Hull City 2-0 Everton: Tigers pull away from relegation zone as Everton slump further

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Everton has found itself in a seriously troubling slump with four straight losses, the latest coming at the KC Stadium as Ahmed Elmohamady and Nikica Jelavic scored to down Roberto Martinez and the Toffees yet again.

Romelu Lukaku missed a good chance late, but it was probably too late anyways as Steve Bruce put some space between himself and the relegation zone. The win is reward for his loyalty, as Bruce shot down links to the vacant Newcastle managerial position just yesterday.

A dubious refereeing decision marred the beginning of the game as Abel Hernandez was fouled by Gareth Barry, and while replays showed he was clearly inside the penalty area, referee Kevin Friend gave the free kick at the top of the box instead. Hernandez would pump in another solid chance inside five minutes, with a powerful shot expertly saved by Joel Robles diving to his right.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Everton slowly built into the game, but their first chance saw Kevin Mirallas blast way over the goal on eight minutes. Despite long spells of Everton possession, it was Hull that would strike first. Substitute Liam Rosenoir, on for an injured Andy Robertson, sent in a long cross into the box for Elmohamady, and with the Hull attacker one-on-one with Leighton Baines, he out-jumped his mark to power home a header.

Hull would get another for their home fans to cheer as Everton produced some head-scratching defending. A ball over the top for Nikica Jelavic saw him through on goal after Gareth Barry inexplicably froze, and Jelavic produced a brilliant finish with a chip over Robles for the 2-0 lead just minutes before the halftime break.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Everton had its best chance of the evening just after halftime when Liam Rosenior went down with a leg injury as the Toffees broke. Eventually it came to Ross Barkley in the box, and after wrong-footing defenders he powered a shot on goal that forced Allan McGregor into a stunning diving save.

The injury looked serious and forced Rosenior off, with the substitute himself replaced by Harry Maguire, Hull’s final change.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Romelu Lukaku missed yet another good chance five minutes from the final whistle with a long ball directed his way on the break, but all alone for a header, he couldn’t put it on target.  Antolin Alcaraz picked up a questionable second yellow card four minutes from full time to make things even harder for Everton, and they wouldn’t have any way back.

Hull City’s win gives them a massive three points. The Tigers jump two points above the relegation zone and into 15th with the win. The Toffees, with their fourth loss in a row, are just four points above the relegation zone as we start 2015.

LINEUPS:

Hull City: McGregor, Chester, Robertson (Rosenior 23′, Maguire 56′), Bruce, Davies, Meyler, Livermore, Elmohamady, Ramírez (Brady 46′), Jelavić, Hernández.

Goals: Elmohamady 33′, Jelavic 43′

Everton: Joel, Baines, Jagielka, Alcaraz, Coleman, Barry, Besic (Oviedo 46′), Barkley, Naismith, Mirallas (Lukaku 46′), Kone.

Discipline: Alcaraz (second yellow) 86′

Watch Live: West Ham United v. Liverpool

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After weeks of having a game in hand on Premier League title chasers Manchester City and Leicester City, the full extent of Liverpool’s lead will be revealed when the Reds visit West Ham United on Wednesday (Watch live, 2:45 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com).

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ]

Once the full-time whistle blows at the London Stadium, all 20 PL sides will have played 24 games. Ahead of kickoff, Jurgen Klopp‘s side leads second-place Man City by a whopping 16 points.

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West Ham, meanwhile, sit 17th in the table and are only clear of the relegation zone by way of goal differential. That’s something that could very easily change between now and 5 p.m. ET.

LIVE, League Cup semifinal: Man City v. Man United

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It’s time for leg two of the Manchester derby in the semifinals of the EFL Cup (Wednesday, 2:45 p.m. ET) at the Etihad Stadium.

[ LIVE: Man City v. Man United ]

Manchester City lead 3-1 following their first-leg dismantling of Manchester United at Old Trafford. In theory, it’s a mere formality to reach the final at Wembley, where they would take on Aston Villa following their late dramatics on Tuesday.

Click on the link above to follow the action live, while we will have you covered here at Pro Soccer Talk with all of the reaction and analysis.

LINEUPS

Transfer rumor roundup: Richarlison to Barca for $110m? Spurs’ striker search

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Watch our transfer deadline day show from 6-8 p.m. ET on Jan. 31, live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com.


A roundup of all of the major transfer rumors, most notably those involving Premier League clubs, on Wednesday…

[ MORE: Spurs complete Bergwijn transfer from PSV ]

Barcelona have reportedly had a $110-million bid for Richarlison rejected by Everton. That’s a mind-blowing number for a club like Everton to receive, but the Toffees apparently didn’t have to think long before saying “thanks, but no thanks.” Luis Suarez is expected to miss four months due to a knee injury, leaving the Blaugrana somewhat for a replacement. Everton, however, have no desire to lose a key member of their squad with little to no time to sign a replacement.


After adding winger Steven Bergwijn on Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur are heavily linked with a number of strikers as options to replace the injured Harry Kane. AC Milan’s Krzysztof Piatek is the most frequently linked (and most expensive) player coming out of the rumor mill, while Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud has come up as an emergency option (he is reportedly open to the idea). However, Jose Mourinho has reportedly been told he has just $13 million to acquire a new forward after spending a combined $108 million on Bergwijn and Gedson Fernandes.


Elsewhere in Tottenham rumors, full back Kyle Walker-Peters is expected to complete a loan move (without an option to buy) to Southampton in the very near future. The 22-year-old has been on the fringe of the first-team squad for what feels like five years now, but has never quite broken through. This could be Spurs putting into the shop window a player who they don’t believe is in their long-term plans in order to drive up his price tag come this summer.


Sheffield United look set to make a big push for a top-six finish, as the Blades are linked with moves for a pair of highly rated young players: Richairo Zivkovic, from Chinese side Changchun Yatai, and Sander Berge, from Genk. Zivkovic was one of the most highly touted youngsters in Europe before moving to China on a big-money deal; Berge has been linked with some of the biggest clubs across Europe in recent years, all the while the 21-year-old has become a fixture for the Belgian side.

Man United confirm agreement for Bruno Fernandes

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Watch our transfer deadline day show from 6-8 p.m. ET on Jan. 31, live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com.


Bruno Fernandes is on the brink of becoming a Manchester United player after the club announced on Wednesday that an agreement has been reached with Portuguese side Sporting CP.

[ MORE: Spurs complete Bergwijn transfer from PSV ]

From the club’s website, which is currently unreachable at the time of posting:

“Manchester United are delighted to announce it has reached agreement with Sporting Clube de Portugal for the transfer of Bruno Fernandes.

“The deal is subject to a medical and the agreement of personal terms. A further announcement will be made in due course.”

The dollar figure most commonly reported is $61 million (potentially reaching $88 million after add-ons). Fernandes, 25, is reportedly in the process of visiting the Sporting offices to terminate his current contract and record a goodbye video for fans before boarding a flight to Manchester.

Fernandes came close to joining Tottenham Hotspur in the summer, but an agreement could never be reached between the involved parties and they ended up signing Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis instead.