ARSENAL

Arsenal score three past Sheffield United, Saka limps off

Arsenal kept their hopes of competing in European competition next season alive with a 3-0 victory over Sheffield United on Sunday. While Sheffield United are facing relegation after the loss to Arsenal at Bramall Lane.

Arsenal moved up to the ninth position with 45 points from 31 games. Meanwhile, Sheffield United remain at the bottom with 14 points, 18 points adrift of safety with seven games remaining.

Lacazette started and finished a fluid pass in the 33rd minute, side-footing a cheeky Dani Ceballos assist past home goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale. The French striker fired a 16-meter shot wide. Martinelli made it 2-0 in the 71st minute with a close-range rebound after Ramsdale parried a Nicolas Pepe shot straight into his direction.

It was the Brazilian’s first Premier League goal since January 2020. He last scored against Chelsea, and it was a fitting reward for an excellent overall result.

Lacazette’s 50th Premier League goal came in the 85th minute when he took a defense-splitting Thomas Partey pass in stride and redirected it past Ramsdale from the edge of the penalty area.

Midfielder Bukayo Saka of Arsenal was forced to leave the game in the 69th minute because of an injury.

I don’t know,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said when asked about the injury after the match.

He had to come off. He had discomfort in his thigh and it’s the last thing that we need because we’re missing some big players at the moment and we don’t want to lose another one. Hopefully, it’s not that serious.”

Arsenal will next face Slavia Prague in the second leg of their Europa League quarterfinal on Thursday, before hosting Fulham in the Premier League three days later. United will visit the 12th-placed Wolves next Saturday.

Notable performance:

Gabriel Martinelli – The chosen one, the one they call R9 2.0, made a much-anticipated return to the Arsenal starting lineup.

The 19-year-old had a fabulous outing, displaying energy, work rate and nonstop movement. Martinelli capped off an exuberant performance with his first goal of the season.

Alexandre Lacazette: Arsenal’s leading Premier League goal-scorer this season added a couple to his tally today.

The Frenchman, who is often criticized, sometimes deservedly so, put in a captain-like performance against Sheffield. From his link-up play to his work rate and finishing, Alexandre Lacazette was excellent.

Lacazette netted two goals past a helpless Aaron Ramsdale to bring up his 50th Premier League goal. The 29-year-old has now scored 13 goals in 27 league appearances this season, one off his best return in 2018.

Dani Ceballos: It’s been a tough few weeks for Dani Ceballos, who has made several errors leading to goals. But against Sheffield United, the Spanish on loan at Arsenal completed 92% of his passes, won four duels, created two chances and provided a glorious assist.

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