Breakfast Briefing: Saviour Anichebe and world-class Marshall
Victor Anichebe proved the saviour for West Brom once again as his late header ensured a share of the points in a 1-1 draw against league leaders Chelsea. Jose Mourinho's men looked to be heading for a narrow win after Branislav Ivanovic's opener, but Saido Berahino's 87th minute cross was glanced home by Anichebe to spark ecstatic scenes at the Hawthorns. Mourinho was decidedly unhappy at the final result, angrily accusing his team of a "lack of personality".
Meanwhile, David Marshall was the toast of Cardiff City as he kept Aston Villa scoreless in a 0-0 draw at home. Of note was a second half injury time effort in which the goalkeeper, moving to his right, somehow managed to change direction and tip Andreas Weimann's close-range effort to safety. This drew the praise of Cardiff manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but also left Aston Villa gaffer Paul Lambert despairing at his "world-class" display.
Rumours that Tottenham's Hugo Lloris might move to bitter crosstown rivals Arsenal have been rubbished by the goalkeeper himself, as he has labelled the transfer speculation "embarrassing". Lloris' French compatriot Olivier Giroud had earlier hinted at a switch, the Arsenal striker revealing that he had been trying to convince the France custodian to make the move.
Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood has however admitted that failing to secure a top-four spot could result in significant departures from the playing squad. The Spurs are chasing Champions League football yet again, and Sherwood is aware that failure could lead to an exodus. Whether that includes goalkeeper Lloris is anyone's guess.
In the same boat is Manchester United manager David Moyes, as he faces up to losing most of his first choice defence at the end of the season. With Nemanja Vidic moving on and Patrice Evra also out of contract, Moyes has moved to dismiss rumours that he could also lose Rio Ferdinand. The veteran England defender has been tipped to possible retire this summer, but a fuming Moyes claimed it was "complete nonsense" and a "load of rubbish".
Also being linked away is Chelsea's Eden Hazard, but the in-form midfield star has insisted that he is not going anywhere. The 23-year-old claims that he is "flattered" to be linked with the likes of Paris St-Germain, but intends to become the best player in the world at Stamford Bridge.
Alan Pardew has laid down the gauntlet for Papiss Cisse at St James Park, challenging the striker to have a big second half of the season and rediscover his scoring touch after a dramatic loss of form. Newcastle desperately need goals from their Senegalese forward, having failed to score in six of their last seven Premier League games.
There are much happier tidings for Fernandinho though, after the Manchester City midfielder was handed a Brazil recall for the first time since 2012. The £30million buy from Shaktar Donetsk has expressed his "immense joy" at rejoining the Brazilian squad, and is determined to earn a spot in Luiz Filipe Scolari's World Cup side.