Premier League Top 5 Goals: Sturridge’s floater takes cake

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While it’s tough to top last week’s incredible team goal by Arsenal (via Jack Wilshere) and Pajtim Kasami’s wonder-strike, this week’s Top 5 goals are hardly pushovers. 

#5 Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

With seven goals in seven matches, it’s safe to say that Sergio Aguero is in the form of his life. On Sunday he proved it against Chelsea when he slipped behind Gary Cahill and latched on to Samir Nasri’s though-ball to unleash a ferocious left-footed shot into the top corner. The near post blast positively baffled Petr Cech, who was left sprawling as to how Aguero (who is right footed) could possess so much power. 

#4 Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)

Whoever edited this video for the Premier League is clearly a United supporter because no one in their right mind would consider Wayne Rooney’s header better than Aguero’s shot. Regardless, Rooney once again stepped up for the Red Devils when they desperately needed him to do so, falling back and cleverly skimming Robin van Persie’s corner to the far bar. 

#3 Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

If you’re still focused on the fact that Luis Suarez is a quack, then you’re head is in the wrong place. The man is capable of anything on the pitch and if not yet the hands-down best player in the Barclays Premier League, he’s certainly the most entertaining. Here he latches on to Kolo Toure’s pass, goes through the wickets on Jonas Olsson and pokes home to the far post with relative ease. 

#2 Fabio Borini (Sunderland)

Fabio Borini pulled off some incredible moments when he was at Roma but since being acquired by Liverpool, he’s been troubled by a lack of form and injuries. The loan spell at Sunderland may be just the answer to his Premier League problems. On Sunday, he finally showed exactly what he’s capable of by taking Jozy Altidore’s layoff and ripping a shot that took a hard right turn into the top corner, winning the Tyne-Wear derby. After the match Borini told reporters that he had predicted scoring the game winner to a friend before the match. Now that’s vision.

#1 Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)

Quick recap – Aguero is in the form of his life and Suarez is the most entertaining player in the league. So where’s that leave Daniel Sturridge? Well, he too is in the form of his life and his place atop the goal scoring chart (with eight) proves it. Against West Brom he showed just how delicate his touch is, carefully stabbing a left-footed floater into the far post, playing Boaz Myhill like a fool. Now if we can only do something about that awful celebration dance.

Independiente and Flamengo meet for South American trophy

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SAO PAULO (AP) Independiente, relegated for the first time in its history in 2013, can complete a remarkable turnaround by winning the Copa Sudamericana at the Maracana Stadium on Wednesday.

[ MORE: LA FC selects Urena, four others in MLS Expansion Draft ]

The Argentine team will go into the second leg of the final holding a 2-1 lead over Brazilian club Flamengo from the first leg.

Independiente, which has won multiple titles in South American tournaments, will be counting on 18-year-old midfielder Ezequiel Barco, one of the best players in this year’s competition.

Flamengo is also seeking to restore some pride in Rio de Janeiro. The big-spending Brazilian club, playing in its first Copa Sudamericana final, finished its domestic championship in a disappointing sixth place.

The Rio team will be without Peru striker Paolo Guerrero, who is serving a one-year doping ban.

Instead, veteran midfielder Diego will be the key player as Flamengo looks to claim its first regional title since winning the now-defunct Copa Mercosur in 1999.

After Independiente won the first leg, the club posted on its social media channels a picture of its players celebrating at the Maracana in 1995 when the two teams played for the Supercopa.

If the Argentines lose 1-0 on Wednesday, there will be a penalty shootout to decide the winner.

Last year, Brazilian club Chapecoense was awarded the title before the final after 19 players, plus club directors and several members of staff, died in an air crash.

The Copa Sudamericana is the continent’s second most prestigious tournament after the Copa Libertadores.

Bundesliga wrap: Dortmund wins in Stoger’s managerial debut

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For the first time since late September, Borussia Dortmund has won a league match, while Leipzig’s slip up opens the door for Bayern Munich to extend its lead in Germany’s top flight.

[ MORE: Chelsea tops Huddersfield, level on points with Man United ]

Here’s a brief look at all of Tuesday’s Bundesliga action.

Mainz 0-2 Borussia Dortmund

10 points separates Dortmund from league leaders Bayern Munich, who also have a match in hand, but for the moment, the bleeding his stopped. BVB picked up a crucial win on Tuesday to end its domestic woes upon manager Peter Stoger’s debut. The side’s drought stretched over an eight-match winless period. Second-half goals from Sokratis and Shinji Kagawa moved Dortmund into the top four, while Mainz remains 15th in the league table.

 

Wolfsburg 1-1 Red Bull Leipzig

Meanwhile, RB Leipzig’s form continues to slide downward after the second-place side dropped points in its fourth straight match across all competitions. The road side’s fortunes were dampened early on when Paul Verhaegh converted from the penalty spot, however, Marcel Halstenberg did manage to pull a goal back for Leipzig in the 52nd minute. Leipzig’s misfortunes carried on in stoppage time though when Dayot Upamecano was sent off after picking up his second yellow card of the day.


The rest of Tuesday’s scores

Hamburg 1-2 Frankfurt
Freiburg 1-0 Borussia Monchengladbach

Inter beats 3rd-division Pordenone 5-4 on penalties in Cup

Albano Angilletta/ANSA via AP
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MILAN (AP) Inter Milan scraped into the Italian Cup quarterfinals after the Serie A leader was taken to penalties by third-division Pordenone on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Chelsea tops Huddersfield, moves level on points with Man United ]

Pordenone goalkeeper Simone Perilli pulled off several saves in regulation time to keep the game scoreless, and he almost proved to be the hero during the shootout, stopping two penalties.

But Inter prevailed 5-4, with Yuto Nagatomo tucking away the final spot kick.

Both sides hit the woodwork during the 120 minutes.

Inter coach Luciano Spalletti rang the changes, and only Milan Skriniar and Matias Vecino remained in the starting 11 from Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Juventus.

[ MORE: Burnley moves into top four after win over Stoke ]

However, he was forced by desperation to bring on Marcelo Brozovic at halftime as well as star forwards Ivan Perisic and Mauro Icardi.

Report: Cosmos coach Savarese to be named new Timbers manager

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In a time where NASL’s status moving forward is hanging in the balance, one of the league’s top managers is set to make the jump to Major League Soccer.

[ MORE: LA FC close to acquiring Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan ]

According to ESPN soccer analyst Taylor Twellman, New York Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese is set to be named the next Portland Timbers manager.

Savarese will take over for the recently departed Caleb Porter, who stepped down from his head coaching role with the Timbers in November.

The former professional player spent five seasons in MLS during his career, including stints with the New York/New Jersey MetroStars (now the Red Bulls), as well as the New England Revolution and the San Jose Earthquakes.

The 46-year-old has managed the Cosmos from 2013 to present, and guided the NASL side to three Soccer Bowl titles in that span.