Aaron Ramsdale

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Done Deals: Norwich City adds Bundesliga vet, Begovic to AC Milan

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The January transfer window is nearly half-shut, and Premier League sides saw some pieces move on Monday.

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Norwich City has added longtime Bundesliga center midfielder Lukas Rupp to its relegation scrap.

Rupp, 29, joins the last-place Canaries through the 2021/22 season, bringing 132 Bundesliga appearances acquired between Hoffenheim, Paderborn, Stuttgart, and Borussia Monchengladbach.

He’s struggled for playing time and form this season, but chipped in three goals and three assists last season.

Also, “basement boys” is a rough shot across the bow of the good ship Farke, isn’t it Hoffenheim?


Pepe Reina’s loan move to Aston Villa from AC Milan meant the Serie A side needed help in goal behind Gianluigi Donnarumma.

That will come in the form of Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, who is taking his second consecutive loan stint away from the South Coast. Begovic has 62 caps for Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Begovic, 32, played 17 times for Qarabag in a half-season loan that included Europa League action. He previously spent time with six English clubs, starring for Stoke City while also playing for Chelsea, Portsmouth, Yeovil Town, Ipswich Town, and current employers Bournemouth.

The Cherries are in the Premier League’s Bottom Three. Manager Eddie Howe started 20-year-old Mark Travers in goal at the weekend with 21-year-old Aaron Ramsdale injured. Bournemouth also employs veteran backstop Artur Boruc.

Watford soars past miserable Bournemouth

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Abdoulaye Doucoure had a goal and an assist as Watford leapt out of the drop zone with a 2-0 win over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

Troy Deeney and Roberto Pereyra also scored and Ismaila Sarr was a constant threat for the Hornets.

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Watford has four wins inside of a five-match unbeaten run under Nigel Pearson and moves 17th with 22 points.

That’s two points better than the Cherries, who sit 19th with 20 points.


Three things we learned

1. Sarr shows what got him to Watford: Senegalese youngster Sarr has experienced in an uneven start to life in the Premier League, but there have been plenty of positives. Last season saw Sarr become a double-digit goal and assist man at Stade Rennais, earning a splashy move to the Hornets.

Sarr’s steal and terrific assist put Watford up 1-0, and he did the lion’s share of the lifting on the second. He entered the day with four goals and two assists in around 1000 minutes for Watford. At his best, Sarr is making himself a huge threat on the other side of Gerard Deulofeu (even if he looks dejected to come off in the 83rd minute).

2. Ice cold Wilson, snake bit Fraser killing Cherries: Callum Wilson had another rough outing to stretch a brutal run into mid-January. He finished a run of five goals in four Premier League matches on Sept. 28. His only goal or assist since that run came against Luton Town in the FA Cup last week. He had 15 and 10 last season.

Ryan Fraser is also struggling, though the effort and craft remain on display sans end product. Fraser was one of the few Cherries to show up on Sunday but has a goal and just three assists this season and nothing since Nov. 23. Last season? Eight and 15.

3. Deputy Travers gets no help : A minor injury suffered by 21-year-old Aaron Ramsdale led to an even younger starting goalkeeper for Bournemouth. Irish backstop Mark Travers got the call, his first PL match of the season after starting in all three of the Cherries’ cup outings. He kept a clean sheet against Spurs in his PL debut last season but then conceded five times in the season finale. It was more of the latter than the former in his two-save Sunday, as Travers gave the ball away a few touches before Watford’s opener.

Man of the Match: Doucoure, Sarr, Deeney, and Etienne Capoue were the standouts for Watford, and Doucoure was ready to go from Moment No. 1 to get our nod.


Ismaila Sarr raced down the right wing off a Bournemouth giveaway, but his touch put him out wide and his ball toward the back post was wide and absent receiver.

At the other end, a long Harry Wilson drive took two turns before Ben Foster recovered it to stifle the threat.

In-form Gerard Deulofeu forced a fine save out of young goalkeeper Mark Travers, who saw the ensuing corner nodded wide of the frame.

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Bournemouth had plenty of the play, but Watford went ahead through a Travers giveaway quickly turned into a goal by Sarr and Doucoure.

The game lifted a bit for the Cherries upon the introduction of Philip Billing and Lewis Cook, but Deeney shut it down with an arrow into the back of the net following incredible work from Sarr.

Deulofeu led a break that ended with a Travers save of a Deeney bounded shot.

The Hornets put it to bed when Andre Gray saw his shot cleared off the line and Pereyra settled the rebound and slotted home.

West Ham smashes Bournemouth as Moyes begins 2nd term

Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images
Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images
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The David Moyes era is off to a flying start thanks to West Ham United’s 4-0 demolition of woeful Bournemouth at the London Stadium on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Mark Noble scored twice, once from the spot, to join Felipe Anderson and Sebastien Haller on the score sheet.

Bournemouth sinks into 18th with 20 points, two points and places behind the hosts.


Three things we learned

1. Key pieces give David Moyes a dream (re)debut: Manuel Pellegrini will be shaking his fists at the sky after West Ham’s biggest names delivered on Wednesday (Actually, he seems like a classy guy and he’s probably happy for them). Anderson and Haller both scored, and their awakening is paramount to the Irons success. The opponents won’t always be visitors and Bournemouth, but this was a professional home win and cannot be discounted given the misery around the London side.

2. Cherries table spot fits their season: Bournemouth dipped into the Bottom Three thanks to Aston Villa joining West Ham as teams to collect three points on Wednesday. It could’ve been so much worse than 4-0, as Aaron Ramsdale made a few decent saves and the Irons also missed some gilt-edged chances. Don’t take too much away from West Ham’s response to a new manager and their attacking talent, but Bournemouth looked so, so bad in being out shot 14-3.

3. Cresswell sending off overturned: Aaron Cresswell drew a straight red card in the 75th minute with a studs-up tackle. Ugly stuff on a beautiful day for the Irons, but their fortunate day continued when VAR took it from a red to a yellow.

Man of the Match: Noble. Moyes said he was gonna lean on his captain, and “Mr. West Ham” was didn’t mind the extra weight.


Bournemouth’s been as bad as West Ham, and the hosts punished their poor defending twice in the first 26 minutes.

First, Felipe Anderson and Robert Snodgrass conducted some in-box interplay before the latter set up Noble for his opener.

Then Haller used a scissor kick after Snodgrass cued up a Ryan Fredericks cross to the Frenchman.

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Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson then put Noble to the turf for a 34th minute penalty. The captain rolled it in.

Anderson missed a chance to make it 4-0 in the 66th minute and was due to be subbed off when he cashed in a second chance.

The ex-Lazio attacker took a terrific first touch of a fantastic Declan Rice diagonal ball and dribbled into the 18 to roll past Aaron Ramsdale.

That’s when Aaron Cresswell lost his mind, tackling Ryan Fraser to see straight red in the 75th. Fortunately for him, VAR saw a clear and obvious error. Very fortunate.

Bournemouth beats punchless Chelsea to end losing streak

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Bournemouth snapped a five-match losing streak in a place that feels like home, toppling Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

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Chelsea’s attack was woeful and Bournemouth needed VAR help to get Dan Gosling‘s winner on the board.

The Blues fall for the fourth time in five league matches, and have seen their Top Four cushion slip to a maximum on five points.

Bournemouth gets some relief, rising 14th with 19 points.


Three things we learned

1. Bournemouth still loves the Bridge: Chelsea has now lost to Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge three times since 2015. The Cherries have back-to-back victories over the Blues for the first time ever. These are good things for Eddie Howe, and it was a much better show than the loss to Liverpool.

2. VAR helps Cherries to win: Gosling’s winner was a clever bit of football, the back-to-the-goal midfielder looping over Arrizabalaga. The linesman’s flag was up but Gosling had beaten the fray of people and an offside-appearing teammate had nothing to do with the play. A quality finish deserving of a winner.

3. Poor attack weakens Top Four cushion: Very poor from Chelsea’s attackers as a whole, with Willian the only players truly in-form on the day. Tammy Abraham was the best of an otherwise poor bunch, with Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount poor as starters and Callum Hudson-Odoi and Michy Batshuayi nearly irrelevant off the bench.

Frank Lampard hinted earlier this week that the club still needs to replace Eden Hazard. Transfer ban lifted, his men did little to convince him otherwise on Saturday.

Man of the Match: With respect to Simon Francis and Jefferson Lerma, the honor goes to Gosling for his creativity at outsmarting the Blues back line and beating Arrizabalaga.


Mason Mount’s sloppy touch betrayed a 26th minute Chelsea attack set up by Willian.

Christian Pulisic nearly nodded home at the back from a very tight angle in the 39th minute, one of few moments of danger for either side.

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Bournemouth regrouped at the break and Chelsea’s defenders had several strong moments in keeping shot attempts from reaching Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Pulisic led a charge into the right that led to a corner kick, and the Blues won another off a Willian shot.

Aaron Ramsdale made an incredible stop on Emerson‘s solid point-blank header of a Cesar Azpilicueta flick.

Gosling thought he’d scored in the 84th minute with a clever shot, but the offside flag was raised.

VAR fixed that, and the losing streak ended in London.

PL Preview: Chelsea v. Bournemouth

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  • Bournemouth has 2 wins over Chelsea in 9 matches across all competitions
  • Chelsea has not earned a point from a losing position this PL season
  • Chelsea has 31 goals this PL season, only 11 at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea looks to pick itself up off the turf before the festive fixtures begin as they host Bournemouth at Stamford Bridge on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE HERE

The Blues have lost three of their last four Premier League matches, dropping them to fourth in the table. The three losses have come via a total margin of four goals, with the Blues showing an inability to fight back from deficits. Chelsea conceded a goal to Everton five minutes in, ultimately losing 2-1, while they were 2-1 down to Manchester City before halftime but couldn’t find an equalizer and fell behind against West Ham soon after the second half restart. The Blues are one of only two Premier League teams to have not registered a single point from a losing position this season, the other being Norwich City.

Bournemouth, meanwhile, is mired in an even worse stretch, having lost its last five in a row. The Cherries have conceded at least two goals in four of those five matches, with the defense completely gutted with injuries. Bournemouth saw a whopping eight players ruled out for Saturday’s match, including young defender Nathan Ake who has played every minute so far this league season until succumbing to a thigh injury 35 minutes into the defeat to Liverpool last weekend.

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Fellow center-back Steve Cook was also recently lost to a long-term injury, while Callum Wilson will also miss his first match thanks to a thigh problem of his own also suffered in the Liverpool loss.

Injuries/suspensions:

Chelsea – OUT: Fikayo Tomori (hip), Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Achilles).

Bournemouth – OUT: Nathan Ake (thigh), Callum Wilson (thigh), Lloyd Kelly (thigh), David Brooks (ankle), Adam Smith (ankle), Steve Cook (hand), Junior Stanislas (knee), Charlie Daniels (knee). QUESTIONABLE – Joshua King (thigh).


Projected Lineups

Chelsea – Kepa; Emerson, Rudiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta; Kovacic, Kante, Mount, Pulisic, Willian; Abraham.

Bournemouth – Ramsdale; Rico, Simpson, Mepham, Francis; Lerma, Billing, Gosling, Fraser, Wilson; Solanke.


What they’re saying

Chelsea manager Lampard on tough recent results: “If you don’t perform at the levels, you don’t do the basics that you have been doing all season, then any team in the Premier League can beat you. Bournemouth are having a tough time but there’s no doubt that they have talent and ability in their squad to beat us if we are not at it.”

[ MORE: JPW’s PL picks ]

Bournemouth winger Harry Wilson on Chelsea boss Lampard: “I owe Frank Lampard a lot. He was fantastic for me last season [at Derby County], probably the most important one in my career so far, the one where I played regular football. To play under a legend like him, he taught me a lot. I’m in regular contact with him and it’s great to see him doing so well at Chelsea now.”


Prediction

Chelsea has struggled of late, but their strength – attacking play – matches up well against Bournemouth’s big weakness at the moment. With Ake among the drove of injured Cherries, there will be no stopping the Blues who will put a bushel of goals past Aaron Ramsdale. A 4-1 victory will return faith in the Frank Lampard youth movement.