How U.S. men in England’s Premier League performed Saturday and Sunday in Round 13:
Clint Dempsey, Tottenham Hotspur: Duece made a big contribution to a worthy win at White Hart Lane. His little scoop pass to put Gareth Bale clean through for Spurs’ second goal was truly wonderful stuff. And Dempsey’s added a quick little pass to help along possession on the home team’s third in a 3-1 victory over London rival West Ham.
Brad Friedel, Tottenham Hotspur: Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas went with French international Hugo Lloris for this one. It was a great week for Lloris (he was huge in a 0-0 draw against Lazio in a mid-week Europa League match), which makes it a less-than-great week for Friedel.
Tim Howard, Everton: A slow first half for the U.S. No. 1 got slightly busier in the second 45. Howard can’t be completely happy with the way he dealt with Sebastien Bassong’s stoppage time header. Hard to call it a gaffe (especially in an EPL round that had a couple of real doozies from other ‘keepers) but perhaps he could have pushed the initial header away to preserve all three points. Otherwise, Howard was his usual steady self in the 1-1 draw at home with Norwich. His work included a solid stop on the goal line as Anthony Pilkington put a sturdy, 85th minute header on goal.
Brad Guzan, Aston Villa: Mostly unbothered in a drab 0-0 contest with Arsenal, the U.S. international did kick away an Aaron Ramsey shot with a swell foot save. No goals at home will not help the struggling side (still in the relegation zone), but Guzan certainly isn’t to blame for that.
Eric Lichaj, Aston Villa: Came in at left back for Villa but never looked comfortable, especially against a fresh Andrey Arshavin in the scoreless contest.
Geoff Cameron, Stoke City: The former Houston Dynamo man has mostly settled in at right back for Tony Pulis’ men, but he was on the left Saturday for the Potters, who took all three points against mostly lifeless Fulham at the Britannia Stadium. His only nick was a second-half yellow card. Mid-table now (12th) is a good place for Stoke.
Maurice Edu, Stoke City: The U.S. international did not make Pulis’ 18-man selection for Stoke.
WIGAN, England (AP) It was better than a hat trick.
A player for English soccer team Wigan had a night to remember when he scored his second goal before dashing off the field and to the local hospital, where his girlfriend was in labor.
[ MORE: Chelsea advances to UCL Round of 16 after win over Qarabag ]
A picture of Ryan Colclough holding his new-born baby, Harley, while still in his soccer uniform was shared on social media by Wigan chairman David Sharpe.
Colclough said his father, sitting in the stands on Tuesday for Wigan’s 3-0 win over Doncaster in the second division, “gave me the action that the waters had broken,” but he didn’t want to come off until the ball was out of play.
“My head was a little bit battered, but I went and scored, looked at the manager and he said we’ll bring you off now,” Colclough said Wednesday of his 58th-minute goal, which he celebrated by pretending to rock a baby. “I came off and was straight down the tunnel, grabbed my keys and my phone, and went to hospital.”
Colclough had visited the midwife that day, and was told the baby was unlikely to arrive for “another couple of days.”
LILLE, France (AP) French club Lille has provisionally suspended coach Marcelo Bielsa following a string of poor results in the top tier.
[ MORE: Basel stuns Man United late to keep UCL hopes alive ]
The northern side said in a statement that Bielsa has been suspended “as part of a procedure started by the club.” Lille did not elaborate.
Bielsa joined Lille this season but has failed to make the club competitive again, with the team second to last after 13 matches.
In today’s Euro Pod Edition, the Robbies breakdown the latest Champions League action. Man United lose at Basel, Chelsea cruise at Qarabag, Spurs impress against Dortmund, Man City continue to win, Liverpool surrender a 3-goal lead against Sevilla. Plus, the guys weigh in on the Oumar Niasse ban for diving and the Tony Pulis sacking.
Join Earle & Mustoe on The 2 Robbies Football Show, Saturdays at 5pm ET. Listen on the NBCSports Radio App and call 855-323-4622 in the U.S. for lively passionate debate.
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While several teams have already booked their place in the knockout phase, the Europa League reaches its penultimate round on Thursday with many big matches in hand.
[ MORE: Yannick Bolasie finally returns to Everton training ]
Of the two Premier League sides in the competition, only one will advance to the Round of 32, as Arsenal have all but assured themselves of the top spot in Group H. The Gunners can do so tomorrow with a win over Koln or a Red Star Belgrade defeat.
The other end of the spectrum features Everton, who has already been eliminated from reaching the next round after acquiring just one point in its first four matches.
European giants AC Milan can lock up a spot in the knockout phase on Thursday despite the club’s ongoing struggles in Serie A, while fellow Italian side Atalanta can move a step closer to the Round of 32 in Group E along with Lyon.
Here’s the full rundown of Thursday’s UEL matches.
Astana vs. Villareal — 11 a.m. ET
Konyaspor vs. Marseille — 1 p.m. ET
Rosenborg vs. Real Sociedad — 1 p.m. ET
Lazio vs. Vitesse — 1 p.m. ET
Viktoria Plzen vs. Steaua Bucuresti — 1 p.m. ET
Lokomotiv vs. Copenhagen — 1 p.m. ET
Zenit vs. Vardar — 1 p.m. ET
Red Bull Salzburg vs. Vitoria — 1 p.m. ET
Athletic Bilbao vs. Hertha Berlin — 1 p.m. ET
BATE vs. Red Star Belgrade — 1 p.m. ET
Ostersund vs. Zorya — 1 p.m. ET
Koln vs. Arsenal — 1 p.m. ET
Nice vs. Zulte Waregem — 1 p.m. ET
Lugano vs. Beer-Sheva — 1 p.m. ET
Ludogorets vs. Istanbul — 3:05 p.m. ET
Braga vs. Hoffenheim — 3:05 p.m. ET
AEK vs. Rijeka — 3:05 p.m. ET
AC Milan vs. Austria Wien — 3:05 p.m. ET
Lyon vs. Apollon — 3:05 p.m. ET
Maccabi Tel Aviv vs. Slavia Praha — 3:05 p.m. ET
Sheriff vs. Zlin — 3:05 p.m. ET
Partizan vs. Young Boys — 3:05 p.m. ET
Skenderbeu vs. Dynamo Kyiv — 3:05 p.m. ET
Everton vs. Atalanta — 3:05 p.m. ET