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Bournemouth 1-3 Chelsea: Frank Lampard dit que les Blues gagnent un beau pas en avant



L’entraîneur-chef de Chelsea, Frank Lampard, a déclaré que son équipe “avait fait un bon pas en avant” lors de sa victoire 3-1 à Bournemouth, lors de sa première victoire depuis son retour au club.

RAPPORT DE MATCH : Bournemouth 1-3 Chelsea

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Tottenham 1-2 West Ham: Win at Spurs is huge for West Ham – David Moyes



West Ham manager David Moyes said his team’s 2-1 win at Tottenham is “huge” and praised the way the Hammers counter-attacked.

MATCH REPORT: Tottenham 1-2 West Ham

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Tottenham 1-2 West Ham: Spurs lacked conviction – Ange Postecoglou



Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou says his team “lacked conviction” in their 2-1 defeat by West Ham, the fifth game in a row Spurs have dropped points from a winning position.

MATCH REPORT: Tottenham 1-2 West Ham

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Everton 3-0 Newcastle: Sean Dyche’s side in ‘psychologically massive’ climb out of bottom three



Just 20 days after being plunged into the relegation zone with a huge feeling of injustice, Everton are already out of it.

An unprecedented 10-point deduction saw them drop from 14th position to one place off the bottom but Sean Dyche’s side are on the road to recovery.

The Toffees left it late on Thursday night to beat Newcastle 3-0 at Goodison Park, but the three points allowed them to leapfrog Luton Town and drag themselves out of the danger zone.

On moving out of the bottom three, Dyche told BBC Radio 5 Live: “We moved into it. Without those 10 points [deducted], we’d be in an amazing position – 20 points would be amazing relatively to the last two seasons here.


“We will see what the appeal brings. The mentality is key for me, we took a knock but there have been a lot of knocks here over the last couple of years.

“But the team mentality is growing. I can’t emphasise it enough, the commitment to each other and the connection is a powerful thing because I know we’ve got quality.”

Win a ‘reward’ for fans’ backing

Dwight McNeil
Dwight McNeil scored the 16th goal of his career with 14 of those coming under Sean Dyche

The feeling of injustice following the biggest sporting sanction handed down in top-flight history remains raw at Goodison Park.

Before the game, the Premier League anthem was loudly jeered once more while new protest cards were published and held aloft with ‘Protecting the few, not the many’ printed on them.

But the anger that had simmered beforehand turned to sheer joy by full-time.

Two players who have been so important under Dyche came to the fore once more, with Dwight McNeil scoring his 16th career goal, with 14 of those coming under the ex-Burnley boss, while Abdoulaye Doucoure netted his 10th under the manager.


There was time for summer signing Beto to get his first in the league too to give Everton a thoroughly deserved victory.

Everton came into the game following a 1-0 win at Nottingham Forest on Saturday and their away home has been excellent so far, but it is their troubles at home that has needed fixing.

They did this in emphatic fashion to collect just their second victory in front of their fans this season and achieve back-to-back league wins for the first time under Dyche.

The viewpoint from fans and pundits has been that is it a ‘good season’ to be docked points as Luton, Burnley and Sheffield United – who currently occupy the relegation spots – face an immediate return to the Championship.

Dyche said: “With so many enforced changes, I was so pleased. You have heard me talk about the mentality this season and you can sense a connected group. We are onto something.


“I don’t change my storyline, my value is a season’s work. The ups and downs of it are what you have to control as a manager and the results too but the end of the season is where it is count.

“The points [deduction] is done therefore let’s get on with it and the players have been responsive to that and parked it.

“We cannot guarantee anything [deducted points] coming back but we have to keep playing hard like we were anyway. The performances levels have been good and them into winning performances.

“It was a good performance against Manchester United [a 3-0 defeat in their previous home game] and we backed that up with another two good performances.

“The amount of fans that get in here every time we play here is a reward for them. They have supported us without doubt in their numbers but also in voice.”


Former Everton forward James McFadden, speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, emphasised the importance of Thursday’s win.

“Being out of the bottom three is massive for Everton,” he said.

“This season they have created chance after chance, not taken them and not got the points their play has deserved – and it looked like it might be that way again.

“It’s massive psychologically for them to get the win today.”

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Tottenham 1-2 West Ham: Latest Spurs defeat ‘unacceptable’, says Son Heung-min



Tottenham players Ben Davies, Son Heung-min and Destiny Udogie look dejected during Tottenham's 2-1 Premier League defeat to West Ham
Tottenham are the first side in Premier League history to score the first goal in five successive matches without winning any of them (D1 L4)

Tottenham captain Son Heung-min called Spurs’ latest defeat “unacceptable” and said his fellow players “need to take responsibility” after they dropped points from a winning position for a fifth consecutive game.

No team has dropped more points from winning positions in the Premier League this season than Tottenham, who have relinquished 16.

And Spurs’ run of five matches without a win has caused the Lilywhites to drop from first, with a five-point lead at the top of the table, to fifth.

“[Whether we] deserved better or not means nothing – we lost the game. It is unacceptable,” Son told Amazon Prime.

“As players [we] should take responsibility. Attacking players should [especially] feel responsibility because we had chances to kill the game.”


Tottenham hit the post through Giovani Lo Celso’s deflected cross in the first half, while Richarlison had a fine chance to restore the hosts’ lead in the second period but nodded a close-ranger header wide.

Ultimately, though, West Ham were clinical and Tottenham lacked a ruthless touch despite racking up 23 shots.

“If you dominate a game of football you have to turn it into something meaningful and we didn’t,” Postecoglou added on BBC Match of the Day.

“We let ourselves down when we should have won the games [we have taken the lead in] comfortably.”

Tottenham made a brilliant start to the Premier League season, winning eight of their first 10 matches.


But they last tasted victory in October and have now lost three consecutive league home fixtures for the first time since September 2008, when they were managed by Juande Ramos.

After defeats by Chelsea, Wolves, Aston Villa and West Ham – all having taken the lead – talk of a title push is turning into worries of another finish outside the top four.

“The challenges are there. It is no good feeling sorry for ourselves,” said Postecoglou. “We still have a long way to go as a team and today shows that.

“In a game of football if you don’t put those chances away teams are always going to have the opportunity to punish you. In both boxes we were nowhere near where we need to be.”

Tottenham face Newcastle in the Premier League in their next match on Sunday.


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Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 West Ham United: Hammers come from behind as Spurs drop points again



Jarrod Bowen smashes the ball into the Tottenham net
Jarrod Bowen is West Ham’s top scorer with nine goals across all competitions this season

West Ham United manager David Moyes called his side’s comeback at Tottenham “one of the biggest wins I’ve had in football” as they continued their fine run of form.

Cristian Romero’s early header had given Spurs a deserved opener in the 11th minute as the defender nodded in Pedro Porro’s corner with a looping effort.

But Jarrod Bowen hit back for the Hammers, latching on to a loose ball in the penalty area and firing in a 52nd-minute equaliser.

And, after a poor backpass from Spurs defender Destiny Udogie, James Ward-Prowse side-footed an effort against the post before knocking in the rebound to complete West Ham’s turnaround in the 74th minute.

“I think it is a huge win to come here and win against this side,” Moyes told BBC Radio 5 Live.


“I’m pleased with how we were resilient and diligent in our work, organised, defensively structured and we were always a threat as well.”

West Ham have won five of their past six fixtures across all competitions while Tottenham suffered their fourth defeat in five and have dropped points from a winning position for a fifth consecutive game.

Bowen epitomises tireless performance

West Ham are in a purple patch, but for much of the first half against their London rivals the Hammers barely had a touch as Tottenham seemed to dictate play at will.

Ghanaian Mohammed Kudus had a strike ruled out for offside and Lucas Paqueta sent a header narrowly wide as the visitors got a foothold just before the break.

Having absorbed Spurs’ pressure West Ham were fortunate to level when Kudus’ shot deflected off both Romero and Ben Davies and into the path of Bowen who dinked the ball over onrushing Spurs goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario.


Twenty minutes later Bowen, again playing up front with regular number nine Michail Antonio recovering from a hamstring injury, forced Vicario to rush off his line to deal with Udogie’s horror backpass.

The Italian pushed the ball straight to Ward-Prowse who duly netted West Ham’s second after first striking the post.

“We were up against it tonight, we had to dig in and thankfully we just about scraped it,” Moyes added on Amazon Prime.

“[It was a] huge performance because of the quality of the opposition. We are a team who can give some of the good teams a bloody nose, we have that in us.”

West Ham were clinical when they needed to be with leading scorer Bowen epitomising his side’s tireless performance.


They have won 10 points from losing positions in the Premier League this season – only Brighton (11) and Liverpool (15) have recovered more.

And the visitors’ latest win means they remain ninth in the table and host Fulham in their next league match on Sunday.

Spurs drop points from winning positions again

Just over a month ago, Tottenham beat Crystal Palace to go five points clear at the top of the Premier League table with their eighth league victory in 10 matches.

Five games without a win have followed, Spurs’ longest winless run since November 2019.

Having taken an early lead, Ange Postecoglou’s side were seemingly cruising and almost had a second just before the break when Giovani Lo Celso’s dangerous cross was deflected on to the woodwork by returning West Ham captain Kurt Zouma.


And in the 70th minute, with the scores level at 1-1, substitute Richarlison should have headed Spurs back in front, but glanced a Porro cross wide from close range.

Defeat means Tottenham have lost 16 points from winning positions in the Premier League this season, more than any other side.

They stayed fifth in the table, three points off Manchester City in fourth and face seventh-placed Newcastle in their next match on Sunday.

Player of the match

BowenJarrod Bowen


West Ham United

  1. Squad number20Player nameBowen

  2. Squad number7Player nameWard-Prowse

  3. Squad number8Player nameFornals

  4. Squad number14Player nameKudus

  5. Squad number1Player nameFabianski

  6. Squad number27Player nameAguerd

  7. Squad number33Player nameEmerson

  8. Squad number28Player nameSoucek

  9. Squad number5Player nameCoufal

  10. Squad number19Player nameÁlvarez

  11. Squad number10Player nameLucas Paquetá

  12. Squad number4Player nameZouma



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 13Vicario
  • 23PorroBooked at 59mins
  • 17RomeroBooked at 89mins
  • 33Davies
  • 38Udogie
  • 8BissoumaSubstituted forGilat 84′minutes
  • 5HøjbjergSubstituted forRicharlisonat 67′minutes
  • 21KulusevskiBooked at 90mins
  • 18Lo CelsoSubstituted forSkippat 67′minutes
  • 22JohnsonSubstituted forSarrat 84′minutes
  • 7Son Heung-minSubstituted forVélizat 88′minutes


  • 4Skipp
  • 9Richarlison
  • 11Gil
  • 12Emerson Royal
  • 20Forster
  • 29Sarr
  • 36Véliz
  • 63Donley
  • 65Dorrington

West Ham

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Fabianski
  • 5Coufal
  • 4Zouma
  • 27Aguerd
  • 33EmersonBooked at 57mins
  • 28Soucek
  • 7Ward-ProwseBooked at 80mins
  • 19ÁlvarezBooked at 90mins
  • 20Bowen
  • 14KudusSubstituted forFornalsat 88′minutes
  • 10Lucas Paquetá


  • 3Cresswell
  • 8Fornals
  • 15Mavropanos
  • 18Ings
  • 21Ogbonna
  • 22Benrahma
  • 24Kehrer
  • 45Mubama
  • 49Anang

Michael Salisbury

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MPs call on FA to change transgender rules to ‘protect’ women’s football



FA flags which read 'For All'

A group of 48 MPs and 27 peers have signed a letter urging the Football Association to change its rules on transgender inclusion to “protect women and girls” in football.

The letter calls on the FA to set an “unambiguous” single-sex policy.

It says the existing rules undermine fairness in the women’s game.

Several teams reportedly withdrew from games against a recreational side in Yorkshire last month after a shot by a transgender player injured an opponent.


“The FA is the most influential sporting body in the UK and it must show leadership,” the letter said.

“The FA is more than willing to issue crystal clear instructions to football clubs across the country on a whole range of different matters and yet on this issue it is turning a blind eye and is passing the buck to individual clubs and managers who must decide whether to allow registered trans players to join their teams.

“We therefore ask that, without further delay, the FA acts to protect women and girls’ football by banning all natalmales from playing in women’s teams.”

The letter was sent by Miriam Cates and co-signed by 42 Conservative MPs, two Labour MPs, two from the Democratic Unionist Party and one from the Alba Party, along with 27 members of the House of Lords.

The FA’s transgender policy states that English law does allow separate competitions to be organised for men and women. However, it states players may apply to play in a league of their “affirmed gender” – that is, the gender they identify as, rather than their birth sex – and each application will be considered on a case-by-case basis, determined by the “safety of the applicant and other players” and “fair competition”.


BBC Sport has approached the FA for comment.

In November, four teams reportedly withdrew from matches against Rossington Main Ladies, who play in the first division of the Sheffield and Hallamshire Women and Girls League – the seventh tier of women’s football in England.

That came after a shot by a transgender woman reportedly led to an opposition player suffering what the letter describes as “a broken knee, an injury that will have long term consequences for her both on and off the pitch”.

In a now-deleted post on Rossington Main Ladies’ Facebook page last month, the player said she had quit football when rival clubs refused to take part in matches against her.

“As some of you may have heard, Rossington Main Ladies FC has faced challenges from teams unwilling to play against us while I am on the field,” the player wrote.


“This unfortunate circumstance has prompted me to investigate pursuing a case of discrimination, as I believe it represents a breach of the code of conduct regarding diversity and inclusion, as well as safeguarding of adults in football established by both the Football Association and the Sheffield and Hallamshire Women and Girls League.”

The letter from MPs and peers said the incident showed current policy for transgender inclusion in football “not only undermines the principle of fairness, it also threatens the safety of women and girls”.

“All sports rely on fair competition,” the letter added. “Teams or individuals must compete as far as possible on a level playing field.

“This is why football, like the vast majority of sports, segregates players by age and sex, to eliminate unfair advantages of size and strength and of course to ensure the safety of all players.”

In a social media post last month, Rossington Main said: “As a community grassroots football club and a Football Association accredited club, it is our duty to foster an inclusive environment for all individuals and abide by the Football Associations policies and guidelines.”


The letter described the situation as “unacceptable” and criticised the FA for not implementing a ban on transgender players from women’s football.

“Unlike the Rugby Football Union or British Cycling, the Football Association has not acted to protect women and girls,” it said.

In May, British Cycling announced it would ban transgender women from the female category of its competitions. There have been similar moves in athletics, swimming, triathlon and both codes of rugby.

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Friday’s gossip: Casemiro, Sancho, Branthwaite, Guehi, Andre, Guirassy, Werner, Davies



Manchester United midfielder Casemiro

Manchester United are willing to listen to offers for 31-year-old Brazil midfielder Casemiro, 30-year-old French defender Raphael Varane, and England winger Jadon Sancho, 23, as manager Erik ten Hag attempts to trim down his squad. (Independent)external-link

Everton centre-back Jarrad Branthwaite, 21, and Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi, 23, are high on Ange Postecoglou’s wanted list as the Tottenham boss reshapes the club’s squad. (Sky Sports)external-link

Everton midfielder Dele Alli, 27, is close to a return to full training as he steps up his recovery from the thigh injury which has meant he has yet to play this season. (Times – subscription required)external-link

Fulham have made Brazilian midfielder Andre, 22, of Fluminense their number one target should 28-year-old Portugal midfielder Joao Palhinha depart Craven Cottage in January. (Telegraph – subscription required)external-link


Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is keen to sign Palhinha from Fulham which is likely to spell the end of 28-year-old Ghana midfielder Thomas Partey’s time with the Gunners. (Mirror)external-link

Manchester United and Newcastle now lead the race to sign 27-year-old Guinea forward Serhou Guirassy from Stuttgart. (Football Insider)external-link

France midfielder Adrien Rabiot, 28, will snub a move to the Premier League and sign a new deal with Juventus. (Gazzetta Dello Sport – in Italian)external-link

Inter Milan are set break their wage structure to tie Argentina striker Lautaro Martinez, 26, down to a new long-term contract. (Calciomercato – in Italian)external-link

Lyon are open to selling 20-year-old French forward Rayan Cherki in January amid interest from West Ham and Chelsea. (Footmercato – in French)external-link

Germany forward Timo Werner has been told by RB Leipzig sporting director Rouven Schroder he can leave the Bundesliga club on loan in January, but neither Manchester United nor Real Madrid are likely to sign the 27-year-old. (Bild – in German)external-link


Spain forward Ferran Torres, 23, has told Barcelona manager Xavi that he is committed to the club and does not want to leave in January. (Mundo Deportivo – in Spanish)external-link

Sunderland are interviewing Swedish coach Kim Hellberg, who has said he is leaving IFK Varnamo, about becoming their next manager following the dismissal of Tony Mowbray. (Times – subscription required)external-link

Spanish defender Jonny Otto, 29, is having ongoing talks with Wolves over his future at Molineux after a recent training ground incident. (Express & Star – subscription required)external-link

France goalkeeper Mike Maignan, 28, is considering his future at AC Milan after contract talks stalled, with Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Paris St-Germain all monitoring developments. (90min)external-link

Real Madrid have identified Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies as their long-term solution at left-back, with the Bundesliga club concerned they will not be able to meet the 23-year-old Canadian defender’s wage demands in the future. (Mundo Deportivo – in Spanish)external-link

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Everton 3-0 Newcastle United: Toffees move out of relegation zone with deserved victory thanks to late goals



Dwight McNeil scores for Everton against Newcastle United at Goodison Park in the Toffees' Premier League victory
Dwight McNeil scored his second goal of the season for Everton

Everton scored three times in the final 11 minutes of a hectic encounter to beat Newcastle and move out of the Premier League’s relegation zone.

The Toffees were sent tumbling into the bottom three by their 10-point deduction for breaking the top flight’s financial rules, but moved back into safety thanks to late goals from Dwight McNeil, Abdoulaye Doucoure and summer signing Beto.

The hosts punished a pair of mistakes from Kieran Trippier, the first coming as McNeil pounced on a poor touch, drove forward forward and thumped a deflected effort into the net, before Doucoure coolly slotted home seven minutes later.

Beto then ran clear during ten minutes of stoppage time and slid home his first league goal to make sure of the points as the home supporters wildly celebrated a deserved victory.

Before the late flurry, the Blues looked to be heading for a miserable night in front of goal having spurned a number of good chances in the opening period.


The returning Dominic Calvert-Lewin was unable to convert the best of those, controlling Jarrad Branthwaite’s flick on onto his chest and volleying over from four yards out.

Newcastle had openings in the first half too but Trippier’s free-kick and Miguel Almiron’s scuffed effort after darting through were both kept out by Jordan Pickford.

In the second half the returning Anthony Gordon, who was jeered by the home supporters throughout the game following his January transfer to Newcastle, should have silenced the Goodison crowd when he picked off James Tarkowski’s loose touch on the edge of the area but only stuck a low shot straight at Pickford.

Those three late goals mean the Toffees claw themselves out of the drop zone by leapfrogging Luton into 17th place, while Newcastle remain seventh behind Manchester United.

Everton turn the tide on home form

Everton would have moved into 10th place with this result had they not been sanctioned by the Premier League, which would have meant fans’ minds were preoccupied with dreams of European qualification rather than worries about a relegation battle.


The Toffees’ form at Goodison Park this season had been woeful before the Magpies’ arrival on Merseyside, with Sean Dyche’s men having won just one of their seven previous home games.

But they put that record right in emphatic fashion here.

Calvert-Lewin was wasteful in front of goal in the first half, seeing a header and low shot saved by Martin Dubravka before a glorious chance was smashed high into the Park End.

But the hosts kept plugging away in a stop-start contest, hitting three goals late on to secure their fourth win in their last six games.

McNeil’s thumper and Doucoure’s calm finish brought much-needed joy to the home faithful, and the atmosphere had become raucous before Beto’s composed finish added gloss to a well-earned victory.


There will be some concern for Seamus Coleman, though, as the Everton skipper hobbled off during the second half on the occasion of his first start since May.

Newcastle’s away despair continues

Newcastle came into this fixture on the back of an energetic victory over Manchester United on Saturday, but their wretched away form continued at Goodison.

Eddie Howe’s men were without 11 first-team players through injury and have now won only one away game this season, which came in the 8-0 thrashing of Sheffield United.

The Magpies could have gone ahead but James Tarkowski made a superb block to deny Bruno Guimaraes, while Alexander Isak sent a header from eight yards out wide of goal.

In the end, the visitors ran out of energy and suffered a further injury concerns when captain Jamaal Lascelles limped off, while Gordon left the stadium with chants of ‘What’s the score?’ ringing in his ears.


The result means Newcastle have already lost five times this campaign, the same number of times they tasted defeat in the entirety of 2022-23.

Their Champions League fate will be decided next Wednesday, when they need to beat AC Milan and hope PSG fail to beat Borussia Dortmund in order to progress to the knockout rounds.

helpHow to play

Rate players out of 10 throughout or after the game. The rater will close 30 minutes after the final whistle.

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  1. Squad number1Player namePickford

  2. Squad number23Player nameColeman

  3. Squad number6Player nameTarkowski

  4. Squad number32Player nameBranthwaite

  5. Squad number19Player nameMykolenko

  6. Squad number18Player nameYoung

  7. Squad number16Player nameDoucouré

  8. Squad number27Player nameGueye

  9. Squad number7Player nameMcNeil

  10. Squad number11Player nameHarrison

  11. Squad number9Player nameCalvert-Lewin

  1. Squad number2Player namePatterson

  2. Squad number14Player nameBeto

Newcastle United

  1. Squad number1Player nameDúbravka

  2. Squad number2Player nameTrippier

  3. Squad number6Player nameLascelles

  4. Squad number5Player nameSchär

  5. Squad number21Player nameLivramento

  6. Squad number67Player nameMiley

  7. Squad number39Player nameBruno Guimarães

  8. Squad number7Player nameJoelinton

  9. Squad number24Player nameAlmirón

  10. Squad number14Player nameIsak

  11. Squad number10Player nameGordon

  1. Squad number11Player nameRitchie

  2. Squad number17Player nameKrafth



Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 1Pickford
  • 23ColemanSubstituted forPattersonat 67′minutes
  • 6Tarkowski
  • 32Branthwaite
  • 19Mykolenko
  • 18Young
  • 16Doucouré
  • 27GueyeBooked at 35mins
  • 7McNeil
  • 11Harrison
  • 9Calvert-LewinBooked at 83minsSubstituted forGomes Betuncalat 85′minutesBooked at 87mins


  • 2Patterson
  • 5Keane
  • 10Danjuma
  • 12Neves Virgínia
  • 14Gomes Betuncal
  • 22Godfrey
  • 28Ramalho Chermiti
  • 58Hunt
  • 61Dobbin


Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Dúbravka
  • 2Trippier
  • 6LascellesSubstituted forKrafthat 90′minutes
  • 5Schär
  • 21Livramento
  • 67MileySubstituted forRitchieat 90′minutes
  • 39Bruno Guimarães
  • 7Joelinton
  • 24Almirón
  • 14Isak
  • 10Gordon


  • 3Dummett
  • 11Ritchie
  • 17Krafth
  • 18Karius
  • 20Hall
  • 29Gillespie
  • 49Diallo
  • 54Murphy
  • 63Parkinson

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FA Cup third round: Arsenal v Liverpool and Middlesbrough v Aston Villa live on BBC



Dates: 6-7 January Coverage: Middlesbrough v Aston Villa (17:30 GMT) on Saturday, 6 January, and Arsenal v Liverpool (16:30) on Sunday, 7 January. Both game live on BBC One, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website and app

The Premier League’s top two meet as Arsenal host Liverpool in a mouth-watering FA Cup third-round tie in January – and you can watch the match live on BBC One.

The game on Sunday, 7 January kicks off at 16:30 GMT and will also be on BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sport website.

Championship side Middlesbrough host Aston Villa is the other BBC game on Saturday, 6 January at 17:30 GMT.

This year’s FA Cup final at Wembley will take place on Saturday, 25 May.


You will be able to follow all 32 third-round matches with live text commentaries, including goal clips, on the BBC Sport website.

FA Cup third-round televised games

Thursday, 4 January

Crystal Palace v Everton, 20:00 – live on ITV4, ITV X

Friday, 5 January

Tottenham v Burnley, 20:00 – live on ITV1, ITV X


Saturday, 6 January

Sunderland v Newcastle, 12:45 – live on ITV1, ITV X

Middlesbrough v Aston Villa, 17:30 – live on BBC One, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website

Sunday, 7 January

Arsenal v Liverpool, 16:30 – live on BBC One, BBC iPlayer, BBC Sport website


Monday, 8 January

Wigan v Manchester United, 20:15 – live on ITV1, ITV X

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Erik ten Hag: Friends tried to talk Manchester United boss out of taking ‘impossible’ job



Erik ten Hag applauds Manchester United fans at Old Trafford
Manchester United finished fourth in the Premier League in Erik ten Hag’s first season in charge of the club

Erik ten Hag said friends tried to talk him out of taking over as Manchester United manager because they thought he faced an “impossible job”.

The Dutchman left Ajax to take over at Old Trafford in 2022 and has been under pressure in his second season.

Ten Hag told fanzine United We Standexternal-link he was warned how tough life would be.

“Everyone was telling me ‘You can’t succeed in that job’. They said it was impossible. Me? I wanted the challenge,” the 53-year-old said.

In his first season in English football, former Bayern Munich youth boss Ten Hag ended United’s six-year wait for a trophy when they beat Newcastle in the EFL Cup final.


However, the Red Devils are way off the pace of leaders Arsenal in the Premier League table and are bottom of their Uefa Champions League group with one match left to play.

They have not seriously challenged for the Premier League or the Champions League since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.

Ten Hag is the sixth man – after David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick – to try to bring success back to the club.

“I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but it was such a great club with such a great fanbase,” Ten Hag added.

“People love Man Utd, or they are against Man Utd. I like clubs like this. Ajax was like this.”


United’s 2-1 victory over Chelsea on Wednesday has provided Ten Hag with some respite from the increasing pressure he is facing.

He denied earlier this week there were rifts in his squad, although, evidently, Jadon Sancho’s continuing exile means there is at least one player with whom the Dutchman has no working relationship.

However, despite the financial impact of freezing out a player who cost United £74m when they bought him from Borussia Dortmund in 2021, Ten Hag insisted he stands by his treatment of the England international.

With an announcement about Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS Group purchasing a 25% stake in the club believed to be imminent, fresh impetus could be around the corner for the Red Devils.

But the deal is unlikely to be concluded quickly enough to have a significant impact on the club’s January transfer window spending, and Ten Hag doesn’t expect to do much business.


“I don’t think [we will spend a lot],” he said.

“As a club, you have to look for improvements, so if you can find better and it’s realistic financially and with Financial Fair Play, the club has to go with it.

“But most of the time you don’t attract the best players in the winter.”

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