Swansea City v West Ham United - Premier League

Swansea City 0-0 West Ham United: Scoreless draw provides boost for both clubs despite empty feeling (video)

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With pouring rain by the fifth minute, neither side produced anything spectacular as Swansea and West Ham played to a 0-0 draw at Liberty Stadium Saturday.

It could have been more for Swansea, however, had referee Phil Dowd not missed an obvious penalty in stoppage time.

West Ham’s strike partnership of Ravel Morrison and Ricardo Vaz Te looked sharp early, with Morrison slicing an early chance just wide on a break in the 15th minute.

The break came just after Chico Flores tested Jussi Jaaskelainen with a dangerous header off a corner directly at the keeper. Anywhere else and he may have opened the scoring.

Morrison continued to test Vorm, with a pair of efforts off a pair of corners as the first half progressed.

As the half went on, Vaz Te dropped deeper and left Morrison by himself up top, nullifying anything Swansea had in their five-man midfield.  West Ham gained an advantage here, but nether side had any other serious efforts on goal before the halftime whistle.

Unfortunately for West Ham, Vaz Te was forced off injured at halftime, with Matt Jarvis on to replace him.

Swansea slowly gained their legs in the second half, and by the 65th minute they were well on top.  A corner in the 70th minute proved very dangerous for West Ham to deal with, and only a spectacular Jaaskelainen save kept out substitute Wilfried Bony’s powerful shot out from close range.

While West Ham may have lost their first-half edge, they defended well, and kept Swansea from any serious threats going forward.

The chances diminshed as the game because a midfield battle, but will feel harshly judged after the failure by referee Phil Dowd to give a clear handball penalty in stoppage time.

Unlike Ahmed Elmahamoudy’s handball against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, Joe Cole’s hand was clearly outstretched from his arm and served to, while not necessarily intentional, make himself bigger and therefore stop the cross by Nathan Dyer.

Cole, making his 350th Premier League appearance, is slightly lucky to have gotten away with no punishment.

The point for Swansea, despite the relative disappointment with being held at home, does push them into the top half of the table.  West Ham, meanwhile, jump to 15th position with nine points.

LINEUPS:

Swansea City – Vorm; Rangel, Chico, Williams, Taylor; Britton, De Guzman, Michu, Dyer, Routlidge (Pablo, 61′); Vazquez (Bony, 66′).

West Ham United – Jaaskelainen; Reid, Tomkins, Rat, Demel; Nolan, Noble, Downing, Diame (C. Cole, 64′); Vaz Te (Jarvis, 45′), Morrison (J. Cole, 78′).

Shakhtar Donetsk 2-2 Sevilla: Gameiro, Vitolo give two-time champs an edge

Shakhtar Donetsk’s Facundo Ferreyra, left, competes for the ball with Sevilla’s Mariano during semifinal first leg of the Europa League soccer match, between FC Shakhtar Donetsk and Sevilla at Arena Lviv stadium in Lviv, western Ukraine, Thursday, April  28, 2016. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky
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Vitolo scored a goal then drew a penalty, and Kevin Gameiro converted the chance as Sevilla picked up a pair of road goals in a 2-2 draw with Shakhtar Donetsk on Thursday in the first leg of the clubs’ UEFA Europa League semifinal.

Marlos had a goal and an assist for Shakhtar Donetsk, with Taras Stepanenko scoring Shakhtar’s other goal.

Sevilla has won the last two tournaments, and hosts Thursday’s second leg with an advantage toward reaching a third.

[ MORE: Watch full Premier League match replays ]

Gameiro set up that oh-so-pivotal road goal in the first 6 minutes, sliding the ball to Vitolo for his left-footed finish between the legs of Andriy Pyatov.

But the Ukranians weren’t slow to respond, and Shakhtar netted twice before halftime. First Marlos scored a left-footed of his own from Yaroslav Rakitskiy in the 21st minute, and then Marlos turned provider for Stepanenko’s headed finish in the 35th.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Villarreal strikes late to take first leg on Liverpool in Europa League semis

during the UEFA Europa League semi final first leg match between Villarreal CF and Liverpool at Estadio El Madrigal on April 28, 2016 in Villarreal, Spain.
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Denis Suarez found Adrian Lopez in the third minute of stoppage time to lift Villarreal to a 1-0 home win over Liverpool in Thursday’s first leg of their UEFA Europa League semifinal.

There wasn’t much enjoyable about the match for either side until late, but Liverpool looked set to head to Anfield in search of a win. Now they’ll need more.

[ MORE: Watch full Premier League match replays ]

The timing was off early for Mexican attacker Jonathan dos Santos and Congolese striker Cedric Bakambu, and Simon Mignolet made a couple collections to get into the flow of the match.

Liverpool answered with a dangerous chance in the fifth minute, but Joe Allen‘s only alley was a pass directly to keeper Sergio Asenjo.

Roberto Soldado knifed a bouncing shot wide of the far post in the 11th minute, and would later curl a shot around Kolo Toure that didn’t finish its dramatic bend inside the field of play.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

The Yellow Submarine had the best of possession, but the Reds were stout in defense with the exception of some slips on the wet turf.

Roberto Firmino was the most dangerous Liverpool attacker, saved off the woodwork just over an hour into the match.

There wasn’t much threat coming from either camp before Mignolet made a terrific save on Bakambu in the 87th minute.

And Alberto Moreno sprung a near 60-yard run past the Villarreal back line, but couldn’t put his left-footed blast on net

Liverpool: Tribunal rules record payment due to Burnley in Ings case

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26: Danny Ings of Liverpool fends off Alan Hutton of Aston Villa during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Aston Villa at Anfield on September 26, 2015 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)
Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images
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The Premier League has a new compensation record, as Burnley has received close to $12 million for Liverpool’s signing of Danny Ings after a tribunal’s ruling.

Ings, 23, was a transfer rumor mill mainstay but stayed through his contract at Turf Moor, earning the right to go anywhere on a free transfer.

[ MORE: Agbonlahor quits as Villa captain ]

But clubs have to pay compensation when signing players who are under the age of 24, and Burnley will get money from Liverpool.

From the BBC:

Burnley chief executive David Baldwin said: “This is an unprecedented record payment for training compensation and not a transfer fee.

“As the initial fee decided by the committee represents almost double the previous record for a tribunal, this fully justifies our decision to press ahead with what we felt was a fair reflection of the part Burnley played in Danny’s development.”

The Clarets will also receive 20 percent of any sell-on fees should Ings move to another club, and Bournemouth stands to make a small percentage as well. The Cherries sold Ings to Burnley in 2011.

Agbonlahor quits as captain of relegated Aston Villa

Leicester City v Aston Villa - Premier League
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BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) Gabby Agbonlahor has quit as Aston Villa captain and apologized for his off-field conduct.

The forward was pictured in a newspaper with what look like nitrous oxide – or laughing gas – canisters on the same night that Aston Villa’s relegation was confirmed after losing to Manchester United this month.

Villa announced that Agbonlahor’s suspension from the club has been lifted, while he has been fined.

[ MORE: Alli’s season is over ]

Agbonlahor wrote on his Instagram account: “I am stepping down as club captain with immediate effect, as I do not deserve to carry out such a role anymore … it hurts to have lost it.”

Agbonlahor is Villa’s longest serving current player and their record English Premier League goal-scorer, having netted 73 times since his debut in 2006.