David Moyes hails Danny Welbeck’s influence as Manchester United’s rise continues

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It wasn’t exactly a dazzling display against Norwich City on Saturday, but Manchester United ground out a 1-0 win away from home to help them climb up the table and they’re now within touching distance of the top four.

For much of the first half the Red Devils were under the cosh as Norwich pegged them back and reduced David Moyes’ side to half chances, as they looked devoid of ingenuity going forward.

(MORE: Norwich 0-1 Manchester United – Welbeck hands United yet another win)

However that all changed in the second half, as half time substitute Danny Welbeck came off the bench to score when 15 minutes of his arrival and win the game for United.

Following the match Moyes hailed Welbeck, but also praised Norwich for their workmanlike display.

“Norwich put on a great show today, but we did as well,” Moyes said. “We kept it quite tight at the back. To get two away victories in three days in the Premier League is a good return for us. Danny Welbeck couldn’t score very often last season, but he looks like he will do it every time now. He changed the game today when he came on.”

Welbeck has now scored four times in his last four PL games and is looking confident in a central role for the Red Devils. So often in the past he has been deployed on the wing for club and country, but you can see that Welbeck really thrives when leading the line on his own.

That opportunity has come after injuries to both Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney, who were missing for the win against Norwich. But Moyes believes the latter will be back for United’s big game against Spurs on New Years Day.

Until then Welbeck’s the main man, as far as Moyes is concerned.

“He is doing very well, and we need everybody to chip in with goals when Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are out,” Moyes said. “Rooney has a groin strain. But I would expect Rooney to be back for Tottenham.”

STREAM LIVE: USMNT looks for 3 more points in Panama

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
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The United States looks to finish the international break in an automatic qualifier spot in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying table when it faces Panama in Panama City at 10:05 p.m. EDT Tuesday.

A lot of the faces are the same from the 6-0 demolition of Honduras in California on Friday, though John Brooks and Sebastian Lletget are out with injury.

Jermaine Jones replaces Lletget while Tim Ream moves into the fray for Brooks. Geoff Cameron played Friday’s match with a minor injury, and moves out of the XI for Graham Zusi.

LINEUP

USMNT: Howard; Villafana, Gonzalez, Ream, Zusi; Bradley, Jones, Nagbe; Pulisic, Dempsey, Altidore

Subs: Bingham, Rimando; Beasley, Besler, Camron, Zimmerman; Acosta, Arriola, Bedoya, Kljestan, McCarty, Pulisic; Wondolowski

Reyes header gives Mexico three points in T&T (video)

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Diego Reyes’ 58th minute header off a corner kick gave Mexico a lead it wouldn’t give up in a 1-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago at Hasely Crawford Stadium in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday.

The win gives Mexico a table-topping 10 points, seven ahead of last-place T&T.

[ MORE: Honduras 1-1 Costa Rica ]

The Soca Warriors were in fine, stingy form early, and looked to have gone ahead on the counterattack when Joevin Jones belted a left-footer into the Mexico goal.

The linesman, however, ruled that Jones was offside. He almost certainly was not, as Mexico’s supreme luck in CONCACAF play continued for at least one night.

Hector Herrera hammered a shot off the far goal post early in the second half as Mexico attempted to grab control.

T&T goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams jammed Miguel Layun’s shot over the bar moments before the breakthrough from Reyes.

Williams then saved Javier Hernandez’s 64th minute offering as Mexico looked to put three points to bed.

Joevin Jones won a free kick in the 76th minute that gave a brief moment of light to T&T’s hopes, but Jones hit the wall and Mexico cleared the ball.

Honduras holds Costa Rica 1-1

AP Photo/Moises Castillo
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Honduras did the United States a favor by taking a point from visiting Costa Rica in Tuesday’s CONCACAF World Cup qualifier in San Pedro Sula.

Anthony Lozano pushed a 35th minute chance past an indecisive Keylor Navas, as Los Catrachos set the stage for a hopeful three points.

[ STREAM: T&T-Mexico, Panama-USMNT ]

Vancouver Whitecaps center back Kendall Waston’s haphazard defending helped allow the goal, but he scored off a late Costa Rica corner kick to ensure Costa Rica will finish the international break in second place.

With four points, Honduras moves ahead of Trinidad and Tobago and the United States before both sides play Tuesday.

Costa Rica beat the U.S. 4-0 in 2016, while the Yanks battered Honduras 6-0 on Friday.

WATCH: Video Assistant calls back Griezmann goal

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France and Spain used the Video Assistant Referee program on Tuesday in a friendly, and the French likely rue that decision.

Antoine Griezmann had an incorrectly allowed goal reverse for offside, while Gerard Deulofeu saw an initially ruled offside goal allowed upon review in Spain’s 2-0 win over France.

[ MORE: Bolivia stuns Messi-less Argentina ]

Here’s an example, as Griezmann’s barely offside goal was overturned in less than a minute (Both calls took less than a minute to decide):

At the risk of sounding like a caveman, I really don’t like these razor thin offside calls being subject to review.

When you consider the improbability of timing the moment of contact with the ball — how many times have you seen a freeze frame conveniently used to make a case? — it just seems to mess with the spirit of sport.

What do you think?