Arsenal moved to fourth on the Premier League table after defeating West Ham United on Wednesday.
Brazilian forward, Gabriel Martinelli and Emily Smith-Rowe scored a goal each for the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium to hand Arteta’s men a second consecutive win after a run of two league defeats to Manchester United and Everton.
Alexandre Lacazzate, who was the captain for the day, had a chance to seal the game for the North London side but his penalty – awarded after a red card to Vladimir Coufal – was saved by a former Arsenal goalkeeper, Lukasz Fabianski.
However, Smith Rowe made it two in the 87th minute to hand Arsenal a comfortable home win.
Arsenal are now one point above fifth-placed West Ham after a second successive victory eased the drama surrounding Mikel Arteta’s decision to strip Gabon forward Aubameyang of the club captaincy.
Arteta’s side are in the top four at this stage of a season for the first time in two-and-a-half years.
It is a remarkable reversal of fortune after Arsenal lost their opening three league games for the first time in 67 years.
Calls for Arteta to be sacked were widespread after an embarrassing 5-0 thrashing at Manchester City in August, but the Spaniard has steadied the ship impressively.
Aubameyang was absent from the squad after being removed from the captaincy due to a disciplinary breach on Tuesday.
He returned late and missed training last week after travelling to France to see his ill mother.
It was not Aubameyang’s first transgression, having previously been dropped for the north London derby against Tottenham in March after what was described as a breach of the club’s pre-match protocol.
Aubameyang has also performed poorly since signing a lucrative new contract in September 2020.
Martinelli broke West Ham’s resistence in the 48th minute when the Brazilian ran onto Alexandre Lacazette’s defence-splitting pass and stroked a fine finish into the far corner for his second goal this term.
West Ham were reduced to 10 men in the 66th minute after Coufal’s tackle on stand-in skipper Lacazette conceded a penalty and earned the defender a second yellow card.
Lukasz Fabianski plunged to his left to save Lacazette’s spot-kick, but Smith Rowe capped Arsenal’s dominant display when he finished a flowing move with a clinical strike from the edge of the area in the 87th minute.
While Arsenal were hit by the coronavirus before their opening game of the season at Brentford, they have so far avoided the recent positive test plunging the league into turmoil.
Watford’s match at Burnley was postponed less than three hours before kick-off on Wednesday after “an ongoing Covid outbreak” left the Hornets with insufficent players to fulfil the fixture.
It was the third Premier League game to be postponed due to Covid in four days as the new Omicron variant causes havoc in England’s top-flight.
Tottenham’s trip to Brighton last Sunday was called off due to an outbreak at the north London club, while Manchester United’s match at Brentford on Tuesday was cancelled after the Old Trafford club’s positive tests.
United, Tottenham, Brighton, Leicester, Norwich and Aston Villa had already been hit by the virus over the last week.
The Premier League announced a record 42 positive tests across two testing cycles last week.
Top-flight chiefs have responded to the growing number of positive cases by introducing strict virus protocols, including players and staff taking a lateral flow test every time they enter their club’s training ground.
Also on Wednesday, Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers said the Premier League had rejected an appeal from both clubs to postpone their match against Tottenham on Thursday.
Leicester are currently without nine players because of Covid-related issues and injuries.
Brighton boss Graham Potter had dealt with several Covid cases in his squad this week and his problems mounted as Wolves won 1-0 at the Amex Stadium.
Potter’s side are without a win in 12 games in all competitions after Romain Saiss volleyed home in first half stoppage-time.
Jordan Ayew ended his 47-game goal drought to give Crystal Palace a 2-2 draw against Southampton at Selhurst Park.
Dollar Rain for Amusan, Brume, others from Sports Ministry for Commonwealth successes
Team Nigeria medallists and their coaches at the 2022 Commonwealth Games have received their cash rewards from the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development for their heroics in Birmingham.
Athletes who won gold medals received $5,000, silver medallist received $3,000, while bronze medallists got $2,000. Athletes who represented Nigeria in the 4 x100 relay received $15,000 for the team.
Amongst those who got rewarded are Women’s 100m Hurdles Champion, Tobi Amusan, 200m Silver medallist and long jump winner, Ese Brume among others.
The Coaches and officials also got rewarded by the ministry for their roles in Team Nigeria’s success.
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Sunday Dare ensured that three weeks camping allowance was paid to all athletes.
Nigeria’s Performance At Commonwealth Games A Parting Gift To Me – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has described Team Nigeria’s performance at the 22nd Commonwealth Games, Birmingham 2022, as a parting gift to him.
Buhari said this in a statement issued by his media aide Femi Adesina.
‘‘We are proud of these achievements and the memories will linger with the nation forever and for me this is a special moment and a fitting parting gift, being my last Commonwealth Games as Head of State,” Statement quoted Buhari as saying.
He said, “the President commends the 94 worthy ambassadors that proudly flew the Nigerian flag in nine sporting events, and for those exciting moments when the medalists brought smiles to our faces by breaking world, national, and games records, as well as achieving personal bests in their career.”
According to Buhari, the athletes’ performance was a display of the “God-given attributes of the real Nigerian- never give up, strive to the end”.
“The President also lauds the coaching crew and team officials for the passion towards the development of sports in the country, assuring them that history will remember them for all their contributions to making our athletes shine in the international arena,” Adesina’s statement added.
Nigeria finished with 35 medals, including 12 gold, nine silver, and 14 bronze, the nation’s best outing at the Games in years.
CWG2022: Buhari Celebrates Team Nigeria’s 35 Medals
President Muhammadu Buhari has joined sports loving Nigerians in celebrating the Nigrerian athletes that represented the Country in the the 22nd Commonwealth Games, Birmingham 2022.
Accodding to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to President on Media and Publicity ,Femi Adesina said President Buhari watched some of the colourful and spectacular moments in the 11-day competition, which had no fewer than 5,000 athletes representing 72 nations and territories, competing in 280 medal events.
Buhari saluted the memorable display of Team Nigeria athletes.
The president commended the 94 worthy ambassadors that proudly flew the Nigerian flag in nine sporting events.
He lauded them for those exciting moments when the medalists brought smiles to people’s faces by breaking world, national and games records, as well as achieving personal bests in their career.
He noted with delight the 35 medals, including 12 gold, 9 silver and 14 bronze harvested already on the late evening of the 10th day of the Games, and more medals likely for the country on the last day,
The president thanked the shining stars of Nigeria for competing among the best in the world and displaying the God-given attributes of the real Nigerian- never give up, strive to the end.
According to the President, it is noteworthy that majority of the medals so far, including 12 gold for the country, were championed by the nation’s talented young women and girls.
These, he said, include multi medalist Tobi Amusan (100m Women’s Hurdle and 4x100m Relay), Favour Ofili, Rosemary Chukwuma, Grace Nwokocha (4x100m Relay) and Miesinnei Mercy Genesis (50 kg),
Other are, Blessing Oborududu (57 kg) and Odunayo Adekuoroye (57kg) in Women’s Freestyle wrestling; as well as Adijat Adenike Olarinoye (55kg) and Rafiatu Folashade Lawal (59kg) in Women’s weightlifting.
Other gold medalists are Folashade Oluwafemiayo, Women’s heavyweight Para Powerlifting, Eucharia Iyiazi, Women’s shot put, Chioma Onyekwere and Goodness Nwachukwu in Women’s Discus throw, and Ese Brume, long jump.
‘‘We are proud of these achievements and the memories will linger with the nation forever and for me this is a special moment and a fitting parting gift, being my last Commonwealth Games as Head of State,” he said.
The president also lauded the coaching crew and team officials for the passion towards the development of sports in the country.
He assured them that history would remember them for all their contributions in making the athletes shine in the international arena.
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