Christian Benteke

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Crystal Palace lands long-admired Tosun on loan from Everton

1 Comment

Crystal Palace has a new forward for its bid to stay top half in the Premier League.

Cenk Tosun will join the Eagles on loan from Everton until the end of the season, the club announced Friday.

Tosun is surplus to requirements with Dominic Calvert-Lewin on the upswing and Everton in just one competition.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

It’s a low-risk, high-reward play for Palace, who hosts Arsenal at 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday (Watch live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Tosun has a goal and three assists in just 328 minutes across all competitions this year, and has nine goals in around 2300 career PL minutes.

For perspective, Jordan Ayew and Christian Benteke have combined for five PL goals in about 2150 minutes this season.

Manager Roy Hodgson isn’t downplaying the move.

“As long ago as two years now when we were looking to improve our striking force, Cenk’s name came up and he was heavily scouted. We were seriously interested in signing him but Everton won the race for his signature. … We’re adding someone we need to be there and will provide competition and is more than capable of being the first name on the team sheet. No one that we sign this window will be there to pad out the squad.”

Tosun has been a habitual scorer for Gaziantepspor, Besiktas, and the Turkish national team, but hasn’t been able to find top form for Everton. That started with Sam Allardyce‘s haughty appraisal of the signing, and rarely got better under Marco Silva.

There’s reason to believe he can play a big role for Hodgson’s Eagles.

Zaha saves Palace in M23 Derby draw

Leave a comment

Brighton and Hove Albion looked interesting it’s way to a confidence-boosting three points on the road against long-time rivals Crystal Palace.

But the Seagulls forgot about Wilfried Zaha.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The Crystal Palace star winger saved a point for the Eagles with a brilliant second half goal, as Crystal Palace drew 1-1 with Brighton and Hove Albion, Monday afternoon at Selhurst Park.

Zaha dribbled into the box, then cut into his left foot before unleashing a blast that Brighton goalkeeper Matthew Ryan had no chance of stopping.

With the draw, both teams move one point away from the drop zone, with Crystal Palace moving above Arsenal into ninth place in the table.


3 things we learned

1. Zaha the hero: Crystal Palace had one of its worst afternoons this season, but Roy Hodgkin always has an ace up his sleeve. When the team needed him, Zaha came home with a moment of brilliance to score and save a point for the Eagles.

2. Maupay off the mark again: Brighton and Hove at times look to have one of the best attacks outside the top six in the Premier League, and Maupay is a huge reason why. The Frenchman scored for the third-straight-game on Monday and he is showing no signs of slowing down. If only the rest of the attack could deliver some finishes.

3. Both clubs miss out on extending distance from drop zone: Crystal Palace was already in the top ten of the Premier League at kickoff, and with a win, Brighton would have joined the Eagles. But with a draw, both teams gain just one point over Southampton at 15 points. Brighton sits just five points up while Crystal Palace is now eight points ahead of Southampton. All it takes is a string of bad defeats in the next 30 days and both teams can be in trouble.


Despite playing at Selhurst Park, it was all Brighton early on. The Seagulls would finish with 65 percent possession, and that number was even higher until around the 70th minute, just after Max Meyer came off the bench for the Eagles.

In the 100th rivalry match between these two teams connected by the M23 in South England, tackles were flying in early, but it was Brighton which had the better of the chances. After VAR denied a possible penalty shout in the 20th minute when Marvin Montoya appeared to have been tripped in the box while shooting, Lewis Dunk sent a powerful header straight at Crystal Palace’s Vicente Guaita in goal.

In the 29th minute, Yves Bissouma found space and time outside the box and unleashed a blast that Guaita had to dive sharply for at the low-left post to keep the ball out.

A few minutes later, Davy Propper had a strike on goal, but Guaita was equal to it. Brighton’s constant attacks and ball movements kept Crystal Palace on its heels, and into the second half, it appeared the same story was playing out in front of us.

In the 57th minute, Brighton finally found the breakthrough. Leandro Toussard’s cross from the right was flicked on in the box by Pascal Gross. It fell to the feet of Maupay, who took a touch and powered a strike in for a well-deserved goal.

Brighton continued pushing for a second goal, but suddenly around the 70th minute, Crystal Palace woke up. Christian Benteke spun away from his defender to fire a shot on goal, before Zaha’s brilliant effort in the 76th minute tied the match at 1-1.

This story will be updated.

Liverpool strike late (again) to beat Crystal Palace

Leave a comment

Liverpool beat Crystal Palace 2-1 at Selhurst Park on Saturday as Jurgen Klopp‘s Premier League leaders secured another dramatic late victory.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Sadio Mane had given Liverpool the lead after VAR drama denied Crystal Palace an opener, but Wilfried Zaha equalized late on as it looked like Liverpool would drop points.

But Roberto Firmino then popped up to secure the win for Liverpool as the leaders make it 12 wins from 13 to start the season and remain unbeaten.


3 things we learned

1. Mane delivers again: Sadio Mane popped up to put Liverpool ahead and he was a constant threat, especially in the second half. Everything they did well going forward, Mane was at the heart of it. The Senegalese forward stepped up with Mohamed Salah out for Liverpool, and proved that he is their main man this season.

2. VAR drama takes center stage: Yes, Jordan Ayew pushed Dejan Lovren, but the Liverpool defender made the most of the contact. VAR was used to rule out James Tomkins‘ goal in the first half and in slow-motion the push looked clear, but in real-time there was a reason the foul wasn’t given. This decision was very harsh on Palace and Liverpool will be very relieved.

3. Liverpool grinding it out: Jurgen Klopp’s side put in their worst display of the season and they still won. They have a great habit of grinding out wins this season and they did it once again. But even after Firmino’s late winner they gave up a big chance which Zaha skied. Liverpool shouldn’t have won this game, but they did. That is why their are the champions elect.

Man of the Match: Sadio Mane – He stood tall in attack without Salah and even though many of his Liverpool teammates failed to perform, he did. Mane is the man of the season for Liverpool.


After a tight start to the game Palace had the first big chance of the game but Jordan Ayew flicked just wide.

Ayew then cleared brilliantly just as it looked like Liverpool would finish off Virgil Van Dijk‘s downward header.

All hell broke loose at the other end of the pitch just before half time as James Tomkins thought he had given Palace the lead but VAR ruled out his goal for a foul by Jordan Ayew on Dejan Lovren. The home fans and players were livid as Lovren went down easily but there was a clear push. No goal as Liverpool survived a huge scare.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Mane was put clean through by Jordan Henderson at the start of the second but he put his effort wide.

Moments later Mane made no mistake.

A ball into the box saw him hit his shot into the ground and although Vicente Guiata got a hand to his shot, the ball hit the post, rolled across the goaline, hit the other past and just squirmed past Patrick Van Aanholt who was trying to clear it.

Palace had a few shots from distance which troubled Liverpool but they became more vulnerable on the break as Mane and Lovren almost got on the end of a ball across the box, then Guaita denied Roberto Firmino on the break.

Former Liverpool striker Christian Benteke came on and had a big impact as his acrobatic effort flew wide.

Benteke was then involved as Townsend teed up Zaha who equalized to send Selhurst Park as it looked like Palace would deny Liverpool victory.

But then, just as they’ve done all season, Liverpool found a way to win when they weren’t at their best.

Van Dijk’s effort caused havoc in the box and the ball eventually found Firmino who slotted home after an almighty scrap. Cue wild scenes in the away end.

In stoppage time Palace almost equalized as Zaha skied an effort over the bar, but Liverpool held on to make it 12 wins from 13.

Crystal Palace comes back for point in drama-filled Arsenal draw

Premier League preview Crystal Palace v Arsenal
Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Sokratis Papastathopoulos scored early but saw his late winner pulled back by a controversial VAR decision as Arsenal threw away a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

David Luiz also scored for Arsenal, whose defense was a strength in attack and a weakness at the back in providing a 2-0 lead and allowing it to disappear.

Luka Milivojevic and Jordan Ayew scored for Palace, the latter a star in the draw.

Arsenal sits fifth with 16 points, one more than sixth place Palace.


Three things we learned

1. If at first you can’t defend… Arsenal’s oft-criticized center backs took the goals into their own hands, and if you’re up 2-0 within nine minutes it’s gonna be hard to be the goat. Sokratis’ goal came with calm after Granit Xhaka knocked down a clearance off a corner, and he was back post when David Luiz poked home a Lacazette-flicked cross to make it 2-0.

2. …You’re still going to have to defend, though: Arsenal’s backs helped give the lead away within 40 minutes, with Chambers cutting down Zaha — or at least daring VAR to go the other direction — and Luiz losing track of Ayew. Chambers really struggled, picking up a yellow card in addition to some haphazard first half passing, as improved defense in recent weeks appeared to be a magician’s trick after multi-goal concessions to Vitoria and Palace within three days.

3. Xhaka’s Arsenal career meets flash point: Voted club captain to the consternation of many Gooners, Xhaka was booed off the field when he was subbed off at the hour mark. The Swiss enforcer motioned his arms to welcome more boos, then yelled to the crowd to expletive off, cupping his hand to his ear before ripping off his shirt and storming down the tunnel. Things are not good in North London.

4. VAR overrules Sokratis winner for… something? As of publishing time on this post, there’s no clarity as to why VAR found a clear and obvious error that Roger East missed on Sokratis’ winner. Chambers is battling for the ball with several Palace defenders, hands everywhere, as he pushed the ball to Sokratis for what would’ve been a huge winner. There’s a problem here.

Man of the Match: Ayew? Milivojevic? Sokratis? We’ll go with McArthur, who was quite good and supplied the match-drawing assist.


An early corner cause Palace problems and put Arsenal in front, with Granit Xhaka settling Gary Cahill‘s headed clearance for Sokratis Papastathopoulus to hit through traffic for 1-0.

He could’ve had two had Luiz not also been at the back post to poke home a ninth minute corner, as Arsenal had Palace at sixes and sevens.

Lacazette had an effort saved moments later, and Palace fans were right to be concerned for the score line.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Aubameyang missed a chance, too, as Arsenal really should’ve had a massive lead when Zaha won a penalty off of Calum Chambers. Palace penalty usually equals Palace goal in Milivojevic’s world, and this time was no different.

Palace leveled the score just after halftime, as James McArthur‘s cross hung in the air for days. Neither Luiz nor Leno could get there as Ayew headed home.

As poor as he was defensively, Chambers was nearly again an offensive hero before sweeping a shot wide in the 62nd.

Arsenal thought it went ahead through Papastathopoulous, but VAR found a hard-to-pinpoint foul on Chambers as he won what would’ve been a match-winning assist. Baffling.

Wayne Hennessey made a nice stop on a Lacazette header as the match headed toward its final half hour. He’d late stop Luiz in the 89th with a result-saving stop. Zaha came close to equalizing when he turned a Christian Benteke flick toward goal and burned Chambers.

Ederson as the league’s best? Increased action, stats make the case

Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Christian Benteke rose above a pack of players, snapping a header toward the far post and, perhaps, a Crystal Palace lifeline against Manchester City.

The view from outside the 18 best tells the story of what happened next, as City goalkeeper Ederson appears from behind the fray to stop the ball from reaching its location with a remarkable save.

He had a few of those in Saturday’s win, the latest in which City’s Brazilian backstop kept a clean sheet behind cobbled together back line.

One of his makeshift center backs, Fernandinho, labeled the performance “superb,” while Pep Guardiola said the saves were “incredible.”

We’re seeing a lot more love for Ederson these days, mostly it seems because City is conceding more shots and the Brazilian has to play a bigger role.

The PL’s second place side and two-time reigning champs are one of five clubs to allow less than 10 goals this Fall, helping City stay within reasonable distance of Liverpool in a bid for a three-peat.

Brought for his skills in possession, Ederson has completed a league-high 90 percent of his passes and 65 percent of his long balls. Only three others are above 80 percent on all passes and just Kasper Schmeichel is above 50 percent on long balls.

Ederson, though, has been so much busier in dangerous spots, with his 19 saves inside the box behind only the backstops for three much weaker teams in Norwich City’s Tim Krul, Brighton’s Mat Ryan, and Newcastle’s Martin Dubravka.

[ MORE: Pulisic Watch  | Sargent scores ]

Perhaps this should then serve as a warning signal as City waits for Nicolas Otamendi to be fully fit, let alone star center back Aymeric Laporte‘s long-term return.

According to SofaScore, only the outstanding Bernd Leno and Ryan rate better than Ederson on the whole, and the incredible passing numbers take him over the top.