New-look Phoenix make first big roster splash, sign former Premier League defender

The Wellington Phoenix have made their first big roster move under new coach Mark Rudan with former Premier League defender Steven Taylor announced as a new addition today.

The 32-year-old had 194 EPL appearances with Newcastle United over 13 seasons.

He has also played for the Portland Timbers in the MLS and Ipswich Town and Peterborough United in the English Football League.

Taylor won the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2006 before winning the Football League Championship in the 2009/10 season while at Newcastle United FC.

He said he was excited by the prospect of playing in New Zealand and Australia.

"As soon as I was aware of the interest, I knew it was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up.

"I was here in 2014 as part of the Football United Tour when we played in Dunedin and Wellington and loved the country then.

"I know that I am joining an exciting project under Mark as well as playing in one of the best leagues in the world in the A-League."

Rudan said signing Taylor is great news for both the club and football fans.

"Steven is a significant signing for the football club in what we are trying to create.

"He brings a huge amount of experience and strong leadership.

"We expect Steven to be a success on and off the park."

Taylor will meet his new teammates as he begins training with the squad this week.

Newcastle United's English defender Steven Taylor (L) vies with Sunderland's US striker Jozy Altidore (R) during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Sunderland at St James'  Park in Newcastle upon Tyne on February 1, 2014.  AFP PHOTO/IAN MACNICOL  

RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. NO USE WITH UNAUTHORIZED AUDIO, VIDEO, DATA, FIXTURE LISTS, CLUB/LEAGUE LOGOS OR LIVE SERVICES. ONLINE IN-MATCH USE LIMITED TO 45 IMAGES, NO VIDEO EMULATION. NO USE IN BETTING, GAMES OR SINGLE CLUB/LEAGUE/PLAYER PUBLICATIONS.        (Photo credit should read Ian MacNicol/AFP/Getty Images)
Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor vies with Sunderland's Jozy Altidore in 2014. Source: Getty


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Chelsea's perfect Premier League start ended with West Ham stalemate

West Ham ended Chelsea's perfect start to the Premier League season as the London clubs played out a 0-0 draw.

Chelsea had recorded five wins in its first five games but, after a tiring trip to Greece midweek to play in the Europa League, Maurizio Sarri's team never really got going against an energetic and organized opponent.

And the Hammers looked more likely to find a winner for much of the game, with Chelsea 'keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga - the world's most expensive goalkeeper - forced into the best save of the match, and Andriy Yarmolenko missing a simple chance late on for West Ham.

Chelsea improved as the game went on but Alvaro Morata wasted its best chance, firing straight at Lukasz Fabianski soon after coming off the bench.

Chelsea's Marcos Alonso against West Ham's Andriy Yarmolenko
Chelsea's Marcos Alonso against West Ham's Andriy Yarmolenko Source: Associated Press


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Second-half blitz sees Arsenal home against Everton

Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored in the space of three second-half minutes to lead Arsenal to a 2-0 win over Everton in the Premier League.

It was a fifth straight victory in all competitions for Arsenal, signaling the methods of new manager Unai Emery are starting to kick in after he took over from long-time coach Arsene Wenger.

Lacazette curled a shot in off the far post to put Arsenal ahead in the 56th minute, before Aubameyang doubled the lead by slotting home from close range - albeit from an offside position following Aaron Ramsey's flick-on.

Everton had the better of the first half, with Brazil forward Richarlison - back after a three-match domestic ban for headbutting an opponent - proving dangerous down the left wing and forcing a good save from goalkeeper Petr Cech.

It leaves Everton, also under a new coach in Marco Silva, with just one win in six games.

For Arsenal, it was a first clean sheet under Emery despite centre back Sokratis hobbling off in the first half.

Arsenal celebrate against Everton
Arsenal celebrate against Everton Source: Associated Press


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Manchester United's Premier League woes continue, held to draw by lowly Wolves

Nuno Espirito Santo put one over his mentor Jose Mourinho when promoted Wolverhampton held Manchester United to 1-1 at Old Trafford in the English Premier League.

Wolves manager Espirito Santo, who once played under the United coach at Porto, saw Mourinho's team take the lead in the 18th minute when Paul Pogba set up Fred.

Fred's goal came against the run of play as United struggled on Alex Ferguson's homecoming. The former manager was back at Old Trafford for the first time since he underwent emergency brain surgery in May.

Wolves deservedly leveled on a counterattack eight minutes after the interval. Raul Jimenez collected the ball in the center of the penalty box after another raid down the United left which began with sloppy play from Pogba.

Awkwardly placed for a shot, Jimenez laid the ball to Joao Moutinho, who curled a classy finish past United goalkeeper David De Gea.

United might well have been nursing successive home defeats were it not for the brilliant De Gea, who made several good saves, including one from Adama Traore in added time.

Joao Moutinho's equaliser condemned United to a 1-1 stalemate at home. Source: SKY


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Sergio Aguero scores in 300th Premier League match as Manchester City wallop Cardiff

Sergio Aguero celebrated signing a new contract with Manchester City by scoring the opening goal in a 5-0 win over Cardiff in the English Premier League.

The Argentina striker's fourth league goal of the season came on his 300th appearance for City, which bounced back from its surprise midweek loss to Lyon in the Champions League.

Bernardo Silva, Ikay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez - with two second-half goals as a substitute - also scored at Cardiff City Stadium as City recorded a fifth win in the opening six games of its title defense.

City announced on Friday that Aguero penned a one-year extension to his contract, tying him to the club until 2021 and likely meaning he'll see out a decade at Etihad Stadium.

The fans' favorite was back in the starting lineup after getting dropped to the bench against Lyon and was dangerous throughout, getting his goal in the 32nd by finishing off a squared ball by Bernardo.

The Portugal playmaker turned scorer three minutes later when he flicked in a cross from Leroy Sane.

Gundogan curled in a classy third just before halftime after exchanging passes with Raheem Sterling, before Mahrez scored in the 67th - with his first since joining in the offseason from Leicester - soon after replacing Aguero and again in the 89th.

The striker shone in his side's 5-0 win over the Bluebirds. Source: SKY


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