Tuesday, 5 May 2015

African Richest Man Dangote Set To Buy Premier League's Top Club

Africa's richest man Aliko Dangote claims he still harbours hopes of one day buying Arsenal.

The Nigerian has an estimated fortune of 15billion US dollars (£10.4billion) and is reported to have wanted to buy into the Gunners when former director Lady Nina Bracewell-Smith was selling her shares in 2010.

Arsenal's current majority shareholder is American tycoon Stan Kroenke, who remains committed to the Barclays Premier League club for the long-term. Uzbek magnate Alisher Usmanov controls around 30 per cent and has also expressed no desire to offload any of his stock.

Nevertheless Dangote, whose business interests include sugar, flour and oil, remains keen to become part of the Emirates Stadium club sometime in the future.

Speaking to Bloomberg, he said: 'I still hope, one day at the right price, that I will buy the team. 'I might buy it, not at a ridiculous price but a price that the owners won't want to resist. I know my strategy.' Dangote, though, added no imminent bid was in the pipeline. 'We have 16billion dollars-worth of investments in the next few years. Right now I want to take my own business to a certain level. Once I finish on that trajectory, then maybe,' he said.

Arsenal beat Hull 3-1 on Monday night to give themselves a good chance to finish second behind Premier League champions Chelsea, and will face Aston Villa in the FA Cup final at Wembley on May 30.

Dangote, however, suggested Arsene Wenger's side should be achieving more. He added: '(Wenger) needs to change his style a bit. They need new direction.'

Source: Dailymail

See This Embarrassing And Awful Stat Of Mikel Obi At Chelsea

Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel isn’t known for being the most lethal player in front of goal, but this stat is still absolutely mind-blowing.

Remarkably, the Nigerian has only managed a measly five (yes, five!) shots on target in four seasons for the Blues in the Premier League.

Bearing this in mind, it’s hardly surprising Obi Mikel has only scored one league goal in his entire Chelsea career.


Today's Transfer Gist (05.05.15): Latest On Pogba, Hummels, Chelsea And More!

  • Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is lining up Liverpool striker Rickie Lambert, 33, as a potential replacement for Didier Drogba, 37, when he leaves Stamford Bridge this summer. (Mirror)
  • Winger Ashley Young, 29, is to be rewarded with a new contract by Manchester United after an impressive season under manager Louis van Gaal. (Daily Mail)
  • Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with a move for Chelsea flop Mohamed Salah, according to the Mail Online. The 22 year old only moved to Stamford Bridge last January, but was loaned to Fiorentina after making just seventeen starts for Jose Mourinho’s side in all competitions.
  • West Bromwich Albion want Wolves Nigerian born striker Benik Afobe, 22, but will be priced out of a move for Molineux team-mate Bakary Sako, 27. (Daily Mail) 
  • Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Thiago Motta is being linked with a return to Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Tuttosport can reveal. The 32-year-old has another year left on his contract at Parc des Princes, but it is believed he would consider leaving at the end of the season.
  • Manchester United are worried Borussia Dortmund will put a block on their move for defender Mats Hummels, 26, following midfielder's Ilkay Gundogan's decision to leave the Bundesliga club. (Manchester Evening News)
  • Sunderland could make a move for Micah Richards, who is currently on loan at Fiorentina, when the defender, 26, reaches the end of his contract at Manchester City this summer. (Mirror)
  • Tuttosport is reporting that Juventus are keeping close tabs on Paris Saint-Germain defender Lucas Digne. The 21-year-old has been forced to play second fiddle to Maxwell ever since he joined from Lille and he may decide to leave in search of first team football.
  • Asmir Begovic may look for a summer move from Stoke, with Liverpool among those interested, after being left out of last Saturday's defeat at Swansea. (Express)
  • Chelsea will return to Atletico Madrid this summer in order to bring Koke to the Premier League. Jose Mourinho feels he can tempt Atleti into a deal by offering Brazilian left-back Filipe Luis as part of the deal.
  • Juventus are planning to bring in Kevin De Bruyne should they lose Paul Pogba this summer. PSG have had a bit accepted for the Frenchman with the Wolfsburg midfielder expected to cost £25m.
  • David De Gea is set to snub a return to Spain and sign a new contract with Manchester United, according to the Metro. The goalkeeper has been strongly linked with a move to European Champions Real Madrid, who are in search of a long term replacement for club captain Iker Casilias
  • Chelsea are lining up a summer move for Everton full-back Seamus Coleman, according to the Metro. The recently crowned Premier League champions are readying a bid of around £20m as they already plan for their title defence.

Monday, 4 May 2015

[PHOTO] Cesc Fabregas Celebrates His Birthday With His Beautiful Daughter

Cesc Fabregas may have secured his first Barclays Premier League crown on Sunday, but just a day later the Chelsea midfielder had something else to celebrate.

The former Arsenal man enjoyed his 28th birthday on Monday, and was picture enjoying the day with his family in Barcelona.

Fabregas' wife Daniella Semaan shared a snap of him blowing out the candles on a cake with daughter Lia on Instagram, as the Spanish star looked to be making the most of a much deserved day off.

[LOOK] Barcelona Star Midfielder Shares Beach Selfie With His Lovely WAG

He earns millions playing for a Barcelona team regarded as one of the greatest in history and spends his time-off relaxing at the beach with his beautiful wife, is Ivan Rakitic living the dream of every sports fan?

Spanish beauty Raquel Mauri, whom the Croatia international married in 2013, posted an insight into the pair's enviable lifestyle featuring a selfie of the two of them taking in some sun, surf and sand.

The former hair stylist accompanied the Instagram picture with the caption: 'Relaxing day with the family,' alongside a series of beach-themed emoticons.

Between Floyd Mayweather And Jose Mourinho [MUST READ]

When Floyd Mayweather beat Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand, early Sunday morning (WAT), people couldn’t help but liken the manner of his victory to the manner with which Chelsea closed out the premier league title, which they clinched later that day via a - you guessed right – 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge.

Floyd’s apparent defensive approach didn’t appeal to a lot of neutrals who expected a spectacle in a fight five long years in the making. It was the most anticipated bout in recent history and was touted as the biggest fight in the history of the sport and most fans worldwide were left disappointed by Floyd’s “running about”.

Same can be said of Jose Mourinho and his Chelsea team. They have consistently felt the brunt of critics, neutrals and pundits alike for the relative pragmatic approach they tend to apply in some matches but are the criticisms that come their way really validated.

A popular point these critics allude to is that sport is ultimately meant for entertaining teeming fans worldwide, but real winners in sport know that entertainment values in their victories are only secondary to actually winning.

A lot of people want to see an “attacking” approach all the time but it is equally brilliant to work towards exploiting the weaknesses of your opponent which is something Floyd and Jose Mourinho led teams are very proficient at.

You only need to look at Mayweather’s Win-Loss record [48-0] to see why criticisms of his “style” are rather naive, he gets the job done. His bouts might not always be pretty to some as they might point towards his record of just 26 KO’s in those 48 victories, but he works hard to make sure he works out the strengths and weaknesses of his opponent and exploit the weaknesses to the fullest. This was apparent in the fact that Manny was only able to land 19% of his punches [81 of 429 punches].

In the same vein, Chelsea won the premier league but won by more than a 1 goal margin just once since the end of January. This led to many “Boring! Boring! Chelsea!” chants from fans and pundits alike but they have only lost 2 games all season, have won the league with 3 games to spare. Jose has taken a team that finished 14 points behind man united in 2013 to a premier league title in just 2 years and to criticise based on “style” is just point blank ridiculous.

[VIDEO] Frank Lampard's Dirty Secrets Revealed By His WAG [MUST WATCH]

Former Chelsea midfielder, Frank Lampard has a dirty habit which his fiancée, Christine Bleakley has revealed to the world.

Lampard and Christine Bleakley recently appeared on show ‘Play to the Whistle’, hosted by Holly Willoughby.

Christine Bleakley reveals that Lampard walks with very footstep and that the Manchester City player does not clean himself up often times.

She however revealed that those habits those not annoy her like the ex-England international always biting his toenails and leaving them scattered around.


Opinion: Sergio Aguero... Where Is The Respect?

Sergio Ageuro was one of the surprise absentees in the PFA team of the year and we cannot but ask why is it that he is criminally overlooked when it comes to accolades?

Part of me thinks that maybe the reason is that he is so good and people tend to not think about him when collating end of season lists. Maybe it's the fact that he tends to keep out of the tabloids and isn't a particularly controversial player? Or is it the fact that his injury record is not that great so that diminishes his achievements? I would argue that managing to maintain being in contention as the league's top scorer despite his prevalence to injuries is an achievement in itself.

Since joining the Premier League, he has not been named in the team of the year once. In fact in 2012 he was nominated for both the player and young player of the year and lost out on both - to Van Persie and Kyle Walker respectively. 

He is an amazing player, and generally comes across quite humble as well. And I hope we manage to keep hold of him for a couple more seasons yet. He's a class act.

I leave the floor open. What do you think? Should he have been nominated for the PFA award?

REVEALED! Nigeria's Super Eagles New Nike Kit Leaked! [PHOTO]

A photo of a green jersey which has been circulating online has been speculated to be the new jersey of the Super Eagles.

The Nigeria Football Federation a fortnight ago signed a deal with Nike to be the kit sponsor of Nigeria's football teams.

The photo an all green Nike jersey has gone viral on social media with many users happy with the model.

Neither Nike or the NFF have confirmed or deny the photo.

Naija Blood! John Mikel Obi Sets New Record At Chelsea

Super Eagles midfielder John Mikel Obi has set a new record in the colours of Chelsea after winning his second EPL title in five years at Stamford Bridge.
The Nigerian star who is poised to make his comeback to the national team for next month's AFCON qualifiers against Chad and Tanzania scored six points his best ever season score as Chelsea have secured a fifth league title with three matches to spare has had 5 shots on target in his last four seasons for Chelsea in the Premier League.

"Underappreciated by a significant section of the Chelsea support, Mikel has been the same as ever: quietly performing his role in midfield on the rare occasions he is called upon.

"Some would raise eyebrows if Chelsea don't sell Mikel but Mourinho obviously has his reasons for keeping him and even the contributions as a late defensive substitute have been valuable." Oliver Todd of the Mail Online said.

See How Victorious Chelsea Stars Celebrated Their Title Win!

Chelsea are celebrating a fourth Premier League title after securing a typically professional 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

Eden Hazard, who was named PFA Player of the Year last week, proved the match winner yet again when he nodded home after his first-half penalty was saved.

Their first league crown since 2010 is also Jose Mourinho's first since returning to Stamford Bridge for his second spell as manager, bringing his Blues' total to three.

In the aftermath the Chelsea players indulged in celebrations, and below are some of the best photos and videos from inside the dressing room.

Today's Transfer Gist (04.05.15): Latest On De Bruyne, Higuain, Arsenal And Many More!

  • Catalan giants Barcelona are hot on the trail of Wolfsburg hotshot Kevin De Bruyne, according to El Mundo Deportivo. The Camp Nou outfit missed out on top target Marco Reus as he opted to extend his stay with Borussia Dortmund and they appear to have turned their attention towards the Belgium star.
  • Barcelona are keeping close tabs on Premier League starlets Hector Bellerin and Ander Herrera, according to the Sunday People. The Catalans are on the lookout for a right-sided defender and they appear to be running the rule over one of their former players.
  • Newcastle will try to tempt Derby manager Steve McClaren to take over as manager for the final three games of the Premier League season. (Daily Mail)
  • Daily Mail is reporting that Manchester United and Real Madrid are locked in the battle for Inter Milan goalkeeper Samir Handanovic. The Slovenia star is almost certain to leave the Nerazzuri after rejecting a new contract offer, with his current deal due to expire in June.
  • Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will hold talks with midfield veterans Tomas Rosicky, 34, and Mathieu Flamini, 31, over their futures at the Emirates. (Daily Mirror)
  • Italian champions Juventus are weighing up summer move for Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. With Carlos Tevez set to leave either this summer or the next and the likes of Llorente and Matri nearing the exit door as well, the Bianconeri are determined to add a high-profile striker to their ranks at the end of the season.Manchester United are ready to send winger Adnan Januzaj, 20, on a year-long loan in their bid to land PSV star Memphis Depay. (Talksport)
  • Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, 37, may have played in his last season at Stamford Bridge, with the Ivorian failing to confirm that his future lies with the champions. (Evening Standard)
  • Aston Villa midfielder Leandro Bacuna believes it will be hard for the club to keep in-demand striker Christian Benteke, 24, in the summer because of interest from the likes of Liverpool. (Daily Mirror)

Sunday, 3 May 2015

4 Key Tactics That Won The Title For Chelsea

Chelsea were crowned Premier League champions for the 2014-15 season after defeating Crystal Palace 1-0 at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. They've managed the feat with three games to spare.

Here we take a look at four key tactical factors behind their success and discuss the major moments that defined Jose Mourinho's superlative season in west London

1. Pairing Cesc Fabregas with Diego Costa
It's tough to work out which of these two, individually, was a better summer signing for Chelsea, but one thing is clear: Jose Mourinho's decision to pair the two Spaniards at club level has proved to be a masterstroke.
Not only does Fabregas give the Blues the controlling, pass-happy presence owner Roman Abramovich clearly craves, but he also adds a helping of incisiveness from deep. 

His cutting passes between the centre-back and full-back were on full display under Gerardo Martino at Barcelona—who favoured a more direct approach. At the 2014 FIFA World Cup, despite La Furia Roja's failures, one promising aspect was found in Costa and Fabregas' more direct mindsets.

Costa favours a particular run, just inside the full-back off the shoulder, and Cesc favours making that type of pass. Along with Costa's obvious predatory skills in the 18-yard box—another thing missing in 2013-14—his ability to carry, dribble and put a team on its heels with an early run has been key.
Cesc's ability to open up defences was proved in the first game of the season against Burnley as he sliced a beleaguered Clarets side in twain at Turf Moor. Costa's 19 goals from 23 starts, per WhoScored.com, allowed the Blues to crush opponents with one hand.

2. (Continued) Positional Aptitude
Despite the expansive play, Chelsea remained traditionally solid and defensively aware. Perhaps the most impressive part of their play was the remarkable positional aptitude shown by all of their players.
The system Mourinho has fostered, and his ability to convince his players to trust in it, has been key to so many victories. Each player understands his job, and the XI's ability to spread out and fill the space when off the ball has been a major factor in some strong defensive performances.

The 4-2-3-1 used is inherently lopsided, with Branislav Ivanovic tearing forward to provide natural and late-arriving width on the right, while Cesar Azpilicueta stays back on the left. 
In order to allow some players, such as Fabregas and Eden Hazard, the freedom to do as they wish, he asks others, such as Nemanja Matic and Willian, to constantly fill the spaces they leave to balance the formation.

As Matic has tired this season, his role has been reduced to that of an almost pure cover one, sitting in and adjusting to provide a starting point deep in midfield. Ramires has come in to do the hard running, while Fabregas has moved forward. Oscar, earlier in the season, showed immense tactical astuteness, leading the press, creating turnovers and dropping in to cover gaps.

3. Marouane Fellaini, Meet Kurt Zouma
Chelsea may have opened up as a team and played some superb football before Christmas, but Jose Mourinho isn't afraid to rein it in and play big games carefully—even with a sizable lead at the top. In the win against Manchester United in April, he showed his roots.

The Red Devils arrived at Stamford Bridge on the back of a four-game winning streak, collecting maximum points from rivals Manchester City and Liverpool, in addition to Tottenham Hotspur and Tim Sherwood's Aston Villa. Fellaini had been playing monstrously, with no opponent able to deal with his physicality and aerial threat in the box.

Mourinho soon saw to that.

The Portuguese schemer played man-mountain Zouma out of position in midfield, asking him to man-mark Fellaini at times and stop the aerial supply to him. The Frenchman contested every ball sent to his opposite number and limited the effect he had on the game.

The Blues sat deep and refused to allow United any room to play, but also took away their wild card—the man they look to for a big moment when all seems lost. Chelsea won 1-0.

4. Realism Strikes
"Boring, boring Chelsea" chanted the Arsenal fans as the Blues ground out a 0-0 draw at the Emirates Stadium. John Terry put in a defensive clinic as the away side started without a recognised striker and sought just a solitary point to keep their rivals at arm's length.
It's exactly what they got.
The truth is, the boring claims are nonsensical. Chelsea played the best football in the Premier League this season in patches, and all Mourinho has done during the closing stages of the campaign is accept, and play on, the reality of his side's situation.

With a points gap ranging between 10 and 13 between themselves and the nearest challenger, the Blues strolled toward the finish line at their own pace. They're not playing expansive, risky football because they don't have to; Mourinho, a pragmatist at heart, is doing what needs to be done—and not a jot more.

The performances against United, Arsenal and, in some respects, Leicester City were indicative of the situation: Chelsea were closing in on the finish line, and they were doing so on their own terms. Within a whisker of a title, they reverted to hardworking type, played the hard-running Ramires for his energy levels and withdrew Cesar Azpilicueta into an even more defensive role.

They even played it safe on Sunday, edging out Crystal Palace, as Mourinho ensured his hands were on the trophy before opening the party drawer once again. They finished the game with Kurt Zouma, John Obi Mikel and Nemanja Matic screening the defenders. Even Filipe Luis made it on for a minute or so.

Jose eventually reverted to type, but only for the necessary tenth of the season.

How Floyd Mayweather Defeated Pacquiao In The Epic Clash

Floyd Mayweather emerged victorious from the most lucrative fight in history, beating Manny Pacquiao via a wide unanimous decision in Las Vegas.

American Mayweather, 38, delivered a defensive masterclass against his Philippine rival, making the necessary adjustments after only a few rounds before disappearing out of sight.

Mayweather, who added the WBO welterweight title to the WBC and WBA titles he already owned, was awarded the fight 118-110, 116-112 and 116-112 by the three judges. With his victory, Mayweather also cemented his status as the greatest pound-for-pound boxer of his generation.

The five-weight world champion is now undefeated in 48 professional fights, stretching back 19 years. Six-weight world champion Pacquiao, 36, falls to 57 wins, six losses and two draws.

Tickets for the bout - billed as 'The Fight of the Century' - changed hands for as much as $350,000 (£232,000) and American fans were charged almost $100 (£66) to watch on television.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Funny Twitter Reactions To Di Maria's Poor Show For United

It’s not going well for Angel Di Maria, is it? The Manchester United winger was brought on as a substitute by Louis van Gaal as the Dutch coach tried to salvage something from the Red Devils’ Premier League meeting with West Bromwich Albion.

Di Maria was brought on in the 64th minute—replacing Daley Blind only a minute after Jonas Olsson had opened the scoring for West Bromwich Albion following Chris Brunt’s powerful freekick.

United may as well have played with 10 men.

In his 25 minutes on the pitch, Di Maria attempted nine crosses and succeeded with a grand total of…one.

It’s no wonder that United fans took to Twitter to express their dissatisfaction with the former Real Madrid man’s performance.

Crazy Neymar Fan Turns Down 2 Million Naira To Do This!

Rhiannon connelly, a neymar superfan, turned down $10,000 to meet her hero after winning a competition.

The starstruck teenager was faced with a tricky choice when she won a competition organised by soft drink company guarana antarctica, leaving her with the option of meeting her hero or claiming the cash.

Despite some criticism from her family members, the 16-year-old rejected the cash to meet the barcelona and brazil superstar.

Rhiannon met her idol when she was invited by the player to watch barcelona’s recent match with getafe, greeting him with a kiss on the cheek upon their meeting.

“it was amazing to see a game in europe, in barcelona with neymar playing,” she began, as reported by the mirror.

“it was the best experience ever. We were such groupies waiting for the athletes to arrive, it was cool.

“i just wanted to meet neymar, that was more important than the $10,000,” continued rhiannon, who plays for a football academy in las vegas as a goalkeeper.

The 23-year-old scored and contributed an assist against getafe—helping the catalonians to a 6-0 triumph, before finding the net again on saturday as luis enrique’s side battered cordoba 8-0 in liga bbva action.

La Liga Review: Ronaldo Bags Milestone Hatrick As Barca Maul Cordoba

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the 29th hat-trick of his Real Madrid career to drag his team back up to just two points behind Barcelona with a 3-2 win over Sevilla.

It was the first time Unai Emery’s side had been beaten at home in 35 games and it was Ronaldo that ended that 15 month unbeaten run.

In the hours leading up to the game, it cannot have made pleasant pre-match viewing as he watched Barcelona put eight past Cordoba and Lionel Messi score his 40th and 41st goal of the season but he responded in the best possible way.

Lionel Messi scored his 40th league goal of the season and Luis Suarez grabbed his first Barcelona hat-trick as the league leaders won 8-0 to stay clear at the top with just three games left to play.

Ivan Rakitic, Gerard Pique and Neymar also scored as Barcelona breezed past Cordoba in the sweltering heat on Saturday.

Messi has now scored 51 goals in all competitions this season breaking the half-century mark for the fourth time in his career. In the 2010-11 season he scored 53 goals. 
He got 73 the following season and in the 2012-13 campaign he scored 60. He could have got a third but handed Neymar the ball for the Brazilian to score a late penalty.

It was six years to the day that Barcelona had beaten Real Madrid 6-2 in the Santiago Bernabeu in one of their most famous victories. This was a fitting tribute to that result. 

EPL Week 35 Review: United Stunned As Gerrard Sink QPR

Newcastle are in the thick of a relegation battle after their 3-0 defeat at Leicester, while Aston Villa and Sunderland earned crucial wins.

Wins for fellow strugglers Sunderland and Aston Villa left Carver's Newcastle teetering just two points above the drop zone while the Leicester gave their own survival prospects another shot in the arm.
Two goals from Leonardo Ulloa - the first after just 38 seconds - and one from Wes Morgan consigned the visitors to their eighth straight defeat which was made worse by the late dismissals of both Williamson and Daryl Janmaat.

The Magpies' day was destined to get even worse as north-east rivals Sunderland relied on two Jordi Gomez penalties to earn three potentially priceless points in a 2-1 win over Southampton at the Stadium of Light.

Gomez put his side in front in the 21st minute after Jose Fonte fouled Danny Graham but the lead lasted less than 10 minutes before Sadio Mane took advantage of a mix-up between Sebastian Coates and Costel Pantilimon to equalise.

But for once the home side did not capitulate and regained their lead 10 minutes into the second half when James Ward-Prowse was sent off for a foul on Jermain Defoe in the box and Gomez stepped up to fire home.

The win was not enough to lift Dick Advocaat's side out of the bottom three but Aston Villa's impressive 3-2 win over Everton took Tim Sherwood's men above Carver's Magpies into 14th place.

Christian Benteke underlined his return to form by heading home a Fabian Delph cross in the 10th minute and he added a second in the 45th minute after a Jack Grealish ball from the right.

Romelu Lukaku briefly reduced the deficit from the penalty spot on the hour before Tom Cleverley effectively sealed the win for Villa when he lobbed Tim Howard four minutes later. 

Everton defender Phil Jagielka pulled a goal back in a last-minute goalmouth scramble but the hosts held out for another well-deserved win.

The revival above them made grim news for QPR and Burnley who appear doomed for the drop after painful defeats away to Liverpool and West Ham respectively.

Rangers' travails at Anfield were put in perspective by the tragic news earlier of the death of defender Rio Ferdinand's wife Rebecca Ellison following a short battle with cancer.

Steven Gerrard grabbed a late winner on his penultimate appearance at Anfield after seeing an earlier penalty saved by Robert Green.

Philippe Coutinho had put the hosts in front in the 19th minute before Leroy Fer threatened to add to the recent frustration at Anfield by lashing home an equaliser from Joey Barton's 73rd minute corner.

Gerrard failed to convert a 79th minute spot-kick which followed Nedum Onuoha's sending-off for a foul on Martin Skrtel - but the Reds captain recovered to rocket home a header three minutes from time and seal a 2-1 win.

Rock-bottom Burnley are now eight points adrift of safety after Mark Noble's early penalty gave West Ham a 1-0 win at Upton Park.

Noble converted from the spot in the 23rd minute after Michael Duff was somewhat harshly red-carded for a foul on Cheikhou Kouyate in the box.

Jason Shackell spurned a good chance to equalise for the visitors but Burnley keeper Tom Heaton had to work hard to keep out efforts from Enner Valencia and Morgan Amalfitano.

Jonjo Shelvey inspired a 2-0 win for Swansea over Stoke at the Liberty Stadium.

Gylfi Sigurdsson missed two early chances before the deadlock was finally broken when Jefferson Montero headed home a pinpoint Shelvey cross in the 76th minute.

Stoke were reduced to 10 men when Marc Wilson was sent off for a foul on Montero before Ki Sung-yueng converted another Shelvey cross four minutes into injury time.

Robin van Persie had a penalty saved as Chris Brunt's deflected free kick gave West Brom a 1-0 win at Manchester United on Saturday Night Football.
The midfielder’s second-half effort diverted in off Jonas Olsson and proved to be the winner in a game dominated by Louis van Gaal’s men, who have now lost three Premier League games in succession for the first time since 2001.

Boaz Myhill made a string of good saves, while Van Persie saw his spot kick turned away by the West Brom goalkeeper after Saido Berahino was penalised for handball.

The hosts enjoyed huge swathes of possession but struggled to break down a resilient Baggies outfit, and the result means United remain in fourth place, just four points clear of Liverpool in fifth.

So Sad! Former Manchester United Legend Loses Wife

Rio Ferdinand's wife Rebecca has tragically died after a short battle with cancer.

The 36-year-old defender has released the following statement on QPR's website: 'My soul mate slipped away last night. Rebecca, my wonderful wife, passed away peacefully after a short battle with cancer at the Royal Marsden Hospital in London.

'She was a fantastic loving mother to our three beautiful children. She will be missed as a wife, sister, aunt, daughter and granddaughter. She will live on in our memory, as a guide and inspiration. 

'Myself, my parents Janice and Julian, along with Rebecca's parents Lesley and Stephen, would like to thank our families, friends and my club colleagues who have rallied around in these desperate days, weeks and months. 

'I would also like to express my gratitude for the dedication and expertise of the staff led by Professors Johnstone and Clarke at the Royal Marsden. Their valiant efforts to prolong Rebecca's all-too-short life will not be forgotten. 

'Our grief, as a family, is total. We would appreciate being allowed to mourn privately.' Rebecca, who married Ferdinand in 2009, leaves behind three children - Lorenz, Tate and Tia.

Today's Transfer Gist (02.05.15): Latest On Song, Di Maria, Sterling And More!

Chelsea will offer striker Loic Remy, 28, and £15m for Lyon's 23-year-old striker Alexandre Lacazette. (Sun - subscription)

Liverpool will allow the contract of winger Raheem Sterling to run down, rather than sell the 20-year-old. (Independent)

West Ham will not look to keep hold of midfielder Alex Song, 27, when his loan from Barcelona expires, and captain Kevin Nolan, 32, will also be offloaded. (Mirror)

Manchester United could sign Burnley striker Danny Ings, 22, with fellow forward Radamel Falcao, 29, set leave Old Trafford and return to Monaco. (TalkSport)

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal says midfielder Angel Di Maria, 27, will decide whether he wants to stay at Old Trafford, with PSG a possible destination for the Argentine. (Manchester Evening News)

Liverpool have started talks with second-choice keeper Brad Jones, 33, whose deal expires this summer. (Liverpool Echo)

Manchester City are favourites to sign highly-rated Charlton defender Joe Gomez but the Addicks want £8m for the 17-year-old. (Mail)