Diego Costa

Saturday Premier League roundup: Chelsea win again, Arsenal fight back (video)

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Goals were in short supply on Saturday but that didn’t mean there was a lack of drama around the Premier League. Oh no, not at all.

Chelsea and Swansea both picked up their second-straight wins to start the season, while Everton pummeled Arsenal early on but the Gunners fought back to steal a dramatic late draw. Edgy draws played out at Villa Park and St. Mary’s, while West Ham piled on the misery for poor old Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

[VIDEO: Premier League highlights, here]

Below are recaps, analysis and video highlights of all the action from another dramatic Saturday in the PL.


Aston Villa 0-0 Newcastle United

Brad Guzan came to the rescue late on for Villa as the American ‘keeper stopped Siem de Jong’s powerful effort as Newcastle pushed for the winner. The Magpies had defender Mike Williamson sent off in a rough and tumble affair at Villa Park. Neither team carved out glorious chances. Honors even.

Chelsea 2-0 Leicester City

The Blues were frustrated at home by newly promoted Leicester for long periods but Jose Mourinho’s sides finally broke down the Foxes. Second half goals from Diego Costa (his second in his first two PL games) and Eden Hazard did the damage. Two wins from two for Chelsea but far from convincing.

Crystal Palace 1-3 West Ham United

The Hammers sealed a miserable week for managerless Palace in this London derby. Debutant Mauro Zarate scored a stunning volley just before half time, then Stewart Downing smashed in another beauty to give the Hammers a 2-0 lead at the break. Marouane Chamakh pulled a goal back for the Eagles but Carlton Cole scored to make it 3-1 to West Ham.

Everton 2-2 Arsenal

Seamus Coleman and Steven Naismith put Everton 2-0 up at half time and Arsenal looked dead and buried. Think again. Aaron Ramsey pulled a goal back seven minutes from time, then Olivier Giroud pounced late on to make it 2-2 and snatch a late point for the Gunners. Drama at Goodison as the home fans were stunned by the incredible last-gasp comeback.

Southampton 0-0 West Brom

Dusan Tadic was a constant threat for the home side but neither team could muster a goal in a tight match down on the South Coast. James Ward-Prowse hit the outside of the post with a free kick, while West Brom debutant Brown Ideye looked lively after coming off the bench.

Swansea City 1-0 Burnley

An entertaining game down at the Liberty Stadium as Nathan Dyer gave the Swans all three points thanks to a great piece of acceleration and coolness. Burnley carved out some great chances in the second half but Lukas Jutkiewicz put a header from six-yards out over the bar. The Clarets still searching for their first point of the PL season, while Swansea have won two out of two.

Kevin de Bruyne out injured for Man City; Pep to rotate

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10:  Kevin De Bruyne of  Manchester City shows his frustrations after a near miss  during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on September 10, 2016 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
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Kevin De Bruyne won’t be the main man at Old Trafford this time.

[ MORE: Rooney to leave? ]

De Bruyne, 25, starred in Manchester City’s 2-1 win at bitter rivals Manchester United last month in the Premier League but ahead of the EFL Cup last 16 clash between Manchester’s two clubs, Pep Guardiola confirmed that the Belgian international will play no part after picking up a calf injury in the draw with Southampton on Sunday.

Speaking to the media, Guardiola also confirmed that Pablo Zabaleta will be out, plus Vincent Kompany will likely play a part.

“Kevin, no way, he cannot play,” Guardiola said. “Pablo I think cannot. Vincent I think he can but I don’t know today. I need to see training and regeneration [before making a decision].”

Guardiola also confirmed that he expects to give some of his squad players a chance to play despite the desire to win the big derby game.

“We are going to rotate. Some are going to play. I need to see the players today in training and after we will decide the team,” Guardiola added.

City’s squad is still ridiculously strong with the likes of Nolito, Fabian Delph, Kelechi Iheanacho and Aleix Garcia all set to play a big part in the cup tie.

Watford investigated over alleged forged bank documents

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 30: Troy Deeney of Watford during the pre season friendly match between Queens Park Rangers and Watford at Loftus Road on July 30, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
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The Daily Telegraph has struck again.

A few weeks after it’s investigation into corruption in English soccer unveiled plenty of wrongdoing, some of which led to Sam Allardyce stepping down as England manager, The Daily Telegraph has some more damaging evidence.

This time Watford Football Club is at the center of the allegations.

According to a report on Tuesday, Watford submitted forged bank documents back in 2014 when Gino Pozzo became the sole owner of the club from his father, Giampaolo, at the beginning of the 2014-15 campaign which saw them win promotion to the Premier League. The bank documents via HSBC (the Telegraph claims that Watford did not bank with that company at the time) were used to show proof of funding that Pozzo could bankroll Watford.

The English Football League has opened an investigation into the matter, along with an internal one from Watford, and if any wrongdoing is found then the Hornets could be subject to a fine and a points deduction.

An EFL spokesman told the Telegraph:

“We can confirm, following receipt of information from The Telegraph, that we immediately commenced a disciplinary investigation into serious allegations made against Watford Football Club. The club has been formally contacted by the EFL and is now required to provide a full and detailed response to the allegations. Once that response is received, it will be fully considered by the EFL and appropriate action will be taken under our rules and regulations.”

Watford has until next week to respond to the EFL.

The Telegraph also reports that just before the HSBC letter was accepted by the EFL as proof of funds, an earlier letter from Credit Suisse (a bank the Pozzo family and the parent company which owns Watford, Hornets Investment, did use) was rejected by the EFL and that would have put a hold up in the sale of the club.

Report: Jose Mourinho willing to let Wayne Rooney leave

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 07: Wayne Rooney of Manchester United shakes hands with Manager of Manchester United, Jose Mourinho during The FA Community Shield match between Leicester City and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on August 7, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
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Wayne Rooney‘s future at Manchester United seems increasingly uncertain.

[ MORE: Tight title race? ]

A report in the Sun newspaper states that United’s captain and talisman, 31, has been told by manager Jose Mourinho that he can leave if it’s regular game time he wants.

Rooney hasn’t started any of United’s last four Premier League games and was left out of their squad for the 4-0 thumping at Chelsea last weekend with a small injury.

Per the report, Mourinho has spoken to Rooney’s advisers and has told them he can not guarantee the England national team captain a starting role.

There’s no doubting Rooney’s huge impact at United over the past 12 years since he arrived at Old Trafford. He’s won five Premier League titles, a UEFA Champions League title, two League Cups and an FA Cup.

Rooney is also just three goals shy of breaking the all-time club record for number of goals scored — he has scored 246 times for United in all competitions — which Sir Bobby Charlton has held for over 40 years and although he has this season plus two more on his huge contract, it seems like he’s reaching a major crossroads in his career.

Even if he is willing to stick around for the final years of his playing days and get stuck into a bit-par role a la Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, you know that Rooney will still make an impact.

The Englishman is stuck in a rut but so are United.

If fit, it would be very surprising to not see him feature heavily in the next few days as United host bitter rivals Manchester City in the EFL last 16 on Wednesday and then Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBC Sports).

Griezmann wins best player award in Spain for last season

SEVILLE, SPAIN - OCTOBER 23:  Antoine Griezmann of Club Atletico de Madrid looks on during the match between Sevilla FC vs Club Atletico de Madrid as part of La Liga at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuanon October 23, 2016 in Seville, Spain.  (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)
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VALENCIA, Spain (AP) Antoine Griezmann has won the best player award in the Spanish league for last season.

The Atletico Madrid forward was announced as the winner in a ceremony organized by La Liga in Valencia on Monday. The Frenchman was not at the ceremony.

[ MORE: Ballon d’Or omissions ]

Atletico also had Diego Simeone win the best coach award, Diego Godin earn the best defender award, and Jan Oblak clinch best goalkeeper.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi was selected as the best forward, and Real Madrid’s Luka Modric as the best midfielder.

Team captains voted for the top players in each position, while a data-analysis system generated the best player award.

Barcelona won the Spanish league last season, ahead of Real Madrid and Atletico.