Fulham 2-1 West Ham: Kevin Nolan red card allows Fulham to ease by (video)

1 Comment

A level head from Kevin Nolan before halftime would have probably seen West Ham through, but instead he lost his cool and doomed his side to defeat with Fulham capitalizing for a big 3 points at Craven Cottage.

A pair of first-half goals cancelled out, and Nolan was sent off, allowing Fulham to grab a winner early in the second half through embattled striker Dimitar Berbatov.

Berbatov’s support was bright, getting a pair of chances in the first six minutes, but he was just offsides both times.

It was West Ham who would strike first however, on the break with Mohamed Diame getting the ball in traffic in the middle of the box, but no defenders challenge him tightly and his cut shot ripped past everyone for a seventh-minute opener.

The ball came all the way from Jussi Jaaskelainen in goal, with the keeper picking up an assist.

Fulham slowly built an attack, with some fantastic passing only halted again by the offsides flag in the 20th minute.

They needed help at the back again, however, as David Stockdale bailed out some more disastrous defending in the 24th minute and saved well from a free header by Kevin Nolan.

source: Getty Images
Steve Sidwell’s header on a corner allowed Fulham to draw level after West Ham’s early opener.

Fulham went back down and had another shot, a brilliant touch from Berbatov to flick on a cross but it was saved by Jaaskelainen. They pressed further for an equalizer, as Modibo Maiga cleared off the line when Fernando Amorebieta put a header on net off a corner.

It would be a corner that doomed West Ham’s lead though, as Steve Sidwell connected to put the header into the ground and up into the back of the net in the 32nd minute.

The equalizer transformed the home side into the aggressors, and Adel Taarabt hit the post just a minute later.

It would all change just a minute before the break, with Kevin Nolan completely needlessly tackling Amorebieta off the ball, and referee Mike Dean showed him a straight red card.

Fulham came out of the break pressing a man up, and it forced Jaaskelainen into serious work early.  The wet pitch played havoc with the attackers but they would finally get their goal for all the attacking play.

Alex Kacaniklic crossed the ball from the left edge of the box into the middle, and with Fulham having a numbers advantage in the penalty area, Scott Parker’s shot deflected and fell to Berbatov who tapped into the corner easily for the 2-1 lead.

West Ham slowly brought themselves back into possession, threatening a bit, and the Fulham defense again looked leaky but it wouldn’t come to pass for the visitors.

(MORE: Barclays Premier League standings)

The win pushes Fulham up to 15th pending other results, out of the relegation zone for the first time in months.  Sam Allardyce will likely face additional pressure now after the West Ham loss, with just one win in their last 10.


Fulham – Sidwell 32′; Berbatov 66′
West Ham – Diame 7′


West Ham – Nolan 44′


Fulham – Stockdale; Riether, Amorebieta, Senderos, Riise; Duff (Kasami 78′), Parker, Sidwell, Richardson (Richardson 56′); Taarabt (Bent 69′), Berbatov.

West Ham – Jaaskelainen, Demel, O’Brien, McCartney, Diarra, Noble (Rat 32′), Collison, Nolan, Diame (Downing 56′), Taylor, Maiga (Cole 69′).

Everton’s Moise Kean dropped due to discipline issues

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Everton striker Moise Kean was dropped for the 2-1 win at Southampton on Saturday after being late for a team meeting.

Kean, 19, was not in the Toffees squad for their first Premier League away victory since March and Sky Sports in the UK say that was because the Italian international has been having issues with his timekeeping.

Here’s some more information from our partners at Sky Sports News in the UK:

“The former Juventus forward was late for a team meeting and as a result was left out of the squad for the 2-1 Premier League victory at St Mary’s. Sky Sports News understands it is the second time Kean has been late for a team meeting.”

It is believed the player has apologized to Silva and his teammates for being late, but he does have previous, and not just with Everton. Italy boss Roberto Mancini left Kean out of the Azzurri squad in September after he and Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo were late for a team meeting at the U21 European Championships in the summer.

Somebody get Kean a new watch, or at least set a few more reminders on his phone!

Kean arrived at Goodison Park for $33 million this summer but has yet to score for the Toffees as Richarlison, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Cenk Tosun have all been preferred to him in the central strikers role.

This is a tough one. Kean is young and adapting to life in a new country, so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt, but rules are rules and Silva obviously runs a tight ship.

Southgate on Sterling punishment: “We are like a family”

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Gareth Southgate called an impromptu press conference at England’s St. George’s Park training base on Tuesday to discuss one thing.

Raheem Sterling v. Joe Gomez.

[ MORE: Sterling issues public apology ]

According to multiple reports, on Monday the Man City winger was sat in the players’ canteen at England’s training base when Gomez, the first of several Liverpool players to arrive, walked in and was laughing. Sterling then reportedly said “you’re the big man now are you?” and confronted Gomez, trying to grab him around the neck as the two were separated.

This all came after Sterling clashed with Gomez in Liverpool’s 3-1 win over City at Anfield on Sunday, as the England winger was booed heavily by the home fans and also clashed with England teammates Jordan Henderson and Trent-Alexander Arnold during the game.

After a tumultuous 24 hours, Southgate kept calm as he discussed why he had decided to punish Sterling by making him unavailable for the EURO 2020 qualifier against Montenegro on Thursday.

“I love all of my players. We are like a family. The important thing is for a family to communicate and work through problems,” Southgate said. “I don’t expect as a manager to not have to deal with issues. In the end I have to find the right solution for the group. That’s a difficult line, you try to be fair when dealing with all players. I won’t always get that right but I am the manager. Raheem is very important for us but I felt it was the right thing.”

Southgate has been criticized by the likes of Rio Ferdinand and other ex-England players for making the spat public, but others believe he has handled it well and sent a clear message out to the rest of his squad.

Sterling is England’s best player, on current form, so leaving him out is a big call for Southgate. England’s manager is a big fan of Sterling and has praised his ability on the pitch and his maturity off it in recent months.

But Sterling was wrong to go at Gomez and he has since admitted it on social media.

Southgate wanted to nip this in the bud and he is in full control of the situation. What damage this incident, and the way he reacted, does in the long-term remains to be seen. But Southgate is a man who sticks to his principles and he doesn’t want England’s players going at each other due to club matters.

If he sent out a weak message following Sterling’s actions it would have told the rest of the squad it was fine for them to act in a similar manner.

USL adds new team in Queens, David Villa involved

Leave a comment

David Villa is heading back to New York City.

This time as a club owner.

A second-tier side called Queensboro FC will begin play in the USL Championship in 2021 with Villa, 37, heading up a ownership group who are bringing the team to Queens.

In a statement to ESPN, the former NYCFC and Major League Soccer star is delighted to be part of setting up the new team which will play at York College in Queens.

“Bringing professional football to Queens’ diverse community is an exciting and unique opportunity,” Villa said. “The beautiful game already lives here, thanks to the melting pot of cultures who are so passionate about the sport. I can’t think of a better place for QBFC to grow. I’m proud to be part of this project.”

Villa spent four seasons with New York City FC and the Spanish national team legend was one of the best Designated Players in MLS history as he scored 82 goals in 130 appearances across all competitions. Villa is now heading back to the Big Apple to head up QBFC and you have to think there will be some kind of link-up with his former club in the future when it comes to giving NYCFC academy products playing minutes in a professional environment.

Jonathan Krane, CEO of New York City-based asset management company KraneShares, is leading the ownership group and Villa will be retired by 2021 (he currently plays for Vissel Kobe in Japan) when the team begins play, so he can take up a leading role.

Villa lived in Queens during his time playing for NYCFC and was heavily involved in the local community, setting up his own soccer academies and trying to help youngsters in Queens realize their dreams.

Queensboro FC will now be his next project as Villa’s strong connection with NYC continues.

Liverpool’s move for Ryan Fraser makes perfect sense

Leave a comment

Liverpool are said to be in talks with Bournemouth about signing Ryan Fraser in January.

The Scottish winger is out of contract next summer and talks over a new deal at Bournemouth have so far failed.

Fraser, 25, was a star for the Cherries last season but has only been a bit-part player so far this campaign (adding one goal and two assists) as Eddie Howe plans for a future without him and the tension surrounding his future hasn’t helped matters.

Per a report from talkSPORT in the UK, Liverpool winger Harry Wilson, who is currently on loan at Bournemouth, could make a permanent switch to the South Coast club in January in exchange for the Reds being able to sign Fraser. Per the report, it is expected Bournemouth would also want around $15 million from Liverpool, plus Wilson, for Fraser.

Does this move make sense for Liverpool? Absolutely.

The speedy winger was an assist machine last season, racking up 14 which was the second-highest in the Premier League. Fraser wouldn’t start ahead of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah or Roberto Firmino, but he would be a great option off the bench and to play in cup competitions. His style of play is also perfectly suited to Liverpool’s high-tempo and pacy counter attacking.

With Xherdan Shaqiri currently out injured and failing to break in as a regular for Liverpool last season, Fraser would jump ahead of him in the queue for minutes after Liverpool’s attacking trio.

If this move to Liverpool doesn’t work out then Fraser can of course ‘do an Aaron Ramsey‘ and start talking to non-English clubs in January about a free transfer next summer. That’s not something Bournemouth would want, so you can understand their eagerness to at least get a little cash and a promising young player to replace Fraser.

From Liverpool’s point of view, Fraser would be a great addition on the cheap and he still has the prime years of his career ahead of him.