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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fired Barcelona back into second place in LaLiga after a narrow victory at Real Sociedad.

The former Arsenal striker’s 11th goal for the club secured a 1-0 win at the Reale Seguros Stadium which leaves them 15 points adrift of leaders Real Madrid.

Ousmane Dembele had already hit the post when Aubameyang headed Barca into an 11th-minute lead, and Frenkie De Jong and the Gabon international both went close to a second before the break.

Sociedad fought for a way back into the game in a tight second half, but were unable to find a way past keeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen as the Catalan side bounced back from their shock home defeat by Cadiz.

Sevilla sit third after Jesus Corona struck twice in an eventful 3-2 win at lowly Levante.

Corona headed the visitors into a 14th-minute lead, but they were soon pegged back by Jose Luis Morales’ penalty after Diego Carlos had handled, only for Corona to double his tally with 27 minutes gone.

Morales passed up the opportunity to level for a second time when he missed a 71st-minute spot-kick, and Levante were made to pay when Jules Kounde headed the visitors further ahead nine minutes from time, although substitute Roberto Soldado made it interesting when he scored with three minutes remaining.

Ten-man Athletic Bilbao survived a tense conclusion to see out a 3-2 victory at Cadiz.

Bilbao looked to have the game won by half-time as they raced into a 3-0 lead after Raul Garcia had set them on their way within three minutes of kick-off.

Iker Muniain doubled their tally with 22 minutes gone, converting the rebound after keeper Jeremias Ledesma had saved his penalty, and Mikel Vesga made it three 12 minutes before the break.

Substitute Lucas Perez pulled a goal back for the home side 11 minutes after the restart within seconds of his introduction, and Vega’s 71st-minute dismissal for a second bookable offence provided a further boost.

Ruben Sobrino further reduced the deficit with three minutes left on the clock and fellow substitute Fali was denied an equaliser deep into stoppage time by the upright as Cadiz launched a late blitz.

Sergi Guardiola edged Rayo Vallecano seven points clear of the relegation zone as a 1-0 win at Espanyol ended their wait for a league victory at the 14th attempt.

Guardiola broke the deadlock two minutes before half-time to give the visitors the lead, and Rayo, who last tasted LaLiga success in December, might have won more comfortably had Alvaro Garcia’s shot not come back off the post on the hour.

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Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has completed his move to Barcelona on a free transfer after terminating his contract with English Premier League club Arsenal, the LaLiga club said yesterday.

Barcelona said Aubameyang would sign a contract until June 2025, with an option to agree departure on June 30, 2023. The Catalan club set his release clause at 100 million euros.

“Shortly the club will provide details of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s presentation as a first team player,” Barcelona’s website said, while on Twitter the club posted “It’s Auba time!”.

Aubameyang joined Arsenal from German club Borussia Dortmund in 2018 as former manager Arsene Wenger’s last signing.

He immediately became a fan favourite and went on to score 92 goals in 163 games.

His crowning moment was captaining Arsenal to their 14th FA Cup in 2020, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win over Chelsea, having scored a brace against Manchester City in the semi-final.

The 32-year-old striker was made permanent captain last season after signing a contract extension in 2020, but his Arsenal career began to turn sour and he left by mutual consent on Tuesday with 18 months remaining on his contract.

Despite being Arsenal’s highest earner, he has not played for the north London club since December after manager Mikel Arteta stripped him of the captaincy due to a disciplinary breach.

Aubameyang was also sent home early from the Africa Cup of Nations after the Gabonese Football Federation said cardiac lesions were found in tests conducted in Cameroon following a positive Covid-19 test.

His signing follows the arrival of winger Adama Traore on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers as Barcelona look to rebuild after the departure of Lionel Messi to Paris St Germain.

In a quest to strengthen their attacking options, Barcelona also signed Spanish forward Ferran Torres from Manchester City in the transfer window.

The club has also tried to offload French winger Ousmane Dembele, who has not played since their Super Cup defeat by Real Madrid earlier this month.

Barcelona are fifth in the LaLiga standings, 15 points behind leaders and rivals Real Madrid.

They are at home to Atletico Madrid this weekend.

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Aubameyang and Lacazette missed Gunners’ opener after positive coronavirus tests

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette missed Arsenal‘s defeat at Brentford last Friday after testing positive for coronavirus, the Gunners have announced.

The north London outfit said Aubameyang could make a return to action in Sunday’s home clash with Chelsea, but fellow forward Lacazette will sit things out once again.

A statement on Arsenal’s official website on Thursday read: “Auba is now negative on Covid-19 testing, is well and following all protocols for return to play.

“He will return to training and be assessed prior to Sunday’s match. Alex is still recovering and will not be available.”

Winger Willian and goalkeeper Alex Runarsson have also tested positive.

The statement said Willian was adhering to protocols and that his health and fitness would be monitored and assessed ahead of the Chelsea game, while Runarsson was still recovering and would remain unavailable.

Arsenal have Thomas Partey (ankle), Gabriel Magalhaes (knee) and Eddie Nketiah (ankle) out of action as well.

Partey and Gabriel are aiming to be back in training later this month, and the target for Nketiah is early September.

Mikel Arteta’s men were beaten 2-0 by the Bees in their Premier League opener.

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang marked his first Premier League appearance for almost a month by scoring in a 2-0 victory at Newcastle United.

Arsenal went ahead on five minutes when the Gabonese striker mishit his shot and the ball fell invitingly for Mohamed Elneny, who fired in his first PL goal.

Grant Xhaka’s 29th-minute shot was tipped over by Martin Dubravka before Elneny’s header was cleared off the line by Miguel Almiron from the resulting corner.

The Gunners’ pressure was rewarded on 66 minutes when Aubameyang acrobatically volleyed in a brilliant left-wing delivery from Gabriel Martinelli, meaning he has scored in five successive league matches versus Newcastle.

Fabian Schar was sent off for a challenge on Martinelli late on as Arsenal moved up to ninth in the table on 49 points, five adrift of the top six.

Newcastle remain 17th, nine points clear of the relegation zone with four matches remaining.

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his first Premier League hat-trick as Arsenal held off a Leeds United comeback to win 4-2 at Emirates Stadium.

Aubameyang netted his first on 13 minutes, when he cut in from the left side before firing low beyond Illan Meslier.

Arsenal went 2-0 ahead from the penalty spot on 41 minutes as Aubameyang sent Meslier the wrong way after the Leeds goalkeeper had fouled Bukayo Saka.

Dani Ceballos’s nutmegged pass after a slick team move then set up Hector Bellerin, who beat Meslier at his near post for the Gunners’ third on the stroke of half-time.

Aubameyang completed his treble two minutes after the restart with a close-range header from Emile Smith Rowe’s delivery.

Pascal Struijk’s header reduced the arrears on 58 minutes and Helder Costa added a second 11 minutes later, before Aubameyang was denied his fourth goal as he hit the post.

Arsenal’s biggest home win of the season moves them above Leeds to 10th spot on 34 points. Leeds drop to 11th, two points behind the Gunners.

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored twice in a match for the first time this season as Arsenal earned a comfortable 3-0 win over Newcastle United.

Aubameyang had already struck a post and fired over in the first half before he put the Gunners ahead in the 50th minute.

The Gabonese striker collected a long pass from Thomas Partey, got the better of Emil Krafth and fired high past Karl Darlow.

Bukayo Saka doubled the lead 10 minutes later when he swept home a pinpoint pass from Emile Smith Rowe.

Aubameyang struck again from close range after excellent work by Cedric Soares to cross from the byline.

Andy Carroll had the Magpies’ best chance when he thumped a shot wide on 59 minutes.

Arsenal, unbeaten in five Premier League matches, climb to 10th place with 27 points.

Newcastle are now winless in seven top-flight encounters and remain 15th on 19 points.

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang denied Southampton their first Premier League win at Arsenal as they were held to a 1-1 draw by the 10-man Gunners at Emirates Stadium.

Theo Walcott scored an 18th-minute opener for Saints against his former club, running on to Che Adams’ through-ball and lifting his finish over Bernd Leno.

But Arsenal equalised in the 52nd minute as Bukayo Saka beat three players on the left side and Eddie Nketiah prodded the ball into the path of Aubameyang, who scored his first goal in six matches.

Arsenal’s momentum was halted as Gabriel was booked twice, either side of the hour-mark, and Southampton nearly capitalised on their numerical advantage as Nathan Redmond hit the crossbar from close range.

But Rob Holding came equally close to grabbing all three points for the hosts late on as he headed against the woodwork.

Southampton sit third on 24 points while Arsenal, who halted a run of three straight defeats, are 15th with 14 points.

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A Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang own goal gave Burnley their first-ever Premier League win over Arsenal, who finished the match with 10 men.

Ashley Westwood’s left-wing corner flicked off Aubameyang’s head and into his own net at the near post in the 73rd minute.

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka had been sent off, following a Video Assistant Referee check, after a clash with Westwood in the 58th minute.

Burnley had nearly taken the lead in the 14th minute when Chris Wood’s free header eight yards from goal went wide.

But they were grateful to goalkeeper Nick Pope for saving from Alexandre Lacazette and Kieran Tierney either side of the break.

Arsenal’s third straight Premier League defeat leaves them 15th on 13 points, while Burnley climb out of the bottom three to go 17th on nine points.

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Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has defended his goal celebrations that involve him wearing the masks of different superheroes after being criticised by Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos.

Speaking on his Einfach mal Luppen podcast, Germany international Kroos said this week that he was not a fan of the former Borussia Dortmund striker’s celebrations and did not believe it was the behaviour of a good role model.

Kroos had also criticised Antoine Griezmann for performing dance moves from the video game Fortnite after scoring goals.

Aubameyang, who has in the past worn masks of superheroes like Batman, Spiderman and Black Panther after finding the net, hit back on social media saying he would continue his celebrations.

“By the way. Does this @ToniKroos have kids? Just to remember I did it for my son few times and I will do it again,” Aubameyang said in a post on Twitter that was accompanied by a picture of him in a cape, as drawn by a child.

“I wish you have kids one day and make them happy like these junior school pupils. Talk and don’t forget #maskon #staysafe.”

Aubameyang has scored two goals in the Premier League this season and will look to add to his tally when Arsenal travel to Leeds United on Nov. 22 following the international break.

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted his 50th Premier League goal for Arsenal after opening the scoring against Norwich City and set a club record in the process.

The Gunners’ captain became the quickest player in Arsenal history to reach half a century in the Premier League, setting a new record above the club’s all-time record scorer Thierry Henry.

As well as setting a new club record, Aubameyang also put himself amongst some very good company in the league record after becoming the sixth-fastest player to hit that figure.

Aubameyang has scored 50 goals in just 79 Premier League matches since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund – but others have done it remarkably quicker.

Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole took just 65 matches to hit the margin, while former Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United ace Alan Shearer took 66 games.

Another ex-United man, Ruud van Nistelrooy, took 68 matches to hit half a century, while ex-Liverpool striker Fernando Torres took 72 matches.

In more recent history, Liverpool star Mohamed Salah took the same amount of matches as Torres, then being followed by Aubameyang