Thiago Silva insists "age is just a number" and he is not worried about adapting to the speed of Premier League football following his move to Chelsea.

Chelsea signed 36-year-old centre-back Silva on a free transfer following the expiration of his contract at Champions League finalists Paris Saint-Germain.

The Brazil international is set to make his debut in the EFL Cup third-round meeting with Barnsley on Wednesday, three days before the Blues head to West Brom in the Premier League.

Silva is not concerned about being shown up in England's top flight, referring to Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti's statement that he would have signed Usain Bolt over James Rodriguez if he wanted a sprinter.

"I don't worry at all because I know where I want to get to. I really have high hopes about this young team," said Silva on his birthday on Tuesday.

"Physically, I feel really good – age is just a number on your documentation. Physically, I feel very young and I've been preparing my whole life.

"People who know me know I put 200 per cent into my work and this is a great opportunity that Chelsea and Lampard have given me and I really don't want to let them down.

"I never saw myself in the Premier League before, because I thought it was too difficult style of football. I didn't have any desire to play in the Premier League because my impression of the football played was of long balls, high balls and long shots.

"I couldn't really see myself playing in this league but over time I saw that it developed tremendously, there's a lot more technical quality. A lot of teams play with the ball on the ground, with the full-backs attacking in the area and every team has their own idea and strengths but I previously saw it characterised by long balls and that didn't appeal to me.

"I know how to play that way, but my preference is to play with the ball on the ground. I know my quality, little-by-little, the Premier League football really won me over. Anyone who knows me, knows that.

"At 36, I am arriving to play in one of the best championships in the world. This is usually a league of young players but I am coming here as an older player and I see it as because Frank Lampard and Chelsea want a player of my experience.

"If someone wants a runner, then I refer to the words that Carlo Ancelotti used for James: 'If you want someone to run, they can sign Usain Bolt'.

"With my experience and the young players here, I hope to help them in this new adventure."

Carlo Ancelotti declared "the moment is good" for Everton after Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored a hat-trick and James Rodriguez dazzled again in a 5-2 win over West Brom. 

The former Milan and Real Madrid boss suggested his team were slightly flattered by their winning margin, after a red card for West Brom's Kieran Gibbs helped the hosts' cause. 

But Everton have six points from six so far this season - they launched their campaign with victory at Tottenham - and the signs point to them improving significantly on last season's 12th-place finish. 

Ancelotti told BT Sport he was delighted by the partnership of Calvert-Lewin and Brazil forward Richarlison, adding that James, tucked in behind that pair, is "doing really well in this period" after his arrival from Real Madrid. 

"I have seen more ambition, more motivation, more focus, so at the moment the moment is good, but we have to pay attention because every game can be difficult," the Italian said. 

James is impressing in the early stages of his Everton career, scoring the second goal against West Brom, and Ancelotti said: "He makes football easy. He's started really well. I'm really happy for this. 

"He still has a fantastic desire to play and he loves to play with us." 

Ancelotti suggested it was prudent to "look inside the performance", saying that Everton's defensive levels did not match their attacking threat. 

Calvert-Lewin was key to the front players clicking, with the forward celebrating his first hat-trick as a professional. 

"You look at the quality we've got on the ball now," Calvert-Lewin said. "It was important we utilised it with the extra man and I think we did. 

"We created space and we penetrated when we needed to and created chances, and I was obviously happy to be in the box to tap it in." 

He revealed Ancelotti has been pushing hard on the training ground to find small improvements, and the marginal gains are paying off. 

"He's on me every day for one-touch finishes and being in the box, being in the right areas to put the ball in the back of the net," said the 23-year-old. 

"Thankfully today I was, and it's nice to know what I'm working on in training is coming off on the pitch. That's the biggest reward really." 

Former Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has completed his move to West Brom on a one-year contract.

Ivanovic, 36, has been a free agent since leaving Zenit when his contract expired at the end of the Russian Premier League season in July.

Three Premier League titles and the Champions League were among 10 trophies he won during nine successful years with Chelsea between 2008 and 2017.

"The Premier League is the best league in the world," Ivanovic, who will wear the number 20 shirt with West Brom, said after finalising his move on Tuesday.

"I need to challenge myself and I am ready for the challenge. I am really happy to be back playing in the Premier League.

"I hope I am going to be successful here. I have a lot of ambition and I want to prove a lot of things. I will give everything for the team."

The Baggies were soundly beaten 3-0 at home to Leicester City in their first match since promotion to the Premier League on Sunday and manager Slaven Bilic was glad to bring in a proven performer.

Bilic said of Ivanovic: "He is a great addition for us, a team who are newly promoted in the Premier League. He ticks all the boxes for us.

"He's done everything in his career - it's been magnificent. We're delighted. He adds quality and experience on the pitch and off the pitch."

After facing Harrogate Town in the EFL Cup on Wednesday, West Brom are away to Everton in the top flight on Saturday.

Jamie Vardy converted two penalties in Leicester City's clinical 3-0 win at West Brom and matched a Premier League record set by Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Last season's Golden Boot winner converted from the spot in the 74th and 84th minutes at the Hawthorns, after debutant Timothy Castagne gave Brendan Rodgers' side the lead early in the second half.

Right-back Castagne headed in a smartly hoisted cross from Dennis Praet for the 56th-minute breakthrough goal, before Vardy was brought down by Kyle Bartley and slotted his first penalty low into the left corner.

The 33-year-old added a second successful spot-kick for good measure, finding the same corner after Dara O'Shea clipped James Justin, making it a painful first game back in the top flight for Slaven Bilic's Albion.

Vardy has now scored in all five of his Premier League away games against West Brom, and only Van Nistelrooy has played as many matches against one team in the competition and scored each time.

Former Manchester United striker Van Nistelrooy faced Newcastle five times at St James' Park, with the Dutchman scoring on every visit.

West Brom got their man on Wednesday, but it was not Cristiano Ronaldo.

Although the newly promoted Premier League club introduced the arrival of "CR7", the 101-goal Portugal great will not be turning out at the Hawthorns this season.

West Brom were instead celebrating the capture of Republic of Ireland international Callum Robinson, who will wear their number seven shirt.

Robinson spent the second half of last season on loan with the Baggies as they finished second in the Championship.

He has now joined permanently from Sheffield United, with Scotland winger Oli Burke moving the other way.

Burke burst onto the scene at Nottingham Forest and earned a 2016 transfer to RB Leipzig but has since struggled to make an impact, even after a switch to West Brom the following year.

Grady Diangana completed a permanent switch to West Brom on Friday, a move which left West Ham captain Mark Noble "gutted, angry and sad".

Diangana, who made 21 appearances for West Ham in 2018-19 after breaking into the first team, spent last season on loan at West Brom.

He enjoyed a fruitful spell at the Hawthorns, scoring eight goals in 30 Championship appearances as the Baggies secured promotion to the Premier League.

The 22-year-old will now remain in the midlands, having completed a transfer for a reported fee of £18million.

However, it is a deal which experienced midfielder Noble does not agree with.

"As captain of this football club I'm gutted, angry and sad that Grady has left, great kid with a great future!!!!!" Noble tweeted in response to West Ham's announcement of Diangana's departure.

In their statement, West Ham explained the decision to sell the winger had been a "reluctant" one, yet they vowed that all funds generated from the transfer would be given to David Moyes in order to strengthen the Hammers' squad.

"The decision to sell Grady has been made reluctantly but - ultimately - in the best interests of the club and with the aim to strengthen the squad in different areas at this time," a statement on West Ham's official website read.

"The money received for Grady will be reinvested entirely in the team, in line with the manager's targets.

"We believe that this will give us the best possible chance of ensuring we have a balanced squad to compete in the Premier League and capable of reaching our objectives and ambitions this season."

Diangana spent a decade at West Ham, but he told West Brom's website he has no regrets over his decision to leave.

"West Ham was all I had known before last season and I’m sure people will understand that I felt some sadness at leaving," he said

"But coming here having had that season we have just experienced, there were no nerves about leaving at all. Knowing the manager and the players and the feelings I have got for the club just made me excited."

Gareth Barry, who holds the record for the most appearances in the Premier League, has retired at the age of 39.

The former England midfielder played for Aston Villa, Manchester City and Everton before finishing up at West Brom, where he spent two seasons in the Championship.

Barry played in 653 top-flight games and won 53 caps for his country, scoring three goals during an international career that included playing at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

He was also an unused member of Kevin Keegan's Three Lions squad at Euro 2000, having become a regular by then in the Villa first team.

Linked with a move to Liverpool at one time, Barry eventually left Villa Park in 2009 to join City, going on to win both the FA Cup and the Premier League under Roberto Mancini.

He joined Everton initially on a season-long loan before signing permanently in 2014, signing a three-year contract to complete a free transfer to Goodison Park.

West Brom was the final stop in a playing career that spanned over two decades. He was used sparingly in the 2019-20 campaign, though, with his last outing coming against Newcastle United in an FA Cup tie in March.

All four clubs he represented sent congratulatory tweets referencing his retirement on Thursday, along with the England national team and the Premier League's official account.

West Brom clinched the second automatic promotion place in the Championship on a dramatic final day of the season as Wigan Athletic's spirited survival bid failed.

After both West Brom and Brentford were beaten at the weekend, the Baggies only needed to match the third-placed side's result to seal a return to the Premier League after two seasons away in England's second tier.

A seemingly straightforward home fixture against QPR did not go entirely to plan for West Brom, but a 2-2 draw took them up as Brentford went down 2-1 to Barnsley on Wednesday.

That result saw Barnsley stay up, but Wigan could not join them as they drew 1-1 with Fulham – who could have been promoted with a win – and went down due to a looming 12-point deduction.

Charlton Athletic and Hull City were also demoted, while there was a similarly chaotic finish in the play-off race.

BAGGIES BEST BRENTFORD

Both West Brom and Brentford lost their nerve with two matches of the campaign remaining, but a return of just a single point from a pair of games proved enough for Slaven Bilic's team.

Following Friday's defeat to Huddersfield Town, West Brom were boosted by Brentford's own reverse at Stoke City yet could not beat QPR.

West Brom trailed to Ryan Manning's strike before turning the match on its head with goals either side of half-time through Grady Diangana and Callum Robinson, only for Eberechi Eze to equalise just past the hour-mark.

It mattered not, though, as Brentford failed to capitalise, instead losing again.

Josh Dasilva cancelled out Callum Styles' Barnsley opener, but as Brentford pushed for a precious winner, Clarke Oduor tapped in at the other end in the 91st minute.

BRAVE BARNSLEY, WIGAN WOE

There were contrasting scenes at full-time in the final regular league match at Griffin Park after Barnsley celebrated as Brentford collapsed.

The visitors were heading down until Oduor struck but stayed up at Charlton's expense, the Addicks going down 4-0 at champions Leeds United.

Hull propped up the table after a 3-0 defeat at Cardiff City, while Luton Town stayed up thanks to a rallying 3-2 success at home to Blackburn Rovers, aided by two own goals.

Wigan needed to win due to their deduction following administration, but one of the form teams in the division let a lead slip against Fulham, their total of 59 points bumped down to 47 to fall a painful point short.

 

It isn't just a game of football, it's absolutely everything to our players, staff and supporters.

Hold your heads high!#wafc pic.twitter.com/5oTj7eV4jV

— Wigan Athletic (@LaticsOfficial) July 22, 2020
SWANS SAVOUR GOAL SWING

With rivals Cardiff comfortable in claiming their play-off place, Swansea City needed to beat 10-man Reading while Nottingham Forest lost to Stoke City, along with a five-goal swing.

Improbably, the Swans stole sixth place from Forest after a remarkable finale.

The Welsh side won 4-1, netting their fourth in the 91st minute as Wayne Routledge headed in his second.

That scoreline left Forest – 3-1 down at home to Stoke at the time – needing to score, but instead they conceded, their promotion bid derailing in spectacular fashion as Nuno da Costa stabbed into his own net in the sixth minute of stoppage time.

The 4-1 defeat meant Forest – without a win since July 1 – finished seventh.

Elsewhere, there were wins for Derby County, Millwall and Middlesbrough, bringing the curtain down on another season in gripping fashion.

Teenage right-back Nathan Ferguson has joined Crystal Palace following the expiration of his West Brom deal. 

Ferguson's contract was up at the Hawthorns at the end of June and he passed up the opportunity to sign an extension with the promotion-chasing Championship side. 

The 19-year-old, who made 21 appearances for West Brom this season prior to a knee injury, has instead committed to Palace, signing a deal that runs until 2023.

"I do appreciate the attention and I appreciate the hierarchy wanting me to be here," Ferguson told Palace's official website. "It's great to be here and to be wanted as well."

"For any young player that’s leaving home, it'll be very tough. But I'm willing to make sacrifices for the game that I've been playing since I was very young."

Leeds United's 16-year exile from the Premier League is over after West Brom's 2-1 loss to Huddersfield Town saw Marcelo Bielsa's side promoted from the Championship.

Anything but a West Brom win would have seen leaders Leeds promoted and they fell behind inside four minutes, Chris Willock volleying home after goalkeeper Sam Johnstone failed to deal with a free-kick.

The Baggies levelled in controversial fashion before the break, Jonas Lossl claiming an offside Grady Diangana was in his line of sight when he palmed the ball up for Dara O'Shea to head in.

But substitute Emile Smith Rowe scored an 86th-minute winner for the Terriers, who are now virtually safe as they look to avoid the ignominy of back-to-back relegations.

West Brom will drop out of the automatic promotions places if Brentford avoid defeat in their penultimate match at Stoke City on Saturday.

Leeds United have been promoted to the Premier League after a 16-year absence.

Second-placed West Brom's 2-1 loss at Championship strugglers Huddersfield Town on Friday ensured Marcelo Bielsa's men will be in the top flight next season for the first time since 2004.

The Baggies cannot catch Leeds, who need only a point from their two remaining Championship games against Derby County and Charlton Athletic to win the title.

Leeds suffered the heartbreak of a play-off semi-final defeat to Derby last season, but they can head to Pride Park on Sunday knowing their promotion has already been assured.

West Brom's setback against the Terriers has given in-form Brentford the chance to move into second place if they pick up at least a point at Stoke City on Saturday.

If the Bees drop points, Leeds are guaranteed to return to the top flight as champions.

Wigan Athletic humiliated Hull City 8-0 as the Championship relegation battle took an extraordinary twist - while West Brom might be wobbling near the top.

Kieran Dowell hit a hat-trick for Wigan, who remarkably led Hull 7-0 at half-time. Wigan sit in mid-table but are fighting for survival in the second tier because of an administration penalty hanging over the club, and this result was a huge step towards safety.

West Brom have looked on track for automatic promotion for weeks, but a slip in form from Slaven Bilic's men could see Brentford pip them at the post.

Second-placed West Brom could only draw 0-0 at home against fourth-placed Fulham, meaning Brentford can close to within a point of the Baggies with two rounds of games remaining should they beat Preston North End on Wednesday.

WONDER AT WIGAN

Wigan were the talk of English football after their first-half seven-goal show.

The only saving grace for Hull, and frustration for Wigan, was that no supporters were present to witness one of the most eye-catching results in English football all season.

Wigan savagely picked apart the free-falling Tigers and climbed to 13th place in the division.

They became the first team to score seven or more goals in one half of a match in either the Premier League or the three tiers of the EFL since Watford came from 2-0 down to beat Blackpool 7-2 with a second-half flurry in January 2015.

Aside from Dowell's treble, Kieffer Moore netted twice and there were goals for Kal Naismith, who set the ball rolling in the first minute, Jamal Lowe and Joe Williams.

Wigan stand to receive a 12-point punishment for entering administration, a troubling development that followed a recent takeover of the club, but they are fighting to avoid that meaning relegation.

The win neatly moved them 12 points clear of Hull, who sit 22nd and are a point adrift of safety, with the Tigers having a suddenly vastly inferior goal difference to Wigan.

BAGGIES BLOWING IT?

West Brom and Leeds have been trading first place in the Championship, but there could be a surprise in the promotion shake-up.

By failing to find a way through Fulham's defence, West Brom's hold on second place has become increasingly tenuous, given fast-finishing Brentford are on a seven-game winning streak.

Fulham's Anthony Knockaert hit the bar in the second half at the Hawthorns, where the outcome could have been even worse for West Brom.

Cardiff City kept a grip on sixth place as goals from Junior Hoilett and Lee Tomlin earned a 2-1 home win over Derby County.

Just outside the play-offs, Millwall sit seventh after a 1-0 home win over Blackburn Rovers, Mason Bennett with the only goal.

WARNOCK DELIVERS

Ashley Fletcher and Patrick Roberts scored for Middlesbrough in a 2-1 win at Reading that carried Neil Warnock's side five points clear of the bottom three.

Liam Moore had put the hosts ahead before Boro, who appointed veteran manager Warnock as Jonathan Woodgate's replacement last month, turned it around.

Among those worse off than Boro, Huddersfield Town picked up a useful point in a 0-0 draw at Sheffield Wednesday, while second-bottom Luton Town were held 1-1 at home by QPR.

West Brom missed the chance to jump above Leeds United at the top of the Championship as they drew 1-1 at Blackburn, while surging Brentford kept up pressure on the top two.

The race for automatic promotion could go down to the wire, with Brentford's 3-1 win at Derby County the latest statement of intent from the Bees.

Nottingham Forest's play-off slot looks increasingly secure after holding Preston North End 1-1 at Deepdale.

But at the foot of the table it remains anyone's guess as to who will slide into League One, with Hull City and Middlesbrough both beaten at home on Saturday.

BAGGIES FOILED

West Brom looked like jumping ahead of Marcelo Bielsa's Leeds when they went 1-0 up at Ewood Park in the 41st minute, Charlie Austin finding Filip Krovinovic and the Croatian midfielder firing in.

Krovinovic struck the post too; however, Joe Rothwell dragged Rovers level just after the hour and that was how it remained.

The point put West Brom level on 81 points with leaders Leeds, who face Swansea City on Sunday.

Leeds and West Brom have looked like promotion certainties for months, but both may be quietly worrying about the presence of Brentford, now just three points back.

BRENTFORD LOOK THE BEES-NESS

Wayne Rooney's hopes of promotion with Derby County took a severe blow when the Rams lost 3-1 at home to Brentford, who won a seventh straight game and climbed back above Fulham to reach third place.

In a battle of two in-form teams, the Bees came out on top thanks to two goals from Said Benrahma after Ollie Watkins' early opener. Former Manchester United striker Rooney set up Jason Knight to put Derby level midway through the first half, but they were over-run after half-time.

The result left Derby sitting 10th and likely to finish in mid-table, needing a remarkable set of results over the final three rounds of games to reach the top six. Brentford, given their form, will believe they can crash the top two, even with just three games remaining.

Forest, however, will be happy to sit tight in their current fifth-place spot. Lewis Grabban gave them a fifth-minute lead from the penalty spot at Preston, but Jayden Stockley hauled the hosts level on the quarter-hour mark.

CAN TIGERS CLAW THEIR WAY CLEAR?

Hull are in grave danger of relegation after losing 1-0 at home to Millwall, Ryan Leonard with the only goal of the game in just the second minute.

They sit 22nd, two points worse off than Neil Warnock's Middlesbrough, who fell to a 3-1 home loss against Bristol City. Nahki Wells got a double and Jamie Paterson was also on the scoresheet for the visitors, while Britt Assombalonga netted a hollow consolation goal.

Bottom side Barnsley drew 0-0 at Oakwell with a Wigan Athletic side who could yet be dragged into the relegation picture due to off-field problems, while Charlton Athletic's survival hopes took a knock with a 1-0 home loss to Reading – George Puscas converting an early penalty.

Mid-table Sheffield Wednesday, another side at risk of a points deduction because of matters beyond the control of the coaching staff and players, earned a valuable 3-0 win at QPR thanks to goals from Dominic Iorfa, Josh Windass and Jacob Murphy.

West Brom went top of the Championship on Wednesday, while Wigan Athletic and Middlesbrough gained key wins at the other end of the table.

The Baggies moved above Leeds United, and went five points clear of third-placed Brentford, with a 2-0 victory over Derby County, who saw their play-off hopes dented by the loss.

Grady Diangana and Dara O'Shea scored in either half for West Brom before Rams youngster Louie Sibley was harshly sent off in stoppage time for violent conduct.

Derby slipped below Swansea City, who went up to seventh courtesy of a 3-1 win at Birmingham City, with Liverpool loanee Rhian Brewster taking his tally to eight goals in 16 Championship games.

Middlesbrough won for the second time in four games since Neil Warnock was appointed as manager, Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher on target in a 2-0 success at Millwall.

Wigan, who could yet incur a 12-point penalty having gone into administration last week, climbed eight points away clear of danger for now thanks to Kieffer Moore's first-half strike in a 1-0 victory over QPR.

Elsewhere, Bristol City beat Hull City - who are in the relegation zone - 2-1 and Preston North End came from behind to defeat Sheffield Wednesday 3-1.

West Brom boosted their bid for automatic promotion as relegation-threatened Hull City and Middlesbrough both lost in Sunday's Championship action.

After table-topping Leeds United and in-form Brentford both won 24 hours earlier, the Baggies followed suit as they eventually overcame Hull 4-2 in an eventful encounter at the Hawthorns.

Twice West Brom took the lead only to concede, Mallik Wilks making it 2-2 early in the second half. However, Kamil Grosicki crucially edged the hosts back in front just over a minute later.

Grady Diangana wrapped up victory for Slaven Bilic's side, though they finished the game down to 10 men following the late dismissal of Ahmed Hegazi. Still, West Brom are once again a point behind Leeds, while they are five clear of third-place Brentford.

Hull remain outside the bottom three as fellow strugglers Middlesbrough were beaten at home, going down 1-0 to QPR.

Jordan Hugill grabbed the only goal of the contest just after the half-hour mark against a club where he spent the 2018-19 season on loan.

Meanwhile, Swansea City moved up to eighth – four points adrift of the final play-off berth occupied by rivals Cardiff City – courtesy of a 2-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday.

Rhian Brewster, who is on loan from Liverpool, opened the scoring and Andre Ayew doubled the Swans' lead from the penalty spot. Atdhe Nuhiu did half the deficit, though his stoppage-time effort was no more than a consolation for the Owls.

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