Moise Kean

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Curtis Jones stunner boosts young Liverpool side in Merseyside derby

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Liverpool’s kids took center stage again in Cup action, and this time they came through. Jurgen Klopp rotated his squad for the Merseyside derby against Everton in FA Cup play, and while Carlo Ancelotti selected a strong Toffees lineup, it was a day for the youngsters.

Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, and Roberto Firmino were all rested alongside fellow regulars Virgil Van Dijk, Alisson, Andrew Robertson, and Trent Alexander-Arnold. Instead, the Liverpool lineup was dotted with youth players who stepped up to the challenge. While Liverpool dominated in possession throughout the match, they found the attacking third a stumbling block until young Curtis Jones changed that with one spectacular 71st minute moment, leading the Reds to a 1-0 victory over Everton.

Liverpool suffered an early blow as James Milner, one of the few veteran players in the squad, was forced off just eight minutes into the match after pulling up behind the play. He was replaced by 19-year-old Yasser Larouci

Everton, having made just two changes from its last Premier League match, had a big chance on 12 minutes as Adrian kept out Mason Holgate‘s free header, a fabulous opportunity that was disappointingly directed straight at the Liverpool goalkeeper. The Toffees were quite good in the attacking third throughout the first half, forcing Adrian into a few more big saves. Yerry Mina flashed a header wide on 37 minutes and Dominic Calvert-Lewin also just barely dragged one shy of the post.

Liverpool’s young squad still had its moments through the first 45 minutes, including one where Divock Origi searched for the far post, only kept out by Jordan Pickford‘s acrobatic diving save. The second half was even more cagey than the first, and while Liverpool’s kids dominated in possession, Everton was wasteful with its chances. Theo Walcott delivered an absolutely abysmal ball for a streaking Moise Kean with 25 minutes to go.

As the Reds gained in confidence, they eventually went in front as 18-year-old midfielder Jones rescued the match. The Liverpool youth product cropped up with an absolute stunner, rifling a long-range shot into the top-right corner.

The goal was good enough to send Liverpool through to the fourth round, dumping Everton out of the competition. It’s not the first winning moment for Jones with the senior squad, as he was also on hand to deliver the decisive penalty in the EFL Cup penalty shootout against Arsenal which Liverpool won 6-5.

The win somewhat avenged Liverpool’s 5-0 defeat to Aston Villa in which the youngsters took the field with the senior squad in Qatar for the Club World Cup. The young team deployed that afternoon played well, with the scoreline somewhat harsh on the side. This time around with senior team support sprinkled throughout, the kids produced a display worthy of a landmark rivalry win.

Transfer rumor roundup: Eriksen, Vertonghen in demand; Mane to Madrid?

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A roundup of all of Wednesday’s biggest transfer rumors, including those involving Premier League clubs…

[ MORE: Mourinho was “rude to an idiot”; talks injuries, transfers ]

With six months now remaining on his Tottenham Hotspur contract, speculation over Christian Eriksen‘s future has once again begun. The Danish playmaker is widely expected to leave Tottenham in the summer, and a number of the world’s biggest clubs — including, but certainly not limited to, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus — have already been linked. Now, Inter Milan have reportedly entered the race to sign the 27-year-old.


Speaking of Spurs players now in the final six months of their contract, Jan Vertonghen will be out of contract this summer and there have been few, if any, reports of negotiations over a new deal. As such, Napoli and Ajax are each reportedly interested in signing the 32-year-old at a heavily discounted price this month.


Real Madrid have reportedly reached out and made contact with the representatives of Liverpool winger Sadio Mane. Los Blancos would be looking for a mega-bucks transfer this summer.


Frank Lampard has played down reports that Chelsea have placed Wilfried Zaha atop their January shopping list. The Crystal Palace winger has reportedly been on his way out of Crystal Palace for years now, and Chelsea is just the latest club linked with the 27-year-old. However, Lampard says Zaha is “not in our plans.”


Moise Kean hasn’t yet delivered the good since arriving at Everton from Juventus this summer, leading some to speculate that the 19-year-old Italian could leave Goodison Park in short order. Instead, reports out of Merseyside indicate that the Toffees have no interest in losing Kean following the appointment of fellow Italian, Carlo Ancelotti, as the club’s new manager.

Ancelotti thanks Everton’s fans after winning start

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It seems like Carlo Ancelotti will slot in very nicely at Everton as he marked his return to the Premier League with a win.

In his first game in charge of the Toffees they beat Burnley 1-0 at Goodison Park on Boxing Day as Dominic Calvert-Lewin‘s header sealed a big win which gets Ancelotti’s reign off to a perfect start and Everton looking towards the top 10 instead of the relegation zone.

Speaking to the club’s website after the game, Ancelotti revealed that the huge levels of support he received from Evertonians before, during and after the game had a huge impact.

“The result was the most important part of this day. It was a fantastic day for me, the fact that the fans gave me fantastic support at the beginning of the game and after the game, that was good,” Ancelotti explained. “It was a special game. Burnley played with a lot of intensity, we were good defensively and offensively we could play a bit better with more intensity in the first half and be more efficient with the counter attack. At the end it was a good game with a good performance and we deserved the result.”

His analysis was spot on, and you’d expect that from a man who has won league titles in Italy, England, France, Spain and Germany and the UEFA Champions League three times.

Everton were great once again defensively, as they’ve now conceded just twice in their last four Premier League games, keeping clean sheets in the last two, and they’re unbeaten in four since Marco Silva was fired.

Ancelotti lauded the defensive effort but wants more from Everton as an attacking force as Richarlison and Bernard struggled to link up with Moise Kean and Calvert-Lewin in attack.

“In the game against Arsenal they defended well and today was the same,” Ancelotti said. “We tried to put more pressure forward, to try to press forward a little bit. I think we were solid. We need to be more efficient in attack, to complete good passes, to make good choices in front because we missed some counter attacks where we could be more dangerous. That was the only detail we have to improve.”

Next up, they face Newcastle United on Dec. 28 and Ancelotti, ever the perfectionist as he often looked expectant rather than hopeful on the sidelines, admitted he will have to rotate his squad for the trip to St James’ Park.

“[He learned Everton have] a good spirit in the team, very energetic and I think physically we are in a really good condition,” Ancelotti said. “We look forward to the next game. We don’t have much time for recovery. We are going to check the next day on the players who didn’t play, and maybe they will have more possibility to play against Newcastle.”

Ever the gentleman, Ancelotti was eager to thank the fans one more time as he received an extremely positive welcome.

“The reception was fantastic. I have to thank everyone for this. The fans are a key part of winning games at Goodison Park,” Ancelotti said.

Stalemate between Everton, Arsenal

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Everton and Arsenal played out a dour 0-0 draw at Goodison Park on Saturday, as both teams had their new managers watching on from the stands.

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Carlo Ancelotti and Mikel Arteta are now in charge of Everton and Arsenal respectively and will have been far from impressed with what they saw as interim managers Duncan Ferguson and Freddie Ljungberg tried their best, but both teams failed to create clear cut chances.

With the point Everton now have 19 for the season but remain just above the relegation zone, while Arsenal move on to 23 points.


3 things we learned

1. Players distracted as new managers watch on: With Arteta and Ancelotti in the stands, both sets of players looked nervous. It was as though they were involved in a very, very public job interview and a lot of the players were trying to do things they weren’t comfortable with. That resulted in a very poor game, lacking in quality and specializing in nerves. Both new managers will have plenty to mull over in the coming days as they aim to push their teams up the table.

2. Arsenal’s kids are okay: Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, Joe Reiss Nelson and Gabriel Martinelli all started and all played their part in a gritty away display for the Gunners. The kids played well in the second half against Man City last week and perhaps new manager Arteta will be best served to give them an extended run in the team in the coming weeks and months. Aubameyang was taken off in the second half and the likes of Lacazette, Ozil and Pepe have failed to get going in recent months, so it may be down to the kids to drag Arsenal out of this situation.

3. Big Dunc signs off unbeaten: Interim boss Duncan Ferguson can hold his head high as he prepares for a position on Ancelotti’s staff. The Everton legend beat Chelsea and drew against Man United and Arsenal in his three PL games in charge, plus the Toffees draw 2-2 against Leicester in the League Cup quarterfinals, only to lose on penalty kicks. Ferguson will be back and he is a man of the people and gave his sweatband, tie and everything else away as he walked off the pitch at the end of the game. After Ancelotti, he has shown he can be the next man up for the Toffees as he galvanized a struggling squad of players to dig deep and restore some pride. The way he subbed off the sub Cenk Tosun will rub many the wrong way, and he did it with Moise Kean last week too, but Ferguson isn’t messing around and he has high standards which the Toffees lived up to.

Man of the Match: Calum Chambers – Dug deep defensively, looked solid at the heart of Arsenal’s defense and dealt with the threat of Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin and Tosun well.


Both teams were tentative on the ball early with their new managers watching on, and the first big moment was Alex Iwobi coming off injured with what looked like a slight hamstring pull. His replacement, Cenk Tosun, flashed an effort over the bar with his first touch of the game as Everton started to build a head of steam.

Richarlison had a shot blocked and Gylfi Sigurdsson curled a free kick just wide as Arsenal struggled to get out of their own half. Tom Davies crossed for Tosun but it was too powerful for the Turkish striker to get a decent effort on target, then Gabriel Martinelli raced clear at the other end but smashed wide as Arsenal had their first chance of the game right on half time.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

At the start of the second half Richarlison flashed an effort just wide of the far post as Everton continued to look the more likely to break the deadlock.

Jordan Pickford then made a really good save as Calum Chamber’s flick on found Aubameyang at the back post but Everton’s goalkeeper clawed the ball out. Emile Smith Rowe then should have got a shot away but Aubameyang slipped as he tried to finish as the Gunners finally got going.

Everton finished the game strongly as Dominic Calvert-Lewin had a shot which was blocked by Lucas Torreira in the box, as VAR checked for a handball but nothing was given.

Cenk Tosun was subbed off late on after coming on as a sub, as Moise Kean came on and Tosun was far from happy with the decision from Ferguson.

The final minutes were scrappy and summed up the full 90 as both teams huffed and puffed without really throwing caution to the wind.

Report: Deal agreed in principle between Everton, Ancelotti

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Everton may have hit the jackpot in the coaching carousel as it looks for a replacement for Marco Silva.

According to our partners Sky Sports in the UK, Everton has reached an agreement in principle to hire Carlo Ancelotti as it’s new manager. The latest developments come after reports that Ancelotti met with Everton owner Farhad Moshiri in London, with the two sides hammering out a deal through the night.

Should Everton hire Ancelotti, it would be the highest-profile coach the club has had since Howard Kendall, who led the Toffies to two Football League titles in the 1980s.

If true, this would represent a massive coup for Everton, but also ratchet up the pressure on the club. Despite spending tens of millions of dollars in the transfer market over the past few seasons to improve the squad, Everton has continued to underperform against expectations.

With Ancelotti, it will be his first test not coaching a giant club since his first coaching job in 1995 with Serie B Reggiana. Since then, Ancelotti coached Parma, Juventus, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and of course, Chelsea.

He was fired by Napoli last week in the midst of an up-and-down season that has seen players have a mutiny against upper management, with Ancelotti helpless to stop it.

Ultimately, the fact that Ancelotti picked Everton says a lot about the state of the Big 6 right now, with Arsenal’s job open and Manchester United’s potentially open, should the club’s form overall not improve.

Ancelotti has the chance to get a player like Gylfi Sigurdsson back to his best, and to also see more from players like Richarlison, Yerry Mina, Moise Kean, and Alex Iwobi. But at the same time, it raises expectations for the club. After this season, should Everton finish outside of the fluid top seven, and at least qualify for Europe, it could be considered a disappointment to many fans, considering Ancelotti’s background.