Norwich Relegated From Premier League As West Ham’s Antonio Scores Four

West Ham United's English midfielder Michail Antonio (L) shoots and scores a goal next to Norwich City's English midfielder Ben Godfrey during the English Premier League football match between Norwich City and West Ham United at Carrow Road in Norwich, eastern England on July 11, 2020. Ian Walton / POOL / AFP
West Ham United’s English midfielder Michail Antonio (L) shoots and scores a goal next to Norwich City’s English midfielder Ben Godfrey during the English Premier League football match between Norwich City and West Ham United at Carrow Road in Norwich, eastern England on July 11, 2020.
Ian Walton / POOL / AFP

 

Norwich were condemned to a record fifth relegation from the Premier League as Michail Antonio’s four-goal blitz fired West Ham to a 4-0 win at Carrow Road on Saturday.

A seventh successive league defeat for Daniel Farke’s side sealed their fate as Antonio’s ruthless display boosted West Ham’s own survival bid.

Norwich are 13 points from safety with only three games left, meaning they are certain to make an immediate return to the Championship after last season’s promotion campaign.

The Canaries have become accustomed to relegation in the Premier League era, going down on four previous occasions in 1995, 2005, 2014 and 2016.

Farke was already resigned to relegation before this weekend given Norwich had lost every game since the coronavirus hiatus.

“We wanted to beat the odds again but when the dust settles the outcome is more or less what was expected. It doesn’t take anything away from the fact that we are disappointed,” Farke said.

“From the first day after promotion our chances to survive were perhaps 5 percent so in 19 out of 20 cases you will go down. If you have luck and no injuries then you have a chance.

“When we are 100 percent we are competitive but when it’s 96 or 97 percent then it sometimes looks like men against boys. That’s what I expected.”

With all games being played behind closed doors, some Norwich fans might have been relieved not to have to watch the embarrassment of their limp demise in person.

In truth, they have looked out of their depth among the Premier League elite from the moment they paid the price for a naively attacking game-plan in a 4-1 defeat at Liverpool on the opening day of the season.

Farke was hamstrung by Norwich’s decision not to spend big money on new signings following their promotion.

Since Teemu Pukki’s early-season goal rush dried up, they have been on a relentless slide towards the Championship.

A 3-2 win over Manchester City was a rare highlight but just weeks later a 5-1 home defeat against Aston Villa underlined the problems undermanned Norwich would endure all season.

Norwich face losing promising youngsters Todd Cantwell and Max Aarons to Premier League clubs when the transfer window opens.

West Ham’s second win in four games was a huge lift to their hopes of staying up.

David Moyes’ side are six points above the bottom three with three games left against Watford, Manchester United and Aston Villa.

The early signs were ominous for Norwich as West Ham took the lead in the 11th minute.

Arriving to meet Issa Diop’s flick from Jarrod Bowen’s corner, Antonio volleyed into the roof of the net from close-range for his third goal in his last four games.

Norwich were surrendering with a whimper and Antonio pushed them closer to the relegation trap door in first half stoppage-time.

Rising above the meek challenge of two Norwich defenders, Antonio glanced his header into the far corner from Mark Noble’s free-kick.

Antonio was proving unplayable for the leaky Norwich rearguard and he completed his hat-trick in the 54th minute, looping a header into the net after Tim Krul saved his initial effort.

Antonio completed a memorable personal performance with his fourth goal in the 74th minute, coolly finishing from Ryan Fredericks’ cross.

Troy Deeney scored two penalties as Watford improved their survival prospect with a 2-1 win against Newcastle at Vicarage Road.

Newcastle snatched the lead in the 23rd minute when Matt Ritchie’s corner was flicked on by Federico Fernandez and Dwight Gayle bundled home at the far post for his third goal of the season.

But Deeney pulled Watford level seven minutes after the restart.

Kiko Femenia was clipped inside the area by Ritchie and Deeney smashed the penalty past Martin Dubravka.

In the 82nd minute, Javier Manquillo brought down Ismaila Sarr and Deeney stepped up again to bury his second penalty.

Fourth bottom Watford are now six points clear of third bottom Bournemouth, who face Leicester on Sunday.

Second bottom Aston Villa are seven points adrift of safety before Sunday’s clash with Crystal Palace.

 

AFP

West Ham Stun Chelsea, Aubameyang Fires Arsenal Revival

Arsenal's Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates after scoring a goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Norwich City at the Emirates Stadium in London on July 1, 2020. (Photo by Shaun Botterill / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /
Arsenal’s Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang celebrates after scoring a goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Norwich City at the Emirates Stadium in London on July 1, 2020. (Photo by Shaun Botterill / POOL / AFP) /

 

 

West Ham rocked Chelsea’s top-four hopes and boosted their survival bid with a dramatic 3-2 win, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck twice as Arsenal climbed back into European contention with a 4-0 thrashing of Norwich on Wednesday.

Chelsea were hoping to take advantage of third-placed Leicester’s 2-1 defeat at Everton earlier in the day, but instead, the Blues were beaten for the first time since the Premier League restart.

West Ham were denied the opening goal at the London Stadium when VAR ruled Michail Antonio was offside as he lay on the ground while Tomas Soucek slotted home.

Willian fired Chelsea ahead from the penalty spot five minutes before half-time after Issa Diop tripped Christian Pulisic.

Soucek headed home in first-half stoppage time as West Ham finally scored their first goal since the restart.

Antonio put West Ham in front in the 51st minute when he slid in to convert Jarrod Bowen’s cross.

Willian’s superb 70th-minute free-kick drew Chelsea level, but it was West Ham who broke away to win it in the 89th minute when substitute Andriy Yarmolenko finished a brilliant counter attack.

Chelsea are one point behind Leicester and only two ahead of Manchester United and Wolves as the race to qualify for the Champions League hots up with six games left.

West Ham’s crucial first win since the restart moved them three points clear of the relegation zone.

At the Emirates Stadium, Aubameyang moved alongside Jamie Vardy as the Premier League’s top scorer on 19 goals on a night of contrasting fortunes for the Golden Boot contenders.

Arsenal registered a third straight win to move up to seventh against a Norwich side ever more resigned to relegation.

Canaries keeper Tim Krul did his side no favours by gifting the opener to Aubameyang when he was caught trying to dribble past the Gabon international.

Aubameyang’s first saw him reach 50 Premier League goals in 79 appearances — making him the fastest Arsenal player to reach that landmark.

“A player that is able to score as many goals as he has done in that short space of time tells you everything about the importance that he has for us,” said Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.

Aubameyang turned provider for Granit Xhaka to make it 2-0 before half-time and was then handed another gift when Norwich striker Josip Drmic teed him up to make it 3-0.

Cedric Soares, signed from Southampton in January, made his debut one to remember with a long-range strike nine minutes from time to round off the scoring.

 

Leicester lose more ground 

Leicester are headed in the opposite direction as their winless run since English football’s restart from the coronavirus pandemic stretched to four games.

Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson’s penalty gave Everton the perfect start at Goodison Park.

Kelechi Iheanacho’s fortunate goal as the ball ricocheted in off his face reduced Leicester’s arrears and they pressed hard for an equaliser in the closing stages.

Michael Keane’s clearance off the line spared Jordan Pickford’s blushes after another huge error from the England number one.

“Our form hasn’t been the best for a period now but we still have it in our hands to achieve what would be a dream for us, getting into the top four,” said Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers. “But we can only get that if the performance is right.”

At the bottom of the table, Bournemouth also suffered a huge blow in their battle to beat the drop with a humiliating 4-1 home defeat by Newcastle.

Dwight Gayle, Sean Longstaff, Miguel Almiron, and Valentino Lazaro were on target for the Magpies, who were not distracted by the ongoing uncertainty around the club over a proposed Saudi takeover.

Bournemouth remains in the bottom three and the margin of defeat could also prove costly as they drop below Aston Villa on goal difference into 19th.

 

 

-AFP

Kane Scores As Tottenham Edge West Ham In London Derby

Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane (R) scores the second goal past West Ham United's Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on June 23, 2020. Julian Finney / POOL / AFP
Tottenham Hotspur’s English striker Harry Kane (R) scores the second goal past West Ham United’s Polish goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on June 23, 2020. Julian Finney / POOL / AFPs As 

 

Harry Kane scored his first goal of 2020 as Tottenham breathed new life into their challenge for a Champions League place next season with a 2-0 win over West Ham on Tuesday.

The England captain looked far more like his old self after a laboured performance in his first appearance for six months against Manchester United on Friday and was rewarded with a goal eight minutes from time.

Tomas Soucek’s own goal had opened the scoring as West Ham remain precariously poised outside the relegation zone only on goal difference.

Jose Mourinho’s men were well worthy of a first win in eight games dating back to February.

Victory takes Spurs to within six points of the top four and within one of Manchester United in fifth.

Should Manchester City’s appeal against a two-season ban from European competitions not prove successful, fifth would be good enough to qualify for the 2020/21 Champions League.

In keeping with many of the 14 games since the Premier League’s restart seven days ago, this was another slow burner as Spurs took time to start picking holes in West Ham’s rearguard.

Mourinho expressed his delight pre-match at having six fit attacking options available for the first time since taking charge in November.

The Portuguese recalled Lucas Moura and Dele Alli to partner Kane and Son Heung-min in attack with Steven Bergwijn and Erik Lamela dropping to the bench.

Son thought he had broken the deadlock on the stroke of half-time with a smart finish at Lukasz Fabianski’s near post, but the goal was ruled out for offside after a VAR review.

Spurs still had an even better chance to go in ahead at the break only for Lucas to skew wide when unmarked inside the area.

Mourinho launched an impassioned defence of his record of working with world-class strikers on the eve of the game after criticism that his playing style could see Kane look for pastures new.

And Kane had no shortage of opportunities after the break as his near post flick was turned behind by Fabianksi before he fired wide after sprinting the full length of the field as Spurs broke dangerously from a West Ham corner.

In between times, Pablo Fornals dragged wide West Ham’s big chance to go in front and aid their battle to beat the drop.

But David Moyes’s men were undone by one of their own when Soucek unwittingly turned a corner into his own net 26 minutes from time.

Jarrod Bowen smashed a shot against the post as the visitors suddenly had to alter their gameplan of containing Tottenham to look for an equaliser.

But in doing so, they left themselves exposed at the back and Kane timed his run perfectly from a Son pass before coolly slotting past Fabianski and collapsing to the ground in a mixture of relief and exhaustion.

AFP

Eight West Ham Players Have COVID-19 Symptoms, In Self-Isolation

PHOTO USED TO ILLUSTRATE STORY: West Ham United’s Ukrainian striker Andriy Yarmolenko celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s first goal during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Manchester United at The London Stadium, in east London on September 22, 2019. Ian KINGTON / AFP

 

West Ham have eight players in self-isolation after showing mild symptoms of the coronavirus, according to the club’s vice-chairwoman Karren Brady.

The Hammers are the latest Premier League club to be hit by the pandemic.

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi — both now recovered — and several unnamed Leicester players tested positive for the virus.

“I am relieved to say they are all showing mild symptoms and, along with their families, seem to be well,” Brady told The Sun newspaper on Saturday.

“But it is no more than a handshake, sneeze or cough away from any of us, so no one should be complacent.”

West Ham’s players are training at home and the club hopes to resume regular sessions at its base when Britain’s lockdown period ends on April 13.

The Premier League season is suspended until at least April 30, with reports suggesting there will be a further delay or even cancellation of the remaining fixtures.

But Brady hopes the domestic season can resume and reach a conclusion, even if games have to be played behind closed doors until July.

“When we – all Prem clubs – last spoke, we agreed to get going again as soon as possible,” Brady said.

“And that games will run into July, if required, to get this campaign finished. This is the plan. This is what we want to deliver.

“It may be games have to be played behind closed doors, which no one wants – especially the players and fans.

“But we hope it might just be possible to go ahead once the sharp graph of it bottoms out.”

 

AFP

Super-Sub Lacazette Boosts Arsenal’s Euro Hopes Against West Ham

Arsenal's French striker Alexandre Lacazette celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and West Ham at the Emirates Stadium in London on March 7, 2020. Ian KINGTON / AFP
Arsenal’s French striker Alexandre Lacazette celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and West Ham at the Emirates Stadium in London on March 7, 2020. Ian KINGTON / AFP

 

Alexandre Lacazette came off the bench to keep Arsenal in the hunt for a Champions League place as his late strike survived a VAR review to seal a vital 1-0 win against West Ham on Saturday.

Mikel Arteta’s side struggled to find any momentum for long periods at the Emirates Stadium and could easily have been behind before Lacazette settled a scrappy London derby.

The French striker turned in Mesut Ozil’s header with 12 minutes left, but it took several minutes before VAR finally confirmed the German was onside when he laid on the goal.

Arsenal’s third successive Premier League win lifted them within five points of fourth placed Chelsea, who face Everton on Sunday.

Earning a Champions League berth still looks a long-shot for Arsenal, especially after this uneven display.

But the Gunners, who face Manchester City on Wednesday, are unbeaten in their last eight league games and showed commendable spirit to make the late breakthrough.

West Ham have lost five of their last seven league games and, with only one win in their past nine, they are destined for a nervous finish to the season as they battle to avoid relegation.

Arteta admitted this week that only a victory against West Ham would keep their Champions League bid alive.

He got his wish, but only just.

There was no pre-match handshake between the teams following the Premier League edict to ditch the ritual over coronavirus fears.

Listless for long periods, Arsenal didn’t look too keen on any contact once the game started either.

Granit Xhaka carelessly surrendered possession to Jarrod Bowen, whose long-range drive slipped through Bernd Leno’s grasp onto the near post.

West Ham should have gone ahead when Michail Antonio raced onto Pablo Fornals’ pass, but with the unmarked Sebastien Haller screaming for the ball, the winger could only send a woeful delivery yards behind him.

Pablo Mari, on loan from Flamengo, was making his Premier League debut at the heart of Arsenal’s defence alongside David Luiz, while Greek centre-back Sokratis was used out of position at right-back.

But Arteta’s reshuffled rearguard were easily exposed by Mark Noble’s pin-point pass and Leno did well to get down quickly at the feet of Haller after the West Ham striker moved menacingly towards goal.

Lacazette impact

West Ham’s enterprising opening was nearly undone when Sokratis thumped his close-range header onto the bar from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s cross.

There were still plenty of holes for David Moyes’ men to exploit and only a shocking miss from Antonio stopped them scoring just before half-time.

Issa Diop climbed above Aubameyang and headed Noble’s corner to Antonio, who somehow managed to screw wide from just two yards.

For the first time in over a year, Arsenal had failed to record a shot on target in the first half of a home league game.

They finally tested Lukasz Fabianski when Eddie Nketiah darted onto Bukayo Saka’s pass and flicked his shot at the Hammers keeper.

West Ham remained a threat and it took a superb save from Leno to deny Antonio’s close-range header from Haller’s flick.

Arteta sent on Lacazette in place of Nketiah for the final 30 minutes and his arrival turned the game.

He saw his appeal for a penalty rejected by VAR after Angelo Ogbonna appeared to haul him down.

But Lacazette broke the deadlock with his ninth goal of the season in the 78th minute.

Aubameyang’s shot deflected off Declan Rice and looped to Ozil, whose header found Lacazette for a clinical close-range finish.

A lengthy VAR review prolonged the agony for West Ham before it was finally ruled that Ozil was onside when he set up Lacazette.

Haller almost snatched an immediate equaliser but his effort was pushed away by Leno as Arsenal held on.

 

AFP

Man City Cruise To Victory Against West Ham

Manchester City’s Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and West Ham United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on February 19, 2020.
Anthony Devlin / AFP

 

Manchester City cruised to a 2-0 win over West Ham on Wednesday as Pep Guardiola’s side returned to action for the first time following the club’s shock two-year ban from European competitions.

Goals from Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne lifted City’s spirits as they cemented their hold on second place in the Premier League.

The Champions League and Europa League suspension for alleged financial fair play regulations drew a furious response over the weekend from City supporters who have long believed UEFA hold an agenda against their Abu Dhabi-owned club.

Yet the attendance at the Etihad Stadium for the visit of David Moyes’ struggling side was disappointing, with approximately 10,000 empty seats greeting the two sets of players before kick-off.

READ ALSO: British Footballer Fashanu To Be Inducted Into Museum Hall of Fame

That may have been due, in part, to the fact the fixture was rescheduled from its original date 10 days earlier due to storms.

Live TV coverage and gridlocked early evening Manchester traffic also did not help supporters arrive in good time for a fixture in which their team was seeking to close the 25-point gap to leaders Liverpool.

It was a curiously subdued atmosphere, therefore, rather than the expected frenzied demonstration of anti-UEFA rhetoric.

There were a couple of home-made banners proclaiming “UEFA Cartel” and “UEFA Mafia”, as well as chants of adulation praising City owner Sheikh Mansour and boss Guardiola.

There were also taunts to UEFA that “we’ll see you in court” and crude songs aimed at the governing body.

But not until Rodri headed City into a 29th-minute lead did City fans become truly animated as their team maintained their complete dominance against the visitors.

It is fair to say, however, that there will be a very different atmosphere when City next play at the Etihad in the Champions League, with Real Madrid the visitors on March 10 in the last 16-second leg.

Combative Attitude

City’s chief executive Ferran Soriano was clearly in a combative mood when discussing the approach to their latest confrontation with UEFA.

“The fans can be sure of two things. The first one is that the allegations are false,” said Soriano, who confirmed the club will take the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

“And the second is that we will do everything that can be done to prove so.”

Guardiola was equally defiant when asked to comment on the suspension before kick-off.

“The first moment was impacted but after a few hours we cannot control, we support the club 100 percent,” he said.

A second-half goal from De Bruyne at least ensured that City returned from the winter break, and five days of controversy, with the minimum of fuss.

However, it promises to be events in European law courts, rather than a football pitch, that has a greater impact on the club over the coming months.

AFP

Man City Clash With West Ham Postponed Over Storm

US World Cup Defender Clavijo Dies At 63

 

Manchester City’s Premier League clash with West Ham was among major sporting events postponed on Sunday as storm Ciara battered the United Kingdom.

Howling winds and driving rain have disrupted transport links with travellers advised only to make journeys if absolutely necessary.

“Due to extreme and escalating weather conditions and in the interests of supporter and staff safety, today’s match has been postponed,” City said in a statement.

“This decision has been made by Manchester City’s Safety Officer following consultation with Club stakeholders and officials at West Ham United.”

The women’s Six Nations clash between Scotland and England was also postponed.

Saturday’s Calcutta Cup clash between Scotland and England’s men in Edinburgh had been marred by terrible conditions as England ran out 13-6 winners.

The only other Premier League game of the day is due to go ahead as Sheffield United host Bournemouth.

Sterling To Miss Man City Clash Against West Ham

Manchester City’s English midfielder Raheem Sterling (L) goes down with an injury during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on February 2, 2020.
Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling will miss Sunday’s Premier League clash against West Ham and could face a race to be fit for their Champions League showdown with Real Madrid after suffering a hamstring injury.

Sterling limped off during Sunday’s defeat at Tottenham and the club have confirmed the injury will sideline the England international this weekend.

“Raheem Sterling will miss our game against West Ham this weekend after scans revealed he has suffered damage to his left hamstring. Everyone at City wishes @sterling7 a full and speedy recovery,” City said on their Twitter account.

READ ALSO: Neymar, Mbappe Antics And Possible Title Derailment

City manager Pep Guardiola will hope Sterling’s absence is not much longer than the West Ham game as his side gear up for a hectic schedule.

They travel to top-four rivals Leicester on February 22 and then head to Spain to face Real in the Champions League last-16 first-leg four days later.

City would also want Sterling to be available for the League Cup final against Aston Villa on March 1.

The 25-year-old, who came off in the 84th minute against Tottenham, is one of City’s top goalscorers this season with 20 in all competitions.

Sterling has only missed two Premier League matches this season, where he was an unused substitute.

AFP

Liverpool Cruise Past West Ham To Go 19 points Clear

 

Liverpool’s Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Salah heads towards goal during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Liverpool at The London Stadium, in east London on January 29, 2020.
Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Liverpool moved an incredible 19 points clear at the top of the Premier League as Mohamed Salah and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain secured a 2-0 win at West Ham on Wednesday.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have turned the title race into a procession and the runaway leaders saw off struggling West Ham to make it a remarkable 23 victories from 24 league games this season.

Salah opened the scoring with a first-half penalty at the London Stadium and Oxlade-Chamberlain wrapped up Liverpool‘s 15th successive league win after the interval.

Second-placed Manchester City are now so far behind Liverpool that the question is not if but when the Reds clinch their first English league title since 1990.

The Reds have won 31 of their past 32 league fixtures, only dropping points in a 1-1 draw at Manchester United in October.

With 14 games left, Liverpool‘s incredible run has given historic overtones to their impending title coronation.

The European and World champions are now 41 games unbeaten in the league — just eight away from the 49-match English top-flight record set by Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’ across 2003 and 2004.

Matching that Arsenal team’s achievement in going an entire league season without defeat is within Liverpool‘s reach, as is Manchester City’s Premier League record of 100 points.

Liverpool‘s latest success on a chilly night in east London will be just a footnote when the full story of their likely title triumph is written, but they still managed to record another small piece of history.

They have now beaten all 19 of the other teams in the league at least once this season — the first time the club have achieved that feat in the top-flight.

Klopp attracted criticism for announcing he and his first-team players won’t be present for the FA Cup fourth-round replay against Shrewsbury next week as it falls within the Premier League’s winter break.

Instead, Klopp will send Liverpool‘s youth team to the match, but at this rate, they will win the title so early that his stars will have plenty of time to put their feet up in the final weeks of the domestic season.

 

 

– Swaggering Liverpool –

Faced with West Ham’s massed defence and lacking the pace and penetration usually provided by the injured Sadio Mane, Liverpool initially monopolised possession without a cutting edge.

Salah and Jordan Henderson finally combined to open up West Ham for the first time.

Andrew Robertson was the beneficiary and the left-back’s clip over Lukasz Fabianski was trickling towards the goalline when Issa Diop got back to clear.

It wasn’t vintage Liverpool but their pressure eventually produced Salah’s opener from their first shot on target in the 35th minute.

Roberto Firmino deftly controlled Trent Alexander-Arnold’s pass and flicked the ball into the six-yard box, where Divock Origi was bundled over by Diop.

Jonathan Moss awarded the penalty and, after a lengthy VAR check for a possible handball in the build-up, Egypt forward Salah stepped up to send Fabianski the wrong way for his 16th goal of the season.

Manuel Lanzini wasted a golden opportunity to equalise early in the second half when the West Ham winger scuffed straight at Alisson Becker.

Firmino almost doubled Liverpool‘s lead when he swivelled onto Robertson’s cross and forced Fabianski to save.

Liverpool‘s second goal punished David Moyes’ team in ruthless style as they authored a swaggering counter-attack in the 52nd minute.

Breaking from a West Ham corner, Henderson found Salah and he flicked a superb pass with the outside of his boot to Oxlade-Chamberlain, who raced clear to slot a cool finish past Fabianski.

Liverpool were still surprisingly creaky at the back, but Angelo Ogbonna headed over from close-range.

Declan Rice’s effort was saved by Alisson, with the rebound deflected onto the post by Alexander-Arnold, before Alisson denied Rice with another fine stop

AFP

FA Cup: West Ham Suffer Defeat As Southampton Relish Draw Against Tottenham

West Ham United’s French striker Sebastien Haller (L) controls the ball during the English FA Cup fourth round football match between West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion at The London Stadium, in east London on January 25, 2020. JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP

 

West Ham crashed out of the FA Cup as their former manager Slaven Bilic led West Bromwich Albion to a surprise 1-0 win, while Tottenham were held to a 1-1 draw by Southampton in Saturday’s fourth-round action.

Albion boss Bilic, sacked by the Hammers in 2017, made eight changes as he prioritised the Championship leaders’ push to return to the Premier League.

But Albion took a shock lead at the London Stadium when Conor Townsend drilled in his first goal for the club after nine minutes.

West Ham, struggling in the top-flight under new boss David Moyes and now without a win in four games, were given a lifeline when West Brom’s Semi Ajayi was sent off in the 72nd minute after his push earned a second yellow card.

Sebastien Haller should have equalised with a headed chance and Manuel Lanzini then dragged his shot wide, but Albion held on.

West Ham were jeered off by their furious fans, while Croatian Bilic, who also played for the east Londoners, celebrated a sweet success with his Albion players.

At St Mary’s, Christian Eriksen was left out amid reports in Italy suggesting the Tottenham midfielder has agreed to a move to Inter Milan, while Gedson Fernandes made his full debut for Jose Mourinho’s men.

Tottenham’s last visit to Southampton was a painful one, with Harry Kane suffering a torn hamstring in a Premier League defeat on New Year’s Day, a clash that saw Mourinho embroiled in a touchline row with a member of the Saints’ coaching staff.

Mourinho’s side struck in the 58th minute on their return to the south coast.

South Korea forward Son Heung-min fired home from Erik Lamela’s pass for his 12th goal of the season.

But Southampton hit back to equalise through Sofiane Boufal’s powerful strike from Danny Ings’ cross in the 87th minute.

 Newcastle frustrated 

Newcastle had to settle for an embarrassing 0-0 draw with third tier Oxford at St James’ Park as their wretched FA Cup form haunted them again.

Steve Bruce’s side are looking to make the fifth round for the first time since 2006, but they needed a replay to beat minnows Rochdale in the previous round and they will have to go the distance again after this limp display.

Burnley and Norwich made a combined total of 12 changes at Turf Moor, with the Canaries running out 2-1 winners.

Grant Hanley’s 53rd-minute goal and a 57th-minute strike from Josip Drmic put Norwich in control before Erik Pieters reduced the deficit in the 74th minute.

Cardiff fans were warned not to sing “racist or homophobic songs” after two incidents were reported during their 1-1 draw at fellow Championship side Reading.

Sheffield United won 2-0 at second-tier Millwall through Muhamed Besic’s 62nd-minute goal and Oliver Norwood’s 84th-minute strike.

Kelechi Iheanacho’s early goal sealed a 1-0 win for Leicester at Championship side Brentford.

Brendan Rodgers’ team are chasing a trip to Wembley on two fronts and they took the next step in the FA Cup after surviving a hard-fought fourth-round clash in west London.

Leicester, who have never won the FA Cup, are hoping to reach the final for the first time since 1969.

In the League Cup, they are through to the semi-finals and head to Aston Villa in the second leg on Tuesday after being held to a 1-1 draw in the first match at the King Power Stadium.

Despite Jamie Vardy’s absence with a glute injury, it took Leicester just four minutes to go ahead when Nigerian striker Iheanacho met James Justin’s cross with a clinical close-range finish.

Chelsea travel to second-tier Hull in Saturday’s late game.

AFP

West Ham Appoint David Moyes As Manager For Second Time

David Moyes, Southampton

 

David Moyes has been appointed as West Ham’s manager and will return for a second spell at the club.

The 55-year-old Scot has signed an 18-month deal and is expected to take charge of the New Year’s Day home game against Bournemouth at London Stadium.

His appointment follows Manuel Pellegrini’s sack after Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat by Leicester.

Details Later.

West Ham Sack Manager Manuel Pellegrini After Leicester Defeat

West Ham United’s Chilean manager Manuel Pellegrini gestures from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Leicester City at The London Stadium, in east London on December 28, 2019. Ben STANSALL / AFP

 

 

West Ham sacked manager Manuel Pellegrini after Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Leicester left the Hammers just one point above the Premier League’s relegation zone.

A run of just two wins in 14 games, including seven defeats in their last nine league matches, saw patience run out with the 66-year-old former Real Madrid and Manchester City boss.

“It is with great disappointment that we’ve had to make this decision,” West Ham joint-chairman David Sullivan said in a club statement.

“Manuel is a gentleman and it has been a real pleasure to work with someone of his calibre.

“However, it has become clear that a change is required to get the club back on track in line with our ambitions this season. We felt it was necessary to act now in order to give the new manager as much time as possible to try and achieve that goal.

“It has become clear that a change is required to get the club back on track in line with our ambitions this season.”

West Ham overcame a difficult start to finish 10th in Pellegrini’s first season in charge.

However, the Chilean has failed to provide enough of a return on a significant transfer spend over the past 18 months with over £100 million ($130 million) splashed on Felipe Anderson, Sebastien Haller, Pablo Fornals, Andriy Yarmolenko, and Issa Diop.

AFP