GREAT WEEK HARD WORK AND COMMITMENT “You’re only two days away from another crisis, so it’s important we keep our feet on the ground,” McClaren said. “We’ve not turned the corner … we want to be (like) this every week and that only comes on a platform of hard work, attitude and commitment and discipline.” A week after a miserable trip to McClaren’s Newcastle, Liverpool were facing a second successive loss. Although Jordan Henderson put Liverpool ahead at Anfield, Craig Dawson quickly scored an equaliser in the first half for West Brom and Jonas Olsson put the visitors ahead in the 73rd. But Henderson set up Origi to score from outside the area just when the Midlands club seemed set to take all three points. “Maybe the crowd was disappointed, but they didn’t let us feel it,” Klopp said. “We were all in the game, we were all concentrated to get this one point at the end and it felt like three. I know it’s only one, but it felt like three and in this moment there was an explosion (of emotion).” LONDON (AP): As title-chasing Arsenal completed back-to-back wins with ease, it took other Premier League games to provide a double-dose of late drama. Newcastle were facing ending another weekend in the relegation zone until Ayoze Perez stunned Tottenham in the third minute of stoppage time to win 2-1 at White Hart Lane. Liverpool, which lost last weekend to Newcastle, left it even later at home to West Bromwich Albion, with Divock Origi recovering a 2-2 draw in the sixth minute of stoppage time. The optimism which surrounded Juergen Klopp’s arrival as Liverpool manager two months ago has been substituted with a realism. Liverpool are five points adrift of Manchester United, which held on to fourth place despite losing at Bournemouth on Saturday, and nine behind provisional leaders Arsenal. Olivier Giroud converted an early penalty for his 50th Premier League goal, before Mesut Ozil set up Aaron Ramsey to sweep in another as Arsenal beat bottom-place Aston Villa 2-0. It was goalkeeper Petr Cech’s 169th clean sheet in the Premier League – most achieved with Chelsea – matching David James’ record. Although Arsenal’s stay at the top could be brief if Leicester beat ailing champions Chelsea, the win at Villa Park capped a good week when the odds were defied to book a place in the round of 16 in the Champions League. “I was a bit anxious today because we had given a lot on Wednesday night (at Olympiakos) and we came back very, very late,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. “I knew that Villa was fighting to survive … it was a controlled performance and a great week for us. Don’t worry. I had as well a few bad weeks already. So sometimes it balances a little bit.” It’s been a good four months for north London counterpart Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs. They had not lost in the League since the opening day of the season until running into a resilient Newcastle, which ended the 14-match unbeaten run. Perez beat Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris at his near post as the full-time whistle loomed, after fellow substitute Aleksandar Mitrovic had cancelled out Eric Dier’s first-half headed opener for Tottenham. “In the second half, every time we had the ball we started to make some mistakes and we give them the possibility to a right to a goal,” Pochettino said. “I think the first person that was responsible of the defeat is me.” With Newcastle out of the drop zone and up to 15th – above Chelsea – the pressure is off Steve McClaren for now.
Arsenal ARE interested in signing Villarreal centre-back Gabriel Paulista – but the deal is more complicated than first thought.The Gunners, who signed Legia Warsaw’s Krystian Bielik on Wednesday, are likely to have to overcome a work permit hearing before the uncapped Brazilian would be allowed to play in England.It’s understood the north London club are interested in brokering a deal, but negotiations are at a very early stage.Villarreal want to see the 20million euros (£15.25m) release clause activated, with manager Marcelino admitting earlier this week that might prove “impossible to turn down”. Arsenal, though, are said to be offering in the region of £10m, which would be following add-ons to an initial down payment.Speaking on the El Larguero show on Spanish radio network Cadena SER, Marcelino said: “I hadn’t considered selling Gabriel, it’s bad news from a sporting point of view. If both Gabriel and the club believe that his sale to Arsenal is the best for all parties, we will accept.”While terms could be swiftly wrapped up, clearing government red tape at the Home Office could potentially scupper any proposed transfer.As Gabriel is not a European Union citizen and has yet to establish himself as a senior Brazil international, he would not meet the automatic work permit criteria.Arsenal, therefore, would need to convince a Football Association hearing, which is run on behalf of the Home Office, that the player was an “exceptional talent” and so should be granted permission to work in the United Kingdom. That recommendation is then passed onto the government department for a final ruling.There are no guarantees such a procedure would have a positive outcome. Gabriel Paulista in action for Villarreal 1
The soccer world was in mourning on Tuesday as clubs, players and fans from around the globe sent tributes and support to Brazilian side Chapecoense following a deadly air crash in Colombia that killed 76 people, including several players.The small club from the town of Chapeco had been heading for the biggest game in its history, the first leg of Wednesday’s Copa Sudamericana final, when its plane crashed in a mountainous rural area outside of the city of Medellin.One of the first messages came from their rivals in Wednesday’s now postponed final, Atletico Nacional of Medellin.”Nacional deeply laments and stands in solidarity with @ChapecoenseReal in the accident and we await information from authorities,” the home town club tweeted soon after the disaster was reported.FIFA President Infantino said on Twitter: “At this difficult time our thoughts are with the victims, their families and friends.”Rivals of both clubs tweeted their support, with Flamengo and Santos in Brazil, and Club Junior and Millionarios in Colombia among those sending their condolences, many of them accompanied by the hashtag #ForcaChape, or Strength Chapecoense.The crash struck a chord with clubs elsewhere, with Arsenal saying: “Thinking of you, @ChapecoenseReal” and Barcelona tweeting: “All our support and solidarity is with the victims and the families affected by the @ChapecoenseReal tragedy in Colombia.”Thinking of you, @ChapecoenseReal#ForaChapecoense pic.twitter.com/0KGRwwqI76 Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) November 29, 2016All our support and solidarity is with the victims and the families affected by the @ChapecoenseReal tragedy in Colombiaadvertisement FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) November 29, 2016England captain Wayne Rooney tweeted: “Sad news to wake up to today. Thoughts are with @ChapecoenseReal and their family and friends”.Sad news to wake up to today. Thoughts are with @ChapecoenseReal and their family and friends. Wayne Rooney (@WayneRooney) November 29, 2016Real Madrid players observed a minute’s silence before training on Tuesday morning and players from around the world shared their condolences.Minute’s silence for the victims of the plane crash in Colombia.https://t.co/CzeDgeynuD#RealMadrid pic.twitter.com/9auFteNzOf Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) November 29, 2016Brazilian striker Neymar simply tweeted the club badge and Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas said “Good luck and stay strong!”?????? pic.twitter.com/eafd50s4AM Neymar Jr (@neymarjr) November 29, 2016Former Germany captain Michael Ballack tweeted: “Very sad to read #RIP #Chapecoense Remember we are never safe and anything can happen, so make sure to tell your loved ones that you care.”Very sad to read #RIP #Chapecoense ??? Remember we are never safe and anything can happen, so make sure to tell your loved ones that you care??? https://t.co/ullhVpnOCV Michael Ballack (@Ballack) November 29, 2016???my thoughts and sincere condolences go to the families and friends of those aboard the flight #ForaChape #Chapecoense @ChapecoenseReal Michael Ballack (@Ballack) November 29, 2016Sao Paulo cancelled plans to present Rogerio Ceni as their new coach on Tuesday and the Brazilian Football Confederation suspended Wednesday night’s second leg of the Brazilian Cup final between Gremio and Atletico Mineiro.