Hull City 1-0 West Ham: Hull hang on, remain undefeated at home (video)

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In a Saturday full of big surprises — most notably, both Manchester sides losing — Hull City’s position in the table must be noted as one of them. Thanks to their win over West Ham United,  the newly-promoted Tigers are now seventh in the table, although that could change if Everton get a win against Newcastle on Monday. Still, three wins in six is impressive for Hull, and may signal that they’ll stay safe in the Premier League.

In fact, West Ham just might be looking up enviously after this loss, which sends them into 16th place, barely above the relegation zone. The Irons haven’t won since week 1, against Cardiff City, but have achieved two draws, both of them goalless. Will that be enough for Sam Allardyce to continue to keep his job?

Big Sam may be able to argue that luck went against him on Saturday afternoon. In the 12th minute, Robbie Brady went down, rather easily it seemed, under a challenge from West Ham defender Joey O’Brien. Referee Kevin Friend immediately pointed to the spot. Brady himself took the penalty, sending his shot past Jussi Jaaskelainen and into the bottom right corner.

West Ham very nearly found an equalizer in the 23rd minute, but Liam Rosenior managed to clear James Tomkins’ header off the line. There were appeals for a handball, but the ball appeared to collide with the defender’s shoulder rather than his arm. Official review also showed that the ball never crossed the line.

Hull spent almost the entire half sitting back and defending, allowing just one good chance for the visitors. Modibo Maiga stung Allan McGregor’s palms in the 53rd minute, but soon gave way for Mladen Petric. Allardyce also threw on Stewart Downing and Ricardo Vaz Te, but no one was able to get through the tough Tigers defense.

Perhaps Allardyce gets a bye this week, but if results don’t improve soon, will we see a change in East London?

Hull City: McGregor; Rosenior, Figueroa, Davies, Faye; Huddlestone, Livermore, Elmohamady, Brady (Meyler 80); Aluko (Boyd 89), Graham (Sagbo 71)

Subs not used: Harper, Bruce, McShane, Quinn

West Ham: Jaaskelainen; O’Brien, Reid, Tomkins, Rat; Morrison, Noble, Nolan; Diame (Downing 71), Maiga (Petric 59), Jarvis (Vaz Te 71)

Subs not used: Adrian, Taylor, Collins, Demel

Why PSG’s Alexis, Neymar pursuit fits in a (relatively) smart space

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Paris Saint-Germain’s run of four Ligue 1 titles ended last season, a campaign which also saw exciting league-winners Monaco go two rounds further into the UEFA Champions League.

Monaco looks set for a step back this season, with Bernardo Silva off to Man City and Tiemoue Bakayoko signing for Chelsea. Kylian Mbappe could join Monaco’s list of departures, and reports say Man City had a bid accepted for Benjamin Mendy.

[ EXCLUSIVE: Strootman talks Roma w/ PST ]

While Monaco is loading up on young talent again, PSG clearly sees its chance to surge back into the title seat and Les Parisiens may just make themselves European favorites as well if they can pry Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal and Neymar from Barcelona.

That would be a South American trident nearly as potent as the one Neymar current shares with Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi at Barcelona, and the Brazilian would not be second or third fiddle.

PSG has so far been relatively quiet this summer, with the addition of Dani Alves the lone new buy. Aside from money, how was Alves lured to Paris over Man City and a reunion with Pep Guardiola? The idea of a reunion with Neymar and several Brazilian mates — Marquinhos, Thiago Silva, Lucas Moura — may’ve been enough and surely that conversation would’ve happened between the two Barca stars.

The French side has to make a big chance at some point soon, unless they’ve been able to unload their money bags and actually buy a fountain of youth. Thiago Motta is 34, Blaise Matuidi 30, Silva 32, and Edinson Cavani 30.

It’s calculated aggression from PSG to splash cash in hopes of rivaling Real Madrid, Juventus, and Barca in pursuit of the UCL title. The Neymar move weakens one of those rivals. If Marco Verratti isn’t part of a swap deal, the signings of Sanchez and Neymar would meet the Italian star’s ambitions well up the road.

De Boer: West Brom was out to injure Palace star Zaha

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No shrinking violet, new Crystal Palace boss Frank De Boer was left fuming at West Bromwich Albion players following the PL Asia Trophy third place match on Saturday in Hong Kong.

While the focus could’ve been on Luka Milivojevic‘s gorgeous free kick (watch here), De Boer couldn’t get past the hard fouls aimed at his key attacker.

[ EXCLUSIVE: Strootman talks Roma w/ PST ]

West Brom gave away the free kick that led to the aforementioned goal by chopping down Zaha, and the foul was not an isolated incident.

From the BBC:

“They were looking for him, to injure him,” said De Boer.

“He’s one of the exciting players in the league. I don’t want to think he’d be out for two weeks or months.”

De Boer is no stranger to rough play, so this is not coming from a soft place. We doubt it’s going to change anything from Tony Pulis‘ men, though.

Chelsea hammers Arsenal 3-0 in Beijing (video)

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Chelsea struck twice early and Michy Batshuayi put the cherry on top as the Premier League champions cruised past Arsenal 3-0 in Beijing on Saturday.

The Blues started a lineup they’d use on any occasion in the PL, while Arsenal had unproven prospects Cohen Bramall and Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the XI.

[ EXCLUSIVE: Strootman talks Roma w/ PST ]

Willian‘s quick goal put the Blues up 1-0 at the Bird’s Nest, and Batshuayi scored the second and third. Both were pretty classy, especially the second.

Marcos Alonso did the lion’s share of the work to produce the second chance for Batshuayi, who is threatening to carry over his fine late season form to this campaign. What a smash.

Coutinho rocket helps LFC to PL Asia Trophy (video)

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Goals from Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho helped Liverpool come back from an early deficit to win the PL Asia Trophy on Saturday in Hong Kong.

Islam Slimani gave Leicester City an early lead in front of a heavy pro-Liverpool crowd at Hong Kong Stadium, but Coutinho delivered the goods on both goals in a 2-1 win.

The tournament win is Liverpool’s first in its second trip to the PL Asia Trophy Final.

[ EXCLUSIVE: Strootman talks Roma w/ PST ]

First he crossed for Salah to head home, and then he scored the above goal by cutting in from the left and lashing a shot past a flailing Kasper Schmeichel.

We’ve seen this one before from Coutinho, just not on this particular continent. The Brazilian remains a Barcelona target, but looks prepared for the season in whatever land he sets foot.