A couple of lessons from Saturday in the Premier League:
- The reasonable relegation field has slimmed
- Thanks to two other sides, so has the Top Four
Manchester United and West Ham United both stumbled in a quest to make up ground on the top four sides in the Premier League, who face off with each other on Sunday.
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And Norwich City’s point coupled with Chelsea’s demolition of Newcastle United has the contestants for the Bottom Three looking pared down to six clubs.
Sunderland 2-1 Manchester United — RECAP
- VAN GAAL: Champions League hopes must turn to Europa League title
- ALLARDYCE: Sunderland “got what it deserved” in late win
United will finish the weekend a minimum of six points outside of the Top Four after allowing a third minute goal and another about the same distance from the final whistle in its first ever loss at the Stadium of Light. Wahbi Khazri looks the part for Sunderland, who moved to within a point of safety with the win. Anthony Martial scored for United
Swansea City 0-1 Southampton — RECAP
Fraser Forster has six-straight shutouts and Saints are knocking on the door of fifth place after picking up three points in Wales. Shane Long‘s late goal lifted Saints to the win and 40 points on the season, while Swans are three points ahead of 17th place Norwich City and 18th place Newcastle.
Chelsea 5-1 Newcastle United — RECAP
- HIDDINK: Terry injury could keep him from facing PSG in Champs League
- WATCH: Chelsea scores three goals in 11 minutes to bury Magpies
Newcastle started a makeshift back four with winger Rolando Aarons filling in at fullback, and Chelsea absolutely devoured the Magpies to win its first season series against the Northeast side since 2011. Pedro nabbed a pair of goals, with Bertrand Traore adding his first Premier League goal. Diego Costa and Willian also scored, and Andros Townsend added his first goal since leaving Spurs in the January transfer window. Newcastle is 18th after the blowout loss sunk them beneath Norwich on differential.
Norwich City 2-2 West Ham United — RECAP
And that’s because the Canaries tossed away a 2-0 home lead against Dimitri Payet. We should say West Ham, but Payet has been an absolute wizard for the Irons and scored before setting Mark Noble up for a second in erasing the deficit caused by goals from Robbie Brady and Wes Hoolahan. For the moment, Norwich is 17th and the Hammers failed in a bid to overtake Manchester United for fifth.
Bournemouth 1-3 Stoke City — RECAP
Giannlli Imbula, Joselu and Ibrahim Afellay helped the Potters cruise to a win at Vitality Stadium, halting its slide while moving Bournemouth smack dab back in the relegation frame. The Cherries are four points free of the drop zone, and Matt Ritchie‘s goal was part of a game comeback effort from Eddie Howe‘s bunch.
Everton 0-1 West Bromwich Albion — RECAP
The Toffees managed an incredible 34 shots, but couldn’t slip one past a packed-in West Brom side. The Baggies closed up shop after Salomon Rondon scored in the 14th minute, West Brom’s only shot on target of the night. Tony Pulis‘ side is eight points clear of the drop.
Crystal Palace 1-2 Watford — RECAP
Alan Pardew‘s Eagles are all the way down to 13th and winless in 2016 Premier League matches. With just one point from its last seven matches, Palace needs a win soon to avoid being a very real part of the relegation picture. Quique Flores‘ Hornets, however, are essentially safe after moving to within five points of fifth. Troy Deeney scored both of Watford’s goals, while Emmanuel Adebayor netted for Palace.
|West Ham United||26||10||10||6||40||31||9||5-5-2||5-5-4||40|
|West Bromwich Albion||26||8||8||10||24||32||-8||4-4-5||4-4-5||32|
The latest chapter in the United States versus Mexico soccer rivalry takes place on Saturday, as the United States women’s national team faces the Mexican women’s national team in the second game of 2016 Olympic qualifying.
The game, which kicks off at 4 p.m. ET, can be seen live on NBC Sports Live Extra (link below) from Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Tex.
[ WATCH LIVE: USWNT vs. Mexico live online on NBC Sports Live Extra ]
Mexico currently sits atop Group A after a 6-0 drubbing of Puerto Rico in their opening game, while the USWNT are a very close second, having beaten Costa Rica 5-0 on Wednesday.
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Terry left Saturday’s 5-1 victory over Newcastle United after just 38 minutes, shortly after picking up a hamstring injury in a nasty collision with and landing alongside Aleksandar Mitrovic. After the game, interim Chelsea manager gave a brief update on Terry’s status and subsequent availability for Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain — quotes from the BBC:
“We have just two days to recover and it is something to think about in the future because two days of recovery is not enough.”
Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink says they will know what John Terry’s injury situation is tomorrow. Doesn’t sound hopeful of him facing Paris St-Germain on Tuesday (but didn’t rule it out).
Terry will undergo a scan on his hamstring, which will determine the severity of injury and the time he is to miss, on Sunday.
Chelsea are already without defender Kurt Zouma, who suffered a nasty knee injury last weekend. Couple that with Terry’s injury on Saturday, and 20-year-old American center back Matt Miazga is now an injury to or sending-off of Gary Cahill or Branislav Ivanovic away from making his Chelsea debut in the Champions League and/or Premier League.
- Costa opens scoring in fifth minute
- His 8th goal in 10 appearances
- Magpies back into drop zone on goal diff.
- Townsend strikes late to break shutout
Diego Costa and Pedro scored before the match was nine minutes old, and Willian put an exclamation point on a wild first half in the 17th minute as Chelsea battered Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Pedro added another in the second half before Bertrand Traore tallied his first Premier League goal to make it 5-0. Chelsea now has 33 points, and is within two points of 10th and nine back of fifth place Manchester United.
Newcastle is back in 18th, lower than Norwich City on goal differential. Andros Townsend scored late for the Magpies.
[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]
Pedro doubled the advantage when he took advantage of 20-year-old Rolando Aarons, who was forced to play right back despite starting as a right wing under Alan Pardew. It was an awful pass regardless of his normal position, and Pedro picked it off and went the distance.
Andros Townsend cut in from the left to provide a counter threat, but his low shot was gobbled up by Thibaut Courtois.
Still, 3-0 came first. Costa worked a long ball and then watched Fabricio Coloccini back off. Willian tore through an unmarking back line to push home an easy goal.
[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]
3 – Chelsea have scored with all three of their shots on target in this game so far. Clinical.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 13, 2016
[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]
Aleksandar Mitrovic absorbed a tricky cleat to his achilles, staying in the game to hit a low shot wide of goal.
But Pedro added another goal moments later on a counterattack (of sorts) and it was 4-0 in the 59th minute.
Townsend broke the shutout when he belted a left footed shot home late for his first ever Newcastle goal.