Max Meyer

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Biggest flops of the Premier League season

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We’ll try not to be too harsh as our review of the Premier League season continues with the most disappointing performances of 2018-19.

[ SEASON REVIEW: Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Spurs, Arsenal ]

[ SEASON REVIEW: Man United, Wolves, Everton, Leicester, West Ham ]


— Fulham — You can’t pin it on any single manager, nor a single transfer flop. There was just something around Craven Cottage that didn’t allow the men to mesh on the big stage. Andre Schurrle petered out, Alfie Mawson stumbled when healthy, Jean-Michael Seri wasn’t as advertised, and Claudio Ranieri couldn’t summon any saviors after Slavisa Jokanovic also failed to find the right chemistry.

— Max Meyer, Crystal Palace — The 23-year-old just couldn’t quite adapt after being hailed by many including us as a remarkable free transfer from Schalke.

— Gonzalo Higuain, Chelsea — Part of this blame lives with us: The expectation that came with Maurizio Sarri‘s favored man arriving to make good on the failures of Alvaro Morata was too high; Higuain finished with five goals in 1100 minutes.

— Mohamed Elyounoussi, Southampton — Maybe his Premier League adjustment will come in Season Two, but zero goals and plenty of days outside the Saints’ 18 hardly make for good value.

Fred, Manchester United — Cost the Red Devils about $3.5 million per league appearance. Shoulder shrug emoji, as Pep Guardiola also reportedly viewed the Brazilian as a fix for his midfield.

— David De Gea, Manchester United — While not a new signing, the Red Devils’ perennial savior was not close to his standards in 2018-19. In fact, the Spaniard was basically league average and couldn’t bail out his defenders (which underscores Jose Mourinho’s assertion regarding their quality).

Watch Live: Cardiff City v. Crystal Palace

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Cardiff City host Crystal Palace on Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com) and the equation for the Bluebirds is simple.

Neil Warnock‘s men must win to keep their faint hopes of Premier League survival alive, as they are four points behind Brighton with two games to go for both teams but Cardiff have a much worse goal difference compared to Brighton who sit one place out of the relegation zone.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE HERE

As for Crystal Palace and Roy Hodgson, they will be aiming to finish as high as possible after a fairly comfortable campaign.

In team news Cardiff bring in Josh Murphy, Danny Ward and Bobby Reid for Leandro Bacuna, Junior Hoilett and Oumar Niasse.

Crystal Palace make four changes as Joel Ward, Michy Batshuayi, Andros Townsend and Jordan Ayew replace Patrick Van Aanholt, Cheikhou Kouyate, Max Meyer and Christian Benteke.


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Everton held at Crystal Palace (video)

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  • Tosun, Calvert-Lewin go close
  • Palace barely threaten
  • Everton sit in 8th place

Everton were held to a 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace on Saturday as the Toffees pushed hard but couldn’t break through.

In a game of few chances Everton had the better but Vicente Guaita was in fine form as Marco Silva‘s men lost ground in the battle for seventh place and European qualification.

With the draw Everton move on to 50 points and sit eighth, while Palace are in 12th on 43 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Crystal Palace started well as Christian Benteke went clean through but the flag went up for offside, then Max Meyer fired a shot just wide.

Everton improved as the first half wore on, with Lucas Digne causing problems on the left and Dominic Calvert-Lewin hit a tame effort at Vicente Guaita.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Calvert-Lewin sent a header over as Everton continued to look more dangerous, as the home side failed to threaten.

Idrissa Gueye then hit a shot from distance which Guaita saved.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Everton continued to push hard for the opener at the start of the second half as Bernard wriggled free but his shot his the post and bounced away.

Palace rarely threatened in the second half and substitute Cenk Tosun almost scored an outrageous goal as his back flick from Gylfi Sigurdsson‘s was saved at point-blank range by Guaita.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Lucas Digne’s cross was overhit and flicked off the post late on, but Everton had to settle for the draw in a tame encounter.

Auschwitz Memorial offers Hennessey lesson on Nazi history, salute

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Wayne Hennessey will not be charged for making what was alleged to have been a Nazi salute earlier this year after he successfully pleaded to the Football Association that he did not know what a Nazi salute was, it was announced on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Ashley Young the latest player targeted by racist abusers ]

The FA deemed it a case of “considerable ignorance” on Hennessey’s part. “Improbable as that may seem to those of us of an older generation, we do not reject that assertion as untrue,” their statement read.

“In fact, when cross-examined about this, Mr. Hennessey displayed a very considerable — one might even say lamentable — degree of ignorance about anything to do with Hitler, fascism and the Nazi regime.

“Regrettable though it may be that anyone should be unaware of so important a part of our own and world history, we do not feel we should therefore find he was not telling the truth about this.

“All we would say (at the risk of sounding patronizing) is that Mr. Hennessey would be well advised to familiarize himself with events which continue to have great significance to those who live in a free country.”

As such, the Auschwitz Memorial, the museum which preserves the site of the former German Nazi Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp, has referred the Crystal Palace goalkeeper to a 37-step an online course about Nazi propaganda and the symbols and gestures which came to represent Nazism.

The 32-year-old Welsh international explained his actions the day after the photo was posted online by teammate Max Meyer, saying, “I waved and shouted at the person taking the picture to get on with it and at the same time put my hand over my mouth to make the sound carry. It’s been brought to my attention that frozen in a moment by the camera this looks like I am making a completely inappropriate type of salute. I can assure everyone I would never ever do that and any resemblance to that kind of gesture is absolutely coincidental.”

Hennessey has played in just three games for Palace — two in the Premier League and one in the FA Cup — since the photo was taken on Jan. 5.

Watch Live: Crystal Palace v. Brighton

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Crystal Palace host Brighton & Hove Albion (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) in a massive rivalry clash to kick off the Premier League action this weekend.

The M23 derby is here.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE

Palace have won three of their last five games, with Wilfried Zaha firing on all cylinders, and Roy Hodgson‘s men can almost see light at the end of the tunnel in their battle against relegation.

Brighton are just three points and two places behind Palace, but Chris Hughton knows his team aren’t in great form and a win in this derby would be hugely important for momentum in the final months of the season.

In team news Palace bring in James McArthur and Andros Townsend for Max Meyer and Cheikhou Kouyate with Vicente Guaita replacing Wayne Hennessey in goal, while Brighton made one change as Florin Andone replaced former Palace striker Glenn Murray in the lineup… but Andone was injured in the warm up and Murray comes back in.


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