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Arsenal 3-0 AFC Wimbledon: Eddie Nketiah’s Flicked Finish Helps Gunners

Arsenal 3-0 AFC Wimbledon: Eddie Nketiah’s flicked finish helps Gunners into Carabao Cup fourth round

Eddie Nketiah’s superb, back-heeled flick helped Arsenal claim a 3-0 win over AFC Wimbledon at the Emirates Stadium as they set up a Carabao Cup fourth-round tie against Leeds United.

Alexandre Lacazette opened the scoring for the much-changed Gunners when he converted from the penalty spot after Gabriel Martinelli had been brought down (10).

Arsenal were made to wait to extend their lead, the League One visitors defending resolutely, but substitute Emile Smith Rowe finally turned home a loose ball (77) before Nketiah’s moment of inspiration capped the victory (80).

Cedric Soares’s cut-back was slightly behind the striker but he quickly adjusted his feet to flick the ball beyond AFC Wimbledon goalkeeper Nik Tzanev using the heel of his right boot.

The win, Arsenal’s third in a row in all competitions, ensures the Gunners maintain their momentum ahead of the north London derby against Tottenham, live on Sky Sports on Sunday.

Mikel Arteta made 10 changes from Arsenal’s 1-0 win over Burnley on Saturday, with Thomas Partey the only player to keep his place in the side as other members of the squad were given the chance to impress.

One player who looked eager to seize his opportunity was Martinelli. The Brazilian was a menace on Arsenal’s right and used his pace to win the early penalty after latching on to Nketiah’s through-ball.

Lacazette, wearing the captain’s armband on what was his first start of the season, converted the spot kick coolly, finding the bottom corner and sending Tzanev the wrong way in the process.

Arsenal dominated possession but did not create another meaningful opening until much later in the half, when Martinelli again sprung the visitors’ offside trap, this time from a Lacazette pass, only for Tzanev to rush off his line and force him away from goal.

Tzanev almost cost his side a goal not long after that when he pushed an awkward high ball onto the crossbar and back into the six-yard box. It fell to Nketiah a few yards out, however he couldn’t force it in.

Partey enjoyed a productive run-out in midfield as he continued to build up his fitness following his return from an ankle injury, and he was next to go close when his rising drive was pushed over the bar by Tzanev shortly before the hour-mark.

That turned out to be his last contribution of the game, the Ghanaian withdrawn with Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham in mind, and his replacement, Smith Rowe, would go on to score Arsenal’s second.

Before that, Nuno Tavares, impressive at left-back for the hosts, struck the post with a downward header from a Martinelli cross.

Many of the home fans were growing frustrated at that point as their side struggled to convert their dominance into goals but Smith Rowe was soon joined on the pitch by Bukayo Saka, who combined with Lacazette to set up Smith Rowe for their second.

Nketiah then caused the Emirates Stadium to erupt in celebration for a third time with his ingenious finish, and Arsenal went close to extending their lead further in the closing stages, with Saka firing narrowly wide then seeing another effort well saved by Tzanev.

By then, however, they had already done enough. Their attention now turns to Sunday’s north London derby.

Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah (left, facing) celebrates with team-mates after scoring their side’s third goal of the game during the Carabao Cup third round match at the Emirates Stadium

Afterwards, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said: “As long as we were 1-0 up, they were obviously still in the game and any situation like a set-piece, you can concede a goal, so we knew that we had to close the game down. We did that at the end and it looked comfortable, but it was always a tough game.

“To have 50,000 fans in the Carabao Cup on a Wednesday night is pretty special and it doesn’t happen in many places. The players notice that and obviously that raises the level of demands. They made the night more special.

“They are here to support the team and they want to see the team winning. It is a natural thing. They have always been with the team and now they are at a different level, and we need them at an even higher level on Sunday because we’re going to need them and hopefully we can enjoy a beautiful day together.

What’s next?
Arsenal are at home to Leeds in the next round of the Carabao Cup with the fourth round ties due to be played on October 26 and 27.

Before that, the Gunners resume their Premier League campaign against north London rivals Tottenham, live on Sky Sports on Sunday.

AFC Wimbledon return to League One action with an away game against Shrewsbury Town on Saturday.

 

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Ondo Govt reacts to court judgement declaring new LCDAs ‘illegal’

The Ondo State Government says necessary legal action will be taken on the judgement nullifying the creation of the 33 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state.

The government’s reaction is contained in a statement by the Attorney General of Ondo State, Mr Kayode Ajulo SAN, made available to  newsmen on Friday in Akure.

Justice A.O Adebusuoye of the state High Court had in a judgement on Thursday described the creation of the LCDAs as unlawful.

The court said it was illegal for a governor to sign a law outside the State.

The court said that the Local Government Creation Law 2023 signed by the late Governor Rotimi Akeredolu in Ibadan was unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.

The statement said the government has taken cognizance of Ondo State High Court’s judgement and had requested for a Certified True Copy of it.

Ajulo said after it was studied and analysed, a legal opinion would be presented to the state government.

“Subsequently, all necessary measures, in accordance with our laws, will be taken to safeguard the interests of our citizens, foster peaceful coexistence, and uphold the rule of law.

“The Attorney General remains steadfast in his commitment to prioritizing the well-being and welfare of our citizens, working tirelessly to ensure that justice and the law are served,” the statement said.

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LASTMA impounds 40 vehicles in Oyingbo, ijora, idumota axis

The  Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has impounded another 25 commercial and 15 private vehicles operating illegal garages and causing serious road obstructions around Oyingbo, Ijora, and Idumota areas of  Lagos.

Mr Taofiq Adebayo, Director, Public Affairs and Enlightenment Department of LASTMA, said this in a statement on Friday in Lagos.

Adebayo said impounding the vehicles at these areas was a decisive move by LASTMA to restore order and ensure the free flow of traffic.

He said the operation was led by LASTMA Head of Enforcement, Mr Kayode Odunuga, under the directives of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr Sola Giwa.

Adebayo that they were specifically directed to target illegal garages that had been a persistent source of congestion and inconvenience for residents and commuters.

He said the impoundment, which began in recent weeks, was part of a broader initiative by the  Lagos State Government to enhance the efficiency of the city’s transportation network.

He quoted Giwa as emphasising that government is committed to maintaining law and order on the roads, ensuring that all traffic regulations are strictly enforced.

“illegal garages have been a significant challenge in our quest to maintain a seamless traffic flow in Lagos.

“These impoundments send a strong message to all offenders that the state will not tolerate activities that disrupt public order and endanger the lives of our citizens.

“Our goal is to create a safe and orderly environment for all road users and this action is a crucial step in that direction,” Giwa said.

He noted that the targeted areas, Oyingbo, Ijora, and Idumota, are known hotspots for traffic congestion due to unauthorised parking and the establishment of makeshift garages.

He said that these activities not only obstruct the free movement of vehicles but also pose safety risks to pedestrians.

“LASTMA’s intervention aims to clear these bottlenecks and enhance the overall traffic situation in these critical areas.

“Residents and business owners have expressed their support for the government’s action, noting the positive impact it will have on their daily activities.

“LASTMA has also assured the public that the operation will be sustained and extended to other parts of the city where illegal garages and related activities are prevalent,” he quoted Giwa as saying.

He urged all vehicle owners and operators to adhere to the state’s traffic regulations and cooperate with authorities to avoid sanctions.

He reiterated that the government’s primary objective was to create a better and more livable Lagos for everyone.

He also urged motorists to take ownership of the roads and to promptly inform LASTMA of any broken down or abandoned trailers or trucks via the Agency’s hotlines: 0810056586008129928503.

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Emir of Ilorin commiserates with Saraki over mother’s death

Nigeria in very bad shape, only PDP can rebuild it —Saraki

Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari, has commiserated with a former Senate President,  Dr Bukola Saraki, over the death of his mother, Mrs Florence Saraki.

This is contained in a condolence message issued by the emir’s Spokesman, Mallam Abdulazeez Arowona, on Wednesday in Ilorin.

Mrs Saraki died on Tuesday at the age of 89.

Sulu-Gambari described the deceased as a wonderful mother, great philanthropist and virtuous wife to  Dr Olusola Saraki, the late Waziri of Ilorin, whose contributions to humanity would forever be remembered.

According to him, the deceased lived a fulfilled life, with numerous accomplishments.

The royal father urged Saraki, a two-term governor of Kwara, and his siblings to be strong in heart over the demise of their beloved mother.

Sulu-Gambari, who is also the Chairman of Kwara Traditional Rulers’ Council, extended his condolences to both the immediate and extended family members of the Saraki dynasty.

“I pray that Almighty Allah grants the family and friends the fortitude to bear the great loss,” he said.

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