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Europa League: Owen singles out two Arsenal players for praise after 1-0 win over Napoli

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Former England international, Owen Hargreaves has hailed two Arsenal stars following the Gunner 1-0 win over Napoli in Italy last night.

The former Bayern Munich midfielder believes the defensive partnership between Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Laurent Koscielny paid off.

He noted that the partinership is crucial to Arsenal’s hopes of ending the season on a high note.

Alexandre Lacazette’s stunning free-kick eased Unai Emery’s side into the semi finals of the Europa League at the expense of Napoli.

Napoli failed to trouble an increasingly resilient Arsenal defence.

Arsenal have now kept six clean sheets in their last seven matches in all competitions as they close in on a place in a first European final since 2006 and a top four finish in the Premier League.

Sokratis has grown in stature since his summer move from Borussia Dortmund, while Koscielny has excelled since returning to the side in December following a long-term Achilles injury.

“Arsenal look different when Koscielny and Sokratis play together,” Hargreaves said, according Metro Uk.

“I thought the midfield balance was excellent with Torreira and Xhaka, while the front two pose a threat and there was just an excellent balance.

“You have to give the manager credit, he sets the team up.

“He addressed the away issue didn’t concede a goal. They are peaking at the right time.”

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Premier League table: Chelsea fail to go third with Burnley draw as EPL top four battle hots up

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Premier League table

Chelsea failed to go up to third place, following a 2-2 draw with Burnley on Monday night.

A win for Maurizio Sarri’s men, would have seen them leapfrog top-four ribals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

The Blues rallied back to lead 2-1 with goals from N’Golo Kante and Gonzalo Higuain, after Jeff Hendrick gave the visitors a shock lead.

Burnley equalized before the break, with Ashley Barnes firing past Kepa Arizzabalaga from a set-piece and there were no goals in the second half.

Chelsea now sit in fourth place with 67 points, the same with Spurs and one ahead of Arsenal, who have an oustanding game against Wolves on Wednesday.

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Transfer: Hazard agrees personal terms with Real Madrid

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Chelsea superstar, Eden Hazard has agreed personal terms with Real Madrid over a potential move, according to Telefoot.
Hazard has long been linked with Real Madrid, with manager Zinedine Zidane being an admirer.

Chelsea superstar, Eden Hazard has agreed personal terms with Real Madrid over a potential move, according to Telefoot.
Hazard has long been linked with Real Madrid, with manager Zinedine Zidane being an admirer.

The Belgian will enter the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge this summer.

That means it will be the last transfer window the Blues can ask for a big transfer fee for the winger.

Fred Calenge, Telefoot journalist, claimed that the winger has agreed personal terms with Real Madrid.

The 28-year-old has made no secret of his desire to one day play for Real Madrid.

Real Madrid goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois had admitted that Hazard, his former Chelsea teammate, would be a big asset for the La Liga giants.

“I [would] choose Eden, of course,” Courtois told Belgian newspaper, Het Nieuwsblad.

“I really like him, but the choice is up to the board

“I do not know what will happen. That is not a question for me, but for the chairman and the management.

“The team is what it is now. Karim Benzema is in a good shape and scored 17 goals. [Gareth] Bale started well, but then had to deal with injuries.

“You see in the matches that we have quality, only sometimes it is not possible to score.”

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Barcelona coach, Ernesto Valverde names ‘best manager’ in world football

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Barcelona coach, Ernesto Valverde has identified Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola as the “best manager” in world football.

Valverde said this on Friday while reacting to Manchester City’s Champions League exit.

Guardiola’s men were knock out of this year’s Europe top-flight tournament on Wednesday night by Tottenham Hotspur.

But Valverde believes Guardiola is currently the best manager without any doubt.

Speaking ahead of Barcelona’s La Liga fixture against Real Sociedad on Saturday night, Valverde was quoted by Marca as saying in Friday’s pre-match press conference: “He [Guardiola] is the best manager in the world without any doubt.

“Regardless of whether he has fallen in the Champions League.”

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