Gaston Ramirez

Bournemouth 4-0 Middlesbrough: 10-man Boro look relegation-bound

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  • Boro goes down two goals
  • Then goes down a man
  • Pugh shines for Cherries

Gaston Ramirez took a pair of yellows — one for diving — and Middlesbrough conceded twice. That was just the first 20 minutes of what could prove to be the decisive match of Boro’s relegation fate.

Joshua King and Benik Afobe scored for the Cherries in the first 20 minutes, and Man of the Match candidate Marc Pugh added a goal and an assist. Charlie Daniels also netted for Bournemouth, which is seven points clear of the drop.

Boro is nine points back of Hull City with five to play.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

It took Bournemouth less than 90 seconds to breach the Boro goal, as Marc Pugh took the final bit of good-looking passing on the left flank and cut the ball to the middle of the six for his 14th goal of the season.

Gaston Ramirez was shown a yellow card for diving in the box, a clear-cut and terrible embellishment made somewhat amusing by his demands for a trainer and a few minutes of delay in the game.

It was 2-0 just before the clock hit 16:00, as Boro’s Adam Clayton elected to take a touch of a back pass just outside the 18. Harry Arter poked that touch to Afobe, who beat Brad Guzan.

Pugh then dove after Ramirez’s foolish sliding challenge, and Boro was down to 10 men after 20 minutes.

Boro was hamstrung, but not out. Alvaro Negredo had stung a volley at Artur Boruc, and Marten De Roon forced the game’s first corner with a torrid shot near the half-hour mark.

Tricky work from Afobe cued Ryan Fraser up for a shot that missed the frame in the 52nd minute as Bournemouth buzzed toward a third goal.

Pugh then punished Boro with a 65th minute rip from the left that had Guzan flailing at air. Charlie Daniels added a fourth five minutes later.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Transfer rumor roundup: West Ham soften Payet stance; Reus to replace Alexis

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Will he stay or will he go? It’s the question consuming the entirety of the January transfer window, as West Ham United desperately attempt to keep hold of their brilliant, want-away midfielder Dimitri Payet. Having already rejected numerous bids for the 29-year-old French international, a report from the Mirror claims the Hammers may be prepared to soften their not-for-sale stance and concede defeat in the face of Marseille’s continued pursuit. But only for $36 million, or more.

[ MORE: Thursday’s transfer rumor roundup | Wednesday | Tuesday | Monday ]

Rumors regarding the future of Alexis Sanchez have swirled for weeks and months now. With Sanchez’s contract set to expire next summer, the Gunners could be forced to recoup whatever they can for the Chilean this summer if he refuses to commit his long-term future to the club. That money will have to be reinvested, of course, to acquire his replacement. According to WhoScored.com, a $64-million bid would be made for 27-year-old Borussia Dortmund winger Marco Reus.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Branislav Ivanovic‘s Chelsea career could be coming to a close, as the 32-year-old Serbian international is reportedly in talks with Zenit St. Petersburg. Ivanovic would see out the remainder of the 2016-17 Premier League season before moving to Russia on a free transfer in the summer.

[ MORE: Wenger suspended 4 games for pushing referee ]

Gaston Ramirez could be leaving Middlesbrough for Leicester City — a $15-million bid has been rejected, but a follow-up is expected, with $19 million the reported price tag — thus Boro are expected to reinvest the Ramirez fee in the form of a bid for Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish.

[ MORE: FA Cup 4th round preview — is it time for Cupsets? ]

Mathieu Debuchy is eyeing a return to Ligue 1 after being told he is welcome to leave Arsenal this month. The 31-year-old returned to first-team training on Friday following a hamstring injury, but has been highly critical of manager Arsene Wenger in recent weeks, thus his future at the club seems sealed. Debuchy has played just 16 minutes in the PL this season.

Boro rejects Leicester bid for Ramirez; Karanka frustrated

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Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka had the press conference of the day in the Premier League.

Karanka admitted that he’s hoping to convince former Real Madrid attacker and current PSG man Jese Rodriguez to join Boro on loan.

[ REPORT: Celtic reject Chelsea bid ]

He also revealed that Gaston Ramirez handed in a transfer request, and that Boro has rejected a bid from Leicester City for the Uruguayan.

Then he proceeded with the hot takes, from The Express:

“It’s more than difficult, it’s frustrating because he was calling us to play here last season. He played his best last season, he went back to the national team again playing with us and to have this situation is frustrating as a coach and as a person.”

Karanka says Boro will not sell Ramirez if an acceptable bid doesn’t materialize, and that he has no hesitation to play the player.
Ramirez has been a combustible figure, once reportedly ripping up his Southampton contract in a desire to leave the club. We’re with Karanka here.

Middlesbrough 1-0 Hull City: Set piece goal enough for Boro

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  • Ramirez scores in 60′
  • Boro rises to 13th
  • Hull stuck in 19th

Gaston Ramirez’s second half goal lifted Middlesbrough to victory in a relegation six-pointer against visiting Hull City on Monday.

Boro was more dangerous for the majority of the contest, and deservedly moves onto 15 points. Hull remains second from bottom, with 11 points.

Ramirez, a former Hull player, nodded Viktor Fischer‘s corner home on the lone tally.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The hosts had the first decent chance, as Alvaro Negredo shot over the bar inside of 10 minutes.

Surprising starter Fischer was lively for Boro, cutting in to earn a corner in the 27th minute.

Fischer found his goal, only to find he was offside (if just!). Negredo headed back across goal to the Dane, who did grunt work to push the ball just across the line. No goal.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Ramirez tapped in a deserved breakthrough in the 60th minute, as Hull City was undone by a set piece. Ramirez slipped off Adama Diomande‘s mark and headed a corner kick over the line to make it 1-0.

Hull has a pair of late chances, one through Diomande and the other through a corner, but couldn’t steal a point from the Riverside Stadium.

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VIDEO: Top Premier League goals – Week 10

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My goodness it was a stellar week for goals in the Premier League.

From Diego Costa‘s curler to Sergio Aguero’s sublime finish and Gaston Ramirez’s marauding run, we have some beauties coming your way.

Click play on the video above to watch the top goals from the PL last weekend.