Abdoulaye Doucoure

Brighton shines on three-star Opening Day at Watford

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The Graham Potter era at Brighton and Hove Albion is off to a flier, as the Seagulls dispatched Watford 3-0 at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

An Abdoulaye Doucoure own goal started the scoring for Brighton, with Florin Andone and Neal Maupay scoring second-half markers in the win.


Three things we learned

1. Graham Potter has the same initials as Pep Guardiola and is the next tactical wizard of world football (Obviously we’re kidding, but Brighton scored 35 goals last season. They’re at three after Opening Day).

[ MORE: Potter, Maupay react to win ]

2. Watford had less than half of the possession despite their status as hosts, and would’ve felt it wasn’t their day from the moment star of last season Abdoulaye Doucoure scored a nutmegging own goal.

3. Brighton record signing Neal Maupay made a strong first impression. The ex-Brentford man will be one to watch as finds comfort in his new digs.

Man of the Match: Lewis Dunk – Despite a late yellow card, the captain and interventionist was spectacular at the back


[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The opening goal was a cluster of problems for Watford, who couldn’t get muster on a clearing attempt before Doucoure flicked the ball through his keeper’s legs for a 1-0 setback at the half-hour mark.

Solly March is a lucky man. The Seagulls’ playmaker gave away the ball early in the second half but Lewis Dunk made a saving block on Andre Gray‘s rip.

Andone then banged in a Davy Propper cross to put the Hornets in further trouble.

Maupay zipped onto a through ball to finish Brighton’s scoring, an excellent exclamation point for the start of a new era.

Who would make a PFA Team of the Year without Top Six teams?

Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images
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The PFA Team of the Year was dominated by Manchester City and Liverpool, to no one’s surprise, though which players comprised the team surprised many.

For example, the team may be without the league’s Golden Boot winner.

[ PL PREVIEW: Brighton v. Newcastle ]

Mohamed Salah was left off the team, likely due to his cold form while the players were voting for the peers, and he’d be an easy part of any “The Best of the Rest” list (along with Christian Eriksen, Roberto Firmino, Harry Kane, and Eden Hazard).

But we’ve added another angle, as we’ll make a “Best Outside The Top Six of the Year.” Here is a team to join the PFA Team of the Year.


“No Top Six” Team of the Year

Fabianski (West Ham)

Wan-Bissaka (Palace) – Tarkowski (Burnley) – Duffy (BHA) – Digne (Everton)

Gana Gueye (Everton) – Ndidi (Leicester City)

Felipe (West Ham)- Doucoure (Watford) – Fraser (Bournemouth)

Raul Jimenez (Wolves)

Aaron Wan-Bissaka‘s 3.8 tackles per game led all backs, full or center; His 2.4 interceptions per match rate isn’t far off from the leader: Cardiff’s Sol Bamba (who just misses).

Shane Duffy and James Tarkowski lead the league in clearances, and are also 1-2 in blocked shots.

Only Hazard has more assists than Fraser’s 12, tied with Eriksen, who also is Top Two in key passes per game.

And even this list leaves out quality like Gylfi Sigurdsson, Joao Moutinho, and Neil Etheridge. Wild.

Deulofeu leads Watford to win at Huddersfield Town (video)

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  • Deulofeu scores two more
  • Grant pulls one back very late
  • Watford a point clear of 8th place Wolves

Watford reclaimed seventh place through a Gerard Deulofeu brace, as the Hornets won 2-1 at Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday.

Karlan Grant scored in stoppage time for the already-relegated Terriers.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Deulofeu’s goal was delightful, even if quite aided by Huddersfield’s defense.

The Spaniard dribbled into the box and popped a shot off the inside of the far post for 1-0.

Town was just a step or a touch off all day, despite some lively play from Leandro Bacuna.

Andre Gray and Christoph Schindler nearly came to blows after the striker pestered a ball-bobbling Jonas Lossl in the 59th minute.

Aaron Mooy hit a low shot to Watford keeper Ben Foster in the 63rd.

The Hornets put it to bed as the clock hit 80, with Deulofeu cranking an Abdoulaye Doucoure rebound under Lossl (when in all actuality he was a bit fortunate, as he should have hit it at any other part of the net).

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Fulham relegated at Watford (video)

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  • Fulham relegated
  • Doucoure, Hughes score beauties
  • Babel scores lone Fulham goal
  • Deeney rounds out Watford scoring

Fulham is headed for the Championship, relegated from the Premier League following a 4-1 loss to Watford at Vicarage Road on Tuesday.

Abdoulaye Doucoure, Will Hughes, Troy Deeney, and Kiko Femenia scored for Watford, who remains 8th and sits a point back of Wolves.

Ryan Babel scored Fulham’s marker, as the Cottagers join Huddersfield Town as clubs relegated to the Championship.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Doucoure opened the scoring with a smash from 20 yards out, putting the visitors on the brink after just 23 minutes.

But Babel took advantage of a slipping Adrian Mariappa to run onto a Ryan Sessegnon pass. The Dutchman dribbled around Ben Foster to roll in the equalizer.

Watford scored another beauty to confirm Fulham’s demise, Hughes ripping a venomous shot from the edge of the 18. Deeney and Femenia added easy enough goals to confirm Fulham’s fate.

The Cottagers have allowed 76 goals this season.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

VIDEO: Watford’s Doucoure smashes thunderbolt v. Fulham

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Watford star Abdoulaye Doucoure sent Fulham to the welcome mat of relegation with a thunderbolt goal Tuesday at Vicarage Road (even if the visitors responded before halftime).

Fulham will drop to the Championship if it cannot manage at least a point and really anything other than a win would all-but seal its fate due to lousy goal differential.

[ MORE: Warnock keeps fuming ]

Doucoure put the Cottagers on the precipice with this venomous strike, which left goalkeeper Sergio Rico clawing at air. It’s the 26-year-old’s fifth goal of the season to go with six assists.

Fortunately for Fulham, it restored level terms when Ryan Babel took a pass from Ryan Sessegnon and beat Ben Foster in the 33rd minute.