Newcastle 1-1 Southampton: Wasteful Magpies fail to capitalize as Southampton steal away point (video)

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A number of gaping chances for Newcastle went begging but Loic Remy couldn’t finish as Jay Rodriguez ensured a point for visiting Southampton at St. James Park.

Southampton were on top of the possession battle early on, owning 67% of the time in the first half hour.

Despite the early jabs by Southampton, the opening chance fell to Newcastle’s Loic Remy, and it was a gaping opportunity.

Shola Ameobi found himself with space on the edge of the box in the 12th minute, and he cut it back for Remy with the goalkeeper having come out to challenge. The goal was gaping, but Calum Chambers cleared it off the line with a solid block.

Southampton began to build an attack of their own, and a few dangerous balls into the box developed a chance or two. James Ward-Prowse let fly in the 16th but it bent right to Jussi Jaaskelainen down low.

Newcastle found the breakthrough finally in the 27th minute, thanks to a bit of a mistake at the back by Southampton. With a long-distance free kick coming in, Mike Williamson put a head on the ball towards the front of the goal.

The ball fell to Saints defender Jos Hooiveld, but he whiffed entirely on the clear, and the ball instead found Yoan Gouffran who skipped past Gazzaniga and finished into the empty net.

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Loic Remy missed a pair of sitters that left Newcastle with just a single point.

The second half came and both teams traded blows, but nobody could capitalize.

Finally Southampton made the most of a chance, but it didn’t come from a build-up as they’d been trying to do all match.

It was a counter-attack that leveled for the visitors, as Jay Rodriguez broke with the two-on-one, and he played brilliantly with Steven Davis, and Rodriguez received the ball back perfectly just onsides before a first-touch finish.

The game exploded open. Southampton came close to going ahead just minutes later, and then Newcastle bungled a wonderful opportunity to retake the lead, as Loic Remy botched his second clear chance of the match.

After Newcastle pressed a bit, Paulo Gazzaniga gave the ball right back to Remy, and with nobody around Remy blasted well over with a chance to kill off the visitors.

Referee Mike Jones had a very rough last few minutes.

Moussa Sissoko was attempting to help up Gazzaniga during a stoppage of play as time wound down, but Gazzaniga didn’t appreciate the assistance. He pushed Sissoko’s hand away, and a flailing elbow caught Jones in the face, knocking him to the ground. Flagrant 1!

Jones received treatment for a bloodied nose, and not moments later he was called into action again. A bench fracas broke out, with assistant coaches from both sides getting into a tussle the referee was forced to break up.

It’s an unfortunate draw for both sides, but Newcastle will be disappointed with the result having wasted a number of chances.  They fail to jump Tottenham Hotspur, instead drawing even with Spurs on points in sixth position.

Southampton also could have desperately used three points, but will be a little happier with the away result as they go two clear of Manchester United in eighth place.

GOALS:

Newcastle – Gouffran 27′
Southampton – Rodriguez 65′

LINEUPS:

Newcastle – Krul; Debuchy, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon (Haidara 78′); Sissoko, Anita, Tiote, Gouffran (Ben Arfa 73′); Shola Ameobi (Cisse 60′), Remy.

Southampton – Gazzaniga; Chambers, Lovren, Hooiveld, Shaw; Cork, S. Davis, Ward-Prowse (Lallana 45′), Rodriguez; Lambert, Osvaldo (Schneiderlin 45′).

John Cena makes entertaining Premier League predictions

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We do not recommend putting any money on John Cena’s Premier League predictions for this weekend.

The actor and WWE star was the guest picker on the BBC site on Friday, and admitted his soccer knowledge doesn’t extend much further than Cristiano Ronaldo and a tour of Tottenham (he has a fondness for Spurs, it seems).

[ PL PREVIEW: Chelsea vs. Southampton ]

But his actual selections are quite amusing. From picking matches based on species to trying to anger his fiancee’s Arsenal supporting brother, Cena brought the goods.

Our favorites:

Why West Ham will win at Stoke: “Who doesn’t love a good ham? It provides you with nourishment, happiness and a sense of community. It is always served at a big family function gathering. I like West Ham. 0-1.”

Why Southampton will win at Chelsea: “From where I am from, in Massachusetts, Southampton is a pretty cool place, so I am going to have to pick them, only because of how it relates to the States.”

Premier League Preview: Chelsea vs. Southampton

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  • Chelsea leads all-time 41W-28D-28L
  • Saints have points in 3 of 5 at Stamford Bridge
  • Southampton winless in four straight league games

Chelsea returns home following an emphatic away win to meet a Southampton side fresh off embarrassment at home (Watch live Saturday at 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Saints were battered 4-1 at St. Mary’s by former coach Claude Puel, while Antonio Conte‘s Chelsea rebounded from a loss at West Ham by battering Huddersfield Town 4-1 at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Conte was asked to compare Alvaro Morata to club legend Didier Drogba, as the Spanish striker has reportedly been studying footage of the big Ivorian.

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

“They are two different players with different characteristics,” he said. “Didier Drogba brought history to this club and he’s a wonderful player, a wonderful striker because he continues to play. He’s a great striker, more powerful than Alvaro but Alvaro, don’t forget, has a lot of space for improvement. He’s strong physically, he’s a technical player and I see a great future for Alvaro.”

Chelsea still won’t have David Luiz available, while Southampton has no new injury concerns despite the recent schedule congestion.

What they’re saying

Antonio Conte on Southampton premonitions“‘My expectation is for us to suffer, I have this sensation, so we must pay great attention. When you play after a bad defeat, especially at home, there is great attention of the coach and the club because they don’t want to continue a bad run. They want to give a good answer against a strong team like Chelsea.”

Saints’ Mauricio Pellegrino on facing Chelsea: “We want to show our best version. Chelsea is a really difficult side but maybe we can find more space.  We have to do a really good game to have a possibility of winning, but hopefully after a difficult moment we can bounce back. In this club, we want to show we are committed to trying to be competitive, our energy and commitment to the club.”

Prediction

Saints are wounded, but Chelsea has the better depth and form. Charlie Austin or Sofiane Boufal may force a goal past Thibaut Courtois, but look for the Blues to pull out a 2-1 win.

FIFA suspends Brazilian soccer president Marco Polo del Nero

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA has suspended Brazilian soccer federation president Marco Polo del Nero for 90 days while he is under an ethics investigation.

Del Nero has remained in power in Brazil despite being charged by American authorities with racketeering and money laundering in 2015.

FIFA says Del Nero has been provisionally banned from all soccer activities as formal ethics investigation proceedings are conducted.

Del Nero fled Zurich in May 2015 when FIFA colleagues were arrested, quit the executive committee of soccer’s governing body after missing meetings and was then indicted in the United States in December 2015. He has not been extradited from Brazil to face the charges.

Preview: How can Tottenham stop Man City?

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Can anyone stop Manchester City? Tottenham Hotspur will try this Saturday (Watch live, 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and online via NBCSports.com) with Mauricio Pochettino‘s men aiming to give the chasing pack some hope that City can be caught.

[ LIVE: Stream Man City v. Spurs

Pep Guardiola‘s men have won 15 consecutive Premier League games to stretch their lead atop the PL to 11 points heading into the busy festive season, but a visit from Spurs represents one of their toughest tests of the season so far.

Spurs currently sit in fourth place in the table but are 18 points behind City.

In team news Man City have no fresh injury concerns as Vincent Kompany could return after missing out at Swansea City in midweek, but John Stones remains out injured.

Tottenham will be missing Victor Wanyama and Toby Alderweireld through injury, while Davinson Sanchez serves the final game of his three-match ban.


What they’re saying

Guardiola on Man City going the entire season unbeaten: “It is not going to happen. We are going to lose games, it belongs to Arsene Wenger. Now what happens is an exception, it’s not normal what we’ve done. We’ll try to maintain it but we are going to lose games. It is important is to play better, that’s important. Records are OK but they stay there and one day they will be broken. We focus on the pitch and try to be better, make chances, concede few. I’m happy with the way we play – although I feel we can do much, much better.”

Pochettino on Man City’s incredible run: “They [Manchester City] are showing that they are not only the best in England but in Europe too with the Champions League. They are playing so well and deserve all the praise. It will be so tough. I think Manchester City deserve all the credit with what they are doing.”

Prediction

Spurs will prove a tough test for a rampant Man City squad and I expect Dele Alli and Harry Kane to cause plenty of problems for a threadbare City defense. 2-2.