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    FANS will notice a changing of the guard among match officials in the early months of the new Premier League season. Experienced quartet Mike Dean, Martin Atkinson, Jon Moss and Kevin Friend will no longer be on the pitch while Tom Bramall is the sole new referee in the Prem. 1Ex-referee says it's sink or swim for new Premier League officialsCredit: PA And with the imminent departure of refs' boss Mike Riley, a shake-up will continue to take place ahead of Howard Webb's expected arrival in the winter. Promoted Bramall is young at 32 but is viewed as a promising prospect following his rapid rise through the leagues. My own refereeing journey was similar to Sheffield-based Bramall's pathway as we both spent two seasons in the National League before moving up to the Football League. After four seasons in the EFL where I've heard Championship managers rated him highly, Bramall is in the big time as the fifth ref to be promoted by the PGMOL in the last year. READ MORE IN FOOTBALLTRANSFER NEWS Barcelona line up £67m Alexander-Arnold bid,...
    FABIO SILVA is set to sign for Belgium club Anderlecht from Wolves. Silva, 19, arrived at Wolves in 2020 and was highly-tipped as one of the stars of the future. 1Silva rues a missed chanceCredit: AFP However, things have not gone to plan for him since his £35million transfer. The Portuguese striker is now on the verge of completing a loan move to Anderlecht in order to help him refind his best form, according to Pedro Sepúlveda. The deal will not include an option to buy and Silva's full salary will be covered by the Belgium club. Silva's transfer from Porto smashed Wolves' previous record of £30m which they paid for Mexican Raul Jimenez. READ MORE IN FOOTBALLBLUES LATEST Chelsea 'submitting £14m Cristiano Ronaldo BID', new home kit REVEAL Just four goals and six assists in 62 appearances have compounded the struggles which Silva has had since arriving in England. Silva is yet to make an appearance in the senior national team, but has made eight appearances for the Under 21s where he has scored six times....
    KEVIN FRIEND has become the latest Premier League referee to hang up his whistle - and add to the scrutiny on the new generation of top-flight officials. Friend, 50, who has been on the Prem list since the 2009-10 season, will move to a new job with PGMOL. 3Kevin Friend is retiring from his role as a Premier League refereeCredit: Getty He will fulfil the newly-created role as manager of the Select Group Two referees, who look after Championship matches and can be the fourth official in the Premier League. The Leicestershire-based official's career highlight came in 2019 when he was the man in the middle for the FA Cup final as Manchester City thumped Watford 6-0. Friend, who hilariously booked the crowd in a pre-season friendly, also oversaw the League Cup final in 2013 and the Community Shield the year before and was ref when Luis Suarez bit Branislav Ivanovic. This season he showed just two red cards in 18 top-tier matches - both for second yellow cards. READ MORE ON FOOTBALLPAR FOR THE COURSE Dean...
    PIERS MORGAN took aim at Tottenham after they celebrated finishing fourth with a dressing-room team photo. Sun columnist Morgan is an avid Arsenal supporter, but his beloved Gunners missed out on Champions League qualification to their North London rivals. 1Tottenham's players posted this dressing-room snap after finishing fourthCredit: Getty His side needed a final day miracle to overtake Antonio Conte’s men after blowing their own top four hopes over recent weeks. Arsenal thrashed Everton 5-1 at home but still failed to reach Europe’s top club competition as Spurs romped to a 5-0 win at Norwich to ensure fourth-place. Conte’s squad were jubilant after their Carrow Road victory, and the club posted a photo of the players striking a celebration pose inside the dressing room on Twitter afterwards. And Morgan could not resist having a pop in response, sharing the photo and commenting: “This team.. came 4th but thinks it won the League.” READ MORE IN FOOTBALLGUNNERS NEWS Leno set to 'join' Benfica, Gunners 'fail with £76m bid' for Osimhen Meanwhile, Arsenal also came under-fire from Morgan as well. He tweeted:...
    BURNLEY will step up their efforts to land Vincent Kompany as their next manager – if they stay up on Sunday. The Manchester City legend – who left the Etihad in 2019 to take charge of Anderlecht – is top of the wanted list of Clarets chairman Alan Pace. 1Burnley are preparing to ramp up their pursuit of Vincent KompanyCredit: Getty The Belgian impressed the Turf Moor hierarchy when he initially spoke to them following the dismissal of Sean Dyche on Good Friday. However caretaker boss Mike Jackson has done such a good job in reviving their hopes of survival that they put the search for a new boss on hold. German side Wolfsburg are also looking at Kompany - meaning Burnley may well face competition to land him. Much depends on whether they can hang onto their Premier League status on what promises to be a tense final day. READ MORE IN FOOTBALLTransfer news live PSG confident Mbappe will STAY, Henderson 'on verge of Newcastle move' Burnley host Newcastle and are now favourites to survive after grabbing a priceless...
    MANCHESTER UNITED have been so bad this season that it is hard to know if this was rock bottom. But one thing is for sure: this sorry excuse for a Red Devils team is officially the worst since Fergie left, statistically speaking. 8Moises Caicedo broke the deadlock at the Amex Stadium in the 15th minuteCredit: Reuters 8Marc Cucurella put Brighton 2-0 up early in the second half with a fine strikeCredit: Getty Ralf Rangnick’s rabble needed to win both their final two games just to match the 64 points earned in David Moyes’ solitary season at the helm. That measly total achieved under the Scot in the 2013-14 campaign had stood as the lowest haul of the era after Sir Alex Ferguson retired. But it has now been surpassed after Rangnick’s side were destroyed on the south coast by Brighton. Moises Caicedo and Marc Cucurella did the damage with their first goals in English football. 8Brighton midfielder Caicedo reacts after scoring against Manchester UnitedCredit: Getty READ MORE IN FOOTBALLUnited news Man Utd 'eye' Richarlison, Ten Hag DESPERATE for Ronaldo to...
    PREMIER LEAGUE referees Jon Moss and Martin Atkinson are hanging up their whistles and retiring at the end of the season. Both men are moving upstairs with new senior roles within the Professional Game Match Officials Limited. 2Referee Jon Moss is set to retire at the end of the Premier League seasonCredit: Getty Images - Getty 2The same goes for Martin Atkinson, who will move up to a different roleCredit: Rex Atkinson, 51, took charge of his first Premier League game in 2005 and went on to referee at the 2011 FA Cup Final between Manchester City and Stoke City. The Yorkshireman also famously abandoned a Euro 2016 qualifying match between Serbia and Albania after crowd disturbances and a drone was flown onto the pitch. Former PE teacher Moss, 51, taught Liverpool midfielder James Milner and sent him off in a match three years ago. Moss was appointed to the Premier League in 2010 but his first match was postponed due to snow and he did not take charge of a top-flight game until the following year. Read More on...
    MIGUEL ALMIRON'S brilliant winner leapfrogged Newcastle over a muted Crystal Palace side in the Prem mid-table. Attacking midfielder Almiron finally rewarded the Toon's dominance by curving a 32nd minute left-footer into the top corner following a pass from Bruno Guimaraes. 4Paraguay midfielder Miguel Almiron finds his own way of celebrating his openerCredit: Reuters 4Miguel Almiron fires Newcastle in front on 32 minutes against visitors PalaceCredit: Rex The Paraguayan picked up a booking for his crazy celebrations as he whipped off his top and leapt around. Palace's mediocre night got worse when they lost Michael Olise to injury on 40 minutes. Joelinto wasted a fine opportunity to double the Toon's lead. And as the Eagles struggled for rhythm they threw on Jean-Philippe Mateta and James McArthur for Cheikhou Kouyate and Conor Gallagher midway through the second period. More top football storiesHEAD'S GONE Allan Saint-Maximin to be BANNED from wearing headband he wore vs LeicesterLOFTY AMBITION Palace want Loftus-Cheek next term if Chelsea don't let them keep Gallagher FREE BETS AND SIGN UP DEALS - BEST NEW CUSTOMER OFFERS FULL REPORT TO...
    CRISTIANO RONALDO is ready to drive Manchester United into the Champions League. The Portuguese legend, 37, returned to training ahead of Saturday’s trip to struggling Everton, having missed United’s 1-1 draw with Leicester on Saturday through illness. 2Ronaldo was named Man Utd Player of the Month, and also won Premier League Goal of the MonthCredit: Getty 2Ronaldo posed with his awardsCredit: Instagram @cristiano And having scooped his third Red Devils Player of the Month award this campaign, he had a positive message for fans. He said: “I feel so happy and motivated for the rest of the season. I will do my best, like I do all the time. See you soon in Old Trafford. “Lovely. Thank you very much for these votes.” Read More SportMan Utd news live Rooney backs Pogba to LEAVE, Van Gaal reveals he's battling cancer Ronaldo has 12 Prem goals from 24 games and is in contention for United’s Player of the Year award. ...
    THE PGMOL and Mike Dean are yet to make a decision over the referee’s future. Dean, 53, oversaw Manchester City’s FA Cup quarter-final 4-1 win over Southampton at St Mary’s on Sunday amid speculation he could retire at the end of the campaign. 2Premier League Mike Dean could retire at the end of the seasonCredit: Eddie Keogh Telegraph Media Group 2Dean has taken charge of over 500 Premier League matchesCredit: Ian Walton Telegraph Media Group But speculation was rife that the veteran ref will walk away at the end of this campaign before he took charge of Manchester City’s FA Cup quarter-final victory over Southampton on Sunday. However, SunSport understands that no decision has been made so far by Dean or the refereeing governing body over whether he will continue next season. Should Dean put down his whistle at the end of the campaign, he could stretch his red card record by taking up the role of Video Assistant Referee at Stockley Park. Dean is about to finish his 22nd year of Premier League officiating having developed into one of...
    THE race for the top four in the Premier League has never been hotter. Manchester City and Liverpool are fighting it out for the title, with Pep Guardiola's side just about holding the aces. 6Man Utd were humiliated at Man City on Sunday and have won just two of their last six gamesCredit: AFP Chelsea have seen their challenge wilt since Christmas and will now have to settle for third or fourth. With just three months left in the season, there are FIVE teams fighting for fourth - crucially, the final Champions League spot. But who is favourite to snatch the last place? SunSport takes a look at the run-ins for Manchester United, West Ham, Arsenal, Wolves and Tottenham. ARSENAL Current position: 4th Games played: 25 Points: 48 Remaining fixtures: Leicester (h), Liverpool (h), Aston Villa (a), Crystal Palace (a), Brighton (h), Southampton (a), Man Utd (h), West Ham (a), Leeds (h), Newcastle (a), Everton (h), Spurs (a)*, Chelsea (a)* *Date to be confirmed 6Arsenal appear to be in the driving seat to finish in the top four this...
    DAN JAMES is on a double mission of keeping Leeds in the Premier League and taking Wales to the World Cup in Qatar. The £25million attacker faces Norwich at Elland Road today with the Yorkshire club losing their last six games to put them firmly in the relegation scrap. 1Dan James is hoping to keep Leeds in the Prem AND lead Wales to the World CupCredit: Getty Then James will spearhead Wales' forward line alongside Gareth Bale against Austria in a play-off semi-final on March 24 in a bid to take the next step of reaching the global finals - a feat the Dragons have not done since 1958. James said: "It would be very good. At the moment it's just concentrating on Leeds but at the back of your mind we've got these massive games coming up. Games everyone is looking forward to. "The whole country will be behind us like they were in the Euros. It's going to be a tough game and we have to prepare right. "I'm really excited for Austria. As soon as the...
    THE race for the top four in the Premier League has never been hotter. Manchester City and Liverpool are fighting it out for the title, with Pep Guardiola's side holding the aces. 5Man Utd rediscovered their winning form with a 2-0 win over Brighton on TuesdayCredit: Reuters Chelsea have seen their challenge wilt since Christmas and now look certain to settle for third place. With just three months left in the season, there are FIVE teams fighting for fourth - crucially, the final Champions League spot. But who is favourite to snatch the last place? SunSport takes a look at the run-ins for Manchester United, West Ham, Arsenal, Wolves and Tottenham. MAN UTD Current position: 4th Games played: 25 Points: 43 Remaining fixtures: Leeds (A), Watford (H), Man City (A), Tottenham (H), Liverpool (A), Leicester (H), Everton (A), Norwich (H), Arsenal (A), Brentford (H), Brighton (A), Chelsea (H), Crystal Palace (A). RALF RANGNICK and Co finally bagged a win after a string of 1-1 draws with a tense 2-0 victory over Brighton - effectively ending the Seagulls' push for...
    DARREN CARTER has criticised refereeing standards in the women’s top tier after Birmingham’s successful appeal against a ‘frustrating’ red card. And the St Andrew’s boss hopes talks with Bibiana Steinhaus-Webb, who oversees refs in the WSL, will lead to better officiating. 3Darren Carter believes WSL refereeing standards should match officiating levels in the Premier LeagueCredit: Reuters Carter, 38, was speaking days after Birmingham had a red card against Emily Ramsey rescinded. The 21-year-old keeper, currently on from Manchester United, was sent off in the 26th minute of Blues’ clash with Midlands rivals Leicester. And it was a game Carter’s club, who are battling to avoid relegation from the league, went on to lose 2-1. The interim Birmingham gaffer, whose team play Tottenham later, said: “Last Sunday's scenario unfortunately, came down to a lack of knowledge on the rule which is unbelievable. “But for us as coaches and managers we can only give our feedback on what we see and what we feel. “And it works the other way with match officials speaking to us and how we can help and...
    PEP GUARDIOLA has denied Manchester City are the best team in the world, insisting that honour goes to Chelsea and River Plate. The Premier League champions moved 12 points clear at the top of the table on Wednesday night with a comfortable 2-0 win over Brentford. 2Guardiola looks set to secure a fourth Prem title in five seasonsCredit: Getty 2Goals from Mahrez and De Bruyne handed City another victoryCredit: EPA But Guardiola, who has already won three Prem titles since arriving in England in 2016, believes his side cannot yet consider themselves at the top of the pile. Speaking after the match, he said: "We are not the best team in the world. "The best team is Chelsea, who won the Champions League, or River Plate, who won in South America. "The important thing is we won the game and in three days we go to Norwich and have to win again. "This type of thing about who is the...
    PREM clubs effectively declared an end to the Covid cash crisis as they went on a January spending spree. Transfers by the 20 top-flight teams added up to £274m over the month, according to figures compiled by Deloitte, the second highest January figure on record. 3 3Luis Diaz signed for Liverpool in a £37million deal from PortoCredit: EPA 3Kieran Trippier was part of Newcastle's £85million transfer spreeCredit: Getty And that was almost as much as the other four of the Big Five leagues COMBINED. Newcastle’s £85m splurge to bring in Kieran Trippier, Chris Wood and Brazilian Bruno Guimaraes led the way as the Toon began to utilise their new Saudi war chest. It helped take the Prem spend to the figure only exceeded by the £430m outlay in the 2018 window, which featured Virgil van Dijk’s move to Liverpool, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s arrival at Arsenal and Lucas Moura’s capture by Spurs. By contrast, top tier clubs in Germany, Italy, Spain and France splashed out £315m between them, meaning the Prem spend added up to 48 per cent of the total across...
    JACK WILSHERE still believes that he can play in the Premier League. The former England ace last turned out in the top flight for West Ham around 18 months ago. 2Jack Wilshere continues to train with ArsenalCredit: Getty He subsequently played for Bournemouth in the Championship, but has been without a club since being released by the Cherries in May. Having failed to join a new club last summer, Wilshere was invited to train with former side Arsenal by ex team-mate Mikel Arteta. And having been working with the Gunners since October, Wilshere believes that his game is still up to scratch at Premier League level. He told the Mail: "Yes. I’m confident I could deal with the physical side and have an influence. "‘I always said when I went back to Arsenal that I would make a decision about my next step at the end of January. "When you’ve been out the game, you never know which way it will go. Most read in Premier LeagueUNITED LATEST Ronaldo 'asks for Madrid return', Lingard to leave in summer, Palhinha...
    MO SALAH and Sadio Mane headlined the African Team of the Year for 2021. The Liverpool duo were two of the four Premier League stars to be included in the starting XI. 3The IFFHS African Team of the Year included four Premier League starters and five on the bench 3Sadio Mane was named on the left-wing with team-mate Mo Salah up frontCredit: AFP And the bench was dominated by players plying their trade in England's top flight. The International Federation of Football History & Statistics, who picked the side, went for an all-out-attack 3-3-4 formation. In goal was Chelsea and Senegal stopper Edouard Mendy who enjoyed a fine 2021, including lifting the Champions League in May. The back three was made up of Mendy's compatriot Kalidou Koulibaly at the heart of the defence with PSG and Morocco wing-back Achraf Hakimi on one side and Tunisian left-back Ali Maaloul on the other. Idrissa Gueye forced his way in to be Senegal's third representative in the starting XI. The PSG midfielder was joined in the middle of the...
    BRIGHTON finally landed a winning Prem punch thanks to some Boxing Day stunners. The Seagulls had gone 11 league games without a victory before Brentford arrived on the south coast – scoring just seven goals in the process. 4Brighton comfortably beat Brentford at the Amex to move back into the top-half on Boxing DayCredit: PA 4Leandro Trossard opened the scoring after 34 minutesCredit: Rex 4And Neal Maupay's peach sealed the Seagulls' first win in 12 before half-timeCredit: Getty To say a touch of class has eluded them is a serious understatement. But Santa must have treated Brighton’s goal-getters to some shooting boots as they delivered at the 12th time of asking to end the division’s longest winless streak. Leandro Trossard got the party started with real panache – a first time volley outside the box to lob Bees keeper Alvaro Fernandez in the 34th minute. And eight minutes later Neal Maupay fired a rocket from range into the top corner. At last, a killer instinct from Brighton. Where has this been since their previous three points on September 19th against...
    CRISTIANO RONALDO will reach an incredible 800 career goals for club and country if he finds the net at Stamford Bridge tomorrow. And his strike for Manchester United in the Champions League against Villarreal on Tuesday has almost single-handedly fired them into the last 16 with a game to spare — having scored six of their ten group-stage goals. 3A breakdown of Ronaldo's 799 goals for club and country The Portuguese has ten in 14 appearances since his dramatic return to Old Trafford. And yet some still think the 36-year-old unbalances United. The argument is that his late arrival this season upset Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s best-laid plans. He doesn’t press enough by all accounts to fit into modern-day systems. Football has moved on, you know. You wonder who starts these theories that people jump on. The fact is that the toughest part of the game is still something Ronaldo is the very best at, scoring goals, and he has done it 799 times in 19 incredible years as a player. Nobody senses chances like he does, finishes them so efficiently, or...
    REFEREE Michael Oliver has come under severe criticism after sending off Mats Hummels against Ajax in the Champions League. Hummels, 32, slid in on Anthony but the winger cleverly manoeuvred the ball to evade the German, before being taken out. Hummels being sent off for this tackle is beyond a joke. Michael Oliver showing once again how poor English Officials are pic.twitter.com/sw1PniVTLB— Oakley (@GeorgeOakley) November 3, 2021 2Matts Hummels gives Michael Oliver a bemused look after the referee brandished a red card 2Anthony appears to be the one who stepped on Hummels It was an innocuous challenge from the defender with little contact made, and if anything it seemed as though Anthony stepped on Hummels. But Anthony overreacted and rolled around on the ground, making a meal of the challenge and Oliver was convinced. He dished out the red card, much to the dismay of Hummels and his team-mates. Dortmund's Twitter account reacted by posting a number of question marks - as if they could not believe what they were seeing. But Oliver, who consulted VAR Stuart Atwell, was certain...
    MIKEL ARTETA fielded the youngest XIs in the Premier League NINE times out of the ten games played, with his Arsenal's average age coming in at 24.1-years-old at its lowest. The Gunners fielded their youngest two sides of their league campaign in their opening two fixtures. 2Arteta is getting a tune out of his young guns this seasonCredit: GETTY IMAGES 2Arsenal sit three points off fourth place West HamCredit: GETTY IMAGES But Arsenal lost both games to league newcomers Brentford and London rivals Chelsea. Academy product Folarin Balogun, 20, started the opening game with the Gunners short up front at that moment in time. But a poor performance saw him be swapped out for fellow 20-year-old Gabriel Martinelli against the Blues. The only other team to field a younger side than the Gunners was Southampton in matchweek nine. Ralph Hasenhuttl's team's average age in the 2-2 draw at home to Burnley came in at 24.9. Summer arrivals from Chelsea Tino Livramento, 18, and Armando Broja, 20, helped keep it on the low side. Most read in Premier LeagueUNITED...
    MO SALAH says the secret to his dazzling form is telling himself he’s the best player in the world. The Liverpool striker has struck 12 goals in his last 11 games and has been shortlisted for next month’s prestigious Ballon d’Or award. 1Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah tells himself he is the best player in the worldCredit: PA And ahead of today’s Prem showdown with Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United at Old Trafford, Salah declared: “It’s always the ambition to be the best player in the world. I don't have to lie. “It's something that drives me to work really hard and just try to be the best version of myself. “In my head, I’m the best player all the time. “I’m trying to have that confidence in my head. It doesn't matter if some people agree with you, some people not.” Kop boss Jurgen Klopp insists Salah is already the best player on the planet - ahead of Ronaldo and Lionel Messi and Salah added: “It sounds great to me, but it’s always opinion. “I’m just happy about my performance at...
    JAMIE CARRAGHER believes Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe is the "best player in the Premier League running the ball". Smith Rowe stood out during the Gunners' 3-1 win over Aston Villa, who tried to sign the Gunners' starlet last summer, at the Emirates. 2Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe received praise by Jamie Carragher and Gary NevilleCredit: Getty 2Arsenal ace Emile Smith Rowe created and scored a goal against Aston VillaCredit: AFP The playmaker created Thomas Partey's first Premier League goal and netted the third to seal an outstanding night for the hosts, who also saw Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang hitting the back of the net. Carragher was very impressed with Mikel Arteta's men but saved special praise for the 21-year-old. The Liverpool legend believes Smith Rowe is a standout in the Premier League and will soon become an essential part of the England squad. Carragher told Sky Sports: "I thought Arsenal were brilliant, I really did. It was very difficult for Villa to make two or three passes. "[Alexandre] Lacazette and Aubameyang were brilliant tonight. Even the supporters weren't sure who the...
    CHELSEA had four Englishmen score in the same game for the first time in Premier League history as they thrashed Norwich 7-0 on Saturday lunch time. Mason Mount bagged a hat-trick as Ben Chilwell, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James also got on the scoresheet at Stamford Bridge. 2Chelsea had four Englishmen score in the same game for the first time in Premier League historyCredit: EPA 2Mason Mount scored a hat-trick as Reece James, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chilwell also scoredCredit: AP In doing so, it became the first time Chelsea had four or more English players score for them (excluding own goals) in a Premier League game. It was also the first time it has happened in the Prem since Bournemouth played Hull in October 2016. Chilwell scored to make it 4-0 just before the hour mark and in doing so became the first English player to score in four consecutive Premier League games since Frank Lampard in February 2013. And on a record breaking afternoon in West London, the rout was the 18th time Chelsea have scored six or...
    FORGET stars like Romelu Lukaku, Mo Salah, Kevin De Bruyne and Cristiano Ronaldo — goalkeepers could hold the keys to such a tight title race. American Brad Friedel 50, played 450 Prem games in goal for Liverpool, Blackburn, Aston Villa and Tottenham. 6Friedel made 450 appearances in the Premier LeagueCredit: ©Ben Duffy 6Ederson and Alisson are widely regarded as the two best goalkeepers in the PremCredit: Reuters He spoke to SunSport to analyse just what sets the top four’s stoppers apart. EDERSON, MANCHESTER CITY If I was manager, I would choose him. Why? The way that football has transformed, with it being so important to be able to play out from the back, he has an extra little oomph. They are all really good at keeping the ball out of the net, so I’d go with the one who’s best at helping out the attack. 6Ederson's footballing ability is unmatchedCredit: AFP Pepe Reina was very good with his feet, as was Edwin van der Saar, but Ederson is the best we have seen in the Premier...
    CRISTIANO RONALDO is by far the most reluctant presser in the Premier League, according to statistics. Since the Portuguese forward returned to Manchester United, he has certainly proved that he still knows how to score goals. AP 3 Cristiano Ronaldo is a reluctant presser at 36 But the 36-year-old is a very different player to the one we last saw in the Premier League 12 years ago. Gone is the energy and the blistering pace. The current iteration of Ronaldo is a savvy, deadly goalscorer. But little else. In stats unearthed by The Athletic, Ronaldo is shown to have made just 2.7 pressures per 90 minutes – making him the worst pressing forward in the league. His figure is by far the lowest of any forward that has played at least 270 minutes so far this season. Most read in Premier League FOOTIE LIVE Violence in West Ham vs Rapid Vienna, Fikayo Tomori IN England squad DAWS IN AWE Michael Dawson told to ‘calm down’ on Sky Sports reacting to Ronaldos winner POLICE PROBE Diego Costa named as player...
    CRISTIANO RONALDO is loving life back in the Premier League as he netted his third league goal in two games. The 36-year-old scored two on his second debut for Manchester United against Newcastle on Saturday, September 11. 3Ronaldo made sure to finish off the rebound after seeing his initial shot saved by FabianskiCredit: GETTY IMAGES Ronaldo then followed it up with a goal in the Champions League against Young Boys. But the Red Devils fell apart after an Aaron Wan-Bissaka red card and they shockingly lost the game 2-1. And in Sunday's clash against West Ham, the legendary forward scored the equaliser, cancelling out Said Benrahma's first half opener. Ronaldo was picked out by fellow countryman Bruno Fernandes, he saw his first effort saved by Lukasz Fabianski, but made sure to finish off the rebound. United went on to win the game 2-1 with Jesse Lingard scoring a stunning winner in the dying minutes. On the win, Ronaldo said on Instagram: "Every game in the Premier League is always an amazing fight for the...
    THIAGO SILVA created Chelsea history with his goal against Tottenham on Sunday. The defender, 36, became Chelsea's second-oldest goalscorer when he headed his team in front at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. 3Thiago Silva celebrates scoring Chelsea's opener against Tottenham 3Didier Drogba celebrates beating Leicester in 2015 after netting as Chelsea's eldest goalscorer Thiago Silva turns 37 on Wednesday and only one man has scored for the Blues at that age - a certain Didier Drogba. The Chelsea legend scored against Leicester in 2015 aged 37 years and 49 days. There is still plenty of time left in the season for the Brazilian to break that record, though he only managed two goals last term. However, if he maintains the level of performance he showed against Spurs it is likely Thomas Tuchel will continue to pick him in the centre of his five-man defence. Thiago Silva kept Harry Kane quiet to secure yet another clean sheet - his third in four appearances this season. Chelsea could have fallen behind in the first-half however so Thiago Silva grabbing the opening goal was...
    IT WASN’T too long ago that Oldham were in the Premier League. Maybe just clinging on to their status, but they were among the founding members in a revolution back in 1992 that transformed English and even world football. 2Portsmouth have struggled since their relegation from the Prem in 2010Credit: PA:Empics Sport Today, the Latics are struggling in a painfully different way, half-bust and near the foot of League Two. A batch of once-proud Prem members now populate the lower two leagues. Ironically, one of them, Sunderland, were previously dubbed 'the Bank of England' club as they were so willing to spend on star players. Those days are long gone but support remains resolute. It will be a surprise, should their average attendance fall below 30,000 and they hold the record for the highest League One attendance at 46,039. Asking the question, 'Why aren’t they back in the Premier League?' is irresistible. Huge support, Wearside devotion and big potential earnings. Most read in EFLLive BlogTRANSFER NEWS Chelsea continue defender search, Kylian Mbappe to sign for Real for FREELive BlogGunners news Lacazette 'to reject new...
    ARSENAL wouldn't have been looking forward to playing an unbeaten West Brom after being bullied by Romelu Lukaku and Chelsea. But Mikel Arteta's side were sparred on Wednesday evening as they eased to a big win after Baggies manager Valerien Ismael deployed the kids. 2Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a stunning hat-trick against West BromCredit: Getty Arsenal's quality and experience was the difference, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang showing up in the right place at the right time for his goals. The Gunners have dearly missed their skipper this season and will need him to stay fit and hungry if they're to qualify for Europe. Aubameyang's strike partners Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pepe also looked sharp and ready to cause Prem defences problems in the coming weeks. Saka was particularly impressive in the Midlands, taking his goal beautifully and showing why he's the club's main hope for the future. Although Arsenal were superb in attack, their defence weren't even Championship standard - let alone Premier League. The visitors made a poor start to the game, with their young opponents having two shots at Aaron...
    PREMIER LEAGUE debutants Amad Diallo and Anthony Elanga were shown exactly how to do it for Manchester United - by a fellow teenager. Mason Greenwood, 19, led the line against Leicester on Tuesday, flanked by the wing duo of Elanga, also 19, and Amad, 18. 3Mason Greenwood was teed up by Amad Diallo for Manchester United's goalCredit: AFP 3Anthony Elanga also showed promise on his league debutCredit: Guardian News & Media / Free to use by all titles in perpetuity under NMC agreement Although Ole Gunnar Solskjaer voiced his fury at having to play three games in five days, it created a great opportunity to take a look at the next generation in what was realistically a dead rubber for the Red Devils. There was no Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford or Edinson Cavani to take centre stage from Greenwood, who had nowhere to hide in the central striker's role. And the Euro 2020 hopeful showed his upturn in form, with eight goals in 11 games, is no fluke. A delightful swivel and finish put United level in the first-half and...
    IT STARTED with the madness of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, claiming the Super League was the only solution to “save football”. Then it was Fifa president Gianni Infantino, firing his warning shot to the rebel 12. 6  By mid-morning, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was personally promising to bring the plot crashing down. Then we heard Uefa chief Aleksander Ceferin urging the Premier League’s “dirty half dozen” to own up to their “mistake” and apologise to the fans who “bleed themselves dry” for their football clubs. And that was just the start of football’s longest day, a battle for the soul of the game that ended with the bodies of the victims strewn over the Prem’s boardroom tables. With Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy savaged by the left-behind gang, metaphorical blood weeping from the wounds inflicted by the Angry Brigade, who were not soothed by his messages of contrition. With Manchester City and Chelsea both insisting they were the first to realise the £4.6billion house of cards was doomed and jumping out of the first floor window. And finally with Ed...
    TEEMU PUKKI is such a star in Finland he has a cocktail named after him — and parties held in his honour. And the striker is surely going to be responsible for quite a few hangovers over the coming months. 5Teemu Pukki is hoping to be responsible for a few hangovers over the coming monthsCredit: Rex 5The Norwich star has cocktails named after him back in FinlandCredit: Supplied First, he looks certain to help shoot Norwich back into the Premier League and then lead the hopes of his nation in this summer’s Euros. So cocktails all round. ‘The Pukki’ consists of Finnish vodka, sour apple liqueur, apple puree and lemonade — while ‘The Canary’ is vodka, peach liqueur and orange juice. And Norwich were selling them for ten Euros at a ‘Pukki Party’ they staged in Helsinki to celebrate Finland’s qualification to the Euros for the first time in their history. Pukki laughed: “I bet it was great to drink that day and they sold loads.” So the burning question is what would the Canaries striker drink at a ‘Pukki...
    PREMIER LEAGUE fans MUST wear masks in their seats when top flight turnstiles reopen tomorrow - in a bid to get up to 20,000 supporters in grounds by the end of the season. The 20 Prem clubs agreed new Covid regulations to cover the first crowd attendances in the League since March. 2Premier League fans have to wear masks in their seats when they return to stadiums this weekendCredit: Getty Images - Getty They include urging fans to 'moderate' their singing and shouting, although chants will not - unlike hugging fellow supporters - be banned. But while Government guidelines indicated fans would only have to wear masks on entry and in concourses, the club chiefs agreed to enforce the tougher measures. By mandating mask wearing except when fans are eating or drinking, clubs would be able to seat supporters at 1m distance in the most modern grounds. And that could allow up to one third of total capacities - 20,000 or more for the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Newcastle, Spurs, Arsenal and West Ham - before the...
    IVAN TONEY claims to have the confidence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the singing voice of Neil Diamond. And while no-one at Brentford has yet heard him belt out Sweet Caroline or Forever In Blue Jeans, they have certainly seen his self-assurance in front of goal. 5Ivan Toney has got off to a storming start to life at Brentford with 10 goals The striker – yet to do his initiation song which he promises to be a Diamond classic – believes he has Ibrahimovic qualities that will help shoot him and the Bees into the Premier League. Toney, 24, signed for £5m from Peterborough in the summer, was the man tasked with filling Ollie Watkins’ shoes after his £28m switch to Aston Villa. And while Watkins thumped 28 goals last season, his replacement has already fired 10 goals in his first 11 games and has just won the SkyBet Championship player of the month award. And he told SunSport: “I’ve always liked Zlatan. I just love his confidence.  Some people see it as arrogance but you must be like that...
    MANCHESTER UNITED could be pitted against neighbours and bitter rivals Manchester City on the OPENING week of the season. But they would only be paired as a “ghost game” which would not take place before… December. 2Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will be keen for his European battlers to have a decent break before the season re-startsCredit: Getty Images - Getty 2Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is desperate to end the season with Europa League silverwareCredit: Getty Images - Getty Next term’s Prem fixtures are scheduled to be announced on Friday August 21. Prem fixture boffins are hard at work squeezing 380 matches into an eight-month window while also being aware of FA Cup, Carabao Cup, European and international dates. Club bosses agreed last month that the new campaign will begin in the weekend of September 12. But both Manchester giants will be ruled out of playing on any date that weekend if they extend their delayed European campaigns. MAN UTD NEWS LIVE: Click here for the latest United news Fifa rules mandate a 30-day rest period between the...
    HE has issued the "come and get me" plea – but will anyone take the gamble on forgotten man Daniel Sturridge? The free agent said he has unfinished business on these shores and is pining for a return to the Prem. 4Sturridge had his Trabzonspor contract torn up in March over betting breachesCredit: Getty Images - Getty With 105 goals to his name in England, it is surely a no-brainer that someone will take the plunge. But when it comes to Sturridge, life is never that simple. His contract with Turkish side Trabzonspor was ripped up in March after he was hit with a four-month ban for breaching betting rules. After 21 goals for Liverpool took them agonisingly close to the title in 2014, it has been a dramatic fall from grace for the ex-England striker. Injury after injury has stalled a career that promised so much. And now in last-chance saloon, Sturridge yesterday announced his comeback, putting Prem sides up and down the country on red alert. But with question marks over his fitness and character lingering, will he...
    FORMER Blackburn Rovers and Manchester City striker Roque Santa Cruz was on target for Olimpia at the weekend. It was a goal that makes him the top scorer in the first national league to get going in South America since the coronavirus enforced shutdown in March. 4Roque Santa Cruz, at 38, is the leading scorer in ParaguayCredit: Getty Images - Getty Paraguay was wisely playing behind closed doors even while Europe was still staging matches with full stadiums. The outcome of its caution is a virus death toll of just 41, allowing them to restart the football championship last Tuesday. The local league is much more interesting than might be expected from a poor country with a population of little more than 7 million. OLIMPIA LEAD THE LEAGUE There is the rivalry of the traditional big two, Olimpia and Cerro Porteno. And over the last 20 years Libertad have emerged as a major force. Coached by one time Oxford United boss Ramon Diaz, they are the current league leaders. These teams are usually competitive in continental competitions. Olimpia have three...
    LIVERPOOL have won the title by 18 points but it won’t be a one-horse race again next season. Manchester United and Chelsea will join second-placed Manchester City in making sure Jurgen Klopp doesn’t find it another cruise at the top. 3Liverpool are champions this year, but next season it will be closerCredit: AP:Associated Press The Big Four are all back in the Champions League following the final fixtures yesterday. United have been on an unbelievable run of 14 games unbeaten in the league and once again, in their 2-0 victory at Leicester, the brilliant Bruno Fernandes was key to their success. His pass to Anthony Martial was sublime and, after the Frenchman was fouled, he stuck away the penalty for the opening goal. Whether Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team can get back to where their fans believe they belong depends on who they get in. They obviously need strengthening. They need three or four if they want to challenge for the league. Certainly going forward is not going to be an issue — Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford are only going...
    LIVERPOOL have won the title by 18 points but it won’t be a one-horse race again next season. Manchester United and Chelsea will join second-placed Manchester City in making sure Jurgen Klopp doesn’t find it another cruise at the top. 3Liverpool are champions this year, but next season it will be closerCredit: AP:Associated Press The Big Four are all back in the Champions League following the final fixtures yesterday. United have been on an unbelievable run of 14 games unbeaten in the league and once again, in their 2-0 victory at Leicester, the brilliant Bruno Fernandes was key to their success. His pass to Anthony Martial was sublime and, after the Frenchman was fouled, he stuck away the penalty for the opening goal. Whether Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team can get back to where their fans believe they belong depends on who they get in. They obviously need strengthening. They need three or four if they want to challenge for the league. Certainly going forward is not going to be an issue — Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford are only going...
    MANCHESTER UNITED lead the Premier League in goals scored against them being overturned by VAR - with SEVEN alone this season. This season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been indebted to video technology time and time again. 7VAR is quickly becoming Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's best friendCredit: EPA From Sadio Mane's handball goal in October to Jordan Ayew's disallowed strike on Thursday night, Man Utd have been very lucky, indeed. Between that and their constant winning of penalties - even earning one against Aston Villa after Bruno Fernandes stamped on Ezri Konsa - United chiefs might want to consider playing the lottery. Man Utd will certainly hope VAR sticks around, while other clubs, including West Ham, aim to abolish it. We've taken a look at all seven goals against United ruled out by VAR this season... MAN UTD 1 LIVERPOOL 1 - October 22 7Mane's goal against Man Utd in October was ruled out for handballCredit: Getty JURGEN KLOPP'S side went into the game with a 100 per cent record, only to be ruined with a draw at Old Trafford. But it...
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