Málaga owner’s race card takes sore losing to a new level

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It takes a lot to contain your emtoin when your team suffers a shock loss, so understand why Málaga chairman Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani let his need to vent get the best of him Tuesday night. But what came out via his Twitter account is a small string of ignorance I would dare any chairman to match if I didn’t the dull feeling somebody like Gigi Becali might actually try.

After Borussia Dortmund’s two stoppage time goals knocked Málaga out of Champions League, Al Thani tweeted his hopes that UEFA thoroughly investigate the obvious racism that took place at the Westfalenstadion, racism nobody else observed and Al Thani failed to explain:

source:

He knows we can see that, right?

Let me try to wrap my head around this one, Sheikh Al Thani. If my inferences are correct, you’re imagining a scenario where Málaga was punked, given 180 minutes over seven days to believe they had a legitimate chance to make the Champions League semifinal. Then racism — in some form, but against whom, exactly? — rears its ugly head and ends the Champions League hopes of a club which, although you now clearly love it, your family quasi-abandoned this summer.

If that’s the case, what a brilliantly executed plan, so deft in its execution that the symptoms were impossible to detect. Because there we were, millions around the globe, thinking that Málaga were going through to the semifinals before Marco Reus and Felipe Santana got help from some racists – people who finally decided to step in and give Dortmund their pre-determined result.

That’s what you’re envisioning, right Mr. Al Thani? If so, what incredible cool to risk Willy Caballero saving either of those stoppage time shots, potentially foiling this obvious agenda of bigotry and race-hate. That was some awfully cavalier racist match-fixing.

But no matter how much I load this up with sarcasm, Grantland staff writer Brain Phillips did more in his 140-allotted characters than I could hope to accomplish in this entire post:

Where’s Keith Olbermann when you need to pick out a Worst Person In The World? I know in the day and age of the North Korean crisis that award may be a no contest, but Al Thani still managed to throw his hat in the ring.

Report: LA FC close to acquiring Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan

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First Dax McCarty ahead of the 2017 season, and now Sacha Kljestan?

It seems as though the New York Red Bulls could be on the verge of trading away yet another club captain this offseason.

[ MORE: LA FC continues active offseason with addition of Laurent Ciman ]

According to Metro, Los Angeles FC is close to trading for Red Bulls midfielder Sacha Kljestan.

The U.S. Men’s National Team attacker has led Major League Soccer in assists over the last two seasons, and has served as an integral piece in the Red Bulls midfield since joining the club in 2015.

The Red Bulls made Kljestan club captain ahead of the 2017 season when former midfielder Dax McCarty was traded away to the Chicago Fire in exchange for allocation money.

Kljestan spent the first five seasons of his MLS career with now-defunct side Chivas USA, before playing in Europe Belgian club Anderlecht.

LA FC continues active offseason with addition of Laurent Ciman

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It seems like Major League Soccer’s latest expansion team is taking a page out of Atlanta United’s playbook in its buildup to the 2018 season.

[ MORE: NYCFC provides stadium details for Belmont proposal ]

After selecting five players in Tuesday’s MLS Expansion Draft, Los Angeles FC announced that it will be sending two of those players to the Montreal Impact.

LA FC will be sending Jukka Raitala and Raheem Edwards to the Impact.

The return? Bob Bradley and LA FC will acquire Impact center back Laurent Ciman — who has proven to be one of the best defenders in MLS since arriving in 2015.

“Laurent is a top defender who provides leadership and great distribution,” Bradley said upon acquiring Ciman. “His experience in the league and with the Belgian National Team will be invaluable as we build our club.”

With the addition of Ciman now in place, LA FC has built a strong central defensive partnership after the club also brought in former FC Dallas defender Walker Zimmerman in a trade on Sunday.

The expansion side already made a major splash with its first Designated Player signing this year, bringing in Mexican international Carlos Vela.

Huddersfield 1-3 Chelsea: Blues bounce back on the road

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Chelsea picked up a convincing road victory on Tuesday as the Blues topped Huddersfield Town, 3-1, at the Kirklees Stadium.

[ MORE: Gremio reaches Club World Cup final ]

The Blues came out hungry following Sunday’s defeat at West Ham, and an unlikely goalscorer gave  Conte’s group the lead.

Sloppy passing at the back saw Willian with the ball at the top of the Huddersfield area, before the Brazilian brilliantly played Tiemoué Bakayoko in on goal for his second finish of the season.

Willian — who played a key role throughout the match — extended the Chelsea advantage three minutes prior to halftime when his header snuck past Terriers goalkeeper Jonas Lössl.

Chelsea was clicking on all cylinders after halftime, when Willian helped set up Pedro for his third goal of the Premier League season.

Meanwhile, Laurent Depoitre pulled a goal back late for the hosts, but it was too late to rescue a result for Huddersfield.

Crystal Palace 2-1 Watford: Eagles storm back late, move up to 17th

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All things were pointing towards Watford’s direction on Tuesday, but a late change in fortune gave the Eagles a share of the points.

[ MORE: Burnley climbs into Premier League top four ]

A pair of late goals gave Crystal Palace a 2-1 win over Watford at Selhurst Park, and pulled Roy Hodgson’s side out of the relegation zone.

Bakary Sako and James McArthur each found the back of the net after the 87th minute to complete an important comeback for the Eagles. Now, Palace sits 17th in the PL standings on 14 points.

The big moment of the match came in the 87th minute, when Tom Cleverley was sent off after picking up his second yellow card.

Three minutes into the match, Daryl Janmaat struck for the visitors after the Dutchman headed home Richarlison‘s cross from close-range.