James Weir

Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Club-by-club list of Premier League winter transfers

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Here’s a full list of ins and outs, loans and permanent transfers, from around the Premier League.

[ MORE: January 2017 transfer news ]

Arsenal

In: Cohen Bramall (Hednesford Town)

Out: Gedion Zelalem (VVV Venlo, loan), Dan Crowley (Go Ahead Eagles, loan), Kaylen Hinds (Stevenage Borough, loan), Chuba Akpom (Brighton & Hove Albion, loan)

Bournemouth

In: Aaron Ramsdale (Sheffield United)

Out: Nathan Ake (Chelsea), Emerson Hyndman (Rangers, loan), Callum Buckley (Aldershot Town, loan), Glenn Murray (Brighton & Hove Albion), Lewis Grabban (Reading, loan), Joe Quigley (Gillingham, loan), Jordan Green (Leyton Orient, loan), Harry Cornick (Gillingham, loan), Matt Neale (Wimborne Town, loan), Marc Wilson (West Bromwich Albion, loan)

Burnley

In: Joey Barton (unattached), Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa), Robbie Brady (Norwich City)

Out: Danny Lafferty (Sheffield United), Chris Long (Bolton, loan)

Chelsea

In: Nathan Ake (Bournemouth, loan recall)

Out: Oscar (Shanghai SIPG), John Mikel Obi (Tianjin TEDA), Patrick Bamford (Middlesbrough), Dion Conroy (Swindon Town), Marco Van Ginkel (PSV Eindhoven, loan), Jay Dasilva (Charlton, loan), Isaiah Brown (Huddersfield Town, loan), Fankaty Dabo (Swindon Town, loan), Charlie Colkett (Swindon Town, loan), Fikayo Tomori (Brighton & Hove Albion, loan), Mukhtar Ali (Vitesse Arnhem, loan)

Crystal Palace

In: Jeff Schlupp (Leicester City), Patrick Van Aanholt (Sunderland), Luka Milivojevic (Olympiacos), Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool)

Out: Jordon Mutch (Reading, loan), Keshi Anderson (Northampton Town, loan), Freddie Ladapo (Shrewsbury Town, loan)

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 15: Jeffrey Schlupp of Leicester City (L) and N'Golo Kante of Chelsea (R) battle for possession during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge on October 15, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Everton

In: Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United), Ademola Lookman (Charlton), Anton Donkor (Wolfsburg, loan)

Out: Tom Cleverley (Watford, loan), Oumar Niasse (Hull City, loan), Gerard Deulofeu (Milan, loan), Bryan Oviedo (Sunderland), Darron Gibson (Sunderland), Antony Evans (Morecambe, loan), Gethin Jones (Barnsley, loan), Russell Griffiths (Motherwell, loan), Tyias Browning (Preston North End, loan), Conor McAleny (Oxford United, loan), Steven Kinsella (Dundalk, loan)

Hull City

In: Kamil Grosicki (Rennes), Oumar Niasse (Everton, loan), Markus Henriksen (AZ Alkmaar), Evandro (Porto), Omar Elabdellaoui (Olympiacos, loan), Lazar Markovic (Liverpool, loan), Andrea Rannochia (Inter Milan, loan), Alfred N'Diaye (Villarreal, loan)

Out: Jake Livermore (West Brom), Alex Bruce (Wigan, loan), James Weir (Wigan, loan), Robert Snodgrass (West Ham), Allan McGregor (Cardiff City, loan), Harvey Rodgers (Accrington Stanley, loan), Jonathan Edwards (Accrington Stanley, loan)

Leicester City

In: Wilfried Ndidi (Genk), Molla Wague (Granada)

Out: Jeff Schlupp (Crystal Palace), Luis Hernandez (Malaga), Harvey Barnes (MK Dons, loan), Matty James (Barnsley, loan), Callum Elder (Barnsley, loan)

Liverpool

Out: Pedro Chirivella (Go Ahead Eagles, loan), Tiago Ilori (Reading), Lazar Markovic (Hull City, loan), Cameron Brannagan (Fleetwood Town, loan), Mamadou Sakho (Crystal Palace, loan)

Manchester City

In: Gabriel Jesus (Palmeiras)

Out: Pablo Maffeo (Girona, loan), Angelino (Girona, loan), Manu Garcia (NAC Breda, loan), Bruno Zuculini (Hellas Verona, loan), Billy O’Brien (St. Mirren, loan), David Faupala (Chesterfield, loan), George Glendon (Fleetwood Town)

Manchester United

Out: Morgan Schneiderlin (Everton), Memphis Depay (Lyon), Sam Johnston (Aston Villa, loan), Joe Riley (Sheffield United, loan), Sean Goss (QPR)

Middlesbrough

In: Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa), Patrick Bamford (Chelsea), Adlene Guedioura (Watford), Mikael Soisalo (Ilves Tampere)

Out: David Nugent (Derby County), Julien De Sart (Derby County, loan), Tomas Mejias (Rayo Vallecano, loan), Emilio Nsue (Birmingham City), Bryn Morris (Shrewsbury Town), Mark Kitching (Rochdale, loan)

Southampton

In: Manolo Gabbiadini (Napoli), Mouez Hassen (Nice, loan)

Out: Jose Fonte (West Ham)

NAPLES, ITALY - DECEMBER 02: Manolo Gabbiadini of Napoli during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and FC Internazionale at Stadio San Paolo on December 2, 2016 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images)
Manolo Gabbiadini (Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images)

Stoke City

In: Lee Grant (Derby County), Saido Berahino (West Brom)

Out: Bojan Krkic (Mainz, loan), Jakob Haugaard (Wigan, loan), Ryan Sweeney (Bristol Rovers, loan), Ollie Shenton (Wrexham, loan), Joel Taylor (Rochdale, loan), Dionatan Teixeria (released), Moha El Ouriachi (Hearts, loan), Sergio Molina (Albacete), George Waring (Carlisle United, loan)

Sunderland

In: Joleon Lescott (unattached), Bryan Oviedo (Everton), Darron Gibson (Everton)

Out: Patrick van Aanholt (Crystal Palace), Andrew Nelson (Hartlepool United, loan)

Swansea City

In: Luciano Narsingh (PSV Eindhoven), Martin Olsson (Norwich City), Tom Carroll (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa)

Out: Neil Taylor (Aston Villa), Modou Barrow (Leeds United, loan), Marvin Emnes (Blackburn, loan), Ryan Hedges (Barnsley), Owain Jones (Yeovil Town, loan)

Tottenham Hotspur

Out: Tom Carroll (Swansea City), Anton Walkes (Atlanta United, loan), Ryan Loft (Stevenage, loan), Shayon Harrison (Yeovil Town, loan), Connor Ogilvie (Stevenage, loan), Luke Amos (Southend United, loan).

Watford

In: Tom Cleverley (Everton, loan), Mauro Zarate (Fiorentina), M’Baye Niang (Milan, loan)

Out: Obbi Oulare (Willem II, loan), Odion Ighalo (Changchun Yatai), Adlene Guedioura (Middlesbrough), Michael Folivi (Coventry City, loan), Alex Jakubiak (Wycombe Wanderers, loan), Adalberto Penaranda (Malaga, loan)

West Bromwich Albion

In: Jake Livermore (Hull City), Marc Wilson (Bournemouth, loan)

Out: Callum McManaman (Sheffield Wednesday, loan), Craig Gardner (Birmingham City, loan), Saido Berahino (Stoke City), Tyler Roberts (Shrewsbury Town, loan), Andre Wright (Yeovil Town, loan), Joe Ward (released), Tahvon Campbell (Notts County, loan)

West Ham United

In: Jose Fonte (Southampton), Robert Snodgrass (Hull City)

Out: Dimitri Payet (Marseille), Simone Zaza (Juventus, loan to Valencia), Reece Oxford (Reading, loan), Toni Martinez (Oxford United, loan), Marcus Browne (Wigan, loan), Alex Pike (Cheltenham Town, loan), Sam Howes (Hampton and Richmond Borough, loan), Lewis Page (Charlton), Martin Samuelsen (Peterborough United, loan)

Full list of Premier League transfer deals on Deadline Day

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Below is a list of all the confirmed transfers on Deadline Day involving Premier League clubs.

[ MORE: Latest January transfer news ] 

The January transfer window shut at 6 p.m. ET on Jan. 31 meaning the squad each PL club now has is all they have to work with between now and May.

With a flurry of late deals, plenty of teams managed to grab hold of what they needed. Just. As Southampton splashed $21.5 million on Manolo Gabbiadini to set a new club record for a transfer fee. Crystal Palace, Hull City and Burnley were also busy.

[ MORE: Grades for each PL club on January deals ]

Here’s a look at which clubs spent money and shipped players out in the final 24 hours of the January transfer window.


Arsenal

In
None

Out
Chuba Akpom (Brighton & Hove Albion) Loan
Gedion Zelalem (VVV Venlo) Loan
Kaylen Hinds (Stevenage Borough) Loan


Bournemouth

In
Aaron Ramsdale (Sheffield United) Undisclosed

Out
Marc Wilson (West Bromwich Albion) Loan


Burnley

In
Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) $6.2 million
Robbie Brady (Norwich City) $16.3 million

Out
None


Chelsea

In
None

Out
None


Crystal Palace

In
Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool) Loan
Luka Milivojevic (Olympiacos) $16 million

Out
Jordon Mutch (Reading) Loan


Everton

In
None

Out
None


Hull City

In
Andrea Ranocchia (Inter Milan) Loan
Alfred N'Diaye (Villarreal) Loan
Kamil Grosicki (Rennes) Undisclosed

Out
Alex Bruce (Wigan Athletic) Loan
James Weir (Wigan Athletic) Loan


Leicester City

In
Molla Wague (Granada) Loan

Out
Matty James (Barnsley) Loan 
Callum Elder (Barnsley) Loan


Liverpool

In
None

Out
None


Manchester City

In
None

Out
None


Manchester United

In
None

Out
None


Middlesbrough

In
Adlene Guedioura (Watford) $4 million

Out
Mark Kitching (Rochdale) Undisclosed


Southampton

In
Mouez Hassen (OGC Nice) Loan
Manolo Gabbiadini (Napoli) $21.5 million

Out
None


Stoke City

In
None

Out
George Waring (Carlisle United) Loan


Sunderland

In
None

Out
Andrew Nelson (Hartepool United) Loan


Swansea City

In
Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa) Swap

Out
Marvin Emnes (Blackburn Rovers) Loan
Modou Barrow (Leeds United) Loan
Neil Taylor (Aston Villa) Swap
Ryan Hedges (Barnsley) Undisclosed
Owain Jones (Yeovil Town) Loan


Tottenham Hotspur

In
None

Out
None


Watford

In
None

Out
Odio Ighalo (Changchun Yatai) $25 million
Adlene Guedioura (Middlesbrough) $4 million 
Michael Folivi (Coventry City) Loan


West Bromwich Albion

In
Marc Wilson (AFC Bournemouth) Loan

Out
Tahvon Campbell (Notts County) Loan


West Ham United

In
None

Out
Reece Oxford (Reading) Loan

DONE DEALS: Every Premier League move on Deadline Day

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There have been plenty of deals around the Premier League on Transfer Deadline Day, from the routine to the mind-expanding (See: Luiz, David).

[ STREAM: Deadline Day show ]

Three big money moves occurred early with Marcos Alonso signing for Chelsea, Didier Ndong heading to Sunderland in a club record deal, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou arriving at Tottenham and Burnley have broken their club-record transfer fee for Jeff Hendricks.

[ LIVE: Every Deadline Day deal ] 

Below is a full list of all the ins and outs from around the Premier League on Deadline Day so far, while you can click on the link above to get more on every deal.


Into the Premier League

Jack Wilshere (Arsenal – Bournemouth) Loan
Didier Ndong (Lorient – Sunderland) $17.8 million
Georges-Kevin Nkoudou (Marseille – Tottenham) $14.4 million
Jeff Hendricks (Derby County – Burnley) $13.4 million
Wilfried Bony (Manchester City – Stoke City) Loan
Bruno Martins Indi (FC Porto – Stoke City) Loan
Enner Valencia (West Ham United – Everton) Loan
Lee Grant (Derby County – Stoke City) Loan
Islam Slimani (Sporting Lisbon – Leicester City) Undisclosed
James Weir (Manchester United – Hull City)
David Luiz (PSG – Chelsea) Undisclosed
Dieumerci Mbokani (Dynamo Kyiv – Hull City) Loan
Allan Nyom (Watford – West Bromwich Albion) Undisclosed
Marcos Alonso (Fiorentina – Chelsea) $30 million
Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid – West Ham) free
Adama Traore (Aston Villa – Middlesbrough) Undisclosed
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Sheffield United – Everton) Undisclosed
Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle United – Tottenham Hotspur) Undisclosed

Out of the Premier League

Matt Miazga (Chelsea – Rapid Vitesse) Loan
Joe Hart (Manchester City – Torino) Loan
Mario Balotelli (Liverpool – Nice) Undisclosed
Juan Cuadrado (Chelsea – Juventus) Loan
Philip Wollscheid (Stoke City – Wolfsburg) Loan
Lukas Jutkiewicz (Burnley – Birmingham) Loan
Samir Nasri (Manchester City – Sevilla) Loan
Aiden McGeady (Everton – Preston North End) Loan
Eliaquim Mangala (Manchester City – Valencia) Loan
Andre Wisdom (Liverpool – Red Bull Salzburg) Loan
Shani Tarashaj (Everton – Eintracht Frankfurt) Loan
Rickie Lambert (West Brom – Cardiff City) Undisclosed
Luke Croll (Crystal Palace – Exeter) Loan
Fredrik Ulvestad (Burnley – Charlton Athletic) Loan
Jake Clarke-Salter (Chelsea – Bristol Rovers) Loan
Charlie Colkett (Chelsea – Bristol Rovers) Loan
Kenneth Omeruo (Chelsea – Alanyaspor) Loan
Mustapha Carayol (Middlesbrough – Nottingham Forest) Free
Eunan O'Kane (Bournemouth – Leeds United) Undisclosed
Rhoys Wiggins (Bournemouth – Birmingham) Loan
Cristian Cuevas (Chelsea – Sint-Truidense) Loan
Serge Gnabry (Arsenal – Werder Bremen) Undisclosed
Jonny Williams (Crystal Palace – Ipswich) Loan
Dominic Gape (Southampton – Wycombe Wanderers) Loan
Dean Henderson (Manchester United – Grimsby) Loan
Alex Baptiste (Middlesborough – Preston North End) Loan

Premier League Playback: How have Arsenal blown another title bid?

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WHY DOES ARSENAL KEEP BLOWING IT?

It’s happening again. It always happens. Why is it happening again?

[ MORE: Three things learned ]

That’s likely to be the question most Arsenal fans are asking themselves this morning and they have every right.

After crashing to an injury-ravaged Manchester United 3-2 on Sunday at Old Trafford, Arsenal’s title hopes are quite in ruins but it’s getting there.

[ MORE:  Arsenal chokes ]

Five points behind leaders Leicester with 11 games to go, the Gunners crumbled under the pressure. Leicester won on Saturday (Leonardo Ulloa’s late winner saw the Foxes beat Norwich 1-0) to move five points clear. Arsenal knew they needed to win on Sunday and although they started the game brightly – Mesut Ozil’s delicious flick set Nacho Monreal clean through but he shot right at David De Gea to squander a gilt-edged chance — that urgency soon faded as defensive lapses left them crumpled in a heap.

[ MORE: Player ratings

Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel failed to pick up Marcus Rashford as Gabriel’s poor clearance was picked up and then swept home by the teenager (much more on him, soon) and then he ghosted in-between the duo in the box to head home and put United 2-0 up in the first half. Defensively, Arsenal were shocking. Would Per Mertesacker‘s experience have helped? Probably not.

The Gunners showed some fight with Danny Welbeck scoring to make it 2-1 right on half time, but then they imploded again with poor midfield tracking and a lack of tenacity in the engine room the underlying issue in this defeat. Francis Coquelin left Ander Herrera with far too much time and space on the edge of the box and his deflected effort put United 3-1 up. Still, Mesut Ozil scored to make it 3-2 with 20 minutes to go and there was hope but Arsenal never truly looked like netting an equalizer on a day where star names didn’t show up. Big time. Being present in Wenger’s press conference after the game, it was clear he was annoyed with the performance. He snarled at suggestions stating that this defeat was his worst-ever to United because of their under-strength team and refused to criticize his senior players who didn’t deliver.

[ MORE: Wenger says title hopes still alive ]

Ozil had a goal and assist but did little apart from that. Alexis Sanchez struggled to have any influence on the game. Theo Walcott looked lost out wide. Even Petr Cech seemed to be struggling to demand his defense and organize them coherently.

That was the big issue here and in recent times, it’s nothing new. Arsenal last won the title 10 years ago and this season clearly represents their best chance to end that drought. This was meant to be a new Arsenal, a side who could go away from home, sit back and defend then hit teams on the break. They’ve got better at it, but after putting themselves in a good position their customary end of season charge doesn’t look like materializing once again this year. Coquelin and the lightweight, disappointing Aaron Ramsey went missing with Morgan Schneiderlin and Ander Herrera all over them to cut off the supply line to Arsenal’s underperforming attacking midfield trio of Sanchez, Ozil and Walcott.

With Arsene Wenger’s attacking team selection, he seemed to want to go for the jugular and rub salt in the wounds of a wounded, bitter long-term rival as United had several key players out. It backfired.

“I think they defended well. Every time we got in the flow they stopped us with little free kicks in the middle of the park,” Wenger said. “On set pieces I expected us to do more. We were not dangerous enough.”

Is Wenger the problem? Many had questioned his “naïve” tactics and insistence on playing “the right way” over digging in and getting the job done. Those critics will find a fine voice once again after this damaging defeat. Coupled with Tottenham Hotspur’s comeback win against Swansea, it is now Spurs who trail Leicester by two points and lead Arsenal by three. The Gunners face Swansea at home on Wednesday and then a huge north London derby at Tottenham on Saturday.

This is it. Their title hopes will come down to the next two games. Can they pick themselves up and beat Swansea heading into the biggest derby matches against Spurs in PL history? They need to. Deep down, Wenger knows it.

“Nobody knows,” Wenger said, with  shrug. “We dropped three important points and we have to show we can fight and bounce back on Wednesday night [against Swansea] and not feel sorry for ourselves.”

Although he hasn’t given up on winning the title this season, he knows it’s do or die in the next seven days. Arsenal’s fans have seen this last chance saloon scenario play out too many times to be surprised. They’re already starting to feel sorry for themselves.


UNITED’S YOUNGINS

Premier League Schedule – Week 27

Result Recap & Highlights
 Leicester 1-0 Norwich Recap, watch here
 Man Utd 3-2 Arsenal Recap, watch here
 Saints 1-2 Chelsea Recap, watch here
 Stoke 2-1 A. Villa Recap, watch here
 Tottenham 2-1 Swansea Recap, watch here
 Watford 0-0 B’mouth Recap, watch here
 WBA 3-2 C. Palace Recap, watch here
 West Ham 1-0 S’land Recap, watch here

The eruption of noise at Old Trafford when Rashford lashed home a shot to put Manchester United 1-0 up against Arsenal on Sunday was unlike anything I’ve heard in recent times at OT. Perhaps it was the loudest since Sir Alex Ferguson retired…

[ MORE: Rashford on his dream week ]

Scratch that. Rashford, 18, struck again in the first half and the noise was even louder. His two goals and assist led United to the win over Arsenal and the teenager, who only made his pro debut four days ago, now has four goals in his first two outings as a United player. Not bad.

The local lad seemed composed, unfazed and received glowing praise from both managers post-game. His movement was particularly impressive as he peeled away at key moments and didn’t panic when two chances dropped his way. He did get lucky with a handball shout at the other end as he appeared to block the ball on the line with his arm, but the way his luck is going right now Craig Pawson missed it.

Rashford wasn’t the only United youngin to make a scene. This week alone Van Gaal has handed debuts to five players from their academy and since he arrived at United just over 18 months ago he has handed 23 players their debut for the Red Devils. With eight academy products in United’s 18-man squad on Sunday, their recently criticized academy does seem to be getting something right. He’s always been an advocate of promoting youth players quickly and has had huge success doing it at Ajax and Bayern Munich.

“It is the culture of Manchester United and that is why they take me as a manager,” Van Gaal said. “It is of course crazy all the injuries we have, today 12 injured players so now it is a little bit overdone, I think, but you see youngsters give always spirit to the team. I have a lot of experience with that and that is also a very important aspect of my philosophy.”

That said, this sudden influx of acne and flattop haircuts into United’s starting lineup was out of necessity rather than ingenuity. 12 first team players are out injured, plus Marcos Rojo went down during the game.

Of the youngsters who did play on Sunday, Guillermo Varela was solid and grew into the game from right back, while Rashford stole the headlines up top and although it’s difficult to class Memphis and Jesse Lingard as “’youngins” they’re still under 23. That fact and with two midfielders Michael Carrick and Daley Blind playing center back emphasized how impressive of a patch-up job United did. For some reason, this song from a baby-faced Wiz Khalifa popped into my head as I watched the multiple academy products make their debut for United over the past few days. They’re definitely on their grind, just like Wiz was back in the day.

18-year-old Dutchman Tim Fosu-Mensah came off the bench to play most of the second half, while James Weir also made his first team debut late on in this huge game. The fact that none of these youngsters really looked out of place (well, Fosu-Mensah hardly look comfortable at left back with the midfielders usual attacking instincts kicking in, but he put in a great shift) playing against one of the best teams in the PL bodes well for the future. Sure, the adrenaline pumping may have improved their performance levels but this experience will hold them in good stead. A by-product of this injury crisis at United is that these youngsters will increase LVG’s options, should he remain beyond the end of this season.

With United now just three points off the top four – crosstown rivals and fourth-placed Man City have a game in hand though – after this gritty win with a depleted team, maybe Van Gaal can salvage this season and get the fans back on his side.

Moments like the one below will certainly help.


“AND THE Oscar GOES TO… Louis Van Gaal!”

This was a moment which could define Louis van Gaal’s tenure at Old Trafford.

In the 72nd minute, with United leading 3-2 but Arsenal pushing hard for an equalizer, Van Gaal took exception to Alexis Sanchez going down after a tackle. The usually docile Dutchman jumped out of his seat and rushed out to the edge of the technical area to remonstrate with fourth official Mike Dean, the linesman and the refereeing crew.

[ MORE: Van Gaal explains decision to flop

Then, as the entire home support at United had noticed his outburst and began to roar him on in almost gladiatorial fashion, Van Gaal fell. He didn’t trip. The Dutchman threw himself to the floor forcefully (but, impressively, still held onto his beloved clipboard) to demonstrate his disdain at what he perceived was simulation from Arsenal’s players.

The fans loved it. “Louis van Gaal’s Red Army!” was belted out by the Stretford End and it was a genuine “what have I just seen?” moment. Speaking to a can driver in Manchester after the game, he was laughing his head off and loving it. “I don’t like Van Gaal,” the cabbie explained, “but at least he got out of Fergie’s seat and actually showed a bit of emotion for once instead of scribbling on his bloody clipboard!”

After the game, LVG rather sheepishly explained his decision to take a tumble.

“That was too emotional because at that time you a little bit too emotional because it is not good for the referee, the linesman, the fourth referee. I was emotional,” Van Gaal said. “It happens not too much. Normally I am sitting on my bench and I have a lot of criticism because I am sitting on my bench. I have apologised to the referee and the linesman. I have to control my emotions.”

With constant reports linking Jose Mourinho to take over form Van Gaal this summer and many believing the United board set to release the Dutchman 12 months earlier than planned, that may still happen. Following the huge criticism for his “boring tactics” and many of the players he paid big money for not performing, he’s still under severe pressure. But finally showing some emotion proved to United’s fans that he has passion and something as simple as on overzealous demonstration of frustration could buy him some more time. At least until the end of the season.


TWO HORSE TITLE RACE?

With Arsenal’s defeat and Manchester City in League Cup final action, a golden opportunity for Leicester and Spurs to pull away present itself.

Both took advantage of it. Just.

We mentioned Leicester’s last-gasp home win over Norwich and for much of the game they were second best as the Canaries had chances and limited the Foxes. However, just like all good title-winning teams do, they found a way of winning. Leicester still lead the way but are only two points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur we have a huge week on the horizon.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings | Schedule ] 

Spurs have now won six-straight PL games as they battled back in the second half to overturn a 1-0 deficit to beat Swansea City 2-1 at White Hart Lane. Mauricio Pochettino‘s team are rolling and they haven’t won seven-straight league games since 1967. They have momentum and, compared to Leicester, have more offensive weapons and individually their players are better. It;s all been about the collective for Spurs and that’s why they are where they are and boast the best defense in the PL.

With a trip to West Ham United on Wednesday (Watch live, 2:45 p.m. ET http://www.nbcsports.com/live-extraonline via Live Extra) the clash against their rivals and in-form Hammers will be a tough test. Add to that a north London derby against Arsenal on Saturday at the Lane and it’s a huge week for Tottenham. They can not only boost their title hopes this week, they can also put a monumental dent in Arsenal’s. The biggest NLD in PL history awaits, but first Spurs must take care of business at West Ham.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

The fact that both Leicester and Tottenham is challenging for the title is remarkable. If either of them sees this out and wins the PL, it would be perhaps the most astonishing achievement in league history given the vast wealth and power the so-called “big six” possess. Of course, Leicester would be more incredible but the growing feeling is that Spurs are gathering steam and they are the bookmakers favorites to win the PL. If you uttered that sentence back in August, the stray jackets would’ve been on you quicker than you could say “bob’s your uncle.”


WILLY THE HERO FOR CITY

While all of these title contenders were jostling, there was the small matter of a League Cup final taking place at Wembley Stadium between Liverpool and Manchester City.

City won 3-1 on penalty kicks, as Willy Caballero saved three of Liverpool’s four spot kicks to be the hero and Yaya Toure rolled in the winner to send City’s fans wild at Wembley.

Fernandinho had given City the lead courtesy of Simon Mignolet‘s howler but the Belgian goalkeeper did keep Liverpool in the game with some fine saves and Philippe Coutinho equalized seven minutes from time to force extra time.

Jurgen Klopp would’ve been bitterly disappointed to lose but it’s hard to begrudge Manuel Pellegrini at least one trophy in his final season at City. His comments on playing with Caballero instead of recalling Joe Hart were also spot on. Pellegrini had promised Caballero he would play in every domestic cup game this season and despite the Argentine goalkeeper putting in a shaky display in the 5-1 FA Cup defeat at Chelsea last week, Pellegrini proved he’s a man of his word.

“I would prefer to lose a title than lose my word,” Pellegrini said. “My word is more important than football. We deserved to win the game before penalties, but I’m happy to win it that way with Willy as a great hero.”

Brilliant. Here’s the moment Yaya won it for City.

Also, check out this pre-game prediction from former Oasis front man Noel Gallagher. Doesn’t get any more accurate than this.


CAMERON RETURNS

Finally, it’s great to see a U.S. national team player back fit and firing in the Premier League.

Geoff Cameron returned from nearly two months out on Saturday to star at the heart of Stoke City’s defense as the Potters beat Aston Villa 2-1. Cameron had previously suffered an ankle injury which was healing slowly and he’d only had a few days of practice before being chucked back into the starting lineup by Mark Hughes with Stoke’s other center backs out injured.

To mark the occasion, I caught up with Cameron at his house in Manchester as he kindly invited us in to chat all things PL, USMNT and more.

Click play on the video below to see us throw around some banter, discuss Geoff’s favorite flavor ice cream (seriously) and more.

Premier League Playback comes out every week as PST’s Lead Writer and Editor takes an alternative look at all the action from the weekend. Read the full archive, here

Van Gaal explains flop; Wenger refuses to give up on title

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MANCHESTER — “Louis Van Gaal‘s Red Army!”

That was the song once again heard from the Stretford End at Old Trafford as Manchester United beat Arsenal 3-2 on Sunday in a hugely entertaining contest which papered over the obvious flaws the Red Devils possess.

[ MORE: Player ratings

Van Gaal fielded a hugely inexperienced team as injuries continue to ravage his squad. This week alone he’s dished out five debuts with youngsters James Weir and Tim Fosu-Mensah making their bow off the bench and Marcus Rashford marking his Premier League debut with two first half goals.

[ MORE: 3 things learned ]

Rashford, 18, now has four goals in his first two appearances for United (he scored twice on his full debut against FC Midtjylland in the Europa League on Thursday) and stole the show.

Well, almost.

With United leading late on in the second half but Arsenal pushing hard for an equalizer, a bizarre moment occurred which will be talked about for years. Van Gaal raced down to the sidelines and threw himself onto the floor, clipboard and all, as he remonstrated with the officials and complained that Arsenal’s players were taking a tumble.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Van Gaal explained his uncharacteristic, over-zealous reaction.

“That was too emotional because at that time you a little bit too emotional because it is not good for the referee, the linesman, the fourth referee. I was emotional,” Van Gaal said. “It happens not too much. Normally I am sitting on my bench and I have a lot of criticism because I am sitting on my bench. I have apologised to the referee and the linesman. I have to control my emotions.”

Van Gaal’s flop aside, the Dutchman was delighted with his team’s fighting spirit as he singled out his central midfielders for praise as they halted Arsenal’s attacking flow and gave the injury-hit side a platform to build from.

“Arsenal is one of the best teams in the Premier League with creative players,” Van Gaal said. “You cannot see too many chances for them and when they score it was errors of ourselves but most of all the fighting spirit of the team to bring this result to the end and you could see was seen also by the fans and it was great to be in Old Trafford again for all the fans and also all the players.”

He was reluctant to heap too much praise on Rashford but did say the teenager was “fantastic” and that “his performance was better than the first match.”

With speculation mounting over Van Gaal’s future as rumors linking Jose Mourinho to the United job (something Van Gaal called “an absolute scandal” this week) continue, his side managed to grind out a win that sees them move to within three points of the top four even though near neighbors and fourth-placed Man City have a game in hand.

[ VIDEO: Rashford reacts to incredible week ]

Top four hopes aside, to pull off this win despite having youngsters slotting in left, right and center, Van Gaal deserves credit. As he points out, he’s been here before with Ajax and Bayern Munich.

“It is the culture of Manchester United and that is why they take me as a manager,” Van Gaal said. “It is of course crazy all the injuries we have, today 12 injured players so now it is a little bit overdone, I think but you see youngsters give always spirit to the team. I have a lot of experience with that and that is also a very important aspect of my philosophy.”

ProSoccerTalk asked Van Gaal about Memphis, who again shone and was a constant threat for Arsenal’s defense. Despite not producing the goods in the final third like he did in midweek in the Europa League, Van Gaal praised the Dutch winger for his resilience.

“I think he played a better match against Midtjylland because then he made better decisions and he was playing for the team but he shows also the team spirit,” Van Gaal said. “I was very pleased with him. He played his best match for Manchester United, I think.”

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings

As for Wenger, he refused to totally dismiss hopes of winning the title as the Gunners sit five points behind leaders Leicester with 11 games to go but said “the answer will have to come quick and strong” if they’re going to stay in the hunt.

So, are Arsenal’s title hopes over?

“Nobody knows,” Wenger admitted. “We dropped three important points and we have to show we can fight and bounce back on Wednesday night and not feel sorry for ourselves.”

Wenger was hard pressed to explain exactly what happened to his title-chasing team, but he seemed to agree with Van Gaal when stating the Gunners had lost the battle in midfield.

“I think they defended well. Every time we got in the flow they stopped us with little free kicks in the middle of the park,” Wenger said. “On set pieces I expected us to do more. We were not dangerous enough.”

The Arsenal boss was asked if this ranked as one of his toughest defeats to Manchester United, given their lack of experienced and fit players. He was having none of it but did give glowing praise to match-winner Rashford.

“Let’s not go overboard. They had still a few millions on the pitch from De Gea to the midfield. They spent a lot on Depay, he is not a player from the academy,” Wenger snarled. “The player who was surprising for me talent wise was Rashford, the timing and intelligence of his movement was great. He could be a very positive surprise for Manchester United.”

What was Wenger’s view of Van Gaal’s theatrics as he stood just a few steps away from the Dutchman when he decided to throw himself to the floor?

“Nothing,” Wenger smiled. “Look, you will have to ask him the question. I don’t want to comment because you will say I am a bitter loser. I am in fact.”