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Sunderland 2-1 Newcastle: Fabio Borini late winner lifts Sunderland in tantalizing Tyne-Wear derby (video)

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Fabio Borini netted the winner in the 85th minute as Sunderland finally gave their home fans something to cheer about with a 2-1 victory over Newcastle United in the Tyne-Wear derby.

The match was an exciting one, with both sides giving 110% effort.  The effects showed late in the match with tired legs and exhaustion abound, but Sunderland dug deep for their first home points of the season and a lift off the bottom of the Premier League table.

The game had a ferocious start, with both teams fittingly after each other harshly in the opening minutes.

Steven Fletcher opened the scoring in just the fifth minute.  With the Englishman starting alongside American Jozy Altidore for just the second time this season, Altidore won a corner with good work by the flag, and Fletcher nodded home a back-post cross home with his head off the set-piece.

Fletcher outjumped Paul Dummett, the defender who was making his first career Premier League start and labeled this the biggest game of his life.

The goal didn’t change the exciting feel to the match, as both teams continued to press hard and play physical.

Fletcher nearly had a second in the 16th minute, with a bouncing shot forcing Tim Krul into a diving save, and Altidore couldn’t outmuscle Dummett for possession of the rebound.

Rain began to fall in the 23rd minute bringing strong winds with them, making physical play even more intense and challenges clumsier.

source: Getty Images
Gus Poyet’s introduction of Fabio Borini immediately injected fresh legs and an added attack to Sunderland and provided the match-winner.

The physical battle continued up to halftime and even after, and both teams failed to get real spells on goal until Newcastle found their equalizer in the 57th minute.

Hatem Ben Arfa on the ball found himself double-teamed at the top corner of the box, but he threaded a brilliant ball through the double-team of Sebastian Larsson and Phil Bardsley.  The ball traveled past the pack and to Mathieu Debuchy, who had snuck past everyone, including his marker Adam Johnson, and slotted easily past Kieran Westwood.

Ten minutes later, Fabio Borini made his way off the bench for Sunderland, replacing Adam Johnson, and he immediately made an impact.  Borini got the ball streaking towards the 18-yard box corner, and his defender Debuchy slipped, allowing Borini to fire off a shot which Tim Krul nearly spilled but collected in time.

Sunderland had a promising spell of attacking play in the 81st minute when Altidore won a free kick at the top of the penalty area.  Altidore stood over it initially, but in the end it was either Fletcher or Larsson who decided to take the kick. Fletcher put his boot to it but put it into the wall.

The Stadium of Light got their moment three minutes later when Jack Colback found himself on the break.  He found Altidore, who caught the defense off guard with a perfect layoff for Borini.  The give provided the Italian with just enough space to rifle off a shot, which found its mark – the top right corner.

The win brings Sunderland off the bottom of the table past Crystal Palace to 19th place.  It’s Gus Poyet’s first win as Sunderland manager, and its the first win of the season for the Black Cats.

GOALS:

Sunderland – Fletcher 5′, Borini 84′
Newcastle – Debuchy 57′

LINEUPS:

Sunderland – Westwood; Bardsley (Celustka, 77′), Dossena, O’Shea, Cuellar; Cattermole (Ki, 70′), Colback, Larsson, Johnson (Borini, 69′); Altidore, Fletcher.

Newcastle – Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Dummett, Santon; Sissoko (Cisse, 45′), Tiote, Cabaye; Gouffran (Sammy Ameobi, 86′), Ben Arfa, Remy (Shola Ameobi, 70′).

Andy King: If Leicester can win PL, Wales can win EURO 2016

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07:  Andy King of Leicester City celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
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Andy King is still riding high from Leicester City’s Premier League title, and that confidence is carrying over into EURO 2016.

The Foxes midfielder and Welsh international sees no reason why Wales can’t win the tournament, despite having 80-1 odds to do so.

[ MORE: England’s EURO squad ]

Of course, Leicester began the Premier League season as 5,000-1 underdogs to lift the trophy.

We’ve got to win six or seven games compared to 38.

80-1 against 5000-1. You know which one you would rather back. We are a talented group and I believe we have the best player in the tournament.

Gareth [Bale] is probably the best player in the tournament in many people’s opinion, so why can’t we go there and do something? We are confident we can do that.

If Wales were to win the EURO this summer, the story truly would rival that of Leicester. The Dragons have never played in a European Championship before, and the nation’s only other appearance at a major tournament came back at the 1958 World Cup.

[ MORE: Payet, Milner make top-five of UEFA’s “player barometer” ]

You may not agree that Gareth Bale is the best player in the tournament, but he is surely near the top of the list. Bale’s play will likely determine how far Wales can go, drawn into Group B alongside England, Slovakia, and Russia.

Report: West Ham offer $22 million for AC Milan striker Carlos Bacca

MILAN, ITALY - MARCH 20:  Carlos Bacca of AC Milan celebrates his goal during the Serie A match between AC Milan and SS Lazio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on March 20, 2016 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
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West Ham’s search for an elite striker continues, with their newest target AC Milan’s Carlos Bacca.

According to Sky Sports, the Hammers have bid $22 million for the striker, who led Milan with 18 goals in Serie A play last season.

However, after paying $34 million to sign the striker last summer, it is believed Milan would be unwilling to sell their top scorer for less than $30 million.

MORE: All 2015-16 PL season reviews ]

At 29-years-old, Bacca has been one of Europe’s most consistent forwards over the past few seasons. After bagging 49 goals in 108 appearances for Sevilla, he earned a move to Milan last July, finishing third in Serie A scoring in his first year with the club.

West Ham’s chairman David Gold has been open about his desire to sign a world-class striker, with Lyon confirming that they rejected a $45 million bid from the Hammers for Alexandre Lacazette.

VIDEO: Neymar takes batting practice before New York Mets game

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 31:  Brazilian soccer player  Neymar Jr stands in the New York Mets dugout before the game against the Chicago White Sox at Citi Field on May 31, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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We all know Neymar’s skills with a soccer ball, but what about with a baseball bat?

Spoiler alert: He’s better with his feet.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s Copa coverage ]

The Barcelona and Brazil superstar was in New York on Tuesday night and hit up the batting cages at Citi Field before the Mets game against the Chicago White Sox.

Taking swings lefty, Neymar made some contact but didn’t necessarily have the smoothest stroke…

He then hit the field and got back to his roots, showing off some footskills while juggling a baseball.

I’m not too sure if Neymar is a baseball fan, but this may make him the Mets’ newest, most famous supporter (sorry Jerry Seinfeld).

Neymar is in the United States as he has some time off after the long Barcelona season. He is not playing in the Copa America with Brazil, but will instead play in the Olympics in August.

Messi’s tax fraud case begins with player avoiding court

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 17:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks on  during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Valencia CF at Camp Nou on April 17, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
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MADRID (AP) Lionel Messi’s tax trial began Tuesday with the player deciding not to appear in court for early proceedings.

Messi is facing a prison sentence of nearly two years on charges he failed to properly pay taxes for part of his earnings from Barcelona from 2007-09.

[ FOLLOW: All of PSTS’s Copa coverage ]

The Argentina playmaker is not obligated to appear in the Barcelona court until Thursday, when he is scheduled to testify before a judge. Sentencing is not expected until next week.

Messi and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, have been charged with three counts of tax fraud for allegedly defrauding Spain’s tax office of 4.1 million euros ($4.5 million).

Because of the trial, Messi is missing Argentina’s preparation for the Copa America Centenario, which begins Saturday in the United States. He is expected to fly straight to the U.S. to join his teammates after the trial ends. Argentina debuts in the tournament on Monday against defending champion Chile.

Even if found guilty, it is highly unlikely that Messi or his father will face any jail time. They have denied wrongdoing.

[ COPA AMERICA PREVIEWS: Group A | BC | D ]

“Everything is good. Everybody is calm,” said Messi’s lawyer, Enrique Bacigalupo, as he arrived at the Barcelona court on Tuesday.

The trial is centered on alleged unlawful activities of Messi’s father, but authorities said the player knew enough to also be named in the case. Officials said that although Messi was mostly unfamiliar with tax issues, there was sufficient evidence to believe he could have known and consented to the creation of a fictitious corporate structure to avoid paying taxes on income from his image rights.

In addition to each facing a prison sentence of 22 months and 15 days, Messi and his father could also be fined in the amount defrauded and ordered to pay all legal proceedings and the loss of any possible tax benefits for a year and a half.

Messi is just the latest high-profile player to have to deal with Spain’s tough tax system. Neymar, Javier Mascherano, Adriano and Xabi Alonso also were targeted by authorities recently.

[ MORE: Marcelo giving away UCL winners’ medal…on Facebook ]

Mascherano, Messi’s teammate with Argentina and Barcelona, earlier this year was handed a suspended one-year prison sentence for not paying nearly 1.5 million euros ($1.6 million) in taxes for 2011 and 2012. Brazil striker Neymar recently had to testify before a judge because of alleged irregularities involving his transfer to Barcelona. He and the club were accused of withholding the real amount of the transfer fee, in part to avoid paying the full amount of taxes.

Messi was also being investigated by Spanish tax authorities after his name was among those released in the probe of international offshore accounts, known as the Panama Papers, although he was not charged for those allegations.