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FA Cup trophy proof I should stay - Wenger
Arsene Wenger insists he will head into Tuesday’s board meeting to discuss his Arsenal future perfectly equipped with all he needs to secure a new contract — namely a replay of Saturday’s 2-1 FA Cup final win over 10-man Chelsea.

It remains unclear whether the 67-year-old will continue as manager of the Gunners, despite capping a disappointing season with a record-breaking victory over the newly crowned Premier League champions.

Wenger has come in for criticism from a number of Arsenal fans this season after the club failed to reach the Champions League for the first time in 19 years, with protests calling for the Frenchman to leave when his current deal expires next month.

Arsenal finished fifth in the league, having crashed out of the Champions League following a 10-2 aggregate defeat to Bayern Munich.

But Wenger, and his Arsenal players, redeemed their campaign to secure a record 13th FA Cup success for the club.

A controversial Alexis Sanchez goal opened proceedings, with referee Anthony Taylor over-ruling an offside decision having missed a handball from the Chilean in the build-up.

Diego Costa levelled for the below-par Blues after Victor Moses had picked up a second yellow card for diving in the Arsenal box, only to see Aaron Ramsey head home the decisive goal three minutes later.

Wenger revealed after the game that the Arsenal board will hold a meeting on Tuesday, with his future expected to be decided.

And the Frenchman believes the victory over Antonio Conte’s Chelsea is proof enough that he is the right man to continue as Arsenal boss.

Asked if he would be preparing a presentation ahead of the meeting, Wenger said: “The best presentation is to watch the game.

“I’ve played until the end of my contract, which is today basically. I think I have shown you that I have exactly the same commitment.

Michael Regan – The FA/The FA via Getty Images
“For me, the contract does not have special meaning but, because of the debate, maybe I should have sorted that out earlier.”

As well as Arsenal moving ahead of Manchester United as the most successful team in the history of the FA Cup, Saturday’s win also secured Wenger’s spot as the competition’s best manager.

He overtook George Ramsay, who won six FA Cups with Aston Villa between 1887 and 1920, as he secured his seventh success.

And Wenger insists he drilled into his players that succeeding against Chelsea was more pertinent than what his own future holds.

“I just told them to focus on what is important, our future, the future of the club, whether I stay or not. The players play for their future, for their next season,” Wenger said.

“I love my job and I love to win. I love to build, I love to get people going and I love what I do. I invite you to live with me one day and one thing you cannot question is my commitment.”

Wenger berated those fans who had called for his exit during matches in the latter part of the season, but said he does not have to hold it against them in the long run.

“I am a forgiving man,” he said. “You cannot be in this job [if you are not forgiving].

“This job is basically trusting human beings. If you cannot forgive, you cannot trust. The only bit of advice I have for young coaches, if you have a tendency to be paranoid don’t do this job.

“I meet many Arsenal fans who are absolutely fantastic. It was maybe one percent. Ninety-nine percent of our fans are absolutely fantastic. We play for the 99.9 percent.

“That’s why I said it’s not about popularity, it’s about consequence. It’s the board who has to decide who will lead the club in the future. It’s for me afterwards to decide, if they want me, whether it’s yes or no.”

After a torrid run of form at the start of spring, Wenger opted to alter his tactics and set his side out with a three-man defence.

That change came ahead of a 2-1 win at Middlesbrough on April 17 and Arsenal would lose just one game with that formation, which Wenger stuck with for Saturday’s final despite missing a number of key personnel.

With Laurent Koscielny banned and Gabriel and Shkodran Mustafi injured, Wenger called on club captain Per Mertesacker to start his first game in 392 days.

Despite concerns over his fitness, having only featured for 37 minutes over the course of the entire campaign, the German World Cup winner was a man-of-the-match contender.

It was expected the 32-year-old would endure a difficult afternoon against the likes of Diego Costa and Eden Hazard, but instead Mertesacker was at the top of the game, leading Wenger to single him out for individual praise.

“I expect myself to perform at that level every single week,” Mertesacker said.

“I don’t know if I’m capable but I’ve done it for 15 years. The more people that write me off, the stronger I get. That’s my feeling.

“I think we have shown great support in him [Wenger] as well and for his trust in us. We have shown with that performance, it’s a statement.”

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Lionel Messi welcomes Baby #3

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It's a Goal!!!: Lionel Messi & wife Antonella Roccuzzo expects third child

Lionel Messi welcomes Baby #3

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has again proved that he is a sharp shooter after he confirmed the birth of his third child.

The Argentine pulled out of the Barça squad due to face Malaga in La Liga on Saturday due to the big news.

Messi confirmed the arrival of Ciro on Instagram, publishing a photograph of the newborn holding his father’s hand and revealing that everything had gone well.

Lionel Messi welcomes Baby #3

“Welcome, Ciro!” Messi wrote. “Thanks to God, everything went perfectly. Mother and baby are doing really well. We are super happy.”

Barcelona announced that Messi had withdrawn from the game in Andalusia for “personal reasons” and it was later reported in the Catalan press that his wife, Antonella Roccuzzo, had given birth earlier in the day.

Messi and Antonella, who got married last summer in their native Rosario, already had two sons, Thiago, 5, and Mateo, 2.

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Mohamed Salah Hopes to Score against Manchester United

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Liverpool 0:0 Manchester United: Tight Affair at Anfield

Mohamed Salah Hopes to Score against Manchester United

Mohamed Salah would be looking forward to getting at least a goal against Manchester United when they meet this weekend.

If Salah will complete a remarkable record of scoring against all the top six sides in the English Premier League this season.

The Egyptian is the joint top scorer in the division with 24 goals, which include strikes against Manchester City, Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal, with the Red Devils the only side missing in the top-six list.

Sarah, 25, is willing to complete the haul in Saturday’s encounter at Old Trafford.

Recall that the summer signing fired blank against Jose Mourinho’s side when both sides clashed in October’s draw; a tie most remembered for David De Gea’s stunning save from a Joel Matip effort.

“I remember it [De Gea’s save]. I also missed an easy chance in that game, but he is great,” Salah told Sky Sports.

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Neymar Fractured Metatarsal & Sprained Ankle

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Neymar Fractured Metatarsal & Sprained Ankle

Neymar Fractured Metatarsal & Sprained Ankle

PSG forward Neymar will miss the Champions League last-16 second-leg tie against Real Madrid after being diagnosed with a fractured metatarsal and a sprained ankle.

The 26 year old Brazilian was injured during Sunday’s Ligue 1 win over Marseille. Statement from the club revealed that Neymar suffered “a sprain of the right ankle and fissure of the fifth metatarsal”.

However, how long he would be out wasn’t disclosed.

Neymar joined PSG for a world record £200m fee from Barcelona last August and has scored 29 goals in 30 games.

 

PSG are 14 points clear of second-placed Monaco in the league and on 6 March will host Champions League holders Real Madrid, trailing 3-1 from the first leg.

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