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The Canadian Press

Arsenal lifts gloom with 3-1 win against Chelsea in EPL

LONDON — Arsenal finally lifted the gloom surrounding the club and beat Chelsea 3-1 on Saturday, with a strong performance from younger players, as the Gunners won their first Premier League match in nearly two months.A calmly taken penalty from Alexandre Lacazette, a sensational free kick from Granit Xhaka and a bizarre goal from Bukayo Saka gave Arsenal all three points at Emirates Stadium.But it was a nervy finish for the hosts as Chelsea got a consolation goal from Tammy Abraham in the 85th minute after initially being flagged for offside. The visitors were then awarded a penalty a few minutes later, but Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno saved Jorginho’s shot in injury time.Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said he could feel the energy on the team bus before the match.“I said to them we have to take this opportunity now,” he said. “It’s a really important win for us.”We needed the points for sure and we did it against one of the best teams in the league in a convincing way.”Arsenal climbed up to 14th place with 17 points after the team’s worst start to a season in decades.“Yeah, it’s a start, isn’t it? We needed that today,” left back Kieran Tierney said. “We’ve had a few bad results this season. But we started on the front foot today.”The victory at Emirates Stadium, which was empty because of coronavirus restrictions, eased pressure on Arteta.“Relieved and proud of the players for the performance they put it,” Arteta said when asked how he felt. “And to give something back to the fans who I can imagine have been very disappointed.”It was Arsenal’s first league win since Nov. 1 against Manchester United. And the Gunners did it with a mixture of senior players and youth, who showed verve and creativity going forward.Arteta picked young players to start, including Emile Smith Rowe, Gabriel Martinelli and Saka, and the team shined throughout the match.“It was a really good mixture of senior players and young players that we have. I think they were really, really good,” Arteta said.Part of Arsenal’s team selection was forced upon the manager with defender Gabriel having to self-isolate for three matches because he was in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Two other Brazilians, David Luiz and Willian, were absent because they were feeling unwell.Prior to the victory against Chelsea, Arsenal was winless in its last seven league matches with five defeats and two draws.Chelsea, on the other hand, didn’t seem to turn up for the majority of the match, even though the club could have moved up to second in the league with a win. As it stands, the Blues moved down to sixth with 25 points.“The first half was certainly our worst performance of the season,” Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said. “I’m concerned about what’s at the bottom of it, but I’m not sure if it’s complacency.”Arsenal started brightly and within 40 seconds, Martinelli was unmarked in the penalty area but scuffed his shot. It was a sign of things to come.As halftime approached, Arsenal left back Kieran Tierney ran past Reece James in the penalty area and went over. Television replays showed that James clipped the back of Tierney’s left foot, with the Arsenal defender appearing to go to ground easily.“I felt contact and I went down but I haven’t seen it back,” Tierney said.But VAR confirmed that it was a foul, and Lacazette stepped up, ran up to the ball, stopped for a moment and then sent goalkeeper Edouard Mendy the wrong way in the 34th.Lacazette, who is Arsenal’s top scorer in all competitions this season with six, celebrated by wiping his brow in relief and grinning from ear to ear.Just before halftime, Saka was chopped down by N’Golo Kante for a free kick. Xhaka, just back from a three-match ban for violent conduct, hovered over the ball before sending a stunning, curling free kick over the Chelsea wall with his left foot and into the top corner in the 44th.Chelsea tried to gain a foothold at the start of the second half after making a double substitution, but it was short-lived.Saka found his way down the right and only he will know whether he meant it as a shot or a cross. But the ball confused Mendy and sailed over his head to bang in off the inside of the post in the 56th.When asked if he meant it as a shot, Saka simply said with a smile: “Of course man.”Chelsea showed spirit at the end, but it was too little, too late. Lampard said his players weren’t running and sprinting enough for large periods of the match.“Not a good enough first half, a better second half but it was too late by that point,” he said. “It was certainly a lethargic approach in the first half.”And the penalty miss from Jorginho energized the Arsenal defenders for the five minutes of injury time to see out the match.“It would have been a longer five minutes if that penalty went in,” Tierney said.___More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsFrank Griffiths, The Associated Press

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Britain in talks with 6 firms about building gigafactories for EV batteries

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Britain is in talks with six companies about building gigafactories to produce batteries for electric vehicles (EV), the Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing people briefed on the discussions.

Car makers Ford Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co Ltd, conglomerates LG Corp and Samsung, and start-ups Britishvolt and InoBat Auto are in talks with the British government or local authorities about locations for potential factories and financial support, the report added .

 

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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EBay to sell South Korean unit for about $3.6 billion to Shinsegae, Naver

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EBay will sell its South Korean business to retailer Shinsegae Group and e-commerce firm Naver for about 4 trillion won ($3.6 billion), local newspapers reported on Wednesday.

EBay Korea is the country’s third-largest e-commerce firm with market share of about 12.8% in 2020, according to Euromonitor. It operates the platforms Gmarket, Auction and G9.

Shinsegae, Naver and eBay Korea declined to comment.

Lotte Shopping had also been in the running, the Korea Economic Daily and other newspapers said, citing unnamed investment banking sources.

South Korea represents the world’s fourth largest e-commerce market. Driven by the coronavirus pandemic, e-commerce has soared to account for 35.8% of the retail market in 2020 compared with 28.6% in 2019, according to Euromonitor data.

Shinsegae and Naver formed a retail and e-commerce partnership in March by taking stakes worth 250 billion won in each other’s affiliates.

($1 = 1,117.7000 won)

 

(Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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Canada launches long-awaited auction of 5G spectrum

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Canada is set to begin a hotly anticipated auction of the mobile telecommunications bandwidth necessary for 5G rollout, one that was delayed more than a year by the pandemic.

The 3,500 MHz is a spectrum companies need to provide 5G, which requires more bandwidth to expand internet capabilities.The auction, initially scheduled for June 2020, is expected to take several weeks with Canadian government selling off 1,504 licenses in 172 service areas.

Smaller operators are going into the auction complaining that recent regulatory rulings have further tilted the scales in the favour of the country’s three biggest telecoms companies – BCE, Telus and Rogers Communications Inc – which together control around 90% of the market as a share of revenue.

Canadian mobile and internet consumers, meanwhile, have complained for years that their bills are among the world’s steepest. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has threatened to take action if the providers did not cut bills by 25%.

The last auction of the 600 MHz spectrum raised C$3.5 billion ($2.87 billion) for the government.

The companies have defended themselves, saying the prices they charge are falling.

Some 23 bidders including regional players such as Cogeco and Quebec’s Videotron are participating in the process. Shaw Communications did not apply to participate due to a $16 billion takeover bid from Rogers. Lawmakers and analysts have warned that market concentration will intensify if that acquisition proceeds.

In May, after Canada‘s telecoms regulator issued a ruling largely in favour of the big three on pricing for smaller companies’ access to broadband networks, internet service provider TekSavvy Inc withdrew from the auction, citing the decision.

Some experts say the government has been trying to level the playing field with its decision to set aside a proportion of spectrum in certain areas for smaller companies.

Gregory Taylor, a spectrum expert and associate professor at the University of Calgary, said he was pleased the government was auctioning off smaller geographic areas of coverage.

In previous auctions where the license covered whole provinces, “small providers could not participate because they could not hope to cover the range that was required in the license,” Taylor said.

Smaller geographic areas mean they have a better chance of fulfilling the requirements for the license, such as providing service to 90% of the population within five years of the issuance date.

The auction has no scheduled end date, although the federal ministry in charge of the spectrum auction has said winners would be announced within five days of bidding completion.

($1 = 1.2181 Canadian dollars)

 

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio)

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