Ashley Williams

Leicester City 2-0 Everton: Puel wins debut

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  • Puel wins first PL start
  • Gray boasts MOTM performance
  • Vardy scores

Jamie Vardy‘s counter attack goal led the way as new Leicester City boss Claude Puel oversaw a 2-0 win in his debut at King Power Stadium on Sunday.

Demarai Gray also scored with big help from Everton’s Jonjoe Kenny as Leicester rose 11th with 12 points, keeping Everton in the drop zone on goal differential.

Everton caretaker boss David Unsworth kept Gylfi Sigurdsson and Morgan Schneiderlin out of the Starting XI, only using the Icelandic star as a 74th minute substitute.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Leicester won an early corner, and another when Ashley Williams blocked Wes Morgan‘s back post effort.

Demarai Gray then cut back from the end line for Ben Chilwell inside the 18, but a difficult shot couldn’t be kept under the bar.

The Foxes deservedly went ahead with a goal hearkening back to the glory days of 2016-17. Puel watched his new charges counter a free kick through Gray, who cued up a classic Riyad Mahrez to Vardy connection. 1-0, 19′.

Vardy mishit an effort to return the favor three minutes later, and Everton nearly found an equalizer when Wayne Rooney and Aaron Lennon cued up a chance that Dominic Calvert-Lewin flubbed.

Jonjoe Kenny helped make it 2-0 when he making a mess of Gray’s cross to defy the reach of Jordan Pickford. For some reason, it was not ruled an own goal.

The Toffees were denied a sure penalty when Christian Fuchs chopped down Lennon inside the 18, but no call came from Andre Marriner nor his linesman.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Rooney should’ve had a second assist when his delightful ball found Oumar Niasse, but a poor touch helped Kasper Schmeichel collect.

Calvert-Lewin produced an inviting ball in the 65th minute, but Wes Morgan popped it over his own bar.

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Europa League roundup: Lyon tops Everton, Giroud guides Arsenal

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It was a wild and crazy Thursday full of UEFA Europa League action, and while one Premier League side lucked out, another continued its fall from grace.

Arsenal picked up a 1-0 win over Red Star Belgrade on the road after Olivier Giroud’s 85th-minute overhead kick give the Gunners three points and complete command of Group H.

[ MORE: Dusan Tadic tells his story of his move to Southampton ]

Meanwhile, Everton fell 2-1 to Lyon on the day, as the Toffees remain at the bottom of Group E with one point in three Europa League matches. Toffees defender Ashley Williams was very lucky not to earn himself a straight red card after a terrible challenge on Lyon keeper Anthony Lopes.

The challenge came four minutes prior to Williams netted the equalizer for Everton. However, Bertrand Traore scored the winner for Lyon with a quarter hour remaining in the match.

Elsewhere, Real Sociedad scored six goals en route to a comfortable win over Vardar, while AC Milan had to settle for a scoreless draw against AEK Athens.

Here are all of Thursday’s results from around the Europa League.

Astana 4-0 Maccabi Tel-Aviv
BATE 1-0 Cologne
Hapoel Beer Sheva 1-2 Steaua
Konyaspor 2-0 Red Bull Salzburg
Lugano 3-2 Viktoria
Marseille 2-1 Guimaraes
Nice 1-3 Lazio
Ostersunds FK 2-2 Athletic Bilbao
Red Star Belgrade 0-1 Arsenal
Vardar 0-6 Real Sociedad
Zenit 3-1 Rosenborg
Zorya 2-1 Hertha Berlin
Zulte-Waregem 1-1 Vitesse
AC Milan 0-0 AEK Athens
Atalanta 3-1 Apollon Limassol
Austria Vienna 1-3 Rijeka
Dynamo Kyiv 2-2 Young Boys
Everton 1-2 Lyon
Fastav Zlin 1-1 Copenhagen
SC Braga 0-2 Ludogorets
Sheriff 1-1 Lokomotiv Moscow
Skenderbeu 0-0 Partizan
TSG Hoffenheim 3-1 Istanbul Basaksehir
Villarreal 2-2 Slavia Prague

Three Premier League teams (and maybe one more) we got wrong

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Two months and five days ago, our six writers went about trying to predict a new Premier League table, conceived in the notion of hearing your opinions.

[ MORE: Koeman in a bad, bad way ]

While there will come a time for mulligans, and perhaps a predictive reboot, I’m here this Sunday to admit my wrongs (and maybe wrongs).

Course correction is to be expected in some manner with at least three of these sides, but not to the extent expected before the PL season.

I was wrong!

— Burnley —
Current position: 7th place; My prediction: 20th; Staff average: 19th

With respect to the Clarets’ fan podcast, they would’ve been right to scream “No Nay Never” at my thought that Sean Dyche‘s men were too challenged in talent to again defy Premier League relegation. Michael Keane was gone to Everton, and Andre Gray was preparing to leave Turf Moor. The Clarets had added Jonathan Walters and Jack Cork, but had yet to sign Chris Wood.

Well, the Kiwi striker has been impressive and Dyche has rallied the troops (especially James Tarkowski in Keane’s stead, as well as Ben Mee and ). In what looks absolutely comical now, I expected the wealth of money spent by almost everyone else to doom Burnley to under 20 (!!!) points. Had you told me Tom Heaton would go down and Nick Pope, who’s been great, would take over, I might’ve bet even lower.

Clearly I underestimated the consistency of Dyche at the helm and the way he explains his system to players. I don’t expect the Clarets to maintain their top half pace, but clearly trusting me is an error when it comes to Burnley. Sean, I’m sorry. I should’ve known better. Call me.

— Everton —
Current position: 16th place; My prediction: 6th; Staff average: 7th

Another disappointing Sunday for Everton is one thing, but the Toffees’ big expenditures have largely failed to move the meter in the Europa League as well.

My expectation that down years for Liverpool and Arsenal would allow Everton join them in the Top Seven was only two-third possible. Ronald Koeman has been indecisive in his use of Wayne Rooney and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, and several players like Gylfi Sigurdsson and Morgan Schneiderlin are not adapting to playing non-starring roles (though surely the Toffees would be fine putting the focus on Sigurdsson were he producing, and he should’ve claimed a penalty on Sunday).

How to fix it? Well, keeping Ashley Williams on the bench is a bit of a bother, so why not a back three with Keane and Phil Jagielka? I don’t know, but Davy Klaassen remains on the bench, too, and I’m not sure Everton’s players know what to expect heading into a weekend.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

— Watford —
Current position: 4th place; My prediction: 17th; Staff average: 16th

Joe Prince-Wright said Watford would finish 12th, which was outlandish considering the rest of us had the Hornets escaping relegation by one or two spaces at best. The highlight reel video of Richarlison almost had me boost the Hornets higher when predicting the table, but that would’ve been offset had I known Nathaniel Chalobah would be hurt.

But betting against Marco Silva has been a mistake so far, and the Hornets boasts a win home to Arsenal and away to Southampton plus a home draw versus Liverpool. The 6-0 home loss to Man City, sadly, is more common than we thought, and JPW’s 12th place feels correct right about now.

I was wrong?

— Crystal Palace —
Current position: 20th place; My prediction: 12th; Staff average: 15th

Roy Hodgson’s men looked a lot like Frank De Boer‘s men until Wilfried Zaha returned from injury, and that probably shouldn’t surprise us. The Eagles just suffered through the worst goalless start in Premier League history, but beat Chelsea with their first extended look of Zaha this season (Andros Townsend also looked great). I had Palace at 48 points, and that feels a bit laughable when they have three through eight matches, but I’m not so sure they won’t rebound over time.

 

Europa League: Arsenal fend off BATE; Everton draw Limassol

Peter Byrne/PA via AP
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A roundup of all of Thursday’s Europa League group-stage action…

[ MORE: Carlo Ancelotti out as Bayern Munich manager ]

BATE Borisov 2-4 Arsenal

When Arsenal learned their European fate would be the Europa League this season, midweek trips to Belarus are precisely what they would have lamented. Alas, Arsene Wenger‘s side dealt with little resistance on Thursday, as Theo Walcott provided the Gunners an early two-goal lead (9th and 22nd minutes), followed not much later by Rob Holding‘s winner in the 25th minute, and Olivier Giroud‘s 100th goal for the club (all competitions) four minutes after halftime.

Everton 2-2 Apollon Limassol

Everton’s clash with Cypriot side Apollon Limassol went far less swimmingly, as Ronald Koeman‘s side dropped a pair of points in a game (and first half, particularly) that can best be summed up as a comedy of defensive errors. Ashley Williams got things underway…

Limassol returned the favor tenfold not even 10 minutes later, gifting Wayne Rooney the easiest goal he’ll ever score…

Nikola Vlasic scored his first goal for the club, what looked likely to be the game-winning goal for quite some time, but Limassol, down to 10 men at this point, grabbed an 88th-minute equalizer courtesy of Hector Yuste.

AC Milan 3-2 Rijeka

After spending more than $200 million during the summer transfer window, AC Milan’s season has started rather interestingly, if not predictably. With so many new figures central to the club’s future brought in during the same period, they were bound to require time to gel and find their stride. Thursday’s dramatic 3-2 win over Croatian side Rijeka serves as an ideal microcosm of that process.

2-0 up after 83 minutes (Andre Silva, 14th minute; Matteo Mussachio, 53rd), Milan did everything in their power to capitulate and drop two points at home. Boadu Maxwell Acosty made it 2-1 in the 84th minute, followed by Josip Elez in the 90th. It would be 19-year-old Patrick Cutrone, who as a product of the club’s youth academy accounted for $0 of the above sum, who played the part of hero on the day, bagging his third goal of the season (all competitions) in the 93rd minute.

Notable Europa League scoreboard

Lyon 1-1 Atalanta
Lazio 2-0 Zulte-Waregem
Maccabi Tel Aviv 0-0 Villarreal
Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Zorya
Zenit St. Petersburg 3-1 Real Sociedad
Salzburg 1-0 Marseille
Nice 3-0 Vitesse
Ludogorets 2-1 Hoffenheim
Oestersunds 1-0 Hertha Berlin

Manchester United 4-0 Everton: Red Devils ruin Rooney return

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  • Lukaku goal, assist, celebration
  • Valencia scores stunner (video)
  • Toffees continue road woes
  • Martial, Mkhitaryan also score

Ex-Everton striker Romelu Lukaku helped ruin Wayne Rooney‘s return to Old Trafford, picking up a goal and an assist against his former team as Manchester United topped Everton 4-0 on Sunday.

Antonio Valencia, Anthony Martial, and Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored for United, which has the joint-most points in the league but sits behind Man City by alphabetical order alone.

Starting up top, Rooney provided several clearcut chances for Everton, but Lukaku had an assist before punching in an 89th minute goal and celebrating wildly at Old Trafford.

The ex-Toffees striker was also a threat, picking up a late assist, and will rue chipping a simple finish wide of the goal in the first half.

Everton is now winless in 11-straight away PL matches, a league-high, and remains 17th with four points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Jordan Pickford didn’t have much of a chance on Valencia’s wonderful opener. A quick free kick was played short to Nemanja Matic, who hit a ball across the arc of the 18 for Valencia to smash home.

Romelu Lukaku snapped into action against his former club as the match neared the 20-minute mark, just shades away from providing a goal or assist as United looked to build on its lead.

That’s when Rooney nearly tied it up. Playing up top, he cut Cuco Martina‘s pass across his body but wide of the far post.

Lukaku then let Everton off the hook when he opened up 1v1 with Pickford and shot it wide of the far post.

Tom Davies was rightly deemed offside on a 29th minute chance that ended up in the back of the goal.

With all the focus on Lukaku, it was another former Toffee who nearly made it 2-0 when Marouane Fellaini challenged Pickford for a 50-50 ball but saw his effort miss the mark.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Rooney almost bulled his way to an equalizer in the second half’s first minute, sliding to win a shot that De Gea blocked with his right leg.

A Pickford giveaway led United to a free kick and Ashley Williams to a yellow card when the defender shouldered Juan Mata to turf in the 63rd minute.

Mata’s left-footed free kick wrapped around the wall to clank off the post, and United couldn’t do anything with the ensuing corner.

Left back Ashley Young set Jesse Lingard up for a left-footed chance, but the attacker’s shot was rushed by Ashley Williams and skied over the frame.

Williams stopped Lingard from getting full purchase on a point blank shot in the 78th minute, but no penalty call arrived after Pickford stooped to collect the tame effort.

Mkhitaryan provided the much-sought equalizer in the 84th minute with Williams giving the ball away to Lukaku, who cued up the ex-BVB man for a finish past Pickford.

That’s when Lukaku scored, continuing United’s penchant for piling on late goals. And Morgan Schneiderlin gave away a penalty to Anthony Martial that the Frenchman finished to make it 4-0.