Unai Emery has been offered public backing by the Arsenal hierarchy, but warned results must improve.
Emery’s position is under scrutiny after a run of just two wins from their last 10 Premier League games.
However, Arsenal head of football Raul Sanllehi and managing director Vinai Venkatesham say they have no immediate plans to make a change of manager.
“We firmly believe Unai is the right man for the job,” they told Arsenal staff at a meeting.
“We are as disappointed as everyone else with both our results and performances at this stage of the season.
“We share the frustration with our fans, Unai, players and all our staff as they are not at the level we want or expect. Things need to improve to meet our objectives for the season.
“We are all working intensively behind the scenes to turn things around and are confident we will.
“We never take our fantastic support for granted. We hope we can all stick together and get behind the team in this challenging period, as together we are stronger.”
Xhaka ‘hurt’ by hostile criticism
Meanwhile, Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka says he has been hurt by the “extreme hostility” directed towards him from the supporters, but has promised to prove his worth.
The Switzerland midfielder has not played for the club since.
“It was very hurtful and frustrating,” Xhaka told Swiss newspaper Blick.
“I can’t understand a reaction like that even now, especially the vehemence of it and the extreme hostility directed against me.”
Xhaka was booed as he walked off the pitch as he was substituted against Palace, prompting him to cup his ear, take his shirt off and head straight down the tunnel to the dressing room.
“When my shirt number lit up on the fourth official’s panel and our own fans broke into gleeful jubilation, that hit me very hard and really upset me,” he added.
“Insulting and swearing at your own captain will cause upset and a bad atmosphere for the team you are actually supposed to be supporting; that makes no sense to me and weakens the team’s spirit.”
Arsenal manager Emery said last week that he was unsure whether the midfielder would play for the club again, adding that “he was not ready” to return for Saturday’s match at Leicester, which the Gunners lost 2-0.
Xhaka, though, says he is fully committed to the club and is ready to move on from the incident.
“I’ve been 100% behind the club and my role as a player since I came here,” he said.
“I’m proud to be playing for this big club. I’ll continue to stay positive, give my all to an even greater extent and prove that I’m an important part of this great team.
“Last week in particular was a very special, emotional experience for me but I’m doing very well again, I’ve trained well this week and am looking forward to my next assignments.”
Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante is back in the squad for Tuesday’s Champions League Group H game with Ajax.
Kante, 28, has made just five starts in an injury-hit season, most recently suffering a groin problem.
“We’ve been able to get some work into him, he’s in the squad and he’s available,” said manager Frank Lampard.
Midfielder Ross Barkley (ankle) and defender Andreas Christensen (thigh) are also in training after injury lay-offs last month.
Victory at Stamford Bridge would see Chelsea go three points clear of Ajax in Group H and put them in a strong position to progress to the quarter-finals, with games against Valencia and Lille remaining.
“I said at the start that this group would be tight because all the teams could take points off each other. That has been proved to be correct,” said Lampard.
“After losing the opening game against Valencia, which was disappointing, we have shown a great reaction from that.
“I have to accept it’s expected of Chelsea to go through and that is no disrespect to any other teams. I have said already how hard the group is but it is more about our own expectations.
“That is maybe why we had that reaction. We wanted to prove ourselves, we wanted to go to Ajax and Lille and get results, and we did.
“But we won’t get carried away with ourselves in this group.”
Can Chelsea maintain 100% record against Dutch sides? – the stats
- Ajax have never lost an away Champions League match in England (W1 D3 L0), winning most recently away at Spurs in April 2019. Their last away European Cup defeat on English soil was in April 1980, a 2-0 semi-final defeat against Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest side.
- Chelsea have a 100%-win record in Champions League matches against Dutch opponents, beating Feyenoord twice in the 1999-2000 season and Ajax this season.
- Ajax have won their last five away Champions League matches – prior to this run, the Dutch side had won just four of their previous 38 away games in the competition (W4 D13 L21).
- Ajax manager Erik ten Hag has managed more away UEFA Champions League games without losing than any other manager (seven games), winning five and drawing two. Only two managers have lost none of their first eight away games in the competition – Louis van Gaal (first 14 games) and Pep Guardiola (first 11 games).
- Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi has scored one goal every 47 minutes for the Blues in the Champions League (3 goals in 141 minutes) – the best minutes per goal ratio of any Chelsea player in the competition.
- Dusan Tadic has been directly involved in eight of Ajax’s last 14 goals scored in the group stage of the Champions League (five goals, three assists), including six of their last seven away from home (three goals, three assists).
One of the men convicted of murdering soldier Lee Rigby has admitted assaulting a nurse at the high-security Broadmoor Hospital.
Michael Adebowale, 28, punched a healthcare assistant while being held in the Berkshire hospital on 20 July last year, Reading Crown Court heard.
Adebowale was serving a 45-year term for the 2013 killing of Fusilier Rigby in Woolwich, south-east London.
He was jailed for eight months to be served at the end of his sentence.
After denying a more serious charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm, Adebowale pleaded guilty to assault causing actual bodily harm.
Adebowale, who now uses the name Ismaail Kuti, along with Michael Adebolajo, drove into Fusilier Rigby with a car before hacking him to death.
The court heard Adebowale had been a patient at Broadmoor when health assistant Jason Taplin asked him to turn down music he was playing through his MP3 player on the TV in the day ward.
Prosecutor Sarah Whitehouse QC said Adebowale had returned to his room “upset and annoyed” before reappearing and attacking Mr Taplin, who was doing paperwork at his desk.
The nurse was taken to hospital for an injury to his left jaw which took six weeks to heal, the court heard.
Sasha Wass QC, defending, said Adebowale was being treated for paranoid schizophrenia.
“He is clearly unwell, he clearly had a lapse in self control and he regained his self control and he immediately showed his remorse by writing a letter to Mr Taplin,” she said.
“His medication was not sufficient to deal with the psychotic state he experienced on July 20 of last year and as a result of that state he administered the blow.”
Adebowale has spent three periods in Broadmoor since his conviction, and is expected to spend the next “five or 10 years” there, the court heard.
The court heard a family visit for Adebowale had been cancelled, as well as a canteen visit, before the attack.
He appeared via video link from the secure hospital for the hearing.
Sentencing Adebowale, Mr Justice Jay said: “It was a combination of the illness and the stress working on your mind which was a material factor in your case.”
The victim sustained a “serious injury” which “would have been very painful”, he added.
The charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm was left on file.
Fusilier Rigby, a father-of-one, died as a result of multiple cut and stab wounds after the attack fuelled by Adebowale and Adebolajo’s extremist beliefs, described as a “betrayal of Islam” at their murder trial in 2014.
Brentford’s Danish defender Luka Racic has agreed a four-year deal to stay at the club until 2023.
The 20-year-old centre-back played in the first four games of the season, but has since been kept out by injury.
Racic, who joined Brentford’s B team from FC Copenhagen just over a year ago, has also been officially promoted to the senior squad.
“He is a very aggressive defender but also a clever defender and skilful with the ball,” said boss Thomas Frank.
“We have big belief in him and feel he has a very bright future.”
Racic follows Patrik Gunnarsson and Jan Zamburek as the third player to step up to the senior squad from the B team this season.
Two men and three teenagers have gone on trial accused of a gangland murder described as being “reminiscent of a Hollywood film”.
Kamali Gabbidon-Lynck, 19, bled to death after being stabbed at a hair salon in Vincent Road, Wood Green.
He was killed in an attack on 22 February as a result of “a longstanding and mutual hatred” between two rival gangs, the Old Bailey heard.
Another man, Jason Fraser, 20, was shot and stabbed eight times but survived.
Tyrell Graham, 18, and four others who cannot be named for legal reasons, deny murder and attempted murder.
The jury heard the five defendants and two other men had gone to Wood Green armed with knives, a handgun and a shotgun.
Mr Gabbidon-Lynck ran into a hair salon when he was confronted by the group.
The court heard the teenager, who was linked to a North London gang called the WGM, died after one of the knife blows severed an artery.
His alleged killers were said to be linked to Tottenham gang the NPK.
They were part of “an armed group who chased down their targets, they produced their weapons and they butchered them”, said prosecutor Oliver Glasgow, QC.
Members of the public, including mothers with pushchairs, ran for their lives as the violence unfolded, the jury heard.
Mr Glasgow added it was “more reminiscent of a Hollywood film than a winter’s night in north London”.
The trial continues.
More than 200 people have been arrested in London at the start of two weeks of protests by environmental campaigners.
Extinction Rebellion activists are protesting in cities around the world, including Berlin, Amsterdam and Sydney.
Organisers have blockaded key sites in central London, in addition to demonstrating outside government departments.
Some have glued and chained themselves to roads and vehicles, while others plan to camp overnight.
Extinction Rebellion claims protests in the capital will be five times bigger than similar events in April.
The protests are calling for urgent action on global climate and wildlife emergencies.
Activists barricaded themselves to vehicles in Westminster early on Monday as the demonstrations got under way.
Meanwhile, hundreds of campaigners filled Trafalgar Square and blocked Lambeth and Westminster bridges.
Protesters who had glued and chained themselves outside Westminster Abbey were seen being removed by police.
A staggered police cordon was later set up along Millbank, near Parliament, before officers attempted to move demonstrators from Lambeth Bridge, BBC News correspondent Helena Wilkinson said.
Extinction Rebellion organisers told protesters to sit down and “be arrested” as police continued to try and remove them – and a police cordon later closed off Lambeth Bridge
Police were seen cutting two protesters from a car that had blocked Victoria Embankment, while campaigners also locked themselves to a mock Trident missile outside the Ministry of Defence in Whitehall.
Activists were also pictured on a barge on the Thames, according to BBC reporter, Bruce Thain.
Two women were pictured getting married on Westminster Bridge, Extinction Rebellion said.
Police wearing abseiling gear and equipped with acetone syringes were seen removing protesters who had glued themselves to scaffolding in Trafalgar Square.
A string of celebrities including fashion model Daisy Lowe, actress Juliet Stevenson and comedian Ruby Wax, joined campaigners in Trafalgar Square.
Stevenson said the protests were “a very wonderful action”, revealing her son was attending them as a worker for Extinction Rebellion.
She told the Press Association: “We can’t any longer allow governments to do this so we have to make it clear that there is no more time.”
On Saturday, Lowe, 30, hosted a dinner to “celebrate and be educated” by Extinction Rebellion activists, and encouraged followers to join the protests.
She wrote on Instagram: “It is a terrifying reality we live in, but we have the power to change the course of history and save our planet.”
Meanwhile, activists from Animal Rebellion, a movement allied to Extinction Rebellion, marched from Russell Square to Smithfield Meat Market.
Organisers say they plan to stay overnight at the market to share their “vision of a future plant-based food system”.
On arriving at the market, protesters said they held a minute’s silence for “animals whose lives are lost” at Smithfield, and then went on to set up stalls selling plant-based products inside one of the world’s most famous meat-trading spaces.
In an update shortly before 13:00 BST, organisers said several thousand people had blocked locations across Westminster, including Whitehall and the Mall.
There were 217 arrests in connection with the protests as of 17.15 BST, according to the Metropolitan Police.
Extinction Rebellion said this included Sarah Lasenby, 81, a Quaker and retired social worker from Oxford.
Ms Lasenby, who the group says was part of efforts to block Embankment, said: “It is imperative that the government should take serious actions and put pressure on other states and global powers to radically reduce the use of fossil fuels.”
What is Extinction Rebellion?
2025group’s aims for zero carbon emissions
298,000followers on Facebook
1,130people arrested over April’s London protests
2018year the group was founded
Source: BBC Research
Extinction Rebellion (XR for short) wants governments to declare a “climate and ecological emergency” and take immediate action to address climate change.
It describes itself as an international “non-violent civil disobedience activist movement”.
Extinction Rebellion was launched in 2018 and organisers say it now has groups willing to take action in dozens of countries.
In April, the group held a large demonstration in London that brought major routes in the city to a standstill.
Extinction Rebellion organisers say they are expecting up to 30,000 people to take part in the fortnight-long demonstrations in the capital, which form part of an “international rebellion”.
Similar protests in the UK earlier this year brought major disruption to London and resulted in more than 1,100 arrests.
Up to 60 other cities around the world may also be disrupted in simultaneous events, according to a spokesperson for the group.
Activists will call on government departments to detail their plans to tackle the climate emergency.
Police in Australia and New Zealand have already arrested dozens of Extinction Rebellion activists on Monday.
Some 30 campaigners in Sydney were charged with committing offences after hundreds of protesters blocked a busy road.
The latest arrests in London come after the Met police arrested 11 people during the weekend.
A spokesperson for the force said eight people were arrested on Saturday after previously reporting 10. They have all been released under investigation.
One woman and two men were arrested on Sunday on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance. The men remain in custody while the woman has been released under investigation.
More than 1,000 people attended an “opening ceremony” at Marble Arch on Sunday night, which featured meditation and dancing.
Boris Johnson has insisted allegations about his personal conduct are not overshadowing the Tory conference.
Journalist Charlotte Edwardes has accused the PM of touching her thigh, and that of another woman, at a lunch in 1999, which he denies.
Rumours were circulating at conference that Mary Wakefield – who is married to the PM’s chief adviser – was the second woman, but she has rejected that.
The PM said people wanted to hear about his plans to “improve their lives”.
The row erupted after Ms Edwardes’ wrote a column in the Sunday Times on the eve of the Conservative conference in Manchester, describing the alleged incident.
The PM was already facing questions over his ties to a US businesswoman, Jennifer Arcuri, during his time as London mayor – he insists he acted with “full propriety”.
The Conservatives are trying to focus this week on their key conference message – “Get Brexit Done” – and a raft of policy pledges.
In her first column for the paper, Ms Edwardes said the incident took place in 1999. She said she was seated on Mr Johnson’s right at the lunch, held at the Spectator magazine’s offices – he was editor of the magazine at the time.
“More wine is poured; more wine is drunk. Under the table I feel Johnson’s hand on my thigh. He gives it a squeeze,” she wrote.
“His hand is high up my leg and he has enough inner flesh beneath his fingers to make me sit suddenly upright.”
On Sunday evening, No 10 released a statement calling the claims “untrue”, but Ms Edwardes later tweeted: “If the prime minister doesn’t recollect the incident then clearly I have a better memory than he does.”
Asked on Monday if the incident had taken place, Mr Johnson said: “No.”
When it was put to him that the row was overshadowing everything else at the conference, he replied “not at all”.
“I think what the public want to hear is what we are doing to bring the country together and get on with improving their lives,” he added.
Ms Edwardes said another woman at the lunch later told her Mr Johnson had done the same to her.
Spectator magazine commissioning editor Ms Wakefield, who is married to the prime minister’s adviser Dominic Cummings, issued a statement to say she was “not the woman referred to in Charlotte Edwardes’s column”.
“Boris was a good boss and nothing like this ever happened to me. Nor has Charlotte, who I like and admire, ever discussed the incident with me.”
Earlier, ex-Tory minister Justine Greening said Ms Edwardes’ story was “deeply concerning” and raised questions “about character and integrity of people in public life and what standards the electorate have a right to expect”.
Chancellor Sajid Javid, however, backed the PM, saying: “I have full faith in the prime minister and I don’t doubt that and what he has said for a second.”
On Sunday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said “these issues are incredibly important”.
He said he knew Ms Edwardes well and knew her to be “trustworthy”.
Former minister Amber Rudd – who quit the Conservative Party over its handling of Brexit earlier this month – tweeted that she agreed with Mr Hancock’s conclusion.
But Chief Whip Mark Spencer told BBC Nottingham on Monday: “If the prime minister says it didn’t happen, it didn’t happen.”
He added: “If I were a victim of some sort of assault, I would go to the police straight away… if that’s what happened, that’s what she should have done.
“When you get to that level, you are subject to all sorts of political attacks, allegations and accusations of not telling the truth. That’s part of politics I’m afraid.”
An 81-year-old man has been found guilty of acting as a getaway driver for a man accused of stabbing a rival in a drugs dispute.
Ian Hemmens picked up Mahamud Sami after the attack in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, on 10 March, the court heard.
The retired burger van driver had claimed that he went to the seafront town on that afternoon out of “boredom”.
Hemmens, of Bognor Road, Chichester, was convicted of assisting an offender.
The trial at Portsmouth Crown Court also saw Akeem Adebayo, an accomplice of Mr Sami, being found guilty over his part in the attack.
The court heard Mr Sami and Adebayo had chased Dimitrijs Semelis along the seafront at about 17:45 GMT in a “dispute over the supply of drugs” before Mr Sami stabbed him five or six times while Mr Adebayo held him down.
Mr Sami, a student from Chichester, has evaded arrest, the court was told during the six-day trial.
Hemmens claimed he had driven to Bognor on that afternoon out of “boredom” and told police he had set off on his own and picked up two hitchhikers on the way.
The retired burger van worker said: “I thought I will pick them up and maybe I will have someone to chat to for 10 minutes.”
Adebayo, 23, of Colindale Avenue in London, was found guilty of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and two charges of possessing cocaine and heroin with intent to supply.
He told police Mr Semelis had launched the attack, and he had only pushed him away in self-defence.
Amy Packham, prosecuting, told the jury Hemmens was waiting in his car when Mr Sami jumped in the back seat.
Hemmens and Adebayo will be sentenced on 19 October at Portsmouth Crown Court.
Bartosz Białkowski’s goalkeeping howler saw Millwall slip to defeat against Queen’s Park Rangers at The Den.
The Pole missed his clearance kick and the ball ran free for Nahki Wells to roll into an empty net.
It was Wells’ second of the afternoon as his first, 11 minutes into the second half, had given Rangers the lead.
Two minutes later Shaun Hutchinson scrambled home an equaliser from a corner before Białkowski’s error restored QPR’s lead.
More to follow.
QPR midfielder Ilias Chair has signed a new three-year contract.
Chair, 21, has impressed since being given a run in the Rangers side by manager Mark Warburton.
He has made eight appearances this season and 21 in total for the Championship club since being signed from Belgian outfit Lierse SK in 2017.
The Morocco Under-23 international spent the second half of last season on loan with Stevenage, scoring six goals in 16 appearances.