10 things we learned in the Premier League – Matchweek 28


What did we learn in the Premier League over the weekend?

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in the USA ]

Here’s a look at 10 things which stood out, as our writers Joe Prince-Wright (JPW), Nick Mendola (NM) and Andy Edwards (AE) share their observations from across the most recent Premier League games.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Let’s get to it.

1. Arsenal shuts down Spurs (Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham): Mikel Arteta risked all sorts of mayhem when he benched Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for (reportedly) being late to a team activity before the game, the coach admitting he took the captain out of the lineup. So the manager, captain, and really all of Gooner world will be thanking the players who were on the pitch, with special love to Arteta’s defensive midfield duo. Yes, Thomas Partey was nutmegged by Erik Lamela’s glorious rabona (WATCH HERE), but the Ghanaian and his partner Granit Xhaka were essentially a no-fly zone that let precious few attackers anywhere near the Arsenal center backs, let alone the goal. Odegaard was very good, Lacazette did what he always seems to do, and Xhaka, Emile Smith-Rowe, Thomas, and Tierney all shone bright. Banner day for the Gunners. (NM)

2. First gem of quadruple nearly in the books (Fulham 0-3 Manchester City): City’s 17-point lead over Manchester United and 18-point advantage of Leicester City will shrink given their two further matches played than the nearest chasers, but the title is City’s barring a catastrophic and historic implosion. United maxes out with 84 points and Leicester City 83, and they meet each other May 11. Leicester plays Man City on April 3. As for the other competitions, City has a 2-0 lead on Borussia Monchengladbach heading into the second leg of their Champions League Round of 16 tie on Tuesday, and visits Everton in the FA Cup quarterfinal on March 20. The final jewel is April’s League Cup Final versus Tottenham. (NM)

3. Pulisic does okay in hybrid role (Leeds 0-0 Chelsea): This was a 6 out of 10 display. Nothing more. Nothing less. Pulisic, 22, started in the Premier League for the first time under Tuchel and played in a hybrid right wing-back role, not on the left, as Chelsea switched things up in and out of possession. He whipped in some good crosses early on but spent a lot of time defending. Tuchel was said to be shouting at Pulisic a lot during the game and he was clearly told to stay way out on the flank rather than drift inside. That doesn’t suit him and this 69 minute display showcased why he may not slot into Tuchel’s plans on a regular basis. (JPW)

4. Hammers hardly turned up (Manchester United 1-0 West Ham): For the entirety of Sunday’s game, there were only two likely outcomes: 1) Manchester United eventually score and win going away, or 2) Manchester United, somehow, fail to score and the game ends 0-0. West Ham didn’t register their first shot of the game until the 56th minute, at which point Manchester United had already scored and the game was over. By contrast, Manchester United had taken 11 (mostly poor) shots by that time. (AE)

5. Aguero back amongst the goals (Fulham 0-3 Manchester City): Sergio Aguero had been limited to 220 minutes in the Premier League this season, so his 60th-minute penalty was more important that its cosmetic nature. Aguero was making just his third PL start this season, which may be his last at the Etihad given his contract expiration this summer. Aguero starting next to Gabriel Jesus also gave opponents something else to think about as City chases the quadruple. (NM)

6. Iheanacho’s deluxe (Leicester 5-0 Sheffield United): Oh boy, was the Nigerian a nightmare for the Blades. Kelechi Iheanacho doubled his Premier League season goal total to six, all coming in his last six appearances. His 10 goals across all competitions now match last season and move him within sight of his career-best 14, set in 2015-16 with Manchester City. (NM)

7. Burnley bright (Everton 1-2 Burnley): There are jokes to be made about Burnley’s two goals representing 9 percent of the Premier League haul this season, but Sean Dyche’s men very much deserved them and could’ve had five or six on another day. Most important, though, is that those wayward misses didn’t stop their resolved minds at the defensive end. Huge win for the Royal Dyche. (NM)

8. Seagulls meet their performances (Southampton 1-2 Brighton): So many times this season (and last) we’ve seen Brighton play plenty well enough for three points, or at least one, but settle for one or none. That wasn’t the case today and the Seagulls put six of eight shots on target to seize three key points, overcoming a Dunk error to reclaim the lead (after the center back opened the scoring to boot). (NM)

9. Maybe spirit can save Newcastle (Newcastle 1-1 Aston Villa): Admittedly, you’re grasping for straws when you say something like “Who knows, maybe Newcastle have a self-belief that will, somehow, carry them over the line,” but it’s more than we’ve seen from Brighton or Burnley — a pair of fellow relegation candidates — over the last month. It’s not been great fun to watch — actually, it’s been atrocious — but they’re finding a way to pick up points, and doing it without Allan Saint-Maximin, Callum Wilson or Miguel Almiron. (AE)

10. Palace will be safe (Crystal Palace 1-0 West Brom): Wilfried Zaha’s return to the lineup is a big deal and the three points are enough even with some challenging fixtures ahead. The Eagles have Everton, Chelsea, Leicester City, Man City, Aston Villa, Arsenal, and Liverpool left on the docket. These three points really mattered. (NM)

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Manchester City vs Arsenal, FA Cup fourth round: How to watch live, stream link, team news


Premier League title rivals Manchester City and Arsenal finally meet for the first time this year when the FA Cup hits the Etihad Stadium on Friday.

The visiting Gunners have a five-point lead on City with a match-in-hand on the defending champions when it comes to Premier League play, and Arsenal’s done plenty good in the FA Cup.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ] 

Arsenal last won the FA Cup in 2020, their tournament-best title total hitting 14. Man City won the previous season, and City has six FA Cup titles. Only six teams including the Gunners have more.

Manchester City vs Arsenal, FA Cup fourth round: How to watch live, stream link

Kick off: 3pm ET, Friday
TV Channel: ESPN+
Online: Updates via NBCSports.com

Key storylines & in-form players to watch 

The main storyline is easy: this is the first time we’ll see red-hot Arsenal test its mettle against the Premier League’s gold, er, silverware standard.

Arsenal will have a chance to run at Man City’s back line with Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Eddie Nketiah, and more, though there’s be even more juice in this match-up if Gabriel Jesus was healthy. Ex-City man Oleksandr Zinchenko may be ready for this reunion, too.

City’s won four-straight match-ups with Arsenal, but the last Gunners win came in… the 2019-20 FA Cup, when Arsenal knocked off the holders. That’s a top, top recent memory for the club, a North London outfit who will hope its a harbinger of what’s to come later this season. Plus, there’s silverware in play here, too, you know?!?

Will Pep Guardiola start Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne? Man City’s next game isn’t until Feb. 5 versus Tottenham, but Guardiola may not want to give Mikel Arteta’s men a taste of the duo with a huge Premier League encounter looming Feb. 15 at the Emirates Stadium.

Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options

Man City is pretty healthy and should be able to deploy whoever Pep Guardiola wants to see against Arsenal, though we know the Catalan wizard is sometimes careful with what he does in cup competitions against Premier League rivals.

Arsenal team news, injuries, lineup options

Gabriel Jesus will not be available to compete against his former club, while Reiss Nelson and Mohamed Elneny are unlikely to play.

2024 Copa America to be played in USA


The United States will host the 2024 Copa America, which will once again feature six guest nations as part of a new “strategic collaboration agreement” announced by CONMEBOL and CONCACAF on Friday.

[ MORE: Report: Christian Pulisic wanted by AC Milan ]

Copa America last came to the U.S., in the summer of 2016 for Copa America Centenario, the 100-year celebration of the South American championship.

Back in 2016, the USMNT and Mexico were not required to qualify for the tournament, but the CONCACAF giants will not be given an automatic bid to Copa America 2024. They will also be forced to qualify as one of six CONCACAF through the 2023-24 Nations League. Previously, the other four bids from CONCACAF were awarded via various regional tournaments and and qualifying playoffs.

[ MORE: USMNT falls to Serbia in 2023 opener ]

The CONMEBOL-CONCACAF partnership also extends to the women’s game, where the Gold Cup is being revamped.

2024 CONCACAF W[omen’s] Gold Cup will include eight CONCACAF women’s national teams and four CONMEBOL guests

For women’s national teams, CONCACAF has invited the top four CONMEBOL national teams to participate in the 2024 CONCACAF W Gold Cup. The inaugural edition of this 12-team tournament, which is a key part of CONCACAF’s new women’s national team ecosystem, will be played in the United States.

The two Concacaf teams that will participate in the 2024 Summer Olympics (United States and Jamaica or Canada) will qualify directly for the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup. The remaining six Concacaf teams will be determined through the 2023 Road to Concacaf W Gold Cup.

2024 Copa America: What does it mean for USMNT?

First things first, it means playing more high-level, competitive games between World Cups. The USMNT has faced the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and other South American nations in friendlies over the years, but as things stand their only competitive fixtures come against CONCACAF competition — the Gold Cup and World Cup qualifying.

The timing of the tournament is beneficial for all national teams involved as well, at the halfway point to the 2026 World Cup — also set to be hosted in the United States (and Mexico and Canada) — just as EURO 2024 is the halfway marker for European nations. The 2023 Gold Cup is still on the schedule for this summer, with the final to be played at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.

Only time will tell if the combined Copa America will become the new norm in the Americas, but given what we know about the profitability of international soccer, there will certainly be a “cross your fingers and hope all goes well” vibe in 2024.

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Report: Everton to appoint Sean Dyche as next manager


Sean Dyche is set to be appointed as the new manager at Everton, replacing Frank Lampard, as the Toffees prepare for a potential relegation battle for the second straight season.

[ MORE: Report: Everton put up for sale by Farhad Moshiri, asking $615 million ]

An official announcement is expected from the club on Friday. The former Burnley boss has been out of work since the Clarets fired Dyche after nearly 10 years last April. Burnley were, of course, relegated from the Premier League anyway.

Marcelo Bielsa was reportedly the first manager contacted by Everton owner Farhad Moshiri, who’s looking to sell the club now as well, but the former Leeds boss declined the opportunity to wade into a relegation battle with a club currently unable to further invest in the first-team squad, whether that be this January or in the summer.

[ MORE: Premier League scheduleMidseason grades ]

After 20 of 38 games played this season, Everton (15 points) sit 19th in the Premier League table, ahead of last-place Southampton by five goals in the goal difference column. The good news: two points is all that separates them from safety in 17th place (Wolves). Furthermore, three points is all that stands in between Everton and 14th-place Leicester.

When did things begin to go wrong for Everton?

At the time of Rafa Benitez’s appointment in the summer of 2021, you had to go back to nearly the turn of the millennium to find a manager who 1) managed Everton for more than 40 games (all competitions), and 2) had a win percentage below 40 percent. David Moyes (42.05), Roberto Martinez (42.86), Ronaldo Koeman (41.38), Marco Silva (40.00) and Carlo Ancelotti (46.27) all matched or eclipsed the mark between the spring of 2002 and Benitez’s arrival.

Benitez’s tenure was generally viewed as an unmitigated disaster by Everton fans who were unhappy at the former Liverpool manager being hired in the first place. His win percentage (in just 22 games) was 31.82, a steep drop from his predecessors.

Lampard went a few points better worse than Benitez, checking in at 27.91. Going all the way back to the founding of the Football League in 1888, only one manager has produced a lower win percentage than Lampard in at least 40 games managed. Howard Kendall, like Lampard, lasted less than a full year from 1997-98, with a 26.19 win percentage.

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FA Cup fourth round schedule, how to watch live, predictions


The FA Cup always delivers shocks and plenty of Premier League clubs have tricky tasks facing them in the fourth round.

After Aston Villa, Newcastle, Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth were all knocked out by lower league opponents in round three, plus Everton, Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Brentford knocked out by fellow Premier League sides, there are only 11 top-flight teams left in the last 32.

[ LIVE: Follow FA Cup scores, updates ]

The fourth-round draw’s already been conducted and Arsenal will tangle with Manchester City in a tantalizing tie, while Brighton against Liverpool has the makings of a classic and Manchester United will be on upset alert against Reading and so too will West Ham as they face a tough trip to third-tier Derby County.

Read on for FA Cup stream info, fixtures, and predictions.

FA Cup live scores, schedule, dates, how to watch

Dates: Fourth round (January 27-30)
Times: Below
Online: Live updates via NBCSports.com
How to watch: ESPN+

FA Cup fourth round schedule

All games 10am ET unless otherwise stated

Man City vs Arsenal – 3pm ET

Accrington Stanley vs Leeds United – 7:30am ET
Walsall vs Leicester City – 7:30am ET
Fulham vs Sunderland
Bristol City vs West Brom
Sheffield Wednesday vs Fleetwood Town
Blackburn Rovers vs Birmingham City
Luton Town vs Grimsby Town
Ipswich Town vs Burnley
Southampton vs Blackpool
Preston North End vs Tottenham Hotspur – 1pm ET
Manchester United vs Reading – 3pm ET

Brighton vs Liverpool – 8:30am ET
Stoke City vs Stevenage – 9am ET
Wrexham vs Sheffield United – 11:30am ET

Derby County vs West Ham – 2:45pm ET

FA Cup fourth round predictions – By Joe Prince-Wright

Man City 2-1 Arsenal

Accrington Stanley 1-3 Leeds United
Walsall 1-2 Leicester City
Fulham 1-2 Sunderland
Bristol City 1-2 West Brom
Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Fleetwood Town
Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Birmingham City
Luton Town 3-1 Grimsby Town
Ipswich Town 1-3 Burnley
Southampton 2-0 Blackpool
Preston North End 1-4 Tottenham Hotspur
Manchester United 2-1 Reading

Brighton 2-2 Liverpool
Stoke City 2-1 Stevenage
Wrexham 1-2 Sheffield United

Derby County 1-1 West Ham

FA Cup third round replays


Swansea City 1-2 (AET) Bristol City
Forest Green Rovers 1-2 Birmingham City (original tie postponed due to waterlogged pitch)
Wigan 1-2 Luton
Wolves 0-1 Liverpool
West Brom 4-0 Chesterfield


Leeds United 5-2 Cardiff City

Tuesday, January 24

Accrington Stanley vs Boreham Wood

FA Cup third round results


Manchester United 3-1 Everton


Preston North End 3-1 Huddersfield Town
Reading 2-0 Watford
Tottenham 1-0 Portsmouth
Gillingham 0-1 Leicester City
Forest Green Rovers vs Birmingham City — PPD
Crystal Palace 1-2 Southampton
Hull City 0-2 Fulham
Middlesbrough 1-5 Brighton
Fleetwood Town 2-1 QPR
Ipswich Town 4-1 Rotherham
Bournemouth 2-4 Burnley
Blackpool 4-1 Nottingham Forest
Chesterfield 3-3 West Brom
Millwall 0-2 Sheffield United
Boreham Wood 1-1 Accrington Stanley
Shrewsbury Town 1-2 Sunderland
Brentford 0-1 West Ham
Coventry City 3-4 Wrexham
Luton Town 1-1 Wigan
Grimsby Town 1-0 Burton Albion
Sheffield Wednesday 2-1 Newcastle
Liverpool 2-2 Wolves


Bristol City 1-1 Swansea City
Derby County 3-0 Barnsley
Cardiff City 2-2 Leeds
Stockport 1-2 Walsall
Hartlepool 0-3 Stoke City
Norwich 0-1 Blackpool
Aston Villa 1-2 Stevenage
Man City 4-0 Chelsea


Oxford United 0-3 Arsenal