Ahmed Elmohamady

Premier League AT HALF: Clasie thunderbolt a must watch, four 1-0 score lines

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Tottenham Hotspur’s 4-goal morning against Watford has been followed up by a total of four in five first halves across England.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ]


Manchester City 1-0 Hull City

Ahmed Elmohamady has turned a Man City cross into his own goal, and Pep Guardiola‘s side is deservedly ahead at the Etihad.

Middlesbrough 0-0 Burnley

Robbie Brady has banged one off the bar for the visitors, who are still looking for a breakthrough.

West Bromwich Albion 0-1 Southampton

Are Tony Pulis‘ Baggies again going to have a 40-point let-off to finish the season. Jordy Clasie‘s finish (see top of page) was laced with venom.

Stoke City 1-0 Liverpool

Jon Walters took advantage of Ragnar Klavan to give the Potters a lead just before halftime.

West Ham United 1-0 Swansea City

As tight as you’d expect from a relegation six-pointer, with Cheikhou Kouyate lashing a nice low drive home before halftime.

Forty transfer targets for Premier League clubs in the summer window

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The summer’s transfer window has already seen plenty of names, both big and small, change clubs.

From James Milner and Danny Ings heading to Liverpool to Spurs’ acquisition of Toby Alderweireld, the window didn’t wait long to allow movement. Really, it didn’t wait at all considering how many of these deals were in the news well before July 1.

[ MORE: Who will have a bigger MLS impact: Gerrard or Lampard? ]

Here at PST, we’ve decided to compile a list of the names that have been or will be bandied about before the window slams shut on Sept. 1.

A caveat, though: Some of these names have been through the ringer countless times, while others are “off the market”. That doesn’t mean they won’t move, though, as the summer moves ahead.

And no, before you even ask, No. 1 doesn’t mean we want that player more than the others. Not at all.

40. Glen Johnson, unattached
39. Stewart Downing, West Ham United
38. Nathan Dyer, Swansea City
37. Aleksandar Mitrovic, Anderlecht
36. Steven Fletcher, Sunderland
35. Abel Hernandez, Hull City
34. Ahmed Elmohamady, Hull City
33. Tom Huddlestone, Hull City
32. Matty Phillips, QPR

— The first batch ends with four players from relegated clubs. Hull has said Elmohamady is for sale, and Hernandez might not fetch a good return considering his tough season after being the Tigers’ record fee. Phillips’ crosses are a legit force.
31. Mario Balotelli, Liverpool
30. Michu, Swansea City
source: Getty Images29. Andros Townshend, Tottenham Hotspur
28. Adnan Januzaj, Manchester United

— Here’s a quartet of calculated risks. Surely Balotelli and Michu are better than their recent performances, and might be had for a song. The other two, Townsend and Janzuaj, may be overvalued and costly risks. Newcastle is said to have been quoted for $22 million for the mercurial Townsend.
27. Edinson Cavani, Paris Saint-Germain
26. Hugo Lloris, Tottenham Hotspur
25. Adrien Rabiot, Paris Saint-Germain
24. Nicolas Otamendi, Valencia
23. Ayoze Perez, Newcastle United
22. Ross Barkley, Everton
21. Bruno Martins Indi, Porto
20. Mauro Icardi, Inter Milan
19. Nicolas Gaitan, Benfica
18. Kevin De Bruyne, Wolfsburg
17. Karim Benzema, Real Madrid

— Most of the names are debatably for sale, and would come at a huge price.

16. Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Manchester United
15. Georginio Wijnaldum, PSV Eindhoven
14. Seamus Coleman, Everton
13. Jordy Clasie, Feyenoord
12. Davy Klaassen, Ajax
11. William Carvalho, Sporting CPsource: Getty Images
10. Arturo Vidal, Juventus
9. Edin Dzeko, Manchester City
8. Aymeric Laporte, Athletic Bilbao
7. Alexandre Lacazette, Lyon
6. Charlie Austin, Queens Park Rangers
5. Christian Benteke, Aston Villa
4. Morgan Schneiderlin, Southampton
3. Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid
2. Paul Pogba, Juventus
1. Raheem Sterling, Liverpool

Hull City 0-0 Manchester United: Tigers go down after squandering chances

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Hull City were relegated to English soccer’s second-tier on Sunday, as the Tigers drew 0-0 with 10-man Manchester United at the KC Stadium.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Steve Bruce’s side threw everything at United but after scoring just 33 times all season, it was clear that Hull’s lack of composure in front of goal is the main reason they will be playing in the Championship next season.

“It is one of those awful experience,” Bruce said. “This is a particularly low time. We are not in the big league.”

The Tigers had two goals disallowed in the first half, squandered some glorious chances and tested a shaky Victor Valdes in goal for United.

“Too many times I have come out and said we have not done bad but we have not scored,” Bruce said. “That is 17 or 18 times we have not scored.”

 

Hull’s failure to win meant they were relegated, as Newcastle’s win against West Ham hammered the final nail in their coffin. The Tigers finished the season on 35 points in 18th and United finished in fourth on 70 points.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Predictably, Hull came flying out of the traps early on as Dame N’Doye headed an effort towards goal but then Wayne Rooney clipped the bar at the other end shortly after.

Angel Di Maria and Ahmed Elmohamady collided which saw the later come off injured in the first half despite getting his first start since March. Hull continued to push for the opener and Chris Smalling cleared at the back post with Nikica Jelavic crashing in. Then Hull thought they went ahead in the 19th minute as Victor Valdes fumbled the ball under pressure from David Meyler and Paul McShane tapped home but he was offside. No goal.

Moments later Hull again had an effort ruled out for offside as Valdes first made a wonderful save from Elmohamady and then Stephen Quinn’s shot was deflected in by N’Doye but the Hull striker was in an offside position.

In the second half Meyler somehow put the ball over the bar from eight yards out after a wonderful knockdown from Jelavic in what was a huge chance for the Tigers to take the lead.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Hull continued to press and Valdes completely missed a cross and then Daley Blind hacked off the line as United survived. After that both McShane and N’Doye went close as the Tigers didn’t give up but were running out of time.

Sone Aluko’s shot was then flicked towards goal by Jelavic but Valdes made a wonderful reaction stop as Hull just couldn’t go ahead. N’Doye somehow stayed on the pitch after appearing to punch Phil Jones in the stomach, and then all hell broke loose in Yorkshire.

[ MORE: ‘Exhausted’ Bruce says future not in his hands ]

Substitute Fellaini was sent off for a terrible challenge on McShane as United played the final 15 minutes with 10-men at the KC. Valdes then parried down another ball and Hernandez somehow missed the ball completely  as another big chance went begging for Hull.

The game finished 0-0, as Hull’s stay in the PL ended after being promoted in 2013.

LINEUPS

Hull City: Harper, Dawson, Chester (Hernandez, 70′), McShane, Elmohamady, Brady, Huddlestone, Meyler (Robertson, 86′), Quinn, N’Doye (Aluko, 71′), Jelavic.

Manchester United: Valdes, Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Rojo, Blind, Herrera, Di Maria (Januzaj, 23′), Mata (Wilson, 73′), Young (Fellaini, 59′), Rooney

Red card: Fellaini (77′)

Stoke City 6-1 Liverpool: Potters pummel Reds in Gerrard’s farewell

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Stoke City beat Liverpool 6-1 at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday, as the Potters recorded their biggest-ever win in the Premier League.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Steven Gerrard scored Liverpool’s lone goal in his final game for the Reds but it was an embarrassing afternoon for Brendan Rodgers’ side as huge question marks will be asked about his future over the summer.

As for Stoke, they raced into a 2-0 lead as Mame Diouf scored twice, then Jonathan Walters, Charlie Adam and Steven N’Zonzi scored  to make it 5-0 at half time. Peter Crouch added another late on to seal a memorable final day win for Stoke.

Mark Hughes’ side finish ninth in the PL with a record points tally of 54, while Liverpool finish in sixth and qualify for the Europa League on 61 points.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

The goals came thick and fast for the home side as Diouf got his first in the 22nd minute when Marko Arnautovic played it into Adam and his shot was spilled by Mignolet straight to Diouf who tapped home. 1-0. Four minutes later it was 2-0 as Diouf drilled in a shot from the edge of the box which Mignolet somehow let slip through him.

Stoke were rampant at this point and took full advantage of Liverpool’s ragged defense as Adam looped in a ball which was headed down and Walters knocked home. 3-0. A nightmare day continued to get worse for Liverpool as Adam then robbed Lucas on the edge of the box and slammed a shot into the net to score against his former team as Rodgers looked embarrassed on the sidelines.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The pick of the bunch then arrived just before half time as N’Zonzi hammered home a unstoppable effort as Stoke’s Player of the Season made it 5-0 to the Potters after an incredible first half.

In the second half Gerrard teed up Adam Lallana but his effort was well-saved by Asmir Begovic as Stoke was on a cruise control. Gerrard then did it himself as he latched onto Rickie Lambert’s flick and finished well to end his Liverpool career with a goal. 5-1.

Late on Crouch headed home to become the all-time leading scorer of headed goals in the PL with 47, beating Alan Shearer’s record, as Diouf teed up his strike-partner. 6-1 to Stoke, and that is how it finished for Liverpool’s worst-ever defeat in PL history.

LINEUPS

Stoke City: Begovic, Cameron, Shawcross, Muniesa, Pieters; N’Zonzi, Whelan; Arnautovic, Adam, Walters; Diouf

Goals: Diouf (22′, 26′), Walters (30′), Adam (41′), N’Zonzi (45′), Crouch (86′)

Liverpool: Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Sakho, Moreno, Lucas, Allen, Henderson, Gerrard, Lallana, Coutinho

Goal: Gerrard (70′)

Report: Jake Livermore fails cocaine test, out of Hull’s final two relegation battles

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Feel free to call it a big blow for Hull City, as Jake Livermore will not be able to help the Tigers’ final two relegation battles after testing positive for cocaine after a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace.

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Only Ahmed Elmohamady has hit the pitch for Hull more often than Livermore this season, so this is not a minor hiccup for Steve Bruce’s crew. Livermore, 25, has scored once for the Tigers this season.

Hull sits two points clear of safety and has to face Spurs and Manchester United in attempts to save their Premier League lives.

From The Telegraph:

The club are expected to release a statement this afternoon, but it is a massive blow to manager Steve Bruce, whose side are desperately trying to avoid relegation.

Livermore, who came through Tottenham Hotspur’s Academy, was superb for Hull last season as they managed to stay in the top flight and also reach the FA Cup Final. But his form has dipped this term along with the rest of the Hull side.

Woof. This is a horrible mistake for Livermore, who very well may’ve cost the talent-shallow Tigers their already thin shot at safety.