Bournemouth steady nerves, ease by West Ham (video)

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  • Wilson, King score for Bournemouth
  • First win in six PL games for Bournemouth
  • 1 win in 4 for West Ham

Bournemouth beat West Ham United 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday as the Cherries eased any fears of a dramatic collapse in the second half of the season.

Eddie Howe‘s side scored twice in the second half as Callum Wilson and Josh King got the goals against a West Ham side who were without wantaway forward Marko Arnautovic, as Andy Carroll missed a glorious chance.

With the victory Bournemouth sit in 12th place on 30 points, while West Ham remain in 10th on 31 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Early on it was all Bournemouth as they came flying out of the traps.

Callum Wilson’s cross was met by David Brooks but his header was off target.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Bournemouth had a goal disallowed for offside, correctly, as Ryan Fraser‘s cross was finished by Nathan Ake but Callum Wilson

Samir Nasri then went close to putting the Hammers ahead as his effort shaved the post.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Carroll somehow missed a huge chance for West Ham at the start of the second half as he side footed over from four yards out much to the dismay of the Hammers.

Moments later Bournemouth took the lead in stunning fashion as Fraser’s cross was deflected to the edge of the box and Wilson arrived to hammer home a splendid volley to make it 1-0.

Wilson almost added a second with 20 minutes to go but his shot slammed off the foot of the post and out after great work from King. Wilson came off injured just after that, but the knock didn’t appear to be serious.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

As West Ham pushed for the winner, King sealed the win late on for Bournemouth after Brooks slotted it to him and the Norwegian forward had the simple task of tapping home.

West Ham upset Arsenal (video)

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  • Rice scores first West Ham goal
  • Arsenal’s 2nd defeat in last 3 PL games
  • 16 of the last 18 PL goals scored in this fixture have come in the second half 

West Ham United beat Arsenal 1-0 at the London Stadium on Saturday as teenager Declan Rice was the hero for the Hammers.

Fresh from signing a new long-term contract and just a few days before his 20th birthday, the West Ham academy graduate smashed home the winner early in the second half to secure a huge win for Manuel Pellegrini‘s Hammers.

The win was just their second in their last 22 PL games against Arsenal, as Unai Emery‘s side struggled to get going and have now lost two of their last three league clashes.

West Ham move up to eighth on 31 points, while Arsenal sit in fifth on 41 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ] 

West Ham started well and Felipe Anderson danced his way towards goal but the Brazilian curled his effort off target.

At the other end Arsenal ripped West Ham apart as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alex Iwobi and Alexandre Lacazette combined as the latter first had a shot blocked and then fired the rebound over.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Before half time the Hammers fought their way back into the game as Samir Nasri dragged an effort wide of the near post. A long ball over the top nearly led to the opening goal of the game as Marko Arnautovic controlled and played the ball to Nasri who teed up the onrushing Anderson who drilled inches wide of the post.

Matteo Guendouzi then fired an effort just off target and Declan Rice then headed wide as the game continued to open up.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ] 

West Ham had the perfect start to the second half as Arsenal failed to clear a corner and the ball fell to Nasri who found Rice in the box and the teenager slammed home to make it 1-0.

At the other end Arsenal were almost level right away, but Lukasz Fabianski saved well as the ball ricocheted off a West Ham defender and towards their own goal. Guendouzi then fired wide as Arsenal pushed hard for an equalizer.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Emery sent on Lucas Torreira and Aaron Ramsey in the hope of rescuing a point, and it had an impact. Aubameyang fired over under pressure from Aaron Cresswell as the Gunners threw men forward but they failed to open up the solid West Ham defense.

Late on Arnautovic seemed to wave goodbye to the West Ham fans as he was subbed off, as an unnamed Chinese Super League club continues to try and sign him.

But at the final whistle there was nothing but jubilation from everyone connected with West Ham as they secured their first home Premier League win against Arsenal since 2006.

Premier League preview: West Ham v. Arsenal

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  • Arsenal has lost just 1 of its last 21 PL matches against West Ham
  • Aubameyang has scored in four straight London derbies
  • West Ham has 16 points in its last 8 games, 4th best in the PL

West Ham could hand a debut appearance to Samir Nasri as the Hammers host Arsenal at London Stadium, Saturday at 7:30 a.m. ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

Nasri’s arrival in the West Ham squad times up perfectly with the recent unrest surrounding Marko Arnautovic, who could be held out of the match as rumors swirl about a possible big-money move to China. Arnautovic’s absence would be a brutal blow to the West Ham attack, but Nasri could slot into his place and would have an immediate chance to make an impact on his return to the Premier League. Nasri last played a Premier League match on August 28, 2016 for Manchester City against West Ham.

For Arsenal, the Gunners are without a growing number of injured players, including Mesut Ozil, Laurent Kosciely and Hector Bellerin. Thankfully, it appears they will have natural defenders along the back line, as Shkodran Mustafi and Nacho Monreal are apparently fit, as is Konstantinos Mavropanos.

The Gunners must be wary of a trap game against the Hammers, with an enormous match against fourth-placed Chelsea on the horizon. If Arsenal can keep focus, they could put pressure on the Blues ahead of their upcoming match that will be critical in shaping the race for the final Champions League position.

What they’re saying

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini on responding to season-opening loss to Arsenal: “We have changed a lot more with four months of working. We didn’t play badly against Arsenal last time, but we lost with an own goal but after that we have worked hard, improved in every sense.”

Arsenal manager Unai Emery on West Ham: “I know he [Pellegrini] needs time to create his idea with the team. I think they are improving and they also have good individual players with quality. Players like Anderson, like Arnautovic, who are very good players. They are also playing at home with their supporters and that’s difficult for us.  Each away match is a very big challenge for us to find consistency and progression with our way. Saturday is a new challenge. We are [determined] to play [well] and to work hard in finding our victory.”

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Prediction

This match greatly hinges on the status of Arnautovic. While Samir Nasri could have a big day in his return, Arnautovic brings an element to West Ham that is special among their squad. If he doesn’t play, it’s likely Arsenal wins 2-0 thanks to Aubameyang’s good form up front.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Arsenal reinforcement, Fulham striker, Saints exit

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The January transfer window is upon us, and while Chelsea has already made what could end up being the splash of the winter in signing Christian Pulisic, there are plenty more rumors to be had. January is often a time for bargain hunting, and while the Pulisic move bucks that trend, clubs that need immediate reinforcements will often look for players who want out of their current position immediately.

[ MORE: Hudson-Odoi leaving Chelsea | Emery denies Navas ]

So, that’s where we begin today’s roundup. Southampton is in massive trouble at the bottom of the Premier League table, sitting 18th and firmly in the relegation battle. Beyond rumors, new Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has come out and confirmed that a few key players could depart this January as teams pick apart the Southampton squad in preparation for their potential drop.

Hasenhuttl singled out players like Steven Davis and Manolo Gabbiadini as a pair who could pack their bags, with the Italian striker seemingly the more likely of the two to find greener pastures. Gabbiadini has not played a single minute under the German boss, scoring just one goal this season before Mark Hughes was fired. The 27-year-old came over from Napoli in the January 2017 transfer window and made an immediate impact, but has fallen completely off the table since as Southampton continues to struggle for Premier League safety.

In addition, while there are no solid rumors yet, freelance journalist Graham Ruthven speculates that another player who could be attractive to clubs could be midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg whose contract expires in the summer of 2021 and is considered a bright talent at just 23 years old. Still, giving clubs pause is his lack of discipline this season, having already sat one match for yellow card accumulation before finding himself riding the pine on a four-game suspension for a miserable challenge on Fernandinho in the dying minutes of a recent defeat to Manchester City.


While Saints looks to do its best to keep the talent at St. Mary’s, fellow relegation candidate Fulham is hoping to secure reinforcements as the Whites look to protect their massive summer investment. The club has enjoyed a small uptick in form under new manager Claudio Ranieri, but the defense still looks horrific, especially against the bigger and better clubs. While the back line is the most concerning aspect of the squad at the moment, Fulham has also struggled to convert solid chances into goals up front, with Aleksandar Mitrovic proving a hard worker but not always able to convert those chances. According to Sky Italy, Fulham is one of three clubs interested in Roma striker Gregoire Defrel, currently on loan at Sampdoria. The report says Watford and West Ham are also interested, but mentions that the Hammers could back off after signing Samir Nasri to a deal after a trial.

Defrel has scored six goals in 18 matches for Sampdoria so far this season, although four of those came on a pair of braces by the third game of the season, and has since grabbed just two in 891 Serie A minutes since. While Watford will be looking for players to assist them in their battle for a top-half place, Fulham may be not just more motivated but more desperate. The Thursday edition of Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport declares that Fulham is “in the lead” for the 27-year-old Frenchman.


While Fulham looks for attacking help, Arsenal is hoping to snag defensive reinforcements as the Gunners have had injuries and poor form plague their back line all season. Sitting in fifth in the table, if the Gunners are hopeful of making a run at Champions League play, they will need to fix their defensive issues with Rob Holding out long-term, Laurent Koscielny injury-prone at 33 years old, and Shkodran Mustafi barely back from a hamstring problem of his own. Only new signing Sokratis has made it through the festive period unscathed, and now manager Unai Emery will look to bring in help from the outside.

According to The Mirror, Arsenal is set for a battle with Torino for 27-year-old center-back Nicolas N’Koulou. The Cameroon international only joined Torino this summer, but his contract expires in the summer of 2020 leaving the Italian club with little options should they wish to turn their paltry $4 million investment into a large profit. N’Koulou has helped Torino to one of the most impressive defensive displays in Serie A this season, conceding just 19 goals in 19 matches, the fifth-best defensive record in the league behind the top three teams Juventus, Napoli, and Inter plus Fiorentina. Unfortunately for Torino, they have struggled mightily in front of net, supporting that defensive unit with just 24 goals, leaving them ninth in the table, just above Fiorentina who also has trouble scoring goals.

N’Koulou is as experienced as they come, with 72 caps for the Cameroon international team plus 19 Champions League appearances with Lyon and Marseille before his switch to the Italian top flight. The Mirror suggests that Torino “are keen to hold onto” N’Koulou, understandably given his importance to the club having played every single minute of the league season thus far, but his contract situation could force the club’s hand should they wish to earn a profit on his presence.


There is plenty of talk surrounding Toby Alderweireld this January, and understandably so. Spurs activated a clause in the Belgian’s contract that keeps him at the club an additional season, but also triggers the presence of a $31 million release clause that is activated during the early portion of the summer transfer window. Given Alderweireld’s market value of significantly higher than that, Spurs could be motivated to shop him this winter in the hopes of earning a higher return, avoiding losing him for such a small price this summer.

According to The Telegraph, French club Paris Saint-Germain could be interested in sweetening the pot for Alderweireld to ensure they are given priority in the race, reporting that the French side “could offer” fellow Belgian Thomas Meunier in return for Alderweireld. Meunier, a right-back, was one of Belgium’s more surprisingly impressive players at this summer’s World Cup and has parlayed that into 12 Ligue 1 appearances for PSG this season. It would be somewhat surprising that PSG would allow Meunier to leave given Dani Alves’ age and injury history, but his positional flexibility would be a good fit for Mauricio Pochettino at Spurs, with the ability to move forward and play wing-back should he be deployed in support of a back-three.

West Ham signs Nasri on expiration of doping ban

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West Ham has secured the signing of French international Samir Nasri, announcing the deal on Monday, the final day of Nasri’s 18-month doping ban.

Nasri was banned by UEFA in February after receiving an intravenous drip at a Los Angeles clinic. The event was initially discovered after a social media post by the clinic showed Nasri receiving treatment while with Spanish club Sevilla. Nasri’s initial ban was six months, but was increased to 18 months on appeal by UEFA’s ethics and disciplinary inspector. The ban was backdated to to July 1 2017 despite Nasri appearing eight times for Turkish club Antalyaspor since that time.

The 31-year-old links back up with Manuel Pellegrini, Nasri’s manager at Manchester City where the pair won a Premier League title in 2014. “He is a player I obviously know well from our time together at Manchester City and I am happy to be working with him again,” Pellegrini told the official West Ham website.

The club release announcing the signing confirmed that Nasri has trained with West Ham for a number of weeks working his fitness up to playing levels hoping to snag a deal when his doping ban ends.

“He has been working very hard here in recent weeks to build up his fitness and condition after a long period without playing, and he is now very determined to return to his best,” Pellegrini said.

Nasri said he is excited to return to the Premier League and join West Ham. “You choose a club because of the ambition, and I think that West Ham has everything to be one of the biggest clubs in London, for sure,” Nasri told the official club release. “I mean, 60,000 people every game at home, we play in the Olympic Stadium. The training ground is there and you have owners who want to invest and have a good team. Everything is there to be doing great things.”

Nasri played in London before, suiting up for Arsenal where he spent three seasons before moving to Manchester City in the summer of 2011.