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PL roundup: Man City, Spurs win late; Liverpool, Arsenal drop points

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A roundup of all the action on a wild Saturday in the Premier League…

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Manchester United 1-1 ArsenalFULL RECAP

Jose Mourinho has still never lost to Arsene Wenger, but Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Old Trafford will have felt strangely similar to defeat for the Portuguese, as his Man United conceded an 89th-minute equalizer to Olivier Giroud, canceling out Juan Mata‘s opening goal 20 minutes earlier. The draw sees Arsenal’s lead on Tottenham shrink to a single point in the race for fourth, while United remain six points back of the Gunners for the final UEFA Champions League place.

Crystal Palace 1-2 Manchester CityFULL RECAP

Yaya Toure is back, and Man City are level on points with Liverpool at the top of the PL table. The Ivorian legend returned from exile to bag a brace against Crystal Palce, as City took all three points at Selhurst Park. It was the first time Toure saw the field since the end of the 2015-16 season, the arrival of Pep Guardiola causing what seemed an irreconcilable rift between player and club. With Toure back in the fold, and engaged as ever, look out.

Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 West Ham UnitedFULL RECAP

Tottenham were second-best by some margin for 88 minutes against West Ham on Saturday, but the Hammers collapsed late on and gifted a quickfire brace to Harry Kane (89th and 91st minutes), which put to be Spurs’ four-game winless skid in the PL (seven games in all competitions) and extended their unbeaten start in the PL to 12 games. Harry Winks marked his full PL debut with Spurs’ first equalizer, a tap-in in the 51st minute. Michail Antonio scored the opening goal (with his head, of course), his sixth of the season, after 24 minutes. Slaven Bilic‘s side currently sits just one point clear of the relegation zone.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 19: Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur scores his sides third goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at White Hart Lane on November 19, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Southampton 0-0 LiverpoolFULL RECAP

The good news: Liverpool kept their second clean sheet of the 2016-17 PL season. The bad news: they’ve been held scoreless themselves on both occasions, as was the case at St. Mary’s Stadium on Saturday. The chances were plentiful for Jurgen Klopp‘s side (15 shots in total), but the finishing was wasteful (just two on target). The two points dropped open up the door for Chelsea to go top of the table with a victory over Middlesbrough on Sunday (Watch live, 11 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).

Sunderland 3-0 Hull CityFULL RECAP

Sunderland are three points closer to 17th place, as well as 18th-place Hull, after their 3-0 triumph over the Tigers at the Stadium of Light. Jermain Defoe bagged his 150th PL goal, which turned out to be the winner on the day, and Victor Anichebe completed the scoring with a second-half brace to give the Black Cats back-to-back wins for the first time this season. Now two points back of Hull, and three back of West Ham, David Moyes‘ side is two points ahead of where they were after 12 games last season.

Watford 2-1 Leicester CityFULL RECAP

Etienne Capoue and Roberto Pereyra put Watford 2-0 up on the defending champions before a dozen minutes had been played, and Leicester never quite recovered. Riyad Mahrez pulled a goal back in the 15th minute, from the penalty spot, but the Foxes would manage just one more shot on target the rest of the game, and Claudio Ranieri‘s side has already lost twice as many games this season (6) as they did all of last season.

WATFORD, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 19: Danny Simpson of Leicester City reacts during the Premier League match between Watford and Leicester City at Vicarage Road on November 19, 2016 in Watford, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

Everton 1-1 Swansea CityFULL RECAP

Bob Bradley was a painfully short few minutes from securing his first victory as a PL manager, Gylfi Sigurdsson having converted from the penalty spot in the 41st minute to put Swansea 1-0 ahead at Goodison Park, but Seamus Coleman spoiled the party in the 89th minute, to snatch a point for Everton, who remain seventh in the league table.

Stoke City 0-1 BournemouthFULL RECAP

On-loan Chelsea defender Nathan Ake scored the only goal, as Bournemouth snapped a two-game losing skid with a narrow victory over Stoke. Bojan Krkic smashed a spot kick off the crossbar for the Potters, and Eddie Howe‘s side reached the dizzying heights of ninth in the league table with all three points.

Sunday’s PL schedule

Middlesbrough vs. Chelsea — 11 a.m. ET,on NBCSN and online via Live Extra

Report: Ajax in negotiations to sign El Tri’s Alvarez

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One of the Mexico National Team’s brightest stars appears to be heading to Ajax, where he could potentially be the replacement for one Matthijs de Ligt.

According to a report in Voetbol International, a publication in the Netherlands, Ajax technical director Marc Overmars confirmed the club’s interest in signing Club America and El Tri defender Edson Alvarez. Club America are reportedly demanding nothing less than nearly $17 million for Alvarez, who has in just two years become a regular for El Tri.

[READ: USMNT’s Boyd signs with Besiktas]

The report states that Wolverhampton Wanderers – which has Alvarez’s El Tri teammate Raul Jimenez – and PSV Eindhoven were also interesting in signing Alvarez.

The 21-year-old made his debut for Club America as a right back under long-time Liga MX manager Ricardo La Volpe in 2016, and just a few months after his club debut, he was already playing for the national team. He was included and featured at the 2017 Gold Cup, becoming Mexico’s youngest scorer in the competition (at age 19) and he then started all four of Mexico’s games at the 2018 World Cup, including against Neymar and Brazil in the Round of 16.

Alvarez has continued his strong play over the past year and has moved into more of a centerback and holding midfielder role at times. He played as a No. 6 for Mexico in its 1-0 win over the U.S. Men’s National Team at the 2019 Gold Cup final, at times dropping into the back line to defend while providing support in the attack.

As Alvarez is still young but continues to grow, it’s a perfect time for him to join Ajax. There, he’ll face even better attackers than in Liga MX, and he’ll have a lot of responsibility on his shoulders to play for a prestigious club like Ajax. The pressure to perform will only make him better, like it’s helped countryman Hirving “Chucky” Lozano across the Netherlands at PSV Eindhoven.

Interestingly, Alvarez would be the second summer signing for Ajax with a North American connection. Defender Kik Pierie was actually born in Boston, while his father was studying at Harvard Medical School, though he’s been raised almost entirely in the Netherlands and has featured for the Oranje internationally.

USMNT’s Boyd signs with Besiktas

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Add another American to the list of players who will be playing in UEFA competitions this fall.

Turkish giant Besiktas announced on Monday that it had signed winger Tyler Boyd to a four-year contract in a transfer from Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes. Boyd has had a pretty impressive last six months, from scoring six goals in 14 games with Ankaragücü in the Turkish Superlig on loan, to scoring goals and making the Gold Cup roster for the U.S. Men’s National Team.

[READ: Transfer Rumor Roundup]

The New Zealand-born pacey winger completed a one-time switch to play for the USMNT in May, and he went on to score a brace in the USMNT’s Gold Cup opener against Guyana. While Boyd made five appearances for the U.S. this summer, he was left on the bench as the U.S. bowed out to Mexico, suddenly appearing out of Berhalter’s plans as quickly as he entered them.

Regardless, this is a great move for Boyd, assuming he can get some first team minutes. It’s a big step up from Ankaragücü to play for Besiktas, which not only includes the heated Istanbul derbies against Fenerbahce and Galatasaray, but next season will also include at least six matches in the UEFA Europa League. By finishing third in the Turkish league, Besiktas earned a place direct in the Europa League group stage.

Of course, like we saw this summer with the USMNT, Boyd has to break into a more talented group of players and earn minutes, both for league and European matches. If he’s not playing much, it’s possible we won’t see much of him with the national team, as Jordan Morris gets regular playing time as well as others in that position like Timothy Weah, Corey Baird and possibly Kenny Saief, now that he’s back with Anderlecht.

Boyd is undoubtedly a talented player. Hopefully, this move up in stature and pressure can help the 24-year-old take his game to a new level.

Report: Manchester United “miles” apart on Maguire deal

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Yesterday, the English tabloids exploded with reports that Manchester United was nearing a deal with Leicester City to make Harry Maguire the most expensive defender in the world with a $100 million deal nearly completed. Some even went so far as to suggest a medical would take place on Monday – today.

Now, there seems to be an about-face as ESPN senior writer Mark Ogden reports that the two sides are “miles away” on a potential deal, as his source describes it.

According to the report, Manchester United’s last bid of $50 million is much closer to their valuation of the player, and while Leicester City is holding out for a world record bid, the two sides have not made much movement towards an agreement. They are willing to go up to $75 million with another bid, but that is still well off the Leicester City price tag.

Ogden writes that Manchester United’s first choice was Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt, but he is nearing completion on a move to Juventus, and if the reports over the last few weeks are to be believed, Manchester United was never really in play. De Ligt was handed significant wages at Juventus, something Manchester United may not have been willing to do.

They turned their sights towards Maguire, but with three weeks left in the transfer window, there apparently needs to be significant work done on a deal to move it across the finish line. Ogden writes that there is “confidence” within Manchester United that Maguire wants the move, but that’s nothing if the two clubs can’t come to an agreement.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: James to Atletico, Rondon to China

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It has seemed for weeks that James Rodriguez is just a formality away from becoming a Napoli player, with Real Madrid motivated to offload the Colombian and Napoli appearing equally as excited to bring him on. However, as the weeks drag on without any official announcement, things may have begun to sour.

According to a number of reports in Spain, Real Madrid were upset with Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis due to comments made by the Italian. With Real Madrid insisting any would-be suitor pony up immediately with a permanent deal, de Laurentiis went public with his insistence on a loan with an obligation to buy. “We are all prepared to make sacrifices for James Rodriguez, but we ask Real Madrid to make them too,” de Laurentiis said to Sky Sport Italia. “We’ve not given up, but in order to break the ice we need Madrid to consider that rather than have an unhappy player sitting around, they should send him out to play. Perhaps on loan.”

That reportedly upset Real Madrid enough to the point where they have shifted focus to Atletico Madrid, willing to deal with a direct rival rather than capitulate to Napoli’s wishes. The reports also state that Rodriguez is on board, growing frustrated with Napoli’s wavering desire for his services. Atletico is also an attractive destination for the Colombian given the gap up front created by the departure of Antoine Griezmann. They have spent all the Griezmann money on Portuguese youngster Joao Felix, but with such a departure, there is always a power vacuum Rodriguez could exploit.


According to Lyall Thomas of Sky Sports, Championship side West Brom has agreed to sell Salomon Rondon to Chinese club Dalian Yifang where he will reunite with manager Rafa Benitez.

The report states the deal between the clubs is done and the player now must agree to personal terms, with the possibility for official confirmation of the deal in as little as 48 hours. It is unclear what the value of the deal is, but Sky mentions that Rondon has a release clause in his contract worth $20.6 million.

Rondon spent last season on loan at Newcastle with Benitez after West Brom was relegated the season before. He was a superb creative force, scoring 12 goals across all competitions, good for second on the team behind Ayoze Perez. The 29-year-old is an experienced attacker with 78 international caps for Venezuela.


Sheffield United is preparing for its first season in the Premier League since the 2006/07 campaign, and they are looking for reinforcements to bolster their lineup and avoid the straightaway drop they faced last time in the top flight. Having already broken the club transfer record by acquiring Callum Robinson from Preston North End for $10 million, they are now looking to beat that number again.

According to The Guardian, the Blades had a $19 million bid for striker Oli McBurnie rejected by Swansea City. The Championship side is reportedly desperate to keep the 23-year-old after already offloading Daniel James to Manchester United.

McBurnie, a Leeds-born Scottish international, scored a massive 22 goals for the club in 42 Championship appearances last season as the club finished ninth in the table, plus he another two in a pair of FA Cup games. He first arrived at Swansea in the summer of 2015 in a deal with Bradford and was loaned out three separate times before sticking with the first team last season.


Roma technical director Gianluca Petrachi has issued a hands-off warning for Tottenham target Nicolo Zaniolo, saying the defender isn’t for sale.

“I have to work to try to get the best out of Zaniolo,” Petrachi said during a press conference for Leonardo Spinazzola’s unveiling. “I am also a very practical person, I have direct contact with my players. I never put Zaniolo up for sale, nor did I say it was on the market. The market is full of surprises, but today Zaniolo is not on the market.”

The 20-year-old joined from Inter last summer and signed a contract through the summer of 2023. There have been reports that Spurs are circling due to Zaniolo’s unhappiness with Petrachi reportedly breaking off new contract negotiations upon his arrival. There were even rumblings of a swap deal for Spurs defender Toby Alderweireld.

The youngster was a mainstay for Roma last season once he earned a starting place in early November, making 27 Serie A appearances and scoring four goals.