Few Premier League fans experienced an opening weekend roller coaster like those around Anfield, with the Reds claiming a first half lead, hinting they would relinquish shortly before full-time, only to see a goalkeeper making his Liverpool debut salvage full points for his new club.
You’ve read the reports and watched the highlights. Now experience that roller coaster with the fans in an around Anfield, as footage from Liverpool shows you what it was like to be on site as Simon Mignolet’s driving save on Stoke City’s Jonathan Walters preserved an opening day victory.
Liverpool versus Stoke was the opening match of this weekend’s Premier League coverage on NBC Sports. Next weekend’s slate begins Saturday at Craven Cottage, with the pre-game show for a London derby between Fulham and Arsenal beginning at 7:00 a.m. Eastern on NBCSN.
Liverpool will be part of next Saturday’s match on NBC, their visit to Birmingham to take on Aston Villa kicking off at 12:30 p.m. Eastern. Stoke City will look for their first points of the season against visiting Crystal Palace (Saturday, 10:00 a.m. Eastern, Premier League Extra Time).
Two Premier League clubs saw a pair of players return to the field after long spells on the sidelines.
Tottenham revealed that Victor Wanyama took part in training on Monday for the first time since suffering a knee injury in late August, which has kept him off the field since then. Wanyama started in both of Tottenham’s first two fixtures of the season before the injury.
[ MORE: Premier League stats ]
At the same time in the northwest of England, Yannick Bolasie returned to the field for Everton’s reserves for the first time since suffering a torn ACL last December against Manchester United. Everton manager Sam Allardyce hinted recently that Bolasie could even make the first team subs bench before the end of the calendar year as he continues his rehab.
Sporting Kansas City could be adding some European flair to its midfield this offseason.
According to multiple reports, the MLS club is in negotiations to sign French midfielder Yohan Croizet, who currently plays for Belgian first division side KV Mechelen. Croizet, who reportedly cost Mechelen a transfer fee worth more than $1 million, has started all 15 games he’s played for his side this season but has been substituted off on seven occasions and Mechelen are currently struggling in the league, sitting in 13th place with 18 points from 18 games.
Croizet hasn’t played since November 17, and appears on his way out.
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Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes, a Hungarian-American, is no stranger to the European market and has brought over plenty of diamonds in the rough from Europe to star with Sporting KC. Some previous examples, though in different positions from Croizet, include current winger Gerso, Krisztián Németh, Uri Rosell, and Aurelien Collin.
It will be interesting to see where Croizet plays in the Sporting KC side should it sign him, and how he works with Benny Feilhaber, who is turning 33-years old in January.
Arsenal will face a team with an English connection in the UEFA Europa League Round of 32.
The Gunners were paired with Swedish side Ostersunds in the Europa League knockout stage draw Monday, with matches set to be played on February 15 and February 22. Ostersund are managed by Englishman Graham Potter, who played in the Championship and lower in England before starting his managerial career with Ostersunds in 2010 in the fourth tier of Swedish soccer.
[READ: UCL draw+analysis]
Ostersunds surprised many earlier this year winning the Swedish Cup to qualify for the Europa League, and then advanced out of a group that included Hertha Berlin and Athletic Bilbao.
It represents an interesting draw for Arsenal, which will have to balance the squad during a tough February. The weekend prior to the first-leg match is the second leg of the North London derby against Tottenham, and following the second match with Ostersunds is a showdown with Manchester City.
Here’s a look at how the rest of the draw shook out:
The Round of 16 draw for the UEFA Champions League did not disappoint.
[ MORE: Champions League schedule ]
We have some monster clashes with Chelsea facing Barcelona, once again, and the reigning champs Real Madrid paired with the favorites Paris Saint-Germain.
With five Premier League teams remaining, Tottenham have been handed a tough draw against Italian champions Juventus who were also runners up in the UCL last season, while Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool will all be rather happy with their draws.
United have been drawn against Spanish side Sevilla, Liverpool will face FC Porto and Man City clash with Basel.
Below is the draw in full, while UEFA has also released the schedule for the games with Man City, Spurs, Liverpool and Man United all playing their second legs at home.