Defoe Receives League Cup Medal 10 Years After Spurs Win

 

Former Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe was presented with a 2008 English League Cup winners’ medal on Monday, more than 10 years after Spurs beat Chelsea in the final.

The 36-year-old left White Hart Lane for Portsmouth less than a month before the game at Wembley and had scored in the fifth-round victory over Manchester City.

“I remember contributing to help the boys get to that stage and after that it was actually nice to sit back and watch the lads go on to lift the trophy,” Defoe told the English Football League’s website.

“It’s obviously a nice feeling to have been a part of the history of that club, such a big club that had been used to winning competitions over the previous years. It’s special.”

Defoe, who now plays for Bournemouth, was given his medal at the Vitality Stadium and said that he was cheering on his former teammate as Spurs edged Chelsea 2-1 in extra time a decade ago.

“At the end of the day, they’re all your friends and you still want them to win, to get your medal,” he added.

“It was a great performance against a top Chelsea team, so to win it in the way they did was brilliant.”

Defoe returned for a second spell at Tottenham later in 2008, and made 363 appearances for the club in total, scoring 143 goals.

AFP

Defoe Joins Bournemouth On Free Transfer

Photo: Wikimedia

England and Sunderland striker, Jermain Defoe, has joined AFC Bournemouth on a free transfer.

The striker who joined Bournemouth on a three-year deal made 93 appearances for Sunderland, scoring 37 goals while cultivating an ever-lasting relationship with the Sunderland fans.

Defoe reignited his England career while on Wearside with Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate recalling him in March 2017, and he did what he does best with a Wembley return resulting in his 20th international goal.

The 34-year-old scored his 150th Premier League goal on November 19, 2016, in a 3–0 home win against Hull City, becoming the joint seventh highest goalscorer in Premier League history.

Read Also: Liverpool Complete £36.9m Signing Of Mohamed Salah

Sunderland Reject West Ham’s £6m Bid For Defoe

Sunderland, West Ham, Jermain DefoeSunderland have rejected West Ham’s £6 million bid for striker Jermain Defoe.

Sources revealed that the Hammers would raise their offer for the English forward who began his career at the east London club.

He has scored 11 goals in 21 appearances for Sunderland in the ongoing Premier League season.

The 34-year-old netted his latest goals on Monday where his side fought from a goal down to draw 2-2 with Liverpool.

He began his career at West Ham before moving to Tottenham in 2004.

He later joined Portsmouth in January 2008 before he returned to Spurs the following year for a £15 million deal.

Arsenal Crush Sunderland 4-1 In League Match

Sunderland, ArsenalArsenal defeated Sunderland 4-1 in an English Premier League match at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

Arsene Wenger’s side displayed another brilliant performance on the road with fit-again Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez staring.

Alexis Sanchez set the pace for goal scoring as he utilised Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s assist in the 19th minute.

The Gunners maintained the lead till the end of the first half and some minutes after the second half before Jermain Defoe levelled the scores for David Moyes’ side from the penalty spot.

Oliver Giroud subsequently set Arsenal on the lead once more and later added another within six minutes.

In a space of two minutes, Sanchez netted his second goal to secure the victory for the North Londoners.

Arsenal went on top of league table but returned to second place after Manchester City delivered a similar result, by ruthlessly trashing West Brom 4-0 away.

The trio of Man City, Arsenal and Liverpool have with 23 points from 10 matches but City are ahead on superior goal difference with Liverpool in third place.

Meanwhile, Sunderland are last on the table with two points from 10 games.

Xhaka Looks Forward To Arsenal’s ‘Family Atmosphere’

Granit Xhaka, ArsenalGranit Xhaka says former Gunners Havard Nordtveit, Johan Djourou and Philippe Senderos encouraged him to join the “family” atmosphere at Arsenal.

The 23-year-old midfielder arrived in north London as Arsène Wenger’s first signing of the summer, having spent the last four years at Borussia Monchengladbach.

Xhaka says his former Gladbach team-mate Nordtveit and Swiss compatriots Djourou and Senderos talked up the positive atmosphere at the club.

“I spoke with [Nordtveit] about Arsenal and he told me it’s a big club, a family club and it’s very important for me to come here,” Xhaka told Arsenal Player.

“Philippe played here and I play with him in the national team. Johan and Philippe have only told me positive things.

“Arsenal is Arsenal. It’s not a small club, it’s a very big club and it’s like a family. It’s very good for me because I love my family and to have another family here is very good.”

Xhaka progressed through the youth ranks of Mohamed Elneny’s former side Basel, and the 23-year-old says he is looking forward to playing with the Egyptian.

“I know him by name, but when I went to Monchengladbach he came to Basel,” he said. “My brother played with him and I had heard of him before I came here. In Switzerland we produce very good young players and many of these players have come to England. That’s very good.”

 

Wenger Hails Arsenal Character In Man City Draw

ArsenalArsenal manager, Arsene Wenger believes his side have the character to seal a top-three finish in the Barclays Premier League going by the manner in which they drew 2-2 draw at Manchester City.

The Gunners extended their unbeaten run to nine league matches as they came from behind twice through goals for Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez against City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

Arsenal now need a point in their final match of the season, against relegated Aston Villa on Sunday, to guarantee third place in the table.

“We have seen again today that we just want to finish the job with the result,” Wenger said. “We have had strong concentration in recent games and our character has been questioned a few times this season.

“We gave the right response today on the pitch, but you have to say if you look we have the best results against the top-four teams. That doesn’t come without character.”

Wenger also said striker Danny Welbeck will have a scan on his knee on Monday to determine the extent of an injury that forced him off the field in the 59th minute.

“I hope that it is not bad one and a meniscus.” Wenger added. “We tried to keep him on the pitch and straight away he tried to move on and he said it was impossible. At half time, I looked at him and he was very down so he must have pain.”

Manchester City manager, Manuel Pellegrini, was remorseful that things did not end well as the result means that Manchester United will now finish above them if they win both their final league matches.

“It was not the way we wanted to finish the season, We wanted to qualify for the Champions League final and to win again today.

“But there are three years of work here, for me, three wonderful and unforgettable years so all I can say to all the fans is thanks for all of it.

“I will never forget you and, most of all, don’t change. Continue the same way because I’m sure next year that this team will need you and will be a very successful team in all the competitions.”

Losing out on Champions League qualification would prove a disaster for incoming City boss, Pep Guardiola.

Manchester United Force Leicester City To Wait For Title

Leicester CityLeicester City were held to a 1-1 draw by Manchester United at Old Trafford and will have to wait to complete their fairytale Barclays Premier League triumph.

The Foxes needed a win to be crowned champions with two matches to spare.

Claudio Ranieri’s unchanged side had a passive start and Anthony Martial capitalised by opening the scoring but captain Wes Morgan headed a 16th-minute equaliser.

Leicester will emerge as champions at home to Everton next weekend if Tottenham Hotspur fail to beat Chelsea on Monday, while any victory from City or slip-up by Spurs will complete the remarkable story that Sunday’s draw left dangling.

United, who could not capitalise on a late red card for Danny Drinkwater, lost ground on Arsenal and Manchester City in the race for a top-four spot but edged ahead of West Ham United into fifth.

 

Sunderland, Arsenal Draw Goalless As Leicester Crush Swansea

premier leagueEnglish Premier League side, Sunderland are out of the relegation zone following a goalless draw against Arsenal at the Stadium of Light.

Both sides had penalty shouts turned down in the first half, as referee Mike Dean waved away appeals from Jermain Defoe and Alex Iwobi.

Patrick Van Aanholt went closest to breaking the deadlock when his free-kick hit the post, while former Arsenal goalkeeper, Vito Mannone made several impressive saves to preserve his clean sheet.

As Sunderland pressed for a vital winner in the second half, Arsenal Petr Cech stood strong with equally impressive saves to ensure both teams shared the points.

Leicester City moved within sight of the Premier League crown after cruising to a 4-0 victory over Swansea City at the King Power Stadium also on Sunday.

Claudio Ranieri’s side were without the suspended Jamie Vardy for the game, but still cruised past the Swans to establish an eight-point lead in the Premier League.

Mahrez opened the scoring while Ulloa added a brace either side of half-time and Albrighton made it 4-0 late on.

Second-placed Tottenham face West Brom at White Hart Lane on Monday evening.

In other matches played on Saturday, Super Eagles forward Kelechi Iheanacho helped Manchester City beat Stoke City 4-0 in the day’s lunchtime kick-off.

The 19-year-old scored twice in the 64th and 74th minute adding to further strikes from Fernando and Sergio Aguero.

Iheanacho who also recorded an assist against the potters now has 5 goals in the Premier League this season.

The big win ensures that Man City has leapfrogged Arsenal to occupy the third position on goal difference.

In other games, Liverpool and Newcastle battled to a 2-2 draw in Rafael Benitez’s return to Anfield.

Chelsea beat AFC Bournemouth 4-1, while already relegated Aston Villa lost 2-4 against Southampton.

 

Aguero and Koeman Named EPL’s Best For January

agueroManchester City striker, Sergio Aguero, and Southampton manager, Ronald Koeman, have been named the Premier League’s Player and Manager of the Month.

Both completed individual hat-tricks after winning the Barclays awards for the third time.

Five goals and one assist in January helped Aguero to claim the Barclays Player of the Month award for a third time. The previous occasions were in October 2013 and November 2014.

Aguero, who won the Barclays Golden Boot last season, scored once against Watford and twice each against Crystal Palace and West Ham United in January.

He completed 70 successful passes and had a shooting accuracy of 57% in his 349 minutes played in the month.

The 27-year-old Argentinian beat Sunderland’s Jermain Defoe, Liverpool forward, Roberto Firmino, Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, Dele Alli, the Leicester City goalkeeper, Kasper Schmeichel, and Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk to the award.

Koeman is the only Dutchman to have won the award and scooped his third Barclays Manager of the Month trophy thanks to victories by Southampton over Watford, West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United in January.

He piped Man City manager, Manuel Pellegrini, West Ham’s Slaven Bilic and Spurs head coach, Mauricio Pochettino, to the accolade, which he previously won in September 2014 and January 2015.