Southampton 2-3 Tottenham: Adebayor double gives Sherwood first Premier League win (video)

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Like a phoenix from the ashes, Emmanuel Adebayor rose from youth-team relegation to the first-team squad and he rewarded interim manager Tim Sherwood for the selection with a double.

The win gives Tottenham all three points in Sherwood’s Premier League debut at the helm of Spurs just days after stating his case for the permanent job to the press.

The match began with an equal sharing of possession, but some seriously poor passing by Southampton led to an early end to a few chances.

Sherwood’s lineup allowed the pair of Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado some freedom to roam out onto the wings.  However, it was Southampton’s wing play that paid dividends early.

Danny Fox made a run through space on the left flank, and found Adam Lallana who opened the scoring with a low drive past Hugo Lloris in the 13th minute.

Lallana, having returned to the starting lineup after a week on the substitutes bench, used a brilliant first touch to spin around his defender, create space in the central defense, and drive down low.

The strike pair for Spurs would cash in 13 minutes later though, as Soldado received the ball on the left and sent in a deep, searching cross for Adebayor who connected with a high boot and stuck the ball past Paulo Gazzaniga from close range for an equalizer.

source: Getty Images
Interim manager Tim Sherwood played a very attacking lineup and was rewarded by Adebayor’s brace.

The goal was Adebayor’s first of the season, and a benchmark for the Togo international having been forced to train with the youth squad earlier in the year under Andre Villas-Boas.

The halftime break came without many other serious chances, but Spurs pressed hard at the start of the second half and held much of the possession.  They were dealt a blow when Moussa Dembele was forced off injured just five minutes after the break, and Sherwood handed a debut to 19-year-old Naleb Bentaleb.

The goals then came crashing in.  First, Jas Hooiveld tried to cut out a Danny Rose cross but tapped it into his own net past Gazzaniga to give Spurs a lead on 54 minutes.  Rose and Christian Eriksen played a one-two, and the cross saw Gazzaniga and Hooiveld both look to stop it.

Southampton looked to counter, and that they did on a beautifully created fast break.  Jack Cork found a streaking Adam Lallana down the middle, and with the Spurs defense caught off guard, Lloris was forced to come out of net. Ricky Lambert trailed the play and Lallana found him for the tap-in equalizer.

With the score at 2-2, Adebayor would soon put Spurs on top again.  The ball came down the right flank this time for Spurs and after they worked it into the box, the ball squirted past a few defenders and fell to the Togo international who cut back towards the middle of the box and rifled home for his brace.

The game opened up, with chances on both sides, but Soldado thrice proved wasteful in front of goal, something that’s been a problem for him all season.

Southampton, though, proved frustrated as the game lagged on, and although five minutes of stoppage time gave them hope, nothing came of the frantic ending as Lambert came closest by heading over the bar.

The win will hugely boost a struggling Spurs side that was threatened with a drop to eighth in the table. Instead, they run level with Newcastle on 30 points.

Meanwhile, Southampton will lick their wounds after finding themselves winless in their last six, the longest such run under manager Mauricio Pochettino.

GOALS:

Southampton – Lallana 13′; Hooiveld (og) 54′; Lambert 59′
Tottenham – Adebayor 26′; 64′

LINEUPS:

Southampton – Gazzaniga; Chambers, Lovren, Hooiveld, Fox (Gallagher 78′); Cork (Ward-Prowse 63′), Schneiderlin, S Davis (Ramirez 69′), Lallana, Rodriguez; Lambert.

Tottenham – Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Chriches, Rose; Lamela (Chadli 61′), Dembele (Bentaleb 50′), Eriksen, Sigurdsson; Adebayor, Soldado (Defoe 85′).

Chinese clubs to pay 100% tax on foreign transfers

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The days of Chinese Super League sides spending eye-popping figures on a handful of international superstars are over — either that, or those figures are about to double — for now, at least.

[ MORE: Oscar given 8-game ban for petulant display in China ]

China’s Football Association announced Thursday that, effective immediately, any foreign player signed for a fee exceeding $6.63 million would be subject to a 100-percent tax on top of the fee paid to acquire the player. The tax will remain in effect until the end of China’s ongoing transfer window, July 14. The tax will also apply to Chinese players signed for a fee exceeding $3 million.

It’s Chinese authorities’ latest attempt to prevent big spending by CSL clubs, which has in every instance been detrimental to the development of young Chinese players making their way through the academy system. The taxed money will then be reinvested in “youth training, construction of public sporting facilities and scientific progress in football development,” according to a statement by the CFA.

Just last week, China was eliminated from contention to qualify for next summer’s World Cup in Russia. The only time China has ever qualified for the World Cup was in 2002.

Young Englishman Oxford goes abroad, to Gladbach, on loan

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MOENCHENGLADBACH, Germany (AP) Borussia Moenchengladbach has signed English central defender Reece Oxford on loan for the season from Premier League club West Ham.

Gladbach sporting director Max Eberl says “Oxford has gone through all the England youth teams and is one of the biggest defensive talents in Britain.”

The 18-year-old Oxford, who spent the second half of last season on loan at second-division club Reading, is Gladbach’s fifth arrival of the off-season.

Qatar stadium safety concerns again raised by death investigation

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An investigation into why a British man fell to his death on a building site for the 2022 Qatar soccer World Cup has raised concerns about stadium roof safety.

World Cup organizers on Thursday released partial findings of an assessment of the accident at the Khalifa International Stadium, but said the full report cannot be released while local authorities continue their own investigation. It is one of two work-related deaths detailed in Qatar’s latest welfare report on preparations for the 2022 soccer tournament, which currently involves 12,367 workers on eight construction sites.

The 40-year-old British man fell 39 meters in January after one end of the roof catwalk he was installing dropped and a safety rope snapped.

“During the course of the investigation, the team had raised concerns with the method of installation of the raised catwalk system,” the welfare report from Qatar’s World Cup organizers stated. “This required further investigation regarding the method itself and the supervision skills of the specialist contractor staff.”

It has led to “corrective and preventative actions” being implemented by the contractor, a joint venture between Belgian and Qatari firms, along with safety checks across all stadium sites, the report said.

“These included a review of all working-at-height activities across all SC projects, an enhanced process when reviewing specialist activities within construction sites, and a detailed review of all roof and gantry designs,” the Supreme Committee overseeing stadium projects added.

The British man is the only European working on Qatar stadiums to have died in a country relying on a low-paid migrant workforce from south Asia to prepare for the first World Cup in the Middle East. Six non-work related deaths have been announced by organizers, with most suffering from heart or breathing problems.

Hassan Al Thawadi, the supreme committee’s secretary general, said medical staff are trying to raise awareness of the “importance of healthy lifestyles” by evaluating diets and identifying health issues, including hypertension and diabetes. Cooling helmets have also been developed in an attempt to make it safer for workers on outdoor sites during the searing summer heat.

World Cup preparations have been dogged by concerns about the welfare of workers since the natural gas-rich Gulf nation won the FIFA vote in 2010. Mounting international pressure led to Qatar raising living standards and worker rights. Inspections led to three contractors being blacklisted and 14 entities “demobilized” from projects for failing to tackle welfare issues, the World Cup report reveals.

“There is still work to be done to ensure our workers’ welfare standards continue to have a tangible impact on the ground and we are comprehensive in our attempts to tackle the myriad of issues facing migrant workers across the SC program,” Khalid Al-Kubaisi, who oversees worker welfare at the Supreme Committee, said in a statement.

The report has been released as Qatar is gripped by a diplomatic crisis that has seen it isolated in the region. Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain cut ties with Qatar earlier this month and blocked air, sea and land traffic over its support for Islamist groups and ties with Iran. Qatar denies the charges and says the allegations are politically motivated.

Official (finally): Salah completes move from Roma to Liverpool

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It was the summer’s first transfer rumor-turned-real-story-turned-never-ending-saga that seemed to refuse to cross the finish line, but it’s finally come to pass: Mohamed Salah is a Liverpool player.

Salah’s move from Roma to Liverpool took so long to complete that the club’s poor social-media manager probably never wants to read the words “Announce Salah” for the rest of his/her life.

The deal will cost Liverpool something in the neighborhood of $50 million — a new Liverpool club record — and completes the utterly terrifying attacking quartet Jurgen Klopp can’t wait to unleash on the Premier League come August — Salah on one side, Sadio Mane opposite, Philippe Coutinho in the middle, and Roberto Firmino at striker. Salah, by the way, will take over Firmino’s no. 11 shirt, with the Brazilian switching to no. 9.