Wilfried Zaha

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Transfer rumor roundup: Eriksen, Vertonghen in demand; Mane to Madrid?

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A roundup of all of Wednesday’s biggest transfer rumors, including those involving Premier League clubs…

[ MORE: Mourinho was “rude to an idiot”; talks injuries, transfers ]

With six months now remaining on his Tottenham Hotspur contract, speculation over Christian Eriksen‘s future has once again begun. The Danish playmaker is widely expected to leave Tottenham in the summer, and a number of the world’s biggest clubs — including, but certainly not limited to, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus — have already been linked. Now, Inter Milan have reportedly entered the race to sign the 27-year-old.


Speaking of Spurs players now in the final six months of their contract, Jan Vertonghen will be out of contract this summer and there have been few, if any, reports of negotiations over a new deal. As such, Napoli and Ajax are each reportedly interested in signing the 32-year-old at a heavily discounted price this month.


Real Madrid have reportedly reached out and made contact with the representatives of Liverpool winger Sadio Mane. Los Blancos would be looking for a mega-bucks transfer this summer.


Frank Lampard has played down reports that Chelsea have placed Wilfried Zaha atop their January shopping list. The Crystal Palace winger has reportedly been on his way out of Crystal Palace for years now, and Chelsea is just the latest club linked with the 27-year-old. However, Lampard says Zaha is “not in our plans.”


Moise Kean hasn’t yet delivered the good since arriving at Everton from Juventus this summer, leading some to speculate that the 19-year-old Italian could leave Goodison Park in short order. Instead, reports out of Merseyside indicate that the Toffees have no interest in losing Kean following the appointment of fellow Italian, Carlo Ancelotti, as the club’s new manager.

Chelsea’s Lampard: ‘We were lucky not to lose,’ squashes Zaha gossip

Frank Lampards on Chelsea draw and Zaha links
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Chelsea manager Frank Lampard isn’t taking any comfort from the quality of Brighton’s Wednesday equalizer.

The Blues allowed a late overhead kick goal from Alireza Jahanbakhsh to start 2020 off with a 1-1 draw at the Amex Stadium.

That nullified Cesar Azpilicueta’s 10th minute goal, the only “big chance” created by the Blues all day.

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“We weren’t ruthless enough,” Lampard said. “We got the goal and we had the possession. But we just didn’t kill the game off. We allowed them to stay in the game. In the end it was a wonder goal but we were lucky not to lose the game.”

The loss fails to build on a 2-1 comeback win over Arsenal and means Chelsea still hasn’t won consecutive matches since late October defeats of Ajax and Burnley.

Lampard says the Blues threw away two points due to sloppiness.

“You have to deal with it in games, it’s part of the process,” he said, via Football.London. “You can accuse for a lack of fight and urgency but today was a lack of quality on the ball. We just decided to not keep doing the simple things, not taking opportunities to score.”

The manager also laughed off links to Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha, saying. “I won’t talk about him because he’s not in our plans.” He claims Chelsea will do its transfer work behind closed doors.

Ayew wondergoal completes Palace comeback v. West Ham

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Jordan Ayew‘s solo wondergoal won all three points for Crystal Palace in a 2-1 defeat of West Ham United at Selhurst Park on Thursday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Robert Snodgrass had put the Irons in front, but former West Ham man Cheikhou Kouyate equalized as all the goals came after halftime.

Palace moves 11th with 24 points, while West Ham slips 17th with 19 points.


Three things we learned

1. Ayew delivers a beautiful winner: The Palace forward joined Wilfried Zaha in being a proper threat, but his winner was all about him. The 28-year-old Ghanian cut toward the 18 and moved free with a spinning turn before using a delightful chip to leave Roberto pawing at air.

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2. Pellegrini’s inconsistent Irons put him at risk: Michail Antonio was strong and Sebastien Haller had moments atop the attack, but the Irons attack only managed a pair of shots on target. Felipe Anderson and Manuel Lanzini came off the bench to decent effect, but certainly are nowhere near their top form. Irons boss Manuel Pellegrini must be at wits’ end.

3. Quality, not industry, denies West Ham: The Irons won more challenges — 28-14 in the air — and had more tackles, interceptions, and clearances. Some of those are down to Palace’s time with the ball, but it’s worth noting that for as poor as the Irons have been, they have not quit on Pellegrini.

Man of the Match: Ayew was phenomenal. He was everywhere, involved in 22 duels while completing 8 of 9 dribbles and making three key passes. The goal was the moment, of course, but it was the richly-deserved reward for a day worth of work.


[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Wilfried Zaha’s marvelous dribble down the left was deserving of an opening assist, but Palace’s right side didn’t run through the six to meet his pass.

Max Meyer found the loose ball and slid an invitation back through the box, but Jordan Ayew’s sliding effort went wide of the goal.

Ayew bossed Cresswell into a turnover but couldn’t rip a shot past Roberto.

The Irons went in front when Antonio created space and slipped through Snodgrass, who had the better of Patrick Van Aanholt and swerved home.

Van Aanholt nearly made amends but dragged his effort wide of the far post.

Kouyate equalized against his former club and declined celebration as the Selhurst Park faithful did plenty in his stead. Ayew popped a James McArthur cross onto the path of Kouyate for an unmarked finish.

Roberto denied Connor Wickham on a long solo run toward goal, a heavy touch defying the sub a wonderful moment.

Jaro Riedewald slid to deny Snodgrass’ 87th minute bid for a winner.

Ayew won it late with a classy maneuver into the 18 to dink over a fooled Roberto.

Almiron’s long-sought first Premier League goal drives Newcastle to win

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Newcastle United got back to winning ways via a first Premier League goal from Miguel Almiron.

The ex-Atlanta United man broke a 26-match scoreless streak with a second half goal as the Magpies beat Crystal Palace 1-0 at St. James’ Park on Saturday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Andy Carroll had the assist, as Newcastle rose ninth with 25 points.

Palace drops into 12th with 23 points.


Three things we learned

1. Almiron… finally: The Paraguayan regularly runs his shorts off for Newcastle, but his confidence has been so low. You wouldn’t have known it by the way he laced a side volley home for an 83rd minute winner. He had an exceptional day, passing at 93 percent while making four tackles, two interceptions, a blocked shot and a clearance.

2. Zaha neutralized: Javier Manquillo played one of the best matches of his life, the ex-Liverpool man tidy in dealing with Palace behemoth Wilfried Zaha. The oft-fouled Ivorian lost 15 of his 24 challenges, and was successful on just four of 12 dribbles.

3. Bruce takes another chance: The Magpies didn’t have Jetro Willems for the left side of a 5-3-2, and installed center back Florian Lejeune as a left back in a 4-4-2. So who played left mid? Bafflingly, it was Paul Dummett, but the Geordie big man fired in cross after cross. It was a surprise to everyone including Roy Hodgson. Kinda stunned that it worked, honestly.

Man of the Match: Manquillo is the tactician’s pick, but you can’t take the day away from the man they call Miggy.


[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Miguel Almiron and Jonjo Shelvey put the first two shots on target, relatively easy work for Vicente Guaita. Florian Lejeune then zipped a shot from distance, saved by Guaita.

Palace had a single moment of danger, Wilfried Zaha forcing Martin Dubravka into a prone block and catch.

The Eagles were better to start the second half, with Dubravka charging out to stymy a James McArthur chance.

Patrick Van Aanholt nearly curled an Olimpico past Dubravka in the 66th minute, the match begging for excitement.

Dubravka made a terrific stop on Benteke when Jordan Ayew played him into the box.

Newcastle scored on perhaps its first true chance since halftime, as a long ball was knocked down by Andy Carroll and Almiron painted the side netting with his side volley.

Zaha saves Palace in M23 Derby draw

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Brighton and Hove Albion looked interesting it’s way to a confidence-boosting three points on the road against long-time rivals Crystal Palace.

But the Seagulls forgot about Wilfried Zaha.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

The Crystal Palace star winger saved a point for the Eagles with a brilliant second half goal, as Crystal Palace drew 1-1 with Brighton and Hove Albion, Monday afternoon at Selhurst Park.

Zaha dribbled into the box, then cut into his left foot before unleashing a blast that Brighton goalkeeper Matthew Ryan had no chance of stopping.

With the draw, both teams move one point away from the drop zone, with Crystal Palace moving above Arsenal into ninth place in the table.


3 things we learned

1. Zaha the hero: Crystal Palace had one of its worst afternoons this season, but Roy Hodgkin always has an ace up his sleeve. When the team needed him, Zaha came home with a moment of brilliance to score and save a point for the Eagles.

2. Maupay off the mark again: Brighton and Hove at times look to have one of the best attacks outside the top six in the Premier League, and Maupay is a huge reason why. The Frenchman scored for the third-straight-game on Monday and he is showing no signs of slowing down. If only the rest of the attack could deliver some finishes.

3. Both clubs miss out on extending distance from drop zone: Crystal Palace was already in the top ten of the Premier League at kickoff, and with a win, Brighton would have joined the Eagles. But with a draw, both teams gain just one point over Southampton at 15 points. Brighton sits just five points up while Crystal Palace is now eight points ahead of Southampton. All it takes is a string of bad defeats in the next 30 days and both teams can be in trouble.


Despite playing at Selhurst Park, it was all Brighton early on. The Seagulls would finish with 65 percent possession, and that number was even higher until around the 70th minute, just after Max Meyer came off the bench for the Eagles.

In the 100th rivalry match between these two teams connected by the M23 in South England, tackles were flying in early, but it was Brighton which had the better of the chances. After VAR denied a possible penalty shout in the 20th minute when Marvin Montoya appeared to have been tripped in the box while shooting, Lewis Dunk sent a powerful header straight at Crystal Palace’s Vicente Guaita in goal.

In the 29th minute, Yves Bissouma found space and time outside the box and unleashed a blast that Guaita had to dive sharply for at the low-left post to keep the ball out.

A few minutes later, Davy Propper had a strike on goal, but Guaita was equal to it. Brighton’s constant attacks and ball movements kept Crystal Palace on its heels, and into the second half, it appeared the same story was playing out in front of us.

In the 57th minute, Brighton finally found the breakthrough. Leandro Toussard’s cross from the right was flicked on in the box by Pascal Gross. It fell to the feet of Maupay, who took a touch and powered a strike in for a well-deserved goal.

Brighton continued pushing for a second goal, but suddenly around the 70th minute, Crystal Palace woke up. Christian Benteke spun away from his defender to fire a shot on goal, before Zaha’s brilliant effort in the 76th minute tied the match at 1-1.

This story will be updated.