Tottenham 0-3 West Ham United: Delight for visitors as they shock Spurs at White Hart Lane (Video)

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Andre Villas-Boas looked like he’d been slapped.

Shock would be the only appropriate feeling for the Tottenham squad after seeing West Ham come to White Hart Lane and run away with all three points on a 3-0 win on Sunday.

Winston Reid gave Spurs the initial jolt and strikes from Ricardo Vaz Te and Ravel Morrison finished it off as the visitors grabbed a huge win to bring them out of the relegation zone.

The win is a massive one for Sam Allardyce, whose lineup and tactics stifled a Spurs squad that feasts on space and width.

The 5-man West Ham midfield started the match rotating throughout the middle, which confused the Spurs build-up and delayed their play as they looked to break down the visitors.

Both sides began with caution, but Tottenham slowly established themselves as the aggressor, and it provided them a few basic chances.  Andros Townsend provided Spurs with their first blazing shot in the 23rd minute, getting space and shooting from way beyond the box.

Spurs continued to dominate, but couldn’t produce the final ball in the first half.

The second half Spurs came out with a sense of urgency and more cutting edge, and it produced some results.

In the 52nd minute, Jermain Defoe found himself with space and launched a howitzer on goal but it was directly at Jaaskelainen who parried over the net.

Neither team looked very comfortable in their own skin in the second half, which played into West Ham’s favor as the clock continued to tick.

source: Getty Images
Ricardo Vaz Te’s second goal sealed the enormous upset for West Ham.

The away side finally broke an increasingly nervy Spurs squad in the 66th minute on a set-piece – a common place to concede for favored sides who don’t look comfortable.

West Ham swung in a corner, and Winston Reid got his head to it.  The header crashed into his teammate James Tompkins on the line, but Reid caught his own rebound and smashed it home.

West Ham’s target man doubled the score a few minutes later and assured the visitors that their upset would be complete.  Kevin Nolan slotted through Vaz Te on the break, and he got behind Michael Dawson with the ball.  His original shot was easily saved by Lloris, but it jumped right back to Vaz Te who completed the sliding finish for the 2-0 lead.

It continued to spiral out of control as Spurs fell apart on the break again and conceded a third.  Manchester United reject Ravel Morrison settled Reid’s clearance and took it over half of the pitch, making Vertonghen look silly and chipping Lloris for the finish.

The three goals allowed by Spurs were one more than they had conceded all season so far.  They miss their chance to break back into the top 5 after being knocked down by Chelsea’s win earlier in the day.

For a club with obvious Champions League aspirations, the loss comes as a serious deterrent to their hopes. Despite being just three points back of the top level, they remain mired in sixth position.  Luckily, they have a weaker stretch before having to face both Manchester teams back-to-back in late November.

GOALS:

West Ham – Reid 66′, Vaz Te 72′, Morrison 79′

LINEUPS:

Tottenham: Lloris; Walker, Vertonghen, Naughton (Holtby, 81′), Dawson; Townsend, Dembele; Paulinho, Sigurdsson (Lamela, 63′), Eriksen (Soldado, 74′); Defoe.

West Ham: Jaaskelainen; Reid, Tompkins, Rat, Demel; Nolan, Morrison, Noble, Diame (Collins, 85′), Downing; Vaz Te (Cole, 86′).

Russia regains FIFA Council seat after Mutko’s ouster

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GENEVA (AP) Russia has regained its place on the FIFA Council, six months after Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko was blocked from re-election.

UEFA member federations on Wednesday elected Alexei Sorokin, CEO of the 2018 World Cup organizing committee, by acclamation as one of their delegates to FIFA’s strategy-setting committee.

The seat, which runs through 2021, was vacant since May when Mutko was formally forced to step down.

Mutko’s candidacy was blocked by FIFA’s then governance committee chairman, Miguel Maduro, because of a conflict of interest with his government work. Maduro, who was ousted by FIFA weeks later, said last week that the world soccer body’s leaders put pressure on him to protect Mutko’s position.

Meeting with British lawmakers, Maduro said he was told that his ruling on Mutko’s eligibility could threaten FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s hold on power and “would be a disaster” for the World Cup.

Sorokin became the eighth of the nine European delegates on the 37-member FIFA Council. The ninth was left vacant in July when long-time Spanish soccer leader Angel Maria Villar resigned as a vice president of FIFA and UEFA after being arrested in a corruption investigation.

Villar was detained along with three other soccer officials, including his son, on charges of improper management, misappropriation of funds, corruption and falsifying documents.

Interim replacements for Villar were to be confirmed later Wednesday at a meeting of the UEFA executive committee.

Predicting the FIFPro World XI for 2016-17

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With the World Players’ Union, FIFPro, releasing the 55 players who received the most votes from over 25,000 professional players from across the globe based on their play in 2016-17, plenty of usual suspects have been selected as the top players on the planet.

But who will make the final XI when it is announced in London on Oct. 23?

[ MORE: FIFPro nominees in full ]

With one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards selected by each professional surveyed, it is quite likely that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will make the team for the 10th straight season. Because, well, they’re Ronaldo and Messi.

Elsewhere there is plenty of debate as to who will make up the defense and midfield and even in goal.

Below I select my XI and I urge you to do the same in the comments section below.

Remember: we can’t always agree on everything but let’s get along…

JPW selects his FIFPro World 11

Goalkeeper: David De Gea (Manchester United)

Defenders: Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich), Marcelo (Real Madrid)

Midfielders: Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), N'Golo Kante (Chelsea), Luka Modric (Real Madrid)

Forward: Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Neymar JR (Paris Saint-Germain)

Karim Benzema signs new contract at Real Madrid

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Karim Benzema has signed a new four-year contract at Real Madrid.

[ MORE: Sargent to Werder Bremen

The French striker, 29, has become the latest star name to commit their future to the two-time reigning European champions with Marcelo, Isco and Dani Carvajal all signing new deals over the past week.

Benzema will now remain at Real until June 30, 2021, with the Frenchman scoring 181 goals in 371 appearances as well as winning two La Liga titles, three European Cups and two Copa del Rey trophies during his time in the Spanish capital.

It is believed this new deal has a release clause of over $1.35 billion as Spanish clubs are now becoming increasingly wary of losing their star players a la Neymar leaving Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain.

Despite his expulsion from the French national team for over 18 months due to his alleged involvement in a blackmail case involving a sex tape and former teammate Mathieu Valbuena, Benzema has been in fine form for Real since Zinedine Zidane took charge in 2015.

Benzema scored 19 goals in 48 games in all competitions last season and 28 in 36 games the season before that as his hold up play and ability to drift out wide or drop deeper crucial to getting the best out of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio and Co.

That said, Benzema has scored just once in six appearances this season but Real are obviously happy with what he is producing aside from goals.

With question marks over the future of Bale at the Bernabeu, locking down Benzema shows just how important he is to Zidane’s attacking unit as they seek to seal a third-straight UEFA Champions League title.

FIFA open investigation into Chelsea’s youth transfer policy

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Chelsea could be in big trouble.

FIFA have confirmed they’re investigating Chelsea’s youth transfer policy yet again, specifically over the recruitment of foreign players under the age of 18.

What could the punishment be? The worst-case scenario is that Chelsea would be banned from signing any new players across its senior or youth levels but it is believed this situation isn’t as serious as previous investigations involving Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

Via the Telegraph, FIFA had the following to say about the investigation: “As the investigation is ongoing, no further comment is possible for the time being.”

Chelsea released a short statement saying: “Chelsea FC complies with all FIFA Statutes and Regulations when recruiting players.”

It will be the third time in eight years that world soccer’s governing body have looked at Chelsea’s youth policy and back in 2009 they were handed a transfer ban for two transfer windows over the signing of French teenager Gael Kakuta from Lens in 2007 but that was later overturned after an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) was successful.

Chelsea were also investigated last year over the signing of Bertrand Traore after images emerged of him playing for the club as a 16-year-old, before international clearance had arrived.

Spanish clubs Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have been found guilty after similar investigations took place with Barca banned from signing players for two transfer windows and the same happening to Atletico who can’t sign any new players until January 2018, while Real Madrid had their ban reduced to one window after an appeal.

In the UK both Liverpool and Manchester City have recently been handed fines and bans for not following rules over recruiting young players domestically.

For foreign players signing for a team in another country there are strict rules in place.

Their family must either be relocating for non soccer reasons to the country where the new club is based, they must live no further than 50km from a national border and the club with which the player wishes to be registered with is within that 50km radius, or if they sign between the age of 16-18 the new club must provide them with housing, access to education and a soccer education.