Alexandre Lacazette admits Arsenal were lucky to be awarded the penalty he converted to win Sunday's north London derby clash with Tottenham.

Referee Michael Oliver gave Arsenal a spot-kick for Davinson Sanchez's clumsy foul on Lacazette after the French striker had failed to connect with a shot.

Lacazette finished beyond compatriot and former Lyon club-mate Hugo Lloris to seal a 2-1 comeback victory for Arsenal, with Martin Odegaard having cancelled out Erik Lamela's sublime rabona opener.

However, Lacazetted accepts the Gunners were fortunate to be awarded the decisive penalty.

"We are lucky to get the penalty, I think. Sometimes it is good to have a good decision from the referee," he told Sky Sports.

"Of course I am happy. Back in the day, I have taken a lot of penalties against [Hugo] but I was confident. You have to be confident."

Lacazette's penalty was the 20th to be scored in a Premier League north London derby, with this fixture now having the most goals scored from the spot in the competition.

Tottenham rallied late on and nearly snatched a point through a Harry Kane free-kick that hit the post, while Spurs' talisman also had a header ruled out for offside.

Lamela was sent off with Spurs 2-1 down after receiving two yellow cards, the second for a hand-off in the face of Kieran Tierney.

In doing so, Lamela became the first player to score and be sent off in a Premier League game for Tottenham since Emmanuel Adebayor in November 2012, also against Arsenal.

The penalty awarded to Arsenal at a pivotal moment in the match was undoubtedly the big talking point, though, and Jose Mourinho was unhappy with the decision.

"No post-match interviews for referees? That is a pity," he told Sky Sports. "We played really bad in the first half – 1-1 was not a fair reflection of the first half. We were poor. Defending bad. 

"No intensity or pressing. Some important players hiding. Really bad. In the second half we only had space to improve which we did.

"Then it is a question – but an impossible one as [the officials] don't speak – for the referee Michael Oliver to answer. Probably Paul Tierney too as he was the VAR. 

"According to [fourth official] Kevin Friend, the referee told him he had a clear decision and the VAR does not want to go against."

Spurs have conceded seven penalty goals in the Premier League this season, which is the most by a Mourinho side in a single campaign in the competition.

Mourinho added: "What I see from the bench is just a feeling at first. I am 40-50 metres away. I saw it on the iPad. Referees have a difficult job sometimes. 

"I did not complain but when I watch back on the iPad it is what it is. If somebody has a different opinion to me it has to be one of the big Arsenal fans with a season ticket. 

"It is the only one I accept as it is the passion speaking. Other than that I don't accept a different view as it is obvious.

"If the players don't do better it is because they can't do better. I belong to the team so I am as guilty for the first half as the players but the best thing is we improve in the second half. 

"Players get tired, coaches get tired, maybe referees get tired too. My record with Michael Oliver on penalties with Chelsea, [Manchester] United and Tottenham is unlucky."

Tottenham have now dropped 45 points from winning positions against Arsenal in the Premier League, the most of any team against a specific opponent in the competition.

"The game was under control in the second half so we recovered," Mourinho said. 

"We made changes to try and win and then it is a penalty and after that a second yellow for Lamela. It meant the last 20 minutes was 11 v 10 and we couldn't get the result."

Arsenal are "really happy" with Alexandre Lacazette and contract talks will take place soon, according to manager Mikel Arteta.

Lacazette has just over one year left on his contract and has been regularly tipped as a candidate to leave the Gunners at the end of the season.

Arsenal would need to sell Lacazette then if they were to recoup a meaningful transfer fee for him, but while Arteta refused to rule out that possibility, he was positive about the forward.

Lacazette netted from the penalty spot in the comeback win at Leicester City on Sunday. He has 11 goals in all competitions this season and 59 since he signed from Lyon in 2017.

"He's got a contract with us," Arteta said about the 29-year-old striker.

"He played really well the other week. It's exactly what we demand him to do.

"I'm really happy with him and the discussions about his contract will happen soon and we will see what happens."

Arteta was asked if Lacazette would end up staying like captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did after an intense period of contract negotiations.

The manager, who also insisted he remains focused on Arsenal amid speculation linking him with the Barcelona job, added: "Well, I'm hoping that a player under contract will continue with us. 

"Every case is going to be different and we will continue to assess that and we will make decisions relating to that."

Another pressing issue for Arsenal is the future of another striker, Folarin Balogun.

The highly rated 19-year-old prospect is out of contract at the end of this season but Arteta disagreed with a suggestion the player was distancing himself from the club.

Arteta said: "I wouldn't say so. I am pretty positive about it.

"Every time I spoke to him, he mentions the same thing, that he's determined to stay here and he wants to stay here. 

"He has some really positive conversations with his agent as well and Edu is in charge of that. 

"He's been spending a lot of time and energy to make that deal happen because it’s important for us to keep our talent in the house.

"What we can guarantee is that we are doing everything we can to keep him."

Arsenal will be seeking a third consecutive victory in all competitions when they travel to play Burnley on Saturday.

Fresh from wins over Benfica and Leicester, they take on a Burnley team who sit just five points above the bottom three.

But Arteta is expecting a tough test, with Burnley having won at the Emirates Stadium in December.

"It is always a really tough match," he said. 

"I think it's remarkable what the club, Sean [Dyche] and the coaching staff have done in recent years with the resources that they have, the style of play they have implemented and how well they execute it and how efficient they are.

"At home it was a tricky game because we played with 10 men and we ended up losing on a set piece, which is a big part of the game, so hopefully we can have a very different result.

"From my side, they merit much more credit for what they do than what they sometimes get.

"It's admiration as a coach that he's able to get the best out of that group of players, the results that they have as a club, to create the atmosphere that they do at that stadium.

"That is really nice for the English Premier League."

In a positive team news update, Arteta revealed Emile Smith Rowe's injury suffered against Leicester "does not look significant" and that everyone else was fit.

Manchester United lost further ground to Premier League leaders Manchester City as they played out a 0-0 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. 

The Red Devils are now 12 points behind Pep Guardiola's seemingly unstoppable side, who are well on their way to a third title in four seasons. 

Elsewhere, Liverpool returned to winning ways against Sheffield United and Arsenal came from behind to beat Leicester City at the King Power Stadium. 

A Gareth Bale-inspired Tottenham cruised past Burnley 4-0, while Crystal Palace and Fulham played out a dour 0-0 draw.

Chelsea 0-0 Manchester United: Red Devils' 'big six' struggles continue

While this result stretched United's unbeaten away run in the league to a whopping 20 matches – the joint-fifth-longest run in top-flight history – there was still a sense of disappointment at full-time. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have now failed to score in their last six league meetings with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City or Tottenham, with each of their last four such matches finishing goalless. 

This fixture has now finished 0-0 in both matches in a single league campaign for just the second time, the other occasion coming back in 1921-22. 

It marked the first time Chelsea have drawn 0-0 against an opponent home and away in the Premier League in the same season for the first time since 2008-09 against Everton, while United last did so against Aston Villa in 1996-97.

Thomas Tuchel can at least toast becoming just the second coach to not concede a single goal in his first four home matches in the Premier League after Brendan Rodgers in 2011-12 with Swansea City. Including his final two such matches in charge of Paris Saint-Germain, Tuchel has gone six games without conceding at home in league competition.

Sheffield United 0-2 Liverpool: Klopp's men get back on track

After four consecutive top-flight defeats champions Liverpool got their top-four bid back on track at Bramall Lane. 

Curtis Jones opened the scoring with his second goal for the Reds. In doing so, he became the youngest Liverpool player (20 years and 29 days) to score an away Premier League goal since Raheem Sterling in December 2014 against Burnley (20y 18d).

Their second – an own goal by Kean Bryan – was their 7,000th in the English top-flight, becoming only the second team to reach that tally after Merseyside rivals Everton (7,108).

Adrian was in goal for Jurgen Klopp's men and the Spaniard has now been on the winning side in 10 of his 12 Premier League starts for the club, although this was only his third clean sheet. 

The Blades, meanwhile, have now lost 21 games this season. They are the first side since Newport County in the fourth tier in 1970-71 to lose as many as 21 of their first 26 matches in an English Football League season.

Tottenham 4-0 Burnley: Brilliant Bale torments sorry Clarets

Bale was at his best as Tottenham registered their biggest Premier League home win since they thumped the Clarets 5-0 in December 2019. 

His first came after just 68 seconds, which was the fastest goal Burnley have ever conceded in a Premier League match. The previous quickest was a Yerry Mina effort after 99 seconds for Everton in December 2018.

Harry Kane doubled Spurs' advantage to continue his fine run against Sean Dyche's side. No player has scored more Premier League goals against Burnley than Kane (eight, level with Riyad Mahrez), with the England striker involved in 10 goals in his last six league appearances against them (seven goals, three assists).

Lucas Moura added a third before Bale wrapped up the scoring to take his goal involvements to seven in his last four appearances in all competitions. 

At the back, Hugo Lloris celebrated his 100th clean sheet in the competition. He became the 16th goalkeeper to reach that landmark, while he is the ninth quickest to reach it (285 games).

Burnley, meanwhile, have now lost 12 of their last 15 away top-flight matches against Spurs, shipping 48 goals and conceding at least four goals in seven games.

Leicester City 1-3 Arsenal: Gunners storm back to end 'top three' hoodoo

Arsenal ended a four-game winless run against the Foxes in the Premier League, securing their first victory against them in the competition since October 2018. 

It started poorly for Mikel Arteta's side, though, with Youri Tielemans scoring his sixth goal of the season early on. That is as many as he had scored in his first two seasons at the club combined. 

David Luiz pulled the Gunners level before Alexandre Lacazette put them ahead from the penalty spot. The France international has converted all five of his penalties for Arsenal across all competitions, while only Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (13) has now netted more goals for the Gunners than Lacazette (11) this term.

Nicolas Pepe sealed the three points and has now equalled his Premier League goal tally from last season, scoring five this campaign in 13 fewer appearances (18 this term, 31 last season).

The result marked Arsenal's first away victory against a team starting the day in the top three of the Premier League since January 2015 (2-0 v Manchester City) – they were winless in their last 14 such games ahead of this clash (D3 L11).

Crystal Palace 0-0 Fulham: Lucky Eagles escape with a point

It should come as no surprise that this game ended goalless given Fulham's penchant for draws this season. 

Just one of the Cottagers' first 21 Premier League games under Scott Parker ended level, but the stalemate at Selhurst Park was their 10th draw in their last 15 top-flight matches. 

They were comfortably the better side and attempted 16 shots. Fourteen of those came in the second period – the most they have had in the final 45 minutes of a Premier League away game since 2003-04 without scoring.

Palace, meanwhile, have somehow managed to pick up four points from their last two league games despite attempting just six shots (facing 41), having only nine touches in the opposition box (compared to 70 by their opponents), and completing just 442 passes (compared to their opponents' 1065).

Indeed, they managed just 33 attempts in their five Premier League matches in February – the lowest recorded by a team in a single month of at least five games since the start of the 2003-04 campaign.

Arsenal ended a run of two consecutive away Premier League defeats with an impressive 3-1 victory over high-flying Leicester City on Sunday.

Mikel Arteta's men fought back from an early Youri Tielemans goal to score through David Luiz, Alexandre Lacazette and Nicolas Pepe, ending a three-game losing streak at the King Power Stadium in the top flight.

The result means Arsenal closed to within three points of sixth-place Liverpool, having played a game more, while Leicester stay third and 13 points behind leaders Manchester City.

Tielemans gave Leicester the lead with a precise finish after being allowed to run unchecked into the Arsenal box, with Kieran Tierney out of position and Pablo Mari distracted by Jamie Vardy.

It was the fourth time the Gunners had conceded in the opening six minutes of a league game in 2021, but it seemed to spark them into life, with Pepe winning a penalty only for VAR to determine he was fouled outside the box.

David Luiz deservedly equalised six minutes before the break, steering a fine header past Kasper Schmeichel from Willian's free-kick, and the visitors were ahead in injury time.

Pepe's shot was blocked by the raised arm of Wilfred Ndidi and this time VAR ruled in favour of a penalty, allowing Lacazette to smash home from the spot.

Injury problems struck each team either side of the break, with Emile Smith-Rowe limping off for the Gunners before Leicester's Harvey Barnes was taken off on a stretcher, his left leg in a brace.

Arsenal scored their third soon afterwards, Pepe leading a counter-attack and then tapping a loose ball into the net after good work from Martin Odegaard and Willian.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came off the bench and almost made it 4-1, skipping into space and firing just wide of the right-hand post.
 

 

What does it mean? Gunners into top 10 as concern builds for Leicester

Given their poor start to the game, Arsenal's performance was as assured as any they have produced in recent weeks and lifted them back into the league's top 10.

Leicester stay third but, after a surprise Europa League exit to Slavia Prague this week, this was not the way Brendan Rodgers will have wanted them to respond.

The Foxes will hope these defeats do not point to a repeat of 2019-20. They lost on February 28 last year, away to Norwich City, during a six-game winless run that prompted a poor end to their season and a failure to see out a top-four finish.

Pepe starting to peak

Pepe menaced full-back Luke Thomas in the first half to the extent the Leicester man was substituted at half-time on a yellow card.

Having won the free-kick for the equaliser and Lacazette's penalty, Pepe then started and finished the move that effectively killed the game. He has now scored four times in his most recent seven league starts, as many as in his previous 21 across all competitions.

Leicester lose identity

Leicester seemed out of sorts after going ahead and barely threatened Bernd Leno's goal from then on, with Jamie Vardy strangely isolated in attack.

The man who scored 11 goals in his first 12 league meetings with Arsenal had 21 touches and failed even to attempt a shot.

What's next?

Arsenal head to Burnley next Saturday, three days after Leicester face the same opposition at Turf Moor.

Lionel Messi is reportedly open to staying at Barcelona, but the LaLiga giants have work to do.

Messi, 33, stayed at Barca after sensationally requesting to leave ahead of this season.

But the six-time Ballon d'Or winner is out of contract at the end of the campaign, leading to more talk over his future.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI OPEN TO BARCELONA STAY

Messi is open to staying at Barcelona and is prioritising the sporting project over the economic offer, according to Marca.

The report says Barca strengthening their squad could convince Messi, who has been linked to Manchester City.

Signing City forward Sergio Aguero, Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland, Chelsea's N'Golo Kante or Liverpool's Roberto Firmino would help Barca's position in their bid to re-sign the superstar.

ROUND-UP

- With Real Madrid linked with a move for Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, such a deal could lead to questions over Eden Hazard. AS reports Mbappe joining Madrid could lead to an exit for Hazard, who has struggled with injuries since joining the LaLiga giants.

- Staying at Real Madrid and there is uncertainty over Raphael Varane's future. AS reports Madrid are prepared to listen to offers for Varane ahead of next season if they cannot agree to a new deal with the defender, who is out of contract in 2022. Manchester United have been linked with Varane, who is valued at £60.7million (€70m).

- Harry Kane has again starred for Tottenham this season. The Telegraph reports the forward, who is contracted until 2024, is set to stay at Spurs for at least another campaign.

- Amid suggestions Sevilla defender Jules Kounde is too expensive, Manchester United could look elsewhere. Eurosport reports Villarreal's Pau Torres may be a more realistic target due to his reported release clause of around £43m (€49.6m).

- Alexandre Lacazette seems set for an Arsenal exit. The Mirror reports Monaco are targeting the forward ahead of next season.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta confirmed the club are close to signing Real Madrid attacking midfielder Martin Odegaard on loan as he reflected on his side's 3-1 victory over Southampton on Tuesday.

Goals from Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette helped the Gunners come from behind and claim all three points at St Mary's, where they lost 1-0 in the FA Cup just three days earlier.

The result moved Arsenal above Southampton and into eighth place in the Premier League table, and Arteta indicated his side's positive start to 2021 could soon be boosted further by Odegaard's arrival.

"I think we are pretty close but it's not finalised as I understand it," Arteta told reporters, when asked about the 22-year-old Norwegian playmaker.

"I haven't spoken to [Arsenal technical director Edu] or the club in the last few hours but we're very positive that we'll finalise the deal."

After a dismal run of one victory in 10 league matches between October and December, Arsenal are unbeaten in their past five Premier League games and have won four of them.

Arteta indicated that the upturn in form has restored belief to his squad, saying: "Football games are always judged by the result and that affects the confidence.

"The moment that we started to win and confidence went up and we started to grow and understand each other better, we got some players back and the spirit started to lift a little bit, things were much better to be fair."

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl lambasted his side's defending after they succumbed to a third defeat in six league games.

Hasenhuttl told BT Sport: "It's always frustrating when you concede goals, but when it is that easy I think it hurts even more.

"The first was a mistake in the build-up, but then still we had the chance to defend it and we didn't do it, and then the second one was similar.

"It's not the way we can defend, we can do it much better and we know this. After being down one at half-time it's difficult to come back. We had chances to do it, but also the final quality was not good enough.

"We know we are a good side when we play a perfect game, but today we were far off this."

Arsenal earned revenge for their FA Cup defeat to Southampton by coming from behind to beat Ralph Hasenhuttl's side 3-1 at St Mary's in the Premier League on Tuesday.

Having suffered a 1-0 loss on the same ground three days earlier, Arsenal looked a different team as they attacked with great panache, but fell behind to a superb Stuart Armstrong strike after three minutes.

Nicolas Pepe, who scored on his previous Premier League start at Everton in December, levelled before Bukayo Saka gave Arsenal the lead with his fifth league goal of the season.

Southampton created several chances to claim a share of the points but found Gunners goalkeeper Bernd Leno in good form, and Alexandre Lacazette scored in the 72nd minute as Arsenal leapfrogged their hosts into eighth place in the table.

The home side stormed ahead after just three minutes when Armstrong met a James Ward-Prowse corner with a shot on the half-volley that flew past Leno and into the top corner of the net, despite the Arsenal goalkeeper getting a hand to it.

The lead lasted five minutes, as Arsenal pounced on a sloppy Jack Stephens pass and Granit Xhaka played Pepe into the area where he fired a low shot into the far corner of the net from 10 yards out.

Leno made a superb diving save from Che Adams to keep the scores level before Arsenal, six minutes from half-time, went ahead when Lacazette's incisive pass found Saka, who rounded Alex McCarthy and drilled the ball into the gaping net.

Armstrong carved an opening for Theo Walcott early in the second half but Leno was equal to the former Arsenal winger's effort.

Lacazette then finished a sweeping Arsenal attacking move from point-blank range at the other end to seal the victory with his eighth league goal of the season.

 

Mikel Arteta believes Kieran Tierney could go on to become Arsenal captain, with the former Celtic full-back having been in superb form lately.

Tierney has played in all but one of Arsenal's 17 league matches this season and opened his account for the campaign with a wonderful goal against West Brom on Saturday.

The 23-year-old cut inside from the left flank and curled a brilliant finish beyond Sam Johnstone to open the scoring, before then going on to tee up Alexandre Lacazette's second goal in a 4-0 rout of Sam Allardyce's woeful Baggies.

It was a third successive victory for Arsenal, who have turned their fortunes around after a seven-game winless streak in the top flight.

Since the start of December, no defender in the league has created more chances than Tierney (15), while Andy Robertson (29), Aaron Cresswell (25), Trent Alexander-Arnold (23) and Joao Cancelo (22) are the only defenders to have crafted more opportunities than the Scotland international's tally of 21 this term.

Tierney had experience of captaining Celtic prior to his move to Arsenal in 2019, and Arteta has seen plenty of leadership qualities in the left-back.

"I think he can be," Arteta told a news conference when asked if Tierney could go on to captain the Gunners.

"He has the respect and admiration of every member of the staff and every player. It's just the way he is, he does it in a natural way. He's a really shy boy as well but I think he represents all of the values we want to install and that are in the DNA of this football club.

"In both [attack and defence] he can do really well. He can still improve but he's been really good in attack and really solid defensively, so it's the kind of contribution we need from the full-backs.

"He's shy, so humble as well. He came here, it took him a while, he had a really bad injury and was away from home, but he's a natural leader.

"You see how he behaves on the pitch, and when he talks he says the right thing. It's exactly what we look for and I am so pleased to have him in the team."

While Tierney is starting to hit his stride in the Premier League, Arsenal have also been boosted by Lacazette's return to form.

After going almost three months without a league goal, Lacazette scored Arsenal's opener from the penalty spot in a 3-1 win over Chelsea on Boxing Day, before netting the winner against Brighton and Hove Albion and helping himself to a double at West Brom.

Lacazette is now on seven top-flight goals for 2020-21, with five coming away from home – his best such tally in the competition.

The former Lyon forward has netted half of the 12 big chances he has been presented with, which is a better conversion rate than the likes of Sadio Mane, Marcus Rashford and team-mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Lacazette's contract is set to run out in 2022, and although Arteta has been delighted with the Frenchman's performances, any talks will be held off until the end of this season.

"We haven't talked about anything related to his contract," Arteta said.

"I'm delighted with the way he's performing, both that he's scoring and the form and energy that he's having at the moment, so he needs to keep doing that.

"We will talk in the summer and make a decision then."

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