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face — but my face as well." ___ AP NFL website

LONDON -- Arsenal cruised past Sunderland in a 4-1 win Saturday with a brace from the returning Olivier Giroud, allowing the Gunners to keep pace in the Premier League title race and to bounce back from a mid-week Champions League defeat. Sean Doolittle Jersey . Giroud, who wasnt in the starting lineup for two matches after allegations about his private life and a decline in form, scored twice in the first half. Tomas Rosickys chip made it 3-0 before half time at Emirates Stadium, while defender Laurent Koscielny scored an unmarked header in the second half. Sunderland scored a late consolation goal with a 25-yard strike by Emanuele Giaccherini. The result leaves Arsenal in second place with 59 points, one behind Chelsea, and Sunderland in the relegation zone in 18th place with 24 points. "We had a very demanding week physically and mentally and we gave the right response today," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said. Record signing Mesut Ozil, who missed a penalty in the 2-0 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday and had an argument with teammate Mathieu Flamini during the match, was sidelined with a thigh injury. Giroud, who had to apologize to his club and family after a British tabloid published photos of a model who allegedly visited his hotel room, made up for lost time against Sunderland. He scored in the fifth minute after nice buildup play between Rosicky and Jack Wilshere led to the goal, with the France forward slotting the ball past Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone. Giroud struck again in the 31st when he intercepted a sloppy back pass from Santiago Vergini intended for Mannone and rolled the ball underneath Arsenals former backup keeper. Giroud now has 12 league goals. "I had no hesitation about his strength of character," Wenger said. "Of course you want him to come back into the team and be successful, which he was today because he scored two goals." Rosicky scored in the 42nd with a chip after a string of one-time passes from his teammates, and Koscielny netted with a free header in the 57th. Sunderlands goal came in the 81st after Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny dealt with a free kick by punching the ball outside the area. It fell to Giaccherini and he unleashed a first-time shot to beat the Poland keeper. Despite losing to Bayern on Wednesday and dropping from the Premier League summit recently after months in first place, Arsenal fans were in high spirits before Saturdays match. The club unveiled a statue to former player Dennis Bergkamp outside the stadium, and Wenger compared Rosickys performance against Sunderland to Bergkamps style. "I am very pleased for Rosicky because today Bergkamp got a statue and I think Rosicky took the Bergkamp role well. Certainly Dennis will have been pleased to have seen him play," he said. In addition to Ozil, Arsenal has a few other injury concerns: Wilshere (hamstring), Koscielny (back) and Nacho Monreal (foot). While Wenger wasnt certain how bad Wilsheres injury was, he said Ozil, Koscielny and Monreal should be available next week. Sunderland plays Manchester City in the League Cup final next weekend and captain John OShea hopes his teammates have learned from the defeat. "Its a wake-up call for us, both in the league and ahead of next weekend," he said. "We have to make sure we look at ourselves individually and collectively, dust ourselves down and go again." Howie Kendrick Jersey .com) - The 2014 Holiday Bowl is the first postseason venture pitting a pair of ranked foes against each other, as No. Trea Turner Jersey . LOUIS -- The St.CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Cam Newton said his focus is on getting back on the football field, not a new contract. The Panthers quarterback said Wednesday hes happy for San Franciscos Colin Kaepernick, who recently signed a six-year, $126 million contract. He even sent a congratulatory text message to Kaepernick, who beat Newton and the Panthers in the NFC divisional playoffs 23-10 in January. The Panthers have talked about a long-term contract for Newton but no deal has been completed. "For me, thats the last thing thats on my mind," Newton said. Newton didnt practice Wednesday as he continues to rehab his left ankle following surgery in March, but spoke to the media inside the stadium afterward. He said he wants to participate in next weeks three-day minicamp, but isnt sure if hell be ready. Newton and Kaepernick are linked in many respects because they came out of college the same year. Newton was selected first overall in the NFL draft in 2011, but only this past year did he finally get the Panthers to the playoffs. Kaepernick was selected 35 picks behind Newton but has helped the 49ers reach the NFC championship game three straight seasons. "Two different people, two different organizations," Newton said. "I wish Colin the best. ... I reached out and told him he deserved it. To do what he has done up to this point, he deserves to get paid." Newton can make an argument he does too based on three impressive statistical seasons. He has started every game for the Panthers since coming into the league and thrown for 11,299 yards with 64 touchdown passes and 42 interceptions. Hes also run for 2,032 yards and 28 TDs. But while general manager Dave Gettleman said Newton has proven to him that hes a franchise quarterback, the salary cap strapped Panthers havent signed the former Heisman Trophy winner to a long-term deal. The Panthers did pick up the option on the fifth year of Newtons rookie contract, which means Newtons sallary will jump from $3. Matt Wieters Jersey. million this year to $14.6 million in 2015. Newton has been working on an underwater treadmill in recent weeks, receiving ice and stem treatments for his left ankle. Hes also been throwing passes on the side during six of the teams last nine OTA practices. He said hes still experiences some pain in his ankle that reminds him hes not quite 100 per cent. The teams three-day minicamp begins Tuesday. "Physically Im coming along fine and Im on page right where I expected to be, but mentally Im bored," Newton said. Newton said hes spent the last seven weeks pouring over game film from last year and practice film from OTAs. He acknowledged that while the extra time in the film room has been beneficial, he said it has become "a little monotonous." When he returns to the field Newton will be looking to develop some chemistry with an overhauled corps or wide receivers. The Panthers cut ties with their top four wide receivers from last year, including Newtons go-to guy Steve Smith. The team added free agents Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant and Tiquan Underwood and drafted Kelvin Benjamin in the first round. While Newton wasnt ready to say this years group of receivers is better than last years, he did say they have a chip on their shoulders. "The elephant in the room has already been stated," Newton said. "Those guys have already accepted the challenge. You dont have to go in there and tell those guys, Hey, youre projected (to be) the sorriest receiver (group) in the NFL. We already know. "But with that, those guys already have that fire in their eyes. I would rather those guys be like that and for them to go out there and bust their tails like theyve been doing. Its kind of like a slap in —not only their face — but my face as well." ___ AP NFL website www.pro32.ap.org ___ Follow Steve Reed on Twitter: http://twitter.com/SteveReedAP Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys China Cheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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