Tottenham 1-0 Everton: Adebayor goal from nothing puts Spurs past Everton (video)

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Tim Sherwood continued his fantastic tenure at Spurs as his man Emmanuel Adebayor shocked the Everton back line, allowing Spurs to keep pace with Liverpool and dealing Everton’s Champions League hopes a serious blow.

Adebayor latched onto the end of Kyle Walker’s quick free kick early in the second half, and missing Romelu Lukaku, the visitors had no answer at White Hart Lane.

With Tottenham controlling a bit more of the opening 10 minutes, the first pair of chances fell to Everton and Leon Osman.

A curling effort forced an 8th minute diving save from Hugo Lloris, and Osman then put the ensuing corner just over the crossbar with his head.

As both teams looked to play through the wings, the home side’s first chance came on 26 minutes when Danny Rose broke down the left flank and fired across the face of goal, just inches out of the reach of Emanuel Adebayor.

Spurs continued to hold the ball and build much more fluidly, but Leighton Baines provided some emergency defending and Everton’s counter proved potent enough to give the Tottenham buildup an air of caution.

Scoreless at the half, both teams were bright in the buildup following the break, but they also both lacked a finisher.  Everton especially appeared to be seriously missing Lukaku, out with an ankle injury.

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Leon Osman failed to convert a few good early chances, and Everton had few good opportunities down the stretch.

Baines began to prove valuable not just in defense but attack as well, as he nearly slotted Kevin Mirallas through but the attacker slipped while looking to get on the end of the beautiful through ball.

Given the deadlock, it was fitting that the opening goal came from relatively nothing.  Following a routine foul in the middle third, Kyle Walker caught everyone in the ground – including Everton – off guard with his quick free kick forward to Adebayor.

The red-hot striker controlled well, and with the surprised Everton defenders putting him under pressure, he took two touches to control before unleashing the opener past Tim Howard.

The story continues for Adebayor, who was frozen out of the team by Andre Villas Boas before new manager Tim Sherwood gave him a lifeline, and he’s responded with now six goals in the Premier League.

With the goal lead, Spurs’ defensive shape held brilliantly against Everton’s counter, and their midfield possession made sure the visitors could only play through the break.

Without Lukaku, Everton simply had no answer for the rough midfield and organized back line of Tottenham and the home side would see it out.

The win puts Spurs past Everton in the table into fifth, three back of Liverpool for the final Champions League spot.  Everton, meanwhile, may now have to contend with not only fighting for the top four but fending off Manchester United just below them as well.  David Moyes’ men have the chance to pull within two of the Toffees if they can win later today.

GOALS:

Tottenham – Adebayor 65′

LINEUPS:

Tottenham – Lloris; Walker, Dawson, Vertonghen, Rose; Lennon (Defoe 86′), Paulinho (Capoue 68′), Bentaleb, Eriksen (Townsend 59′), Dembele; Adebayor.

Everton – Howard; Coleman, Baines, Distin, Jagielka; Barry, McCarthy, Osman (McGeady 73′), Pienaar (Barkley 64′), Mirallas; Naismith (Deulofeu 73′).

“Emotional” Mertesacker: Send Wenger off “with a cup”

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Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker has made 220 appearances for the club, all with one man in charge of the Gunners: Arsene Wenger.

[ MORE: The latest Arsene Wenger news ]

Mertesacker has won three FA Cups with Wenger, and he took up his pen — or laptop — for Sunday’s Matchday program.

The 33-year-old German says it’s down to Arsenal’s players to send off Wenger right: With two more successful rounds in the UEFA Europa League against Atletico Madrid and either Red Bull Salzburg or Marseille. From the BBC:

“We were only informed on Friday about the manager’s decision to step down at the end of the season, so it’s still quite emotional,” Mertesacker said.

“He’s been the major figure of this club for more than 20 years. He’s been so impressive for me and he has trusted me so much throughout my career, in bringing me here and making me captain even when I was injured. He also gave me a future role here at the club so I am very grateful and humbled for the opportunity he gave to me.

“There’s now an emphasis on us doing it for him too. We want to give him the send-off he deserves: with a cup.”

The French legend to end his time at Arsenal against Marseille would be delightful, don’t you think?

Watch Live: Arsenal-West Ham, Stoke-Burnley

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The Premier League has a pair of 8:30 a.m. ET Sunday kickoffs for us this morning, including one of Arsene Wenger‘s final matches at Arsenal.

There’s a London Derby between Arsenal and West Ham United at the Emirates Stadium, as the Gunners look to stay fresh for Atletico Madrid and the Hammers aim to firm up their Premier League status for next season (Watch live at 8:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

LINEUPS

Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Koscielny, Mustafi, Monreal, Elneny, Xhaka, Ramsey, Iwobi, Welbeck, Lacazette. Subs: Macey, Mertesacker, Holding, Chambers, Maitland-Niles, Nelson. Aubameyang.

West Ham United: Hart, Zabaleta, Ogbonna, Rice, Cresswell, Masuaku, Kouyate, Noble, Fernandes, Mario, Arnautovic. Subs: Adrian, Cullen, Evra, Lanzini, Hugill, Carroll, Chicharito.


Stoke City’s climb out of the relegation zone will have to overcome Burnley’s desires for a Top Six place, as the Clarets can pass sixth place Arsenal with a win and a Gunners loss to West Ham (Watch live at 8:30 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

LINEUPS

Stoke City: Butland; Johnson, Shawcross, M.Indi, Pieters; Bauer, Allen, Badou, Shaqiri; Crouch, Diouf. Subs: Haugaard, Zouma, Ireland, Cameron, Fletcher, Ramadan, Campbell.

Burnley: Pope, Lowton, Long, Tarkowski, Ward, Lennon, Cork, Westwood, Gudmundsson, Wood, Barnes. Subs: Heaton, Taylor, Marney, Vokes, Hendrick, Walters, Bardsley.

Ligue 1: Depay’s goal streak hits 5 games; Lyon reeling in Monaco

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MONACO (AP) Lyon won at Dijon 5-2 and moved within one point of second-place Monaco in the French league on Friday.

Lyon’s sixth straight league win kept them level on points with fourth-place Marseille.

The team finishing second qualifies automatically for next season’s Champions League, while the team in third goes into the playoffs. After this weekend, there will be four rounds remaining.

Memphis Depay has scored or created 12 of Lyon’s 16 last goals.

The Netherlands forward opened the scoring in the fourth minute with a close-range volley, and set up the fourth goal for winger Bertrand Traore in the 77th.

Depay almost scored another, just failing to reach right back Rafael‘s cross in the 50th. Midfielder Houssem Aouar followed up and his strike was turned into his own net by defender Valentin Rosier.

Lyon’s other goals came from forwards Nabil Fekir in the 53rd and Maxwell Cornet in the 82nd.


MONACO (AP) — After losing the French title last weekend, Monaco is in danger of throwing away second place after losing at Guingamp 3-1 on Saturday.

The defeat leaves Monaco just one point ahead of Lyon and Marseille as the three sides chase an automatic place in the Champions League with four games left.

Monaco was thrashed by champion Paris Saint-Germain 7-1 last Sunday and the defense leaked easily again, albeit with a little help from one of its defenders.

A makeshift Monaco fell behind midway through the first half after Brazilian defender Jemerson was given a red card for stopping a shot on the line. He was sent off and veteran forward Jimmy Briand netted from the penalty spot for mid-table Guingamp.

Monaco capitulated and trailed 3-0 after 47 minutes. Defender Almamy Toure replied in vain with a consolation goal midway through the second half.


Marseille crushed Lille 5-1 to join Lyon on 69 points. Lyon, which won at Dijon 5-2 on Friday for a sixth straight win, has a better goal difference.

Marseille also has the Europa League and plays the first leg of its semifinal at home to Austrian side Salzburg next Thursday. But Lyon has only Ligue 1 to think about.

Still, Marseille is also brimming with confidence these days, especially winger Florian Thauvin.

He scored twice against Lille to extend his career-best league tally to 19. Greece striker Kostas Mitroglou also netted twice, and forward Lucas Ocampos completed the rout against 19th-place Lille.

In other matches: Amiens won against Strasbourg 3-1; struggling Toulouse beat Angers 2-0, and last-place Metz drew at home to Caen 1-1.

PSG is at Bordeaux on Sunday. Also, Nice is at home to Montpellier, and Saint-Etienne takes on Troyes.

UEFA says Europa League trophy not damaged after being stolen

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NYON, Switzerland (AP) UEFA says the Europa League trophy was not damaged after being stolen in Mexico.

The silverware was at a promotional event in the central city of Leon when it was reported by authorities to have been taken from a vehicle.

The theft came ahead of the semifinals of Europe’s second-tier club competition.

UEFA says the “Europa League trophy was in Mexico for a partner event and got briefly stolen. It was quickly recovered and has suffered no damages.”

In the semifinal first legs next week, Arsenal plays Atletico Madrid and Marseille takes on Salzburg.