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Rodriguez racial abuse charge found “not proven”

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West Brom striker Jay Rodriguez will not face punishment for an alleged racist incident against Brighton and Hove Albion.

The Gulls’ Gaetan Bong claimed that Rodriguez racially abused him during a Jan. 13 match, and Rodriguez was charged by the Football Association.

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Fired manager Alan Pardew reportedly spoke up for Rodriguez at the hearing, after which the charge was found to be “not proven.”

The club released a statement following the verdict, with West Brom director of football administration Richard Garlick saying:

“Everyone at the Club is delighted for Jay because this has been a trying period for him. He has always maintained his innocence and we are naturally pleased the Commission has dismissed the charge.”

PL roundup: Man Utd best Liverpool; Newcastle safe?

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Get caught up on all seven Premier League fixtures from Saturday…

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Manchester United 2-1 LiverpoolFULL RECAP

It wasn’t pretty — is it ever with Jose Mourinho? — but Man United rode a pair of early Marcus Rashford goals to all three points and reclamation of the steering wheel in the race for second place. Rashford scored after 14 and 24 minutes, at which point United gladly handed over the vast majority of possession (Liverpool finished with 68 percent, at Old Trafford), but the Red Devils held firm outside of Eric Bailly‘s own goal in the 66th minute. With eight games still to play, United lead Liverpool by five points (Tottenham Hotspur could get back to within four with a win on Sunday).

Chelsea 2-1 Crystal PalaceFULL RECAP

Antonio Conte‘s Chelsea snapped a two-game losing skid with a narrow home victory over Crystal Palace, courtesy of a slow roller from Willian and a Martin Kelly own goal inside the first 32 minutes at Stamford Bridge. Patrick Van Aanholt brought the visitors back to 2-1 in the 90th minute, the Blues held on to win for just the second time in six PL outings. They trail Tottenham by two points, having already played one more game than Spurs.

West Ham United 0-3 BurnleyFULL RECAP

West Ham’s season has gone from bad, to worse, to this has to be the worst it can get, right? Saturday’s 3-0 home defeat to seventh-place Burnley saw the London Stadium devolve into a set of truly ugly scenes, as fan violence and protests became the main storyline. Chris Wood scored twice in the second half, to go with another goal from Ashley Barnes, all in the span of 15 second-half minutes.

Newcastle United 3-0 SouthamptonFULL RECAP

Back in August — and September, and October, and probably November, too — Newcastle United seemed a surefire lock for relegation from the PL. Fast-forward to early March, and Rafa Benitez has somehow — masterfully — managed to guide the Magpies to 13th place in the league table, a full five points clear of 18th place. Southampton, on the other hand, are just one place and one point clear of the drop zone after a brace from Kenedy and a third from Matt Ritchie dropped Saints to four games without a win on Saturday.

West Bromwich Albion 1-4 Leicester CityFULL RECAP

West Brom aren’t likely to realize the same rescue from relegation that Newcastle have enjoyed, as Alan Pardew‘s side currently sits bottom of the league, eight points away from safety, after another humiliating defeat at home, this time to eighth-place Leicester. Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, Kelechi Iheanacho and Vicente Iborra got the goals after Salomon Rondon had put the Baggies 1-0 up after eight minutes.

Everton 2-0 Brighton & Hove AlbionFULL RECAP

Speaking of sides who managed to rebound after a torrid start to the season, Everton have reclaimed their (apparent) birthright as a top-half side following Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Brighton. Gaetan Bong put the Seagulls behind with an own goal on the hour mark, followed by an insurance goal for the Toffees courtesy of Cenk Tosun.

Huddersfield Town 0-0 Swansea CityFULL RECAP

15th-place Huddersfield and 14th-place Swansea played to perhaps the most lopsided 0-0 draw in the history of soccer after Jordan Ayew was sent off in the 11th minute.

Sunday’s PL schedule

Arsenal vs. Watford — 9:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com
Bournemouth vs. Tottenham Hotspur — 12 p.m. ET, on NBCSports.com

Monday’s PL schedule

Stoke City vs. Manchester City — 4 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Everton 2-0 Brighton and Hove Albion: Toffees rebound

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  • Bong o.g. opens scoring
  • Tosun makes it 2-0
  • Everton rises ninth

Cenk Tosun scored to help Everton arrest its slump with a 2-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion at Goodison Park on Saturday.

Gaetan Bong also recorded an own goal against Brighton and Hove Albion, which fails to pass Everton and sits 11th with 34 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Everton had a pair of penalty shouts, with Tom Davies taken down  in the box and Yannick Bolasie as well. Neither was clear-cut, but an award would not have been absurd.

The goal was coming, and the Toffees found it via a Yannick Bolasie cross for Theo Walcott which was turned into the goal by Walcott’s marker, Bong.

Tosun got Big Sam a goal off an Everton man, with Leighton Baines combining beautifully with the Turkish striker to give Everton a two-goal lead.

Mat Ryan stopped Wayne Rooney‘s late penalty to prevent an inflated score line.

Anthony Knockaert was sent off late for a studs-up tackle.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Jay Rodriguez charged with alleged racial abuse

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West Bromwich Albion striker Jay Rodriguez has been charged with alleged racial abuse by the English Football Association

The incident occurred during a 2-0 win for West Brom against Brighton & Hove Albion on Jan. 13 and involved the Seagulls’ left back Gaetan Bong.

In a statement released on Thursday the FA alleged Rodriguez “used abusive and/or insulting words which included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race.”

At the time of the incident the officials didn’t act on the claims from Bong but it was noted after the game and the FA has been looking into the matter over the past few weeks.

West Brom released the following statement saying that they fully support Rodriguez who has until February 16 to respond.

Albion remain fully supportive of Jay Rodriguez after he was charged by the FA following an incident during the club’s Premier League victory over Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, January 13.

It is alleged the Baggies striker used abusive and/or insulting words which included a reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race. Richard Garlick, Albion’s Director of Football Administration, said: “As a Club we remain fully supportive and committed to backing Jay throughout this process.”

Rodriguez responded with the following Tweet, which clearly states he will appeal against this FA charge.

Premier League Tuesday: Rivalry renewed (video)

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Midweek fixtures in the Premier League break up the work week, even as they cause headaches for managers and players alike.

[ MORE: What’s next for Matt Miazga? ]

Tuesday dishes up four appetizers for Wednesday’s sextet of fixtures, beginning with a tasty derby down South.

Brighton and Hove Albion vs. Crystal Palace — 2:45 p.m. ET

A heated rivalry which has been very even throughout history, the Gulls have a two-win edge on the Eagles over 104 matches. They last met in the 2013 Championship playoff, with Palace winning 2-0 over two legs; The stakes a just a tad lower this go-round given the time of year, but Palace is improving — 2-2-2 in its last six after a historically bad start — and would love to use a derby win to escape the drop zone for the first time this season.

Leicester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur — 2:45 p.m. ET

Mauricio Pochettino isn’t playing down Spurs’ four-match slump in form, saying the club’s title hopes would sink into desperation with another loss. Leicester is up to 12th, and will certainly recall the 6-1 spanking Spurs laid on them to end 2016-17. Erik Lamela is available for Spurs for the first time in a year.

Watford vs. Manchester United — 3 p.m. ET

United dodged a bullet when it learned Romelu Lukaku would not face a ban for a pair of kicks aimed at Brighton back Gaetan Bong. Now they’ll face a Watford side which looked quite dangerous in clobbering Newcastle away.

West Bromwich Albion vs. Newcastle United — 3 p.m. ET

It’s a relegation six-pointer at the Hawthorns, with West Brom hoping to stay unbeaten since the sacking of Tony Pulis. The Baggies’ draw at Tottenham will give them more confidence than the visitors, who have lost four straight including the aforementioned blowout against Watford. Newcastle knows it’s under-manned, but is targeting six points from its next six to keep a safety pace.