Emery rests Ozil for Eintracht Frankfurt despite lack of Premier League action

By Sports Desk September 18, 2019

Mesut Ozil has been rested for Arsenal's Europa League trip to Eintracht Frankfurt despite making a single Premier League appearance this season.

Ozil started Sunday's 2-2 draw at Watford but was substituted after 71 minutes, the former Germany midfielder having helped to create Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's second strike.

An ankle injury to Alexandre Lacazette opened a place in Arsenal's attack for Ozil but head coach Unai Emery has opted to do without the playmaker for Thursday's Group F opener in Frankfurt.

"We are playing now a lot of matches and I wanted to use different players," Emery told a news conference, having named a 19-man squad including teenagers Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.

"We can have some rotation in the first XI and the 19 players. Sokratis [Papastathopoulos] and Mesut are rested for that match.

"We are going to play another match on Sunday [against Aston Villa]. My decision is because he played [against Watford], I am thinking tomorrow of the first XI and after that deciding who can be the best for tomorrow.

"The first match he played on Sunday he played well with his capacity and skills. His first minutes for us was good. Now he is going to be helping us. Sunday we are going to play another match. We're thinking to have a reaction.”

Asked if Ozil was omitted to spare the 30-year-old a return to Germany following his controversial international retirement, Emery said: "No."

Arsenal gave a cheap goal away against Watford by losing the ball trying to play out from a goal kick with Emery accepting his side have work to do after conceding seven times in a three-match winless run.

"The first analysis is on how we can improve and recover our confidence, starting and controlling the match," Emery added.

"Sunday we struggled more than we wanted and also we made some mistakes and conceded some goals. We are working yesterday and today on how we can work on it, usually Eintracht are doing high pressing.

"Tomorrow we need to improve. Some mistakes we made on Sunday, we need to improve. We want to control every game with the ball, with positioning. We did on Sunday, in the first half. Tomorrow is a new challenge in terms of how we're improving."

Related items

  • Inter match among three Serie A games postponed amid coronavirus concerns Inter match among three Serie A games postponed amid coronavirus concerns

    Inter's game against Sampdoria and two other Serie A matches have been postponed following the recent coronavirus outbreak in Italy.

    At a news conference, Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte confirmed Sunday's fixtures in the Lombardy and Veneto regions, including the Hellas Verona-Cagliari and Atalanta-Sassuolo clashes, would not go ahead.

    The move comes as part of preventative measures against the spread of the coronavirus, officially named Covid-19, after two people died and dozens more reportedly tested positive.

    Saturday's scheduled Serie B match between Ascoli and Cremonese was earlier postponed and up to 88 amateur football matches were also called off, according to Italian news agency ANSA.

    In a short statement, Inter announced only that their meeting with Sampdoria at San Siro was postponed "to a later date".

    The third-placed Nerazzurri sit six points behind Serie A leaders Juventus, who won 2-1 against SPAL on Saturday.

    Sunday's three other games are expected to go ahead as planned.

    Genoa are due to host title-chasing Lazio, with Torino to face Parma and Roma entertaining Lecce.

  • Hazard injury 'doesn't look good', admits Madrid boss Zidane Hazard injury 'doesn't look good', admits Madrid boss Zidane

    Eden Hazard's availability for Real Madrid's crunch fixtures against Manchester City and Barcelona appears in doubt after Zinedine Zidane admitted his latest injury "doesn't look good".

    The Belgium forward hobbled off in the second half of the 1-0 loss to Levante on Saturday and he could be seen on the bench receiving treatment on his lower right leg.

    Hazard only recently returned from a fractured right ankle so the sight of him appearing to have another problem in the same area was alarming for Zidane.

    Madrid face Pep Guardiola's City in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday before a Clasico date with new LaLiga leaders Barcelona next weekend.

    "It doesn't look good," Zidane told reporters at a news conference.

    "It can become weak where you've had an injury. It is a blow, let's see.

    "It's sore now but we'll see tomorrow when we do more tests."

    It was a thoroughly miserable outing for Madrid as they suffered a surprise defeat thanks to Jose Luis Morales' stunning late effort.

    Madrid drew 2-2 with Celta Vigo at home in their previous outing and they will host Barcelona next Sunday knowing they are now two points behind their great rivals in the title race.

    Captain Sergio Ramos revealed the level of frustration he was feeling in a social media post.

    "We're p***ed off," he wrote on Twitter.

    "But we can't allow our heads to drop.

    "We have to reset now and tomorrow push harder than ever before for a very important week. We're counting on you."

  • I thought VAR helped a referee – Pioli fumes at Fiorentina penalty call I thought VAR helped a referee – Pioli fumes at Fiorentina penalty call

    Milan must take responsibility for their draw against 10-man Fiorentina, says Stefano Pioli, but the coach was convinced his side should not have had a late penalty awarded against them.

    Ante Rebic's goal put Milan ahead after 56 minutes in Saturday's Serie A clash, with Fiorentina's chances diminished further when Dalbert was sent off after a VAR check.

    But Fiorentina rallied late on and were given a penalty when Alessio Romagnoli was deemed to have fouled ex-Rossoneri striker Patrick Cutrone, even though the defender seemed to have got the ball.

    Erick Pulgar converted beyond Asmir Begovic – who had replaced the injured Gianluigi Donnarumma early in the second half – and Milan were ultimately fortunate to come away with a point after Martin Caceres and Dusan Vlahovic missed late chances.

    Though Pioli acknowledged his side had slipped up in failing to retain their lead, he was sure Romagnoli was unfairly penalised.

    "We have to take full responsibility, as we had the game in hand, did everything we needed to do, but then stopped playing once Fiorentina went down to 10 men and assumed the game was over," he told DAZN.

    "There are regrets, we certainly shoulder responsibility, because we made errors.

    "As for the penalty, there are no doubts, it was not a penalty. You could tell from the bench that the ball moved when Romagnoli went in.

    "I do not understand why technology is not used in these situations. I do not understand it. I thought and had taken it for granted that VAR helped a referee change an incorrect decision, but apparently that is not the case.

    "It's difficult to accept, because we've had some strange incidents going against us. We shoulder a lot of the responsibility, because we made mistakes, but on the other situation, there's nothing we can do to control that."

    While Milan will leave Florence feeling hard done by, Cutrone – who clapped the travelling support after the game – insisted he had no intention to celebrate if he had been on spot-kick duties.

    "Milan will never be an opponent for me. I thank them for all they gave me and the applause at the end," Cutrone told DAZN.

    "I am happy with the point, I thank the Viola fans for their support and the Milan fans for their salute. If I had taken the penalty, I never would have celebrated because I respect Milan so much and I would never do that to them.

    "I have to thank Fiorentina for believing in me. I have to repay the club with performances and I hope many goals."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.