Tag Archives: England

Leicester Aims AC Millan’s Hakan Calhanoglu


Leicester City Eye Shock January Swoop for AC Milan Midfielder Hakan calhanoglu.


Leicester with a potential move for Milan winger Hakan Calhanoglu, claiming the Foxes have asked for information about the 25-year-old.

The Turkish forward has played 16 games for Milan this season, scoring twice and getting one assist, but could be on his way out of Italy this January.


Leicester are keen on Calhanoglu, while still keeping an eye on fellow countryman Merih Demiral, but a return to the Bundesliga could also be on the cards for the former Bayer Leverkusen star.

If arrives a good offer, he could leave. #Leicester are asking information, but – in case of transfer – the turkish player would rather go back in Bundesliga. #transfers #LCFC


While readying a €50m swoop for Calhanoglu and Juventus defender Demiral.

Leicester have enjoyed an incredible Premier League campaign thus far, currently sitting second in the table ahead of current champions Manchester City, but one area they have lacked quality is in wide forward areas.


Despite the attacking presence of both full-backs, Harvey Barnes, Demarai Gray and £30m summer signing Ayoze Perez have all failed to consistently keep their place in the Leicester side. Calhanoglu would provide further competition for places, but Schira claims he would rather seal a move back to the German top-flight.

Hakan Calhanoglu

The Foxes have also been constantly linked with 21-year-old centre-back Demiral, who is seen by Rodgers as a long-term replacement for Jonny Evans. Compatriot and emerging talent Caglar Soyuncu could well play his part in a potential transfer.

However, despite links with the Premier League and Bundesliga, Calciomercato recently reported that Calhanoglu represents a “dream” transfer for Galatasaray. The Turkish outfit saw their €6m bid turned down by Milan, but it hasn’t ended all rumours linking him with a move to the Super Lig.


#NobleSport…

Man City CEO Quells Pep Guardiola Exit and Insists Manager Will Honour Contract.


Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano has insisted that Pep Guardiola will honour his contract at the club and not jump ship early, despite falling further behind Liverpool in the title race.

Leading 2-0 against Wolves on Friday night it looked as though Guardiola’s side were still in with a faint chance of catching the league leaders, but a second half collapse saw the visitors fall to a 3-2 defeat to find themselves 14 points adrift of the Reds, who have a game in hand.


That loss was City’s fifth in the league this season already, having lost just six in their last two title-winning Premier League campaigns combined. The poor form they’ve shown this season has led to speculation surrounding their Catalan boss’ future at the Etihad Stadium, however, Soriano was quick to quell suggestions their manager would not see out his current deal – which runs until 2021.

“Pep has said so many times that he has a contract that covers this year, plus next year too,” Soriano said at the Dubai International Sports conference, via the Mirror. “There is no discussion about this. Pep will stay and he’ll leave at the right time one day – and the club is strong enough to survive any change. But as Pep said many times, he’s not leaving.”


Rumours had surfaced that a break clause was inserted into Guardiola’s contract that would allow him to leave in the summer, but those murmurings were quashed by the 48-year-old recently.

Soriano added further that he has no issue with his manager at present, citing the competitiveness of the Premier League as something that cannot be ignored. Furthermore, having accrued 198 points over the last two seasons, he claims there was always naturally going to a resulting dip in form.


Pep Guardiola

“I would say that what’s happening is normal,” he added. “What’s not normal is what happened the last two years where Manchester City got 198 points in two years. The Premier League is very competitive. Any team can win against any team.

“Obviously we’re not happy with the amount of games that we have lost, but that’s the nature of competition and the nature of football.


#NobleSport…

Real Madrid unveils they sets to end Pogba’s pursuit due to a young star.


Real Madrid look set to end their interest in Paul Pogba following the emergence of Federico Valverde as a key first-team player at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The 21-year-old all-action Uruguayan has been a breakout star for Zinedine Zidane’s side this season, earning rave reviews for his aggressive and dynamic displays in central midfield.

Federico Valverde
The South American starlet signed for Real for around £4.5m in 2016 and has made 18 appearances for the club this season, with his market value skyrocketing in the process.


Real have been so impressed by the youngster’s development over the past few months, the club is ready to cease its pursuit of Manchester United star Pogba, according to a report by AS.

Allegedly Los Blancos do not see the need to invest the €150m required to secure the Frenchman’s signature when Valverde is in such impressive form.

Pogba looked set to make the move to the Spanish capital in the summer, with the player seemingly very keen on making the switch. However, the deal was blocked by United with Real president Florentino Perez conceding in August that a completing a transfer before the close of the summer window would be ‘impossible’.


Paul Pogba
This did not stop Pogba being linked with a January switch to Los Blancos and the club were rumoured to be considering offering Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez in a swap deal for the player earlier this month.

Since then Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola has claimed that his client is happy to remain in the Premier League.


“Paul wants to be successful and happy and wants to win prizes and he would love to do that with Manchester United,” Raiola told the Telegraph.

Mino Raiola,Carmine Raiola
“Okay there was big interest from Real Madrid and Manchester didn’t let him go. We didn’t make a fuss about it and he didn’t make a fuss about it because I work in accordance with the player. You know other players can [take] things to extreme but Paul doesn’t like that.


#NobleSport…

Twitter reacts to man-city’s defeat.

He wiped out Jota as the ball was flicked beyond him and there was only one outcome – a red card and the introduction of Claudio Bravo. The disappointment was that Sergio Aguero was sacrificed on his return to the starting xihttps://twitter.com/GaryLineker/status/1210651064766214144

Raheem Sterling was up next, as VAR provided Manchester City with a contentious penalty and then ordered a re-take for encroachment in the area. HTTPS://TWITTER.COM/SCOTTY808GAMER/STATUS/1210652991180693505

On both occasions, Sterling hit a tame effort to Rui Patricio’s right and he saved comfortably – the City forward was lucky that he made it to the rebound on the second attempt. There were plenty of calls for Sterling to be relieved of his duties in future games, especially with Kevin de Bruyne on the pitch.·

·https://twitter.com/_Sunurb


Raheem Sterling put City 2-0 ahead early in the second half, but this simply served as fuel for a Wolves side who have taken a fancy to late comebacks since their Premier League return. One man was more intent than the rest of the Wolves players in turning it around and, unsurprisingly, it was Adama Traore.

After bagging a brace in Wolves’ victory at the Etihad earlier in the season, Traore scored a stunning goal with a long-range strike before muscling Benjamin Mendy off the ball to cross for Raul Jimenez’s equaliser. The latter was particularly well-received on Twitter.


Given the question marks over the penalty decision and that a Manchester City player had been the furthest forward during the first attempt’s encroachment, it was no surprise that VAR was the talk of Twitter.

VARchester City was even trending by the interval, as Liverpool fans took the opportunity to point out that it wasn’t just the Reds benefiting from dubious VAR decisions

When Matt Doherty was given all the time in the world to cut in from the right wing, play a quick one-two and shoot beyond Claudio Bravo with his left foot, the comeback was complete.

It was a magical moment for Doherty, sealed three points that put Wolves in touch of the top four, and provided Liverpool fans with even more belief that the 2019/20 Premier League title is heading to Merseyside.

Minutes after the full-time whistle, meanwhile, Fraudiola was trending on Twitter and Manchester City’s title hopes were all but over


https://twitter.com/DaveOCKOP/status/1210678310981771266.


#NobleSport…

Devastating Wolves defeat: Guardiola concedes EPL title.


Pep Guardiola has conceded that Manchester City’s Premier League title defence is over, after his side’s 3-2 defeat to Wolves on Friday handed Liverpool a 13-point advantage at the top of table.

Despite an early sending off for goalkeeper Ederson, City took a 2-0 lead at Molineux, with Raheem Sterling bagging a brace to put his team in the driving seat. However, a mesmerising second half performance by Adama Traore inspired Wolves to secure a famous victory, with Matt Doherty’s 89th-minute winner sparking wild celebrations from the home fans.

Pep Guardiola
After the game, Guardiola admitted that he was downbeat about the Citizens chances of securing a third Premier League title in a row.


When asked if the race for top spot was over, the former Barcelona boss told the BBC: “The advantage is too big, yes.”

Leicester – who Liverpool thrashed 4-0 on Boxing Day – are currently one point ahead of City in second position and Guardiola revealed that he is now focussed on overtaken Brendan Rodgers’ side before the end of the season.

“It’s unrealistic to think about Liverpool, we think about Leicester,” he added. “We have the chance to recover second place. I know the quality of my team but that’s the situation.”


Adama Traore
Citizens’ midfielder Bernardo Silva will similarly dismissive of his side’s title chances.

“It is a really bad situation for us. A frustrating first half of the season. Nobody expected us to be this far away from Liverpool at this halfway point,” Silva admitted.

“We have to continue now. We know that winning the title is very complicated. I wouldn’t say impossible but very difficult.”


With their hopes of securing the league title seemingly gone, it may have been assumed City would pool their resources into winning the various cup competitions that they are competing in this season. When asked about this possibility Guardiola instead confirmed that he will be prioritising European qualification through finishing in the top four over anything else.

Pep Guardiola
“We cannot prioritise or next season we’ll not be in Europe,” the Spaniard said.. “We come back in less than 40 hours to play another game [against Sheffield United]. We’ll see how [the players] feel. That’s what we are going to do.”


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Shameful: as Man city loss to Wolves 3-2

Wolves almost certainly ended Manchester City’s hopes of retaining the Premier League trophy on Friday evening, completing an impressive comeback against the champions.

City were down to ten men early on as Ederson received a red card for clattering into Jota outside of his penalty area. The Portuguese chased down Conor Coady’s excellent long ball and Ederson rushed out at full speed, mistiming and misreading the situation. Even worse for City, Sergio Aguero was sacrificed for Claudio Bravo to enter the field.

video

The ten men took the lead in controversial circumstances on 25 minutes when the VAR adjudged that Leander Dendoncker had fouled Riyad Mahrez. Raheem Sterling had not one but two attempts from the spot saved by Rui Patricio after the first stop was ruled out for encroachment into the area – only for Sterling to slot home the rebound of his second attempt.


Wolves almost certainly ended Manchester City’s hopes of retaining the Premier League trophy on Friday evening, completing an impressive comeback against the champions.

City were down to ten men early on as Ederson received a red card for clattering into Jota outside of his penalty area. The Portuguese chased down Conor Coady’s excellent long ball and Ederson rushed out at full speed, mistiming and misreading the situation. Even worse for City, Sergio Aguero was sacrificed for Claudio Bravo to enter the field.

The ten men took the lead in controversial circumstances on 25 minutes when the VAR adjudged that Leander Dendoncker had fouled Riyad Mahrez. Raheem Sterling had not one but two attempts from the spot saved by Rui Patricio after the first stop was ruled out for encroachment into the area – only for Sterling to slot home the rebound of his second attempt.


Sterling scored his second of the evening minutes into the second half, latching onto an excellent through ball from Kevin de Bruyne and dinking over Patricio in the Wolves goal.

However, a Sterling mistake allowed Adama Traore to pull one back less than ten minutes later and the winger unleashed a powerful shot from distance to make it 2-1. Benjamin Mendy was the next City player to make a costly individual mistake, allowing Traore to shrug him off the ball and cross for Raul Jimenez to equalise for the hosts.


Adama Traore

The comeback was complete with just minutes left on the clock when Matt Doherty was given far too much space to drift in from the right flank, before smashing home with his left on the edge of the box. The Premier League’s comeback kings had turned it around to seal a 3-2 victory against the current champions, despite Sterling hitting the bar with a late free kick.

Wolves
Key Talking Point

Resilience has been a hallmark for this Wolves side since Nuno Espirito Santo took control, and it was there for all to see. Ederson’s dismissal and City’s change in shape made it difficult for Wolves to find a way through their opponents for much of the first hour, while the VAR controversy seemed to take the wind out of their sails for a period.


FBL-ENG-PR-WOLVES-MAN CITY

However, they stuck at their task and found space in between the City lines by moving their wide players inside and pushing their wing-backs much further up the pitch. It worked to perfection and allowed them to exploit the space between midfield and defence, and the wing-backs and centre-halves.

One man was at the heart of it all…

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Rui Patrício (7); Dendoncker (6), Coady (7), Saïss (7); Doherty (8), Neves (6), João Moutinho (7), Otto (6); Traoré (8*), Jiménez (8), Jota (7)

Substitutes: Vinagre (6), Neto (6), Bennett (5)

STAR PLAYER

After sinking City with a double in their last encounter, Adama Traore was at it again – this time scoring once and providing the assist for the equaliser. In truth, Wolves were sleepwalking through much of the game until Traore upped the intensity.


Wolves almost certainly ended Manchester City’s hopes of retaining the Premier League trophy on Friday evening, completing an impressive comeback against the champions.

City were down to ten men early on as Ederson received a red card for clattering into Jota outside of his penalty area. The Portuguese chased down Conor Coady’s excellent long ball and Ederson rushed out at full speed, mistiming and misreading the situation. Even worse for City, Sergio Aguero was sacrificed for Claudio Bravo to enter the field.

The ten men took the lead in controversial circumstances on 25 minutes when the VAR adjudged that Leander Dendoncker had fouled Riyad Mahrez. Raheem Sterling had not one but two attempts from the spot saved by Rui Patricio after the first stop was ruled out for encroachment into the area – only for Sterling to slot home the rebound of his second attempt.


Sterling scored his second of the evening minutes into the second half, latching onto an excellent through ball from Kevin de Bruyne and dinking over Patricio in the Wolves goal.

However, a Sterling mistake allowed Adama Traore to pull one back less than ten minutes later and the winger unleashed a powerful shot from distance to make it 2-1. Benjamin Mendy was the next City player to make a costly individual mistake, allowing Traore to shrug him off the ball and cross for Raul Jimenez to equalise for the hosts.


Adama Traore

The comeback was complete with just minutes left on the clock when Matt Doherty was given far too much space to drift in from the right flank, before smashing home with his left on the edge of the box. The Premier League’s comeback kings had turned it around to seal a 3-2 victory against the current champions, despite Sterling hitting the bar with a late free kick.

Wolves
Key Talking Point

Resilience has been a hallmark for this Wolves side since Nuno Espirito Santo took control, and it was there for all to see. Ederson’s dismissal and City’s change in shape made it difficult for Wolves to find a way through their opponents for much of the first hour, while the VAR controversy seemed to take the wind out of their sails for a period.

FBL-ENG-PR-WOLVES-MAN CITY

However, they stuck at their task and found space in between the City lines by moving their wide players inside and pushing their wing-backs much further up the pitch. It worked to perfection and allowed them to exploit the space between midfield and defence, and the wing-backs and centre-halves.


One man was at the heart of it all…

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Rui Patrício (7); Dendoncker (6), Coady (7), Saïss (7); Doherty (8), Neves (6), João Moutinho (7), Otto (6); Traoré (8*), Jiménez (8), Jota (7)

Substitutes: Vinagre (6), Neto (6), Bennett (5)

STAR PLAYER

After sinking City with a double in their last encounter, Adama Traore was at it again – this time scoring once and providing the assist for the equaliser. In truth, Wolves were sleepwalking through much of the game until Traore upped the intensity.


City’s resolute shape meant that Wolves needed the Spaniard’s pace and power to drag their defenders out of position, something he did excellently by drifting between the lines and driving at speed with the ball. His technical improvements were evident with his sweet strike from distance, while his desire to win the ball back from Mendy for the equaliser shows why he is so loved by the Wolves faithful.

Manchester City
Key Talking Point
Pep Guardiola


Whatever game plan Pep Guardiola had, it went out the window when Ederson’s rash decision forced him into withdrawing Aguero on his return from injury.

However, the Spaniard reacted quickly and changed his side’s shape to a 4-4-1, with Sterling the lone striker and the likes of Mahrez, De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva attempting to break with speed. Silva dropped in alongside Mendy to create a back five at times – especially as Wolves ended the first half with their strongest spell of the match

Matt Doherty
Wolves 3-2 Manchester City: Report, Ratings & Reaction as 10-Man Champions Blow 2-Goal lead
Wolves almost certainly ended Manchester City’s hopes of retaining the Premier League trophy on Friday evening, completing an impressive comeback against the champions.


City were down to ten men early on as Ederson received a red card for clattering into Jota outside of his penalty area. The Portuguese chased down Conor Coady’s excellent long ball and Ederson rushed out at full speed, mistiming and misreading the situation. Even worse for City, Sergio Aguero was sacrificed for Claudio Bravo to enter the field.

The ten men took the lead in controversial circumstances on 25 minutes when the VAR adjudged that Leander Dendoncker had fouled Riyad Mahrez. Raheem Sterling had not one but two attempts from the spot saved by Rui Patricio after the first stop was ruled out for encroachment into the area – only for Sterling to slot home the rebound of his second attempt.


Sterling scored his second of the evening minutes into the second half, latching onto an excellent through ball from Kevin de Bruyne and dinking over Patricio in the Wolves goal.

However, a Sterling mistake allowed Adama Traore to pull one back less than ten minutes later and the winger unleashed a powerful shot from distance to make it 2-1. Benjamin Mendy was the next City player to make a costly individual mistake, allowing Traore to shrug him off the ball and cross for Raul Jimenez to equalise for the


hosts.

Adama Traore

The comeback was complete with just minutes left on the clock when Matt Doherty was given far too much space to drift in from the right flank, before smashing home with his left on the edge of the box. The Premier League’s comeback kings had turned it around to seal a 3-2 victory against the current champions, despite Sterling hitting the bar with a late free kick.

Wolves
Key Talking Point

Resilience has been a hallmark for this Wolves side since Nuno Espirito Santo took control, and it was there for all to see. Ederson’s dismissal and City’s change in shape made it difficult for Wolves to find a way through their opponents for much of the first hour, while the VAR controversy seemed to take the wind out of their sails for a period.


FBL-ENG-PR-WOLVES-MAN CITY

However, they stuck at their task and found space in between the City lines by moving their wide players inside and pushing their wing-backs much further up the pitch. It worked to perfection and allowed them to exploit the space between midfield and defence, and the wing-backs and centre-halves.

One man was at the heart of it all…

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Rui Patrício (7); Dendoncker (6), Coady (7), Saïss (7); Doherty (8), Neves (6), João Moutinho (7), Otto (6); Traoré (8*), Jiménez (8), Jota (7)

Substitutes: Vinagre (6), Neto (6), Bennett (5)

STAR PLAYER

After sinking City with a double in their last encounter, Adama Traore was at it again – this time scoring once and providing the assist for the equaliser. In truth, Wolves were sleepwalking through much of the game until Traore upped the intensity.


City’s resolute shape meant that Wolves needed the Spaniard’s pace and power to drag their defenders out of position, something he did excellently by drifting between the lines and driving at speed with the ball. His technical improvements were evident with his sweet strike from distance, while his desire to win the ball back from Mendy for the equaliser shows why he is so loved by the Wolves faithful.

Manchester City
Key Talking Point
Pep Guardiola

Whatever game plan Pep Guardiola had, it went out the window when Ederson’s rash decision forced him into withdrawing Aguero on his return from injury.

However, the Spaniard reacted quickly and changed his side’s shape to a 4-4-1, with Sterling the lone striker and the likes of Mahrez, De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva attempting to break with speed. Silva dropped in alongside Mendy to create a back five at times – especially as Wolves ended the first half with their strongest spell of the match.


Guardiola was in the unfamiliar situation of being on the back foot and dominated by his opponents. The City manager made a bold decision at half time, replacing Mahrez with Eric Garcia to rebuild his side’s shape as a 5-3-1.

Their second-half game plan revolved around digging in, but the formation enabled the wing-backs to push on and move City up the pitch during spells of possession. There was an excellent discipline within the shape, which was sadly undone by individual lapses of concentration.

Player Ratings


Starting XI: Ederson (2); Walker (6), Fernandinho (6), Otamendi (7), Mendy (7); De Bruyne (7*), Rodri (7), Bernardo Silva (6); Mahrez (6), Agüero (5), Sterling (7)

Substitutes: Bravo (6), Garcia (6), Gundogan (6)

STAR PLAYER

Kevin De Bruyne,iogo Jota,Jonny Otto,Raul Jimenez

During a quiet and subdued Manchester City performance, Kevin de Bruyne’s brilliance was easy to see. He deserves the accolade of Star Player for his defensive-splitting assist alone, put the chance to double City’s lead on a plate for Raheem Sterling – such was the timing of it.


There was much more to De Bruyne’s performance though, and he showed his commitment to the cause in a fairly unfamiliar role alongside Rodri in the flat midfield four. He covered plenty of ground and used his talents on the ball to minimise City’s turnover of possession, despite their inferior numbers.

Looking Ahead

It doesn’t get any easier for Wolves, who head to Anfield on Sunday to face Premier League leaders Liverpool. An away fixture at Watford follows, before the Wanderers welcome Manchester United to Molineux in the FA Cup third round.

Manchester City, meanwhile, welcome Sheffield United and Everton to the Etihad in their next two league fixtures, before Port Vale’s visit in the FA Cup. A Manchester derby follows, as City travel to Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg.


#NobleSports

Gabriel jesus decides to finally remove Agüero as man city’s main striker.


Gabriel Jesus has said that he wants to permanently oust Sergio Aguero from Manchester City’s starting lineup and become their main striker going forward.

Injuries and fitness concerns have limited Aguero’s playing time so far this season, with Jesus making 15 appearances for City this campaign.

Gabriel Jesus
Speaking to The Sun, Jesus revealed that he’s intent on keeping the striker’s spot for himself.


“In the first season when I came, I played a lot. I came here to play, play, play,” he said. “After that year sometimes it was him and not me. I know Sergio is a legend, top scorer of club, top man, top guy. I like him as a player and a person.

“I know Sergio can score every game because of his quality and experience — and every time he plays I want him to score, obviously, so I wait and I wait.

“I want to play every game but the reality is not like that. We have a lot of players, top players. I do try to enjoy it when I am on the pitch.

“But I know Sergio is not young any more like me, and now I think my time has come. This is my time


.

“I just want to play football and to improve. That’s what makes me happy — that’s what I love.

If I am not playing football I don’t know what I would do.

“It’s always difficult when you don’t play but I know I won’t be in every time, and I respect the manager’s decision and respect my friend Sergio because he’s a legend of the club.

“And I definitely don’t think about being the best in the world, I just want to play and score and then the rest comes anyway.”


Gabriel Jesus,Sergio Aguero
While a rivalry may exist and Jesus’ intentions have been clearly outlined, the relationship between the pair remains friendly.

“Sergio has helped me so much, not just in the conversations we have but with his actions in training.

“When I am going to play he talks to me a lot about the game, about openings, about defenders and keepers. We have a very good relationship.”


#NobleNews

Amusing: T.Alexander-arnold masterclass inspires liverpool to 4-0 win at leicester.


Liverpool went 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League table after a world class Trent-Alexander Arnold performances inspired the Reds to a 4-0 victory over second placed Leicester. It was arguably their best performance of the season and Twitter was loving/hating every minute of it.

The release of each team’s respective line ups created plenty of discussion online. In the Red corner, fans were delighted to see Naby Keita get a start, while in the Blue corner, Leicester supporters were bemused to see James Maddison deployed on the left-hand side.

Another source of pre-match intrigue was the airing of a new chant from the Liverpool faithful, namely ‘WE’RE CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD’, in reference to their recent World Club Cup victory. It went down contrastingly among the home and away fans.


The opening half hour witnessed some exciting, end-to-end football with both teams looking vulnerable to counter-attacks.

Liverpool also forced a number of errors in the Foxes defence with some superb pressing, with this leading to good chances for Mo Salah and Sadio Mané.

James Maddison then attracted the ire of Reds fans for hacking down Keita after the Guinean international made him, and a few of his teammates, look likes fools with a superb piece of skillful dribbling.


Liverpool had the best of the opening half hour and got a deserved opener through Roberto Firmino. The Brazilian may have been the scorer, but the goal was all about Trent Alexander-Arnold’s brilliant assist – an inch-perfect cross to the back post.

The goal had been coming and going into halftime Leicester fans were pretty underwhelmed with their side’s toothless performance – especially after such a poor display against Manchester City last weekend


.

On the hour mark Leicester finally sparked into life creating a string of chances that principally stemmed from the fine work of Ricardo Pereira.

The Leicester revival did not last long however, with Liverpool putting on an absolute masterclass to secure a 4-0 victory.

James Milner, Firmino and the incredible Alexander-Arnold all scored in quick succession as the Reds went 13 points clear at the top of the Premier League table.


#NobleSports

Shoking: as southampton defeats chelsea 2-0

Chelsea 0-2 Southampton: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Lacklustre Blues Stunned by saint
Frank Lampard’s Chelsea were made to pay for another lacklustre home showing as Southampton coasted to a comfortable 2-0 win on Thursday.

Chelsea dominated possession in the first half but created very little, and it was Southampton who took the lead. Michael Obafemi found some space as he drove towards the penalty area and he fired into the top in the 31st minute. Chelsea searched for an equaliser but lacked any form of creativity, meaning Southampton held the lead at the break.


The Blues’ first chance came just seconds after the break, but Tammy Abraham’s effort crashed into the side netting. Chances were again hard to come by, although Nathan Redmond perhaps should have doubled his sides lead shortly after the hour mark, but his close-range effort was poor.

However, Redmond did make it two soon after, finishing off a delightful team move to dink the ball over Kepa Arrizabalaga. Chelsea never looked close to coming back, and Southampton coasted to a well-deserved 2-0 win.


CHELSEA

Key Talking Point
Frank Lampard

For all the positives that came from Chelsea’s use of the 3-4-3 against Tottenham Hotspur, the formation looked woeful in this one.

Lampard had every reason to be faithful after watching his side’s impressive showing against Spurs, but Southampton’s low block meant that it simply did not work here. There was no creativity, the final ball was atrocious and Chelsea looked outnumbered in attack.

Mason Mount was introduced at the break to change the shape, and while a minor improvement was certainly evident, it was by no means enough. There was no creative centrally or out wide, and Chelsea paid for that. Roll on the January transfer window


Chelsea 0-2 Southampton: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Lacklustre Blues stunned

frank lampard’s chelsea were made to pay for another lacklustre home showing as southampton coasted to a comfortable 2-0 win on thursday.

chelsea dominated possession in the first half but created very little, and it was southampton who took the lead. michael obafemi found some space as he drove towards the penalty area and he fired into the top in the 31st minute. chelsea searched for an equaliser but lacked any form of creativity, meaning southampton held the lead at the break.


the blues’ first chance came just seconds after the break, but tammy abraham’s effort crashed into the side netting. chances were again hard to come by, although nathan redmond perhaps should have doubled his sides lead shortly after the hour mark, but his close-range effort was poor.

however, redmond did make it two soon after, finishing off a delightful team move to dink the ball over kepa arrizabalaga. chelsea never looked close to coming back, and southampton coasted to a well-deserved 2-0 win.

chelsea

key talking point
frank lampard

for all the positives that came from chelsea’s use of the 3-4-3 against tottenham hotspur, the formation looked woeful in this one.

lampard had every reason to be faithful after watching his side’s impressive showing against spurs, but southampton’s low block meant that it simply did not work here. there was no creativity, the final ball was atrocious and chelsea looked outnumbered in attack.


mason mount was introduced at the break to change the shape, and while a minor improvement was certainly evident, it was by no means enough. there was no creative centrally or out wide, and chelsea paid for that. roll on the january transfer window.

player ratings
starting xi: arrizabalaga (5); tomori (5), zouma (5), rüdiger (5); azpilicueta (4), kanté (5), jorginho (5), emerson (4); hudson-odoi (5), abraham (6*), willian (6).

substitutes: mount (5), pulisic (5), pedro (n/a).

star man – tammy abraham

tammy abraham

this was certainly not abraham’s finest performance in a chelsea shirt, but it was a respectable showing when you consider the lack of service into him.

the towering striker was made to do everything alone, and he came close to actually succeeding once or twice. his movement and speed created a number of problems, but southampton’s resilient defence made things far too difficult.


there was only so much abraham could do with the lack of quality around him, and he definitely did everything possible. unfortunately for chelsea, it just wasn’t enough.

Frank Lampard’s Chelsea were made to pay for another lacklustre home showing as Southampton coasted to a comfortable 2-0 win on Thursday.


Chelsea dominated possession in the first half but created very little, and it was Southampton who took the lead. Michael Obafemi found some space as he drove towards the penalty area and he fired into the top in the 31st minute. Chelsea searched for an equaliser but lacked any form of creativity, meaning Southampton held the lead at the break.

The Blues’ first chance came just seconds after the break, but Tammy Abraham’s effort crashed into the side netting. Chances were again hard to come by, although Nathan Redmond perhaps should have doubled his sides lead shortly after the hour mark, but his close-range effort was poor.


However, Redmond did make it two soon after, finishing off a delightful team move to dink the ball over Kepa Arrizabalaga. Chelsea never looked close to coming back, and Southampton coasted to a well-deserved 2-0 win.

CHELSEA

Key Talking Point
Frank Lampard

For all the positives that came from Chelsea’s use of the 3-4-3 against Tottenham Hotspur, the formation looked woeful in this one.

Lampard had every reason to be faithful after watching his side’s impressive showing against Spurs, but Southampton’s low block meant that it simply did not work here. There was no creativity, the final ball was atrocious and Chelsea looked outnumbered in attack.


Mason Mount was introduced at the break to change the shape, and while a minor improvement was certainly evident, it was by no means enough. There was no creative centrally or out wide, and Chelsea paid for that. Roll on the January transfer window.

Player Ratings
Starting XI: Arrizabalaga (5); Tomori (5), Zouma (5), Rüdiger (5); Azpilicueta (4), Kanté (5), Jorginho (5), Emerson (4); Hudson-Odoi (5), Abraham (6*), Willian (6).

Substitutes: Mount (5), Pulisic (5), Pedro (N/A).

STAR MAN – Tammy Abraham

Tammy Abraham

This was certainly not Abraham’s finest performance in a Chelsea shirt, but it was a respectable showing when you consider the lack of service into him.

The towering striker was made to do everything alone, and he came close to actually succeeding once or twice. His movement and speed created a number of problems, but Southampton’s resilient defence made things far too difficult.


There was only so much Abraham could do with the lack of quality around him, and he definitely did everything possible. Unfortunately for Chelsea, it just wasn’t enough.


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2-1: Tottenham revenge Chelsea’s win as they home trash Brighton.

Dele Alli got Tottenham back on track as the England midfielder capped a gritty escape act with the late winner in Thursday’s 2-1 victory against Brighton.

Jose Mourinho’s side were in danger of a second successive Premier League defeat when Adam Webster headed Brighton into a shock lead at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

But Harry Kane equalised after the interval and Alli finished off a flowing Tottenham move in the closing stages to erase the bitter taste of last weekend’s acrimonious London derby loss to Chelsea.

Avenging their defeat at Brighton in October, Tottenham, unbeaten in Boxing Day fixtures since 2003, have won three of their last four league games as they try to climb into the top four.

That Chelsea setback was completely overshadowed by the alleged racist abuse of Blues defender Antonio Rudiger by Tottenham fans after his role in Son Heung-min’s red card.

Amid widespread calls for stronger action to stamp out racism in football, Tottenham fans appeared to behave better this time.

Initially, there were worrying signs for Mourinho on the field however as Steven Alzate escaped Moussa Sissoko, making space for a low strike that drifted just wide.

Since Mourinho’s first game in charge of Tottenham, no Premier League team had conceded more goals than the 14 his side allowed across all competitions heading into this round of matches.

Those defensive frailties were on display when Alzate lost his marker and forced Paulo Gazzaniga into a sprawling save, while Aaron Mooy went close from the edge of the area.

Kane has a knack of scoring on Boxing Day and the Tottenham striker thought he had netted again when he fired home from Winks’ pass, but the goal went to a VAR review and was ruled out by the narrowest of offside decisions.


Clinical Kane
Brighton made the most of that let-off to take the lead in the 37th minute.

Pascal Gross swung over a free-kick and Webster rose above Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez to plant a powerful header past Gazzaniga for his third goal of the season.

Mourinho must have been furious that Tottenham wilted against such a simple set-piece and his team’s record of one clean-sheet in his nine matches suggests a defender could be high on his January shopping list.

Underlining the urgency to address that problem area, Brighton’s Bernardo forced Gazzaniga to save from a corner moments later to the audible frustration of the Tottenham crowd on a dank, wet day in north London.

Mourinho, standing rain-soaked on the touchline, revealed before the game that his Christmas was ruined by the death of his family’s pet Yorkshire Terrier.

But Kane put a smile back on his manager’s face in the 53rd minute when he seized on a deflection off Lucas Moura after the Brazilian’s determined run.

Drilling a shot that Mat Ryan could only push back out, Kane gobbled up the rebound with a clinical finish for his eighth goals in five Premier League games on Boxing Day.

Kane’s 16th club goal this season was not immediately a catalyst for a Tottenham surge and Gazzaniga had to be alert to keep out Gross’s fierce free-kick.

But Mourinho made a significant switch when he sent on Christian Eriksen for Harry Winks, who moments before was lucky to escape a red card for a foul when he had already been booked.

Eriksen made an immediate impact in the 72nd minute when he floated a delicate pass to Serge Aurier who flicked the ball into the path of Alli, who guided a superb lofted finish over Ryan.


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Steven Gerrard reveals he aims to manage liverpool

…Reveals His Ultimate Aim Is to Manage Liverpool in future

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has confessed that becoming Liverpool boss one day is his one true dream.

The former midfielder spent 17 years with the Reds between 1998 and 2015, establishing himself as a real club legend. After retirement, he took his first step into management with Rangers and recently penned a new long-term contract – coincidentally on the same day as Liverpool’s Jürgen Klopp did the same.

Rangers Football Club
🗣️ Gerrard: “When Dave King approached me about the possibility of extending my contract with Rangers, it was a very easy decision to make because I’m very happy and feel that we are building something special together at the Club.

Despite his commitment to the Scottish side, Gerrard has long been touted as a near-certainty to become Liverpool manager one day. Speaking on Jamie Carragher’s Greatest Game podcast (via the Liverpool Echo), Gerrard admitted that he dreams of leading the Reds one day.

In the short snippet of the interview, which will be available in full on 9 January, 2020, Gerrard simply said: “My aim, dream, would be to manage Liverpool football club, of course it would.”

Conspiracy theorists went wild when both Gerrard and Klopp signed new contracts on the same day. Both have committed to their current sides until 2024, and there have been reports suggesting that that is perhaps not a coincidence.

In fact, Gerrard is understood to be in regular contact with Klopp and everyone at Liverpool, who have informally suggested the idea of him replacing the German further down the line.

Klopp’s new deal has been designed to prepare Liverpool for life after the German, and it has been suggested that the plan is for Klopp to build the foundations of a new, younger Liverpool side which Gerrard can lead into the future.

Klopp himself has even admitted that he would pick Gerrard as his long-term successor, and he would be happy to offer any help or guidance to the Englishman if he needed it.

It would certainly be a popular decision among Liverpool fans. Gerrard is seen as one of the biggest figures in recent club history, and fans would undoubtedly be delighted to see him in the dugout one day.


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Arsenal backs youngster to play for Nigeria

Arsenal have supposedly backed their exciting youngster, Bukayo Saka, to play for Nigeria over his country of birth, England, if their post to laud his yesterday’s performance is anything to go by.

Born in London, the 18-year-old is eligible to turn out for Nigerian national teams as well as the England teams, and has already earned appearances for England youth teams due to his unmistakable talents.

Saka has caught the eye this season with a string of impressive performances for the Gunners, scoring twice and laying on another six goals for his team this season. After his masterclass yesterday against Standard Liege, which saw him post a MOTM performance, the club put up a post of the teenager celebrating his goal with his teammates .

on their Facebook account which read, “Wow, what a performance”, with the Nigerian national flag to go with it.

Moreover, Saka has already admitted in the past that he feels through and through Nigerian and baulked at being referred to as British-Nigerian.

He is age-eligible for the Nigerian teams aside the U-17s, and is the sort of player whose skills can come in handy for the Dream Team.

Arsenal are next in action tomorrow when they face Manchester City in a league game, and Saka will hope to continue his scintillating showings against Pep Guardiola’s team

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Marcus Rashford will help united’s history

Marcus Rashford will help seal a special moment in Manchester United’s history on Sunday.

When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team take the field for their Premier League game against Everton, it will be the 4,000th consecutive time United’s matchday squad has contained a player they have developed in their youth set-up.

The run started with a Second Division encounter against Fulham at Craven Cottage on 30 October 1937.

Rashford is the current shining star, following in the footsteps of – among others – Johnny Carey, the Busby Babes, Bobby Charlton, Nobby Stiles, George Best and the Class of 92.

The England striker spoke to BBC Sport about his own development from a young child growing up in Wythenshawe.

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Do you remember the first time a scout spoke to you or your mum and said, ‘we want Marcus to come down’?

Yeah. Before I came to United, there was a lot of clubs [including Manchester City and Liverpool, as well Everton, Newcastle, Crewe and Accrington Stanley]. We supported Manchester United but my mum didn’t know much about football.

It was my brothers, really, who managed to categorise good academies from bad academies, The final decision came down to which club I loved and wanted to play for? United was perfect. It was everything that you wish for as a kid. Whether you leave the club or you stay here forever, people say once you play for United you’re always a red and for me that’s true.

Report
How important is the academy to what Manchester United is?

The academy holds a huge place in United’s history. They mould you into a Manchester United person or a Manchester United player. But the process begins before you can even remember. There are people who have been there since they were five or six. I was having fun until I was about 11 or 12.

You don’t realise how good you can be or the potential you have. You are just having a kickabout with some kids you have grown to like and have become friends with through football. Looking back on it, the stuff we used to do in training, that is how the process started in becoming a Manchester United player.

Marcus Rashford and the U18 Manchester United team
Rashford (top left) lining up for Manchester United Under-18s in 2015
How difficult is it to break through at a club like this?

It can be very tough. We are privileged to go to lots of tournaments in places like Spain or Italy. I tried to take little bits from everywhere I went. I used to think ‘even if you are not as good as some of the players you are playing against, it is a completely different culture’.

You see with some of the Spanish and Brazilian players here, they bring something different to the team.

There was a tournament where we finished 14th out of 20. We all learned so much from that tournament. There was another where we finished second but we probably didn’t learn half as much as we did in the previous one. It is around the ages of 13, 14, 15 that you learn a lot.

From 15 to 18, that is your moment to start trying to mature because the men’s game is a lot different to academy football. The initial transition can be tough but if you just stick at it, naturally you get used to it. You start to perform at that level and it will become standard.

What was it like when you first trained with the first team?

The first time was under David Moyes and a group of us went over. It was an amazing feeling. I remember the training session, we didn’t actually touch the ball, we were just doing shape and stuff like that. But then we go back to our own age group. What you learned from that little 15-20 minutes is priceless as a young academy player.

Those moments start to add up and when you start training with them more regularly, you pick up more things, more things to learn from and that’s how you become a first-team player.

Who were the biggest influences on your career?

I always try to narrow it down to the biggest impact, which was moving into a forward position. When I was an academy player, I was more about creating opportunities and showing people what I could do.

It wasn’t until about six months before I made my debut – when I was 18 – that my perception changed.

That was down to [coaches] Paul McGuinness, Colin Little and spells with Warren Joyce, especially in training. What they did started to mature me a little bit and make me understand it was not all about showing people what I could do.

I might have to be in a position where I would not get the ball but it would be affecting play more than if I was getting the ball all the time. That six-month period before I made my debut was a huge learning curve.

Rashford’s debut, in a Europa League match against Danish side Midtjylland in the Europa League on 25 February 2016, was something of a fluke.

Will Keane had been injured after coming on in an FA Cup tie at Shrewsbury three days earlier, so Rashford replaced him as a substitute in the squad for the European game. He was thrust into the starting line-up by then-manager Louis van Gaal after Anthony Martial was injured in the warm-up. Rashford scored twice in a 5-1 win.

I had been on the bench at Watford and Leicester the previous November and not got on, so I think I would have made my debut at some point in the season.

That night it was obviously unfortunate for Anthony that he got injured but it was an opportunity for me to speed up the process of playing for the first team. Because of the way it happened, I wasn’t thinking much about anything. I just wanted to enjoy the moment. It was something special for the rest of my career. I just wanted to enjoy it.

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Rashford has now made 191 first-team appearances, scoring 58 goals. In February 2018, his portrait was added to those of David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt, among others, that adorn the walls of the academy building at United’s Carrington training ground.

Last weekend, Solskjaer said he could reach the same heights as five-time Ballon D’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.

It is a bit overwhelming but it is the process of development. The players I looked up to are obviously older now. The younger players look up to us. The transition happens so fast. When I understood that, my perception of that picture changed a little bit.

When I was younger and saw people such as Beckham and Scholes on the walls, it gave me that determination every time you went to training. I wanted to reach those heights. I knew they were on the other side of the building, training every day and working hard. I was so far away from them but so close at the same time.

It’s happening now where people like me and Scotty [McTominay] are an example to some of the academy lads who are coming in. It will be the same in a few years’ time, when it’s the next lot of kids. While that happens, I don’t see United’s breeding of players slowing down.

The Ronaldo thing was nice, definitely a compliment. But I understand how far I’ve got left to go to reach the heights he reached so I am very clear-minded and focused on myself

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Omeruo tells Tomori to choose Nigeria over England. (Details)

Former Chelsea and current Super Eagles of Nigeria defender Kenneth Omeruo has revealed that he asked Chelsea starlet Fikayo Tomori to play for Nigeria before he eventually decided to play for Gareth Southgate’s England.

Nigerian defender Kenneth Omeruo reveals he told Chelsea

Both Tomori and Omeruo were once Chelsea players before Omeruo was sold to CD Leganes in Spain this season having been deemed unwanted by Frank Lampard.

According to Omeruo who was on loan last season, he and all players on loan incuding Tomori had a whatsapp group where messages were constantly exchanged.

Tomori is now the third Chelsea player of Nigerian decent after Ross Barkley and Tammy Abraham to be capped by England.

Nigerian defender Kenneth Omeruo reveals he told Chelsea

Tomori, who has been capped once by England was cajoled to play for Nigeria but finally caved in to the English FA according to Omeruo..

”Tomori was a bit younger but he has really improved a lot. Unfortunately for him he chose England. I wanted him to play for Nigeria! ‘ Omeruo said

”(The WhatsApp messages) were good, the boys could catch up and share videos whenever a player made it into team of the week or was man of the match. That was a good connection.”

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#Newsworthy…