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Dani Alves admits Neymar persuaded him to join PSG weeks ago

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PARIS (AP) Even before joining Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar was assisting the team.

Dani Alves disclosed Saturday that Neymar said the Brazil defender should move to the French capital last month — and not to Manchester City — after being released by Juventus.

[ MORE: Saturday’s transfer rumor roundupFriday | Thursday ]

Neymar also let former Barcelona teammate Alves in on the secret that he was thinking about making the record-breaking $262 million transfer from the Camp Nou.

“I talked to him about the possibility,” Alves said. “He recommended me to come here. He suggested that I come to the club. I said I wanted to leave Juventus, and he was thinking of coming here.”

While Alves made his PSG debut on Saturday in a 2-0 victory over Amiens, Neymar is yet to play for the French capital club after his international clearance didn’t come through in time.

“There is anticipation because of the football he plays and his will to show it to the world,” said the 35-year-old Alves, who won the Spanish league, Champions League and Club World Cup alongside Neymar at Barcelona. “You take a giant step when you have a player of this level to play against the other teams. This team will get a quality leap forward.”

[ MORE: Neymar won’t make PSG debut until next week ]

Neymar’s transfer more than doubled the previous world transfer record set a year ago when Manchester United paid $116 million to sign Paul Pogba.

“We are not moved by money,” Alves said. “Few people leave their comfort zone, and we are Brazilians. Brazilians do that.”

The arrival of Neymar and Alves adds an even stronger Brazilian flavor to a squad captained by Thiago Silva, whose center back partner is compatriot Marquinhos.

“Our group is very good, people here are very close,” Alves said. “This makes the adaptation a little easier. (Neymar) is very happy and we welcomed him with open arms. I am close because I know what this is like. He came to the right place at the right time.”

[ MORE: 2017-18 Premier League season preview hub

Neymar’s move to PSG raised eyebrows because he is leaving one of soccer’s most illustrious teams for a club that has never won the Champions League.

“It isn’t only about Barcelona, about Spanish clubs,” Alves said. “There is life, challenge and football in other places. Neymar coming changes PSG’s position for sure. It inevitable that there are expectations. His greatness brings all that.”

Watch Live: Liverpool v. Arsenal

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2-0 to start the season, Liverpool and Arsenal are both bidding for their first marquee three points when they tangle at Anfield on Saturday (Watch live on NBC and online via NBCSports.com).

Alexandre Lacazette is on the bench for Arsenal as record signing Nicolas Pepe starts for the Gunners, who have beaten Burnley and Newcastle United.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Liverpool’s wins have come against Norwich City and Southampton, and Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is deploying his very best to face the Gunners.

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Liverpool:

Arsenal:

AT HALF: Manchester United trails, 10-man Brighton loses goal to VAR

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We’ve got goals. We’ve got red cards. We’ve got fun.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ] 

All four Premier League 10 a.m. ET Saturday kickoffs have reached halftime. Here’s your primer to select which second half to stream live.

Watford 1-1 West Ham United

Chances and entertainment for days at Vicarage Road, where Mark Noble‘s early penalty was quickly offset by Andre Gray‘s emphatic finish of a Will Hughes through ball.

Brighton and Hove Albion 0-0 Southampton

Florin Andone has been sent off for the hosts after a gnarly challenge on Yan Valery, and further insult for Brighton came when VAR spotted a clear foul on Lewis Dunk‘s headed goal.

Sheffield United 0-1 Leicester City

Jamie Vardy may not tire of throwing parties, and James Maddison sure designs delightful invitations.

Manchester United 0-1 Crystal Palace

Possession doesn’t matter much if you can’t handle a 70-yard goalkeeper pass, and Victor Lindelof‘s lost header to Jeff Schlupp allowed Jordan Ayew as much time as he needed to slot past David De Gea.

United probably should be up a man after Gary Cahill chopped down Anthony Martial, but only a yellow arrived at Old Trafford.

Lampard, Abraham react to first Chelsea win, goal

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Frank Lampard was all business in being asked about his first Premier League win as Chelsea boss.

Coming on the heels of a loss and draw heading into Saturday’s 3-2 defeat of Norwich City, Lampard was ready to talk about the big picture (especially considering the Blues dealt with a pre-match injury to Pedro).

[ MORE: How did Pulisic perform? ] 

With a lot of young players and a tricky transfer ban, Lampard has to walk a fine line between the expectations of Chelsea and the reality of working with a side he hasn’t been able to improve through the transfer window. From the BBC:

“We want to compete. We know this year is difficult on different levels. We’ve had a tough start, and yep, we needed a win. It helps confidence.”

On the other end of the spectrum is Tammy Abraham, who has no qualms whatsoever with his first Chelsea goal in the Premier League.

“I didn’t even know how to celebrate so I just ran over to the management and the staff. It always gives confidence to me and the young boys when the coach believes in you.”

Sheffield United is next, a real chance for the Blues to round into form even if the Blades have been plucky early in their Premier League return.

Watch Live: Four Premier League games at 10am ET

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Four Premier League games kick off at 10 a.m. ET on Saturday, as Matchweek 3 is in full swing.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ] 

Man United host Crystal Palace, Southampton head to Brighton, Watford and West Ham do battle and Leicester travel to Sheffield United.

[ MORE: Sign up for NBC Sports Gold ] 

You can access additional games by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold which also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today and NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: “Goal Rush” here ]

For those of you familiar with the Premier League Breakaway Show during busy days (Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Championship Sunday etc.) in the PL, this will follow that model of being similar to the NFL RedZone with action shown from all of the games in the 10 a.m. ET window. More info is available here.

The schedule for all four games at 10 a.m. ET is below and you can stream each game live by clicking on the links.


10 a.m. ET: Man United v. Crystal Palace – NBCSN [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Brighton v. Southampton – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Sheffield United v. Leicester – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
10 a.m. ET: Watford v. West Ham – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]