Manchester United 1-1 Southampton: Late equalizer hands Saints deserved draw (video)

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In the 89th minute Saints captain Adam Lallana deflected in Dejan Lovren’s scrappy shot to send the South Coast club wild and condemn United to more misery at the start of the Premier League campaign.

The Red Devils looked shaky throughout and couldn’t really argue with the result at Old Trafford.

They’d taken a first half lead through Robin van Persie, but United looked disjointed and jaded after several of their players had traveled around the globe in midweek internationals.

The draw leaves Southampton in fourth on 15 points, while Manchester United are in eighth spot on eleven points.

source: AP
RVP gave United the lead, but yet another collapse sees the Red Devils struggling.

It was a bright start from the visitors, who should have gone ahead in the 23rd minute when Victor Wanyama dispossessed Wayne Rooney and found Lallana who slotted Daniel Osvaldo in, but the Italian international struck a weak effort at David de Gea.

And then moments later the Saints were made to pay for that miss, as van Persie put United 1-0 up.

Wayne Rooney was set clean through after a terrific defense splitting pass from Adnan Januzaj, and Rooney forced Artur Boruc into a tremendous save. However, the ball ricocheted back into RVP’s path and the Dutchman tucked the ball home for his fourth PL goal of the season.

Slightly harsh on the Saints after a bright start to the game.

Soon after, Rooney was found in the box by Nani and the England international swiveled before striking his shot against the crossbar as the Red Devils piled on the pressure.

For most of the first half Southampton had the ball and looked composed and patient, however on the break United looked dangerous with Januzaj proving a threat on the left-hand side.

The Saints had a few other chances with Osvaldo, Lallana and Jay Rodriguez looking lively going forward, however the Red Devils went in ahead at the interval despite not impressing.

After the break Southampton again started on the front foot, as Luke Shaw made a great run down the left and Lallana’s shot was cleared away by Johnny Evens for a corner. From the resulting set piece, Dejan Lovren’s header was cleared away by RVP on the post, as the Saints kept their assault on United’s goal going.

But as the second half wore on United ramped up their attack as van Persie and Nani both went close, then Boruc saved superbly from Januzaj in the 62nd minute.

Southampton kept going throughout the second half and pushed forward, leaving themselves exposed on many occasions. But some last-ditch tackles left the Saints in with a chance to grab an equalizer… and that’s exactly what they did.

In the 89th minute an inswinging corner found Dejan Lovren at the back post and the Croatian international bundled the ball towards goals, as they final touch went in off Lallana to send Southampton’s players into raptures in front of their fans in the far right hand corner. It was the third goal Southampton have scored after the 88th minute this season, the most in the PL.

United threatened to try and snatch a late win, but the Saints held on for a point to keep their good start to the season going.

LINEUPS

Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Jones, Evans, Evra; Nani (Giggs, 69). Carrick, Fellaini (Welbeck, 76), Januzaj; Rooney (Smalling, 87), van Persie.

Southampton: Boruc, Clyne, Fonte, Lovren, Shaw, Wanyama (Guly, 83), Schneiderlin, S. Davis (Ward-Prowse, 67), Lallana (c), Rodriguez (Lambert, 55), Osvaldo.

Chinese clubs to pay 100% tax on foreign transfers

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The days of Chinese Super League sides spending eye-popping figures on a handful of international superstars — either that, or those figures are about to double — for now, at least.

[ MORE: Oscar given 8-game ban for petulant display in China ]

China’s Football Association announced Thursday that, effective immediately, any foreign player signed for a fee exceeding $6.63 million would be subject to a 100-percent tax on top of the fee paid to acquire the player. The tax will remain in effect until the end of China’s ongoing transfer window, July 14. The tax will also apply to Chinese players signed for a fee exceeding $3 million.

It’s Chinese authorities’ latest attempt to prevent big spending by CSL clubs, which has in every instance been detrimental to the development of young Chinese players making their way through the academy system. The taxed money will then be reinvested in “youth training, construction of public sporting facilities and scientific progress in football development,” according to a statement by the CFA.

Just last week, China was eliminated from contention to qualify for next summer’s World Cup in Russia. The only time China has ever qualified for the World Cup was in 2002.

Young Englishman Oxford goes abroad, to Gladbach, on loan

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MOENCHENGLADBACH, Germany (AP) Borussia Moenchengladbach has signed English central defender Reece Oxford on loan for the season from Premier League club West Ham.

Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl says “Oxford has gone through all the England youth teams and is one of the biggest defensive talents in Britain.”

The 18-year-old Oxford, who spent the second half of last season on loan at second-division club Reading, is Gladbach’s fifth arrival of the off-season.

Qatar stadium safety concerns again raised by death investigation

Photo by Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy/Qatar 2022 via Getty Images
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An investigation into why a British man fell to his death on a building site for the 2022 Qatar soccer World Cup has raised concerns about stadium roof safety.

World Cup organizers on Thursday released partial findings of an assessment of the accident at the Khalifa International Stadium, but said the full report cannot be released while local authorities continue their own investigation. It is one of two work-related deaths detailed in Qatar’s latest welfare report on preparations for the 2022 soccer tournament, which currently involves 12,367 workers on eight construction sites.

The 40-year-old British man fell 39 meters in January after one end of the roof catwalk he was installing dropped and a safety rope snapped.

“During the course of the investigation, the team had raised concerns with the method of installation of the raised catwalk system,” the welfare report from Qatar’s World Cup organizers stated. “This required further investigation regarding the method itself and the supervision skills of the specialist contractor staff.”

It has led to “corrective and preventative actions” being implemented by the contractor, a joint venture between Belgian and Qatari firms, along with safety checks across all stadium sites, the report said.

“These included a review of all working-at-height activities across all SC projects, an enhanced process when reviewing specialist activities within construction sites, and a detailed review of all roof and gantry designs,” the Supreme Committee overseeing stadium projects added.

The British man is the only European working on Qatar stadiums to have died in a country relying on a low-paid migrant workforce from south Asia to prepare for the first World Cup in the Middle East. Six non-work related deaths have been announced by organizers, with most suffering from heart or breathing problems.

Hassan Al Thawadi, the supreme committee’s secretary general, said medical staff are trying to raise awareness of the “importance of healthy lifestyles” by evaluating diets and identifying health issues, including hypertension and diabetes. Cooling helmets have also been developed in an attempt to make it safer for workers on outdoor sites during the searing summer heat.

World Cup preparations have been dogged by concerns about the welfare of workers since the natural gas-rich Gulf nation won the FIFA vote in 2010. Mounting international pressure led to Qatar raising living standards and worker rights. Inspections led to three contractors being blacklisted and 14 entities “demobilized” from projects for failing to tackle welfare issues, the World Cup report reveals.

“There is still work to be done to ensure our workers’ welfare standards continue to have a tangible impact on the ground and we are comprehensive in our attempts to tackle the myriad of issues facing migrant workers across the SC program,” Khalid Al-Kubaisi, who oversees worker welfare at the Supreme Committee, said in a statement.

The report has been released as Qatar is gripped by a diplomatic crisis that has seen it isolated in the region. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar earlier this month and blocked air, sea and land traffic over its support for Islamist groups and ties with Iran. Qatar denies the charges and says the allegations are politically motivated.

Official (finally): Salah completes move from Roma to Liverpool

Photo credit: Liverpool FC / Twiter: @LFC
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It was the summer’s first transfer rumor-turned-real-story-turned-never-ending-saga that seemed to refuse to cross the finish line, but it’s finally come to pass: Mohamed Salah is a Liverpool player.

Salah’s move from Roma to Liverpool took so long to complete that the club’s poor social-media manager probably never wants to read the words “Announce Salah” for the rest of his/her life.

The deal will cost Liverpool something in the neighborhood of $50 million — a new Liverpool club record — and completes the utterly terrifying attacking quartet Jurgen Klopp can’t wait to unleash on the Premier League come August — Salah on one side, Sadio Mane opposite, Philippe Coutinho in the middle, and Roberto Firmino at striker. Salah, by the way, will take over Firmino’s no. 11 shirt, with the Brazilian switching to no. 9.