Theo Walcott

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League Cup wrap: Sane saves Man City; Big boys roll (video)

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There were neither upsets nor much drama to be found as five European contenders joined the League Cup on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Pulisic scores 10th BVB goal ]

Man City needed to overcome a surprising late equalizer from Premier League hosts West Brom, and Arsenal’s finishing wasn’t up to par in the lone close score line of the day.

Blowouts dotted the landscape as second-choice and fuller-strength giants powered past lesser competition to reach the fourth round.


Everton 3-0 Sunderland

USMNT winger Lynden Gooch got a start for the Black Cats, who also had ex-Everton players James Vaughn, Jack Rodwell, and Darron Gibson on the pitch.

The familiarity didn’t stop Dominic Calvert-Lewin from giving the Toffees a first half lead, and buttressing the advantage with a second half marker. Oumar Niasse rounded out the scoring for Everton.

Chelsea 5-1 Nottingham Forest

Kenedy, Michy Batshuayi, and Charly Musonda scored first half goals. Batshuayi completed a brace after fine work from Eden Hazard in the second, then completed his hat trick late. Ex-Burnley man Tendayi Darikwa spoiled Chelsea’s clean sheet in second half stoppage.

For Musonda, it was this goal on his full senior debut.

Arsenal 1-0 Doncaster Rovers

Alexis Sanchez opened up the defense and found Theo Walcott to make it 1-0. That was all the Gunners needed to top Darren Ferguson’s League One side.

West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Manchester City

Leroy Sane put home an Ilkay Gundogan rebound in just the third minute, and avoided blushes for City after a late concession with an even later winner. Hal Robson-Kanu missed a point-blank shot deep into stoppage as City survived the Baggies’ fight back.

Here’s Claudio Yacob‘s surprising equalizer.

Manchester United 4-1 Burton Albion

The below statistic was accurate before Marcus Rashford added his second of the first half. Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial also scored for United, while Lloyd Dier ruined the Red Devils clean sheet minutes from full time.

 

Who needs what in the final days of the window?

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What does each club need to do in the final days of the transfer window?

[ MORE: All the latest transfer news ]

We take a look below with plenty of business to be done with just three days to go.

Remember, there is a live transfer window show on NBCSN from 5 p.m. ET on Thursday as the window slams shut at 6 p.m. ET.

Let’s dig in.


Arsenal
Needs: Center back, winger – The same as each window, they need a commanding defender and/or defensive midfielder. They will likely get another winger and a striker.
Key targets: Jonny Evans (West Brom), Raheem Sterling (Man City), Virgil Van Dijk (Southampton), Jean Seri (Nice)
Likely departures: Alexis Sanchez (Man City), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Chelsea, Liverpool), Theo Walcott (Southampton), Kieran Gibbs (West Brom)

Bournemouth
Needs: Winger – Eddie Howe‘s side have been lackluster in attack and that’s concerning. Adding an exciting winger could freshen things up.
Key targets: Demarai Gray (Leicester City)
Likely departures: None

Brighton & Hove Albion
Needs: Striker, defender – Chris Hughton‘s side will be tough to break down but Hemed and Murray need help up top.
Key targets: Oumar Niasse (Everton) Mathieu Debuchy (Arsenal)
Likely departures: None

Burnley
Needs: Center back, striker – James Tarkowski has slotted in well for Michael Keane but more cover at center back is necessary. A new striker would be handy too.
Key targets: Abdul Majid Waris (Lorient)
Likely departures: None

Chelsea
Needs: Central midfield, striker, winger – More depth is needed if Chelsea will challenge to win the PL and Champions League.
Key targets: Danny Drinkwater (Leicester City), Cedric (Southampton), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City), Fernando Llorente (Swansea), Virgil van Dijk (Southampton), Ross Barkley (Everton)
Likely departures: Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid)

Crystal Palace
Needs: Center back, striker – Frank De Boer needs new additions all over the pitch but defense is his most pressing concern.
Key targets: Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool), Jose Fonte (West Ham), Oumar Niasse (Everton)
Likely departures: Andros Townsend (Leicester City)

Everton
Needs: Striker, center back – Koeman has made it clear he wants a new striker but an audacious move for Diego Costa seems unlikely.
Key targets: Diego Costa (Chelsea), Nikola Vlasic (Hadjuk Split), Stefano Okaka (Watford)
Likely departures: Kevin Mirallas (Olympiakos), Ross Barkley (Chelsea)

Huddersfield Town
Needs: None – A rare case of the Terriers doing all of their business early in the window.
Likely arrivals: N/A
Likely departures: N/A

Leicester City
Needs: Winger, center back – The Foxes have leaked goals early in the season, albeit against top teams, but they continue to chase Jonny Evans.
Key targets: Jonny Evans (West Brom), Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace)
Likely departures: Riyad Mahrez (Chelsea, Roma), Demarai Gray (Bournemouth), Islam Slimani (Watford)

Liverpool
Needs: Center back, winger – The Reds need to strengthen their defense but a deal for van Dijk still seems unlikely.
Key targets: Virgil van Dijk (Southampton), Thomas Lemar (Monaco)
Likely departures: Divock Origi (Monaco), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona)

Manchester City
Needs: Striker, center back – Having another forward player seems excessive but who would put it past them to land Sanchez?
Key targets: Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Jonny Evans (West Brom)
Likely departures: Raheem Sterling (Arsenal), Eliaquim Mangala (West Brom)

Manchester United
Needs: Winger – All summer long Mourinho has been trying to sign one more wide player. Deals for Perisic and Bale seem a little too ambitious though, especially the way United’s wide players have started the season.
Key targets: Ivan Perisic (Inter Milan), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Serge Aurier (PSG)
Likely departures: None

Newcastle United
Needs: Striker, winger – Rafael Benitez has tried multiple times to get deals over the line during the summer but failed. Will he have late success?
Key targets: Divock Origi (Liverpool), Danny Ings (Liverpool), Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace) Vidar Orn Kjartansson (Maccabi Tel Aviv)
Likely departures: Dwight Gayle (Crystal Palace), Jack Colback (Hull City)

Southampton
Needs: Striker, attacking midfielder – The Saints need a bit of pace in attack. Could former forward Walcott return to St Mary’s? It is all about keeping hold of Virgil van Dijk, even though the Dutchman has handed in a transfer request
Key targets: Theo Walcott (Arsenal)
Likely departures: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal)

Stoke City
Needs: Striker, midfield – Still short on options up top, Mark Hughes may look to add a loan signing on deadline day.
Key targets: Vincent Janseen (Tottenham), Fabian Delph (Man City)
Likely departures: Giannelli Imbula (Torino)

Swansea City
Needs: Striker, midfielder – Seems like there is plenty of work left to do at Swansea as they aim to splash the Gylfi Sigurdsson cash.
Key targets: Wilfried Bony (Manchester City), Nacer Chadli (West Brom), Santiago Arias (PSV Eindhoven)
Likely departures: Fernando Llorente (Chelsea)

Tottenham Hotspur
Needs: Right back – More competition at right back seems to be the only area where Pochettino wants to strengthen.
Key targets: Serge Aurier (Paris Saint-Germain), Juan Foyth (Estudiantes)
Likely departures: Moussa Sissoko (Inter Milan)

Watford
Needs: Left back, striker – Marco Silva wants more firepower and a new left back in the final days of the window
Key targets: Alberto Moreno (Liverpool), Islam Slimani (Leicester City)
Likely departures: Stefano Okaka (Everton, West Brom), Jerome Sinclair

West Bromwich Albion
Needs: Left back, central midfield, striker – After a strong start Tony Pulis is trying to do some wheeling and dealing in the final days with three positions the focus.
Key targets: Kieran Gibbs (Arsenal), Stefano Okaka (Watford) Josef de Souza (Fenerbache)
Likely departures: Nacer Chadli (Swansea City)

West Ham United
Needs: Central midfield – Hammers will try to finish off their summer of spending with a new holding midfielder
Key targets: William Carvalho (Sporting Lisbon)
Likely departures: None

Man City make move for Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez

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We knew this was coming.

Manchester City have begin their late pursuit of Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez with just three days left in the summer transfer window.

[ MORE: PL Playback – Hot takes galore

It has been reported that Man City will make a straight cash offer for Sanchez, who has less than 12 months left on his contract, but Arsenal are reportedly asking for cash plus Raheem Sterling in the deal.

A transfer fee of around $75 million has been mentioned for Sanchez, who can start talks with clubs outside of England in January about a free transfer next summer. It seems increasingly likely he will not sign a new deal at Arsenal, so the Gunners may be forced to sell now or risk losing him for nothing.

Sanchez, 28, looked dejected during Arsenal’s 4-0 humbling at Liverpool on Sunday in his first appearance of the season after recovering from injury and a busy summer away on international duty with Chile.

He is currently away on international duty with Chile ahead of their 2018 World Cup qualifiers but Chilean media has reported that Sanchez has requested to leave the national team squad to sort out “personal business” in the next few days.

With Arsene Wenger insisting multiple times over the summer that Sanchez would not be sold, reports circulated late on Monday that Sanchez had handed in an official transfer request for the first time as he wants to force through a move away from the Emirates Stadium.

The striker, who scored 24 goals and added 10 assists in the PL last season, signed for current Man City boss Pep Guardiola when he was in charge of Barcelona back in 2011 and El Nino Maravilla is believed to want to work with Pep once again.

When it comes to this deal, Guardiola is known to be a big fan of Sterling who scored late goals against Everton and Bournemouth last week.

The England winger, 22, is currently on national team duty and Arsenal’s insistence that he is included in part of any deal for Sanchez says a lot about how Wenger feels about Alex Iwobi, Theo Walcott and Arsenal’s other current wide players with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain expected to leave in the next few days.

Sterling is said to be open to a move back home to London, so maybe there is some truth behind this.

Let’s see if Arsenal change their position on Sanchez to give one of the biggest potential deals of the summer some fresh momentum.

Player ratings: Arsenal v. Chelsea in Community Shield

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LONDON — Arsenal beat Chelsea on penalty kicks at Wembley on Sunday to win the Community Shield and clinch the first piece of silverware this season.

[ MORE: 3 things we learned ]

Arsene Wenger and Arsenal prevailed once again at Wembley with Saed Kolasinac popping up with a late equalizer and then Olivier Giroud scoring the winning penalty kick as the Gunners were perfect from the spot.

Below are the ratings out of 10 for each player who saw the field on Sunday as Arsenal beat their London rivals in an open, entertaining clash.


Arsenal

Petr Cech – 6 – Some slack passes which put his defense under pressure. Didn’t have much to do apart from that
Rob Holding – 7 – Another composed display from the young Englishman. Gets better each and every game
Per Mertesacker – 6 – Started well but forced off with a nasty head injury
Nacho Monreal – 7 – Solid enough in defense, especially when he switched to be the middle center back
Hector Bellerin – 6 – Added attacking prowess from right wing back and solid in defense despite some sloppy passes
Mohamed Elneny – 6 – Was fouled by Pedro for his red card and kept plugging away. Not his best display
Granit Xhaka – 7 – A growing influence in Arsenal’s midfield and forced Courtois into a stunning save
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7 – Whipped in some great crosses from left wing back, a role
Danny Welbeck – 8 – Full of running and was unlucky not to get a clear look at goal. Great link up play
Alex Iwobi – 6 – Some great trickery in the first half but faded in the second half
Alexandre Lacazette – 8 – Fine display as he hit the post, caused Chelsea plenty of issues and linked up superbly with Welbeck

Subs
Sead Kolasinac – 8 – Surging runs forward from left side of Arsenal’s defense and popped up with a vital equalizer. Great debut and looks a bargain
Theo Walcott (on for Iwobi, 67′) – 6 – Launched some counters and his pace always provides problems
Olivier Giroud (on for Lacazette, 66′) – 6 – Provided a presence up top and scored the winning PK
Reiss Nelson (on for Welbeck, 87′) – N/A – A few decent touches but hardly had time to get involved


Chelsea

Thibaut Courtois – 6 – Some shaky touches and clearances and despite his PK miss in the shootout made a world-class save from Xhaka
Cesar Azpilicueta – 5 – Uncharacteristically shaky display. Booked for hauling down Welbeck in the first half and struggled
David Luiz – 6 – Was cool and calm, sometimes too much as he put his defense under pressure. Solid enough display
Gary Cahill – 6 – Great header to set up Moses and was in the wars after clattering Mertesacker, then his teammate Luiz. Great PK in penalty kicks
Victor Moses – 6 – Lovely finish for the goal but
Cesc Fabregas – 5 – Failed to really get a grip on the game and was bullied at times by Xhaka and Elneny
N'Golo Kante – 7 – Chelsea’s standout player, once again, as he launched counter attacks time and time again. Superb
Marcos Alonso – 5 – Caught early on by Bellerin and was subbed in second half. Some wild crosses and caught out in defense
Willian – 6 – Always lively on the ball but the final cross or pass was lacking at times. Typical speedy pest
Michy Batshuayi – 5 – Isolated for most of this game and failed to improve his chances of becoming a regular
Pedro – 5 – Really silly sending off to put his team under pressure but caused Arsenal problems in first half

Subs
Alvaro Morata (on for Batshuayi, 74′) – 6 – Missed one chance at the back post and
Antonio Rudiger (on for Alonso, 72′) – 5 – Difficult to come on at that time and has his back against the wall
Charly Musonda (on for Willian, 82′) – N/A – Had little time to get on the ball

Three things we learned from Arsenal, Chelsea

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LONDON — Arsenal beat Chelsea on penalty kicks at Wembley on Sunday to clinch the FA Community Shield in the curtain-raiser for the 2017-18 season.

Victor Moses‘ goal less than a minute into the second half put Chelsea ahead but Arsenal equalized late on with Sead Kolasinac heading home moments after Pedro was sent off for Chelsea.

The game went straight to penalty kicks, using the new ABBA system, after it ended 1-1 in normal time and Arsenal scored all four of their penalty kicks with Thibaut Courtois smashing over and Alvaro Morata scuffing wide for Chelsea.

Arsenal impressed for plenty of the game as new signing Alexandre Lacazette hit the post and Danny Welbeck also caused plenty of problems.

In the end Arsene Wenger got the better of Antonio Conte once again as Arsenal picked up the first piece of silverware of the season and beat Chelsea at Wembley just like they did in May to win the FA Cup.

Here’s what we learned from Wembley on a sunny Sunday less than a week before the new Premier League season begins.


LACAZETTE, WELBECK PROMISE PLENTY

Without Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in their squad, you could forgive Arsenal for looking lackluster in attack. That wasn’t the case.

New club-record signing Alexandre Lacazette displayed enough energy, ability to find pockets of space and ingenuity to suggest the $68.7 million Arsenal paid for Lyon is money well spent.

Lacazette know as “La Gachette” or the Trigger in France sparked a wonderful counter attack in the 22nd minute, spinning away from his marker to link up with Hector Bellerin and then Danny Welbeck in a sweeping move from right to left which ended with Lacazette composing himself before sending a curled effort which cannoned off the post and out. You could be forgiven for thinking a former French international striker was back on the pitch for the Gunners.

Thierry Henry comparisons aside, Lacazette, 26, is in his prime and appears to be exactly what Arsenal have needed ever since Robin Van Persie departed in 2012. He is more than just a pure finisher with plenty of tracking back and dropping deep to get on the ball, cutting in from wide positions, but “Trigger” also had a wiling runner alongside him in Welbeck who he could link up with and he also provided Chelsea plenty of problems with his runs in-behind.

In a summer dominated by the future’s of Sanchez and Ozil, Arsene Wenger may well have found his new strike partnership mid all the fuss. With Sanchez, Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott all able to play centrally too, the Gunners have plenty of fine attacking options heading into the season. On this showing Lacazette and Welbeck may provide the best balance with Ozil and Sanchez battling for places to support them. Of course they’ll both play, but adding them to the starting lineup and keeping the balance of their attack will be an intriguing dilemma for Wenger.

With Shkodran Mustafi, Sanchez, Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere to come into this team, the Gunners’ squad is looking incredibly strong. With Kolasinac jumping off the bench to head home a late equalizer they have another solid option in defense too and since switching to a 3-4-3 formation seem more sturdy and have a knack of digging out results.

Maybe, just maybe, Arsenal will surprise plenty this season with a squad big enough to have two different teams in the PL and the Europa League. Expectations are perhaps lower than ever among Arsenal’s fans which is a strange thing, but maybe it will help them flourish.


CHELSEA SLUGGISH

For most of the first half Chelsea struggled to connect passes, put themselves under pressure in defense and took loose touches in the final third. Antonio Conte’s lacked sharpness in the first half but soon came alive in the second with Moses gambling off Gary Cahill‘s flick to finish well.

That woke Chelsea up and just as we saw last season when opponents pushed hard to get back into the game, Chelsea began to pick Arsenal off on the counter with N'Golo Kante running the counters from midfield.

Overall it was a groggy display and far from vintage as Chelsea missed the creative spark of the injured Eden Hazard and the guile of soon to depart Diego Costa. For much of preseason that’s been the case for Conte’s side with new signings Tiemoue Bakayoko, Antonio Rudiger and Alvaro Morata not starting on Sunday at Wembley.

Bakayoko is working his way back to full fitness, while Rudiger and Morata are slotting in after arriving late in preseason. With Bakayoko, Morata and Hazard all likely to become starters in this team, Conte knows his Chelsea side a month from now will be very different to the one which recovered from a sluggish start at Wembley on Sunday. They were perhaps aided by Per Mertesacker‘s head injury which forced Arsenal into a defensive reshuffle, but as they game wore on you could see their ruthless streak returning.

Then came a minute of madness as Pedro received a straight red card and they then switched off to allow Kolasniac to head home from a set piece situation, something which hurt the Blues during their title-winning campaign. Courtois and Morata then missed their penalty kicks with more lapses of concentration which will leave Conte wide-awake for a few nights ahead of the new season.

The reigning champs can’t afford to start the season as sluggishly as they started, and finished, the Community Shield.


MORATA’S ABSENCE TELLING

In the week Antonio Conte revealed that Alvaro Morata, Chelsea’s club-record signing who is supposed to deliver the goals lost from Diego Costa’s impending departure, “has to improve his condition a lot to adapt quickly into our team.”

Morata, 24, played for Conte at Juventus and knows what the Italian coach is all about, but it appears the early signs for him at Chelsea haven’t been great.

With Michy Batshuayi a bystander for most of this game, it’s clear he will be nothing more than a second central striking option for Chelsea this season. Morata replaced Batshuayi with 20 minutes to go and received a standing ovation from Chelsea’s supporters. The expectancy on his shoulders is clear.

Conte will rely on the towering Spaniard to score at least 20 goals and he showed his penchant for that as he first peeled off Arsenal’s defense and connected with Willian‘s searching cross to the far post but he couldn’t get a proper connection on it.

In stoppage time he then won a free kick cleverly and from the resulting set piece he nodded Cesc Fabregas’ cross wide but was offside. Morata looked lively but you can understand why Conte seems concerned about his fitness.

His scuffed penalty kick summed up his slack start to life at Stamford Bridge for the $90 million man.