Another Kolo Touré blunder has Liverpool behind early at Fulham – Watch Live

Leave a comment

Liverpool fans hoping the Kolo Touré project ends soon have more ammunition for their arguments, with the another error by the veteran defender giving last place Fulham an early lead at Craven Cottage. Despite nice work from Lewis Holtby and Kieran Richardson down Fulham’s left, there was little beyond defender error to explain the eighth minute own goal goal.

Holtby, having drifted wide left, played a perfectly weighted ball behind the defense for a charging Richardson, who tracked the pass down just before the byline, well wide of goal. The winger’s hopeful ball across to top of the six-yard box met a well-positioned Touré.

Without any Fulham attackers near him, the Ivorian defender had plenty to time to take a touch, if he wanted. Even playing it first time, the ball represented an easier clearance than Touré’s likely to see throughout the rest of today’s match.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE VIA NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA

But instead of firing the ball upfield, Touré shanked his attempted clearance into his own net, looking more like a low-level AYSO player than somebody playing at the highest level of English soccer. Seeing the ball go off the outside of his right foot and into Simon Mignolet’s goal, Touré could do nothing but stare incredulously at his second major embarrassment in three games.

On Feb. 2 at The Hawthorns, a 67th minute Touré pass across the top of his penalty area was intercepted by Victor Anichebe, who was left with an uncontested shot on Mignolet. The goal gave West Bromwich Albion a 1-1 draw – Liverpool’s only blemish in their last four games.

With Daniel Agger just returning to health and Mamadou Sahko injured, Brendan Rodgers has few options in central defense. But if Agger, on the bench today, can regain match fitness ahead of Sunday’s visit to Arsenal, the Liverpool’s painful Kolo Touré project may be over soon.

Europa League Preview: Everton, Milan look to make group stage

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Everton look to make it back into the Europa League group stage for the first time since the 2014-2015 season and it has a two-goal advantage heading into the second leg of its tie.

Ronald Koeman and co. travel to Croatia to face Hadjuk Split Thursday having won the first leg at Goodison Park, 2-0. Everton is coming off a hard-fought draw on Monday with Manchester City and will be on short rest heading into the match.

Elsewhere in Europa League action, AC Milan take its 6-0 aggregate lead to Skopje, Macedonia as the legendary club looks to return to the group stage of a European competition for the first time since 2013-2014.

Here’s a look at all of Thursday’s Europa League matches, with the current aggregate scores:

(more…)

EFL Cup Rewind: Southampton, Newcastle knocked out by Championship sides

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Last season, Southampton made it to the EFL Cup final. This year, it’s a different story.

The Saints were bounced by Wolverhampton Wanderers, 2-0 at home on Wednesday in the second round of the cup. Joining Southampton of Premier League sides going home early was Newcastle, which lost 3-2 after extra time at home against Nottingham Forest.

Four other Premier League sides did advance to the third round, as Stoke City, Huddersfield Town, West Ham United and Burnley all won their fixtures.

Here’s a look at the rest of Wednesday’s EFL Cup action:

Blackburn 0-2 Burnley

Cheltenham 0-2 West Ham

Huddersfield 2-1 Rotherham

Newcastle 2-3 Nottingham Forest

Southampton 0-2 Wolverhampton

Stoke City 4-0 Rochdale

Breaking down who each Premier League team could face in the UCL Group Stage

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The UEFA Champions League group stage lineup is complete, with five Premier League clubs making the list.

On Wednesday, Liverpool joined Chelsea, Tottenham, Manchester City and Manchester United in the group stage after beating Hoffenheim, 6-3 on aggregate in the playoff qualification round.

Thursday’s Champions League draw (2 p.m. ET) will place clubs into groups of four, where they’ll play three matches at home and away.

Here’s a look at the four coefficient pots and who each Premier League club could face:

(more…)

Follow Live – Texas Derby, Cascadia Cup headline busy night of MLS action

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Welcome to MLS Rivalry Week.

The surging Houston Dynamo could move to first place in the Western Conference with a win over rivals FC Dallas while the current first-place side, the Seattle Sounders travel north and across the border to face Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage ]

The Dynamo have made an impressive turnaround under coach Wilmer Cabrera and he’ll have the trio of Ricardo Clark, Alberth Elis and star forward Erick Torres available to face Dallas after missing the Dynamo’s match at Vancouver last weekend, which ended 2-1 in favor of the Whitecaps.

FC Dallas are in its worst form of the season, winless in its last four games, but the team will be extra motivated to beat its rivals.

El Capitan is on the line after draws between FC Dallas and the Dynamo in two matches earlier this season.

Meanwhile up in Vancouver, the Whitecaps host a Sounders squad that pulled out a last-gasp victory last weekend over Minnesota United. While the team is in great form on the road recently (two wins and two draws), the top story heading into the game is the unexpected absence of Joevin Jones, who left the Sounders for his home in Trinidad and Tobago ahead of the upcoming international break.

[ FOLLOW: Live MLS scores ]

On the other side, Fredy Montero faces his former club and carries an interesting record into Wednesday’s match. Of his 35 MLS goals, 11 have been scored against Cascadia Cup competition.

Here’s a look at Wednesday’s action:

Full schedule

Columbus Crew vs. LA Galaxy – 7:30 p.m. ET

D.C. United vs. Atlanta United – 7:30 p.m.ET

FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo – 8 p.m. ET

Toronto FC vs. Philadelphia Union – 8 p.m. ET

Real Salt Lake vs. San Jose Earthquakes – 10 p.m. ET

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Seattle Sounders – 10 p.m. ET

Portland Timbers vs. Colorado Rapids – 10:30 p.m. ET