Paris Saint-Germain 1-1 Chelsea: Ivanovic, Cavani trade goals in tense affair

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Chelsea will be the happier of the two teams after securing a 1-1 draw against Paris Saint-Germain in their UEFA Champions League last 16 clash at the Parc des Princes on Tuesday.

[ RELATED: UCL schedule ]

The Premier League leaders took a first half lead through Branislav Ivanovic’s header, but looked increasingly shaky as they match wore on and Edinson Cavani headed home just after the break to make it 1-1.

That’s how the score finished, despite chances for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cavani late on, plus Thibaut Courtois putting in an inspired display in goal, as everything’s still to play for ahead of the second leg at Stamford Bridge on March 11.

After a tense start to the match Courtois was called into action twice in quick succession after 11 minutes, as he first saved Blaise Matuidi’s header and then another from Ibrahimovic moments later with PSG cranking up the heat.

An even first half played out as Chelsea tried their best to suck the life out of PSG’s attacks and threatened occasionally on the break. In the 33rd minute Cavani made a surging run to the near post from a corner, after breaking away from his marker Nemanja Matic, but his header was clawed out by Courtois.

Chelsea took the lead in the 36th minute as John Terry whipped in a cross from the left which Gary Cahill sumptuously flicked to the back post and Ivanovic headed home. 1-0, as Chelsea’s right back made it three goals in five matches. Before the break Ibrahimovic curled a free kick over the bar, as the Blues went in 1-0 up and in control of the first leg.

Yet that control evaporated just 10 minutes into the second half as Cavani headed home Matuidi’s fine cross from the left to send the home fans wild. 1-1. Moments later PSG almost went ahead as Ibrahimovic went through and forced Courtois into a low save before the rebound fell to Ezequiel Lavezzi but his goalbound shot was blocked by Cesar Azpilicueta as Chelsea survived.

David Luiz forced Courtois to tip his shot onto the top of the net as it was all PSG in the closing stages of a tense encounter. Cesc Fabregas and Costa (yes, they played) looked rusty as the Blues’ talisman failed to flourish.

Late on Cavani drifted past Matic in the box but his toe poke finish squeezed just wide of, while Courtois saved Ibrahimovic’s header.

LINEUPS

Paris Saint-Germain: Sirigu; van der Wiel, Silva, Marquinhos, Maxwell; Luiz, Verratti, Matuidi; Lavezzi (Pastore, 81′), Ibrahimovic, Cavani

Goal: Cavani (54′)

Chelsea: Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic, Ramires; Hazard, Fabregas (Oscar, 83′), Willian (Cuadrado, 79′); Costa (Remy, 82′)

Goal: Ivanovic (36′)

Nigel Pearson appointed new Watford manager

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Nigel Pearson has been appointed new manager of Watford and been handed a very straightforward — but tall — task for the remainder of the season: avoid relegation from the Premier League.

[ MORE: Chelsea transfer ban reduced; can sign players in January ]

Pearson takes over from Quique Sanchez Flores — who only took over from Javi Gracia in September — who left his post at Vicarage Road with the Hornets sitting 20th out of 20 teams in the PL table, already seven points adrift from safety. Pearson’s contract runs through the end of the season.

The 56-year-old Pearson, who last managed in the PL with Leicester City in 2015, was most recently in charge of Belgian side OH Leuven before he was fired in February.

[ MORE: Brendan Rodgers signs new contract at Leicester ]

Pearson won’t take charge of Saturday’s game against Crystal Palace (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET, on NBC Sports Gold). Interim manager Hayden Mullins will see out the week’s preparations and manage the team before handing the reins to Pearson on Sunday.

Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks

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Matchweek 16 is here in the Premier League as things are heating up very nicely ahead of the festive season.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

If you, like me, love to dissect all the games and predict what the score will be and which team will win, I encourage you to get involved in the comments section below. Let’s have a bit of fun.

Okay, so I’ve consulted my crystal ball and here’s how we see things panning out. Listen carefully, because this is very specific.

While you can download the NBC Sports Predictor app (below) and play the Premier League Pick ‘Em game yourself to predict the scores and win the prizes.

DOWNLOAD NBC SPORTS PREDICTOR

With the first section labelled “basically, free money” for the picks I think are dead certs. The section labelled “don’t touch this” means if you’re betting I advise you to stay clear, while the “so you’re telling me there’s a chance” section are the long shots. If it is better odds you are after, those are the picks to go for.


BASICALLY, FREE MONEY

Tottenham 3-0 Burnley – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM

Bournemouth 1-3 Liverpool – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM] 

West Ham 1-3 Arsenal – (Monday, 3 p.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM


DON’T TOUCH THIS…

Newcastle 1-1 Southampton – (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM]

Man City 2-2 Man United – (Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET, NBC) – [STREAM]

Watford 1-2 Crystal Palace – (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM


“SO YOU’RE TELLING ME THERE’S A CHANCE…”

 

Everton 2-1 Chelsea – (Saturday, 7:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM

Aston Villa 2-2 Leicester City – (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]

Brighton 2-1 Wolves – (Sunday 11:30 a.m. ET, NBCSN) – [STREAM]

Norwich 2-0 Sheffield United – (Sunday, 9 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Gold) – [STREAM

Premier League TV, streaming schedule

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Matchweek 16 of the Premier League season is here, as the busy festive season has well and truly arrived.

Get in there.

[ MORE: Sign up for NBC Sports Gold ]

The full TV schedule for the games this weekend are below, plus you can watch every single second of every single game live online via NBC Sports.com,the NBC Sports App and by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold.

Gold also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today, Sky Sports News, NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: Premier League live here ] 

You can also watch Premier League “Goal Rush” for all the goals as they go in around the grounds. Goal Rush is available via NBC Sports.com and the NBC Sports App.

[ MORE: Premier League “Goal Rush” ] 

If you’re looking for full-event replays of Premier League games, you can find them here for the games streamed on NBCSports.com and here for the games on NBC Sports Gold.

Here’s your full TV schedule for the coming days.


FULL TV SCHEDULE

Saturday
7:30 a.m. ET: Everton v. Chelsea – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Bournemouth v. Liverpool – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Tottenham v. Burnley – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Watford v. Crystal Palace – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
12:30 p.m. ET: Man City v. Man United – NBC [STREAM]

Sunday
9 a.m. ET: Aston Villa v. Leicester City – NBCSN [STREAM]
9 a.m. ET: Newcastle United v. Southampton  – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
11:30 a.m. ET: Brighton v. Wolves – NBCSN [STREAM]
9 a.m. ET: Norwich City v. Sheffield United – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Monday
3 p.m. ET: West Ham v. Arsenal – NBCSN [STREAM]

The 2 Robbies podcast: Analyzing chaos at Everton, Arsenal

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In the latest The 2 Robbies podcast, Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle discuss Everton’s decision to sack Marco Silva after their 5-2 defeat to Liverpool in the Merseyside Derby (0:50), Arsenal’s shocking defeat at home to Brighton (14:00) and Tottenham’s 2-1 loss to Manchester United in the Jose Mourinho’s return to Old Trafford thanks to a brace from Marcus Rashford (22:25).

Plus, thoughts on Gabriel Jesus‘ long-term role at Manchester City (29:00), Jamie Vardy and Leicester City can’t stop winning (35:10), back to winning ways for Chelsea (39:00) and the Underappreciated Performances of the week (43:40).

To listen to more lively conversations and passionate debate from Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe, subscribe to The 2 Robbies Podcast on Apple Podcasts or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

And you can follow them on Twitter @The2RobbiesNBC here.

Click here for The 2 Robbies archive ]