Gary Cahill

Bournemouth – Crystal Palace recap, video, analysis

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Crystal Palace kept up its pursuit of the top seven with a comfortable 2-0 win at relegation-troubled Bournemouth on Saturday.

Luka Milivojevic scored a classy free kick and Jordan Ayew finished off a fine team move as Roy Hodgson’s Eagles hit ninth place with 42 points, level with Tottenham and two points ahead of Arsenal.

The win was Palace’s fourth-straight Premier League win, all by clean sheet.

Palace’s Gary Cahill dodged a red card early in the second half but Bournemouth’s Lewis Cook wasn’t so lucky when VAR caught his stoppage-time elbow.

[ MORE: New PL TV schedule ]

Bournemouth remains in 18th place with 27 points, behind West Ham on goal differential and a point behind 16th place Watford.


Three things we learned

1. Cherries drop the ball: There aren’t a lot of obvious places on the fixture list for Bournemouth to collect points and escape the drop zone. With plenty of respect to Roy Hodgson’s talented and exciting Eagles, this was one of those spots. Even worse, none of Bournemouth’s remaining opponents are in the relegation race with them so the chances to doubly affect the scrap are null.

2. Milivojevic is key: Palace’s 29-year-old captain got on the score sheet for the first time since late October, spinning a powerful free kick off the hand of Ramsdale and into the goal.

There was some question as to how Roy Hodgson would utilize Milivojevic, James McArthur, and James McCarthy. McArthur is having a career year and was always going to play and Milijoveic over McCarthy was a risk that paid off.

3. Palace keeps European hopes alive: The Eagles needed three points here with Liverpool, Chelsea, Wolves, Spurs, and Manchester United on the docket. It seems a tall ask for Hodgson’s men to overcome that fixture list to qualify for Europe, but the Eagles are just four points back of fifth and two behind seventh. They have the same amount of points as eighth-place Spurs, and eighth could be enough for the Europa League if Man City’s ban is upheld and a top seven team wins the FA Cup.

Man of the Match: Milivojevic


Crystal Palace’s set-piece king delivered the opener in under a dozen minutes.

Milivojevic is usually the penalty kick, but he was golden from a bit further back and to left (back and to the left).

Bournemouth keeper Aaron Ramsdale could only get a hand on the spinning effort on its way into goal.

Palace was roaring out of the gates and Ayew got his ninth goal of the season when he slammed home a pass from Patrick van Aanholt, who overlapped Wilfried Zaha to send a ball in from the left.

Ayew’s nine goals are his most in a Premier League season and three shy of his career high of 12 set with Lorient in the 2014-15 Ligue 1 season.

VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The match hit a potential turning point in the 46th minute when Gary Cahill went studs-up into Joshua King.

Replays showed a possible if not probable red card offense, but VAR didn’t see enough to send Cahill off the pitch. King would not return.

Nathan Ake suffered a head injury putting a Junior Stanislas corner kick on goal. Stanislas later cracked a free kick into the wall.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Crystal Palace comes back to stun West Ham United

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A VAR goal with minutes to spare gave visiting Crystal Palace a 2-1 win over West Ham United at the London Stadium on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Jordan Ayew pushed a Gary Cahill knockdown over the line after Patrick Van Aanholt equalized from the spot, as Palace moved fourth with 14 points.

Sebastien Haller gave West Ham a lead, but the loss keeps Manuel Pellegrini‘s side from entering the Top Four. The Irons have 12 points and sit 7th.


Three things we learned

1. Guaita keeps it even early: That blonde-shock of hair in the golden shirt made two incredible saves on Sebastien Haller and Felipe Anderson in the first half-hour, and the Spaniard has performed as a top half goalkeeper according to most metrics. Saturday was no different.

2. Team goal gives West Ham its lead: West Ham’s opener had the fingerprints of Manuel Pellegrini all over it. Anderson blazed down the left side, and both Yarmolenko and Manuel Lanzini passed up chances to force a shot or cross until the ball got wide for square pass for a lunging Haller to poke home. Beautiful stuff.

3. VAR gives Ayew the winner: A lengthier than usual review added drama to Ayew’s winner, which was initially reviewed offside. Man was it close again, but Ayew was in the right spot when Gary Cahill nodded a free kick to the edge of the six.

Man of the Match: Fredericks — Sent the ball to Haller for the goal in addition to a point-blank goal line clearance.


[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Chances came for the hosts early, with Andriy Yarmolenko cueing up Sebastien Haller for a point-blank chance saved by Guaita and Anderson nodding to the keeper from in-tight.

At the other end, Ryan Fredericks made a goal line clearance when Zaha drove the line to set-up Jeff Schlupp.

Angelo Ogbonna chopped a shot over the goal in the 52nd, a prelude to Haller’s low finish two minutes later.

Palace was awarded a penalty when Declan Rice blocked a shot with his raised arm, and Van Aanholt finished his chance in the space normally occupied by Luka Milivojevic.

Van Aanholt also had a crucial intervention at the other end.

Chelsea defender Rudiger to undergo exploratory knee surgery

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Maurizio Sarri may be rueing a risk he took with Chelsea battling for a Champions League place.

Antonio Rudiger is reportedly in Rome to undergo exploratory surgery to discover the extent of a knee injury he suffered over the weekend against Manchester United, and there are concerns his season is almost certainly over. The fear is meniscus damage, which could see him sidelined for around eight weeks.

Rudiger had been out with a knee injury after coming off 40 minutes into the 2-0 loss to Liverpool in early April. The German international was subsequently sidelined for the Europa League matchup against Slavia Prague plus the ensuing Premier League match against Burnley, but Sarri decided he needed Rudiger for the run-in to the Premier League season with Champions League play on the line, bringing him back for the game at Old Trafford.

The defender made it through 65 minutes before collapsing in real pain, and now goes under the knife with just three weeks remaining on the campaign. It would be tough to see Rudiger return unless the results came back overwhelmingly positive, at the very least missing this week’s Europa League semifinal against Eintracht Frankfurt plus the weekend’s league meeting with Watford.

That leaves Andreas Christensen as the partner to David Luiz at the back, with Sarri potentially forced to bring Gary Cahill back into the fold on the bench. Cahill has been a complete afterthought all season, playing just 23 Premier League minutes back in late September. The other option is 18-year-old academy product Ethan Ampadu who joined from Exeter City’s youth setup two years ago.

Chelsea expected to let Cahill leave on loan in January

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Gary Cahill is no longer first-choice at Chelsea — anything but, in fact, as he’s played just 21 minutes in the Premier League this season — and the club is prepared to allow its captain to leave on loan in January as a reward for six years of excellent service, according to a report from the Guardian.

[ MORE: Fulham hire Claudio Ranieri after firing Slavisa Jokanovic ]

New Blues boss Maurizio Sarri has used Cahill sparingly thus far — even leaving him out of the 18-man team for Sunday’s draw with Everton — but has praised the 32-year-old for his professionalism and influence as a valued member inside the locker room. For those reasons, Sarri is prepared to do right by one of the club’s most senior members as Cahill seeks regular first-team minutes.

[ MORE: England vs. USMNT preview ]

Cahill’s current contract is set to expire in the summer of 2020, thus a loan in January and an ensuing permanent transfer this coming summer represents the club’s final opportunity to recoup a small fee for a player who will surely garner plenty of interest from within the PL. Having paid under $9 million to sign him from Bolton in January 2012, Chelsea have gotten pretty good value for their initial investment, including two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, a League Cup, and one Champions League and Europa League title each during Cahill’s spell at the club.

England 2-1 Nigeria: Cahill, Kane on target for Three Lions

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England topped Nigeria, 2-1, on Saturday at Wembley Stadium behind goals from Gary Cahill and Harry Kane.

The Tottenham striker doubled the England lead in the 39th minute with a venomous strike towards the near post, capping off a dominant first half from the home side.

Nigeria started off the second stanza strong, when Alex Iwobi pulled a goal back for the Super Eagles, however, England held on for the win.

It took just seven minutes for England to pull ahead, when Cahill headed the Three Lions in front from a Kieran Trippier cross.

Trippier had come close to opening his goalscoring account with England the minute prior, after testing goalkeeper Francis Uzoho with a long-distance effort.

The Three Lions will take on Costa Rica in their final send-off match before the World Cup on June 7 at Elland Road, while Nigeria takes on the Czech Republic the day prior.