NORWICH, ENGLAND - JANUARY 18: Leroy Fer and Russell Martin of Norwich City congratulate Ryan Bennett of Norwich City on scoring their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and Hull City at Carrow Road on January 18, 2014 in Norwich, England.

Norwich City 1-0 Hull City: Vital win for the Canaries (video)

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Ryan Bennett’s first goal for Norwich couldn’t have come at a better time, securing a massive win for the Canaries. The victory lifts them into 12th, temporarily at least, and gives Chris Hughton the chance to fight for more time to right his side.

Despite their poor away form, Hull came flying out of the gates, with the first chance falling to new signing Nikica Jelavić. Unfortunately the Croat destroyed his own chance at a dream debut, putting his shot just wide of the near post, despite lurking close to goal.

The visitors had the better of the first fifteen minutes, but were forced into an early change when James Chester went out with injury. Mayor Figueroa came on in his place, forcing Steve Bruce to switch from his prefered 3-5-2 formation to a 4-4-2.

Norwich took advantage of the change to gain control of the match. Their best chance came in the 42nd minute, the first time Allan McGregor was forced into action. Robert Snodgrass, who’d had a couple poor crosses but had generally done well troubling the Hull defense, decided to let rip a shot from distance. The ball dipped and swerved on its way to goal, but the keeper was up to the task, leaping to palm away the shot.

Despite both teams looking eager to take all three points in the first half, the tempo slowed in the second, leaving behind a rather dull match. It seemed certain that caution would win the day, and a goalless draw would see both sides sharing the spoils.

Instead, with less than five minutes left in the game, Norwich finally found a goal. Snodgrass put in a good delivery from the corner, drawing out McGregor, who was unable to get near the cross. Ryan Bennett, unmarked in the center of the area, was able to head on for his first Norwich goal.

Suddenly the Tigers came roaring back to life, but they were hampered by Tom Huddlestone receiving his second yellow of the match. Still, they managed to give the Canaries a scare when Curtis Davies got his head on the end of a cross from Ahmed Elmohamady, but the ball went just wide of John Ruddy’s goal.

Norwich City: Ruddy; Martin, R Bennett, Bassong, Olsson; Snodgrass, Fer, Johnson, Gutiérrez (Pilkington 68), van Wolfswinkel (Becchio 80), Hooper

Goals: R. Bennett 87′

Hull City: McGregor, Rosenior, Bruce, Chester (Figueroa 15), Davies, Huddlestone, Koren (Fryatt 82), Livermore, Jelavic, Sagbo (Boyd 67), Elmohamady

WATCH: McNamara gives NYC some Derby life with laser blast

Tommy McNamara
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The New York Red Bulls were cruising at home, leading 3-0 in what looked like it could be another blowout New York Derby.

Enter Tommy Mac.

[ MORE: A Pogba Primer ]

The Clemson man and NYC fan favorite unleashed an absolute laser past Luis Robles to make it 3-1 and give City a look at a comeback.

The goal gives McNamara four to go with eight assists this season. Now can NYC keep the comeback working in the second half?

As Pogba bids creep over $130 mil, PST takes stock of the player

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 29:  Paul Pogba of France in action during the International Friendly match between France and Russia held at Stade de France on March 29, 2016 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
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The new number is $133 million.

That’s what Manchester United has apparently offered in a total package to pry Paul Pogba from Juventus, where the Serie A club has been ready to hold out for more from the first moment the player and club were linked.

The latest story comes from Alan Smith and Fabrizio Romano of The Guardian, who say that Juve’s move for Gonzalo Higuain has not made the sale of Pogba a formality.

[ MORE: New contract for Ronaldo? ]

The thing with Pogba is that he doesn’t always pass the eye test, but statistically he’s close to flying colors. In some ways, he’s an analytics man’s conundrum.

Pogba’s 12 assists tied for the Serie A lead with Miralem Pjanic of Roma, and he tied for 20th in goals with eight while blasting the third-most shots in the league (123).

Further, his role in the Juventus system was second-to-none. Only Leonardo Bonucci took more touches than Pogba’s 2577, and he played 130 more minutes. Pogba’s 43 interceptions are 40th in Serie A, and his tackles put him 22nd.

Quite frankly, Pogba has nearly every tool in his locker and deploys most of them despite his relatively young 23 years. He plays on the edge, but rarely crosses it.

There are concerns: He needs a steady defensive midfielder with him, one who can allow him to take his risks. While he’s electric in attack and decent in defense, he won’t be a hero if expected to be the focal point of possession.

[ MORE: Messi back, blonde at Barca ]

This will be paramount in European competition, where Pogba can stand to grow his resume. Yet even this sees him as an instrumental figure in both Champions League and EURO runner-up finishes.

AL AIN, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - MAY 19: Roma's Miralem Pjanic during the international friendly match between AS Roma and Al Ahly on May 20, 2016 in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Chris Whiteoak/Getty Images)
Pjanic (Photo by Chris Whiteoak/Getty Images)

The hope with Pogba is that he’ll continue his upward trend. To make Serie A comparisons, can he be Miralem Pjanic in three years, and Marek Hamsik in five?

Moreover, with the money Manchester United or Real Madrid would spend to get him, can he be better? Given Alex Ferguson’s legendary status and failure to keep him at Old Trafford, there will be a group of United fans who will review his matches more than any in ages.

There are three critical things to remember as Pogba Transfer Mania reaches critical mass (It has, actually, hasn’t it?):

  1. Juventus will sell him, as Pjanic is presently an upgrade.
  2. Despite the fee, no one should yet be legitimately comparing him to Ronaldo or Messi; Transfer records will be broken almost every year moving forward, it’s just a matter of who is for sale.
  3. Pogba is a brilliant fit for Jose Mourinho’s system. The sale wouldn’t make sense for every team.

We’d say that’s a pretty good primer for when the sale is announced, and I think it will be, in the next couple weeks. Good luck, Paul.

NASL roundup: Puerto Rico nabs first win in history; Indy passes Cosmos

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As you were, top of the table.

Indy Eleven remains first and New York Cosmos second after the fifth week of the NASL’s Fall Season, just where they finished the Spring: level on points but separated by tiebreakers.

That’s because Indy took down surprising FC Edmonton 1-0, taking advantage of New York’s draw in Tampa Bay to match the Cosmos’ record at 3-1-1.

[ MORE: Messi back, blonde at Barca ]

In Bayamon, Paulo Mendes found Hector Ramos for the lone goal of the match in the 53rd minute, and Puerto Rico FC picked up its first win in team history with a 1-0 win over visiting Rayo OKC on Saturday night.

Only one team in the league remains winless, as Fort Lauderdale fell 3-1 to Minnesota United. Christian Ramirez scored his league-best 11th goal of the season, while J.C. Banks and Ismaila Jome also netted for the victors.

Elsewhere, Carolina drew Miami 3-3 on Friday night, while Ottawa picked up its first win of the Fall Season with a 2-0 win in Florida against Jacksonville Armada.

NASL Table 72416

Ranieri on Leicester post-Kante: “Don’t worry. Football in Leicester will keep going”

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JULY 23: Leicester City manager Claudio Raneri looks on during the Pre Seanon Friendly match between Cetlic and Leicester City at Celtic Park Stadium on July 23, 2016 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
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Claudio Ranieri hasn’t lost his way with words over the summer.

The Leicester City boss who famously refused to admit his team was in a title race for most of the Premier League season is keeping it cool in the wake of N'Golo Kante signing for Chelsea.

[ MORE: Transfer rumor roundup ]

Simply put, Ranieri says everything’s going to be fine.

From Sky Sports:

“Last season we lost Esteban Cambiasso and everybody was crying,” Ranieri said, after his side drew 1-1 with Celtic in a pre-season friendly.

“Now we are crying because we lost Kante. Don’t worry. Football in Leicester will keep going.”

Kante was probably the most important part of Leicester’s title capture last season, but Ranieri’s system was also critical. The follow-up was always going to be a challenge, but the Foxes won’t sit on their hands moving forward.

Don’t worry.