Everton beat stumbling Leicester

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Everton edged past Leicester City with a 2-1 win as the Foxes continue to drop points and are in real danger of dropping out of the Champions League positions.

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Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton scored twice early through Richarlison and a Gyfli Sigurdsson penalty kick and even though Kelechi Icheanacho pulled one back for Leicester right at the start of the second half, they couldn’t find an equalizer.

Everton are unbeaten since the restart and move up to 11th on 44 points as they are well in the Europa League mix. Leicester could slip to fourth and have Man United, Chelsea and Wolves breathing down their necks.


Three things we learned

1. Leicester in freefall: They’ve won one of their last eight Premier League games and have been knocked out of both cup competitions, as well as just four wins in their last 16 in the PL. They won eight-straight through October and November and looked nailed on to finish in the top four, as at one point they had a 14-point gap over the fifth-place team. Leicester are really falling away and are now just three points above Man United and Wolves who are hunting them down. Brendan Rodgers’ side were woeful in the first half and although they improved in the second, it wasn’t enough. They have lost their balance in midfield and spark in attack.

2. Everton smart defensively: The big improvement has been defensively and Ancelotti has sharpened up the Toffees. They look more streetwise and have a settled back four which is getting the job done. Going forward they have attacking weapons to hurt teams, so as long as they don’t make defensive mistakes they will win a lot of games. It may not be the most exciting style to watch but boy is it getting results. Everton have lost three of Ancelotti’s 14 games in charge and those were away at Chelsea, Arsenal and Man City. They look solid.

3. Vardy hardly had a kick: Vardy played in a cross to Perez in stoppage time and that was about all he did. Vardy, 33, has run out of steam after his amazing start to the season and has only scored in two of his last 16 outings for the Foxes. That is a big reason why they are in freefall and Vardy just isn’t getting in the right areas of the pitch.

Man of the Match

Michael Keane – Dominant display as he helped win the penalty kick and marshalled the backline expertly under intense pressure in the second half. Probably up there to win the PL comeback player of the year award, if there was such a thing. Proper old school center half.


Everton struck early as Richarlison put them ahead after some great work from youngster Anthony Gordon. Played in down the left, Gordon picked out Richarlison on the penalty spot and the Brazilian swept home to make it 1-0.

Six minutes later the Toffees doubled their lead as Lucas Digne whipped in a free kick which saw Michael Keane and Wilfred Ndidi battle for the ball in the penalty box and a penalty kick was awarded for a handball on Ndidi after plenty of deliberation from VAR. Sigurdsson calmly slotted home the spot kick to make it 2-0.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin was then played in superbly over the top by Gordon but Caglar Soyuncu did brilliantly to put him under pressure at the crucial moment as a big chance came and went for Everton.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Digne’s shot deflected off James Justin and Kasper Schmeichel scrambled to claw it away as Everton almost made it 3-0.

Iheanacho then made it 2-1 as he bundled home after Everton failed to clear. Another half time sub, James Maddison, caused all kinds of problems and Michael Keane almost scored an own goal as Jordan Pickford allowed a cross to slip through his grasp but Keane hacked the ball off the line.

Iheanacho then brought the ball down but fired over when he was off balance, as Leicester totally dominated the second half.

In stoppage time Jamie Vardy set up Ayoze Perez and his effort flashed wide as Mason Holgate got a crucial block on the effort and Everton held on to secure a big three points and pile more pressure on Leicester.

Transfer confirmed: Ferran Torres to Man City for $26 million

Ferran Torres to Man City
Photo credit: Man City
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Reports sending Valencia youngster Ferran Torres to Man City have been burning red-hot over the last 24 hours.

[ MORE: Ranking the new Premier League kits for 2020-21 ]

Man City confirmed their capture of the 20-year-old — one of the brightest prospects in all of Europe — on Tuesday.

Torres, who came through the Valencia academy, tallied six goals and seven assists in 43 appearances (all competitions), including two of each in the Champions League, for Valencia this season.

He broke into Valencia’s first team back in November of 2017, at the age of 17, before establishing himself as a regular over the last two seasons.

[ MORE: Man United, Dortmund in talks over $140 million Sancho transfer ]

Reports out of the UK claim it will reportedly cost just $26 million to bring Ferran Torres to Man City, plus possible add-ons, as he had just one year remaining on his contact with Valencia. Torres reportedly met with City sporting director Txiki Begiristain earlier on Tuesday, adding further fuel to the fire that a move was imminent.

Torres seems an obvious replacement for recently departed winger Leroy Sane. He’ll join Raheem Sterling as one of only two natural wingers in Pep Guardiola’s squad, offering more tactical flexibility — not to mention, width — after City were fairly limited in the wide areas during the 2019-20 season.

Championship playoff final: How to watch, start time, odds, prediction

Brentford - Fulham
Photo byJacques Feeney/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images
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Fulham – Brentford: Team news is in with the two West London sides set to do battle for a place in the Premier League in the Football League Championship promotion playoff final at Wembley Stadium.

We can hardly wait to find out who’ll claim the 20th berth in the 2020-21 Premier League season in the richest game on earth.

[ MORE: Predictions, Odds for Europe ]

Kickoff is at 2:45 pm ET Tuesday at Wembley Stadium.

Team news


Key players

Fulham leading scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic’s 26 goals were the joint-most in the Championship and more than three times as many as Tom Cairney, second amongst the Cottagers. He’s healthy for the first time after missing the semis with a hamstring injury.

Brentford’s Ollie Watkins scored the same amount of goals as Mitrovic, tying for the league lead, and he’s joined by Said Benrahma’s 17 goals (fifth in the league) and Bryan Mbeumo (eighth). The latter have combined for 16 assists, too. The Bees can sting.

Their seasons

Brentford won a even-straight league games to surge into the mix for automatic promotion but lost their last two, meeting Fulham on 81 points.

As for the Cottagers, Fulham finished the season on a seven-match unbeaten run which included five wins

Their playoffs

Brentford overcame a 1-0 first-leg deficit to oust Swansea City in the semifinal, while Fulham’s first leg win was enough to outlast Cardiff City’s strong second leg in their semi.

Odds and ends

Brentford beat Fulham twice, 1-0 at Griffin Park and 2-0 at Craven Cottage.

The Bees are favored to win the match at +108 odds, while Fulham carries +265 odds of a win.

Prediction

Mitrovic’s availability is huge for a Fulham side hoping to break down the league’s second-stingiest defense. Brentford feels like it’s the superior side but Fulham has been here and Cairney even scored the goal to beat Aston Villa in the 2017-18 playoff final. That experience is an X-factor, but we’ll still call Brentford 2-1 winners.

How to watch Fulham – Brentford

Kickoff: 2:45 pm ET Tuesday
Stream: ESPN+

Pulisic Watch: Goal, hamstring injury in FA Cup final

Pulisic injury
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Christian Pulisic had both a dream and nightmare outing in the FA Cup final, as he became the first USMNT player in history to score in the FA Cup final but looked to have severely injured his hamstring.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Pulisic, 21, scored a superb opener at Wembley as he dazzled for Chelsea early on but right at the start of the second half he raced clear of the Arsenal defense, again, but appeared to injure his right hamstring badly before he took a shot.

Injury update, latest news on Pulisic

Frank Lampard gave a Pulisic injury update after the game and said that the USMNT star would not be fit to play in their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg game at Bayern Munich next Saturday. Lampard also confirmed that Pulisic will have a scan on his injured hamstring to determine the severity of the damage.

Here’s a close look at a superb display for Pulisic which ended in injury.


2nd minute: Found on the ball and plays it back to Rudiger. Chelsea looking to play the ball direct early on.

7th minute: GOALLL! Finds Giroud centrally, then surges forward and finds Mount on the left.  A cross from Mount is flicked to Pulisic by Giroud and he dinks home over Emiliano Martinez. Pulisic becomes the first USMNT player in history to score in an FA Cup final.

9th minute: Man, is he up for this. Pulisic puts Bellerin under pressure and wins the ball back for Chelsea.

11th minute: Lovely feet from Pulisic as he ran past two Arsenal defenders and at another two, before hitting a shot right at Emiliano Martinez.

14th minute: A nice flick to Giroud who didn’t quite read it. Lovely creativity.

20th minute: Picks up the ball on the left and is calm and composed on the ball. Always looking to drift inside.

31st minute: Cuts in from the right and flies past two players but Alonso fouls and the attack is over. Chelsea struggling after Arsenal’s equalizer.

38th minute: Found by Kovacic and plays it wide as Chelsea try and possess the ball after losing captain Azpilcueta to injury, who had given away the penalty kick Arsenal equalized from.

41st minute: Almost gets away but Arsenal stop him. A real nuisance.

45th minute: Tackled by Kieran Tierney, as Arsenal win a free kick right on the edge of the box but it is flashed wide.

47th minute: Right at the start of the second half he accelerates towards goal and is away from the Arsenal defense, but he pulls up in agony with a right hamstring injury before getting a shot away which is just wide. Somehow he still had a shot despite being in agony.

48th minute: Pulisic is in agony as he is helped off the pitch and Pedro replaces him. A dream start to the FA Cup final ends in agony for the American. Chelsea and USMNT fans everywhere will be waiting anxiously to hear the latest Pulisic injury update.

UPDATE: Pulisic went straight down the tunnel and was seen late in the second half as the other Chelsea players sat in the stand and watched their team.

Ranking new Premier League kits for 2020-21

Premier League kit rankings
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Premier League kit rankings are absolutely one of our favorite things to do each summer.

New kits have been dropped by plenty of Premier League clubs ahead of the new 2020-21 season, with fresh looks galore.

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Some teams have kept it simple, while others have gone for something very different.

With big name kit suppliers arriving on new deals at clubs, there will be some very different looks for next season and beyond.

Check out our 2020-21 Premier League kit rankings from the shirts released, so far.


1 – Sheffield United: Absolutely stunning design. Simple and striking at the same time. Love it.

2 – Southampton: Classy retro kits to celebrate their 135th anniversary, as Saints return to their original look.

Southampton

3 – Aston Villa: Clean, sharp look and you can’t go wrong with claret and blue. Love the larger badge too.

 

4 – Arsenal: Loving the retro vibes and yet another fine Arsenal kit.

 

5 – Brighton: Gone for an all blue number with white pinstripes. This is very good and a big chance from the bigger blue and white stripes. Retro, again.

6 – Tottenham Hotspur: Very sleek look and Spurs have kit it simple. Like the away kit, a lot.

7 – Manchester United: Nice little design throughout the kit which adds something extra.

8 – Liverpool: New Nike kits for the first time in history. The teal trim looks smart. Kept it simple and safe.

9 – Wolves: Another team which has gone for the retro look and it works.

10 – West Brom: The barcode stripes are slightly jarring but the colors, badge and design are good.

11 – Man City: A little too much going on with the home and away kits.

12 – West Ham: The Hammers are celebrating their 125th anniversary in style. Very nice. Classic look with a massive badge. Maybe a bit too plain?

13 – Chelsea: The new sponsor logo and the size of it has been ridiculed and it does ruin the very snazzy looking kits.

14 – Similar look for Leicester and this is a nice design. Big fan of the sleeves.

15 – Everton: Hummel are underrated and this has a nice retro look to it.

16 – Newcastle United: Does what it says on the tin. Black and white stripes, and that’s it.