Sergio Rico

Gunners school Fulham on New Year’s Day

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  • Xhaka strikes first, 25′
  • Lacazette caps team goal
  • Kamara pulls one back
  • Ramsey puts it to bed

Arsenal responded to its weekend drubbing by turning the lopsided score line on Fulham with a 4-1 win at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday.

Granit Xhaka, Alexandre Lacazette, Aaron Ramsey and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all scored for the Gunners, who move two points back of fourth-place Chelsea.

Aboubakar Kamara scored for Fulham, who remain 19th with 14 points.

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Arsenal was on the front foot from Moment No. 1, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was closely-marked by American defender Tim Ream as he popped an Alex Iwobi pass over the goal from close range.

The visitors nearly surprised when Tom Cairney opened up Ryan Sessegnon on the counter attack, but the youngster missed the far post after beating Bernd Leno.

If Sessegnon could’ve scored the first, he should’ve scored the next: Andre Schurrle swept a gorgeous effort around the Arsenal back line but the winger totally missed the ball.

And how often do you see it? The underdogs miss a chance to go ahead, snapping the favorites into life. Xhaka was the man in the middle to push an Iwobi pass beyond the reach of Rico.

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Lacazette made it 2-0 on the business end of a terrific team goal off a throw-in. Aubameyang and Sead Kolasinac were the last two to play the ball en route to the Frenchman for his 56th minute finish.

Jean-Michael Seri cued up Mitrovic for a 69th minute chance, but the Serbian nodded right to Leno.

This time, Fulham responded to the danger by scoring. Kamara got on the end of a Sessegnon cross after Seri stole the ball and set the wheels in motion.

Ramsey restored order with a calm finish into the side netting when a loose ball came his way in the 79th minute.

Rico stayed big to block a 1v1 Aubameyang chip in the 82nd, but was defied when the same striker’s deflected shot hit the back of the net in the 83rd.

Early lead enough as Chelsea blanks Fulham

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  • Pedro scores in 4th minute
  • Arrizabalaga makes 3 saves
  • Loftus-Cheek puts it to bed

Chelsea outlasted a game Fulham thanks to an early goal from Pedro and late insurance from Ruben Loftus-Cheek, claiming London Derby honors with a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The Blues go third for the moment, a point better than Chelsea and three ahead of Arsenal before the North London Derby (Watch live at 9:05 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Fulham sits bottom of the table with eight points, two points back of 17th.

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Fulham’s Cyrus Christie dribbled 40 yards for a shot on Kepa Arrizabalaga before the match was a half-minute old.

Pedro danced around weak defending to make it 1-0 three minutes later, with N'Golo Kante stealing a sloppy Fulham touch and slipping the Spaniard into Sergio Rico‘s office for a cutback and finish.

Calum Chambers hit a 20-yard shot at Arrizabalaga at the quarter-hour mark.

At the other end, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard put Olivier Giroud into the path of Rico as the Fulham goalkeeper managed another stop.

Azpilicueta then cued up Giroud for a chance Rico did well to stop in the 43rd minute.

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Fulham’s second half challenge started well, with Antonio Rudiger forced to stop a bid to meet Mitrovic followed by an Arrizabalaga save on Chambers off the ensuing corner.

Chelsea sub Alvaro Morata missed an in-tight bid to cut an Eden Hazard rebound on goal in the 73rd.

It was another sub who made it 2-0, as Loftus-Cheek left no doubt when presented with a Hazard square ball in the right of the box.

KDB hurt, Diaz scores two as Man City cruises past Fulham

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Pep Guardiola‘s depth was plenty as reigning champions Manchester City moved on to the League Cup quarterfinals with a 2-0 defeat of Fulham at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.

Both goals came from Brahim Diaz, the 19-year-old bagging his first two senior goals in his 14th appearance for City.

[ MORE: League Cup quarterfinal draw ]

Kevin De Bruyne left the match just before the end with what seemed to be a leg injury. De Bruyne missed two months earlier this season with a knee ailment.

Diaz was in the right spot for both goals, first turning a Vincent Kompany rebound past Sergio Rico in the first half before slamming the ball upper 90 after Rico saved a Gabriel Jesus shot off the goal post.

The clean sheet was the second in as many starts for 19-year-old Arijanet Muric, who was part of an XI with lesser used City players Oleksandr Zinchenko, Phil Foden, and Danilo.

Claudio Gomes, 18, entered the game late to make his City debut.

City will head to either Leicester City or Southampton in the quarterfinal.

Reports: Fulham signs goalkeeper Sergio Rico from Sevilla

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Craven Cottage continues to be a hub of activity this summer as the wheeling and dealing from the Khan family continues.

Already with seven signings this transfer window, Fulham has gone out and reportedly grabbed another. According to reports in both Spain and England, the Whites have grabbed Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio Rico on loan. Upon completion, Rico would be Fulham’s eighth signing of the summer and second goalkeeper inked this window. The signing is being reported by both AS in Spain and Sky Sports in England, among others.

The move is a slightly odd one. Fulham shelled out $5 million to sign Besiktas netminder Fabri, but the 30-year-old Spaniard has been shaky in his preseason appearances.

[ MORE: Chelsea announces Courtois move to Real Madrid ]

Considering Fabri’s weak start in White, this move seems to suggest that the club was pushed by one of two possible factors: either Fabri’s poor start was so alarming to the club that they felt obligated to make immediate amends, or incumbent starter Marcus Bettinelli is either injured or on his way out. 26-year-old Bettinelli, a former England U-21 international, was spectacular last season for Fulham in the Championship, snatching the starting job from David Button midway through the season and lost just two games of the 26 he started.

One would think, based on resumes, that Rico would come in and immediately become the starter. While Bettinelli is a local hero and a fan favorite, he doesn’t have the track record that Rico does despite his young age. The Spaniard has made 170 total appearances for Sevilla since joining the senior team from the youth squad as a 20-year-old in 2014. In addition, it’s possible Bettinelli is hurt, which may have triggered the transfer in the first place.

No matter the circumstances, the signing is a quality one for the Whites. Goalkeeper was one position that still felt shaky heading into the season, in part due to Fabri’s unconvincing preseason. Now, it becomes yet another squad strength. The Whites have had a busy summer, signing the likes of midfielder Jean-Michael Seri, winger Andre Schurrle, and defenders Alfie Mawson and Calum Chambers.

On the other side of things, the departure of Rico is an odd one for Sevilla. Rico lost his starting spot late last season to 25-year-old David Soria, but he has since left for Getafe. If Rico does indeed head out as well, it would leave just 29-year-old Thomas Vaclik as the only goalkeeper left on the senior team.

Sevilla on 1st UCL quarterfinal in 60 years: “We had to change history”

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Sevilla is a tournament team, but what it pulled off Tuesday in Manchester is still a fine place to hang a hat.

Vincenzo Montella managed La Liga’s mainstays to something Unai Emery, Jorge Sampaoli, or Juande Ramos could not: Win a Champions League match in England.

[ MORE: Mourinho reacts to UCL exit ]

And there pressure was certainly on Montella and his bosses, who controversially fired manager Eduardo Berizzo a week after he returned from cancer treatment despite a memorable comeback versus Liverpool.

Here’s Sevilla president Jose Castro, via Sevillafc.es:

“We needed a man and the man is here. It was a magical night, it was 60 years without being in the quarterfinals and we had to change history. It was a great match and we continue to dream of the Champions League.”

Mexico’s Miguel Layun couldn’t play in the match having represented Porto in the Champions League before transferring to Sevilla, but he was feeling the team spirit, too: