Tottenham 4-1 West Ham: Spurs run Payet-less West Ham ragged

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  • Harry Kane scored his 11th goal in 14 London derbys
  • West Ham failed to win for the third straight match

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic said they lost their best player when Dimitri Payet suffered an ankle injury two weeks ago. His comments surprised many, but not because they’re untrue.

That sentiment appeared evident as West Ham was thoroughly trounced 4-1 by Spurs at White Hart Lane as Harry Kane bagged a brace and the visitors both struggled in possession and proved porous at the back.

The opening 15 minutes saw both teams look to feel out the other side, but Spurs eventually worked themselves on top of possession. The home side was patient, electing not to send in speculative crosses on a number of occasions, instead choosing to play the ball in possession and work for an opening on the ground.

West Ham were forced back by Spurs’ high press, and Adrian was called into action with a diving stop to keep out a deflected shot from Christian Eriksen on 22 minutes.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

That was a foreshadow to the moment a minute later where Spurs would take the lead. Spurs found Dele Alli with space at the top of the shot, but a poor touch allowed the Hammers defense to arrive and block his shot. Unfortunately for the defense, the rebound fell right to Harry Kane with his back to goal, and he turned strongly around Carl Jenkinson and buried the 23rd minute chance.

West Ham was immediately galvanized by the deficit, and moments later a deflected shot from Mark Noble looped up to Cheikhou Kouyate who produced an acrobatic overhead kick from close range that clattered the crossbar.

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Spurs would push themselves back on the ball after the initial reaction from the visitors, and they’d push for another. It would come on 34 minutes as a corner swung in and Toby Alderweireld picked off Winston Reid on a teammate, rose above Andy Carroll, and powered home a header for a 2-0 lead.

The home side began to truly take over, as Alli nearly scored a third for Spurs as his header moments later smacked the bar. Kane pounced on a lucky bounce in the 39th minute and was clean through on goal, but scuffed his chance horribly, sending the ball wide.

[ MORE: Click here for full lineups, stats, box score

The game got chippy after halftime. Kyle Walker was lucky to get away with no punishment for kicking Winston Reid, and on the other end Reid fouled Kane after losing the ball just outside the box. West Ham cleared the chance, but a terrible giveaway by Tomkins in his own half sent Kane through via Eriksen, and the England international buried a third for Spurs.

Walker added a cherry on top with a stunning effort in the 84th minute off the outside of his foot, and Spurs were well and truly on top. The Hammers would get a late consolation as a long-ball counter saw Nikita Jelavic work hard to find Manuel Lanzini who rocketed home from a tight angle.

That was all for West Ham, as the game boiled over and the anger flowed from both sides on a derby day. Dele Alli and Mark Noble both were given yellow cards to earn suspensions in their next match, while Walker and Diafra Sakho both were cautioned for a later scuffle. Spurs with the three points move just two back of rivals Arsenal in the battle for the Champions League, with the Gunners losing Saturday. West Ham remain on 21 points, still a solid position but with plenty of work to do after this eye-opening performance.

FOLLOW LIVE: Seattle v. Portland, ATLUTD v. DCU on a busy MLS Sunday

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Strap yourself in for a very busy Sunday of soccer, as four MLS games are set to consume your attention for the rest of the day.

[ FOLLOW: MLS scoreboard, for the next 7.5 hours ]

The day begins with Atlanta United hosting D.C. United in a 3-versus-2 matchup in the Eastern Conference, and ends with the Seattle Sounders hosting the Portland Timbers in arguably the biggest and best rivalry in MLS.

In between all that, a suddenly resurgent Orlando City SC hosts the New York Red Bulls, and FC Cincinnati hosts the red-hot (unbeaten in nine games) New England Revolution, in case you feel the need to cram a little more soccer into your afternoon/evening.

Sunday’s full MLS schedule

Atlanta United v. D.C. United — 4 p.m. ET
FC Cincinnati v. New England Revolution — 6 p.m. ET
Orlando City SC v. New York Red Bulls — 7:30 p.m. ET
Seattle Sounders v. Portland Timbers — 9:30 p.m. ET

Rumored Neymar for Bale swap: Who wins?

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Who would gain more of an advantage from the rumored, sensational Gareth Bale for Neymar swap: Paris Saint-Germain or Real Madrid?

Both players are currently problems for their clubs, though neither is known as a true rabble-rouser; Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane wants to be done with the newly-minted 30-year-old Bale, while PSG knows Neymar wants to leave and would love to satiate Kylian Mbappe’s appetite to be the man at their club.

[ REPORT: Man Utd, Leicester agree Maguire fee ]

Presumably some money would be headed PSG’s way in addition to Bale, and both clubs would be getting a motivated megawatt star.

Neymar doesn’t turn 28 until February, but the difference in age may be offset by the Brazilian’s track record of injuries.

In fact, his injury status last season combines with an off-field accusation of sexual assault and a red card for confronting a fan to overshadow his production: Neymar’s 23 goals and 13 assists in just over 2300 minutes last season, including five and two in the Champions League (and a goal and an assist against defensively-stout Liverpool).

Bale presents very few personality challenges, and PSG won’t have a problem with his massive wages (especially with Neymar off the books). His numbers have dipped in two of three seasons since his otherworldly 2015-16, but La Liga is a more difficult scoring league than Ligue 1.

Neymar has twice been a Ballon d’Or finalist and, presuming his legal troubles don’t persist, could be a title fight changer in La Liga. Imagine the Neymar, Eden Hazard, and Luka Jovic trying to outgun Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, and Luis Suarez? Insane.

We’d say Real would be winning the straight-up swap, and that it’s pretty unlikely to go down that way. So it depends what PSG does with the relative Financial Fair Play freedom that would come with the money that also arrives from Spain. Is it Idrissa Gana Gueye? Someone else who helps take PSG’s Champions League hopes to the next level?

Manchester United in ‘concrete talks’ with Lille over Pepe

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Manchester United are reportedly in “concrete talks” to agree a fee with Lille for much-tracked playmaker Nicolas Pepe.

The 24-year-old attacking midfielder has been linked with Liverpool and Arsenal amongst others, and Lille has admitted he’ll be leaving the club.

[ REPORT: Man Utd, Leicester agree Maguire fee ]

United’s reported salvo was around $87.5 million. He’d give them a star who could play across from Anthony Martial or as an attacking midfielder under Romelu Lukaku.

Only Kylian Mbappe and Teji Savanier garnered better season-long ratings than Pepe in the 2018-19 Ligue 1 campaign, and Pepe’s 22 goals and 11 assists stand out from the pack. Only Mbappe had more goals and only Savanier more assists.

Pepe has four goals in 11 caps for the Ivory Coast, and made three starts in Les Elephants’ five-match run at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. He’s a fit for the Premier League, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s system. And if the Red Devils can keep him from Liverpool, well, all the better we’re sure.

Report: Manchester United, Leicester agree to monster Maguire fee

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Manchester United and Leicester City have agreed a fee for Harry Maguire, clearing the way for the English center back to join the Old Trafford set.

That fee is a whopping $100 million, according to Bleacher Report’s Dean Jones. That’s about $4 million more than the world record for a defender, set when Liverpool purchased Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton.

[ MORE: USMNT CB to West Ham? ]

Maguire has been a statistical monster for Leicester City, and he passes the eye test, too.

Manchester United has needed to upgrade its stable of center backs for some time, and now the biggest question is who will work best alongside the 6-foot-4 26-year-old.

The former Sheffield United, Wigan Athletic, and Hull City defender is now 20-times capped by England.

The move could have a ripple effect on the Premier League, as the Foxes have been expected to bid for Burnley star James Tarkowski should Maguire leave the King Power Stadium.