Premier League Roundup: Big wins for Liverpool, Saints, Norwich, Villa, Chelsea fight back – video

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Goals galore, late drama and plenty of controversial moments made Saturday’s six Premier League games a mish-mash of ecstasy, agony and suspense as pulsating clashes played out.

There were huge wins for Liverpool and Southampton who raced away with things in the first half, while Chelsea survived a massive scare late on and plenty of other big story lines came out of Week 11’s opening day of action.

Below is a recap of all the games that took place on Saturday, and you can watch the games back here as well as digesting the recaps and video highlights below.

Enjoy.

Aston Villa 2-0 Cardiff City

The Villans got a massive shutout win as they roared ahead in the second half thanks to two late goals from Leandro Bacuna and Libor Kozak. For most of the game, stubborn defense from both sides cancelled each other out but Villa finally got a late breakthrough

Chelsea 2-2 West Bromwich Albion

What drama at Stamford Bridge, as Jose Mourinho’s 65 game unbeaten run at home in the league as Chelsea boss looked to be coming towards an end, only for a dubious late penalty to save the day. Eden Hazard converted to save their blushes after West Brom had taken the lead going into stoppage time as goals from Shane Long and Stephane Sessegnon had overturned Samuel Eto’o opener. Fantastic game.

Crystal Palace 0-0 Everton

Alas, Palace got a point! The Eagles will feel hard done by to not have taken all three points against a slightly lackluster Everton side. Regardless, it was their first PL point in eight games as a new manager coming in will be impressed with the Eagles battling. As for the Toffees, another shutout and a great defensive display as Palace threw everything at them… but Robert Martinez must be worried with the lack of goals.

Liverpool 4-0 Fulham

Luis Suarez stole the show once again as he bagged two goals and his first half header was deflected off Fernando Amorebietta for the opener. Martin Skrtel got in on the act too as a woeful Fulham outfit were put to the sword by the rampant Reds at Anfield. Steven Gerrard was in mercurial form as Liverpool rise to second.

Norwich City 3-1 West Ham United

What a great turnaround from the Canaries as they recorded their first-win since September after West Ham went ahead in the first half At Carrow Road. Ravel Morrison put the Hammers ahead, but a Gary Hooper’s first goal for Norwich got them level and then a Robert Snodgrass free kick and Leroy Fer’s first Canaries goal sealed the impressive, and much-needed, win.

Southampton 4-1 Hull City

The Saints put in an incredible first half display as onlooking England manager Roy Hodgson was treated to a show from some of his recent additions. Frenchman Morgan Schneiderlin opened the scoring, then Rickie Lambert banged home a penalty and captain Adam Lallana danced his way through five Hull defenders before slotting home. After the break Yannick Sagbo got one back, but Steven Davis scored late on to put some extra gloss on the win. Saints up to third.

Rapids hire Patel as director; Highest ranking female exec in MLS

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The Colorado Rapids have hired Ena Patel as their new director of player personnel. She becomes Major League Soccer highest ranking female executive, according to the Denver Post.

[ FOLLOW: PST’s MLS coverage ]

According to the Rapids, she’ll report to club GM Padraig Smith and “oversee player contracts, salary budget, regulatory compliance, and soccer operations protocols.”

The move comes about a month-and-a-half after Sporting KC hired Megan Cameron as an assistant director of player personnel, the first woman hired to an MLS team’s technical staff.

Patel’s resume is outlandishly strong, though this is her first foray into the sports world. Here are some words from Smith, from ColoradoRapids.com:

“Ena’s hiring is the final piece of the puzzle for us on the front office side,” Smith, the Rapids executive vice president and general manager, said in a statement released by the club. “Bringing in a sharp, legal mind who can oversee our contractual processes and complex league mechanisms is a really important part of ensuring that we’re fielding the best possible team. We can’t wait for her to get started.”

Guardiola happy to reach final, knows Man City to be judged by hardware

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Bristol City made its interesting late with a pair of goals, but Manchester City’s League Cup destiny was never in jeopardy in a 3-2 second leg win at Ashton Gate Stadium on Tuesday.

[ RECAP: Bristol City 2-3 (3-5 agg.) Man City ]

That sent the club into the Feb. 25 final with a 5-3 aggregate win, and it’s very difficult not to leap to the story line that is Pep Guardiola‘s chance at a first significant title in his reign at Man City.

The closest City came to hardware last season was being bounced by Arsenal in the FA Cup semifinal. This time, City is the favorite to win at least three of its four entered competitions: the Premier League, the League Cup, and the FA Cup.

But to hear Pep say it, for now the club is just happy to have earned one final berth. From the BBC:

“We are so happy to be there, to reach this final. We played an amazing game until 2-0 and then we lost control, these type of games never end until the end. This is a lesson for next weekend in Cardiff in the FA Cup and especially for the Champions League.

“It’s not for me, it’s for Manchester City, a club who are trying to reach another level. … I know that we will be judged by trophies we win but we are so happy. Nobody can take away what we have done, but Chelsea or Arsenal are strong teams.”

Guardiola was serious about not overlooking the Robins, as he rolled out a very similar lineup to the full-strength bunch that beat Newcastle United 3-1 at the weekend. That may have cost City late, but it had already built a 4-1 aggregate lead with two superior away goals.

Yes, Guardiola is a man who measures himself by the way his club plays but also by winning in that attractive fashion. Expect a determined club to stride into Wembley late next month.

Chelsea and Arsenal square off Wednesday at the Emirates Stadium for the right to match up with Man City, who won the tournament in 2014 and 2016. Even year dominance?

Man City into League Cup final (video)

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  • City outshoots Bristol 28-5
  • Sane, Aguero put MCFC up 2-0
  • Pack, Kent pulls two back for Bristol
  • De Bruyne answers in stoppage
  • City wins 5-3 on aggregate

A pair of late goals put a scare into Man City, but the Premier League leaders scored just before and right after halftime to insure its first leg lead en route to a 3-2 win over Bristol City at Ashton Gate Stadium on Tuesday.

City wins 5-3 on aggregate in the League Cup semifinal, with Sergio Aguero, Leroy Sane, and Kevin De Bruyne scoring in the second leg.

Pep Guardiola moves to within 90 minutes of his first significant title as Man City boss, and will face either Chelsea or Arsenal on Feb. 25 at Wembley Stadium.

Marlon Pack and Aden Flint scored for Bristol City.

[ MORE: Full stats, box score ]

Sane scored in the 43rd minute and Sergio Aguero struck less than four minutes after the teams returned from the halftime break.

An errant John Stones clearance helped Bristol to the scoreboard in the 64th minute, with Pack scoring the goal.

Flint then nodded home in stoppage time to give the Robins hope for a miracle win, but new contract hero De Bruyne scored within a minute to burn those hopes to the ground.

Bristol would be in the Football League Championship playoffs if the season ended now, sitting in fifth place.

Midfielder Lassana Diarra joins PSG on short-term deal

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PARIS (AP) Paris Saint-Germain has made its first signing of the winter transfer window by hiring midfielder Lassana Diarra on a short-term deal until June 2019.

The 32-year-old holding midfielder will once again try to revive his career in the French league after a successful stint at PSG’s bitter rival, Marseille, that ended last year.

The much-traveled Diarra, who was born in Paris, then played for a few months with United Arab Emirates club Al Jazira.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Diarra, a former Chelsea, Arsenal and Real Madrid player, won English and Spanish league titles in 2006 and 2012. He has 34 caps for France and featured at the European Championship in 2008.

His strong performances with Marseille earned him a recall from France, but he eventually pulled out of Didier Deschamps’ squad for Euro 2016 because of a left knee injury.

“I am very happy to have signed for my hometown club,” Diarra said. “Paris Saint-Germain represents a lot to me and, with the international dimension the club has taken in recent seasons, it is every player’s dream to play here. I am lucky enough to make this dream come true.”

Diarra joined on a free transfer and his signing won’t affect PSG’s bank accounts, which are under UEFA’s scrutiny.

PSG is under pressure to sell players to balance the books after splashing out 402 million euros ($473 million) on forwards Neymar and Kylian Mbappe last year. That led to Qatari-owned PSG being placed under investigation by UEFA for potential breaches of Financial Fair Play rules.