William Kvist

Report: Philadelphia Union could add Wigan Athletic, Denmark midfielder

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In a move that would likely signal the permanence of Maurice Edu’s move to center back, the Philadelphia Union may be actively seeking Wigan Athletic defensive midfielder William Kvist.

Kvist is on a one-year deal with the Latics after 10 years between Copenhagen and Stuttgart that included a loan to Fulham under current Union consultant Rene Meulensteen.

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The 29-year-old has been capped 52 times for Denmark, scoring twice. He also served as the national team’s captain with Daniel Agger out, and is a two-time Danish footballer of the year.

From Kevin Kinkead of CBS Philly:

The Union connection comes from new consultant Rene Meulensteen, who signed Kvist to his Fulham squad on-loan in January of this year. Kvist was acquired from Stuttgart in the German Bundesliga, but the relationship was short lived, as Meulensteen was sacked less than a month after the deal went through. Fulham then had the option to sign Kvist permanently in the summer, but that option was not exercised and he moved to Wigan on a free transfer after making just eight appearances for the relegated Cottagers.

One person close to the situation said they weren’t sure whether or not the Union would make an offer for the midfielder, but confirmed that he was on a list of players that the team was tracking.

Kvist isn’t playing regularly for Wigan and could be open to a move. The addition of Kvist would almost certainly be the final nail in the coffin for gifted Philly mainstay Amobi Okugo, who is expected to test the waters of Europe.

Watch Live: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Fulham (Lineups and Discuss)

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After winning their last two matches, it seems survival might indeed be possible for Fulham – but a big win over Spurs at White Hart Lane could very well punch their ticket to the 2014/2015 Premier League (Watch live at 7:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via Live Extra).

Just a few weeks ago, it looked as though Fulham were headed for the Championship, sitting dead last and playing woefully. But six points from their last two matches puts the Cottagers just two points from safety. With their remaining fixtures against Hull City, Stoke and Crystal Palace, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Fulham manage to survive.

(READ MORE: PREVIEWING TOTTENHAM VS. FULHAM)

Nor is three points against Tottenham all that unimaginable. Spurs are one of the most unpredictable sides in England at the moment. They’re able to lose dramatically (4-0 to both Liverpool and Chelsea), win emphatically (5-1 over Sunderland) and come back to rescue a point (last week’s 3-3 draw with West Bromwich Albion). Spurs, too, still have a fight on their hands – fourth looks unlikely, being seven points back, but now they need to keep ahold of the final Europa League place.

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Tim Sherwood, usually so fond of making sweeping changes to his lineups, has made just one alteration from last week’s comeback against West Brom. Zeki Fryers replaces Vlad Chiriches, a change made at halftime last weekend. Sherwood keeps Emmanuel Adebayor up top, despite his missing a penalty last time out, and young Harry Kane remains alongside.

Somewhat surprisingly, Felix Magath is mixing things up, making five changes to last week’s winning side. Obviously one change is enforced: Lewis Holtby cannot play against his parent club, so Alex Kačaniklić steps in. So too do Ashkan Dejagah, John Arne Riise, William Kvist and Scott Parker.

LINEUPS

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Naughton, Kaboul, Fryers, Rose; Lennon, Chadli, Paulinho, Eriksen; Adebayor, Kane

Subs: Friedel, Chiriches, Bentaleb, Dembele, Sigurdsson, Townsend, Soldado

Fulham: Stockdale; Heitinga, Amorebieta, Hangeland, Riise; Kvist, Sidwell, Parker; Dejagah, Rodallega, Kačaniklić

Subs: Stekelenburg, Karagounis, Kasami, Zverotić, Roberts, Woodrow, Bent

Fulham 1-3 Everton: Subs the story as Everton outclasses spirited Fulham (video)

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Despite a spirited battle by relegation-threatened Fulham, a pair of Roberto Martinez substitutes bagged goals as the Toffees showed too much quality for the Whites who despite their strong effort were less than solid in front of goal.

Steven Naismith, on for an injured Ross Barkley, put the shot on net that resulted in Everton’s first, and Kevin Mirallas hit the winner with under 15 minutes to go on a feed from Aidan McGeady – both substitutes.

Naismith then sealed the winner to ensure his name would appear on the scoresheet.

Ashkan Dejagah, also a replacement for the Whites, hit Fulham’s equalizer that gave them hope but ultimately it wasn’t enough.

The goalkeepers both starred as well, with Tim Howard putting on a highlight-reel performance, and Stockdale’s own goal the only blight on his otherwise stellar tally for the day.

Fulham were by far the brighter side in the first half, but could not muster a goal.  Young Moussa Dembele, just 17 years old, was a breath of fresh air at the front of the hosts’s attack, finding teammates with ease in the final third.

The best pass from Dembele came in the 23rd minute, when the Frenchman laid off to a streaking Kieran Richardson, but his low, powerful shot was stopped expertly by a foot save from Howard.

However, the youngster also bungled a few chances of his own, firing well over with space at the top of the box, and also finding himself a free header at the end of a long ball from Lewis Holtby but he put the ball directly at Howard.

Dembele wasn’t alone in his shooting misfortunes, and despite the home side clearly the more incisive in the first half, they were dismal in front of net. Holtby came closest, with a header of his own also producing a wonderful save from Howard to palm over on 27 minutes.

Pacey winger Pajtim Kasami found himself in a great position to find a waiting Dembele but instead tried to take it himself and was dispossessed.  The first half also saw John Arne Riise launch one over, as did

Despite their failure to put the ball in the back of the net, Fulham dominated Everton on the ball in the first half with pinpoint tackling and good runs. The home side completed 17 of 23 tackles in the first 45 minutes, and completed 4 of 11 crosses.

However, with the Whites failing to score in the first half despite their positivity, the writing may have been on the wall.  Everton made them pay for their wastefulness just six minutes after the break, when a corner fell to the feet of Steven Naismith.  His shot wasn’t convincing, but with goalkeeper David Stockdale on the ground the ball took a deflection off William Kvist and then clamored off Stockdale’s foot into the back of the net.

But Fulham were not deterred. The game maintained a back-and-forth nature with both managers making quality changes. Naismith came on for an injured Ross Barkley at halftime and had his obvious immediate impact, and Felix Magath after the goal made a double attacking change akin to their dire table situation.

Magath’s substitutions paid off almost immediately, as Dejagah cut back inside from the left flank, leaving poor Sylvain Distin in pieces on the pitch before striking a worldly into the top corner just seven minutes after coming on.

But the hope instilled from Dejagah’s goal wouldn’t last long.  Everton pushed hard to restore their lead, and with a new organization about the side and their quality restored, it was too much for Fulham to hold out.

A break from substitute Aidan McGeady slotted through fellow sub Kevin Mirallas who put the ball into the back of the net 13 minutes from full time, and a controversial third from Naismith in the final minutes left Everton well ahead.

The win for the Toffees moves them within four of Arsenal in the final Champions League position, and the two clubs will meet in a massive showdown next weekend.  Meanwhile, Fulham again are left with nothing, and with Crystal Palace beating Chelsea earlier in the week, things look exceptionally bleak at the bottom.

LINEUPS:

Fulham – Stockdale; Riether, Heitinga, Hangeland, Riise; Holtby, Kvist (Woodrow 64′), Sidwell, Richardson (Dejagah 64′); Kasami, Dembèlè (Roberts 81′).

Goals – Dejagah 71′

Everton – Howard; Coleman, Stones, Distin, Baines; McCarthy, Barry; Deulofeu (Mirallas 68′), Barkley (Naismith 45′), Osman (McGeady 77′); Lukaku.

Goals – Stockdale (og) 51′, Mirallas 79′, Naismith 87′

Cruel own goal sees Everton go in front at Craven Cottage

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After a delightful first half from the home side that produced everything but a goal, Fulham have been punished for their wastefulness just six minutes after the break.

A corner came in to substitute Steven Naismith, whose shot deflected off Fulham midfielder William Kvist before clanking off the foot of a scrambling David Stockdale and planting into the back of the net.

The goal will likely go down as an own goal off Stockdale, as the original shot from Naismith was on target but the Kvist deflection would have seen it go wide.

Fulham have looked very bright going forward, and full debutant Moussa Dembele has been positive at the front despite failing to convert a few good first-half chances.

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However, Everton look recharged after halftime, and have punished a Fulham team that has conceded most of its goals this season in the second half.

The two teams are in completely different table scenarios. Fulham are sitting bottom of the standings, and only three points today would really do them service.

A half-hour remains at Craven Cottage for Fulham to get back into it or for Everton to put the game away. You can watch live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.

Everton on the other hand could pull within four points of Arsenal in the final Champions League spot, with the two set to square off next weekend.

Manchester City 5-0 Fulham: Toure hat trick seals punishment for pair of Amorebieta penalties (video)

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The first was questionable but the second was clear.

Fulham defender Fernando Amorebieta conceded two penalties and earned himself a straight red card for the latter.

On the other end, Yaya Toure splashed both into the back of the net and added a stunning free-kick for his hat-trick, as Manchester City eased past a composed visiting side prone to devastating mistakes and earned themselves the pole position for the Premier League title.

Neither side had any good pops on the opposition goal in the first 15 minutes, a win for Fulham.  City had an early half-shout for handball against Steve Sidwell in the box but it was waved off.

However, the home side began to build, and James Milner took a 17th minute crack at goal but it was saved low by David Stockdale.

Fulham themselves had a good chance just five minutes later, as a Kieran Richardson free kick came blasting back off the wall.  It fell back to Fulham, who worked to Alex Kacaniklic with space in the box. His shot was blocked, but it came back to Richardson who rifled just wide of Joe Hart’s post.

Manchester City’s breakthrough came back on the other end.  On 25 minutes, a long ball for Alvaro Negredo in the box was going well over, but Fernando Amorebieta jumped with the City forward anyways and kicked him in the back of the leg. Negredo went down theatrically, but the kick is hard to argue with and John Moss awarded the penalty via his assistant referee who flagged furiously.

source: Getty Images
Yaya Toure was the man of the day, as his hat-trick put him on 20 goals for the year.

Yaya Toure slotted the penalty through easily past a wrong-footed David Stockdale and City had their lead despite a solid start from Fulham.

City poured on the attack, and despite a chance for Sascha Riether with a header on the counter, there was little respite for the visitors defending. With 9 minutes to go to the break, a shot by Negredo from a tight angle brought Stockdale out of his goal, and Amorebieta was called upon to head off the line and keep out a second.

Aleks Kolarov had a go from a tight angle just before halftime, but Stockdale tipped it to the crossbar and the metal did the rest to keep City from doubling up.

Following the break, the Whites knew their chances would come if they could just hold onto their defensive shape, but they failed to do so.

With David Silva free on the right edge of the box, Amorebieta clattered the City attacker with a two-footed challenge, an easy decision for the referee who pointed to the spot and produced a straight red card.

With Fulham down a man and two goals, there was no way back for the team sitting bottom of the table and Manchester City saw the game out as the rain began to pour down, symbolic of Fulham’s season.

With the red card, promising youngster Patrick Roberts was handed his Fulham debut, marking somewhat of a consolation for Fulham as he looked quality.

City nearly had a fourth in the 78th minute but Martin Demichelis’s header off a corner was saved off the line by Riether.

They would end up with another six minutes from full time with a howitzer from Fernandinho on a tight angle after he beats William Kvist with just one touch. Then Demichelis would add insult to injury with a fifth, a tap-in following a Stockdale save.

With Arsenal’s drubbing at Chelsea earlier in the day, the three points allows Manchester City to jump into the third spot, still two back of Liverpool and six off the Blues with a pair of games in hand.  The games in hand mean City are at the moment in the lead for the Premier League title race.

Fulham still have their win two weekends ago against Newcastle to hang onto, but pending other results today they could be in a very dangerous position bottom of the table.  They came into the match four points from safety and theoretically five with their poor goal differential.

Manchester City – Hart; Zabaleta, Lescott, Demichelis, Kolarov; Fernandinho, Toure (Rodwell 77′), Milner, Nasri (Jovetic 82′), Silva (Navas 68′); Negredo.

Goals: Toure 26′ (pen), 54′ (pen), 65′; Fernandinho 84′, Demichelis 88′

Fulham – Stockdale; Heitinga, Hangeland, Amorebieta, Riise; Kačaniklić (Roberts 55′), Riether, Kvist, Sidwell, Richardson (Holtby 55′); Woodrow (Kasami 84′).

Discipline: Amorebieta straight red 53′