Lewis Dunk

Everton edge past Brighton

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Everton made it three wins in their last four Premier League games as Carlo Ancelotti’s side are pushing for European qualification.

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Richarlison‘s moment of magic in the first half sealed the win, as Brighton went close in the second half but couldn’t grab an equalizer.

With the win Everton are in 11th on 28 points, while Brighton are in 14th on 24 points.


3 things we learned

1. Defensive improvement continues: Everton have conceded three goals in their last five PL games and that has been the key to their recent success. Ancelotti hooked off two attacking players for Delph and Coleman and although some Everton fans were not happy it made sense. Everton need to be sensible and if they are, a top 10 finish is very likely.

2. Richarlison’s magic returns: A moment of brilliance from the Brazilian won the game for Everton and is now back to his best. After a run of five games without a goal he’s now scored in back-to-back PL games and aside from his goalscoring he looks hungry.

3. Seagulls sinking: Brighton continue to play well but they have won just once in their last seven games in the Premier League. That is a worry. They just aren’t clinical enough and they face Villa, Bournemouth, Watford and West Ham in their next four games. They need some big wins in those games to put them back on track.

Man of the Match: Richarlison – Delivered the moment of quality which won the game and was dangerous throughout.


Brighton started well but there was early VAR controversy as Lewis Dunk appeared to pull back Theo Walcott, but after a review no penalty kick was awarded to the hosts.

Brighton grew into the game as Alireza Jahanbakhsh looked lively but Everton were always looked the most likely to score first.

Richarlison first forced Mat Ryan into a save down low and moments later he put the Toffees 1-0 up.

Lucas Digne found Richarlison in the box and after a lovely piece of control and a clever turn the Brazilian curled home to make it 1-0.

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In the second half Brighton improved and had plenty of the ball as Leandro Trossard hit the crossbar with a stunning effort.

Everton thought they had wrapped up the win late on as a corner hit the post, then another effort struck the woodwork before Calvert-Lewin bundled the ball home.

However, VAR intervened as Calvert-Lewin clearly handled the ball. Glenn Murray twice went close late on as he forced Pickford into a smart save and the Seagulls forward was then just off target.

Best players of decade for each Premier League club

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It has been an incredible decade in the Premier League with plenty of stars on show from 2010-20.

But which players have been the best from the last decade for each current PL team?

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Yes, this will cause controversy. Yes, you won’t agree with these 20 selections.

There is no right answer here because certain players may not have been the best technical player to play for a certain team over the last decade but they may have been the most important to their success.

Anyway, here it goes.


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Arsenal: Alexis Sanchez – Yes, it didn’t end well for him at Arsenal. But for four seasons he led them to the FA Cup, top four finishes and scored superb goals along the way. His hunger to win drove Arsene Wenger‘s teams on and along with Jack Wilshere (when he was fit) and Aaron Ramsey, he was one of the few world-class quality players the Gunners possessed.


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Aston Villa: Jack Grealish – A local lad who arrived from the academy with his low socks and slick Peaky Blinders-esque haircut, Grealish is Villa through and through and Villa’s hopes of staying in the Premier League this season revolve around the English playmaker. He stayed with them when they went down and brought them back up as skipper and his mercurial talents mean the big clubs are circling.


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Bournemouth: Steve Cook – It is amazing to think he is just 29 years old. Cook has been with Bournemouth throughout their promotion from League One to the Premier League and is now at the heart of their defense. Some great players have been key to Bournemouth’s success but Cook has held it all together.


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Brighton and Hove Albion: Lewis Dunk – Another local lad who has com through the ranks to be a star, Dunk is a towering, powerful center back who was with Brighton when they were at the Withdean and has been influential in their promotion and consolidation in the Premier League. He’s also played for England. His decade has been a Slam… Dunk.


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Burnley: Ben Mee – A mainstay in Burnley’s defense after joining from Man City in 2011, initially on loan, Mee has been essential to their promotion campaigns and keeping them in the Premier League. A no-nonsense defender, Burnley can totally trust Mee. The unsung hero in a club of unsung heroes.


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Chelsea: Eden Hazard – My favorite player of the decade in the Premier League because he could change the game on his own. Hazard led Chelsea to two Premier League titles, the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Europa League and when he was at his best he was unstoppable. Ask players around the PL who was the best player they came up against and the vast majority will say Hazard.


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Crystal Palace: Wilfried Zaha – The academy product was a star in the Championship, left for Manchester United, came back and ripped it up. Zaha is loved by Palace’s fans and is probably the best player outside of the top six in the Premier League. His pace and power is just too much to handle for most teams. And even though he wants to leave for a team challenging for trophies, Zaha will go down as a Palace legend.


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Everton: Leighton Baines – Okay, so it was a flip of a coin between Baines and Seamus Coleman, but I’m going for Baines. His quality from set piece situations was incredible and he was just wonderfully reliable. Everton’s two full backs will be etched into Toffees history but Baines’ extra quality in the final third gives him the nod.


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Leicester City: Jamie Vardy – Okay, with N’Golo Kante, Wes Morgan, Kasper Schmeichel and Riyad Mahrez around, this wasn’t that easy but Vardy should get the nod. He scored the goals to lead Leicester to an incredible Premier League title win as his pace and clinical finishing capped off his unreal rise from non-league to the Premier League, and his resurgence over the past 12 months has been amazing. Vardy isn’t everybody’s cup of tea but when he’s at his best, nobody can stop him.


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Liverpool: Virgil Van Dijk – This could be a controversial pick given the fact that he’s only played for Liverpool for two years, but there’s no doubt that no other player has been as important to the team as VVD. Luis Suarez and Mohamed Salah have been attacking stars for the Reds over the last decade but Van Dijk’s arrival helped lead Liverpool to the Champions League and improved their entire defense which had been their Achilles heel under Jurgen Klopp. Van Dijk is a Rolls Royce and probably the most complete defender the Premier League has ever seen.


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Manchester City: Vincent Kompany – A proper Man City legend, Kompany was the captain for all four of Man City’s Premier League title wins over the last decade. Sergio Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta and David Silva have all been key parts of City’s glittering decade but Kompany was the glue who held it all together. Injuries hit him hard in the second half of the decade but he was no doubt one of the greatest center backs in the history of the game. His goal to clinch the 2018-19 title was the perfect way to go out.


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Manchester United: David De Gea – He routinely won United’s Player of the Season over the last decade and without him Red Devils fans shudder to think where they would be. He has had a few big errors over the last 12 months but DDG has been the best goalkeeper in the Premier League over the last decade. Amid all of United’s struggles to get back to the top, De Gea has been their one true star.


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Newcastle United: Yohan Cabaye – Had the quality on the ball to rip teams apart and led the Magpies to a fifth-place finish under Alan Pardew. Papiss Cisse, Chieck Tiote, Moussa Sissoko and Demba Ba all had exceptional stints at Newcastle, but Cabaye had the extra class required to sew it together. The way he left for PSG wasn’t ideal but when all is said and done the former Lille midfielder was a game-changer at St James’ Park.


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Norwich City: Wes Hoolahan – A yo-yo decade for the Canaries who went all the way down to League One and worked their way back to the Premier League via back-to-back promotions. Republic of Ireland midfielder Hoolahan was their main attacking threat throughout the promotion years and he was capable of the sublime.


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Sheffield United: Billy Sharp – A local lad who has spent three spells at his beloved Blades and most recently signed for them in 2015 in League One, he scored the goals to take them back to the Premier League. Sharp has spent his entire career scoring boatloads of goals in the lower leagues and his dream was to play for Sheffield United in the Premier League. He’s achieved that, even though he hasn’t played a big role in their incredible season back in the top-flight. Sharp, 33, will forever be a Sheffield United legend.


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Southampton: Rickie Lambert – Another star forward who led his team from League One to the Premier League. Lambert signed for Saints from Bristol Rovers for $1.3 million in 2010, just after they had come out of administration, and then led them to back-to-back promotions as they returned to the PL. He then established himself as one of the top strikers in the league, got a call-up to the England team, play at the 2014 World Cup and eventually sealed his dream move to hometown club Liverpool. Known as “Sir Rickie” at St Mary’s, there will be a statue of him at the club one day as he led them back to the top-flight and did it was pure style befitting of the legendary No. 7 shirt he wore. He did Matt Le Tissier proud. Sadio Mane, Morgan Schneiderlin, Van Dijk, Adam Lallana, Jose Fonte and others were stars for Saints in the last decade but Lambert was the reason they were even in the PL in the first place.


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Tottenham Hotspur: Harry Kane – Has any other player in the Premier League burst onto the scene more than Kane in 2010? The London lad has come through Spurs’ academy to become a global star and is a goalscoring machine. In 2013-14 he was struggling to break through after several loan spells and now Kane is one of the best center forwards in the world. Kane scores every type of goal imaginable for club and country and is the captain of England and Tottenham’s talisman. The only thing left for him to tick off is winning a trophy. Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Hugo Lloris and Jan Vertonghen have all been mainstays but without Kane’s goals, Spurs would not have turned into genuine title contenders and regulars in the Champions League.


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Watford: Troy Deeney – Mr. Watford, Deeney led them to promotion to the PL in 2015 and they’ve been there ever since. Deeney’s goals (126 in 380 games in all competitions) and bulldozing displays have kept Watford in the top-flight and they’ve reached FA Cup semifinals and finals as they continue to punch above their weight. Deeney is Watford’s captain and sets the tone for the entire club.


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West Ham United: Dmitri Payet – Yes, West Ham fans will not like to admit this, but Payet was otherworldly at Upton Park and the London Stadium. The way he left for Marseille wasn’t great, at all, and the current owners have pretty much removed him from their history. But his amazing goals, free kicks and general outrageousness turned him into a club legend. Payet was box office as Slaven Bilic‘s side qualified for Europe.


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Wolverhampton Wanderers: Conor Coady – A mainstay in central defense for Wolves, Coady has led the charge since Fosun bought the club and Nuno Espirito Santo took over. A produce of Liverpool’s academy, he is a true professional who sets the standards day in, day out. Coady joined Wolves when they were struggling in the Championship and they are now in the Europa League knockout rounds and are challenging for the top four four after taking the PL by storm over the last two seasons. All of the recent impressive signings in attack and midfield have been important, so too has Matt Doherty who has been with Wolves since their days in the third tier, but Coady is the heart of Wolves and has been since 2015.

Brighton dominate Bournemouth

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Brighton and Hove Albion brushed aside fellow South Coast club Bournemouth 2-0 in the Premier League on Saturday.

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Alireza Jahanbakhsh smashed home an early goal and Aaron Mooy sealed the win with a superb late solo goal, as the Seagulls totally dominated the Cherries at the Amex Stadium. It was Brighton’s first win against Bournemouth in the Premier League.

The win pushed Brighton up to 13th place on 23 points, while Bournemouth are on 20 points.


3 things we learned

1. Bournemouth’s attacking woes: Scoring goals has never been an issue for Bournemouth under Eddie Howe. Until now. The Cherries are the fifth lowest scorers in the Premier League this season and the likes of Ryan Fraser, Callum Wilson and Josh King have totally gone off the boil. Add to that the long-term injury of David Brooks as Howe has a big problem to solve given their defensive injuries and generally sloppy play at the back. Bournemouth now face West Ham, Watford, Norwich, Brighton and Aston Villa in their next five games. If they are still struggling for goals and points at the end of that run, it is time to seriously worry about the Cherries.

2. Mooy pulls the strings: He’s on loan from Huddersfield Town and he’s making a huge impression at the Amex. Mooy has been really good in recent months and his quality on the ball and from set piece situations gives Brighton a cutting edge. Mooy’s goal summed up what he is all about as he surged into the box, showed lovely close control and stroked the ball home. Brighton’s four-game winless run was ended in emphatic style as Mooy showcased his supreme talent on the ball.

3. VAR under scrutiny: Dan Burn thought he had given Brighton a 2-0 lead as he hooked home after a goalmouth scramble but VAR chalked the goal off after he was a smidgen offside when the ball came in. It was the tightest of calls (more of half an elbow than an armpit) and VAR ruled it was offside. It was the correct call but purists everywhere were left shaking their heads in disbelief.

Man of the Match: Aaron Mooy – Scored his first goal for Brighton with superb style, whipped in dangerous balls all game long and the Australian midfielder ran the show.


Brighton were dominant early on and raced into a deserved 1-0 lead.

After receiving the ball from Neal Maupay, Jahanbakhsh drilled home a superb low effort and the Iranian playmaker broke down in tears as he celebrated scoring his first Premier League goal for Brighton following his move from AZ Alkmaar in the summer of 2018.

Aaron Mooy was causing plenty of problems for Bournemouth, as the Australian midfielder was pulling all of the strings for the Seagulls as they pinned the Cherries back.

Before half time Bournemouth launched two counter attacks as Dan Burn blocked Harry Wilson‘s shot on the first and Josh King’s ball on the second was blocked by Lewis Dunk.

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The start of the second half turned into a frantic end-to-end encounter as Dunk did well to deny Domnic Solanke at the last moment as Bournemouth wanted a penalty kick, and at the other end Brighton continued to look dangerous from set piece situations.

And that is how they thought they doubled their lead. After an almighty scramble in the box, giant defender Burn hooked home what he thought was his first goal for the club but the goal was then chalked off by VAR as Burn was offside when the original free kick came in.

Mooy dragged a shot just wide of the post and Yves Bissouma hit the post as Brighton were unperturbed by that disallowed goal.

Bournemouth brought Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser off the bench for the final 30 minutes but they couldn’t get anything going as Mooy sealed the win for the Seagulls with a fantastic finish.

Watch Live: Brighton v. Bournemouth

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Brighton and Hove Albion host Bournemouth on Saturday (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NNCSN and online via NBCSports.com) in a massive South Coast derby at the Amex Stadium.

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The Seagulls and Cherries have both been sucked into the relegation battle after poor recent results and the two young, ambitious managers in Graham Potter and Eddie Howe know their teams have to start improving defensively.

In team news Brighton make seven changes from their loss at Tottenham with Lewis Dunk, Neal Maupay, Yves Bissouma, Leandro Trossard, Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Martin Montoya and Davy Propper coming in.

Bournemouth make five changes from their draw with Arsenal as Sergio Rico, Harry Wilson, Philip Billing, Junior Stanislas and Dominic Solanke start.

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Watch Live: Tottenham v. Brighton

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Tottenham Hotspur host Brighton and Hove Albion to kick off the Boxing Day festivities (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) in the Premier League.

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Jose Mourinho will be looking for a reaction from his team after they were dominated by bitter rivals Chelsea last time out and lost 2-0 at home as Heung-Min Son was also sent off in a miserable outing.

As for Brighton, they’ve been struggling and are hovering just above the relegation zone although Graham Potter’s side continue to play attractive, attacking soccer.

In team news Spurs bring in Ryan Sessegnon to start in place of the suspended Son, as the summer signing from Fulham makes his first PL start for Spurs. Harry Winks comes in for Eric Dier.

Brighton Make five changes after then defeat to Sheffield United with Shane Duffy, Ezequiel Schelotto, Bernardo, Aaron Connolly and Steven Alzate replacing Lewis Dunk, Martin Montoya, Leandro Trossard, Dale Stephens and Neal Maupay.

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