Jose Mourinho has come under heavy scrutiny in recent days and weeks, as his Manchester United side crashed out of the Champions League this week and continue to trail runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City by 16 points, yet the Portuguese is perhaps just 180 minutes from finishing the 2017-18 with a major trophy anyway.
Man United got the best of Brighton & Hove Albion, to the tune of 2-0 at Old Trafford on Saturday, to book their spot at Wembley Stadium in the semifinals of the FA Cup. Romelu Lukaku scored the winning goal not long before halftime, with United grinding out another laborious result with superstars Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez glued to the bench for the whole of 90 minutes.
United enjoyed a healthy 61 percent of possession in the game, but were out-shot by the 12th-place side in the PL by a sizable margin, 16-8 (4-2 on target).
Lukaku’s rampage through the FA Cup continued in the 37th minute, as the big Belgian striker bagged not only his 23rd goal of the season in all competitions, but his fifth of the tournament thus far and extended his record of having scored in each round to four games.
Nemanja Matic floated a cross from the let side of the box to the back post, where Lukaku had created a yard or two of space for himself. Tim Krul didn’t come out to catch it, and Lukaku headed it just under the crossbar to give the Old Trafford faithful reason to smile again.
Romelu Lukaku puts Man United ahead 1-0 just before halftime!
It was Matic who got on the end of another back-post ball, this one from an Ashley Young free kick, in the 84th minute to put United two goals ahead and secure the club’s second FA Cup semifinals appearance in seven seasons (United enjoyed a run of five final-four appearances out of eight in the years prior).
Matic heads it home for United's second of the match!
Glenn Murray played hero again as he claimed an 88th minute winner in a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup.
The 34-year-old came on in the 81st minute and scored just seven minutes later, claiming a slight touch off Uwe Hünemeier’s outstanding header to the far post. It’s the seventh goal for Murrah this season and fifth FA Cup goal in his career.
28-year-old Dale Stephens bagged his first goal of the season 25 minutes in to open the scoring as he touched brilliantly near the top of the box to skip by a defender and struck just under the armpit of Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey from a tight angle, a fully deserved lead for the Seagulls after holding nearly 70% of possession through the opening half-hour. It’s the first goal for Stephens in any competition for over a year, most recently finding the back of the net in Championship play against Blackburn Rovers last December.
Despite their possessional disadvantage, the Palace midfield continued to muck up the game, but the visitors to Falmer Stadium couldn’t manage a decent spell on the ball. After the break, however, the visitors looked more involved, and with 20 minutes to go Bakary Sakho brought Palace back level with a knuckler that bent away from a diving Tim Krul and into the back of the net.
The goal invigorated the visitors, and Sakho nearly had another from the same spot just minutes later, but he went for the near post and hit the side netting. Brighton, working with just two substitutions for much of the game due to an injury to Izzy Brown in just the sixth minute, still held a significant shot advantage and nearly went back in front down the other end as Hennessey saved a powerful effort by the substitute Sam Baldock, while Beram Kayal skied over the bar despite all day to shoot in the middle of the box. Baldock also launched over the bar on a one-on-one breakaway in the 82nd minute.
Brighton grabbed the winner with just two minutes until full-time as Hünemeier got his head to a free-kick, directing it perfectly to the inside of the far post. It likely would have gone in either way, but Murray charged it down to make sure the ball went in, and replays showed the ball grazed his knee on its way in.
Glenn Murray claims it! Brighton retake the lead with just a few minutes left on the clock. https://t.co/tNJitCM7bP
Crystal Palace wouldn’t go down without a fight, as they pushed one more attack, but the hosts kept the ball out somehow as the final whistle went. With a way to the 4th round, Brighton will take on Middlesbrough at Riverside Stadium.
9:04 p.m. ET – Liverpool has finally confirmed the sale of Mamadou Sakho to Crystal Palace. We’re going to call it a night.
8:52 p.m. ET – Drinkwater’s move to Chelsea is complete, and Leicester says it has received a record haul. Separate reports say the Foxes are comfortable that Adrien Silva’s $29 million arrival will go through.
8:00 p.m. ET – Vincent Janssen has reportedly turned down a move to Brighton and Hove Albion, depriving the club of their much-wanted striker.
Also, Sky Sports is reporting that Diego Costa may still make a move to Atletico Madrid with La Liga’s transfer window not closing until Friday. Atleti can buy Costa, but they cannot register him until January due to a transfer ban.
7:21 p.m. ET – Still waiting on several moves, including the assumed Mamadou Sakho to Palace reunion.
6:43 p.m. ET – Brighton and Hove Albion have reportedly requested an extension in order to land striker Vincent Janssen from Tottenham.
6:26 p.m. ET – Also announced by the buyers: Davide Zappacosta from Torino to Chelsea, Molla Wague and Orestis Karnezis on loan from Udinese to Watford, and Ezequiel Schelotto from Inter Milan to Brighton and Hove Albion.
6:13 p.m. ET – The BBC is reporting that Leicester has requested a two-hour extension to get its Adrien Silva deal over the line, while Swansea City’s cat is well and truly out of the bag.
UPDATE: Spurs have announced the purchase of Llorente, and Swans have revealed Bony’s return.
6 p.m. ET – Nothing major as the deadline hits, though we wait to hear whether moves for Danny Drinkwater and Riyad Mahrez make it across the line. If deal sheets have been submitted, teams have a couple hours to get the rest of the paperwork done.
Hopefully your team feels more positive than the back page of the Newcastle Chronicle:
5:28 p.m. ET – Here’s a jaw-dropping story, one that actually lowered Robbie Mustoe’s mandible. Ross Barkley showed up at Chelsea for his medical, but left midway through the medical. He could still move in January, or sign a pre-contract then and ride out the final few months at Goodison Park, which will not make him friends amongst his boyhood club.
4:57 p.m. ET – Danny Drinkwater is ready to go to Chelsea. In fact, he’s already at the club’s training facility. But according to Sky Sports sources, the midfielder is “awaiting permission from Leicester to undergo a last-minute medical.”
4:42 p.m. ET – Arsenal has Tweeted out the fate of a CONCACAF star, as Costa Rica’s Joel Campbell will spend another season on loan at Real Betis.
2:34 p.m. ET – The deals keep on coming with Leicester loaning out midfielder Nampalys Mendy to Nice for the season, Watford bringing in Molla Wague on a season-long loan from Udinese and Stoke loaning out Bojan to La Liga side Alaves for the 2017-18 season.
2:25 p.m. ET – What is the latest with Arsenal’s move for Thomas Lemar? Well, brace yourself Gunners fans. Drum rollllll please…. It’s off. Apparently Lemar has decided he doesn’t want to play for a team not in the UEFA Champions League, and therefore Liverpool’s move for Alexis Sanchez also appears to be in jeopardy. Monaco were said to have accepted the bid of $118 million, but Lemar wanted more time to think about the deal. And, oh yeah, Lemar is starting for France in their crucial World Cup qualifier against the Netherlands at the Stade de France which kicks off in about 20 minutes.
2:18 p.m. ET – Arsenal have loaned Lucas Perez back to Deportivo La Coruna, the club they bought him from for $21.9 million last summer. Perez, 28, scored seven goals in 21 appearances for the Gunners last season but made just seven appearances in the Premier League.
1:40 p.m. ET – Non-Premier League news here, but Kylian Mbappe has signed for Paris Saint-Germain from Monaco on a season-long loan deal which can become permanent next summer for $214 million. Mbappe, 18, joins Neymar at PSG but Les Parisiens may be in trouble with UEFA as the deal for Mbappe may breach Financial Fair Player rules. Let’s see what happens but Mbappe’s arrival is a massive moment for PSG.
1:20 p.m. ET – We have another DONE DEAL in the Premier League. Just the sixth signing by a PL club today. Dutch left back Marvin Zeegelaar, 27, has arrived at Watford from Sporting Lisbon on a four-year deal. The Ajax academy product played in the UEFA Champions League for Sporting last season and Marco Silva was searching far and wide for a new left back. Job done.
1:10 p.m. ET – Virgil Van Dijk has left Southampton’s training ground but it doesn’t appear to be for the last time. Below is the latest on VVD as Pro Soccer Talk understands there has been “no change” in his situation as Southampton do not want to sell him this summer. Saints stay strong.
1:05 p.m. ET – As we enter the final stretch, speculation regarding two Leicester players heading to Chelsea seem to be the biggest talking point. According to beIN Sport Chelsea have had a $58 million bid for Mahrez accepted by Leicester, while Conte’s men have also put in yet another bid for Danny Drinkwater. Let’s see how this one plays out, but one thing we do know is that N'Golo Kante is clearly now in charge of sorting out transfers at Chelsea.
12:50 p.m. ET – For those of you out there desperate to see your club make a big signing in the final hours of the window, there is just over FIVE HOURS to go. With that in mind, here’s a little musical inspiration from Journey…
12:25 p.m. ET – DRAMA! Thomas Lemar is apparently not too keen on joining Arsenal despite the Gunners putting in a $118 million bid to Monaco for the French international winger. Sky Sports claim that Lemar, 21, wants to join Liverpool because he wants to play in the UEFA Champions League. It doesn’t appear likely that Liverpool will come back in for Lemar though…
12 p.m. ET – Manchester City’s talented teenage star Jadon Sancho has joined Borussia Dortmund for a fee believed to be $13 million. Sancho was chased by Chelsea and Arsenal but the England youth team star has decided to head to the Bundesliga. Dortmund have given him Ousmane Dembele’s old No. 7 shirt too.
11:30 a.m. ET – As we approach midday on the east coast of the USA, let’s focus in on what each Premier League team needs in the final SIX HOURS of the window. Think of it as a checklist to see which clubs are doing the best business in the final hours of the window. Tick-tock…
10:30 a.m. ET – Reports state that Crystal Palace have bid $23.1 million for Man City center back Eliaquim Mangala. The French international joined Man City from FC Porto in the summer of 2014 for $54 million but was loaned out to Valencia last season and is not in Pep Guardiola‘s plans. Palace have had bids turned down for Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho, so Frank De Boer is obviously in the market for a center back.
10:15 a.m. ET – Okay, is everyone alright out there? It is time to catch our breath and round up the DONE DEALS so far on Deadline Day in the Premier League…
Orestis Karnezis arrives at Watford from Udinese on season-long loan
Stoke’s Gianneli Imbula joins Toulouse on season-long loan
10:07 a.m. ET – Divock Origi has left Liverpool to join Bundesliga side Wolfsburg on a season-long loan. It is believed Wolfsburg will pay $8.5 million for the loan deal. The Belgian forward has moved down the pecking order at Anfield and in a World Cup year he knows he will have plenty of competition to make Belgium’s World Cup squad.
9:55 a.m. ET – DONE DEAL! Burnley have signed Nahki Wells from Huddersfield Town on a three-year deal. The Bermudian international striker has arrived at Turf Moor for a fee believed to be in the region of $6.4 million. He helped the Terriers gain promotion to the Premier League last season but after suffering an ankle injury in preseason he has also moved down the pecking order at the John Smith’s Stadium with Steve Mounie and others ahead of him. Wells will add something different to Burnley’s attack alongside powerful forwards Ashley Barnes and Sam Vokes.
9:51 a.m. ET – Chelsea making moves! Reports out of Italy state that Davide Zappacosta (how cool is that name!?) will arrve frm Torino in a $30 million deal. The right back will provide competition for Victor Moses. The last full back Antonio Conte signed from an Italian side on Deadline Day (Marcos Alonso from Fiorentina last summer) worked out pretty well for the Blues… More details on Zappa (his new nickname, obviously) below.
9:32 a.m. ET – Stoke City have confirmed that midfielder Giannelli Imbula, who arrived from Porto in February 2016 for $23.5 million, has joined Ligue 1 side Toulouse on a season-long loan deal. Safe to say is move to Stoke has never really worked out.
9:12 a.m. ET – Another DONE DEAL on Deadline Day and it is one of the biggest in Swansea’s history. Paul Clement has pulled off a real coup by getting Renato Sanches in on loan from Bayern Munich. Sanches, 20, signed for Bayern from Benfica last summer for over $36 million but barely featured for Carlo Ancelotti and now Clement, the former Bayern assistant coach, has beat the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Juventus to sign Sanches. What a deal and a great replacement for Gylfi Sigurdsson. It is believed Swansea will pay a loan fee of less than $6 million for Sanches for the season.
9:08 a.m. ET – Watford have signed goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis on a season-long loan from sister club Udinese. The Greece goalkeeper will provide cover for Heurelho Gomes.
9 a.m. ET – Wilfried Bony‘s nightmare at Man City could soon be over. A fee of $18 million has reportedly been agreed for the Ivory Coast forward to return to the club he left in January 2015. Bony, 28, scored 26 goals in 54 Premier League goals in an 18-month spell at Swansea in the past and it looks like he will return to South Wales to replace the outgoing Fernando Llorente. That seems like a decent deal if Bony can regain his confidence and form.
8:50 a.m. ET – Some BIG NEWS coming through as multiple reports claim that Manchester City have offered over $77 million for Alexis Sanchez. The Arsenal star, who of course has less than 12 months to run on his contract, is currently on international duty with Chile in South America. The reports also claim that Thomas Lemar will be heading to Arsenal to replace Sanchez and that the Gunners have asked City for extra time to get that deal in place. Wow.
8:20 a.m. ET – The Telegraph is reporting that Arsenal have renewed their interest in Paris Saint-Germain winger Julian Draxler. Does that mean Manchester City have made a break through for Alexis Sanchez?
8:15 a.m. ET – Fernando Llorente is said to be close to joining Tottenham Hotspur over Chelsea in a $18 million. It looks likely the Spaniard will leave Swansea City today with the veteran forward still recovering from a broken arm he suffered on a family vacation in the summer. Spurs beating Chelsea to a transfer target will not make Antonio Conte a happy man…
8:10 a.m. ET – Now, to the latest onRiyad Mahrez’s future at Leicester City seems in jeopardy. The Algerian winger was released from the national team ahead of their World Cup qualifier in Zambia. Social media is awash with rumors about where Mahrez has flown to with Paris, Barcelona and Chelsea all mentioned to be the destination for the 26-year-old. Leicester reportedly say that no fresh bids for Mahrez have arrived. Intriguing…
8:05 a.m. ET – Andddd let’s continue with the DONE DEALS, shall we? Serge Aurier has signed for Tottenham Hotspur from Paris Saint-Germain for $30 million. The 24-year-old right back has signed a five-year deal at Spurs after being granted a work permit in the UK. Aurier, who comes with plenty of baggage, is currently away on national team duty with the Ivory Coast but this is what he had to say about the move.
“This is a huge and exciting opportunity at a massive football club and I am determined to prove myself as a professional both on and off the pitch,” Aurier said. “This is a fresh start for me and I will do everything to make the Spurs fanbase, which is huge and diverse, proud of me. The fans are the most important people at any club and I am looking forward to showing them and everyone at Spurs the real Serge Aurier.”