Molla Wague

Kieran Cleeves/BrightonAndHoveAlbion.com

Brighton potentially sets transfer record with Bissouma signing

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Brighton & Hove Albion has secured the signing of Lille midfielder Yves Bissouma, the club confirmed on Tuesday.

According to some reports, the transfer could potentially become the club record signing, set back in January with the signing of striker Jurgen Locadia. The Mirror states that the deal, with add-ons, could reach as high as $22.3 million, with Locadia’s record currently sitting at $18 million. However, the BBC is reporting that the Bissouma deal will fall just short of Locadia’s record.

Bissouma, a 21-year-old, already has 13 caps for Mali on the senior international level, with three goals. He made 24 Ligue 1 appearances for Lille last season, scoring two goals and assisting one other, and grabbed another goal in Coupe de France play.

[ MORE: PL giants playing US tours ]

I spoke to my agent, then I spoke to Bakary Sako who plays at Crystal Palace and Molla Wague, who plays for Watford,” Bissouma told the official club website. “They both said a lot of good things about the Premier League.”

“It’s the dream of every player to come and play in the Premier League. They said it’s different to Ligue 1 – but you see that on the TV. [The players I spoke to] said it’s quite physical, quite difficult but it’s the best league in the world, that says it all. To be a big player you have to prove yourself in the big leagues and that is what pushed me a bit to come here.”

Bissouma becomes Brighton’s sixth signing of the season, with Fulham goalkeeper David Button coming in on Monday. They also snagged RB Leipzig full-back Bernardo and striker Florin Andone from Deportivo la Coruna.

AT HALF: Arsenal hangs four on Palace; Unreal WBA assist (video)

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No Alexis, no problem for Arsenal, while West Bromwich Albion saw a classy pass from Grzegorz Krychowiak open their scoring at Goodison Park.

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Arsenal 4-0 Crystal Palace

This match looks nothing like the 3-2 thriller in late December, and has drawn plenty of banter with Alexis Sanchez out of the Arsenal picture.

Alexandre Lacazette, Alex Iwobi, Laurent Koscileny, and Nacho Monreal all on the board for the Gunners, with Lacazette’s goal just gorgeous football (embedded above).

Burnley 0-0 Manchester United

Sean Dyche‘s men are frustrating the visitors in a match with an over/under of two for “oohs and aahs” for the second half.

Leicester City 1-0 Watford

Jamie Vardy knows how to draw a penalty, and beat Orestis Karnezis after Molla Wague fouled him in the box just before halftime.

Everton 0-1 West Bromwich Albion

Big Sam Allardyce‘s Everton tenure continues to morph into a version of his West Ham United tenure, as Jay Rodriguez converted this incredible pass from Krychowiak to give Alan Pardew‘s Baggies a somewhat surprising lead.

Elsewhere
Stoke City 0-0 Huddersfield Town
West Ham United 0-0 Bournemouth

Watford 1-2 Swansea: Carvalhal gets shock comeback W

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  • Swans win Carvalhal’s debut
  • Watford led 1-0 into 85th
  • Ayew, Narsingh score late

Luciano Narsingh was on the doorstep to poke home a late rebound as Swansea City came back to beat Watford 2-1 in Carlos Carvalhal’s first match as Swans manager.

Andre Carrillo put Watford ahead at Vicarage Road, but the Hornets found another way to lose when Jordan Ayew and Narsingh both scored in the final five minutes.

Swansea is in 19th place with 16 points, just two back of safety, while Watford’s 25 points have them 10th.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

It didn’t take long for new boss Carlos Carvalhal to feel what Paul Clement, Bob Bradley, and Francesco Guidolin have felt: concession.

Richarlison forced Lukasz Fabianski into a save, but Carrillo was right there to deposit the rebound for 1-0 after 11 minutes.

 

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Molla Wague looked to have a goal in his second-straight match, but his headed goal was nullified by a borderline foul in the 18.

And Richarlison cued up Andre Gray for a late 1v1 that he cranked directly at Fabianski.

That’s about when Swans started Hornets heads spinning, with Ayew tapped in from Oliver McBurnie‘s assist and Narsingh passing a rebound home four minutes later.

PL roundup: Race for 2nd gets tight; Swans’ sad song

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Get caught up on all eight of the Premier League’s Boxing Day fixtures…

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Liverpool 5-0 Swansea CityFULL RECAP

No team in the PL (this side of Manchester City’s rabid pursuit of an unbeaten 38-game season) routinely overwhelms and engulfs opponents so casually as Liverpool. They did it to Arsenal last Friday (before giving it all back in five minutes’ time), just as they did to the Gunners back in August, just as they did it to a hopeless, destined-for-relegation (20th place, five points adrift of safety) Swansea side on Tuesday. Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino (twice), Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain bagged the goals and extended the Reds’ unbeaten run to 11 PL games (seven wins). More importantly, due to another result in the northwest of England, Jurgen Klopp‘s side is now just five points back of second-place Manchester United. The gap between second and sixth is now just nine points, and would shrink to six if Arsenal beat Crystal Palace on Thursday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com).

Tottenham Hotspur 5-2 SouthamptonFULL RECAP

Harry Kane‘s calendar year of 2017, following Tuesday’s hat trick:

  • 39 PL goals (in 36 games) — top PL scorer in a calendar year
  • 8 hat tricks (all competitions)
  • 6 PL hat tricks — five more than any other player
  • 1st player since David Villa (2009) to score more goals than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in a calendar year

For those keeping track at home, he’s now just seven short of the century mark in the PL — his stated goal for the 2017-18 season — and the ETA isn’t moving forward in weeks anymore, but months instead.

Chelsea 2-0 Brighton & Hove AlbionFULL RECAP

Somehow, Chelsea appear to be the side to which no one is paying much attention right now — with the headlines being dominated Man United’s failed challenge to Man City, and the three-way battle for fourth, it would appear being comfortably the third- (coming for second-)best team in the PL this season is a bit of a non-story for some. Alas, Antonio Conte‘s side is cruising right along and moved to four games unbeaten with a comfortable victory over Brighton on Tuesday. Alvaro Morata and Marcos Alonso got the goals, and the Blues now trail United by just a single point for second.

Manchester United 2-2 BurnleyFULL RECAP

In an attempt to distract the public from his side’s failed PL title bid, Jose Mourinho, who this summer became the first manager in world football history to spend 1 billion pounds on players throughout his managerial career, has taken issue with the way Man City have gone about spending to build arguably the best squad in PL history. This, of course, occurred only moments after United came back from 2-0 down to draw Burnley at Old Trafford. Mourinho remains as predictable as his sides are expensive and stodgy.

Bournemouth 3-3 West Ham UnitedFULL RECAP

Bournemouth and West Ham began the day in 18th and 17th place, respectively, and that’s exactly where the two sides finished after a thrilling 3-3 draw at the Vitality Stadium. The game swing back and forth for the whole of 90 minutes, as the Hammers went 1-0 ahead early on, the Cherries responded and jumped out to a 2-1 lead then fell 3-2 behind, and the points were ultimately split following a controversial, 92nd-minute equalizer.

Watford 2-1 Leicester City — FULL RECAP

Watford’s bid for a top-half finish got a big boost on Tuesday, as Marco Silva‘s 10th-place side beat Claude Puel‘s 8th-place Leicester City at Vicarage Road and snapped a four-game losing skid that saw the Hornets drop from top-six contention down to the double-digit places. Leicester went ahead through Riyad Mahrez in the 37th minute, but Molla Wague equalized just before halftime and Kasper Schmeichel scored an own goal in the 65th. When you’ve lost four in a row, you’ll take a victory any way you can get it.

Huddersfield Town 1-1 Stoke City — FULL RECAP

Speaking of top-half dreams — no, not Stoke — 11th-place Huddersfield dropped a pair of points against relegation-threatened Stoke. Tom Ince put David Wagner‘s Terriers ahead after just 10 minutes, but Ramadan Sobhi equalized for the Potters right on the hour mark. At this point of the season, both sides will take every point they can get as the march toward 40 continues.

West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Everton — FULL RECAP

After a torrid start to the season, Everton are suddenly seven games unbeaten in the PL (four wins) and miles clear (up to 9th) of the relegation zone. Who says “the Sam Allardyce effect” isn’t real? Speaking of which, that’s back-to-back 0-0 draws for the Toffees — against Chelsea, and now West Brom. 18 games without a win for West Brom.

Watford 2-1 Leicester: Hornets sting Foxes

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  • Leicester without a win in four
  • Watford snap four game losing run
  • Schmeichel OG wins it for Watford

Watford beat Leicester 2-1 at Vicarage Road on Boxing Day as Marco Silva’s side ended a run of six games without a win.

Riyad Mahrez put Leicester ahead but Molla Wague, on his full debut, equalized. Abdoulaye Doucoure’s second half shot was pushed into his own net by Kasper Schmeichel and that’s how it finished.

With the win Watford have 25 points and sit in 10th, while Leicester have 27 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Leicester took the lead in the first half through Mahrez who scored with a header after 37 minutes.

Marc Albrighton‘s cross found Mahrez and the Algerian continued his fine recent form to make it 1-0.

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Watford leveled things up right on half time as Wague scored on his first start for the Hornets to give the Hornets the momentum as Richarlison also hit the post as they responded well to going behind.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

The hosts went ahead in the second half in bizarre circumstances.

Tom Cleverley’s free kick found Doucoure at the back post and he squeezed in a shot on goal which saw Schmeichel get the last touch and divert the ball in as he tried to save them.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Late on Leicester sent on plenty of attackers to try and get back in the game but failed to do so with Heurelho Gomes making two superb stops as Watford snapped their run of four-straight defeats with a dogged display.