Spurs

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′).

Andy King: If Leicester can win PL, Wales can win EURO 2016

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 07:  Andy King of Leicester City celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Everton at The King Power Stadium on May 7, 2016 in Leicester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
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Andy King is still riding high from Leicester City’s Premier League title, and that confidence is carrying over into EURO 2016.

The Foxes midfielder and Welsh international sees no reason why Wales can’t win the tournament, despite having 80-1 odds to do so.

[ MORE: England’s EURO squad ]

Of course, Leicester began the Premier League season as 5,000-1 underdogs to lift the trophy.

We’ve got to win six or seven games compared to 38.

80-1 against 5000-1. You know which one you would rather back. We are a talented group and I believe we have the best player in the tournament.

Gareth [Bale] is probably the best player in the tournament in many people’s opinion, so why can’t we go there and do something? We are confident we can do that.

If Wales were to win the EURO this summer, the story truly would rival that of Leicester. The Dragons have never played in a European Championship before, and the nation’s only other appearance at a major tournament came back at the 1958 World Cup.

[ MORE: Payet, Milner make top-five of UEFA’s “player barometer” ]

You may not agree that Gareth Bale is the best player in the tournament, but he is surely near the top of the list. Bale’s play will likely determine how far Wales can go, drawn into Group B alongside England, Slovakia, and Russia.

Report: West Ham offer $22 million for AC Milan striker Carlos Bacca

MILAN, ITALY - MARCH 20:  Carlos Bacca of AC Milan celebrates his goal during the Serie A match between AC Milan and SS Lazio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on March 20, 2016 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
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West Ham’s search for an elite striker continues, with their newest target AC Milan’s Carlos Bacca.

According to Sky Sports, the Hammers have bid $22 million for the striker, who led Milan with 18 goals in Serie A play last season.

However, after paying $34 million to sign the striker last summer, it is believed Milan would be unwilling to sell their top scorer for less than $30 million.

MORE: All 2015-16 PL season reviews ]

At 29-years-old, Bacca has been one of Europe’s most consistent forwards over the past few seasons. After bagging 49 goals in 108 appearances for Sevilla, he earned a move to Milan last July, finishing third in Serie A scoring in his first year with the club.

West Ham’s chairman David Gold has been open about his desire to sign a world-class striker, with Lyon confirming that they rejected a $45 million bid from the Hammers for Alexandre Lacazette.

VIDEO: Neymar takes batting practice before New York Mets game

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 31:  Brazilian soccer player  Neymar Jr stands in the New York Mets dugout before the game against the Chicago White Sox at Citi Field on May 31, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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We all know Neymar’s skills with a soccer ball, but what about with a baseball bat?

Spoiler alert: He’s better with his feet.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s Copa coverage ]

The Barcelona and Brazil superstar was in New York on Tuesday night and hit up the batting cages at Citi Field before the Mets game against the Chicago White Sox.

Taking swings lefty, Neymar made some contact but didn’t necessarily have the smoothest stroke…

He then hit the field and got back to his roots, showing off some footskills while juggling a baseball.

I’m not too sure if Neymar is a baseball fan, but this may make him the Mets’ newest, most famous supporter (sorry Jerry Seinfeld).

Neymar is in the United States as he has some time off after the long Barcelona season. He is not playing in the Copa America with Brazil, but will instead play in the Olympics in August.

Messi’s tax fraud case begins with player avoiding court

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 17:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks on  during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Valencia CF at Camp Nou on April 17, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
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MADRID (AP) Lionel Messi’s tax trial began Tuesday with the player deciding not to appear in court for early proceedings.

Messi is facing a prison sentence of nearly two years on charges he failed to properly pay taxes for part of his earnings from Barcelona from 2007-09.

[ FOLLOW: All of PSTS’s Copa coverage ]

The Argentina playmaker is not obligated to appear in the Barcelona court until Thursday, when he is scheduled to testify before a judge. Sentencing is not expected until next week.

Messi and his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, have been charged with three counts of tax fraud for allegedly defrauding Spain’s tax office of 4.1 million euros ($4.5 million).

Because of the trial, Messi is missing Argentina’s preparation for the Copa America Centenario, which begins Saturday in the United States. He is expected to fly straight to the U.S. to join his teammates after the trial ends. Argentina debuts in the tournament on Monday against defending champion Chile.

Even if found guilty, it is highly unlikely that Messi or his father will face any jail time. They have denied wrongdoing.

[ COPA AMERICA PREVIEWS: Group A | BC | D ]

“Everything is good. Everybody is calm,” said Messi’s lawyer, Enrique Bacigalupo, as he arrived at the Barcelona court on Tuesday.

The trial is centered on alleged unlawful activities of Messi’s father, but authorities said the player knew enough to also be named in the case. Officials said that although Messi was mostly unfamiliar with tax issues, there was sufficient evidence to believe he could have known and consented to the creation of a fictitious corporate structure to avoid paying taxes on income from his image rights.

In addition to each facing a prison sentence of 22 months and 15 days, Messi and his father could also be fined in the amount defrauded and ordered to pay all legal proceedings and the loss of any possible tax benefits for a year and a half.

Messi is just the latest high-profile player to have to deal with Spain’s tough tax system. Neymar, Javier Mascherano, Adriano and Xabi Alonso also were targeted by authorities recently.

[ MORE: Marcelo giving away UCL winners’ medal…on Facebook ]

Mascherano, Messi’s teammate with Argentina and Barcelona, earlier this year was handed a suspended one-year prison sentence for not paying nearly 1.5 million euros ($1.6 million) in taxes for 2011 and 2012. Brazil striker Neymar recently had to testify before a judge because of alleged irregularities involving his transfer to Barcelona. He and the club were accused of withholding the real amount of the transfer fee, in part to avoid paying the full amount of taxes.

Messi was also being investigated by Spanish tax authorities after his name was among those released in the probe of international offshore accounts, known as the Panama Papers, although he was not charged for those allegations.