Arsenal 3-0 Stoke City: PKs inspire win

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  • Controversial PK converted by Aubameyang
  • Gabonese striker completes brace, 86′
  • Lacazette scores second Gunners PK
  • Stoke remains in drop zone

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a 75th minute penalty kick and then belted home an emphatic insurance goal as Arsenal beat Stoke City 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

Alexandre Lacazette also scored a penalty kick for the Gunners.

The win gives Arsenal 51 points, five more than seventh place Burnley and five less than fifth place Chelsea.

Stoke remains 19th, three points back of 17th place Crystal Palace.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Xherdan Shaqiri threatened from the top of the 18 yard box, but curled his shot across the goal and outside the far post.

For Arsenal, it was all going through an active and armband-wearing Jack Wilshere. He cued up Aaron Ramsey for a blocked shot int he 29th minute. The corner came to nothing.

The second half saw Arsenal find better form as the match neared the hour mark, and Nacho Monreal forced Jack Butland into a low collection.

Shaqiri swept a shot into the arms of David Ospina with 23 minutes to play. The Swiss attacker struck the post with a corner kick moments later.

At the other end, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined Alexandre Lacazette in having in-tight shots blocked by the Stoke defense.

Arsenal won its penalty with controversy, as Bruno Martins Indi pushed the ball away from Mesut Ozil before the German hit the deck. It wasn’t a dive, but the referee had a rough angle and awarded a penalty that Aubameyang converted for 1-0.

Badou Ndiaye tried his luck from just outside the arc but swirled the ball around the post in the 82nd.

Butland made another pair of stops in the 85th, but Aubameyang scored off the ensuing corner to salt away all three points.

Stoke gave away another penalty when Ndiaye shouldered Lacazette to the turf in the 88th. Aubameyang deferred to Lacazette for the PK.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Southampton 0-0 Stoke: Potters hold Saints

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  • Southampton have one win in their last 16 PL games
  • Saints set a new club record of 8 consecutive home PL matches without a win
  • Stoke have won just once in 10 PL games

Southampton and Stoke played out a dour 0-0 draw at St Mary’s on Saturday as both teams remain in relegation trouble.

Saints dominated the majority of the game and went closest through Sofiane Boufal, while Stoke’s captain Jack Butland stepped up big time with several top saves to grab his team a point.

With the draw Saints slip to 17th in the table on 28 points, while Stoke have 27 points and are second from bottom.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

A cagey start saw Saints take the game to Stoke but the visitors looked dangerous on the break.

The Potters were forced into an early change as Mame Diouf was clattered into by Wesley Hoedt and the Senegalese forward had to be replaced after a nasty looking arm injury.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

The rest of the first half played out with Saints having plenty of possession but failing to really hurt Stoke as Josh Sims looked lively but Bruno Martins Indi recovered to tackle well.

Xherdan Shaqiri‘s cross then found Badou Ndiaye in the box but his header was tipped wide by Alex McCarthy.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

At the start of the second half Saints almost went ahead as Sims raced clear but his shot at the near post was well saved by Jack Butland.

Sims tested Butland again soon after but Stoke’s skipper saved well, while at the other end the Potters had a glorious chance but Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting dinked the ball over but replays showed Jack Stephens got back to deflect the shot.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]  

Nathan Redmond then had a shot pushed wide by Butland as Saints piled on the pressure late in the game. Substitute Sofiane Boufal then had a glorious chance but headed wide from close range after Redmond’s brilliant cross.

At the other end Peter Crouch, another sub who had an impact, looked certain to head home but Jack Stephens defended brilliantly.

West Brom: Evans relegation release reportedly just $4M

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Jonny Evans has been fantastic for West Bromwich Albion this season, shepherding the Baggies back line while being involved in as many goals as any player not named Salomon Rondon or Jay Rodriguez.

[ MORE: High profile loan for Palace ]

So it would make sense for West Brom to hang onto the player at almost all costs given its status as a team in danger of the drop after its slow start under Tony Pulis has kept its lackluster pace under Alan Pardew.

Here’s the rub: Some big clubs would like to purchase Evans, who has 18 months left on his deal but reportedly no interest in signing a new deal the Hawthorns. Even worse? Monday’s story that a Baggies’ relegation would make his buyout clause just over $4 million.

Defenders who cost more last summer on the Premier League market include Jan Bednarek, Nathan Ake, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Michael Keane, Florian Lejeune, Mathias Jorgensen, Andrew Robertson, Bruno Martins Indi, and many others.

Heck, Evans’ buyout clause is the same price Derby County paid Liverpool for Andre Wisdom. And these fees are all pre-Virgil Van Dijk to Liverpool madness.

Considering only Swansea and Brighton have scored fewer league goals than the Baggies, who are just now committing to a two-striker approach under Pardew, does it make sense for West Brom to sell now?

Evans’ value at 18 months out will be more than it is at 12 months out even if the Baggies avoid relegation, but he’s possibly a lynch pin of the team. And the volatile value for attackers mean the $25-35 million he’d generate may not make for like-for-like value.

It’s not an easy decision, but desperate times call for similar measures. The Baggies have played in four nil-nils this season, and lost 1-0 to relegation rivals Southampton and Huddersfield Town away. Both of the reverse fixtures remain.

There are creative options here, too. Would Jurgen Klopp sanction a high(ish) profile attacker loan to WBA in order to pair Evans with Van Dijk? Same for Pep Guardiola at Man City?

PL Preview: Tuesday fixtures include Chelsea

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As the holiday season nears, the Premier League begins to ramp up. While that can be hard on Premier League managers, it’s great for you, the fan, who now has plenty of options to choose from as you make your way through the work week.

[ PL SCHEDULE: Where to watch all midweek Premier League games ]


Burnley vs. Stoke City – 2:45 p.m. ET, on NBC Sports Gold

If Burnley defeats Stoke City on Tuesday, the Clarets would jump Tottenham, Arsenal, and Liverpool en route to a place in the Premier League table’s Top 4. Just pause for a moment and soak that in.

Better?

That’s right, Sean Dyche has his Burnley side on a roll, having won five of its last seven matches. In games where they were earning draws last year, they’re picking up all three points this year. Meanwhile, they face a Potters group that sits just three points above the relegation zone, meaning the heat has turned up on Mark Hughes. What is in store for us at Turf Moor?

INJURIES: Burnley – Tom Heaton (shoulder), Robbie Brady (knee), Jonathan Walters (knee) | Stoke City – Jese (personal leave), Glen Johnson (knee), Bruno Martins Indi (shoulder), Stephen Ireland (leg).


Huddersfield vs. Chelsea – 3:00 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Antonio Conte, in charge of the defending champions, is suddenly on the hot seat. Already 14 points back of leaders and expected winners Manchester City, the Blues are sitting a distant third in the table.

A trip to Huddersfield could be exactly what the doctor ordered. The Terriers started the season well, but had lost four Premier League matches in a row before a 2-0 victory over Brighton turned things around.

Conte has already ruled Chelsea out of the title, with the Blues now fighting for a Champions League place. Can the boss take advantage of the poor opposition form? He will be without star striker Alvaro Morata who is dealing with both back problems and general fatigue, with Conte calling his schedule “impossible.”

INJURIES: HuddersfieldMichael Hefele (Achillies), Philip Billing (ankle), Jon Stankovic (knee), Kasey Palmer (ineligible – parent club) | Chelsea – Alvaro Morata (back), David Luiz (knee).


Crystal Palace vs. Watford – 3:00 p.m. ET, on NBC Sports Gold

The Eagles hav a chance to pull themselves not only off the bottom of the Premier League table, but out of the relegation zone completely when they host Watford at Selhurst Park. Crystal Palace sits a point back of Swansea City on the bottom, but with somewhat improved performances under Roy Hodgson, three points would climb them completely out of the drop.

Nevertheless, it remains to be seen how Hodgson balances a desperate need to collect points with discipline of his struggling striker Christian Benteke, who remains goalless on the year after missing a critical penalty he wasn’t supposed to take in the 2-2 draw with Bournemouth over the weekend.

Watford, meanwhile, is without a win in its last three and desperately needs a result. The Hornets sit ninth in the Premier League table but could see their advantage over the bottom half evaporate with another loss.

INJURIES: Crystal Palace – Mamadou Sakho (calf), Joel Ward, Damien Delaney, Connor Wickham (knee) | Watford – Will Hughes (hamstring), Isaac Success (knee), Nathan Chalobah (knee), Younes Kaboul (hamstring), Craig Cathcart (knee)

Premier League preview: Tottenham vs. Stoke City

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  • Stoke City defender Bruno Martins Indi could be out for up to eight weeks after suffering a groin injury against Swansea City. Geoff Cameron (concussion) is available again but Jese Rodriguez will not travel to London because of personal reasons.
  • Tottenham Hotspur will be without the suspended Davinson Sanchez, while Toby Alderweireld (hamstring) and Victor Wanyama (knee) are injured.
  • Tottenham Hotspur has won each of its last three Premier League matches against Stoke City all by a 4-0 scoreline, no side in top-flight history has won four consecutive matches by four or more goals. Tottenham has lost only one of its last seven home matches against Stoke City.

Tottenham is looking to snap out of a four-game winless skid in the Premier League when it hosts Stoke City Saturday at Wembley Stadium. (Watch live at 10:00 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Mauricio Pochettino‘s side hasn’t won in league action since the start of November, with the recent slide beginning with the 2-0 London Derby defeat to Arsenal. At the same time, Tottenham has been superb in the UEFA Champopns League, finishing atop the group after a 3-0 win over APOEL last Wednesday.

[READ: Premier League TV, streaming schedule]

Stoke City on the other hand is coming off its first win in five games with a 2-1 result over Swansea City last weekend. American centerback Geoff Cameron is also back in action for the Potters, which is a big lift ahead of a massive road game. Three points for Stoke City puts them into the top 10 of the Premier League.

What they’re saying

Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino on defensive options after losing Toby Alderweireld and Davinson Sanchez: “We finished at Watford with Eric Dier and Jan Vertonghen (in central defence) and then we have Juan Foyth and different options. Ben Davies can play like a centre-back, Serge Aurier can play like a centre-back, he played there before for Paris St. Germain in that position, so we have plenty of options to use. I’m not concerned.”

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes on playing Tottenham at Wembley Stadium: “There is a perception that they haven’t done too well at Wembley, but they demolished Real Madrid not too long ago. Teams are setting their stall out this year against them and that has affected them. Whenever we went up against them we always thought it was the toughest game for us – for whatever reason they always cause us problems. We will be looking to address that, so we have to be better and be tougher to beat than we have done in the past. Some of the players from those previous matches aren’t with us anymore, we have a different make up of the squad now, we shape up differently, so those previous results won’t affect us this weekend. We just need to try and affect the game in a positive manner. A number of the guys have played at Wembley before and others haven’t but we are emphasizing the fact that it is a Premier league game. I will leave the guys to decide how they approach it, as long as they aren’t out there with cameras taking photos and the like, I will leave them to deal with it how they see fit.”

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Prediction: Tottenham will break its four-game slide with a powerful performance. Harry Kane and Christen Eriksen return to their best form, and Spurs leaves with a 3-1 win, despite some defensive worries. Stoke City misses a chance to move into the top 10. Tottenham 3-1 Stoke City