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Potter Pressure Eased As Chelsea Edge Palace 1- 0

A second-half goal from Kai Havertz earned nervy Chelsea their first English Premier League (EPL) win of 2023 on Sunday in London.

They secured a 1-0 victory over lively Crystal Palace at the Stamford Bridge, easing the pressure on manager Graham Potter after a poor run of form.

The German striker nodded in a cross from Hakim Ziyech in the 65th minute following a short corner-kick.

It was only the second league win in 10 matches for the home side who remain in an unaccustomed 10th place half-way through the season.

“The last few weeks were tough,” Havertz later said. “A lot of things changed this year. We have so many injuries, 10 to 12 injured players.

“Today we had five young players in the starting 11, they are doing a really good job at the moment.”

Chelsea are missing influential players such as England forward Raheem Sterling and wingers Reece James and Ben Chilwell as well as France midfielder N’Golo Kante through injury.

Stop-gap Portuguese loan winger Joao Felix was also absent after being banned for three matches following a red card in his first game for the club against Fulham on Thursday.

On Sunday, Chelsea were on top for much of the entertaining if scrappy derby, but Crystal Palace kept goalkeeper Kepa busy with efforts from Tyrick Mitchell, Michael Olise and Wilfried Zaha.

He was forced into a leaping save from Cheick Doucoure towards the end of the second half.

Chelsea had chances after surging runs from 18-year-old wingback Lewis Hall and recent 19-year-old addition Carney Chukwuemeka.

But it was 38-year-old Brazil defender Thiago Silva who forced Crystal Palace goalkeeper Vicente Guaita into his first fine save midway through the first half.

The home side had to hang on for seven added minutes as Crystal Palace laid siege to their goal.

They exposed their defensive frailty with former Monaco defender Beloit Baddish playing his first game for the club in a makeshift back-line.

“Today we are happy for the three points,” said Potter, who took over from Thomas Tuchel in September.

“Today was about getting the victory —– park it as three valuable points against a team that was pushing as well.”

Crystal Palace are in 12th place, six points behind Chelsea.

Midway through the first half Chelsea announced Ukrainian winger Mykhailo Mudryk had become their fifth signing of the January transfer window.

The 22-year-old received loud applause at half-time, when he waved from the pitch, a Ukraine flag draped round his shoulders.

“He is a young player with exciting quality in the final third. He is very fast and direct and I think the crowd will like him,” Potter said.

Before kick-off, former Chelsea players who had been coached by or appeared alongside Gianluca Vialli joined the two playing teams.

They were there to pay tribute to the former Italy international and Chelsea player-manager who died 10 days earlier.

Huge banners celebrating the former Sampdoria and Juventus striker were unfurled in the stands and fans chanted his name throughout the match.


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In Last Minute Manoeuvering, Everton-bound Arnaut Danjuma Joins Tottenham

Arnaut Danjuma has been confirmed as a Tottenham Hotspur player just few moments after he had agreed a deal and passed a medical at Merseyside with Everton.

Danjuma joins Spurs on loan from Villarreal, marking their first signing of the January window, a deal hijacked by the North London club in a last-minute swoop.

The Netherlands international, who was not selected for the World Cup in Qatar, underwent a medical yesterday and will replace Lucas Moura in Conte’s squad.

The 25-year-old agreed a move that will see him spend the remainder of the 2022-23 campaign with Antonio Conte’s side.

Danjuma also confirmed his arrival at Spurs on social media with a tweet showing three pictures of him completing his move and tagging it with the club’s motto, saying: ‘To dare is to do. Let’s get to work.

Tottenham are also holding a crucial round of talks over a move for Sporting right wing-back Pedro Porro.

Spurs hope to close a deal for the 25-year-old, but Sporting are holding out for his £39.5million release clause.


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Relegation-threatened Everton Sack Manager, Frank Lampard

Everton have announced the sack of manager  Frank Lampard following the Toffees’  Premier League loss to West Ham this past weekend.

In the so-called “El Sackico” match, Lampard’s team lost to the Hammers 2-0 at the London Stadium.

Daily Mail reported on Monday that due to the outcome, which left Everton two points from safety in the Premier League’s relegation zone, the club’s under-pressure board decided to fire Lampard.

Following the loss, owner Farhad Moshiri met with other board members in the capital.

He had made a rare appearance at the West Ham game where he bizarrely claimed it was “not his decision” to fire Lampard. Following those talks, a choice was made regarding Lampard’s future.

The departure of the manager won’t likely calm the Toffees’ fan base, either, as they have recently been criticizing those in authority for what they see to be years of making bad decisions.

Nuno Espirito Santo, who is presently in charge of Saudi Arabian team Al-Ittihad and was previously the manager of Wolves and Tottenham, is one candidate being considered to replace Lampard.

Sean Dyche, who is unemployed after leaving Burnley at the end of last season, has also been mentioned as a potential candidate.

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Court Orders Remand Of Brazil Star, Dani Alves

A Spanish judge has ordered that Brazil football player Dani Alves be jailed on remand without bail following an alleged sexual assault of a woman in a Barcelona nightclub.

According to the regional court system on Friday, the 39-year-old who has denied any wrongdoing was taken to the Brians 1 jail outside Barcelona.

Earlier on Friday, Alves appeared before a Barcelona judge after local police detained and questioned him.

The public prosecutor had requested he be jailed without bail pending trial.

Alves’ representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

His Mexican club Pumas UNAM announced they had terminated his contract with immediate effect.

“The club reiterates its commitment to not tolerate acts by any member, whoever they may be, that go against the club’s spirit and its values,” Pumas sporting president Leopoldo Silva said.

“We cannot allow the conduct of one person to damage our work philosophy, which has been an example throughout history.

The alleged victim had filed a complaint earlier this month and the case remains open over a crime of sexual assault, Catalonia’s court system said in a statement.

Alves had said earlier this month that he was at the club with other people but denied any such behaviour.

“I was dancing and having a good time without invading anyone’s space,” he said.

“I don’t know who this lady is… How could I do that to a woman? ”

Alves played for FC Barcelona from 2008 to 2016 and briefly returned to the LaLiga team for the 2021/2022 season

He has played for the Brazil national team since 2006, making 126 appearances and scoring eight.


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