Quin Hall, Keegan Jade and Curtis Young each had four points.In the mini-tourney opener, the Wildcats outscored the Bombers 11-0 in the extra period to win the contest.It was the third straight win for Mount Sentinel over LVR this season.The Wildcats opened the game on fire, building a 16-2 lead after one quarter.Mount Sentinel maintained the margin into the second half before the Bombers caught fire, outscoring the Cats 26-13 to send the game into overtime.Hall and Young led the Bombers in scoring, netting nine and eight points, respectively.Dyllen Dixon added six points while Brock Dixon had four.LVR now prepares for the West Kootenay Junior Boy’s Basketball The Bombers enter the tournament as the four seed and meets J. Lloyd Crowe Junior Hawks in the first game of the tournament.Mount Sentinel, the top seed, gains a bye into the second round.Other games have second seed Stanley Humphries meeting Salmo Falcons and third seed Grand Forks playing Boundary Central of Midway.The tournament concludes Saturday. The L.V. Rogers Junior Bombers suffered a couple of heartbreaking defeats during a West Kootenay High School Boy’s Basketball Mini-tournament Saturday at the Hangar.The Junior Bombers saw the Grand Forks Wolves score five points in the final minute to escape with a 41-39 overtime victory in game three of the mini-tournament.Earlier, LVR lost 50-37 to Mount Sentinel Wildcats — the game also went into overtime.In other game of the mini-affair, Grand Forks Wolves outlasted a tired Mount Sentinel Wildcats squad 53-42.Against the Wolves, who the Bombers had defeated earlier this year, LVR led 39-36 in the final minute of the game after sending the game into extra time with a basket at the buzzer.However, poor execution on offence coupled with two turnovers cost the Bombers the win.The Dixon brothers — Brock and Dyllen — led LVR with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Killybegs Coast Guard were tasked this afternoon by Malin Head CG to a small angling boat which had left Killybegs harbour and made its way to Portnacross.While on its way back to Killybegs Harbour a member of the public reported seeing the boat in difficulty at Drumanoo Head.Killybegs CG were stood down by Malin Head CG when the boat safely made its way back to Portnacross Pier. If you spot someone in trouble at sea, on the cliffs or coast, even if you ‘think’ that someone may be in trouble , dial 112/999 and ask for the Coast Guard. If you are in trouble at sea, call on VHF Channel 16, MF 2182 KHz or use DSC. ANGLERS MAKE IT SAFELY TO SHORE AFTER ALERT was last modified: December 31st, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:coast guardKillybegsrescue
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest After seeing picture after picture of the devastation that wildfires caused to farmers and ranchers in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado, Lykins, Ohio’s Rose Hartschuh and her husband, Greg, both knew they had to do something to help. As Hartschuh tells The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins, they are spearheading a major effort to make a trip to that part of the country, loaded with supplies and manpower to help rebuild.Click here to find out how you can helpThere has also been a fund set up to help move the donated hay to the affected areas. Checks can be made to Ohio’s Kansas Rancher Wildfire Relief Efforts and mailed to 6348 Parks Rd, Sycamore, Ohio 44882.
Singer-songwriter and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Shakira, and FC Barcelona soccer star Gerard Piqué, are celebrating the imminent arrival of their second child by expanding upon their original concept of a ‘World Baby Shower’ to benefit UNICEF and vulnerable children around the world. After the success of the UNICEF baby shower for their first son, Milan, Shakira and Gerard decided to create a shareable shower available for any and all expectant mothers in the hopes of giving a greater purpose to other baby showers and helping those babies and mothers who need it most.“Now that we are soon welcoming our second child we want to help other children around the world and also contribute to a long-lasting solution for getting children living in extreme poverty the supplies they need to survive,” said Shakira.“We also want other parents to feel compelled to do the same,” Shakira added. “With the explosion of social media, celebrities aren’t the only ones who have platforms that can reach mass audiences, and we want this movement to keep going long after our baby shower has ended, so we want to invite them to host their own baby showers with UNICEF as well.”Fans of the expectant couple will be invited to share in their event by visiting a special website featuring ‘Inspired Gifts’ that directly benefit UNICEF’s work for children in some of the poorest and remotest places on earth.In an exclusive post on her Facebook page, Shakira revealed the inspiration behind creating a platform where every expectant mother can help make an impact in saving and improving lives of children around the world.“Every woman who’s expecting has the power to use the blessing of her child’s imminent birth to save the lives of other, less fortunate children around the world. If every expectant mother having a baby shower decided to include among her gift registry some of these “inspired gifts” that UNICEF offers, we could collectively save the lives of hundreds of thousands of children all over the globe.”From the post, fans can use Facebook’s new call-to-action feature by clicking on ‘Donate’ to learn more and purchase an Inspired Gift for the baby shower.Among the 10 Inspired Gifts fans can purchase as part of the World Baby Shower are midwifery kits with medical equipment for safe delivery of 50 babies, measles and polio vaccines, blankets, and baby scales. Other gifts include a soccer ball – recognizing the power of sport and play in creating a happy, healthy childhood – and a storybook to nurture a love of reading and learning.Through Shakira’s Twitter profile, fans will also be able to purchase a special thank-you card from Shakira and Gerard. Every card bought will unlock funds for life-saving measles vaccines.Shakira and Gerard are urging other expectant parents to host their own virtual baby showers and engage their own families, friends, and followers to support UNICEF’s work for children. Just visit worldbabyshower.org.Baby showers are popular in many countries as a way of celebrating the pending or recent birth of a child by presenting gifts to the mother. The celebrity couple’s first virtual World Baby Shower to benefit UNICEF’s mission for children was held from 16 January to 15 February 2013, to mark the birth of their son, Milan. As a result, over 80,000 children were vaccinated against polio; nearly 4 tons of therapeutic food helped children suffering from malnutrition; and around 1,000 anti-malaria bed nets and nearly 200,000 oral rehydration salts sachets were distributed.The gifts from the World Baby Shower have the potential to save the life of a mother or a child. Despite great progress in reducing the child mortality rate, 6.3 million children under the age of five still die every year from largely preventable causes. Among these are 2.9 million newborns who die in the first month of life. And every day, millions of mothers give birth without adequate equipment, medicines or support services.UNICEF Inspired Gifts is an innovative programme that provides the public the opportunity to purchase actual lifesaving items that are shipped directly from either the UNICEF warehouse in Copenhagen or one of UNICEF’s many suppliers to one of over 150 countries or territories where UNICEF works.
On Thursday, August 13th, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star and animal advocate Lisa Vanderpump will be hosting an exclusive fundraising luncheon at her newest restaurant, PUMP.The luncheon is sponsored by Vanderpump Pets, a luxury pet lifestyle brand owned and designed by the Vanderpump family. The private affair will help raise money and awareness for American Humane Association, which Lisa has worked with for several years through their annual American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards. Lisa aims to raise funds for a California-based Red Star Rescue truck to help rescue and shelter local pets affected by disasters and cruelty cases. American Humane Association’s Red Star program has saved millions of hurt, frightened animals since its founding in 1916.To begin the luncheon, guests will arrive on the pink carpet and enter into a pop-up showroom that will showcase the Vanderpump Pets Private Collection. In the showroom, guests will be able to view the never-before-seen Fall/Winter 2015 VP Pets Collection while sipping on LVP Sangria and munching on tasty delights. From there, guests will be directed to their assigned seats and served a special chef-inspired three-course lunch. A presentation about the Hero Dog Awards and Red Star Rescue Services will accompany the lunch along with a special presentation by Ms. Lisa Vanderpump herself. In addition, special celebrity guests will give out Vanderpump gift baskets that will include hundreds of dollars in gifts, coupons, and products. A fundraising hour with sangria and cocktails in the PUMP Garden will conclude the luncheon’s festivities.Vanderpump Pets and the entire Vanderpump family hope to raise awareness and significant charitable contributions for these important programs benefiting animals in California.Date:Thursday, August 13, 2015Location:8948 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069
SHANGHAI – It was looking like a banner year for business in China. The U.S. clothing company was expecting a 20 per cent jump in online sales on Alibaba’s Tmall, thanks to the e-commerce giant’s massive reach.But executives soon learned that what Alibaba gives, it can also take away.The company refused to sign an exclusive contract with Alibaba, and instead participated in a big sale promotion with its archrival, JD.com Inc. Tmall punished them by taking steps to cut traffic to their storefront, two executives told The Associated Press. They said advertising banners vanished from prominent spots in Tmall sales showrooms, the company was blocked from special sales and products stopped appearing in top search results.The well-known American brand saw its Tmall sales plummet 10 to 20 per cent for the year.“Based on our sales record, we should have been in a prominent position, but we were at the bottom of the page,” said the brand’s e-commerce director, who spoke only on condition of anonymity for fear of further retaliation. “That’s a clear manipulation of traffic. That’s a clear punishment.”As the Trump administration pushes China to play by fair trade rules, companies are caught in a quieter but no less crucial struggle for fair access to a $610 billion online marketplace, an AP investigation has found.Executives from five major consumer brands told the AP that after they refused to enter exclusive partnerships with Alibaba, traffic to their Tmall storefronts fell, hurting sales. Three are American companies with billions in annual sales that rely on China for growth.In a statement, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. said pursuing exclusive deals is a common industry practice and called the charges of coercion “completely false.”“Alibaba and Tmall conduct business in full compliance with Chinese laws,” Alibaba said. “Like many e-commerce platforms, we have exclusive partnerships with some of the merchants on Tmall. The merchant decides to choose such an arrangement because of the attractive services and value Tmall brings to them.”Imagine a company twice as profitable as Amazon that each year serves more people than live in all of North America. That’s Alibaba. It claims to be the marketplace for nearly $550 billion a year in sales — more than is sold online in the entire U.S. economy.The trials of the affected companies offer a rare window onto a bruising business culture forged in China that could spread as Alibaba takes its aggressive, innovative and hugely profitable model of e-commerce global. To the extent that their products are manufactured in the United States — and some are — constricting sales in China’s critical growth market can also deepen the imbalance of trade between China and the U.S., a gap that is a top concern for the Trump administration.The competition between Alibaba and JD.com is so infamous in China — and so dirty — it’s been dubbed the “great cat-and-dog war,” after Tmall’s black-cat mascot and JD.com’s white dog.The executives spoke to the AP only on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, but their concerns were echoed by a U.S. industry group, brand consultants and policy makers in China and JD.com itself.In a speech about cyberspace last week, Chinese president Xi Jinping said ensuring free and fair competition online was a regulatory priority, citing the need “to cultivate a fair market environment, strengthen intellectual property protection, and oppose monopoly and unfair competition,” state media reported.In its months-long investigation, the AP interviewed more than 30 people and reviewed two contracts from Alibaba that contained previously unreported exclusivity clauses. The AP found that the platforms that control access to Chinese consumers online wield such enormous power that even multibillion-dollar foreign companies can have trouble fighting back.“We urge the authorities to quickly investigate and take steps to ensure such practices are eliminated from the growing Chinese marketplace,” said Stephen Lamar, executive vice-president of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, adding that members of his industry group had complained about unfair competitive practices by Alibaba.JD.com is a member and sponsor of the trade group.Wang Hongbo, a consultant who helps Chinese brands sell online abroad, echoed the problems cited by the companies who spoke to AP.“Many brands complained about this to us. Because they didn’t fall in line, they faced restrictions on Tmall,” he said.It’s not clear whether Alibaba’s actions would be illegal, nor is it certain that the evidence of coercion that brands have managed to collect would hold up in court. Under China’s anti-monopoly laws, companies that dominate a market cannot demand exclusivity without justification. A 2015 regulation also specifically bars e-commerce platforms from restricting brands’ participation in promotions on other platforms.The rules are designed to prevent dominant players from squeezing out the competition, which could ultimately hurt both brands and consumers by giving a single, monopolistic player absolute control over prices.JD.com said that over 100 Chinese brands defected last year due to pressure from its main rival, an assertion Alibaba and some brands have contested. The exodus appears to have had a lasting impact.“Based on the feedbacks we received from these merchants, the move was mainly due to the coercive tactics from our competition, which if proven true would be illegal and clearly against the merchants’ will,” said Sidney Huang, JD.com’s chief financial officer, said in a November earnings call.Peacebird, a Chinese fashion company, is among those that left JD.com last year. But Weng Jianghong, the company’s general manager of e-commerce, said Alibaba had not coerced them and the decision to focus on Tmall was strategic.“We will centralize and develop the limited resources of our company on Tmall,” he said.Many companies, including JD.com, do exclusive deals. However, JD.com maintains that it doesn’t strategically push merchants for exclusivity.“We support fair and open competition because greater choice is always better for brands and users,” JD.com said in a statement. “We are winning over customers by providing a superior shopping experience, rather than by limiting the options of brands or consumers.”JD.com is still trying to get brands to return. “We do believe there will be more merchants coming back,” Huang said in a call last month with analysts. “But I do not expect a very quick fix.”PLAY OR PAYTmall controlled six of every 10 dollars spent overall for business-to-consumer sales online in China in the second half of last year — and even more for sectors like apparel — giving it enormous power over companies that rely on Alibaba for access to Chinese consumers online.The contracts reviewed by AP offered a suite of benefits in exchange for exclusivity. One contract specified that brands must not operate storefronts on other e-commerce platforms without Tmall’s written permission. The other contract mandated that new products not be launched on competing platforms and barred brands from sales promotions on other platforms without Tmall’s written permission.Such sales events are the lifeblood of online commerce in China. The country’s massive Singles Day promotion in November, which started as an anti-Valentine’s Day gimmick, is now the world’s largest e-commerce event. Last year, Alibaba said $25 billion worth of merchandise was sold on its platforms alone, compared with just $14.5 billion in total online sales in the U.S. for Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, according to data from Adobe Systems Inc.Brands cited commercial, ideological and legal reasons for refusing to cut off business with JD.com.Some said that different people shop in different ways on JD.com and Tmall, so cutting off JD.com means cutting off access to a pool of potential shoppers.“It’s clear from the data we look at these are distinct consumer pools,” said the China head of a publicly-traded company. “If I lost the JD business I would lose a certain part of that business. Another part is on principle: This is blatant anticompetitive behaviour.”Others cited legal concerns. “We didn’t want to go for it in part because we thought it might be an illegal agreement in restraint of trade,” said an executive for a second publicly-traded company.“We’re chided when we participate in promotional events on other platforms,” he added. “What’s never said but actually happens when we don’t co-operate in the way they want us to is our traffic falls. It’s not a coincidence.”Two companies said they granted concessions to Alibaba, agreeing to exclusive product launches, raising their prices on JD.com, or removing ads promoting JD.com sales. Traffic to their Tmall shops rebounded. One company said it ultimately closed its flagship on JD.com to salvage Tmall sales.“You have to go beg,” said the China director of a multi-billion dollar publicly-traded company.THE GREAT CAT-AND-DOG WARTmall and JD.com have different business models but they are increasingly pushing onto each other’s turf.Alibaba’s online marketplaces connect buyers and sellers. Alibaba earns money from advertising, as well as commissions and fees. JD.com runs a similar marketplace but, like Amazon, also buys products from brands, then sells and distributes the merchandise itself.Alibaba has taken aim at JD.com’s long-standing dominance in electronics, while JD.com hopes to cut into Tmall’s core apparel category. Both have expanded into groceries and poured hundreds of millions of dollars into acquisitions to extend their reach into brick-and-mortar businesses.The result is an escalating turf fight that carries a chilling message for brands: Either you’re with us or against us. The Chinese have a name for this unwritten rule, “er xuan yi,” choose one of two.“‘Choose one of two’ is a tacit understanding that has been reached by everyone, but you do not say it directly,” said Zhuo Saijun, who until 2015 was a general manager of e-commerce research at Analysys Ltd., a Beijing-based big data consultancy. “This is certainly a problem for the development of retail sales channels. It is a business ethics problem, and this is how monopolies develop.”Some policymakers have raised concerns about monopolistic tendencies in Chinese e-commerce and called for more effective regulation and enforcement.“Unfair competition still exists,” Wang Bingnan, a deputy director at China’s Ministry of Commerce, said in a June speech about China’s e-commerce market. “Behaviours like forced ‘choose one of two,’” he added, “are hard for regulators to define, prove or deal with accurately.”JD.com has complained about anticompetitive tactics before. In 2015, the company filed a complaint with the State Administration for Industry and Commerce, a corporate regulator, accusing Alibaba of pressuring brands into doing exclusive Singles Day sales promotions — a charge Alibaba denied. The complaint was kicked to a regional office in Zhejiang province, where Alibaba has its headquarters.Nothing more was ever heard about it.The regulators did not respond to requests for comment.Alibaba said that while JD.com focuses “on groundless complaints to explain why they are losing brands, we at Alibaba are squarely focused on making our platform the best for our merchants.”MR. MA GOES GLOBALThe battles now being waged within China’s e-commerce sector could well impact the culture and norms of e-commerce globally — at least if Alibaba’s chairman, Jack Ma, has his way.Alibaba aims to serve 2 billion consumers by 2036 — or about one in four people now on the planet. Already, the value of goods sold on Alibaba’s platforms in fiscal year 2017 was $547 billion, larger than the gross domestic product of Sweden.In June, Ma told investors that his company will rank as the fifth largest economy in the world. “Just say USA, China, Europe, maybe Japan and us,” Ma said.The company has been aggressively recruiting foreign brands to sell on its platforms, and they have come, in droves. Alibaba said it signed up 60,000 international brands for its massive Single’s Day sale in November, up from 5,000 in 2015.Alibaba’s retail sales outside of China also are growing fast — they more than doubled last fiscal year to 7.3 billion yuan ($1.1 billion), or 5 per cent of total revenue.America remains at the heart of Ma’s ambition. He told president-elect Donald Trump in Jan. 2017 that he would create a million U.S. jobs by facilitating trade between businesses in the U.S and consumers in China — a pledge he now says is imperiled by the brewing trade war between the two countries.Brands now caught in the great cat and dog war have adopted different strategies to avoid becoming collateral damage.An e-commerce manager at a major European brand said she’d be happy to offer totally different products on Tmall and JD.com to stay out of trouble, but worries her bosses won’t go for it because it cuts off potential buyers.Sometimes, she said, it feels “like we’re working for those platforms.”___Associated Press writer Anne D’Innocenzio in Las Vegas and researchers Si Chen and Fu Ting in Shanghai contributed to this report.Follow Kinetz on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ekinetzSend news tips, documents, etc. securely and confidentially to AP at https://securedrop.ap.org/
Americans’ path to homeownership is likely to get more expensive this year, even as a severe shortage of homes for sale shows signs of easing.Mortgage rates, which climbed through much of last year, will continue to rise in 2019, driving up homebuyers’ borrowing costs and shutting others out of the market entirely. The projected result: a cooling housing market and falling home sales nationally.“On the whole, it’s going to be more expensive for buyers next year, despite the fact that they’ll have more options,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist at Realtor.com.The U.S housing market stalled in 2018 after a long period during which price increases outpaced income growth. That had been offset by historically low mortgage rates, until rates began rising steadily a year ago.While still low by historical standards, the average rate on a 30-year home loan was 4.55 per cent last week, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. That’s up from 3.99 per cent a year earlier.Realtor.com and Redfin forecast the rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage will rise to 5.5 per cent by the end of 2019. Zillow expects rates will reach 5.8 per cent. That would be rates’ highest level since the last recession.A mere extra half percentage point can boost monthly payments and add tens of thousands of dollars in interest over the life of the typical 30-year loan.“Rising mortgage rates will take a bite out of affordability on top of an already supply- constrained and high-priced housing market,” Trulia senior economist Cheryl Young wrote in her forecast.As mortgage rates increase, so does the pressure on would-be buyers to lock in a rate and close a deal.Nate Vogel, a homebuyer in the Denver suburb of Lafayette, has felt some of that pressure after about a year looking for a home without success.Because of the limited number of homes for sale, especially under $500,000, the software engineering manager recently decided to look at homes at the top of his budget, $650,000. But that could be a problem if mortgage rates continue climbing.“If that interest rate goes up another per cent, that would make things much more uncomfortable,” said Vogel, 37. “At this point, no matter what house I buy, I’m sure the interest rate will probably be higher and the payment will be more.”Higher mortgage rates have already started dampening home sales. As of November, sales of previously occupied U.S. homes were down 7 per cent from a year earlier, the steepest decline since May 2011, when the housing market had yet to bounce back from the bust.Realtor.com predicts U.S. home sales will fall another 2 per cent in 2019.It’s not all bad news for would-be buyers, though. Economists project home prices will rise more slowly in 2019. Zillow’s forecast calls for prices to increase nationally by about 3.8 per cent. Realtor.com has them rising at just 2.2 per cent.Another plus for buyers: The number of homes on the market is expected to continue rising, albeit from historic low levels. The inventory of U.S. homes for sale was up 4.2 per cent as of November to 1.74 million units.Alex Veiga, The Associated Press
Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday announced a list of TMC candidates for all the 42 Lok Sabha seats of the state, dropping 10 sitting MPs. She also attacked the BJP and the Modi government, claiming she had information that “VVIPs” were using helicopters and chartered flights to transport money to bribe voters. Releasing the list, the West Bengal leader assailed the Centre over a host of issues including the Rafale deal,farm distress and shrinking employment opportunities. Banerjee, also the TMC supremo, said the outgoing TMC lawmakers whose names do not figure in the list will be drafted for party work. She said 41 per cent of the nominees in the list are women. The TMC, she said, will also contest some seats in Odisha, Assam, Jharkhand, Bihar and the Andamans.
New Delhi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a supplementary chargesheet against former Haryana chief minister O P Chautala in connection with a money-laundering case on Thursday.The agency mentioned in the chargesheet that immovable assets worth Rs 3.68 crore were attached by it on April 13 in relation to four properties in Delhi, Panchkula and Sirsa. It said the investigation conducted so far under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) had revealed that Chautala laundered the disproportionate assets by depositing illegal cash in the bank accounts of his and his family members. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The ED said this was done to avoid the back trail of money, merge the illegal cash with genuine income and show it as untainted. This laundered money was further used to purchase new properties or carry out construction on the already acquired properties. The chargesheet was filed before special judge Kamini Lau, who posted the matter for consideration on May 16. Referring to Chautala’s affidavits filed before the 2005 and 2009 Haryana Assembly polls, the agency said he had disclosed his assets to publicly Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&Kproject the tainted properties as untainted. “During the period between May 24, 1993 and May 5, 2006, O P Chautala, while functioning as a public servant (the CM of Haryana), allegedly acquired assets disproportionate to his income to the tune of Rs 6,09,79,026. The value of the disproportionate assets acquired by O P Chautala is in the form of various movable and immovable properties which constitutes ‘proceeds of crime’ in this case. “The calculation of these accumulated disproportionate assets of Chautala was based on oral and documentary evidence collected by the CBI during investigation and included all sources of income and expenses. Chautala had invested these disproportionately acquired assets mainly in the following properties…,” the chargesheet said.
London: Arsenal’s collapse at the business end of the Premier League season means the success or failure of Unai Emery’s first campaign now solely depends on lifting the Europa League and as a result sealing Champions League football. The Gunners travel to Emery’s old club Valencia on Thursday defending a 3-1 semi-final, first leg lead given to them by star strikers Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the Emirates last week. Arsenal’s awful record on the road this season will give the Spanish side plenty of encouragement that they can overturn a two-goal deficit. Emery’s men conceded three times in losing at Wolves and Leicester in their last two away league games and were also defeated at BATE Borisov and Rennes before turning Europa League ties around at the Emirates. Attack may therefore be the visitors’ best form of defence in the cauldron of the Mestalla and Arsenal are at least getting what they paid for from Lacazette and Aubameyang. “We played against two strikers that are very good which is why they cost the millions that they did,” said Valencia coach Marcelino Garcia Toral. “With the slightest error they punish you.” Arsenal have taken one point from their last four Premier League games to realistically end their chances of a top-four finish and the first leg against Valencia could easily have gone the same way as Marcelino’s men scored an early away goal and led the Gunners to a merry dance for the first 20 minutes. However, one moment of magic turned the tie as Lacazette played in Aubameyang, who paused, left Neto, Ezequiel Garay and Facundo Roncaglia on the floor before squaring for his strike partner to roll into an empty net. Lacazette added his second eight minutes later and Aubameyang’s late strike gave Arsenal the two-goal cushion they may well need. The Londoners’ first season without Arsene Wenger for 22 years has been dogged by many of the same defensive problems suffered by the Frenchman towards the end of his reign. But Wenger’s final two big signings have come good as club record fees were paid for Lacazette in the summer of 2017 and Aubameyang in January 2018. After a difficult first six months in England, many thought Aubameyang’s arrival was ominous for Lacazette’s longevity at the club, but the two have formed a fine partnership on and off the field. Only Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah has scored more Premier League goals than Aubameyang’s 20, but it is Lacazette who won the club’s player of the year prize for his all round contribution with 18 goals and 12 assists.