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The Guardian - page 78

The Guardian has 1051 articles published.

Gareth Barry caps Everton revival with winning header against West Brom

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Ronald Koeman was wearing a broad smile and with good reason. Not only had he claimed his first win as the Everton manager but, perhaps more significantly, he was able to confirm his leading striker Romelu Lukaku has decided to stay at Goodison Park.

It was a decisive intervention from Koeman that turned the course of this typically fiercely contested match with Tony Pulis’s West Brom. Having gone behind to an early Gareth McAuley goal, he brought Lukaku into the game 10 minutes before half-time. Everton were level before the break and rampant in a second half that was decided by Gareth Barry’s header and also featured a sparkling cameo from the debutant Yannick Bolasie.

Related: Chelsea’s Diego Costa pounces late to sink battling Watford

Related: Victor Wanyama strikes late for Tottenham to see off Crystal Palace

Continue reading…

Everton reveal Romelu Lukaku will stay after win against West Brom

by

Ronald Koeman was wearing a broad smile and with good reason. Not only had he claimed his first win as the Everton manager but, perhaps more significantly, he was able to confirm his leading striker Romelu Lukaku has decided to stay at Goodison Park.

It was a decisive intervention from Koeman that turned the course of this typically fiercely contested match with Tony Pulis’s West Brom. Having gone behind to an early Gareth McAuley goal, he brought Lukaku into the game 10 minutes before half-time. Everton were level before the break and rampant in a second half that was decided by Gareth Barry’s header and also featured a sparkling cameo from the debutant Yannick Bolasie.

Related: Chelsea’s Diego Costa pounces late to sink battling Watford

Related: Victor Wanyama strikes late for Tottenham to see off Crystal Palace

Continue reading…

Burnley 2-0 Liverpool, Watford 1-2 Chelsea and more: football clockwatch – live!

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Victor Wanyama’s close-range header earns Spurs a narrow win to deny battling Palace a point.

Hull join Manchester City and Manchester United at the top after another hard-earned win, with Shaun Maloney and Abel Hernandez on target.

Another comeback win, as Michy Batshuayi and Diego Costa, who could have been sent off, turn things around for Chelsea after Etienne Capoue’s opener.

Steam pours out of Iain Dowie’s ears, as Thomas Lam fires Forest into a 4-3 lead over Wigan.

A late set-piece for West Brom, and Ben Foster heads upfield – and fires a volley just wide of the near post! That’s full time, and Everton fight back to earn their first win of the season.

Michy Batshauyi rattles the bar at Vicarage Road as Chelsea finish on the front foot. In League One, a Steve Morison penalty has earned Millwall victory over Sheffield United, and Gareth Barry’s nephew Brad has given Swindon victory over Port Vale.

Goals from Sam Vokes and Andre Gray give Burnley a famous first win of the season. Jürgen Klopp has work to do (defensive drills) on the training ground.

Hull soak up pressure, break at speed, and Abel Hernandez seals the win. This is quite the job interview from Mike Phelan.

Liverpool are running out of time, going into injury time two goals down. Fulham equalise at Craven Cottage through Kevin McDonald – and Burton follow suit at Blackburn. 2-2 in both matches, and at Reading, where Brighton have held on despite the hosts’ pressure in the second half.

Will Grigg heads in for Wigan to level things at 3-3! That’s his fourth goal of the season. He’s scoring a lot of goals lately.

Diego Costa, booked for dissent but not for diving, is set free by a Cesc Fabregas through ball, and tucks the ball underneath Gomes! That could be a second late winner from Costa in a week…

Gillingham have crumbled at Scunthorpe, and are now 5-0 down – Tom Hopper with the latest goal for the Iron.

Spurs finally make the breakthrough, and it’s Victor Wanyama who heads home on his home debut. It’s looking like no points, no goals for Palace…

A bad day at the office for Inverness – they’re 5-0 down at Tynecastle, Sam Nicholson with the latest Hearts goal. Portsmouth lead Colchester in League Two, and Ollie Burke has struck again for Nottingham Forest – they lead Wigan, as Ian Dowie just put it, “1-0, 2-1… 3-2!”

@niallmcveigh "Will Grigg's playing well, your defence is mildly worried." I can see it catching on.

Chelsea are level, Hazard’s shot proving too hot for Gomes to handle – and Batshuayi is where he needs to be to turn the ball home. Now they’re pressing for the win…

Hull break out of defence and force a series of set pieces, and from Davies’ flick-on, sub Shaun Maloney bundles home! They’re at it again…

At Watford, the assistant referee does Branislav Ivanovic a favour, flagging him offside seconds before he heads a sitter a mile wide of goal. Fabregas and Batshuayi are on, with time running out.

Two subs for Liverpool – Alberto Moreno(!) is on for Milner, and Marko Grujic is on for Adam Lallana. At the Liberty Stadium, it’s been a backs-to-the-wall job for Hull, but they’re holding on for a point.

Will Grigg has equalised for Wigan at the City Ground. He’s in good form, Grigg – playing very well, you might say.

Leicester v Arsenal is today’s appetising teatime top-flight offering: you can follow it with Rob Smyth.

Related: Leicester City v Arsenal: Premier League – live!

A far more legitimate penalty shout for Chelsea – the ball striking Craig Cathcart’s hand from a cross. Nothing’s given, but it should have been. Jon Moss not having the best afternoon.

In League One, Coventry’s afternoon has gone to pieces – a red card, an equaliser and a second Bradford goal in the space of three minutes. Elsewhere – specifically, in Walsall – it’s Walsall 1-1 Charlton.

Cardiff have turned it around at Craven Cottage, Anthony Pilkington putting the Bluebirds ahead. At White Hart Lane, Janssen has a great chance to break the deadlock – but he fires wide of goal!

Danny Batth has fired Walter Zenga’s Wolves into the lead at St. Andrew’s, while at Vicarage Road, Costa throws himself over in search of a penalty. Jon Moss chuckles at the comical effort, but doesn’t book the striker – who was on a yellow card.

Moments later, Chelsea win a free kick out on the right of the area, but Watford bundle it away. Victor Moses, would you believe, is coming on for Chelsea.

Equalisers! It’s Fulham 1-1 Cardiff in the Championship, Rangers 1-1 Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership, Oxford 1-1 Peterborough in League One, and Tranmere 1-1 Maidstone in the National League.

Iceland get the better of England once again, as Burnley’s Johann Berg Gudmundsson skips past Jordan Henderson and draws a foul, and a booking for the Liverpool captain.

Changes aplenty as we pass the hour mark: Sturridge is replaced by Divock Origi for Liverpool, Dele Alli is coming on for Spurs, and new boy Yannick Bolasie is about to make his Everton entrance.

Ben Foster makes a great save from Funes Mori, but from the corner, Gareth Barry heads in at the far post. That’s his first Premier League goal since January 2014.

There’s a chronic lack of wind in Liverpool’s sails, and they’re struggling to hold onto the ball like they did in the first half.

Oliver Burke puts Nottingham Forest 2-1 up at home to Wigan, and Paul McShane pulls Reading level – it’s now Reading 2-2 Brighton. Aberdeen lead Partick 2-0 at Pittodrie, and Bolton are back on track at home to Fleetwood – Gary Madine with the equaliser.

Watford lead! Etienne Capoue chests down a cross from the right and lashes the ball into the top corner. Finish.

At Vicarage Road, Oscar’s low cross from the right just evades Eden Hazard. More goals in the Championship: Preston lead 2-0 at QPR, while Joe Mason has levelled things up for Wolves with an absolute peach.

Everton start the second half on top at West Brom, but the hosts have the first clear chance – Darren Fletcher testing Stekelenburg from an angle, the keeper saving with his foot. At Turf Moor, Roberto Firmino almost embarrasses Tom Heaton with a lob from 30 yards.

Barnsley level at Huddersfield through Alfie Mawson, while in League One, Oxford get a welcome goal to take the lead over Peterborough.

The temperature remains lukewarm at Vicarage Road, where Chelsea can’t find any forward momentum. And on the touchline, where Mazzarri and Conte have yet to resume their Serie A beef.

Heartwarming scenes at Ashton Gate:

A man just proposed on the Ashton Gate pitch at half-time. She said yes. The crowd booed the couple off. #BristolCity #NUFC #bbcefl

Anthony Knockaert fires Brighton ahead at Reading – Jaap Stam’s team talk not exactly working wonders for the hosts.

Back under way around the grounds. A big 45 minutes for Liverpool, two goals down at Burnley…

Back with more, shortly. Remember, however your team are getting on, it could always be worse:

Şoimii Pâncota having a rough start to the season in Romania's Liga II https://t.co/49nQ6ToVdL pic.twitter.com/5yLP5FZWoY

“Dundee United completely dominating their west coast counterparts Ayr, leading 2-0, as are Hibs at St. Mirren” says Simon McMahon.

“And Cowdenbeath, the small club from the small city, have taken the lead against the small club from the big (Edinburgh) City”.

Birmingham 1-0 Wolves
Blackburn 1-1 Burton
Bristol City 0-1 Newcastle
Fulham 1-0 Cardiff
Huddersfield 1-0 Barnsley
Nottingham Forest 1-1 Wigan
QPR 0-1 Preston
Reading 1-1 Brighton
Rotherham 1-0 Brentford

Burnley 2-0 Liverpool
Swansea 0-0 Hull
Tottenham 0-0 Crystal Palace
West Brom 1-1 Everton
Watford 0-0 Chelsea

Everton equalise on the stroke of half-time, Barkley linking well with Mirallas, who fires the ball beyond Foster.

Liverpool looking to pull a goal back, with Coutinho and Sturridge failing to link up. They’ve had plenty of pressure, but the defensive tomfoolery seen at the Emirates has continued.

In the Championship, the provisional top two are Huddersfield and Fulham. Ryan Sessegnon, just 16 years old, has opened the scoring for the Cottagers against Cardiff.

Championship hot-shots Burton bag their eighth goal in four games, Jackson Irvine levelling it up at Blackburn. In League Two, Luke Berry’s penalty has made it Cambridge 2-1 Carlisle.

Lukaku replaces James McCarthy for Everton, who have a promising free kick at the Hawthorns – but Leighton Baines wellies it into the crowd. Robert Snodgrass appears to be hauled down by Amat on the edge of the area, but Stuart Attwell waves away Hull’s protests.

A piping hot transfer update: Claudio Bravo is set to join Manchester City next week, pushing Joe Hart closer to the exit door:

Related: Pep Guardiola’s hopes to sign Barcelona’s Claudio Bravo this week

Burnley double their lead, and it’s a lovely counter-attacking move led by Steven Defour. He tees up Andre Gray, who turns two defenders inside out, and fires into the far corner. Turf Moor goes wild!

Championship goals! Huddersfield lead Barnsley through Chris Lowe, Rotherham lead Brentford via Danny Ward, and Preston have taken a surprise lead at Loftus Road.

I'd have all seven Everton subs in my starting XI, and if they're fit enough for the bench, they're fit enough to play @niallmcveigh

You’re about to get (14.28% of) your wish Gary – Romelu Lukaku is coming on.

Plymouth lead 2-0 at home to Mansfield, with Graham Carey scoring both. At the other end of the country, Hearts are also two goals to the good against Inverness, who look set to stay rock bottom of the Scottish Premiership.

Everton struggling up front with Gerard Deulofeu leading the line, summed up by Gareth Barry getting forward for their best chance – firing a shot from ten yards straight at Foster. Still goalless at Swansea, with Jack Cork pinging a shot wide from distance.

A smart double save from Hennessey, who parries a deflected shot from Kane and gets up to save the rebound from Vincent Janssen. Liverpool continue to threaten, with Danny Sturridge flashing a shot wide of Heaton’s far post. Speaking of Heaton, here’s an interview with Burnley’s No1:

Related: Burnley’s Tom Heaton: ‘It got heated for a minute or two with Alex Ferguson’

Lallana tests Tom Heaton with a low cross-shot to be filed under ‘languid’. In the Championship, Blackburn lead Burton through Craig Conway, with a 25-yard screamer that will bring some cheer to the Rovers faithful, while in a West Midlands showdown, Birmingham lead Wolves 1-0.

A Vicarage Road update from Alan Smith, who tells me there is horizontal rain, and the floodlights are being switched on and off, for some reason. On the pitch, lots of running and battling, not much goalmouth action – but Odion Ighalo has just fired over from an Amrabat cross. Thanks, Alan.

Newcastle lead at Ashton Gate, Dwight Gayle getting in behind the home defence and tucking the ball in the far corner. At Ibrox, former Celtic striker Scott McDonald has made it Rangers 0-1 Motherwell.

From a Palace corner, Eriksen breaks for Spurs with support on either side, but delays the killer ball for far too long. A lively affair at the City Ground, where Wigan have levelled, and Matty Cash has just troubled the woodwork.

Cameron McGeehan has put Luton ahead in the er, A505 derby, against Stevenage. In League One, more bad news for Sheffield United – they’re a goal down at Millwall, while Coventry lead Bradford at Valley Parade.

Miguel Britos has been busy at Vicarage Road, firing a low shot at Courtois before sticking to Eden Hazard and cutting out his cross as Chelsea tried to break. Liverpool turning the screw at Burnley, winning a couple of corners and forcing the hosts into some agricultural clearances.

Toby Alderweireld fires a bullet header straight at Wayne Hennessey as Spurs search for a breakthrough. At Turf Moor, Liverpool are enjoying a spell of possession after that flying start from Burnley.

“Re: the Klopp photo, you can see Henderson thinking ‘this is hardly the time for him to be showing me the chords to Let It Be’” says Oshi Mi-Chi.

Here are the kits on show this afternoon – some highly dubious choices there.

Take a look at how the #PL clubs will be kitted out this weekend… pic.twitter.com/HFY6awzaUs

Given the teams and the scoreline, it’s no great surprise this came from a set piece. A corner, to be precise, nodded in by Gareth McAuley with Maarten Stekelenburg caught out of position.

Sigurdsson is inches away from putting Swansea ahead, as his half-volley is turned onto the bar by Jakupovic. Nottingham Forest lead at home to Wigan through Britt Assombalonga, while Brighton have equalised in short order against Reading.

Early goals ahoy in Leagues One & Two: Scunthorpe lead 1-0 at home to Gillingham, while John Akinde has fired Barnet ahead at Crawley.

In the Championship, Matt Ritchie is causing Bristol City problems at Ashton Gate, holding its biggest crowd for 26 years with Newcastle in town.

Crystal Palace start strongly at White Hart Lane, with Jason Puncheon testing Michel Vorm. Back in Burnley, Dejan Lovren denies Andre Gray with a terrific last-ditch tackle, as the hosts cause havoc in the Liverpool defence.

John Swift has scored a suitably early goal for Reading, firing past David Stockdale to give them the lead at home to Brighton.

Oh boy. Clyne gives the ball away, Gray slides the ball into Vokes, who turns neatly and fires into Mignolet’s top corner!

They’re off at Turf Moor, and elsewhere.

Kick-off is imminent – here’s a couple of match reports while you wait:

Related: Manchester City brush aside Stoke with Sergio Agüero and Nolito doubles

Related: Marcus Antonsson makes his mark for Leeds in win at Sheffield Wednesday

In more pre-match news, Liverpool, who are wearing their bright green third kit at Burnley, are currently warming up in snazzy matching anoraks:

When unveilings go wrong…

Roberto Pereyra and Younes Kaboul get a soaking from the on-pitch sprinklers as a pre-match welcome to #WFC at Vicarage Road…

“Is Dele Alli on the naughty step?” asks John Tumbridge. I couldn’t possibly comment, but he starts on the bench for Spurs, who go for Victor Wanyama and Eric Dier in an uncompromising central midfield pairing.

“Is Benteke not playing for Palace today because he actually signed for Burnley?” asks Ian Copestake. I wonder if Sean Dyche is looking into whether Twitter profiles are legally binding.

Here’s what else to look out for in the second tier:

Results

In the early kick-off, it’s finished Stoke 1-4 Man City. Sergio Agüero scored twice to give the visitors a comfortable half-time lead, before Bojan pulled one back from the spot. Nolito scored two late goals to add some gloss, as City join United at the top of the table.

Here’s Simon McMahon, acting like the Scottish Premiership no longer exists:

You forgot to mention Scotland’s game of the day at Tannadice where there’s an East v West battle of the United’s as Dundee United welcome Ayr United. I forgive you, though. Ray McKinnon’s United have endured a tricky start to life in the Scottish Championship, with a draw and a defeat in their opening two games. Expect the fired up Tannadice men to take all three points today. Other games include Raith Rovers v Dunfermline and St. Mirren v Hibs.

And finally, to the Liberty Stadium, where Borja Baston is unavailable for the hosts. Hull, in entirely unsurprising news, are unchanged.

Tottenham start with Harry Kane and Vincent Janssen together up front, while Conor Wickham is Palace’s lone striker – perhaps for the last time in a little while.

At the Hawthorns, Ronald Koeman names Ashley Williams, Yannick Bolasie and Romely Lukaku on a stacked subs’ bench. Saido Berahino, now looking set to stay at West Brom, starts for the hosts.

At Turf Moor, record signing Steven Defour makes his debut, while Sadio Mané isn’t fit to start, and James Milner(!) replaces Alberto Moreno at left back.

Starting with Watford v Chelsea…

Watford: Gomes; Cathcart, Prodl, Britos, Holebas; Guedioura,
Behrami, Capoue, Amrabat; Ighalo, Deeney.
Subs: Nyom, Doucoure, Zuniga, Vydra, Anya, Pantilimon, Hoban.

Team news and Football League previews to come – but first, Christian Benteke is officially a Crystal Palace player – although he caused a flurry of excitement on Twitter, specifically in the Burnley area, earlier:

Benteke’s Twitter accidentally reads that he went to Burnley, not Crystal Palace https://t.co/pKld3Si2ZQ pic.twitter.com/KSaYOGuggT

Oops my bad lol Yes I signed for cpfc and not burnley. Sorry for the little mistake the person that manages my Twitter got a little confused

Hello. A solid 50% of this weekend’s top-flight games are kicking off at 3pm on a Saturday, and among the five matches in question, we could well see history made, with plenty of barren runs there to be ended.

Crystal Palace may have passed through the Lane on the road to Wembley, but they haven’t won at Tottenham in the league since November 1997, when Neil Shipperley brought in the Christian Gross era with a bang.

Here are today’s 3pm kick-offs:

Continue reading…

Burnley v Liverpool, Watford v Chelsea and more: football clockwatch – live!

by

Back with more, shortly. Remember, however your team are getting on, it could always be worse:

Şoimii Pâncota having a rough start to the season in Romania's Liga II https://t.co/49nQ6ToVdL pic.twitter.com/5yLP5FZWoY

“Dundee United completely dominating their west coast counterparts Ayr, leading 2-0, as are Hibs at St. Mirren” says Simon McMahon.

“And Cowdenbeath, the small club from the small city, have taken the lead against the small club from the big (Edinburgh) City”.

Birmingham 1-0 Wolves
Blackburn 1-1 Burton
Bristol City 0-1 Newcastle
Fulham 1-0 Cardiff
Huddersfield 1-0 Barnsley
Nottingham Forest 1-1 Wigan
QPR 0-1 Preston
Reading 1-1 Brighton
Rotherham 1-0 Brentford

Burnley 2-0 Liverpool
Swansea 0-0 Hull
Tottenham 0-0 Crystal Palace
West Brom 1-1 Everton
Watford 0-0 Chelsea

Everton equalise on the stroke of half-time, Barkley linking well with Mirallas, who fires the ball beyond Foster.

Liverpool looking to pull a goal back, with Coutinho and Sturridge failing to link up. They’ve had plenty of pressure, but the defensive tomfoolery seen at the Emirates has continued.

In the Championship, the provisional top two are Huddersfield and Fulham. Ryan Sessegnon, just 16 years old, has opened the scoring for the Cottagers against Cardiff.

Championship hot-shots Burton bag their eighth goal in four games, Jackson Irvine levelling it up at Blackburn. In League Two, Luke Berry’s penalty has made it Cambridge 2-1 Carlisle.

Lukaku replaces James McCarthy for Everton, who have a promising free kick at the Hawthorns – but Leighton Baines wellies it into the crowd. Robert Snodgrass appears to be hauled down by Amat on the edge of the area, but Stuart Attwell waves away Hull’s protests.

A piping hot transfer update: Claudio Bravo is set to join Manchester City next week, pushing Joe Hart closer to the exit door:

Related: Pep Guardiola’s hopes to sign Barcelona’s Claudio Bravo this week

Burnley double their lead, and it’s a lovely counter-attacking move led by Steven Defour. He tees up Andre Gray, who turns two defenders inside out, and fires into the far corner. Turf Moor goes wild!

Championship goals! Huddersfield lead Barnsley through Chris Lowe, Rotherham lead Brentford via Danny Ward, and Preston have taken a surprise lead at Loftus Road.

I'd have all seven Everton subs in my starting XI, and if they're fit enough for the bench, they're fit enough to play @niallmcveigh

You’re about to get (14.28% of) your wish Gary – Romelu Lukaku is coming on.

Plymouth lead 2-0 at home to Mansfield, with Graham Carey scoring both. At the other end of the country, Hearts are also two goals to the good against Inverness, who look set to stay rock bottom of the Scottish Premiership.

Everton struggling up front with Gerard Deulofeu leading the line, summed up by Gareth Barry getting forward for their best chance – firing a shot from ten yards straight at Foster. Still goalless at Swansea, with Jack Cork pinging a shot wide from distance.

A smart double save from Hennessey, who parries a deflected shot from Kane and gets up to save the rebound from Vincent Janssen. Liverpool continue to threaten, with Danny Sturridge flashing a shot wide of Heaton’s far post. Speaking of Heaton, here’s an interview with Burnley’s No1:

Related: Burnley’s Tom Heaton: ‘It got heated for a minute or two with Alex Ferguson’

Lallana tests Tom Heaton with a low cross-shot to be filed under ‘languid’. In the Championship, Blackburn lead Burton through Craig Conway, with a 25-yard screamer that will bring some cheer to the Rovers faithful, while in a West Midlands showdown, Birmingham lead Wolves 1-0.

A Vicarage Road update from Alan Smith, who tells me there is horizontal rain, and the floodlights are being switched on and off, for some reason. On the pitch, lots of running and battling, not much goalmouth action – but Odion Ighalo has just fired over from an Amrabat cross. Thanks, Alan.

Newcastle lead at Ashton Gate, Dwight Gayle getting in behind the home defence and tucking the ball in the far corner. At Ibrox, former Celtic striker Scott McDonald has made it Rangers 0-1 Motherwell.

From a Palace corner, Eriksen breaks for Spurs with support on either side, but delays the killer ball for far too long. A lively affair at the City Ground, where Wigan have levelled, and Matty Cash has just troubled the woodwork.

Cameron McGeehan has put Luton ahead in the er, A505 derby, against Stevenage. In League One, more bad news for Sheffield United – they’re a goal down at Millwall, while Coventry lead Bradford at Valley Parade.

Miguel Britos has been busy at Vicarage Road, firing a low shot at Courtois before sticking to Eden Hazard and cutting out his cross as Chelsea tried to break. Liverpool turning the screw at Burnley, winning a couple of corners and forcing the hosts into some agricultural clearances.

Toby Alderweireld fires a bullet header straight at Wayne Hennessey as Spurs search for a breakthrough. At Turf Moor, Liverpool are enjoying a spell of possession after that flying start from Burnley.

“Re: the Klopp photo, you can see Henderson thinking ‘this is hardly the time for him to be showing me the chords to Let It Be’” says Oshi Mi-Chi.

Here are the kits on show this afternoon – some highly dubious choices there.

Take a look at how the #PL clubs will be kitted out this weekend… pic.twitter.com/HFY6awzaUs

Given the teams and the scoreline, it’s no great surprise this came from a set piece. A corner, to be precise, nodded in by Gareth McAuley with Maarten Stekelenburg caught out of position.

Sigurdsson is inches away from putting Swansea ahead, as his half-volley is turned onto the bar by Jakupovic. Nottingham Forest lead at home to Wigan through Britt Assombalonga, while Brighton have equalised in short order against Reading.

Early goals ahoy in Leagues One & Two: Scunthorpe lead 1-0 at home to Gillingham, while John Akinde has fired Barnet ahead at Crawley.

In the Championship, Matt Ritchie is causing Bristol City problems at Ashton Gate, holding its biggest crowd for 26 years with Newcastle in town.

Crystal Palace start strongly at White Hart Lane, with Jason Puncheon testing Michel Vorm. Back in Burnley, Dejan Lovren denies Andre Gray with a terrific last-ditch tackle, as the hosts cause havoc in the Liverpool defence.

John Swift has scored a suitably early goal for Reading, firing past David Stockdale to give them the lead at home to Brighton.

Oh boy. Clyne gives the ball away, Gray slides the ball into Vokes, who turns neatly and fires into Mignolet’s top corner!

They’re off at Turf Moor, and elsewhere.

Kick-off is imminent – here’s a couple of match reports while you wait:

Related: Manchester City brush aside Stoke with Sergio Agüero and Nolito doubles

Related: Marcus Antonsson makes his mark for Leeds in win at Sheffield Wednesday

In more pre-match news, Liverpool, who are wearing their bright green third kit at Burnley, are currently warming up in snazzy matching anoraks:

When unveilings go wrong…

Roberto Pereyra and Younes Kaboul get a soaking from the on-pitch sprinklers as a pre-match welcome to #WFC at Vicarage Road…

“Is Dele Alli on the naughty step?” asks John Tumbridge. I couldn’t possibly comment, but he starts on the bench for Spurs, who go for Victor Wanyama and Eric Dier in an uncompromising central midfield pairing.

“Is Benteke not playing for Palace today because he actually signed for Burnley?” asks Ian Copestake. I wonder if Sean Dyche is looking into whether Twitter profiles are legally binding.

Here’s what else to look out for in the second tier:

Results

In the early kick-off, it’s finished Stoke 1-4 Man City. Sergio Agüero scored twice to give the visitors a comfortable half-time lead, before Bojan pulled one back from the spot. Nolito scored two late goals to add some gloss, as City join United at the top of the table.

Here’s Simon McMahon, acting like the Scottish Premiership no longer exists:

You forgot to mention Scotland’s game of the day at Tannadice where there’s an East v West battle of the United’s as Dundee United welcome Ayr United. I forgive you, though. Ray McKinnon’s United have endured a tricky start to life in the Scottish Championship, with a draw and a defeat in their opening two games. Expect the fired up Tannadice men to take all three points today. Other games include Raith Rovers v Dunfermline and St. Mirren v Hibs.

And finally, to the Liberty Stadium, where Borja Baston is unavailable for the hosts. Hull, in entirely unsurprising news, are unchanged.

Tottenham start with Harry Kane and Vincent Janssen together up front, while Conor Wickham is Palace’s lone striker – perhaps for the last time in a little while.

At the Hawthorns, Ronald Koeman names Ashley Williams, Yannick Bolasie and Romely Lukaku on a stacked subs’ bench. Saido Berahino, now looking set to stay at West Brom, starts for the hosts.

At Turf Moor, record signing Steven Defour makes his debut, while Sadio Mané isn’t fit to start, and James Milner(!) replaces Alberto Moreno at left back.

Starting with Watford v Chelsea…

Watford: Gomes; Cathcart, Prodl, Britos, Holebas; Guedioura,
Behrami, Capoue, Amrabat; Ighalo, Deeney.
Subs: Nyom, Doucoure, Zuniga, Vydra, Anya, Pantilimon, Hoban.

Team news and Football League previews to come – but first, Christian Benteke is officially a Crystal Palace player – although he caused a flurry of excitement on Twitter, specifically in the Burnley area, earlier:

Benteke’s Twitter accidentally reads that he went to Burnley, not Crystal Palace https://t.co/pKld3Si2ZQ pic.twitter.com/KSaYOGuggT

Oops my bad lol Yes I signed for cpfc and not burnley. Sorry for the little mistake the person that manages my Twitter got a little confused

Hello. A solid 50% of this weekend’s top-flight games are kicking off at 3pm on a Saturday, and among the five matches in question, we could well see history made, with plenty of barren runs there to be ended.

Crystal Palace may have passed through the Lane on the road to Wembley, but they haven’t won at Tottenham in the league since November 1997, when Neil Shipperley brought in the Christian Gross era with a bang.

Here are today’s 3pm kick-offs:

Continue reading…

Ronald Koeman has made plans for life with or without Romelu Lukaku

by

• Everton manager accepts striker’s future remains uncertain
• Koeman: ‘We know there is a lot of interest in him, he is a good player’

Ronald Koeman admits he is uncertain about Romelu Lukaku’s future at Everton and has made one plan with and one plan without the striker, who continues to be linked with a return to Chelsea.

Everton have yet to receive a suitable bid for the 23-year-old and are not encouraging one but Koeman accepts the situation will remain fluid until the transfer window closes. Lukaku looks set to return to the Everton squad for their match at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

Related: Sunderland sign free agent Steven Pienaar on one-year contract

Continue reading…

West Bromwich Albion v Everton: match preview

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West Bromwich Albion and Yannick Bolasie could face each other for the second consecutive weekend after the attacker moved from Crystal Palace to Everton in midweek. Ronald Koeman will need to decide whether to use him from the start or as a substitute, though that could depend on the fitness of Romelu Lukaku. Ashley Williams’ availability is also touch and go for the visitors. Alan Smith

Kick-off Saturday 3pm

Continue reading…

Sunderland sign free agent Steven Pienaar on one-year contract

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• Midfielder joins David Moyes’s squad after release by Everton
• Pienaar, 34, arrives as Younès Kaboul looks set to leave

Sunderland have signed Steven Pienaar on a one-year contract, the club have announced. The 34-year-old was a free agent having been released by Everton at the end of last season and has chosen to link up with his former manager at Goodison Park, David Moyes.

Pienaar rarely featured for Roberto Martínez at Everton last season, making only four Premier League appearances. The South African midfielder has also played for Tottenham, Borussia Dortmund and Ajax, and has 61 international caps.

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Ronald Koeman drops hint that Everton could move for Joe Hart

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• ‘You are always looking for players to strengthen squad’
• Romelu Lukaku could be back to face West Bromwich Albion

Ronald Koeman has hinted he may yet make a move for Joe Hart after the England goalkeeper’s dramatic fall from grace at Manchester City.

Hart has failed to feature in either of City’s two games this season and is widely expected to leave the Etihad Stadium this summer. While the new Everton manager refused to comment directly on rumours linking him to the 29-year-old, he insisted the club “need three goalkeepers”.

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Beanpole to ‘beast’: how Yannick Bolasie embarked on an upward trajectory | Ed Aarons

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Already blessed with speed and unpredictable ball skills, Everton’s new £25m signing from Crystal Palace has developed a strong physique that has given him an edge over most opponents

It didn’t take long for Dougie Freedman’s hunch about Yannick Bolasie to pay off. Less than 30 seconds into his first appearance for Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on 1 September 2012 against Sheffield Wednesday, the spindly 22-year-old born in Lyon to Congolese parents but raised in north-west London picked up the loose ball on the edge of the penalty box, bamboozled his marker and delivered a cross that Glenn Murray simply could not miss.

“I’ve been after that kind of player for a long time,” Freedman reflected a few weeks later. “We kept tabs on him for about six months and we were very fortunate to finally get him. We knew we needed a player of that kind of ability to go by players on the outside to create space.”

Related: Crystal Palace to target Moussa Sissoko with money from Yannick Bolasie sale

Related: The life and grime of Crystal Palace’s rapping winger Yannick Bolasie

Dougie Freedman recognised he was a maverick who needs to be shown he is trusted

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Crystal Palace to target Moussa Sissoko with money from Yannick Bolasie sale

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• Alan Pardew keen on reuniting with Newcastle midfielder
• Liverpool’s Christian Benteke still on manager’s radar

Alan Pardew hopes Crystal Palace will use the money raised through Yannick Bolasie’s £25m sale to Everton to reunite him with Moussa Sissoko, who is keen to leave Newcastle United before the end of the transfer window.

Bolasie, who came off the bench in Palace’s opening day defeat to West Bromwich Albion, signed a five-year contract at Goodison Park on Monday having passed a medical over the weekend. The deal for the 27-year-old could potentially rise as high as £30m with Bristol City, who had inserted a sell-on clause into the winger’s £350,000 switch to Selhurst Park four years ago, due a sizeable tranche of the fee.

Related: Yannick Bolasie signs for Everton from Crystal Palace for £25m

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Yannick Bolasie signs for Everton from Crystal Palace for £25m

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• Winger moves to Merseyside on five-year deal
• Palace ‘say goodbye with with a heavy heart’

Yannick Bolasie has signed for Everton on a five-year deal after passing a medical on Merseyside in a £25m transfer, which could potentially rise to a club record £30m.

The Democratic Republic of Congo winger, who came off the bench in Crystal Palace’s 1-0 home defeat to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, had made clear his desire for a fresh start after four years at Selhurst Park.

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Idrissa Gueye’s impressive Everton debut silences the doubters | Mark Tallentire

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Eyebrows had been raised when Ronald Keoman bought the 5ft 7in Senegal international defensive midfielder from Aston Villa

Eyebrows may have been raised when Ronald Koeman went to Aston Villa for his first outfield signing of the summer, activating a £7.1m release clause in Idrissa Gueye’s contract and signing the defensive midfielder on a four-year deal.

Villa slipped out of the Premier League last season with a pitiful 17 points and the Senegal international had featured in 35 of those games, his appearance at Everton in November’s 4-0 defeat even seeing him suffer the indignity of being substituted at half-time.

Related: Yannick Bolasie to have Everton medical before £25m move from Crystal Palace

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