Chelsea 1-0 Crystal Palace: Hazard goal fittingly clinches Premier League title (video)

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Jose Mourinho has the Blues can finally breathe easy as they clinch the Premier League title thanks to a goal from Eden Hazard just before halftime.

Hazard missed his first penalty in English league play, but slotted home the rebound before Mourinho shut up shop and Chelsea saw out the match without further issue. The win secures the top spot in the Premier League table, a claim Chelsea has held since August.

[ VIDEO: Jose Mourinho all business after clinching Premier League title ]

Chelsea owned an early chance as a forward ball went just over the head of Didier Drogba in the six-yard box, but Crystal Palace took the early initiative and looked to break down the league’s best defensive line. They held much of the meaningful possession in the opening 10 minutes, but failed to break through.

The home side then began to dominate possession, and thus got most of the chances for the next 20 minutes. A few times Chelsea caused Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni to look awkward coming out, and Drogba lashed a dangerous free-kick just before the half-hour mark that Speroni couldn’t collect cleanly, but the rebound bounced harmlessly away after a few nervy moments.

[ OFFICIAL: Chelsea clinch Premier League title in record fashion ]

Both sides poked and prodded, and things got touchy as referee Kevin Friend attempted to keep the match from boiling over, and issued a trio of first-half yellow cards. Finally one team broke through two minutes before halftime as the Blues worked a brilliant one-two move between Willian and Eden Hazard on the edge of the box.

The Belgian took the flick from Willian and was sandwiched by James McArthur and Adrian Mariappa, and an oustretched boot from McArthur cut him down. Hazard took the penalty, and although his very weak effort was saved by Speroni for his first penalty miss in 10 career Premier League efforts, the rebound popped up perfectly for him to bury into the corner with his head for the lead.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

With the lead, Mourinho shut things off earlier than usual by bringing on John Obi Mikel straight out of halftime and passing Crystal Palace to death, leaving them without a kick on the ball for much of the second half and content to simply lull the visitors to sleep.

It took 20 minutes after the break for Crystal Palace to find any kind of way through, as Wilfried Zaha delivered a dangerous cross towards Glenn Murray that required a significant tackle by Gary Cahill. Chelsea still did attack when they found space, with Cahill and Branislav Ivanovac both unleashing shots with 10 minutes to go but the initial effort was blocked and Ivanovic’s powerful follow-up was well high. Drogba flashed wide moments later, as did Willian.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

With just three games to play, Chelsea has 83 points, 16 more than Manchester City behind them and more than enough to be sure of a fourth Premier League title for the Blues.

LINEUPS:

Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta; Matic; Cuadrado (Mikel 46′), Willian (Zouma 85′), Fabregas, Hazard (Felipe 90′); Drogba.

Goals: Hazard 44′

Crystal Palace: Speroni; Mariappa (Kelly 60′), Dann, Delaney, Ward; Ledley, McArthur; Puncheon (Sanogo 71′), Mutch (Murray 61′), Zaha; Bolasie.

LIVE, Bundesliga: Freiburg hosts top four hopefuls Gladbach

Freiburg v. Borussia Monchengladbach live
Photo by Christian Verheyen/Borussia Moenchengladbach via Getty Images
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Alassane Plea and Marcus Thuram bring red-hot form and top four hopes to Freiburg when Borussia Monchengladbach visits the Schwarzwald-Stadion on Friday for a 2:30 p.m. ET kickoff.

Gladbach is ahead of fifth-place Bayer Leverkusen on goal differential and four points back of second-place Borussia Dortmund.

[ LIVE: Bundesliga scores, stats ]

Freiburg is winless in four and staring down a tough run of fixtures while their Europa League hopes have taken a massive hit.

There were six goals between the sides in late November when Gladbach took all the points in a 4-2 win.

[ BUNDESLIGA: Week 30 preview and predictions ]

Below is the schedule for the Bundesliga game early on Friday and how you can watch live on TV in the USA and online and follow along via the link above.

Bundesliga how to watch

  • TV Channels: FS2
  • Stream LiveVia Fox Soccer
  • USMNT players to watch: Fabian Johnson, Gladbach (not on bench)
  • Kick off time: 2:30 p.m. ET — Freiburg v. Gladbach

Southampton season restart preview

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With the 2019-20 Premier League season soon to restart, let’s focus on all 20 clubs and see where they are at ahead of the final nine weeks of the season as Southampton are up next.

[ STREAM: Every PL match live ]

Focusing on Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints, they have rebounded superbly after that humbling 9-0 defeat to Leicester City in late October. Hasenhuttl’s young side have gone back to basics and have a pretty favorable run of games to finish the season. They still aren’t totally out of the relegation battle but three more wins should keep them up and there is a renewed sense of belief about their future as the boss recently signed a new contract.

[ MORE: Every PL season restart preview ] 

Let’s take a closer look at all things Southampton when it comes to the season restart.


Outlook: The season started very badly and hit rock bottom with that hammering by Leicester. Hasenhuttl then went back to his tried and tested 4-2-2-2 formation and kept things simple, as previously he messed around with several formations and his players seemed confused. A run of seven wins from 11 games around the turn of the year pushed them up the Premier League table and they are seven points above the relegation zone with nine games to go. Danny Ings is their main man with 18 goals in all competitions and their high-pressing style often catches out opponents. Defensively they still need to improve but Hasenhuttl has recently signed a new four-year contract extension and there’s a clear plan in place for the future. Saints have some talented young players coming through again and even though they haven’t got a lot of cash to spend, Hasenhuttl has made his team horrible to play against and they should be a solid PL club for the next few seasons.


Tactical analysis: The 4-2-2-2 formation that Hasenhuttl perfected at RB Leipzig has worked well since November with Southampton possessing plenty of speedy attacking players who use this system perfectly. Nathan Redmond, Shane Long and Ings lead the charge, while Sofiane Boufal and Moussa Djenepo are wild cards off the bench. Having extra defensive stability has been key with Hojbjerg and Ward-Prowse playing in deeper midfield roles, plus Stuart Armstrong a perfect blend of a central midfielder and a winger. This formation is very narrow but Saints have pressing from the front mastered and when it works, it works very well.


Possible XI (4-2-2-2) 

—– McCarthy —–

— Walker-Peters — Stephens — Bednarek — Bertrand —

—- Ward-Prowse —- Hojbjerg —-

—- Redmond —- Armstrong —-

—- Long —- Ings —-


Remaining schedule:
Home: Arsenal, Man City, Brighton, Sheffield United
Away: Norwich, Watford, Everton, Man United, Bournemouth

Predicted finish: This really could go one of two ways for Saints. Hasenhuttl has just signed a new contract and there is finally some stability at the club after several managers have come and gone, the Chinese ownership group has said the club has to be self-sustaining and previous star players haven’t been replaced. In theory Saints aren’t really in this relegation battle but if they fail to pick up any points from their first three games, they will be looking nervously over their shoulders. On the other hand, if the pressure is off they could easily push for a top 10 finish as they have a favorable run-in, but is playing a bunch of teams in the relegation spots really a good thing at this time of the season?

Preview: Bayer Leverkusen v Bayern Munich

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Bayern Munich can take another huge step towards winning an eight-straight Bundesliga title when they travel to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday at the BayArena and below are details on how you can watch Bayer v Bayern in the USA.

[ LIVE: Bundesliga scores ]

This will be a beauty of a game as Hansi Flick’s side have been in sumptuous form, but so too have Bayer with Kai Havertz leading the line. Leverkusen have won three of their four games since the restart and remain firmly in the top four battle as they sit in fifth-place but are just four point behind second-placed Borussia Dortmund. Havertz has scored five goals in his last four games and Real Madrid have reportedly offered over $85 million for him this week, which was rejected.

As for Bayern Munich, they are seven points clear at the top of the table and are ripping teams apart with Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller, Alphonso Davies and Co. in fine form. Bayern have won all four games since the restart, scoring 13 goals in the process, and barring a catastrophic late collapse they will waltz to the title. Philippe Coutinho remains out injured but they aren’t missing him with Serge Gnabry and Kinglsey Coman in fine form.

Below is how to watch Bayer Leverkusen v Bayern Munich on TV in the USA this Saturday, while above you can follow the action live, as the three points are so valuable to both clubs.

Bayer Leverkusen v Bayern Munich, how to watch

  • TV Channels: FS1
  • Stream Live: Via Fox Soccer
  • When: Saturday, June 6 – 9:30 a.m. ET: Bayer Leverkusen v Bayern Munich
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Transfer news: Chilwell to Chelsea; Jimenez to Man United

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In transfer news Ben Chilwell has been linked with a move to Chelsea, while there’s been a new development in a potential move to Man United for Raul Jimenez.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

First up, Chelsea have had a pretty decent few months in the transfer window with Hakim Ziyech locked up, Timo Werner set to arrive in the next few weeks and now they are pushing hard to sign Ben Chilwell. Reports out of Italy say that Leicester want $85 million for Chilwell, who is under contract for another four years.

Multiple reports claim that Chelsea have reopened talks with Leicester over the England international, as a deal was discussed in January. The left back, 23, has been in fine form for the Foxes over the past few years, although talk of a potential move seemed to distract him from December onwards as his play took a nosedive.

As was previously reported, Chelsea have Nicolas Tagliafico lined up as a back-up option and the Ajax defender would certainly be a cheaper option. Is Chilwell worth this huge fee? He could be England’s left back for the next 10 years but there are a few concerning signs.

His crossing ability is undoubted and he’s a fine one-on-one defender, but his distribution and decision-making still needs some work. Chelsea badly need an upgrade in the left back, center back and goalkeeping department and Chilwell would start over Emerson and Marcos Alonso right away. Leicester are of course playing hardball over this price but given the financial impact of the coronavirus, this transfer fee does seem high for a player who only has a few seasons as a Premier League regular under his belt.

Jimenez
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In other transfer news, Man United have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Wolves and Mexico star Raul Jimenez.

Jimenez, 29, has repeatedly been linked with Real Madrid, Juventus, Barcelona and Man United, with the powerful striker having a second-straight stellar season in the Premier League with Wolves.

He has not hidden his love for a move to one of Spain’s big boys and after being a late bloomer after topsy-turvy spells at Benfica and Atletico Madrid, he seems like a man desperate to make up for lost time.

A report from TuttoJuve states that Wolves may lower their asking price for Jimenez in the coming months as they know that transfer fees will drop significantly, but the Molineux club are obviously not in a hurry to sell their top goalscorer. Juve will reportedly offer $25 million plus Gonzalo Higuain for Jimenez.

Speaking to Medio Tiempo, Jimenez’s father recently said his son is flattered by the interest from big clubs but is happy with Wolves for now.

Quite why Wolves would lower their price for Jimenez remains to be seen but he is getting closer to the age of 30 and if they want to cash in on him, they will probably wait until 12 months from now.