- Five minutes into the match and Jermaine Jones was already in hot water with the referee. Is there any doubt whatsoever that the volatile midfielder will get himself (and the team) in trouble next summer in Brazil at least once, with a bad card or a careless turnover?
- Other than a three or four minute spell early where things got a little, uh, “loose” in the back, the back line held up OK. That’s significant since the central pairing, Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron, were matched up together for the first time.
- The outside backs, Brad Evans and DaMarcus Beasley are dealing well with Jamaica’s speed.
- Hardly a vintage Tim Howard performance so far. He had four chances to handle the ball under pressure and didn’t do particularly well with two of them. One shot was left in a really, really bad place and a corner kick fell a little too close him.
- Alejandro Bedoya is having a stinker. Bad passes, one poor cross, an inability to read his teammates, little chemistry with right back Evans, one badly missed tackle, etc. Landon Donovan (on the left, opposite Bedoya in a 4-4-2) isn’t doing great, either, but he’s Johann Cruyff compared to Bedoya, who really needed a big game.
- No surprise here considering no Michael Bradley to orchestrate, but the U.S. midfield is somewhere between ineffective and “blek.” Bradley makes things so much easier for everyone with his positioning and ability to play people into the right spots with his passes.
- Mix Diskerud, essentially playing in the “Bradley role,” isn’t having much influence.
- Aron Johannsson is making Jurgen Klinsmann look good for giving that first start. He is finding good spots near goal – just needs to do a little better on the finishing end.
- Plus, Johannsson’s technical work on the transition (hold-up play, that is) has been excellent.
- Jozy Altidore’s passing is off. You have to wonder how the mess at Sunderland is affecting his confidence and ability to generate the kind of quick, decisive action that really makes a player.
Six Premier League games are coming your way at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday.
You can watch all the games live online.
[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ]
Arsenal welcome Crystal Palace, Man United head to Burnley, West Ham host Bournemouth, Stoke and Huddersfield clash, while Leicester welcome Watford and Everton do battle with West Brom.
[ MORE: Sign up for NBC Sports Gold ]
You can access additional games by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold which also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today and NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.
[ STREAM: “Goal Rush” here ]
For those of you familiar with the Premier League Breakaway Show during busy days (Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Championship Sunday etc.) in the PL, this will follow that model of being similar to the NFL RedZone with action shown from all of the games in the 10 a.m. ET window. More info is available here.
The schedule for all six games at 10 a.m. ET is below and you can stream each game live by clicking on the links.
10 a.m. ET: Burnley vs. Manchester United – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Arsenal vs. Crystal Palace – CNBC [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Everton vs. West Brom – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Leicester City vs. Watford – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Stoke City vs. Huddersfield Town – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: West Ham United vs. Bournemouth – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
- Chelsea snap run of five-straight draws
- Brighton have one win in last 13 PL games
- Hazard scores twice, rips Brighton apart
- Chelsea have won 11 of last 16 games
Chelsea beat Brighton and Hove Albion 4-0 at the Amex Stadium on Saturday as Eden Hazard scored twice and tore the Seagulls apart.
Brighton battled hard and hit the woodwork and had penalty shouts but Chris Hughton‘s men were outclassed by Hazard in dazzling form.
Without the suspended duo of Alvaro Morata and Pedro, plus injured goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, Chelsea deserved the win and moved level on 50 points with second-place Manchester United, while the Seagulls are just three points above the drop zone.
[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]
Less than three minutes into the game Chelsea took the lead as Moses’ cross from the right deflected into Hazard’s path and the Belgian took a touch to settle himself before he rifled home.
It got worse soon after for Brighton as Chelsea pounced to double their lead via Willian. The Brazilian surged forward, played the ball into Eden Hazard and he then flicked the ball into Michy Batshuayi with the back of his heel and Batshuayi followed suit to play in Willian who fired home. 2-0 with six minutes on the clock.
[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]
Brighton responded well and should have had a penalty kick as Willy Caballero rushed off his line and appeared to catch Ezequiel Schelotto, but no penalty kick was given and Chelsea cleared the danger. Moments later a high ball into the box caused Cabellero problems again as he flapped at a cross but his defense bailed him out.
On the break Batshuayi had an effort stopped by Mat Ryan as Hazard ran riot, while at the other end Caballero then made a superb save to deny Tomer Hemed and Shane Duffy nodded wide as Brighton had their chances in a action-packed first half.
[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]
In the second half, Brighton continued to push for a goal back and Davy Propper‘s header hit the post and came out. Andreas Christensen was then forced off after being involved in a nasty clash of heads as David Luiz came on.
At the other end Willian had his free kick pushed onto the post by Ryan as Chelsea looked to end any hope of a Brighton comeback.
[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]
Hazard (who else?) did just that in the closing stages as he sauntered towards goal and send Ryan the wrong way with a fine finish to make it 3-0.
Charly Musonda then made a great impression as he jumped off the bench and clipped a fine ball forward for Moses who controlled and finished for Chelsea’s four goal to hammer the final nail in Brighton’s coffin.
It has begun.
According to German outlet Kicker, Arsenal have made an opening offer of $61 million to Borussia Dortmund for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Dortmund’s star striker, 28, has been left out of their last two matchday squads amid discpilinary problems and question marks over his future at the Westfalenstadion.
The leading goalscorer in the Bundesliga last season (31 goals in 32 games) has been linked with a move to Arsenal over the past week as they get ready to sell Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United. Reports linking Aubamyenag to Arsenal have seen Dortmund’s sporting director hit out at Arsene Wenger and called the Gunners’ behavior disrespectful.
Talking of disrespect…
Aubameyang was spotted playing five-a-side with friends in Dortmund on Friday while his teammates drew 1-1 with Hertha Berlin (something his manager Peter Stoeger had a less than positive reaction to) as the Gabonese striker wore a BVB shirt with Ousmane Dembele’s name on the back. Dembele was suspended by the club back in the summer as he tried to force through his move to Barcelona, which eventually happened for a fee of $130 million.
I’m sure the Dortmund hierarchy were pleased about that…
When it comes to Aubameyang and where he would fit in at Arsenal, this would be a great fit. He’d be the target forward they’ve needed for some time and imagine Alexandre Lacazette and Aubameyang in tandem, plus Mesut Ozil and maybe his former teammate at Dortmund, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, (if his move from Man United goes through) threading through balls.
Aubameyang is prolific and has scored 141 goals in 212 games for Dortmund over the past five seasons, including 21 goals in 23 games in all competitions this season.
Olivier Giroud was said to be offered as part of the deal, but his name isn’t mentioned in this report and the Frenchman is said to want to stay at Arsenal at least until the end of the season.
It’s likely Arsenal will have to pay closer to $70 million for a player who has three years left on his current contract, but his goal output is certainly worth that amount, even if his off-pitch antics and somewhat disruptive nature could be an issue for Wenger. At this point, Arsenal need all the help they can get to finish off games they dominate.
Hmm, this is an interesting tactic from Barcelona.
On Saturday the Catalan club released a statement about Atletico Madrid and France striker Antoine Griezmann.
The forward has long been linked with a move to Barca and media reports in Spain have gone into overdrive regarding a move to the Nou Camp for the 26-year-old.
Below is the statement from Barca in full.
FC Barcelona strongly denies the information that has appeared over the course of the last few hours in different media regarding Atletico Madrid player, Antoine Griezmann, and an alleged deal with our club.
FC Barcelona expresses its objections in the face of these events and reiterates its full respect for the institution of Atletico Madrid.
This feels very similar to the situation with Virgil Van Dijk between Liverpool and Southampton.
Media speculation reached incredible levels back in June 2017 that VVD had agreed to sign for Liverpool, but the Anfield club then issued a public apology to Saints and ended their pursuit of Van Dijk. He then signed for Liverpool in January in a $100 million move.
With Atletico said to be incredibly unhappy that Griezmann continues to be linked with a move to Barca, plus reports suggesting the Madrid club want to report Barcelona to FIFA for an alleged approach for their star striker, it’s not too surprising to see Barca take this very unusual approach to try and calm the situation down.
Will it work? Who knows. Is it likely Griezmann will end up at Barcelona anyway? This statement suggests that the two clubs are in dialogue and Barcelona are trying to patch up their relationship to try and move for Griezmann in the summer.
Call me cynical, but that’s the way I see this.