Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Norwich City: Sigurdsson double highlights Spurs domination

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It was a dream day for Gylfi Sigurdsson, whose brace was the headline of a day when Tottenham were by far the better team en route to their third win of the year.

The Icelandic winger had been frozen out of the squad for much of last year, and with not all of Andre Villas-Boas’s new signings ready to play just yet, he received the call today.

Spurs started bright, pushing up through the midfield and playing a very high line to keep possession in the attacking half.

The home side had a brilliant chance in the 11th minute, when debutant Christian Eriksen created a wonderful bit of space in the box thanks to a one-two move.  He popped a shot from a tough angle, which was well saved though by Norwich keeper John Ruddy.

The chance appeared over, but Ruddy spilled the ball and it fell to Roberto Soldado, who used some impressive improvisation and attempted a back-chip which surprised and beat Ruddy but clipped off the bar.

Norwich spent all their energy just trying to get a touch on the ball, and Spurs kept nearly three-quarters of the possession through the first 15 minutes, pumping the ball into the box repeatedly.

Eriksen again proved creative as Tottenham finally broke through in the 28th minute, as an absolutely brilliant bit of passing in the Norwich box completely shattered the visiting defense.  Danny Rose blasted in a cross, which fell to Soldado. The striker laid off to Eriksen whose first touch fell wonderfully to a streaking Sigurdsson who put the ball into the back of the net.  The goal is the first from open play this season for Spurs.

They continued to batter the Norwich back line after scoring, but the visitors didn’t give up. Their first promising break saw the ball come to Ricky van Wolfswinkel, whose shot would have seriously tested Hugo Lloris but Danny Rose made a vital interception to turn it behind.

Norwich started the second half with a little more energy, but immediately Sigurdsson picked up his second just four minutes after the break. Spurs continued to flood the box, and Paulinho’s cross evaded the defense and found Sigurdsson’s feet for an easy close-range finish. Gylfi looked for his hat-trick but he was denied from long range in the 61st minute by a strong Ruddy save.

The Canaries played into the game a bit more in the second half, and finally found an opening when Lloris came out to punch a corner, and the ball ended up falling to van Wolfswinkel who took a few too many touches before firing on net and the chance was blocked.

That was all Norwich would see, as White Hart Lane saw their home side slide to victory and continue their wonderful start to the season.

Tottenham – Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Rose; Dembele (Lamela, 83′), Paulinho; Townsend, Sigurdsson (Sandro, 78′), Eriksen (Holtby, 71′); Soldado.

Norwich – Ruddy; Whittaker, Bassong, Turner, Garrido; Snodgrass, Fer, Johnson (Howson, 64′), Redmond (Pilkington, 74′), Elmander (Tettey, 74′); van Wolfswinkel.

Griezmann backtracks over ‘insensitive’ blackface tweet

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MADRID (AP) Soccer star Antoine Griezmann has apologized for any offense caused after posting an image of himself on social media in blackface as part of an NBA party costume on Sunday.

Griezmann, who is white, was also wearing a wig and holding a basketball in the photo which had “NBA 69 ALLSTARS” on the jersey.

[ MORE: Making sense of the PL table ]

The photo on his official Twitter account was accompanied by the message “80’s Party” followed by basketball and laughing emojis.

One response called the photo a “bad idea” with others urging the France forward to delete the tweet.

Griezmann at first reacted to the criticism by tweeting: “Calm down friends, I’m a fan of the Harlem Globetrotters and of this great era… It’s a tribute.”

He later tweeted an apology to those he had offended.

“I recognize that’s it’s insensitive on my part. If I offended some people I’m sorry,” he wrote.

The 26-year-old Griezmann plays for Spanish team Atletico Madrid but has been linked to a move to Barcelona.

Alex Morgan named CONCACAF Female POY, Navas wins Male POY

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CONCACAF awarded some of its finest players and coaches on Sunday night, and two familiar faces took home the evening’s most notable awards.

[ MORE: Making sense of table in Man City’s world ]

U.S. Women’s National Team forward Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride) and Keylor Navas of Costa Rica and Real Madrid each earned Female and Male Player of the Year honors, after boasting tremendous 2017 seasons.

Morgan who primarily plays for Orlando in the NWSL, was also a member of Lyon, who went on to win the Women’s Champions League this past season.

Navas, on the other hand, played a key role in Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League run, as well as Los Blancos’ La Liga title.

For Morgan, the award is her third since CONCACAF began handing out its annual awards in 2013. Meanwhile, Navas has now won Male Player of the Year on two occasions.

Leon Bailey stars but Bayer Leverkusen held 4-4 by Hannover

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BERLIN (AP) Jamaica striker Leon Bailey scored twice after coming on as a substitute but Bayer Leverkusen failed to hang on as Hannover grabbed a 4-4 draw in the Bundesliga on Sunday.

[ MORE: Liverpool smashes Bournemouth to move fourth ]

Bailey, who came on at the break, needed only two minutes to equalize after Hannover had gone 3-2 ahead, and he scored again 20 minutes later to put Leverkusen 4-3 in front.

But the 20-year-old missed another chance to complete a hat trick and Julian Korb scored late for Hannover to draw.

“I had a third chance, and I just know if I had taken that chance it would have been over for them. It’s just unlucky. But that’s football,” said Bailey. “A wise man learns from his mistakes. But a wiser man learns from others’ mistakes.”

Both teams traded goals on an afternoon to forget for the goalkeepers.

“It was worth the entrance price for the spectators,” Korb said.

Julian Brandt fired Leverkusen into an early lead with a brilliant volley but Ihlas Bebou replied straight away with a header for Hannover.

Niclas Fuellkrug put the home side ahead with a penalty, only for Admir Mehmedi to equalize four minutes later for Leverkusen.

Hannover went ahead again after Fuellkrug set up Felix Klaus with his heel before the break, when Leverkusen coach Heiko Herrlich reacted with two substitutions.

One of them was Bailey, who raced forward to reach Kai Havertz’s through ball and kept his cool to beat Hannover `keeper Philipp Tschauner.

Bailey claimed his sixth goal of the season after the game’s longest stretch without a goal when Mehmedi played him through on a counterattack after a Hannover corner.

But there was further drama to come as Bebou eluded three Leverkusen defenders to set up Korb for Hannover’s equalizer with seven minutes remaining.

Leipzig, level on points with Leverkusen, had the chance to go second again with a win at home against Hertha Berlin later Sunday.

The 2 Robbies podcast: Liverpool dominates, selling Coutinho discussed

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Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe start off today’s show by discussing Man United’s win at The Hawthorns as Lukaku scores for the second straight match with Juan Mata impressing with his link up play. The guys also look at Alan Pardew’s influence on the Baggies. Liverpool net four in a dominating victory over Bournemouth and with Mo Salah continuing to dominate, the Robbies ask: can Liverpool now afford to sell Coutinho? And finally, the guys discuss Bournemouth’s recent struggles.

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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