Premier League Roundup: Chelsea stay top, Arsenal slip up, Liverpool go second

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An incredible Saturday of action played out, as goals and controversy were present in every single game.

Chelsea raced four points clear at the top with a win over Fulham, Arsenal lost away at Stoke as their title hopes took a huge hit and Liverpool dispatched a spirited Southampton team 3-0 at St. Mary’s.

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Elsewhere Newcastle beat Hull handsomely, although manager Alan Pardew is in serious trouble after appearing to headbutt Hull midfielder David Meyler. And Everton scored late to beat West Ham.

In case you missed any of the action on Saturday, here’s a neatly wrapped package of all the recaps, analysis and video highlights of every game. Let’s get to it.

Everton 1-0 West Ham United

For large swathes of this match West Ham looked to be extending their unbeaten run to six Premier League, but then Romelu Lukaku came off the bench after being out injured and bagged the winner in the final 10 minutes. Everton are steady in sixth and still have outside hopes of making the top four, while the Hammers are looking a lot better.

Fulham 1-3 Chelsea

Chelsea’s hero was Andre Schurrle on Saturday, as the German international bagged a second half hat trick to make send Chelsea four points clear at the top of the standings. A poor first half from Chelsea saw Fulham have plenty of chances, one of which came from U.S. international Clint Dempsey who headed wide. In the second half Eden Hazard tore Fulham apart as he set up Schurrle’s first two goals. Are Chelsea title favorites? Jose Mourinho still doesn’t think so, as he believes his sides lead have a “fake advantage” over Manchester City.

Hull City 1-4 Newcastle United

Newcastle surged to a massive win away at Hull City, but the huge three points was overshadowed after Magpies boss Alan Pardew was sent off for an apparent headbutt on Hull midfielder David Meyler. Apart from that unsavory incident, two goals from Moussa Sissoko and a goal each from Vernon Anita and Loic Remy cancelled out Curtis Davies header.

Southampton 0-3 Liverpool

Saints started well and looked to be pinning Liverpool back but Luis Suarez finished superbly after a fortunate break found the ball at his feet in the first half. Adam Lallana hit the post for Saints as the home side battled well and dominated large spells but in the second half a goal from Raheem Sterling sealed Liverpool’s win. A last-minute penalty, converted by Steven Gerrard, padded the Reds’ goal difference even more, as they lifted themselves past Arsenal and into second place.

Stoke City 1-0 Arsenal

Arsenal slipped up away at Stoke City, as the Potters added another big scalp at the Britannia Stadium. Jonathan Walters scored the game-winner from the penalty spot after 70 minutes as the Gunners looked lackluster throughout. Late on Yaya Sanogo missed a sitter as Arsene Wenger’s side are slipping out of the title race.

Report: Toronto to send Giovinco to Tigres for Valencia, cash

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An Mexican site reports that Tigres UANL is ready to send Enner Valencia and cash to Toronto FC to land Sebastian Giovinco.

Normally that’s seem a bit wild for TFC to send their perennial MLS MVP candidate packing, but the club has been hesitant to meet Giovinco’s terms on a new contract.

[ MORE: PL Manager Power Rankings ]

And Valencia is nearly three years younger and a bit bigger than Giovinco.

Valencia scored in bunches for Tigres after arriving from West Ham, scoring nine goals with an assist in 16 Apertura matches including three multi-goal games. He then saw his numbers dip to two goals and three assists in 11 Clausura appearances.

Giovinco, meanwhile, has six goals and six assists in 15 matches between MLS and the CONCACAF Champions League.

It would be a significant risk for TFC, though the idea of pairing up Enner Valencia and Jozy Altidore is a physical nightmare for MLS defenses.

Whoops! Unai Emery puts up Arsenal message on web site

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Arsenal’s next manager is very close to being officially Unai Emery.

That is unless, the Gunners’ brass has its mind changed by his sloppy web savvy.

[ MORE: Brighton nabs World Cup defender ]

Emery — or his people, or hackers — mistakenly put up a graphic featuring the Spanish coach, the Arsenal logo, and the phrase “Proud to be a part of the Arsenal family” before taking it down in short order.

Emery is expected to take over for Arsene Wenger at the Emirates Stadium this summer. Something tells us we’ll have an announcement on Wednesday or even later tonight…

State TV: Ghana president orders arrest of FIFA executive

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ACCRA, Ghana (AP) Ghana President Nana Akufo-Addo on Monday ordered police to arrest football federation head Kwesi Nyantakyi, a member of the powerful FIFA Council, over allegations of fraud.

Akufo-Addo’s order was announced by the state-run Ghana Broadcasting Corporation.

[ MORE: Brighton nabs World Cup defender ]

Abu Jinapor, deputy chief of staff at the president’s office, said the order for Nyantakyi to be arrested and investigated related to an undercover documentary that purports to show the football official asking businessmen for money in return for access to the president and other senior government officials.

“It was a clear case of defrauding by false pretense,” Jinapor said, adding that Akufo-Addo’s order came after he watched excerpts from the documentary, which has not yet been broadcast.

Nyantakyi is president of the Ghana Football Association, a vice president of the Confederation of African Football, and has been a member of the ruling FIFA Council since 2016. He was the FIFA official chosen to oversee the football competition at the 2012 London Olympics.

Ghanaian media reported that Nyantakyi was not in Ghana at the time of the president’s order but was returning home.

Nyantakyi has been accused of improper behavior before when a British media investigation just before the 2014 World Cup claimed he had been willing to allow the Ghana national team to play in games that could be fixed by others. He denied the allegation.

Premier League managerial power rankings

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There’s a new sheriff at West Ham United, and it’s no small-time boss.

Former Premier League champion manager Manuel Pellegrini is taking over the London side, which had us wondering how high he’d move up the acclaim ladder upon hiring (as of post time).

[ MORE: Brighton nabs World Cup defender ]

With the 20th spot still open — will it be Fulham or Aston Villa — the Arsenal and Everton jobs vacant for now, and both Neil Warnock and Nuno Espirito Santo yet to manage their clubs in the top flight, we rank the power status of the 15 other active Premier League bosses.

15. Javi Gracia, Watford — Manager don’t usually last long at Vicarage Road, and Gracia doesn’t have a record for sticking around clubs for too long himself.

14. Mark Hughes, Southampton — Saints stayed in the Premier League, and Hughes deserves credit for pushing the buttons on a talented squad.

13. Claude Puel, Leicester City — A disappointing finish to his season keeps Leicester outside the Europa League, and so he has a bit more to prove after an impressive reclamation job at the King Power Stadium.

12. David Wagner, Huddersfield Town — Keeping Town in the Premier League was impressive, but we’re not sure how much we learned about the long-term prognosis of Jurgen Klopp‘s best pal.

11. Chris Hughton, Brighton and Hove Albion — He’d led several clubs to Premier League promotion, and coaxed fine seasons out of what appeared to be a subpar defense at season’s open.

10. Eddie Howe, Bournemouth — One of the brightest young managerial minds, can he take the next step on the South Coast?

9. Roy Hodgson, Crystal Palace — What he did upon inheriting and then overseeing one of the worst starts in Premier League history was nothing short of brilliant. Clearly he hasn’t stopped learning unlike many other PL “retreads.”

8. Manuel Pellegrini, West Ham — What will a few years outside the Premier League, if anything, have done to the one-time Man City leader. Don’t forget: The season City won the PL season, he coaxed 20-plus goal campaigns in all competitions from Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, Alvaro Negredo, and Yaya Toure.

7. Antonio Conte, Chelsea — Tactically and experience-wise, he’s so much higher on the list. Regardless of the mess at Chelsea, better was needed this season.

6. Sean Dyche, Burnley — Guiding tiny Burnley to the Europa League is as impressive a feat as any outside of what Guardiola did this year and Claudio Ranieri did at Leicester City.

— BONUS — 6b. Unai Emery, if hired at Arsenal —

5. Rafa Benitez, Newcastle United — Considering his resume, it shouldn’t be as surprising that he kept United up despite his owner refusing to green-light a real answer at center forward. Worked career years out of Mo Diame and Jonjo Shelvey.

4. Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool — The Champions League final says something, especially in a year he sold Philippe Coutinho, but his team still lacks the consistency of the three men in front of him.

3. Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham Hotspur — Spurs have smartly spent and kept their stars around, but their financial outlay arguably should not have them consistently finishing ahead of Liverpool and Arsenal.

2. Jose Mourinho, Manchester United — Still a defensive marvel, still a genius, still somewhat hilarious… but we all know who No. 1 is…

  1. Pep Guardiola, Manchester City