Fulham have been given a small glimmer of life as they’ve opened the scoring against Manchester United against the run of play.
The visitors had nearly zero touches in the attacking third before Lewis Holtby swung in a pass and a charging Sidwell latched onto it and slid the ball into the bottom corner for a 19th minute lead.
It was brilliant anticipation by Holtby to find Sidwell, who had left his mark Darren Fletcher in the dust.
The goal is Fulham’s first score in four Premier League matches, having been shut out in the previous three against Southampton, Swansea, and Arsenal.
For Sidwell, it’s his sixth goal of the season, leading Fulham. The goal comes despite Manchester United owning 65% of the possession through the opening 25 minutes, and the visitors have already been forced to weather 19 crosses and make 21 clearances.
To make matters worse, Robin van Persie missed an absolute sitter minutes later on the end of a beautiful cross by Rafael. He shockingly blasted way over from just two yards out.
Newcastle United’s horror start under Steve McClaren just got worse.
Magpies No. 1 goalkeeper Tim Krul is on duty with the Netherlands, and was forced from the Dutch’s 2-1 win at Kazakhstan in Euro qualifying action.
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Krul left the game after landing awkwardly on his knee, and left the stadium on crutches.
Newcastle’s back-up keepers are Karl Darlow, new from Nottingham Forest, and veteran Rob Elliot.
The Magpies are in 20th place, without a win through eight Premier League matches.
McClaren’s crew just finished a brutal run of matches that saw Newcastle face Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.
Italy took a 1-0 lead over Azerbaijan through the in-form Eder in the 11th minute, but the true leg-work (see what I did there) came from bite-sized midfielder Marco Verratti.
The PSG playmaker pinged a beautiful long ball over the top of the Azerbaijan defense that fell right at the feet of Eder, who let the ball settle itself and touched home confidently past Kamran Arhayev for a 1-0 lead.
The goal is the second of Eder’s national career in just five caps, having scored on debut against Bulgaria back in March. He has six goals in seven matches for Sampdoria so far this Serie A season.
Italy needs three points in this match to ensure qualification to Euro 2016. A win would guarantee them a place in the field, while anything less would mean there is work to do in the final match on Tuesday against Norway.
Later in the match, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Italy a 2-1 lead just before halftime, his second career international goal and his first since September of 2012 which came in his third career start.