EPL

Havertz: Arsenal deserved more than finishing second

By Sports Desk May 19, 2024

Kai Havertz believes Arsenal deserve more after they were pipped to the Premier League title by Manchester City.

Arsenal knew they needed to beat Everton in the final game of the season and hope City slipped up at home to West Ham, but though Havertz netted an 89th-minute winner to see off the Toffees 2-1, Pep Guardiola's men ran out 3-1 victors over the Hammers.

City claim a fourth straight Premier League title, while Arsenal finish second again having also finished runners-up last season.

Havertz was left disappointed after the game, believing Arsenal's efforts throughout the campaign warranted a first Premier League crown in 20 years.

Havertz told TNT Sports "What can I say? I feel sorry for all the Arsenal fans. We gave our best but it wasn't enough.

"Maybe in two or three months we can say it was a good fight. Right now, I feel like we deserve more. It wasn't enough in the end but we go again next year."

Havertz's goal against Everton was his 13th of the league campaign, with no German scoring more in a 20-team Premier League season.

After a tough start to life in an Arsenal shirt since joining from Chelsea, Havertz has enjoyed a strong end to the campaign.

Havertz was proud of his and his team-mates' efforts, saying: "We showed great character again, they [Everton] didn't make it easy for us. They took time with every throw and every ball. In my opinion it's sometimes not fair in football but we have to accept that football is hard.

"Hopefully we can go again next year and give Arsenal fans what they need and what they're all here for."

When asked if he had a message for Gunners fans, Havertz stated: "Right now, I can't even think. It's just so frustrating. It's tough.

"I can tell them next year that we're going to be an even better team and we're going to give everything again. That's all I can say."

Related items

  • Italy 2-1 Albania: Defending champions overcome record-breaking setback in Group B opener Italy 2-1 Albania: Defending champions overcome record-breaking setback in Group B opener

    Italy opened their Euro 2024 title defence with victory after overcoming a record-breaking early strike from Albania to triumph with a 2-1 comeback win at Signal Iduna Park.

    The reigning European champions were shocked early on when Nedim Bajrami hammered home after just 23 seconds for the fastest goal in European Championship history.

    Alessandro Bastoni soon levelled with a routine header, however, before Nicolo Barella's fizzing finish muted Albania's short-lived celebrations in their first Group B encounter.

    The Azzurri, champions just three years ago at the delayed Euro 2020 tournament, never appeared troubled after the interval as Italy moved level on points with Spain, who hammered Croatia 3-0 earlier on Saturday.

    Backed by thousands of Albanian supporters in Dortmund, Bajrami stunned the defending champions with his record-breaking strike after less than 30 seconds of action.

    A sloppy Federico Dimarco throw-in proved Italy's undoing as Bajrami powered into the area before launching into the top-right corner past the helpless Gianluigi Donnarumma.

    Yet Luciano Spalletti's side soon turned things around with two goals in the space of six first-half minutes.

    Lorenzo Pellegrini lifted a well-worked short corner towards the far post, where Bastoni headed in with ease, before Barella arrowed a perfect half-volley past Thomas Strakosha from the edge of the box.

    Matters almost worsened for Sylvinho's team, but Strakosha produced an expert reflex save to push Davide Frattesi's deft lob against the left-hand post and away from danger.

    A far more subdued opening to the second half followed as Albania dominated possession without reward, though Federico Chiesa went close for Italy when driving a rocketed effort wide of the top-left corner.

    Donnarumma was, however, required late on to keep Italy's lead intact, racing out to deny Rey Manaj's chip, though somehow the referee gave a goal-kick in the dying seconds.

    Youthful Italy respond emphatically

    An eye-catching Bajrami strike ensured Italy conceded the opening goal in successive European Championship games for the first time since a three-game run between June 2004 and June 2008.

    Yet that fast start proved to matter little as Spalletti's side, who are attempting to become just the second team to win back-to-back Euros after Spain (2008, 2012), roared back with an emphatic response.

    Bastoni headed in just his second international goal on his 24th appearance, with both strikes coming on German soil, before Barella's 10th goal for Italy returned Spalletti's men to their expected course.

    A dominant performance followed with a showing belying their youthful age as Italy fielded their youngest starting line-up (26 years and 287 days) at the Euros since June 1988 – against the Soviet Union in the semi-finals (25y 2d).

    Albania's Azzurri struggles persist

    Bajrami's goal was just Albania's second ever at the European Championships and shattered the record for the fastest strike in the tournament's 64-year history.

    Yet it was a familiar tale for Sylvinho's side, who have now lost their last five meetings with Italy across all competitions after a remarkable turnaround in the first half.

    Albania will be desperate to respond when they meet Croatia on Wednesday, aiming to add to their sole Euros victory that came in a 1-0 win over Romania in the final group game of the 2016 edition.

  • Yamal revels in 'dream' Euros bow as Spain crush Croatia Yamal revels in 'dream' Euros bow as Spain crush Croatia

    Lamine Yamal described his historic Euro 2024 bow as a "dream" after Spain hammered Croatia 3-0 in their Group B opener on Saturday.

    Starting at the age of 16 years and 338 days, Yamal became the youngest player to ever feature at the European Championships, and he rewarded Luis de la Fuente's faith with a terrific performance.

    The Barcelona winger saw his inviting cross prodded home by Dani Carvajal for La Roja's third goal, after Alvaro Morata and Fabian Ruiz had put them in control.

    Only fellow youngster Pedri matched his total of three chances created, while he led all players for crosses (three) and saw his three successful dribbles equalled only by Dani Olmo.

    Speaking after the game, Yamal said of Spain's fine display: "We trust ourselves a lot. We went out to give it our all, because three points already does a lot in the group stage.

    "It's a dream. I'm very happy to have played in the European Championship.

    "The team is very confident. Now we have to go all out against Italy. Nothing changes for one game. We go with the same confidence. The work of these last few months has been reflected today."

    Spain are now in the driving seat in a group many regard as the toughest at the tournament ahead of facing Italy and Albania.

    Captain Morata moved to seven European Championship goals with his opener, with only Cristiano Ronaldo (14) and Michel Platini (nine) ever scoring more.

    Morata later seemed to be holding his leg in discomfort when he was withdrawn for Mikel Oyarzabal, but the striker has assured fans he will be fit to face Italy on Thursday.

    "It was important to start like this," Morata said. "We pressed a great team very well. We must go for the games from the start and now think about the next one."

    On the knock he suffered in the second half, he said: "It was just a blow, I was loading other parts of my leg. 

    "The best thing was to go out and have another team-mate play better."

  • Bajrami scores fastest goal in Euros history against Italy Bajrami scores fastest goal in Euros history against Italy

    Nedim Bajrami scored the fastest goal in European Championship history as Albania made a stunning start to their Group B clash with Italy on Saturday.

    Just 23 seconds into the teams' first game at Euro 2024, Bajrami pounced on a terrible throw-in from Italy left-back Federico Dimarco before powering his shot inside Gianluigi Donnarumma's near post.

    The strike – which was just Albania's second at the Euros – was officially timed as the fastest after kick-off in the competition's 64-year history.

    However, Albania's lead lasted just 10 minutes as Alessandro Bastoni equalised, the Inter centre-back heading Lorenzo Pellegrini's cross home at the far post.

    Within another six minutes, Albania were behind as Nicolo Barella lashed home from range to put the Azzurri on top.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.