Premier League Roundup: Goals galore as Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool bag huge wins

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Another exhilarating day of action in the Premier League played out on Saturday, as 32 goals poured in across the eight games.

Chelsea blitzed Arsenal 6-0 to get things rolling, then Liverpool went to Cardiff and won 6-3, while elsewhere Manchester City knocked five past Fulham.

Yeah, it was a goalfest in the PL.

In case you missed anything, don’t fret, we’ve put together a neatly wrapped package of recaps, analysis and video highlights from all the games on Saturday so you can catch up. We’re good like that.

Here’s everything you need to know about what went down in the PL on Saturday.

Cardiff 3-6 Liverpool

Liverpool twice fought back from losing positions in the first half, as Cardiff’s goals from Jordon Mutch and Fraizer Campbell were cancelled out by Luis Suarez and Martin Skrtel. After the break Suarez and Skrtel both scored again to make it 4-2, then Daniel Sturridge added another to make it 5-2. Mutch scored another to make it 5-3, but then Suarez popped up in stoppage time to bag his hat trick as Liverpool are four point behind leaders Chelsea with a game in hand. Pulsating clash in South Wales.

Chelsea 6–0 Arsenal

An incredible win for Jose Mourinho’s Blues, as Chelsea recorded their biggest-ever win over Arsenal at Stamford Bridge. Samuel Eto’o curled in a beauty then Andre Schurrle doubled the lead after seven minutes. After that came a moment of madness, as a Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain handled the ball on the line to give Chelsea a penalty, but referee Andre Marriner sent off the wrong man, Kieran Gibbs. Eden Hazard scored the PK, then Oscar scored to make it 4-0 at half time. Late goals for Oscar and Mohammed Salah rubbed salt into Arsenal’s wounds, as Arsene Wenger failed to show up for his post-match press conference after being humiliated in his 1,000th game in charge of the Gunners.

Everton 3-2 Swansea

The Toffees went ahead through a Leighton Baines penalty, but Swansea hit back through Wilfried Bony to make it 1-1 at the break. After the interval Everton went 3-1 up thanks to Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley, but then a late goal from Ashley Williams made it interesting. However Everton held on to tighten their grip on the Europa League spots.

Hull City 2–0 West Bromwich Albion

Hull bagged a massive win at home, as goals from Liam Rosenior and Shane Long in the space of seven first half minutes was enough to keep West Brom in the race against the drop. The Baggies failed to create much, and old boy Long was the man who came back to haunt them at the KC Stadium. Safety almost secured for the Tigers.

Manchester City 5–0 Fulham

It was the Yaya Toure show at the Etihad, as the big Ivorian netted his first-ever hat trick with two penalty kicks and a stunning long-range effort. Martin Demichelis and Fernandinho rounding off the scoring, as basement boys Fulham were handed a real hiding away at title-chasing City. With the goals flowing once again, maybe the Citizens can charge to the top of the standings once again?

Newcastle 1–0 Crystal Palace

Not much happened in this game… until the final few seconds. Papiss Demba Cisse scored right at the death to deal a cruel blow to Crystal Palace, who had battled hard throughout the match. The Eagles looked to be taking a valuable point back to Selhurst Park with them, until Cisse popped up to send the Gallowgate End wild.

Norwich 2–0 Sunderland

If you watch one goal this weekend, make sure it is Alex Tettey’s strike for Norwich. The Canaries midfielder blasted a volley into the top corner from 25-yards out with a goal of the season contender. Robert Snodgrass have Norwich the lead, as the home side blew a poor Sunderland side away in the first half. Gus Poyet’s Black Cats are still in trouble, while Norwich move closer to safety.

West Ham United 0–2 Manchester United

Okay… maybe if you watch one goal you should watch Wayne Rooney’s first strike, as the Manchester United striker scored a goal from around the halfway line. Yeah. You read that right. Rooney, scored an absolute stunner and then added another before half time. That was enough to see off West Ham, who spent the majority of the second half looking rather listless.

Wolfsburg’s Mbabu out of Europa League after virus positive

Mbabu
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WOLFSBURG, Germany (AP) Wolfsburg defender Kevin Mbabu will miss his team’s Europa League last-16 game against Shakhtar Donetsk after he tested positive for the coronavirus last month, the club said Monday.

[ MORE: Predictions, Odds for Europa ]

Wolfsburg coach Oliver Glasner said the Switzerland defender would “definitely” not travel with the team to the Ukrainian capital Kyiv to play Shakhtar on Wednesday. He has not been training with the team, Glasner added.

Wolfsburg said July 25 that Mbabu had tested positive and was in isolation at home. He was not displaying symptoms, the club said at the time.

The right back played 20 games for Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga this season, including 90 minutes in all nine games after the league resumed in May amid the pandemic.

The Europa League restarts Wednesday after a break of nearly five months. The second legs of last-16 matchups will be played at the original venues.

[ LIVE: Europa League scores  ]

Two fixtures where the first leg wasn’t played before the season was suspended – Inter Milan against Getafe and Roma against Sevilla – will be played as single-leg contests in Germany.

From the quarterfinals onward all games will be played in a tournament format in Germany.

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Transfer news: Thiago to Liverpool; Gabriel to Man United

Thiago Alcantara to Liverpool
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In transfer news there’s an update on Thiago Alcantara to Liverpool, while Gabriel to Manchester United seems to be moving to the next stage.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Starting in Liverpool, talk of Thiago Alcantara to Liverpool has been gathering steam over the last few weeks and a new report states that Jurgen Klopp’s men are now the favorites to sign him.

Bayern Munich expect the 29-year-old Spanish international to leave this summer and according to Mundo Deportivo Liverpool have jumped ahead of Paris Saint-Germain and are ‘very likely’ to sign the former Barcelona star.

Bayern want $35 million for Thiago who has one year left on his current contract.

The deep-lying playmaker is a totally different central midfielder to what Liverpool currently have as Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, James Milner and Georginio Wijnaldum are all hard-working more defensive minded players. And then there’s Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who provide a bit more attacking intent with forward runs from central midfield.

Thiago Alcantara would help Liverpool control games better when opponents sit back and don’t allow them space to operate in-behind. He is a silky pass-master who is wanted by PSG, Liverpool, Manchester United and others, but it appears he will be heading to Anfield to give Liverpool a totally new dimension to their play. If this happens, it will make an already strong Liverpool side stronger.

Gabriel to Manchester United
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Switching to Manchester, a report in France states that Gabriel Magalhaes could be heading to Manchester United.

The Brazilian defender, 22, has been a star for Lille over the past few seasons but has been linked with Arsenal, Chelsea, Napoli, Everton and Man United consistently in recent months.

A report from French outlet RMC states that Man United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has met with Gabriel’s agents about his availability.

Lille want $35 million for Gabriel and although the report says that Man United haven’t made an offer directly to the Ligue 1 club, it is believed talks are ongoing.

Man United are said to be in the market for a winger, center back and central midfielder this summer and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is likely to be given cash to spend after securing Champions League qualification for next season.

It is believed Solskjaer wants a left-footed center back, which Gabriel is, as Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire are often too similar at center back. Those two have developed a decent enough partnership but it appears that Solskjaer wants to replace Lindelof and adding Gabriel will also give him an option to switch to a 3-4-3 system which he likes to do to match up against  more attack-minded opponents.

Chris Smalling, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones are very much on the outside looking in at Man United in terms of their other center back options.

With Jadon Sancho reportedly on his way to Old Trafford, Solskjaer needs to bolster his center back and holding midfield options and then he is good to go for next season.

Gabriel is a young, talented center back and seems ready to make the next step and this is a good price for a player who can develop over the next few seasons.

How long of a break will Premier League clubs get?

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How long of a break will Premier League clubs get? That is the big question during the significantly shortened offseason between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 season.

In short: not long.

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When Premier League clubs all agreed that the 2020-21 season would kick off on September 12, there was an understanding that clubs in European action will be handed extra time off and could start the season late.

Manchester City and Chelsea are in Champions League action and if they reach the quarterfinal stage (Man City are looking a lot more likely to do that than Chelsea) it is expected they will start next season one week late and if they reach the semifinals and final they will start two weeks late.

The same rule is in place for Manchester United and Wolves who are in Europa League and are both in Round of 16 action this week.

If Chelsea lose to Bayern Munich on Saturday, their season will be over and they will have a 35-day break before the 2020-21 season. That is longer than the 30-day limit but Frank Lampard wants longer.

As for the other 16 Premier League teams for the 2020-21 season, the clubs who finished on the final day of the  2019-20 Premier League season on July 26 will have had 47 days off until the new season begins.

So, there you have it.

A staggered start to the 2020-21 season seems likely as the domestic campaign begins in a few weeks with the Community Shield final at Wembley between Liverpool and Arsenal on Aug. 29.

Premier League teams will have shorter, more intense preseason campaigns and are unlikely to travel for friendly games, so it will be interesting to see how much rest players actually get over the summer and if teams who get a 2-3 week longer break benefit compared to those clubs in European action.

Christian Pulisic issues injury update

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‘Pulisic injury news’ is probably trending worldwide at this point, and Chelsea and USMNT star Christian Pulisic has an injury update after he damaged his right hamstring in the FA Cup final against Arsenal on Saturday.

[ MORE: 3 things we learned ]

Pulisic, 21, scored a superb goal early on and was arguably the man of the match even though he pulled up abruptly in the 46th minute when sprinting free (once again) of the Arsenal attack and then hitting a shot wide.

After being helped off the pitch while clearly in pain, Pulisic was seen hanging around the tunnel area after the FA Cup final and was at least walking on his own.

Posting a message on Instagram following the final, here’s what Pulisic had to say:

“Gave it everything we had. Wasn’t our day. Thank you guys for your support I’ll be back in no time,” Pulisic said.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

The fact Pulisic went off injured early in the second half of the FA Cup final severely hampered Chelsea and gave Arsenal the impetus to go on and win the final at Wembley. He has become that important to Chelsea.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard previously confirmed that Pulisic would not be fit enough to play at Bayern Munich on Saturday in their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg (Chelsea trail 3-0 from the first leg) and would have a scan to assess the damage.

Pulisic’s 2019-20 season is now done and both Chelsea and USMNT fans will be waiting with bated breath for the next injury update as hamstring injuries can be a nasty thing and reoccur easily.

The USMNT star had a few of them at Borussia Dortmund and given his incredible pace it is clear he will be more susceptible to hamstring and upper leg injuries.

Previously Lampard revealed that Pulisic had been working hard with Chelsea’s strength and conditioning coaches in recent months to build up his strength in order to adapt to the Premier League. We’ve certainly seen the results of that work in recent week as he took the Premier League by storm during the restart.

This latest update from Pulisic seems to be very good news as many had feared a lengthy injury layoff for the USMNT star but it seems like he may be ready for the start of the 2020-21 season for Chelsea.