Steve Cook

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League Cup wrap: Burton Albion, Bournemouth advance

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Burton Albion is a League Cup quarterfinalist for the first time.

Relegated from the Championship last season and a Conference team as recently as 2009, the Brewers built a lead and held on Tuesday to make the final eight of the EFL Cup.

[ MORE: To Real Madrid from the NCAA ]

It was one of two matches played Tuesday, as Leicester City and Southampton was postponed following the tragic death of their owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others in a helicopter crash outside the King Power Stadium last Saturday.

Bournemouth 2-1 Norwich City

Junior Stanislas gave the Cherries a first half lead, and the Canaries’ equalizer was answered by Steve Cook within two minutes when the defender restored Bournemouth’s advantage at the Vitality Stadium.

The Cherries avoided the fate of Cardiff City, depriving Norwich City a second Premier League upset of the tournament.

Burton Albion 3-2 Nottingham Forest

Saidy Janko and Scott Fraser helped the hosts build a 2-0 lead after a scoreless first half, and Jake Hesketh answered Lewis Grabban‘s goal to restore to two-goal lead with eight minutes to play. Andrew Appiah scored in the first minute of stoppage time, but it wasn’t a prelude to an equalizer.

The two sides had a moment of silence for Srivaddhanaprabha before the match.

Wilson’s powerful long dribble a must-see part of Bournemouth’s win

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Callum Wilson made West Ham United’s defense look downright comical.

The Bournemouth striker was the only Cherry in the opposition half when he lunged to latch onto a long pass from Steve Cook to become a one-man counter attack.

“Just to score, I was stretching for the ball, turned, started running and it was opening up for me,” he said. “I saw a gap, burst through, and showed composure at the end.”

[ RECAP: West Ham 1-2 Bournemouth ]

That lunge was the last awkward part of his 45-yard dribble toward goal, as Wilson danced through the Irons defense with several nice cuts and a delightful 1v1 move.

And after a run like that, it would’ve cruel had Lukasz Fabianski managed to stop his shot.

The Cherries would complete their comeback with a late goal to make it 2-1, improving to 2-0 on the young Premier League season.

“Nice for little old Bournemouth,” Wilson said. “Now it is about being consistent, we have another tough game next week.”

The Cherries host Everton on Saturday.

Huddersfield Town 4-1 Bournemouth: Mounie a marvel

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  • HTAFC record signing Pritchard scores
  • Mounie assists, then bags brace
  • Town’s first win in nine
  • Stanislas with lone Cherries goal
  • Mooy injured

Steve Mounie scored twice and added an assist as Huddersfield Town pulled out of the drop zone with a 3-1 win over Bournemouth at a rainy John Smith’s Stadium on Sunday.

Alex Pritchard scored Town’s first goal and drew a penalty in stoppage time, converted by Rajiv Van la Parra, as the club moves into 16th with 27 points. That’s two points clear of the drop zone.

Junior Stanislas netted for Bournemouth, briefly leveling the score. The Cherries finish the day in 10th with 31 points.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Diminutive record signing Pritchard scored his first goal for Huddersfield Town in the eighth minute, taking one-touch of a pass from patient Mounie to curl a left-footed shot around the splayed body of Asmir Begovic.

Bournemouth scored on its first chance of the night, as in-form Ryan Fraser cut a ball around the Huddersfield defense and onto the boot of Stanislas to make it 1-1 in the 14th minute.

An Aaron Mooy free kick was turned past Begovic by the head of Mounie to make it 2-1 in the 28th minute.

It was nearly 2-2 within five minutes, but a training ground free kick from Charlie Daniels to the center of the box saw Steve Cook side-foot the ball beyond the back post.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Pritchard dribbled into the box within 30 seconds of the second half, but hit his shot wide of the near post.

An awful giveaway from Steve Cook set up Mounie for the third goal, as Van La Parra picked off an errant clearance and found Mooy. The Australian spotted Mounie, who scored near post.

Mooy was stretchered off in the 77th minute. The influential midfielder was hurt in a coming together with Lewis Cook, though it was reported to be a deep cut on the knee that required stitches.

Pritchard was then dropped in the box, with Van La Parra beating Begovic from the spot.

Newcastle 0-1 Bournemouth: Cook wins it in stoppage

Owen Humphreys/PA via AP
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  • Cherries ride strong second half
  • Newcastle wasteful in first
  • Cook nets first of year

Steve Cook‘s stoppage time goal gave Bournemouth a deserved win over Newcastle United at St. James Park on Saturday.

Bournemouth’s win pushed Swansea into the drop zone, and lifts the Cherries out on 10 points. The Magpies drop bottom half with 14.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Newcastle started well, but a Jonjo Shelvey giveaway sprung Bournemouth into the Magpies third for an early corner kick.

Matt Ritchie laced a left-footed shot that Asmir Begovic pushed wide of the far post in the sixth minute. And Dwight Gayle, getting a rare start, headed Ritchie’s 13th minute cross off a defender and out for a corner.

Begovic stopped Christian Atsu soon after, as the Magpies kept knocking. That’s when Ritchie cranked a shot off the post and Gayle’s rebound goal was deemed offside. It was razor thin if off.

Joselu missed Newcastle’s next chance, after an uncharacteristic turnover from Andrew Surman. It remained scoreless in the 29th minute.

Bournemouth turned the tide for a five-minute span, and Rob Elliot made a pair of strong saves including a remarkable stop on Joshua King.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Begovic was just a busy after the break, palming over a header from Joselu off a Newcastle corner.

The Cherries should have taken the lead when Callum Wilson found himself alone with Elliot, but he hammered his shot wide.

Bournemouth was very much in the match, and Marc Pugh got away from DeAndre Yedlin to force Elliot into a leaping collection in the 62nd.

Yedlin had a penalty shout at the other end, but Paul Tierney was rightly unmoved. Ciaran Clark then headed a Shelvey corner over the bar.

Pugh cut Yedlin again and beat Elliot only to be denied by Clark and the goal post. Elliot then denied substitute and noted Newcastle killer Jermain Defoe in stoppage time.

An under-the-radar Premier League XI

Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images
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The Premier League’s international break invites reflection on both what we’ve seen so far and what’s to come.

For example, what if we left out the superstars?

For whatever reason, this one is recalling the state of mind of 2015-16, when we were digesting that Leicester City very much looked the part of Premier League champions.

[ MORE: Herrera on “intense” Zlatan ]

For a lot of us, that meant delving into statistics and seeing what matched the eye test. Many started Googling the name “N'Golo Kante“, the dynamic disruptor who’d move to Chelsea in August.

He’s a household name now, with some personalities even arguing that he should buck the trend of Ballon d’Or nominees including only major statistic producers (There was a time when names like Fabio Cannavaro and Matthias Sammer claimed the honor, you know).

For our purposes, we’ll use a pair of advanced stats sites and the good ol’ eye test. (Of the sites we’re using, Squawka seems to skew toward high attack scores, while WhoScored tilts a bit toward the back, so life is good if a player hits both sites’ Top 50).

Before getting into our team — we promise no 10-picture, click-to-reveal-next stuff — some stats that stood out.

— Three players have had outstanding “short” seasons for different reasons.

  • Leicester City’s Wilfried Ndidi took a short spell to adjust to the Premier League after arriving in January, but has been the Foxes’ most influential player in their recent turnaround).
  • Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake essentially was the Cherries’ first-half success before heading back to Chelsea where Antonio Conte won’t move him ahead of Marcos Alonso or Victor Moses (and that’s actually understandable as you’ll see below).
  • Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas just doesn’t feature a ton for Conte, but in limited time his per-90 stats on Squawka trail only Eden Hazard and Alexis Sanchez.

— The following players have risen well above most of their teammates but fall short of the league Top 50 on either site: Ben Gibson (Boro), Michael Keane and Ben Mee (Burnley), Christian Fuchs (Leicester City), Joe Allen (Stoke City), Jose Holebas and Troy Deeney (Watford), Gareth McAuley (West Brom).

— Watford, as a side, is seemingly the choose to a sort of MVP. On WhoScored, not a single player rises above 7, but there are a host in the very high sixes.

— In very different systems, John Stones (91.8) and Adam Forshaw (89.2) are thriving in pass percentage.

Oriol Romeu of Southampton and Victor Wanyama of Tottenham Hotspur (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

— Southampton’s Oriel Romeu and Stoke’s Erik Pieters rank fourth and fifth respectively in tackles per game.

— In a team that has to intervene a ton, Hull City’s Curtis Davies the league with 3.8 interceptions per game.


Honorable mention

Goalkeeper: Lukasz Fabianski (Swansea City)

Defenders: Aleksandar Kolarov (Manchester City), Marcos Alonso (Chelsea), Calum Chambers (Boro), Papy Djilobodji (Sunderland), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Cesar Azpilicueta (Chelsea)

Midfielders: Ake, Victor Wanyama (Spurs), Willian (Chelsea), Juan Mata (Manchester United), Harry Winks (Spurs), Manuel Lanzini (West Ham United), Victor Moses (Chelsea), Jack Wilshere (Bournemouth).

Forwards: Joshua King (Bournemouth), Fernando Llorente (Swansea City), Christian Benteke (Crystal Palace)


Goalkeeper

Ben Foster (West Brom) — With the highest performance score in the position on WhoScored, Foster has claimed all 95 balls he’s went up for and has a league-best 76 saves.

Defenders

Nicolas Otamendi (Man City, 7.49, 29.18) — One of few defenders to rate high in interceptions despite being on a team that doesn’t concede loads of chances or possession.

George Friend (Middlesbrough) — Just out of the upper echelon on the advanced stats site, he is in rarefield air in traditional stats interceptions and tackles.

Steve Cook (Bournemouth, 7.16, 22.76) — Jumps out of the advanced stats on a Cherries team which has faced plenty of attacking pressure.

Antonio Valencia (Manchester United, 7.28, 27.45) — There’s a reason Jose Mourinho rewarded him with an extension not long into the manager’s tenure at Old Trafford.

Midfielders

Ander Herrera (Manchester United, 7.44, 36.64) – Long-heralded at Athletic Bilbao, Herrera is finally showing what made him so sought. One odd stat that may be explained by his willingness to run to any situation: he’s very high in average times dribbled past.

Idrissa Gana Gueye (Everton, 7.34, 20.57) – The best player in Aston Villa’s awful 2015-16, he’s been arguably as effective as N’Golo Kante. Seriously.

Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) – Once the top player on a relegated QPR, Phillips is fifth in the Premier League in assists despite missing the last four matches with injury.

Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur, 7.41, 31.89) – Second in the PL in key passes, he doesn’t get the plaudits of English teammates Dele Alli and Harry Kane. The relationships are very symbiotic.

 

Forwards

Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace, 7.44) – On an under-achieving team, Zaha’s statistics are wild. He’s the most-fouled player in the league, and attempts/completes the most dribbles in the PL. He gives the ball away a lot, too, but that happens when you’re the focal point of everything your team does in the attacking third.

Alex Iwobi (Arsenal, 30.54) – The Nigerian turns 21 in May, and has four goals and seven assists across all competitions.