James Tarkowski

Pulisic bags hat trick as Chelsea doubles up Burnley

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Christian Pulisic scored a perfect hat trick as Chelsea picked up its seventh-straight win in all competitions with a 4-2 defeat of Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday.

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Willian also scored for the Blues, who will finish the weekend in fourth place with 20 points.

Pulisic’s hat trick makes him the youngest hat trick scorer in Chelsea history.

Dwight McNeil and Jay Rodriguez scored in the final five minutes for the Clarets.


Three things we learned

1. Pulisic’s primal scream of relief heard across the ocean: Here’s the bell ringer, Christian Pulisic’s first Premier League goal. The Yanks’ 21-year-old scored his first Premier League goal in a matching minute,, seizing on a bad touch from Matthew Lowton and dribbling James Tarkowski before rolling a low shot across goal past Nick Pope. A quality strike to beat two quality players.

He let out of a primal scream in celebration as he waited for his teammates to join the celebration. All things considered, it’s difficult to imagine how good the moment felt for the USMNT’s top man. He’d add a second by cooking Tarkowski to his other side and getting a deflection, and had three key passes in an incredible first half.

The third came in the second half with a nice header, and the opened floodgates were greeted with relief by so many in Chelsea blue and beyond.

2. Burnley broken down: The Clarets entered the day having kept clean sheets in three of four matches at home this season. The fourth was a 3-0 loss to Liverpool, and Chelsea made sure that it showed its Top Four acumen. Lowton’s giveaway on Pulisic’s first goal was poor and the second came via deflection, but Burnley’s fight back after halftime was brief. Chelsea controlled the match and you’d hate to bear the brunt of what Sean Dyche will likely bring to the post match team talk.

3. Rodriguez scores stunning consolation goal: Pulisic wasn’t perfect, as he gave away the ball that led to Burnley’s goal with five minutes to play. And what a goal it was, as Rodriguez struck a swerving rocket from distance to flummox Arrizabalaga. What a hit. Memories in style and meaning of Daniel Williams for the USMNT against Brazil.

Man of the Match: Are you serious?


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Despite an early injury which appeared to be to his head, Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma made a nice clearance of a dangerously swung corner in the 13th minute.

Pulisic scored his first Premier League goal when he seized on that turnover and used his pace and craft to roll a shot past Pope.

That snapped Burnley to life, and Kepa Arrizabalaga was necessary in a sequence which saw the backstop paw away a shot through traffic.

Ashley Barnes badly missed a back post header which should’ve tied things up in the 30th minute.

Pulisic got his second with another powerful dribble through the heart of the attacking third, getting past Tarkowski and hitting a shot that took a turn off Ben Mee for 2-0.

Burnley came out of the dressing room with vigor. Barnes butchered a point blank chance to make it 2-1 in the 50th, the poacher not ready for prime time, and Jay Rodriguez sent a shot into the arms of Kepa Arrizabalaga.

That’s when Pulisic got his hat trick. After Burnley rejected a corner kick back to the taker, Mason Mount swept another cross into the mix and the American nodded it home.

Willian soon got in on the action with a low shot from the right, and Chelsea was home free.

Rodriguez scored his sensational goal off a Pulisic turnover, and McNeil’s heavily-deflected shot made it 4-2 with two minutes left.

Transfer rumor roundup: Man City, Leicester look to Ake

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With Harry Maguire en route to Old Trafford, the long-anticipated knock-on effect will be felt through the Premier League.

[ MORE: Sane injured ]

Leicester City is being linked with a trio of players, including one from manager Brendan Rodgers‘ old club Celtic.

Burnley’s James Tarkowski, Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake, and Celtic’s Kristoffer Ajer are being noted as targets to replace Maguire.

Both of the PL center backs have been outstanding on their respective sides, with Tarkowski attached to a rumored $49 million price tag following another strong season in which he hoofed 6.7 clearances per match and scored three Premier League goals.

While Burnley may be preparing for life without the 26-year-old Tarkowski, it’s difficult to believe Bournemouth would sanction the sale of Ake.

The 24-year-old Dutchman has played in all 76 matches for Eddie Howe over the course of the last two seasons, starting 75 and scoring six goals while completing a sterling 85 percent of his passes.

Ajer, however, has a low $18 million price tag attached by reports, which may be due to his league more than his quality as Arsenal has taken a while to stump up Celtic’s asking price for Kieran Tierney.

Back to Ake, a report says $49 million is the fee as well. But Man City is also being linked with the player, and he absolutely fits the bill of what Pep Guardiola seeks in a defender.

It would be a suave bit of business for Guardiola, as Chelsea has a reported $49 million buyback clause on Ake it cannot activate while under transfer ban.

Ajax is going to look very different next season following its outstanding run to the Champions League semifinals.

The Dutch side has already sold Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus) and Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona), and now could move on from Donny van de Beek and David Neres.

Van de Beek could be “hours away” from a $60 million move to Real Madrid, according to Marca, while Neres has earned a reported $54 million bid from Manchester United.

Van de Beek had a goal and an assist in Ajax’s season-opening draw at Vitesse on Saturday, while Neres played just eight minutes. American fullback Sergino Dest was an unused sub.

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

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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.

Liverpool outlasts Burnley at Anfield

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  • Westwood scores disputed opener
  • Firmino scores in each half
  • Gudmundsson pulls one back in stoppage
  • Mane answers back to complete brace
  • Reds back within one of Man City

Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane scored twice as Liverpool came from behind to punish sloppy Burnley 4-2 at Anfield on Sunday.

Burnley took an early lead when Ashley Westwood‘s corner kick sailed past an obstructed Alisson Becker, but the Reds got their just desserts to move one point back of leaders Man City.

The Clarets are 17th, two points clear of the drop zone.

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Burnley took a sixth minute lead out of nothing, and it’s a goal that never should have been awarded by referee

Roberto Firmino cut inside to rip a 14th minute shot at Tom Heaton‘s goal, but defender James Tarkowski blocked the effort.

Then Sadio Mane couldn’t quite turn a hard-hit Trent Alexander-Arnold cross on frame as the Reds continued their equalizer push.

Firmino put Liverpool level in the 20th minute, easily slotting home from inside the six when Tarkowski and Heaton made a mess of a Mohamed Salah pass.

Mane made it 2-0 in the 29th, his sixth-straight league home game with a goal, when he sent an arrow into the goal following a blocked clearance from Adam Lallana.

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Burnley kept it tight for the first 20 minutes of the second half, but the dam broke when Heaton’s poor kick led to Firmino’s second of the day.

Alexander-Arnold crossed for Mane in the 82nd minute, but the Senegalese star’s sliding effort bounded off the bar.

Gudmundsson scored in stoppage time to allow a few nerves at Anfield, but Mane answered the bell quickly to restore the 2-goal cushion.

Cork’s Clarets snap skid, hold off Brighton

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  • Burnley stops 8-match winless PL run
  • First Brighton loss in four
  • Cork stays in-form for Burnley

Burnley scored a much-needed win to move out of the relegation zone when James Tarkowski‘s goal led the host Clarets past visiting Brighton and Hove Albion 1-0 at Turf Moor on Saturday.

The Clarets now sit 17th with 12 points, while Brighton sinks to 11th with 21.

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A glance at the first half wouldn’t tell you about Burnley’s moribund season, as the Clarets took nine of the match’s 13 shots and put four on target.

So the goal was well-deserved, even if took Jack Cork‘s shot taking a turn off Tarkowski in front of goal.

Brighton’s efforts to get back into the game couldn’t find the frame. Solly March zipped a shot wide of the bar as the match entered its final 15 minutes.

And the final few minutes were pure chaos in the Burnley box, with numerous corners and free kicks awarded to Burnley. But Joe Hart and his men stood strong to get the Clarets three long-sought points.

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