Premier League roundup: Man City’s title hopes dashed by Burnley; Arsenal, Palace win

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UEFA’s Champions League and Europa League have many of the Premier League’s best playing their league games on Sunday, but there was still plenty of Saturday entertainment on the docket.

QPR saw a stunning distance goal in defeat, Aston Villa embarrassed a fellow relegation struggler and Arsenal cruised through a London Derby amongst other results on Saturday.

And then Burnley. Oh my, Burnley.

Let’s dig in.

Burnley 1-0 Manchester City – RECAP

Ladies and gentlemen, Sean Dyche’s Clarets are not going down without a fight. George Boyd’s second-half goal boosted Burnley to within a point of 17th place Sunderland and three points of 16th place Aston Villa. Burnley has a tough road in, but finishes the season with a final weekend visit to Villa Park.

The story for City fans will be the inability to break through Burnley’s stacked banks of players, as well as a late non-call after Pablo Zabaleta was taken down in the box by Ben Mee.

Crystal Palace 3-1 Queens Park RangersRECAP

The day started with another strong note sounded by Alan Pardew’s resurgent Crystal Palace side. The Eagles built a 3-0 lead before hitting their only speed bump, a thrilling distance strike from Matty Phillips. Still, the Eagles are all-but-safe from the drop while QPR’s plight remains quite dire.

Sunderland 0-4 Aston Villa – RECAP

Did we just see Gus Poyet’s last match as Sunderland manager? It’s hard to put it on him, as a listless Sunderland side looked almost devoid of creativity in going down 4-0 by halftime. On the other hand, Tim Sherwood is the toast of the town after Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor each netted twice to get Villa closer to ensuring its Premier League safety.

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Arsenal 3-0 West Ham United – RECAP

Sam Allardyce’s Irons are struggling and Arsene Wenger’s Gunners are hitting their stride. While West Ham was missing a forward due to a broken tea cup (Enner Valencia), Arsenal saw classy goals from Olivier Giroud, Mathieu Flamini and Aaron Ramsey in battering their London Derby rivals.

West Bromwich Albion 1-0 Stoke City – RECAP

Brown Ideye continues to love the Tony Pulis era at the Hawthorns, with the Baggies record signing heading in Craig Gardner’s cross to pull once-desperate West Brom well clear of the drop. Stoke remains in eighth place, two points ahead of Swansea City, which plays Sunday.

Leicester City 0-0 Hull City – RECAP

There wasn’t much to this one other than a late red card to Tom Huddlestone. Even playing up a man only allowed Leicester City to total three shots on frame. The Foxes remain in the Premier League’s basement slot, with Hull inching closer to safety.

Burning question: Who is your guilty pleasure team?

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This week at ProSoccerTalk we will be asking some burning questions we have when it comes to the beautiful game and the next one focuses on something we all have: a team we like that we don’t want to admit.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Each day we will release a burning question, as now seems like a good time to take stock of where the game is at and take a look at what we love and what we’d like to change as we await its return following the suspension due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Next question: Who is your guilty pleasure team?


Think about it. You don’t have to admit it out loud if you don’t want to. We all have one. Admit it.

There’s a team out there you have dismissed to your friends, family and maybe random strangers on social media but secretly, when nobody else is with you, you watch them play and admire them.

That said team are your guilty pleasure.

It’s okay to admit it. Honest. There will be no judgement here because we are all in the same boat.

It can be a team from the same league as your team, or a club from another league in another country, or just, you know, a team that people aside from you despise.

A lot of the big boys bring up polarizing views as many neutrals loath mega clubs who win trophies season after season and scoff at their huge wage bill, well-manicured stadiums and incredible commercial success. ‘This isn’t proper football’ you often cry. Deep down, you admire some of those teams, don’t you?

It would be remiss of me to ask you to reveal your guilty pleasure team in the comments below our via our social media post on Twitter without revealing my own so here it goes.

Atletico Madrid.

For years I’ve been an admirer of Atletico, way back when Diego Simeone was a player for them in midfield and they won the 1995-96 La Liga title with a huge ‘MARBELLA’ sponsor logo on their baggy shirts, as they also won the Copa del Rey that season to bring utter delight to the Vicente Calderon stadium after a 19-year wait for the league title.

A lot has changed since then and Atleti have become a polarizing team for becoming the ultimate masters of the dark arts with a squad of players who are perfectly happy with putting all of their personal talent to one side to play as a destructive, defensive, winning team.

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Simeone’s antics may not be the prettiest (the vision of one of his crotch-pulsing celebrations are now etched into your head forever) and he may tell his players to stretch the rules as far as they possibly can on the field, but I respect the hustle. Simeone has always been this way, from his reaction to David Beckham’s kick in the 1998 World Cup in his playing days to his cojones celebration, he has pushed the boundaries. After being forced to rebuild his team almost on a yearly basis since he took charge in 2011 as he’s lost star after star (Aguero, Costa, Falcao and Griezmann to name a few), he forces his players into punishing hill runs each summer and expects nothing but 100 percent effort each and every time they step on the pitch.

It was recently revealed El Cholo was the highest-paid manager in the world and you can’t argue that he doesn’t deserve it.

I respect that somehow Atletico have now become competitive amid the utter dominance of Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spanish soccer for pretty much the last six decades. Since he took charge they have won three Europa League titles, the La Liga title in 2014 and reached two UEFA Champions League finals (losing both to Real in 2014 and 2016) as well as ousting defending champs Liverpool in the UCL in dramatic fashion to reach the last eight this season. Cue more Simeone celebrations.

The next time you watch Atletico Madrid play, imagine me sat alone somewhere in a dark room with a bowl of peanuts and a beer, nodding my head like that famous Jack Nicholson gif from Anger Management.

Diego Simeone and Atletico Madrid are the masters of shithousery.

‘That’s right, Diego Costa, you flick his ear off the ball’ and ‘look at Simeone screaming at the home fans in disgust when they boo an Atletico player for getting a tactical yellow. Give it to them!’ will be likely comments from myself.

I’ve aired my dirty laundry in public. Now, feel free to do the same and tell us which team is your guilty pleasure.

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Transfer news: James to Everton; Meunier to Man United

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The latest transfer news continues across the Premier League and here’s a look at some of the juiciest rumors.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

First up, Everton are said to be interested in signing James Rodriguez from Real Madrid. The Colombian star previously played for Carlo Ancelotti at Real and Bayern Munich, as he helped the former win the UEFA Champions League in 2015-16 and 2016-17 after arriving from Monaco following a sensational 2014 World Cup.

According to Marca, James is keen on a move to England and Real want to sell him this summer as he has just one year left on his contract. Per the report Ancelotti tried to sign James last summer when he was in charge at Napoli and although Arsenal and Wolves are also interested, Everton are the frontrunners.

James spent two seasons on loan at Bayern Munich before returning to Real for 2019-20 where he has been a bit-part player for Zinedine Zidane.

His quality on the ball is undoubted and at the age of 28 he is hitting his prime and Ancelotti certainly knows how to get the best out of James, who put up his best numbers at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2014-15 (17 goals in 46 games in all competitions) under the Italian coach.

Where would he slot in at Everton? Probably as the second striker or No. 10 which would mean stiff competition for Gylfi Sigurdsson who has become the chief creator for Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Everton’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri has not been shy in splashing the cash and Ancelotti has had a huge impact during his first few months in charge of the Toffees, strengthening his case to be given money to spend in the next transfer window to improve his young, raw squad.

Time to add the duo of Ancelotti-James to Mourinho-Matic, Redknapp-Defoe and Moyes-Fellaini manager-player partnerships.


Switching the focus from Merseyside to Manchester, another piece of transfer news has been reported that Man United are keen on signing Belgium international Thomas Meunier.

Meunier, 28, has yet to sign a new contract at Paris Saint-Germain and according to French outlet Le Foot, the Red Devils have joined AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund in ‘keeping a lookout’ on the right-sided player who becomes a free agent this summer.

An attacking right back, Meunier is just as comfortable playing as an out-and-out winger and his arrival would not only give them cover at right back for Aaron Wan-Bissaka but also give them an option at right wing. His experience with Belgium and PSG is undoubted and his quality passing and crossing from wide areas will surely provide Man United’s star attackers plenty of service. Meunier previously said his main aim is to stay at PSG, where he’s been since arriving from Club Brugge in 2016 as he’s won eight domestic trophies with the reigning French champions.

Meunier has also previously stated in the Belgian media that he is a fan of Man United, so perhaps that gives Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side the edge. He would fill a need and a free transfer would certainly be welcome after splashing out over $280 million to sign Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes and Wan-Bissaka over the last 12 months.

VIDEO: Arlo White’s best Premier League calls

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Arlo White’s voice has been missed by Premier League fans across the USA in recent weeks, so this video of his best calls will keep you going for a while.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Click play on the video above as some of the craziest goals and moments in the Premier League have been beautifully described by NBC’s lead soccer commentator.

His magical command of the English language is on full show across 15 minutes of Arlo commentating on plenty of wild Liverpool goals, Leicester City’s incredible title win and plenty of upset victories from the last seven seasons of the Premier League.

Enjoy a trip down memory lane with Arlo and in the comments below let us know your favorite calls from his time behind the mic with NBC Sports over the last few years.

Son could complete military service in South Korea

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Tottenham striker Heung-min Son is currently in his homeland of South Korea and could complete a four-week military service program if the Premier League season is suspended further.

Son, 27, previously became exempt from the mandatory 21-month military service as he captained South Korea to gold medal glory at the 2018 Asian Games but there is also a four-week stint he needs to complete in the army.

Currently the Premier League season is suspended until April 30 but ahead of the latest club meeting on Friday it is expected that the 2019-20 campaign will be suspended until May.

ProSoccerTalk understands that although Son is currently in South Korea as he continues his rehabilitation from a broken arm he suffered in February, he may not just be able to complete his military service at the drop of a hat.

The South Korean government would have to accept his military service application at short notice and it would not be as simple as Son waiting for any further PL suspension on Friday to then arrange for his military service to take place.

Of course, it would be ideal for Son to wrap up his military service now as South Korea has handled the coronavirus pandemic much better than most nations and if he is set to be in his homeland for an extended period of time, this is a way for him not miss games with Tottenham in the upcoming years.

A new rule which arrived in 2018 means that men in South Korea must enlist in the military by the age of 28 and Son turns 28 on July 8.

The Tottenham and South Korean star is not exempt from military service due to being an athlete as previous exemptions given to the 2002 World Cup squad (if they reached the last 16) didn’t go down well.

Son will remain in South Korea in the coming weeks and once the situation becomes clear with regards to the 2019-20 season resuming or being delayed, he can then make a decision about military service.