Seven things you didn't know about new signing Mohamed Elneny

Mark Bryans 14/01/2016
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Elneny in his new Arsenal gear.

1 Full name

While it is unlikely you would get it printed on your replica shirt, Elneny’s full name is Mohamed Naser Elsayed Elneny.

2 Shirt number

And, talking of shirts, he will not be able to retain the number 33 jersey he sported for Basle as that is the squad number of goalkeeper Petr Cech at the Emirates Stadium.

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3 International debut
Elneny’s first international goal for Egypt came on English soil at Leyton Orient’s Matchroom Stadium – opening the scoring in the 2-2 friendly draw with Jamaica in June 2014.

4 Olympic star
The 23-year-old had already experienced football in the capital, having played in all four of Egypt’s matches at the London 2012 Olympic Games as Hany Ramzy’s side reached the quarter-finals before losing 3-0 to Japan.

5 English opposition
As well as having played in England, Elneny will be no stranger to Premier League clubs. While at Basle he faced Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea in European competition during the last three years. Elneny particularly shone in a 2-2 Europa League draw with Spurs in 2013, a quarter-final tie which the Swiss outfit won on penalties.

6 Egyptian introduction
Having been deemed not good enough for El Ahly, where he had played at several youth levels, Elneny’s introduction to Egyptian league football came when he joined Cairo -based side Arab Contractors – known locally as El Mokawloon.

7 Title pedigree
Despite being only 23, Elneny would bring more championship-winning experience to the Arsenal squad having lifted three successive Swiss Super League titles at Basle.

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EPL: Chelsea held by West Brom, Defoe inspires Sunderland

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Fired up: Diego Costa.

Chelsea’s search for successive Premier League wins this season goes on after James McClean’s late strike earned West Brom a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge. Cesar Azpilicueta’s goal was cancelled out by substitute Craig Gardner before Gareth McAuley deflected Willian’s cross into his own goal.

The Baggies came from behind for a second time when McClean struck four minutes from time as the visitors earned a deserved point. Chelsea felt aggrieved and Diego Costa made his frustrations known at the final whistle by arguing with Baggies players.

Costa felt Claudio Yacob, already booked for a first-half foul, should have received a second yellow card for an off-the-ball trip on him early in the second half. The midfielder was promptly substituted and referee Anthony Taylor was barracked by Chelsea players and supporters thereafter.

Meanwhile, Jermain Defoe struck a hat-trick as Sunderland won a thrilling relegation battle at Swansea. The Black Cats’ 4-2 victory was mired in controversy with some questionable refereeing decisions as they recovered from a 2-1 half-time deficit to claim a second successive league win and provide real hope of avoiding the drop.

Also, Southampton impressively outplayed and outworked Watford to secure a 2-0 victory that should signal the end of their poor run. On an evening when Watford were as poor as the hosts were intense, goals in each half from Shane Long and Dusan Tadic took Southampton into 12th place.

Norwich proved instrumental in their own downfall as they succumbed to a 3-1 defeat at Stoke. With the score at 0-0, the Canaries were reduced to 10 men in the 31st minute when Gary O’Neil was sent off for an utterly needless slide tackle on Ibrahim Afellay.

After then falling behind to Jonathan Walters’ 49th-minute effort, Norwich did well to level six minutes later through a cracking Jonny Howson strike.

Stoke regained the lead via Joselu’s smart finish in the 67th minute, and the away side then shot themselves in the foot again as Ryan Bennett’s own-goal 12 minutes from time sealed victory for the hosts.

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Howard and Lukaku star as Everton hold Manchester City

Alam Khan 14/01/2016
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On his game: Tim Howard.

Tim Howard repaid the faith of Everton manager Roberto Martinez to deliver a damaging blow to Manchester City’s title challenge.

Under fire from his own fans, the American keeper’s place was under threat with Joel Robles in goal for the recent League Cup and FA Cup wins over City and Dagenham and Redbridge. But Martinez backed Howard and the defiant 36-year-old kept his cool, making several fine saves to blank City in a league game at the Etihad for the first time in a year.

The second-half dominance of Manuel Pellegrini’s men was a far cry to a feeble opening, where it was the visitors who were far more fluent and forceful.

Yaya Toure’s downward header from Bacary Sagna’s whipped cross was pushed away well by Howard in the corner, but the sight of Romelu Lukaku at his rampaging best caused more anxiety at the other end. He was monstrous, leading the line with power and pace and creating opportunities.

A low ball across the box found its way to Gerard Deulofeu and Joe Hart spread himself well to make a vital block. Everton’s Spanish winger then left Martin Demichelis embarrassed and exposed with a blistering burst, but a cross intended for Lukaku was cut out crucially by Nicolas Otamendi.

And Hart was relieved when Lukaku cleverly chipped across for Leon Osman, but his sweetly-struck left-foot volley whistled inches wide.

City needed to improve and so they did with far more questions asked of Howard and his backline. Raheem Sterling, though, lacked awareness and composure with two openings within 10 minutes of the restart.

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How Sergio Aguero would have loved to have been in those positions. With Muhamed Besic tracking back well to aid his defenders, the Argentine was clearly singled out as the danger man. But Aguero finally got a sniff on the hour with a stinging volley straight at Howard.

City had control and Sterling followed that with a mazy dribble and low shot blocked by the legs of the Everton keeper. Howard was there again in the 68th minute to thwart Aguero, and the striker was frustrated when he wriggled through skilfully but lifted his finish over.

And, as City slipped three points behind leaders Arsenal and Leicester, there was little consolation in the fact they had avoided matching a 15-year record of conceding a goal in nine consecutive top-flight home matches.

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