Mikel Arteta provided few assurances Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has a future at Arsenal after he was stripped of the club's captaincy.

Arteta left Aubameyang out of the squad for the 3-0 weekend defeat of Southampton, confirming afterwards that the Gabon international was dropped for disciplinary reasons.

Aubameyang was reported to have returned to the club late after being granted a trip abroad, though Arteta did not elaborate on what the striker was being punished for.

The club confirmed on Tuesday that Aubameyang has had the armband taken from him and he will not be in the squad to face West Ham on Wednesday, despite Arteta appearing to indicate at the weekend that he could be involved against the Hammers.

A few hours after Arsenal's announcement, Arteta addressed the media ahead of Wednesday's match and he gave no indication that the club and Aubameyang retain a healthy working relationship.

Arteta was asked several times if Aubameyang had a future at the club or if he had played his last Arsenal game, but his responses were devoid of optimism.

"We need a bit of time," he said. "It needs a bit of time to heal. For now he's not involved in the squad."

Pressed on whether Aubameyang, who is contracted until 2023, could be sold in January, he added: "All I can say right now is we have made this decision, which is a tough one.

"I wouldn't like to be sitting here talking about [this]. For now, he's not involved. What I can say as for now, it's been a lot to digest. It's a difficult decision to make, it will take a bit of time.

"What I can tell you now, we made this because we are hurting. It needs a time to heal and he's not involved.

"Since I've been here, the relationship has been really good. That's why it's painful."

Arteta has not appointed a new captain yet and does not look likely to do so for a while, suggesting the existing leadership group will take it in turns to have the armband.

"We have the leadership group and we think that we have different players that are nominated to be captain. In the last game it was Laca [Alexandre Lacazette] and we have Granit [Xhaka] as well, who has been captain so we will follow that.

"Obviously, it is a really unpleasant situation and it is not the moment to make any rash decision.

"That leadership group is really strong, it is the one that communicates with myself and the coaching staff and then with the club in a really clear and strong way.

"We are going to continue like that and that is one of the decisions that we made, to make that group a little bit better and try to educate them and try and get the right feedback all the time and build that trust and the strong culture around the club. It is working really well so we will continue to do that.

"It is really important, but for me having the leadership group is something that has been tremendously helpful because then you get different voices. It is a really multicultural dressing room that needs a lot of attention and different feelings and different languages.

"They all have to be involved and I am really comfortable with that."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been stripped of the Arsenal captaincy and will not be considered for selection to face West Ham following last week's disciplinary breach, the club has confirmed.

Mikel Arteta left Aubameyang out of the squad for the 3-0 weekend defeat of Southampton, confirming afterwards that the Gabon international was dropped for disciplinary reasons.

Aubameyang was reported to have returned to the club late after being granted a trip abroad, though Arteta did not elaborate on what the striker was being punished for.

Arteta did appear to suggest Aubameyang would be back in contention to face the Hammers on Wednesday, but Arsenal have since communicated he is to be left at home.

A club statement read: "Following his latest disciplinary breach last week, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will no longer be our club captain, and will not be considered for selection for Wednesday's match against West Ham United.

"We expect all our players, particularly our captain, to work to the rules and standards we have all set and agreed.

"We are fully focused on tomorrow's match."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been stripped of the Arsenal captaincy and will not be considered for selection to face West Ham following last week's disciplinary breach, the club has confirmed.

Mikel Arteta preferred to focus on Arsenal's comfortable 3-0 victory over Southampton despite repeated questions over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's absence.

Arteta left out Aubameyang on Saturday due to a "disciplinary breach", but Alexandre Lacazette stepped up and delivered the opening goal in the first half.

Martin Odegaard soon added a second at Emirates Stadium – where Southampton have never won in 23 Premier League games, the longest barren run for one team away to another in the competition's history – with Gabriel netting after the interval.

Arsenal are unbeaten in 27 home league games against Southampton dating back to November 1987, their joint-longest such run against any opponent, and Arteta was keen to discuss the performance rather than Aubameyang.

"The first 15 minutes we started nervy; after that I think we picked up the rhythm of the game, scored a really good goal and started to dominate the game," Arteta told reporters after the game.

Pressed for an update on Aubameyang's situation, Arteta responded: "Let's talk about the game, guys. I'm not going to say anything else, I want to focus on the performance.

"I am really happy that we won. I'm telling you you're not going to get anything else from me.

"I cannot say anything else. You're not going to get anything else from me out of the dressing room."

Arteta then hinted at a return for Aubameyang in the next game against West Ham as he nodded in response to whether the forward's absence was just for one match.

Meanwhile, the manager was impressed with Odegaard, who has scored three goals in as many games, having only scored twice in his previous 25 Premier League appearances.

"He should have scored a hat-trick against Everton," Arteta added. "He's getting in the box more and is understanding what he has to do for the team."

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was left out of his squad for the game with Southampton because of a disciplinary breach.

The 32-year-old was named on the bench for the Gunners' 2-1 defeat at Everton last week but was left out of the squad altogether when the team was announced on Saturday for the home clash with Saints.

Speaking before the game, Arteta confirmed the decision was taken was for disciplinary reasons. 

"Unfortunately, due to a disciplinary breach," he said when asked about the player's absence. "There are non-negotiables we have set as a club and I think we have been very consistent."

The Arsenal boss was asked how long Aubameyang could be out for, replying: "It starts today.

"Certainly it's not an easy situation and not a situation we want."

The Gabon international, who signed a new three-year contract at Emirates Stadium in September last year, has scored just four times and assisted once in 14 appearances in the Premier League this season, averaging a goal every 259.8 minutes.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has not discussed the idea of selling captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the January transfer window, but has acknowledged that the striker is going through "difficulty".

Aubameyang was named on the bench for the Gunners' 2-1 defeat at Everton on Monday, and only came on late in the game, missing a good chance to equalise in the closing seconds at Goodison Park.

The 32-year-old, who signed a new three-year contract at the Emirates Stadium in September last year, has scored just four times and assisted once in 14 appearances in the Premier League this season, averaging a goal every 259.75 minutes.

Aubameyang's goal return rate has been decreasing at Arsenal for the last few years, averaging a goal every 105.8 minutes in his first half season in 2017-18, followed by a goal every 124.14 minutes in his first full season, then one every 142.64 minutes in 2019-20, and every 233.6 minutes last season.

However, his manager has vowed to support the former Borussia Dortmund man, saying at a media conference on Friday ahead of the weekend's clash with Southampton: "Obviously, when a player is not scoring it's affecting his confidence, it's affecting the mood and probably the belief, but you have to rebel against this situation, don't accept it and feel sorry for yourself."

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta conceded the Gunners were not good enough as they suffered stoppage-time heartbreak against Everton in the Premier League.

Arteta's Arsenal suffered their third defeat in four Premier League matches after Demarai Gray's stunning individual effort saw the hosts snatch a dramatic 92nd-minute victory.

Martin Odegaard had given the visitors a half-time lead with his neat volley from Kieran Tierney's cross at Goodison Park.

Arsenal were made to rue their failure to convert their winning position, as Richarlison equalised before Gray completed the turnaround in the second minute of stoppage time.

Arteta felt his players were punished for their lack of game management after succumbing to three consecutive league defeats to Everton for the first time since 1986.

"In the first half, we were very inconsistent with the ball," Arteta told Sky Sports. "I didn't like it. [We had] no penetration; one of the few times we did it, we scored. 

"Second half, we tried to do more of those things, created four big chances, but conceded a very sloppy goal when you need to manage the game.

"I think the team tried to keep going, we kept pressing high. We lost a few important duels that put us some pressure."

"What I want is more from my team. Today, you have the game under control even though you're not playing your best, and you have to find a way to win it.

"It could have been very different, but we haven't managed to do it. When the opponent is there for the taking, you have to do it, and we haven't. It wasn't good enough."

Odegaard concurred with Arteta that seventh-placed Arsenal must significantly improve their performance levels.

Former Real Madrid midfielder Odegaard was one of Arsenal's better performers on Merseyside; registering game-high tallies of four key passes and three shots on goal.

Odegaard's goal was the ninth consecutively scored by Arsenal in the Premier League by a player aged 23 or younger, their longest such run in Premier League history.

He also became the youngest Norwegian (22 years, 354 days) to score in back-to-back Premier League appearances since John Arne Riise in August 2002 for Liverpool (21 years, 328 days).

"It's a hard one to take. I think in general, we were not at the level we needed to be at today," he said. "We had some good moments, but we have to do much better. We should have been better.

"It's hard to say exactly what happened. We have to do better when we have that lead. We stopped playing and gave them the game they wanted to play.

"I think it is [a mindset problem]. When you're leading 1-0, you get afraid to lose the win and, in my opinion, that's what we did wrong today. 

"You go for the second goal and that was the intention, but we didn't manage to do that on the pitch."

Arsenal have lost consecutive Premier League matches when scoring the first goal in each match, the first time they have done that since December 2016, with one of those defeats also a 2-1 loss against Everton at Goodison Park – the other was a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City.

Mikel Arteta felt Arsenal "deserved much more than what we got" following their 3-2 Premier League defeat to Manchester United on Thursday. 

Arsenal took the lead in bizarre circumstances at Old Trafford, Emile Smith Rowe volleying home from 20 yards while David de Gea laid on the ground injured after a collision with Fred.

Referee Martin Atkinson did not blow his whistle until the ball crossed the line and following a VAR review the goal was allowed to stand. 

However, Bruno Fernandes drew United level in his 100th appearance for the club and Cristiano Ronaldo put the Red Devils in front with his 800th career goal. 

Martin Odegaard restored parity three minutes later but his foul on Fred gave away a penalty that Ronaldo thundered home, giving United a much-needed win and denying Arsenal a chance to move into the Premier League's top four. 

"It is what it is. When you concede three goals at Old Trafford you make it difficult to get a result," Arteta told Amazon Prime. 

"I'm disappointed with how we conceded some of the goals. We had some really good periods, getting back in the game and scoring the second and then we throw it away. After we needed two goals to win it and we weren't able to do it. 

"I think we've come a long way since the game at Anfield [a 4-0 loss to Liverpool] because we were able to maintain a high level for longer periods. We had a period after scoring where we just kept giving the ball away in dangerous areas and you'll get punished against this opponent. 

"We had very good structure. We were a threat. They couldn't run because we had a good structure in our counter-press, but when it was 2-2 and we had to build our momentum to go and win the game we conceded a penalty. 

"There were a lot of things I liked in the game. I really liked the behaviour of the team, individually some of the performances were really good. We had some really good moments in the game and when you score two at Old Trafford you expect to get something out of the game. That's a regret but it's our own fault. 

"If you look at the game, you would say we deserved much more than what we got. But you get punished against this level of opponent, this level of players. You cannot do certain things that we did." 

The defeat was Arsenal's 25th in the Premier League against United, which is more than they have suffered against any other opponent in the history of the competition. 

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has called new Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick "one of the top coaches" ahead of the Gunners' trip to Old Trafford on Thursday.

Rangnick was announced on Monday as the man who will take charge of the Red Devils for the remainder of the season.

He will take over from Michael Carrick, who had stepped up temporarily after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer departed.

However, Rangnick is still waiting for a work visa and is set to miss the clash against Arsenal, with Carrick to carry on at the helm for a third game.

The 63-year-old has taken on a number of roles at football clubs in his career, including head coach and director of football, and will step into an advisory role at United when the season concludes.

Arteta spoke of his admiration for Rangnick, highlighting the "radical changes" the German has made at clubs such as RB Leipzig and, most recently, Lokomotiv Moscow.

"[Rangnick] has been one of the top coaches in every involvement he has had in the game, not only in coaching," Arteta said. 

"He’s made some radical changes in some areas and he’s a really interesting person in the footballing world, and a really interesting appointment for the club."

Arteta also revealed that the uncertainty surrounding who would be in the dugout for United on Thursday had made preparing for the trip to Manchester difficult, pointing out the quality of the Red Devils' squad.

"They are a team, a squad that is one of the most talented in the league," Arteta continued. 

"It is very difficult tactically because you don’t know how they are going to prepare the game, the options that they can play, the formation they can [use] so it’s focused more on ourselves, on what we have to do and make sure the team is prepared to go there and beat them.

"We try to gather information [on Rangnick] to understand more what to expect.

"We didn't know if he was going to be sitting on the bench or if he was taking training sessions, so in terms of the preparations, it was a little bit trickier than usual because you don't really know the influence that the new coach is going to have."

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta praised Gunners defender Gabriel Magalhaes for his "character" after he fought off a baseball bat-wielding robber at his home.

The 23-year-old centre-back was followed home by two robbers who attempted to steal his car, watch and phone back in August. He tussled with one assailant, who amid the scuffle dropped his hat, from which DNA evidence led to a conviction last month.

Gabriel missed the opening three Premier League games of the season with a knee injury but has played the full 90 minutes in each of the subsequent 10, with Arsenal winning seven and drawing two of those fixtures.

Arteta, speaking ahead of Arsenal's game against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Thursday, commended Gabriel for his response.

"Obviously it is not a nice thing to go through when you have family involved and they are trying to access your house," Arteta said. "Gabi showed a lot of character, you see the reaction he had straight away. Credit to the boy. After that he was fine.

"Obviously, he was shocked, there were a few things he wanted to change in his life to try to prevent those things happening and the club gave him all the support that was needed to try to forget about the situation, learn from it and move on."

Arteta will be hoping left-sided central defender Gabriel can help Arsenal repeat their Old Trafford heroics from last season – when the Gunners won 1-0 – as part of a solid defensive unit that has conceded just eight goals in the 10 league games he has played in this season.

However, the identity of the left-back playing next to him is less certain, with Nuno Tavares seemingly having displaced first-choice Kieran Tierney in the role for the time being as the pair compete for minutes – a problem Arteta is glad to have.

"Last year when we had an issue with Kieran, when he was out for a while, we had to invent and play players in that position, and that's something that obviously we want to eradicate as much as possible," Arteta explained. 

"And that's why we made the decision that we made in the summer, to try to fill the gaps that we have and make the team stronger. It's only about that.

"Kieran hasn't played in a lot of games because he was still injured and in others, because once Nuno played and played well, I think he deserved the chance to continue playing.

"[Starting Tierney on the bench against Newcastle United] was a tricky one and after what happened at Anfield and some individual errors that we had, we have to be very careful with the messages that we send to our players.

"I encourage my players to play with courage, to take risks, to make decisions and to be on the front foot and when they do that, if for any reason things don't go our way or somebody makes a mistake, that's when you have to show trust in the player because you want to build confidence and resilience.

"It’s not only for the player that's playing, it's also for the player that's not playing to understand that part of that decision is to support and in their case, if it happens to them, I will do exactly the same thing.

"It's something that we have to build and with young players even more, because if not, they can get very confused. I have full confidence in him."

Mikel Arteta concedes Gabriel Martinelli deserves more game time than he is getting at Arsenal and says the forward is pushing hard to play a greater role for the Gunners.

Martinelli was on target as Arsenal defeated Newcastle United 2-0 at Emirates Stadium on Saturday, just 93 seconds after replacing Bukayo Saka – who had opened the scoring.

The Brazilian has played only 367 minutes across nine appearances in all competitions this season, with just four of those as part of the starting line-up.

His goal against the Magpies was his first of the campaign, while he has yet to register an assist from the five chances he has created.

But Arsenal boss Arteta believes the goal can act as a springboard for a player whose attitude continues to impress the Spaniard.

"It is a big moment for him and I'm especially happy for him because how he behaves," Arteta told Arsenal's official website of Martinelli.

"Some players are respectful when you make some decisions, and some players are very respectful, like he is.

"He's patient, but at the same time he's really pushing and challenging and it makes every decision that you make even harder because he deserves more and I'm really pleased because he really helped the team to get the points."

Martinelli's goal was his first Premier League home strike since January 2020, with 679 days having passed between the efforts.

He has had fewer than 15 minutes of top-flight action since August, but Martinelli accepts there is a need to be patient.

"Yeah I need to be patient as I always say, if I play 10 or 20 minutes, I have to play well and be ready to play," Martinelli said.

"I love the fans, I'm so happy to be here, playing for this club and I'm so happy for the victory.

"We knew that the game was going to be hard, but we came prepared to the game and I'm so happy.

"To be fair I don't remember [the goal]. I think Martin [Odegaard] played it wide to Tomi [Takehiro Tomiyasu] and I just thought I'd go to the box and try to head it, and I finished the ball. I'm just happy to score the goal."

Liverpool were in typically ruthless form on Saturday as they brushed aside Southampton 4-0 at Anfield.

The result meant Jurgen Klopp's men became just the second English top-flight team to score two or more goals in 17 consecutive games in all competitions, after Sunderland in 1927.

Elsewhere, rock-bottom Newcastle United's winless start to the Premier League season continued as they were beaten 2-0 by Arsenal at Emirates Stadium.

Steven Gerrard secured his second consecutive win since taking over as Aston Villa boss, with his side sealing a 2-1 away win at Crystal Palace.

Brighton and Hove Albion and Leeds United played out a goalless draw at the Amex Stadium, as did Norwich City and Wolves at Carrow Road.

Here, Stats Perform looks through the pick of Saturday's Opta facts…


Liverpool 4-0 Southampton:Jota at the double for rampant Reds

Liverpool have now scored 39 goals in their 13 Premier League games this season – their highest total at this stage of a top-flight campaign.

Diogo Jota got them on the way with their earliest goal in the Premier League (one minute and 37 seconds) since Naby Keita netted against Huddersfield Town in April 2019 (15 seconds).

Another from Jota and a strike from Thiago Alcantara put Liverpool 3-0 up at the break, before Virgil van Dijk rounded off the scoring early in the second half.

Netherlands international Van Dijk's goal was created by Trent Alexander-Arnold, who earned his 40th Premier League assist. Only Wayne Rooney (22 years and 200 days) and Cesc Fabregas (21y 188d) have reached such an assists total in the competition at a younger age than the Liverpool right-back (23y 51d).

Salah reached 150 Premier League goal involvements by setting up Jota's second, reaching that total (108 goals, 42 assists) in just 171 games. Only Alan Shearer (148 games) and Thierry Henry (163) have got there in fewer games.

Southampton, meanwhile, have lost more away games (14) and conceded more away goals (47) than any other side in the Premier League side this calendar year.


 

Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle United: Gunners cruise against Howe's beleaguered men

The Gunners continued their fine home form under Mikel Arteta with a routine win against Eddie Howe's struggling side.

Since Arteta's first home game in charge in December 2019, only Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea have won more points at home in the Premier League than Arsenal (67).

Bukayo Saka got them on their way before Gabriel Martinelli added a second just 93 seconds after coming on as a substitute. It was just Martinelli's second Premier League goal at the Emirates Stadium and his first since January 2020 against Sheffield United.

The Magpies, meanwhile, became the sixth different team to fail to win any of their opening 13 games to a Premier League season, with four of the previous five sides suffering relegation (only Derby County in 2000-01 survived).

Crystal Palace 1-2 Aston Villa: Gerrard's winning start continues

This victory meant former Rangers boss Gerrard became only the second manager to win his first two Premier League games in charge of Villa, after John Gregory in February-March 1998.

Matt Targett scored the opener for Villa with his first Premier League goal in his last 75 appearances in the competition, the full-back having not netted since getting a late winner against Brighton in October 2019.

John McGinn then added a second, the Scotland international already equalling his best goal tally for a full Premier League season (three in both 2020-21 and 2019-20).

Marc Guehi pulled one back in stoppage time, but it was too late to prevent the Eagles suffering a first defeat in their last eight Premier League games (W2 D5), since a 3-0 away loss to Liverpool in September.

Norwich City 0-0 Wolves: Smith maintains unbeaten start

Dean Smith followed up a win in his first game in charge of the Canaries last weekend with a hard-fought point at home.

Norwich have now taken seven points from their last three Premier League games (W2 D1), more than they had in their previous 25 in the competition (W1 D3 L21).

The Canaries have also kept two clean sheets in their last four Premier League home games – as many as in their previous 26 at Carrow Road in the competition.

It is perhaps no surprise they could not find a way past Wolves, with only Chelsea (five) and Liverpool (four) keeping more away clean sheets in the Premier League this season than Bruno Lage's men (three).

Mikel Arteta praised Arsenal for their patience against Newcastle United after a lack of "composure" in the first half of their 2-0 win.

The Gunners opened the scoring for the 17th top-flight game against Newcastle in a row as Bukayo Saka drove into the bottom-right corner.

Gabriel Martinelli doubled the lead just 93 seconds after his introduction as the Magpies became the sixth different team to fail to win any of their opening 13 Premier League games of a season.

Arteta was pleased with the showing given his side's 4-0 defeat to Liverpool last time out.

"I am happy with the points after losing [to Liverpool]," Arteta told BT Sport post-match. "You have to win straight away. Overall, I'm pleased.

"The word was we had to be patient. We had to play with urgency and rhythm. That's what we did in the second half. We found spaces and that's how we scored the goals."

Arsenal attempted 12 shots in the first half – the second-most attempts in the opening 45 minutes of a Premier League game this term, behind Manchester United's 15 against Aston Villa – and Arteta felt they were a little too trigger-happy early on.

"When you have chances, you have to put them in the net," he continued. "In the first half we shot from every range without composure."

A slight dampener on the Gunners' win came when Saka was forced off in the second half and Arteta explained the 20-year-old "wasn't comfortable" after "he felt something."

However, he was delighted to see Saka's replacement Martinelli score his first Premier League goal since January 2020 just 93 seconds after coming on.

"The movement, the pass from Tomi [Takehiro Tomiyasu] is great," he added on the second goal. "It's really difficult to keep the ball down when it's flying over your head but that's what he can do."

Mikel Arteta has invited Arsene Wenger to make a sensational Arsenal return as he claimed the Gunners "would be delighted to have him much closer".

Wenger was appointed Arsenal manager in 1996, leading the Gunners to three Premier League titles and seven FA Cup triumphs before his departure in 2018.

The Frenchman currently works as FIFA's chief of global football development, acting as a figurehead for world football's governing body.

Arteta played under Wenger for five years before retiring in 2016 and taking a coaching role with Manchester City, prior to accepting his first managerial job at Arsenal in December 2019.

After meeting the 72-year-old at the recent premiere of his film 'Arsene Wenger: Invincible', Arteta indicated he would welcome his former manager Wenger back to the club immediately.

"There has been communication, I saw him and talked to him when we went to see his film. It was incredibly pleasant to see him, to chat to him, and hopefully we can bring him close," Arteta told a news conference when asked about Wenger on Thursday.

"I think he would have a great time seeing the environment he could create around him.

"It is great when he comes around this place because of the respect and admiration everyone at the club has what for he has done and what he represents as a person for us."

Pressed for clarity on a potential role for Wenger, Arteta said: "I cannot tell you now, but what I can say is I would like him to be much closer, personally to me because he would be a great help for me and the club.

"But things take time, and he has to dictate those timings. What I can say, on behalf of everybody, is we would be delighted to have him much closer."

Arsenal are preparing to face strugglers Newcastle United on Saturday, having won 16 of their last 17 Premier League meetings with Eddie Howe's new side.

The Gunners have also never lost a game against the side starting the day bottom of the top-flight table, but Arteta has warned that Newcastle pose a different threat under Howe.

A 4-0 defeat to Liverpool last weekend has set back the progress that Arsenal appeared to be making.

"We must play as good as we can, we will learn [from the Liverpool loss] and compete throughout the game," Arteta said.

"Let's keep going, it's a new game. There are some changes [at Newcastle]. You can see the momentum is building; it's different even in the last game they played.

"New manager, the new coaching staff – we need to be prepared. I admire Eddie and his style of play, Newcastle are not as poor as the table suggests.

"Their last few games could have all gone entirely different ways. With the attacking threats they have got in the final third, we are going to have to be really cautious and play as well as we can."

Saturday provided no shortage of talking points as the Premier League returned after the international break.

Manchester United suffered another heavy defeat, this time at the hands of Watford, and it will likely be one too humiliation too many for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

There was also a harsh dose of reality fed to Arsenal and Mikel Arteta, as they were given a bruising by Liverpool at Anfield.

But two new managers began their respective tenures with victories, as Aston Villa and Norwich City each hope to enjoy a prolonged 'new manager bounce'.

Below, Stats Perform looks through the pick of Saturday's Opta facts…

Watford 4-1 Manchester United: Writing's on the wall for Solskjaer

Another week, another humiliating defeat for United and Solskjaer – Watford were the latest side to toy with the Red Devils.

United's loss was their biggest league defeat to a promoted side since a 5-1 reverse to Manchester City in September 1989, and it took them to 20 goals conceded this season already.

Only in 2001-02 (11 games) have United conceded 20 or more after fewer than in 2021-22 (13 games), while this is the first time Watford have ever beaten them in successive home league games.

United were still in with a shout at 2-1 until Harry Maguire's first red card in 121 appearances for the club, but it all fell apart thereafter.

It looks set to be the result that costs Solskjaer his job.



Leicester City 0-3 Chelsea: Foxes intimidated by pacesetters again

Most would have expected Chelsea to get a proper examination of their title credentials here – who knows, maybe this was a real statement.

Either way, Thomas Tuchel's men saw off Leicester City with great authority, or so it seemed.

In reality, Leicester actually have a dreadful record against teams starting the day top of the table. Granted, the side at the summit is usually fairly handy, otherwise they wouldn't be setting the pace, but Leicester's run is particularly poor.

They are now winless in 17 league games against the team that started the day top of the table, conceding 40 goals at a rate of 2.35 per game.

In the process of winning here, Chelsea moved level with Tottenham and Manchester City with the most away wins (five) at the King Power Stadium in the top tier.

Liverpool 4-0 Arsenal: Gunners come crashing back to reality as Reds continue domination

Although Arsenal came into the weekend in good form, having not lost any of their previous 10 matches in all competitions, there was more than a hint of predictability about their Anfield defeat and the manner of it.

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool have scored more Premier League goals against Arsenal (37) than any top-flight side has against another opponent since October 2015, which in itself is a fairly damning indictment of the Gunners' fall from grace.

Mohamed Salah got Liverpool's third goal of the game, which was also their 100th against Arsenal in the Premier League, a haul they can only better in meetings with Newcastle United (105).

It was the fifth time this season Arsenal have failed to score in a league game, with only Norwich and Watford (both seven) having a worse record.

The Gunners aren't "back" yet.

Aston Villa 2-0 Brighton and Hove Albion: Gerrard off to winning start

Steven Gerrard began his tenure as Villa boss in positive fashion, seeing off Graham Potter's Brighton.

It was a largely unspectacular bow for Gerrard but Villa eventually got the job done with two goals late on, making the Liverpool legend only the club's third permanent manager to begin with a win in the Premier League.

Ollie Watkins was the man to get the first goal of the Gerrard era, taking his tally to a club-high 17 strikes since the start of last season in the top flight.

There was also a first assist of the season for Ashley Young, who set up a Villa goal for the first time in 10 years and 189 days.

Norwich City 2-1 Southampton: Smith lifts Canaries off the foot the table

The man who made room for Gerrard at Villa, Dean Smith, also began the latest chapter of his career with a victory.

Norwich initially trailed to Che Adams' goal, but they turned things around as the Canaries came from behind to win a Premier League game for the first time in five-and-a-half years, or 36 matches.

But if they were going to end that run against anyone, the Saints would have been a good bet – since Ralph Hasenhuttl took charge in December 2018, they have dropped more points from winning positions than any other team in the Premier League (67).

Grant Hanley got Norwich's winner, his first Premier League goal in nine years and 324 days since netting for Blackburn Rovers against Manchester United in December 2011.

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