Arsenal’s Premier League troubles intensified as they fell 1-0 at home to lowly Burnley on Sunday with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scoring an own goal after Granit Xhaka was sent off.
The Gunners, who have now lost four straight home games, are in 15th place in the standings with 13 points, while Burnley climbed out of the bottom three, moving up to 17th place on nine points after their first away win of the season.
Mikel Arteta’s side were enjoying a spell of strong pressure after the interval, testing Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope, when Xhaka was sent off after a VAR review spotted him grabbing Burnley’s Ashley Westwood by the throat.
Westwood created the decisive goal when his dangerous in-swinging corner was headed into his own goal by Aubameyang as he rose to challenge Josh Brownhill at the near post.
In the Italian Serie A, AC Milan hit the woodwork four times and fell two goals behind before fighting back with a Theo Hernandez brace, including a stoppage-time equaliser, to draw 2-2 at home to Parma on Sunday.
The result meant the Serie A leaders remain unbeaten in the league.
Hernani put Parma ahead after 13 minutes and Jasmin Kurtic doubled their lead in the 56th minute before Hernandez headed one back for Milan two minutes later and equalised in the 91st minute.
As Milan dominated the match, with Hakan Calhanoglu twice hitting the woodwork before halftime while Brahim Diaz struck the crossbar.
Calhanoglu also saw another effort smash against the bar just before Parma’s second goal.
Milan stayed top with 27 points from 11 games, but saw their lead cut after the five teams behind them all won.
Inter Milan are second with 24, followed by Napoli and Juventus (23), Sassuolo (22) and AS Roma (21).
Meanwhile, in the Spanish La Liga, Lionel Messi dragged a nervous FC Barcelona to a 1-0 win at home to Levante in La Liga on Sunday to cool tensions after a chaotic week at the Catalan club.
FC Barcelona dominated the game but failed to keep their composure in front of goal until Messi latched on to a through ball from Frenkie de Jong and thumped it in off the far post in the 76th minute.
The Argentine punched the air more in relief than celebration, having fired blanks in Barca’s recent painful defeats by Cadiz and Juventus.
FC Barcelona were still made to sweat to gain all three points, surviving a late VAR review for a possible handball against Samuel Umtiti plus a last-gasp volley from Levante player Son which landed in the hands of keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
The win lifted FC Barcelona up to eighth place in the standings on 17 points after 11 games, closing the gap with leaders Real Sociedad and second-placed Atletico Madrid to nine points.
“We always find it hard against Levante as they work so hard, they have a deep squad but we played well, we were better defensively than in recent weeks and we created many chances,” said FC Barcelona left back Jordi Alba.
“Luckily, we were able to take one of them and got the three points. You have to give credit to the team as every player stood tall today.”
Levante often proved a handful to FC Barcelona when playing at home in Valencia but they have never taken a point off the Catalans at the Camp Nou.
They came mightily close to doing so, however, as FC Barcelona struggled to cope with their opponents’ defensive tactics, repeatedly interrupting the home side’s play with their compact banks of four defenders and midfielders.
When FC Barcelona did manage to come up against Levante keeper Aitor Fernandez they tended to shoot straight at him or miss the target, such as when Clement Lenglet somehow squandered an open goal in the first half.
Messi also looked to be lacking sharpness, slicing a shot hopelessly wide in the opening period and needing 12 shots to find the net once and win the match. (Reuters/NAN)
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