By FRANCO PANIZO
Arsenal are back in fourth place in the Premiership and their dreams of playing in next season’s UEFA Champions League are still alive.
At least, for now.
The Gunners battled back from a 1-0 deficit to defeat West Ham United, 3-1, on Tuesday afternoon. The win saw Arsenal leapfrog Tim Howard and Everton for the Premiership’s lone Champions League qualifiers spot, but the Toffees have a game in hand to make up the one point difference.
Arsenal fell behind five minutes before halftime when Matthew Jarvis headed home a loose ball in the penalty area, but Lukas Podolski responded with the first of his two on the day in the 44th minute. Podolski recorded his brace 12 minutes from the final whistle, but not before Olivier Giroud netted the winner in the 55th minute.
Everton will have a chance to reclaim fourth place when they host Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
Here are more news items from around the soccer world:
RONALDO RULED OUT FOR CUP FINAL
The next chapter of El Clasico will not feature star attacker Cristiano Ronaldo.
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti confirmed Tuesday that Ronaldo will be held out of Wednesday’s Copa del Rey final against Barcelona due to the Portuguese international’s current knee and thigh issues. Ronaldo has been out of action since playing in a UEFA Champions League quarterfinals first leg vs. Borussia Dortmund on April 2.
Isco and Asier Illarramendi are the favorites to replace Ronaldo in Real Madrid’s lineup.
CORONA SUSPENDED FOR CCL FINAL
If Cruz Azul are to win the CONCACAF Champions League this year, they will have to do so without starting goalkeeper Jesus Corona.
CONCACAF announced Tuesday that it extended a suspension on Corona for his part in a post-game altercation during the semifinal round of the tournament earlier this month. Corona was shown a red card following the second leg that saw Cruz Azul beat Club Tijuana, 2-1, on aggregate, but CONCACAF prolonged the ban because of what it deemed unsporting behavior.
The suspension will prevent Corona from playing in either of the two legs in the CONCACAF Champions League finals series vs. Toluca, which begins on Tuesday night. The veteran goalkeeper would also miss Cruz Azul’s first game at the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco should his team defeat Toluca.
DORTMUND REACH DFB POKAL FINAL
Borussia Dortmund might lift some hardware this season, after all.
Dortmund moved onto the DFB Pokal final after picking up a 2-0 home win vs. VfL Wolfsburg on Tuesday. Henrik Mkhitaryan set the tone for the victory by scoring in the 12th minute, and Robert Lewandoski doubled Dortmund’s lead two minutes before the intermission with his 100th goal for the club.
Dortmund will face the winner of Wednesday’s Bayern Munich-Kaiserslautern semifinal match in the title game on May 17.
Still confident that Everton will take the UEFA Champions League qualifiers spot instead of Arsenal? How will Real Madrid fare vs. Barcelona without Ronaldo? Surprised to see CONCACAF prolong Corona’s suspension?
Share your thoughts below.