games of the sea­son un­der new coach Pep Guardi­ola — a club record — and has a four-point lead after six rounds in the Premier League. Guardi­ola tied Carlo Ancelotti's Chelsea record for six con­sec­u­tive vic­to­ries at the start of a league.

Son He­ung-min stepped up in Harry Kane's in­jury ab­sence with two goals to give Tot­ten­ham a 2-1 vic­tory at Mid­dles­brough.

Kane, last sea­son's top scorer in the league, in­jured his right an­kle last week­end and faces a lengthy spell on the side­lines.

But Son, who wanted to leave Tot­ten­ham in the off­sea­son, has scored his sec­ond dou­ble in­side two weeks — net­ting both in­side 23 min­utes at Mid­dles­brough.

Ever­ton's un­beaten start to the English Premier League ended as Bournemouth scored early and held on for a price­less sec­ond league vic­tory.

Ju­nior Stanis­las scored the only goal from a 20-yard drive in the 23rd minute.

As Manch­ester United's goals flew in at Old Traf­ford, Wayne Rooney could only applaud from the sub­sti­tutes' bench.

He might have to get used to his new role as a by­stander.

Rooney was dropped for the English Premier League game against cham­pion Le­ices­ter yes­ter­day in Jose Mour­inho's big­gest call in his short time in charge at Old Traf­ford. It proved a good de­ci­sion, with United win­ning 4-1 and Rooney's re­place­ment at No. 10 — Juan Mata — scor­ing.

Aside from be­ing oc­ca­sion­ally rested, Rooney has not been dropped by United since he was left out by Louis van Gaal against Stoke mid­way through last sea­son. Be­fore that, he was also dropped for the last three games of Alex Fer­gu­son's long reign in the 2012-13 sea­son after fall­ing out with the then-United man­ager.

The 30-year-old Rooney has scored one goal in eight games for club and coun­try this sea­son.

"My cap­tain is my cap­tain," Mour­inho said. "If he is on the pitch, if he is at home, he is my cap­tain. It's not a prob­lem."

Mour­inho said it was a tac­ti­cal de­ci­sion to drop Rooney, rather than a re­flec­tion on his form.

"We thought today the way they de­fend, the pro­file of their de­fend­ers, we thought the best so­lu­tion for us was to play with the two fast kids (wingers Mar­cus Rash­ford and Jesse Lin­gard) and with Mata in a po­si­tion where he can in­ter­act with these young kids," Mour­inho said.

Theo Wal­cott cel­e­brat­ing after scor­ing one of Arse­nal’s goals yes­ter­day

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