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

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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.

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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.

Three seriously injured, 120 detained in Bruges hooligan riot

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BRUSSELS (AP) Authorities are investigating a hooligan riot which seriously injured three people and forced Brugge police to detain 120 following the match between Club Brugge and Antwerp.

[ MORE: Mbappe wins Golden Boy ]

Local police chief Dirk Van Nuffel says one policeman was among the seriously wounded as authorities sought to contain a brawl between Belgian fans reinforced by others who had come from the Netherlands.

By Monday morning all were released but investigators were still seeking to see who was at the core of the fighting. Van Nuffel says such hooligan fighting “hadn’t been seen for years.”

Everton fires Ronald Koeman

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A 5-2 home loss versus Arsenal sent Everton into the Premier League drop zone, and that’s apparently a bridge too far for the Toffees when it comes to their managerial position.

Ronald Koeman is out at Goodison Park.

[ MORE: Mbappe named Golden Boy ]

Everton sits 18th in the Premier League with eight points, it’s minus-11 goal differential second-worst in the top flight. Its 18 goals conceded are third-worst, and only three clubs have scored fewer goals than its seven.

The Toffees won two rounds in the Europa League, beating Ružomberok and Hajduk Split, but have lost to Atalanta and Lyon while drawing Apollon Limassol in Group E play.

Everton faces Chelsea in League Cup play on Wednesday before a critical early season match at Leicester City on Sunday.

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The Best: Neymar, Ronaldo, Messi — Is there a front-runner?

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While France Football has its Ballon d’Or winner somewhere on a 30-man shortlist, FIFA’s “Best” men’s player is down to an unsurprising three ahead of Monday afternoon’s ceremony.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Neymar are up for the award, and there was no major summer tournament outside of the Confederations Cup — only Ronaldo participated — to help tilt the scales in one’s favor this summer.

[ MORE: Mbappe named Golden Boy ]

Of course, Ronaldo claimed another UEFA Champions League crown, but was far from the simple standout of the club. In international play, both Ronaldo and Messi’s World Cup qualifying campaigns came down to the wire while Neymar captained Brazil’s dominant ride through CONMEBOL.

The award, which is said to be for on- and off-field behavior, was voted on by national coaches, national captains, select members of the media and fans.

Ronaldo is the favorite according to hardware, while Messi’s numbers and Neymar’s playmaking both can lay claim to the throne.

Stats since start of 2017

Lionel Messi

Club goals: 46
Club assists: 16
Country caps: 6
Country goals: 4
Accolades: World Cup qualifier, Copa Del Rey winner

Neymar

Club goals: 24
Club assists: 21
Country caps: 6
Country goals: 2
Country assists: 3
Accolades: World Cup qualifier, Copa Del Rey winner

Cristiano Ronaldo

Club goals: 31
Club assists: 7
Country caps: 11
Country goals: 11
Country assists: 4
Accolades: Confederations Cup semifinal, World Cup qualifier, Champions League winner, La Liga winner

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Mbappe wins Golden Boy over Rashford, Pulisic, Gabriel Jesus

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Paris Saint-Germain, France, and (former) Monaco starlet Kylian Mbappe has claimed the Golden Boy Award over Ousmane Dembele, Christian Pulisic, and others.

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The Golden Boy is chosen from the top Under-21 players in Europe, and the short list had the above names and 22 more including Gabriel Jesus, Gianluigi Donnarumma, and Marcus Rashford.

Mbappe, still 18 until Dec. 20, has four goals and four assists this season for PSG after scoring 26 goals with 14 assists for Monaco last season. He also has a goal for France.

The teenager likely played the biggest role at the biggest club last season, though Donnarumma was exceptional at Milan, Jesus’ injury conspired against him at Man City, and Marcus Rashford was very good for United.

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