Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag hailed Cristiano Ronaldo's "phenomenal" record of scoring 700 club goals and joked "not many players even achieve 700 games".

Ronaldo hit the latest milestone in his remarkable career with the winning strike in last Sunday's 2-1 win at Everton after being introduced from the substitutes' bench.

The Portugal forward has endured a frustrating time of things under Ten Hag, having so far started just one of United's eight Premier League matches under the Dutchman.

But ahead of facing Omonia Nicosia in the Europa League on Thursday – a match Ronaldo looks set to start – Ten Hag lauded the superstar forward's goalscoring longevity.

"It's phenomenal. Football is [about the] team and we express this in a way," Ten Hag told United's official website. 

"I think Cristiano, he knows we can't do it without the team but I must say it's a huge individual performance. If you achieve this, it's incredible. 

"Seven hundred club goals. Not many players even achieve 700 games, and he scored 700 goals. I'm really happy for him. I really want to tell you that and I congratulate him."

Of those 700 goals scored by Ronaldo, five came for Sporting CP, 118 in his first spell at United, 450 with Real Madrid, 101 at Juventus and 26 in his second stint at Old Trafford.

The 37-year-old will be looking to add to that tally against Cypriot side Omonia as United aim to avoid an unwanted first.

They have lost their past two home European matches, against Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad – never before have they lost three in a row, with this their 198th game.

United recovered to beat Omonia 3-2 last week and are second in Group E at the midway stage, three points ahead of Sheriff and three behind leaders Real Sociedad.

"It's another important game for us," Ten Hag said. "We want to be first in the group. We are three points behind Sociedad and so we have to win. 

"That is the first [target], and we have to score goals, that is the second [target]. So we have to prepare for the game properly because we are playing against a tough opponent. 

"They will be ambitious and they will be fighting so they are well organised. It's not easy to score goals. We had that experience last week, so we have to be good."

Jose Mourinho says the warnings against a hectic pre-World Cup schedule went unheeded after Paulo Dybala suffered an injury that has cast doubt over his participation in Qatar.

Roma were dealt a huge blow during Sunday's 2-1 Serie A win over Lecce, with Dybala limping out of the match with a thigh injury immediately after scoring a penalty.

In the aftermath of that victory, Mourinho said Dybala – who has scored five Serie A goals this season – could miss the rest of 2022.

While subsequent reports have suggested four to six weeks may be a more realistic timeframe for Dybala's recovery, even an absence of that length could represent a blow to the attacker's hopes of representing Argentina at the World Cup.

Speaking ahead of Roma's Europa League trip to Real Betis, Mourinho lamented the effects of a congested fixture schedule ahead of the tournament.

He said in a press conference: "It's something we have been talking about for a long time. 

"When we talked about World Cup four or five years ago, this was said. Now we live it and we live the situation. 

"I learned to cry less than I cried before. I learned to live with the reality of things. 

"You can say that you play too much or say that the richer clubs are privileged. There are the rich, the poor and the less rich. 

"The poor play once a week, the rich can play every day by changing players, and the less rich are those most in difficulty because they play as much as the rich, but with less chance to change and I'm living this situation."

Roma suffered a 2-1 defeat at home to Betis last week, and are in need of a victory after taking just three points from their first three games in Group C.

Mourinho called on others to step up in Dybala's absence as he told Sky Sport Italia: "I expect more from the team and even before Dybala's injury, we never played the most creative players all together. 

"Now, without Dybala, it will be even more difficult. But I trust the work and discipline of our game, I'm confident that tomorrow we will be able to make a result."

Gabriel Jesus will miss Arsenal's Europa League clash at Bodo/Glimt, with manager Mikel Arteta calling for referees to do more to protect his players.

Since arriving from Manchester City in July, Jesus has scored five goals in 11 matches in all competitions to help Arsenal to a strong start, one that sees them sit top of the Premier League and their Europa League group.

However, the Brazil forward is not part of Arsenal's travelling party to Norway, with Arteta explaining Jesus is being given extra time off after a physically demanding spell.

"We thought with everything he [Jesus] has been through in the last few weeks, we thought it was better that he was staying there," Arteta told reporters.

"Obviously, Gabi is a player that gets involved in a lot of physical contact. It is the way he plays, that is in his nature. It is up to the referees to protect the players.

"I'm really happy with how our players are performing and that's the most important thing. Then it's up to the referees to protect them."

Arteta was also hesitant to comment when questioned over the confrontation between Arsenal and Liverpool players during the Gunners' 3-2 Premier League victory at the weekend, responding: "It's something I don't want to touch. It's in the FA's hands and I'm not going to get involved in that.

"The FA is in charge of the situation, and we'll have to wait and see."

When asked on whether he supported his players' versions of events, Arteta replied: "100 per cent."

Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof believes increased competition for places is helping to improve the Red Devils' fortunes.

Lindelof missed United's poor start to the season with injury but has since fought his way back into the defence, starting the past two matches alongside Lisandro Martinez, who recently signed from Ajax.

Martinez was brought in to bolster a backline that includes the likes of Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane, both of whom have featured this season alongside the Argentina international, who is the only centre-back to have started every league game so far this campaign.

United have improved of late, winning seven of their past nine fixtures in all competitions, and Lindelof believes a battle for places partly explains their upturn in form.

"Obviously, I had a tough start to the season," Lindelof told reporters ahead of Thursday's Europa League tie with Omonia Nicosia. 

"But it's always very important for this team to have good players in the squad and competition for places.

"It's not a problem for me. I am always available if the manager needs me and if I have the opportunity, I will do my best.

"I always want to push myself and play games. I think everyone in the squad wants that."

Lindelof also credits new manager Erik ten Hag for the recent developments in his own game, adding: "The way he wants to play suits me.

"He's demanding a lot from us, how we control the game from the back and start the build-up.

"Hopefully I can keep improving a lot under him."

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has not agreed a January move to Juventus, according to Lazio owner Claudio Lotito.

The Serbian midfielder has impressed this season with three goals and seven assists in his nine Serie A games, helping Maurizio Sarri's side climb to third. 

Such form is said to have piqued the interest of Juventus, with reports suggesting the Bianconeri will plan to offer up to €60million, including bonuses.

But Lotito told Il Messaggero: "I have no agreement with his agent [Mateja] Kezman to sell him to Juventus or anyone else in the winter.

"On the contrary, he is now worth €120m, not €100m. Every month the price goes up."

The transfer talk emerged after Lazio's convincing 4-0 win against Fiorentina on Tuesday, with Milinkovic-Savic adding to his tally with two more assists.

When asked about the performance, Lotito said: "I am satisfied with the spirit I saw again. As I have already said, if we continue with this attitude, we will not set ourselves limits and we can go far."
 
Lazio face Austrian side Sturm Graz in the Europa League on Thursday before Sunday's league fixture against fourth-place Udinese.

Cristiano Ronaldo will not accept his Football Association (FA) charge for throwing an Everton supporter's phone, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has said.

A video emerged on social media of United forward Ronaldo appearing to smash a fan's phone as he left the field after Everton's 1-0 Premier League win in April.

The Portugal captain was questioned by Merseyside Police in relation to an alleged assault and criminal damage and received a caution in August.

The FA last month charged the 37-year-old for breaching Rule E3, which relates to "improper and/or violent conduct", but the case now looks set to proceed to a hearing.

Asked if Ronaldo accepts the charge, Ten Hag told reporters on Wednesday: "We have talked about that. He will not accept it."

Ronaldo issued an apology on Instagram at the time, stating: "It's never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing.

"Nevertheless, we always have to be respectful, patient and set the example for all the youngsters who love the beautiful game.

"I would like to apologise for my outburst and, if possible, I would like to invite this supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford as a sign of fair-play and sportsmanship."

Ronaldo has endured a disappointing time of things on the field for United this season, having started just one of their opening eight Premier League matches.

However, he scored his second goal of the campaign in all competitions in Sunday's 2-1 win at Everton after being introduced from the substitutes' bench in the first half.

And Ten Hag is pleased with the way the superstar forward has gone about returning to top fitness after missing almost the entirety of United's pre-season for personal reasons.

"I want to support him as good as possible," Ten Hag said at a pre-match news conference ahead of Thursday's Europa League group-stage match with Omonia Nicosia. 

"We have certain demands from players, what we expect in certain positions. I want to get the best out of him and he's in better shape now and can contribute more."

Asked if a lack of fitness is the reason Ronaldo has not started more occasionally this season, Ten Hag said: "At the start that was the case. 

"It's proven once again that no one can miss a pre-season."

Ronaldo was brought on against Everton after Anthony Martial sustained another injury, with the forward yet to return to training as of Thursday.

"I've had several talks with him and I'm really disappointed for him," Ten Hag said. "We'll see how he develops ahead of Sunday [against Newcastle United]."

Ten Hag also confirmed Harry Maguire is still absent, while Donny van De Beek and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are "longer-term" absentees.

United beat Omonia 3-2 in Cyprus last week and are second in Group E, three points ahead of Sheriff and three behind leaders Real Sociedad.

Ten Hag's side face a gruelling run of fixtures on the domestic and European front, but the Dutchman says it is important his side seal top spot in their group.

"I told the players weeks ago, before the break, it was important to win the group," he said. "We want to win all the games. It's clear, we want to avoid [finishing second].

"I think all the clubs that play in Europe have the same problem. We have a squad to cover that. Injuries and suspensions will happen, but you have to deal with it as a squad."

Cristiano Ronaldo reached another milestone as he scored his 700th goal in club football during Manchester United's Premier League clash with Everton on Sunday.

Ronaldo hit the latest landmark of his glittering career after coming on as a first-half substitute for the injured Anthony Martial, racing onto a ball from Casemiro before firing past Jordan Pickford to give United a 2-1 lead at Goodison Park.

The Portugal captain has struggled to find his best form this season and this was just the second goal of a campaign in which he has been starved of regular game time, having netted his 699th club strike from the penalty spot during a 2-0 Europa League victory over Sheriff on September 15.

He had failed to score in eight games before then, his longest run without a goal in all competitions at club level since a run of 10 matches between March and May 2006.

The 37-year-old, who has also scored a record 117 international goals, has now taken his overall tally for United to 144 across two spells at Old Trafford, adding to a combined tally of 556 from his time at Sporting CP, Real Madrid and Juventus.

Ronaldo's 700 goals, club by club

Ronaldo's most prolific spell came at Madrid, where he scored an incredible 450 goals in 438 appearances to become Los Blancos' all-time leading marksman.

His best individual season also came with Madrid, netting 61 times from an expected goals (xG) value of 47.9 in 54 games across all competitions in 2014-15. In that campaign, Ronaldo registered the best minutes-per-goal ratio (76.1) of any player from Europe's top five leagues to have scored at least 10 across all fronts.

Across his nine-year stint in the Spanish capital, Ronaldo hit the 60-goal mark twice (2011-12, 2014-15), with his lowest-scoring campaign coming in the 2009-10 season, his first at the club. He still managed 33 goals in 35 appearances.

Prior to becoming a legend at Madrid, Ronaldo of course made his mark at United. His best season in England was in 2007-08, when he scored 42 times across all competitions.

Playing predominantly as a winger for Alex Ferguson, and dovetailing with the likes of Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney, Ronaldo left United in 2009 having found the net on 118 occasions for the club, having previously scored five times for Sporting.

His time at Juve did not yield the Champions League title he was bought to help the Bianconeri win, though they still won Serie A twice, and the Coppa Italia. Ronaldo plundered 101 goals in 134 matches during his three years in Italy, averaging one every 114 minutes.

Ronaldo made a flying start back in England last year, scoring twice on his second United debut against Newcastle United. Though he went on to score a further 22 times across all competitions, the Red Devils could only manage a sixth-placed finish.

Erik ten Hag was justified in criticising his Manchester United players on the back of last week's heavy Premier League loss to Manchester City, full-back Diogo Dalot has said.

United's four-match winning league run was ended in emphatic style by rivals City, who led 4-0 at half-time and 6-1 in the second half en route to an eventual 6-3 victory.

It marked the fourth time United had conceded six goals in a Premier League match and leaves them sixth in the table after seven matches of the 2022-23 campaign.

Ten Hag admitted after the match his side produced an "unacceptable" display, one in which they were "undisciplined", "lacked belief" and "made wrong decisions".

And Dalot, who played the full 90 minutes at the Etihad Stadium, accepts he and his team-mates can have no complaints regarding their manager's choice words.

"[Ten Hag's comments] did not hurt. I think this should be the standard of this club," he told reporters. "If you play for Man United you believe every single game. 

"You have to have confidence as well, but you have to take the responsibility that you're playing for the biggest club in the world. 

"This has to be normal for us but in a good way – not be overwhelmed but take it as a responsibility and this has to be the standard for every player."

Dalot retained his place at right-back for Thursday's Europa League group trip to Omonia Nicosia as United responded to the City defeat with a 3-2 comeback win.

It was not a vintage performance from United, with Karim Ansarifard giving the hosts a shock half-time lead, but Dalot says picking up all three points is all that matters.

"After a defeat like City it is always tough, but it is time to take responsibility and especially improve in some respects, which we should for the rest of the season," he said. 

"We had a lot of challenges [against Omonia] and we needed a response. The three points is what we came for and we are happy with that.

"Overall we could have controlled the game much more than we did, especially in the last minutes and also in the minutes after we conceded."

Marcus Rashford was introduced at the midway stage against Omonia and scored twice for United, either side of assisting fellow substitute Anthony Martial.

That made Rashford the first United substitute to both score and assist in a Europa League match, with this their 47th game in the competition.

"The substitutes made a really good impact, which is amazing for us as a team. I'm really happy with that," Dalot said. "They deserve it as well. 

"It shows every player wants to play, to show they have a role in this team. Overall, there are some really positive things to take but also some things that need to get better."

United return to league action on Sunday with a trip to Everton, against whom the Red Devils have won just one of their past seven league matches.

Marcus Rashford says Manchester United would "have liked to have played better" as they came from behind to win 3-2 at Omonia Nicosia in the Europa League.

United went into the break a goal down after Karim Ansarifard put the Cypriot side ahead, but Erik ten Hag's introduction of Marcus Rashford changed the game as he scored a double and assisted Anthony Martial to put the Red Devils 3-1 up and become the first United substitute to score and assist after coming on in the Europa League.

Despite conceding again to make it 3-2, United held on to make it six wins from their last seven Europa League away games and leave them second in Group E, three points behind leaders Real Sociedad.

Rashford felt his side did not play at their full capabilities against Omonia, telling BT Sport: "Yeah, it's definitely job done, but we'd have liked to have played better.

"I wouldn't say we defended bad, I think it was just mistakes and mistakes happen in football, so we have to move on. The fewer mistakes we can make, the better.

"The first 45 minutes, until they scored, we played well, we had good movement, but we probably could have got in behind them a bit more to be a bigger threat on the ball. I thought we played well, watching the first half.

"When he [Ten Hag] made the subs, he wanted us to be more dynamic, take our chances going forward and to try score goals. When you're 1-0 behind, that's what you need to do, so it was positive changes at half-time."

Fellow substitute Martial also impressed, scoring in consecutive matches as a substitute for United for the first time since August 2017.

He has now been directly involved in four goals (three goals, one assist) in his three appearances for the Red Devils in all competitions this season, and Rashford praised his impact, adding: "He is a massive player for us, has been for a long time.

"When he is happy and at it he is an unbelievable player. I've always enjoyed playing with him. It was nice to link up with him today.

"We've both been injured, him longer than me, so it is good for him to get minutes and make an impact."

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta felt his team "lacked consistency and domination" despite cruising to a 3-0 victory over Bodo/Glimt to move top of their Europa League group.

Eddie Nketiah and Rob Holding struck in the first half before Fabio Vieira added a late finish to end a run of three consecutive home games in European competition without victory for Arsenal.

The Gunners are now two points clear of second-placed PSV at the top of Group A, while also leading the Premier League after a brilliant start which has seen them win nine out of their first 10 games in all competitions for just the third time in club history.

However, Arteta had mixed feelings over his team's performance against Bodo, telling BT Sport: "I'm really happy with the win, six points and a clean sheet.

"But we lacked connection between the players, we lacked consistency and domination through the game.

"There were eight changes and a lot of players that haven't played a lot of minutes, and you could feel that, the timing was missing.

"In the final third we looked very dangerous, the goals we scored were good goals."

Bodo started the second half brightly and Arteta reacted by making a number of substitutions, bringing on the likes of Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Jesus, the latter of whom provided a brilliant assist for Vieira.

Arteta explained the alterations were necessary due to some of the starters' fitness, saying: "A few players, you could see they had a different intensity, not enough exposure in terms of minutes, so we had to make changes."

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag praised the "brilliant impact" of his substitutes as the Red Devils came from behind to beat Omonia Nicosia 3-2 in the Europa League.

United dominated the first half but went into the break a goal down after a quick counterattack allowed Karim Ansarifard to fire the hosts into the lead.

Ten Hag introduced Marcus Rashford at the interval and he levelled seven minutes after coming on with a superb curled finish before setting up fellow substitute Anthony Martial with a clever flick to put United in front.

Rashford added a third late on, and despite conceding again to make it 3-2, United held on to earn an important victory that keeps them second in Group E, three points behind leaders Real Sociedad.

United's last five goals in all competitions have now come from substitutes, a record for the club in the Premier League era (since 1992-93), and Ten Hag highlighted their work after the match.

When asked what he told the players at half-time to inspire the second-half comeback, Ten Hag told BT Sport: "More runs. We were too static.

"We had to make the movement to get behind – that is why we made two subs. The subs had a brilliant impact. That makes the team stronger."

Despite the win, Ten Hag acknowledged his side must improve, adding: "We started well, with a couple of chances. Then an unnecessary mistake and a really bad ten minutes.

"We have to learn from that. We let the crowd come alive and you have to avoid that."

Martial has now been directly involved in four goals in his three appearances for United in all competitions this season, while he has scored in consecutive matches as a substitute for the Red Devils for the first time since August 2017.

He scored a double off the bench in the 6-3 defeat to Manchester City at the weekend and impressed again against Omonia, with Ten Hag grateful to have him back after injury.

"It was really a big disappointment for this team and for me when he got injured in the last 10 minutes against Atletico Madrid [in pre-season]," Ten Hag said.

"We missed him in the first couple of weeks and that also had an effect on our team performance."

Substitutes Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial fired Manchester United to a 3-2 Europa League victory against Omonia Nicosia.

The hosts took the lead after 34 minutes in Cyprus on Thursday when a quick counter-attack ended with Karim Ansarifard rifling into the roof of the net.

But Erik ten Hag rang the changes for the second half and Rashford helped himself to a double either side of a Martial strike to give the Red Devils all three points, with Nikolas Panagiotou scoring a late consolation.

United have now won six of their last seven Europa League away games and remain second in Group E, three points behind leaders Real Sociedad.

Cristiano Ronaldo came close to scoring his 700th club goal with a fierce drive in the first half and Bruno Fernandes hit the crossbar. Fabiano made a great stop to tip Antony's effort wide at full stretch, before Omonia punished United for their profligacy.

Tyrell Malacia was caught in possession and the hosts steamed forward on the break. Bruno perfectly played in Ansarifard, who fired past David de Gea.

Rashford was introduced at half-time and levelled for United within eight minutes of coming on, latching onto a sublime Fernandes diagonal before cutting onto his right foot and smashing home.

Martial put the visitors in front just a minute after making his way onto the pitch, as a clever Rashford flick teed him up to lash into the bottom corner.

Ronaldo hit the woodwork late on, but provided an assist as his cross-shot picked out Rashford at the back post to tap in for his second.

Omonia grabbed a goal back through Panagiotou, but United saw the game out to earn an important victory.

Mikel Arteta insisted Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Jesus can play in the same Arsenal team but said he cannot make promises about anyone's first-team opportunities.

The 23-year-old Nketiah, who had been tipped to leave the Gunners last term amid frustration over a reduced role, ultimately signed a new deal after a strong finish to the 2021-22 campaign.

But the arrival of Jesus from Manchester City has pushed the striker back down the pecking order, keeping his chances at a premium amid the Brazilian's rich form.

Ahead of Thursday's Europa League clash with Bodo/Glimt, Arteta spoke of Nketiah's current status, and mulled whether both the Englishman and Jesus could combine, stressing he does not take his decisions lightly.

"I know with Eddie, I am sure he wants to play every single minute of every competition," Arteta said. "Gabi's been playing, and he's been phenomenal.

"I think they can play together. We'd have to change one or two things in the team structure. But he has participated in most of the games in the league, and he has played in Europe.

"I cannot promise anybody. What he gives us is his best, whether it is five minutes or 90 minutes."

Arteta also touched on the future of Reiss Nelson and William Saliba, declaring there is a place for the former with his contract set to expire while admitting "damage" in his relationship with the latter over his loan time away.

"A hundred percent," the Spaniard said on whether winger Nelson could earn a renewed deal. "That's why he's here, because we wanted to have that opportunity with him.

"It is down to him to show it on the pitch. He's out there showing it every day, how he's working. He is changing and improving. He's on the right track [but] now he needs to perform."

As for centre-back Saliba, Arteta said: "I was really impressed and surprised when I spoke to him."

Now 21, Saliba has had loans with his former club Saint-Etienne, plus Nice and Marseille, before being given his chance with Arsenal this season.

There has been frustration from Saliba over how long it has taken to start his Gunners career in earnest, after first signing in 2019, and Arteta said: "Obviously, the way the relationship has started, there was a bit of damage there.

"But he was so committed and focused to play for Arsenal, I think it took me a bit by surprise. How he talks about the club, and how much he wants to be here, I have no doubt that he wants to continue."

Roma head coach Jose Mourinho says he is not thinking about breaking Sir Alex Ferguson's mark for winning the most European competition games during the Champions League era.

Mourinho matched former Manchester United boss Ferguson with 106 victories in the Champions League and Europa League when he led Roma past HJK 2-1 in the Europa League last month.

Only Carlo Ancelotti has more victories (120), with the era dating back to the Champions League's introduction in 1992.

Ferguson and Mourinho had a tense rivalry during the Scot's latter days at Old Trafford, spawning from the Portuguese's breakout stint at Porto before regularly locking horns during his first spell at Chelsea.

The Portuguese, who led the Italian club to Conference League glory last term, can surpass the former Manchester United manager when Roma take on Real Betis in the Europa League on Thursday.

"It's not an extra motivation," Mourinho told reporters. "I am proud of the 106, and when the 107th arrives, either tomorrow or next week, I don't know, but when it comes it'll be a proud moment in my career.

"I've always said that I'll think about this kind of thing when I finish my career. When I finish my career I have so many things to think about and remember, but at this moment, no.

"Right now, the only thing that I am worried about is winning the next game, I'm always [thinking about] the next one and the next one is tomorrow.

"As I said before, it will certainly be difficult, it is a high-level game, very high. But there's no such thing as winning one more game than Sir Alex.

"This is not [why I want to win]. I want to win because we need to."

Mourinho has won 85 Champions League games and 21 Europa League games, compared to Ferguson's 105 wins in Europe's top club competition along with one UEFA Cup (Europa League) victory.

The former Inter, Real Madrid and Porto boss has two Champions League titles and two Europa League titles to his name, the latter with United. Ferguson, who retired in 2013, lifted the Champions League three times.

Ancelotti, who has won the Champions League four times, moved to 103 Champions League wins with Madrid's 2-1 triumph over Shakhtar Donetsk, while he has 13 Europa League wins too.

Mikel Arteta said Arsenal will not take participating in the Europa League for granted ahead of Thursday's tie with Bodo/Glimt, but acknowledges the Gunners have loftier ambitions.

Arsenal sit top of the Premier League table after a scintillating start to the season; only twice have they bettered this campaign's return of 21 points after eight games in the competition, earning 22 points in 2004-05 and 2007-08. 

Having missed out to Tottenham in a fierce battle for Champions League qualification last term, however, Arsenal are competing with Bodo/Glimt, PSV and FC Zurich in Group A of Europe's second-tier competition. 

While Arteta knows Champions League football must be the aim for his team, he said Arsenal will "make the most" of their continental campaign.

"Playing in Europe is always great. We know we would want to be playing yesterday or today, but that's the next step," he said on Wednesday. 

"This is the reality, and we have to make the most of it.

"It's a test for the squad, in terms of the numbers and the quality. If you make changes, how much you notice it, whether you can continue consistently playing at the top level.

"Everyone's going to have to do that after the World Cup, especially with the schedule.

"It's a competition that is really important for us, we know how important it is to be on top of the group and the home advantage, we have to use it."

Meanwhile, William Saliba and Bukayo Saka have both expressed confidence they will sign new contracts after emerging as key components in Arteta's side, and the Arsenal boss says the club is working on deals for the duo, as well as fresh terms for Gabriel Martinelli.

Arsenal have been forced to sell several stars after allowing them to run their contracts down in the past, but Arteta moved to quell fears of a repeat, adding: "Obviously we have to plan for the future, and we are all working on it.

"Edu is on top of it, and all the board. We will try to do things in the right way, being fair, and rewarding the players that – in our opinion – have a big future for the club.

"When we have something to announce, we will do it. Every player is different and what happened in the past, the people that were in charge had the right reasons.

"We will try to do the same thing and make sure the club is always protected, that the club is always in a good position to move forward, and the players are happy."

Arsenal saw their first scheduled home game of the Europa League campaign, against PSV, postponed following the death of Queen Elizabeth II last month, and will look to end a poor continental run at the Emirates Stadium on Thursday.

The Gunners have failed to win any of their last three home European matches (D2 L1), their worst such run since they went six without victory between October 2002 and September 2003.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.