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Grim European Super League interest, Fulham striker’s penalty against Arsenal equals Premier League record

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Six English teams are expected to be part of plans for a breakaway European Super League, with Arsenal among the sides claimed to be involved a project that will rival UEFA’s Champions League format.

It would constitute a drastic overhaul of the football landscape, one driven by, of course, money.

This new league is due to comprise of 20 teams each year beginning in 2022. There would be 15 founding members who can not be relegated, with five other teams who qualify annually. The league would run adjacent to the Premier League and other domestic competitions, much in the way the current Champions League format is held.

Five of the Premier League’s ‘big six’ – Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham – have all reportedly agreed to the proposal. They are joined by Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter and AC Milan, with Bundesliga and Ligue 1 sides opposing the idea.

Josh Maja: Fulham striker’s penalty against Arsenal equals Premier League record

The Nigerian forward scored from the penalty spot as Scott Parker’s Cottagers took the lead against the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium

Josh Maja’s penalty goal in Fulham’s 1-1 draw against Arsenal has equalled a penalty record in the English elite division.

Before the Cottagers took on the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium, the 2020-21 campaign had witnessed 86 penalty kicks.

The Bordeaux loanee’s effort against Mikel Arteta’s side saw this season equal the mark achieved during the 2006-07 campaign.

Having lost their last consecutive league games [against Manchester City, Leeds United, Aston Villa and Wolverhampton Wanderers], the Cottagers travelled to North London with the ambition of ending their poor run.

For the Gunners – who are still basking in the euphoria of their Europa League triumph over Slavia Prague – victory over Scot Parker’s men would see them move up the log.

As expected, the game got off to an explosive start with both teams trying to get much-needed goals. Nonetheless, the first half ended on a no winner no vanquished note.

Five minutes before both teams headed for the tunnel, Daniel Ceballos thought he had put his team ahead, but his effort was chalked off after VAR replays. Bukayo Saka was offside in the build-up to the goal.

In the second half, albeit, the visiting side were more adventurous and that paid off in the 57th minute when they were awarded a penalty.

Ola Aina raced into the box but could not reach the ball, but Gabon’s Mario Lemina then picked it up and Gabriel dived in, sticking out a leg and Lemina went down.

After checks from VAR, the decision stood, and Maja smartly dispatched the ball past Mathew Ryan. With this strike, the 22-year-old has ended his nine-game wait for his third strike since his brace against Everton on February 14.

Aged 22 years and 112 days, Maja became the second-youngest player to score a Premier League penalty against Arsenal, after Daniel Sturridge for Man City in November 2008 (19y 82d).

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