Premier League Roundup: Fulham, West Brom finally win; Chelsea lose game and composure

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After beating Newcastle, are Fulham now on course to right the ship?

Will Pepe Mel’s reign on the West Brom bench become a successful one?

And just how much of an effect will Chelsea’s loss have on the Premier League title?

Read the quick rundown of Saturday’s Premier League action, then feel free to give us your thoughts.

Hull 0-2 Manchester City
It looked like Hull were set to get a surprise win at the KC Stadium after Vincent Kompany was sent off ten minutes in. But David Silva scored just four minutes later, and Edin Džeko added an extra in stoppage time. The win lifted Manchester City into second – at least until Liverpool and Arsenal both play tomorrow.

Everton 2-1 Cardiff City
It looked like 19th placed Cardiff were set to sneak away from Goodison with a point. Gerard Deulofeu broke the deadlock at the hour mark, but Cala responded with the equalizer in the 68th minute. But the Bluebirds’ songs were cut short in stoppage time, when Seamus Coleman put in the winner for Everton. They’re temporarily in sixth, pending the outcome of tomorrow’s match between Liverpool and Manchester United.

Fulham 1-0 Newcastle United
Yes, you’re reading that right. Fulham beat Newcastle, thanks to a 68th minute goal from substitute Ashkan Dejagah. It helped, too, that Howard Webb ignored a clear handball from Johnny Heitinga in stoppage time, so Felix Magath should really think about sending the referee some flowers tomorrow. The win doesn’t pull the Cottagers out of the bottom three, or even off the floor, but it’s at least a start.

Southampton 4-2 Norwich City
The day’s thriller saw Southampton race to a 3-0 lead, thanks to goals from Morgan Schneiderlin, Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez. But when Robert Snodgrass followed Johan Elmander’s goal with one of his own just a minute later, it looked like the Canaries might find a point. Instead, Southampton grabbed another with the last play of the match.

Stoke City 3-1 West Ham United
You were expecting a goalless draw? No, you’ll find Tony Pulis in the match below. Instead we had Andy Carroll opening the scoring after five minutes, only to have Peter Odemwingie score a brace on either side of a goal from Marko Arnautović. Stoke are now up to 10th, with 34 points, three points above West Ham.

Sunderland 0-0 Crystal Palace
This game happened. This game did little to help either side in their dreams of safety. Sunderland are now 18th, Palace are three points ahead in 17th.

Swansea 1-2 West Bromwich Albion
Pepe Mel finally has his first win, after eight games in charge at West Brom. The Swans took the lead after just two minutes thanks to a goal from Roland Lamah, but Stéphane Sessègnon put the Baggies level in the second half. Then, in the 85th minute, Youssouf Mulumbu slipped the ball through Jordi Amat’s legs, and the visitors were in front. The win puts West Brom three points above the drop, while Swansea are just four above.

Aston Villa 1-0 Chelsea
Villa ended Chelsea’s 14-game unbeaten run – and caused them to lose their composure in the process. Nemanja Matić had a goal ruled out in the first half after he was adjudged to have handled it, but that was nothing compared to the second. After Willian was sent off with a second yellow, Fabian Delph scored with a fantastic backheel to put Villa out in front. After Delph nearly doubled his side’s lead in stoppage time, Ramires was sent off with a straight red, and José Mourinho followed for protesting too much.

John Cena makes entertaining Premier League predictions

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We do not recommend putting any money on John Cena’s Premier League predictions for this weekend.

The actor and WWE star was the guest picker on the BBC site on Friday, and admitted his soccer knowledge doesn’t extend much further than Cristiano Ronaldo and a tour of Tottenham (he has a fondness for Spurs, it seems).

[ PL PREVIEW: Chelsea vs. Southampton ]

But his actual selections are quite amusing. From picking matches based on species to trying to anger his fiancee’s Arsenal supporting brother, Cena brought the goods.

Our favorites:

Why West Ham will win at Stoke: “Who doesn’t love a good ham? It provides you with nourishment, happiness and a sense of community. It is always served at a big family function gathering. I like West Ham. 0-1.”

Why Southampton will win at Chelsea: “From where I am from, in Massachusetts, Southampton is a pretty cool place, so I am going to have to pick them, only because of how it relates to the States.”

Premier League Preview: Chelsea vs. Southampton

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  • Chelsea leads all-time 41W-28D-28L
  • Saints have points in 3 of 5 at Stamford Bridge
  • Southampton winless in four straight league games

Chelsea returns home following an emphatic away win to meet a Southampton side fresh off embarrassment at home (Watch live Saturday at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Saints were battered 4-1 at St. Mary’s by former coach Claude Puel, while Antonio Conte‘s Chelsea rebounded from a loss at West Ham by battering Huddersfield Town 4-1 at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Conte was asked to compare Alvaro Morata to club legend Didier Drogba, as the Spanish striker has reportedly been studying footage of the big Ivorian.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

“They are two different players with different characteristics,” he said. “Didier Drogba brought history to this club and he’s a wonderful player, a wonderful striker because he continues to play. He’s a great striker, more powerful than Alvaro but Alvaro, don’t forget, has a lot of space for improvement. He’s strong physically, he’s a technical player and I see a great future for Alvaro.”

Chelsea still won’t have David Luiz available, while Southampton has no new injury concerns despite the recent schedule congestion.

What they’re saying

Antonio Conte on Southampton premonitions“‘My expectation is for us to suffer, I have this sensation, so we must pay great attention. When you play after a bad defeat, especially at home, there is great attention of the coach and the club because they don’t want to continue a bad run. They want to give a good answer against a strong team like Chelsea.”

Saints’ Mauricio Pellegrino on facing Chelsea: “We want to show our best version. Chelsea is a really difficult side but maybe we can find more space.  We have to do a really good game to have a possibility of winning, but hopefully after a difficult moment we can bounce back. In this club, we want to show we are committed to trying to be competitive, our energy and commitment to the club.”

Prediction

Saints are wounded, but Chelsea has the better depth and form. Charlie Austin or Sofiane Boufal may force a goal past Thibaut Courtois, but look for the Blues to pull out a 2-1 win.

FIFA suspends Brazilian soccer president Marco Polo del Nero

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA has suspended Brazilian soccer federation president Marco Polo del Nero for 90 days while he is under an ethics investigation.

Del Nero has remained in power in Brazil despite being charged by American authorities with racketeering and money laundering in 2015.

FIFA says Del Nero has been provisionally banned from all soccer activities as formal ethics investigation proceedings are conducted.

Del Nero fled Zurich in May 2015 when FIFA colleagues were arrested, quit the executive committee of soccer’s governing body after missing meetings and was then indicted in the United States in December 2015. He has not been extradited from Brazil to face the charges.

Preview: How can Tottenham stop Man City?

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Can anyone stop Manchester City? Tottenham Hotspur will try this Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com) with Mauricio Pochettino‘s men aiming to give the chasing pack some hope that City can be caught.

[ LIVE: Stream Man City v. Spurs

Pep Guardiola‘s men have won 15 consecutive Premier League games to stretch their lead atop the PL to 11 points heading into the busy festive season, but a visit from Spurs represents one of their toughest tests of the season so far.

Spurs currently sit in fourth place in the table but are 18 points behind City.

In team news Man City have no fresh injury concerns as Vincent Kompany could return after missing out at Swansea City in midweek, but John Stones remains out injured.

Tottenham will be missing Victor Wanyama and Toby Alderweireld through injury, while Davinson Sanchez serves the final game of his three-match ban.


What they’re saying

Guardiola on Man City going the entire season unbeaten: “It is not going to happen. We are going to lose games, it belongs to Arsene Wenger. Now what happens is an exception, it’s not normal what we’ve done. We’ll try to maintain it but we are going to lose games. It is important is to play better, that’s important. Records are OK but they stay there and one day they will be broken. We focus on the pitch and try to be better, make chances, concede few. I’m happy with the way we play – although I feel we can do much, much better.”

Pochettino on Man City’s incredible run: “They [Manchester City] are showing that they are not only the best in England but in Europe too with the Champions League. They are playing so well and deserve all the praise. It will be so tough. I think Manchester City deserve all the credit with what they are doing.”

Prediction

Spurs will prove a tough test for a rampant Man City squad and I expect Dele Alli and Harry Kane to cause plenty of problems for a threadbare City defense. 2-2.