It was another unpredictable weekend in the Barclays Premier League meaning choosing a Starting XI was anything but easy.
In goal, Norwich City’s John Ruddy gets the nod after the England international led his side to a crucial 1-0 victory over visitors Tottenham. In front of Ruddy is a three man defense consisting of Laurent Koscielny, John Terry and Patrice Evra.
Koscielny enjoyed a strong match against Bayern Munich in the Gunners mid-week loss and that effort was doubled on Saturday when the center-back held Sunderland to a single strike while heading home one of his own. The return of Terry from injury was a huge boost to Chelsea by scoring the match-winning goal against Everton and helping keep a clean sheet in a tightly fought match. Evra rounds out the group after the Frenchman improved on a lackluster season by going 90 strong in the 2-0 shutout of Crystal Palace.
A midfield four of Ashkan Dejagah, Jake Livermore, Robert Snodgrass and Jordan Henderson is a combination few would have anticipated impressing at the beginning of the season.
It was Dejagah’s opener for Fulham that gave the Cottagers a share of the points while Livermore was also on-target during Hull City’s 4-0 thrashing of Cardiff City. Snodgrass was an absolute menace in Norwich’s victory over Spurs on Sunday, getting in on multiple occasions and scoring the decisive goal. Liverpool’s Henderson proved a vital figure once again in the Reds attack, scoring twice to help his side defeat Swansea City 4-3.
Up front is a three man unit of Daniel Sturridge, Nikica Jelavic and Olivier Giroud after all three claimed braces in their side’s victories in the weekend.
Play until you hear the referee’s whistle. In theory, so simple. In practice, it only takes a single second of concentration lapse to become an internet sensation for all the wrong reasons.
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Such is life for Karyn Forbes, member of the Trinidad and Tobago women’s national soccer team. In the above video, you’ll observe Forbes, a 24-year-old midfielder, giving away perhaps the most bizarre penalty kick you’ll ever see. You’ll have to watch for yourself to believe it.
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Unfortunately for Forbes, though the whole of the ball might have crossed the whole of the end line, the referee did not blow her whistle… not until Forbes picked the ball up with her hands and carried it to her goalkeeper.
BERLIN (AP) The German Football League (DFL) has given the go-ahead for the possible testing of video replays in the Bundesliga over a two-year pilot phase.
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The DFL says it will be lodging an application with FIFA to take part if the pilot phase is approved by the International Football Association Board at its next annual general meeting on March 5.
The DFL says video replays could be used by a “team of impartial match officials for the purpose of avoiding any evidently incorrect decisions” and that the pilot phase would be preceded by “intensive preparations.”
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These would include the settlement of costs among FIFA, the IFAB, the DFL and German football federation, as well as training for the candidates.
West Ham United hope Dimitri Payet is going absolutely nowhere after the club announced on Thursday the 28-year-old Frenchman has signed a contract extension through the summer of 2021.
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Payet’s current contract was scheduled to keep him at the Premier League club through the summer of 2020, but a series of standout performances (6 goals, 4 assists so far this season, mostly during the season’s opening three months) and rumors of interest from “bigger” clubs meant tacking on another year — and plenty more cash — was the best way to keep Payet in east London for the foreseeable future. The club confirmed earlier this week that negotiations over an extension were underway.
“He’s the best player I’ve signed in 25 years,” said West Ham co-owner David Sullivan. “He’s a [$43 million] player. He’s a supreme footballer. He makes every player in our side play better. On his day, he’s world class, he’s unstoppable.”
Payet, who’s been at West Ham just eight months after signing last summer, could still depart in the summer should he finish the current season strong and/or show up and show out at the European Championship, which kicks off in June. In that event, West Ham would now bag a much heftier transfer fee than they would have done prior to the extension.
Remember that Dele Alli goal? No, not that one… that one. Of course you remember it. How could you not?
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How often does a player receive the ball out of the air, flick it over his head, spin 180 degrees and hit an inch-perfect volley from 20 yards out to secure all three points for his team? The answer is, of course, not very often.
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Thus, a goal such as Alli’s stunning winner against Crystal Palace last month has been, and will continue to be, immortalized through numerous recreations in this Digital Age. Above is Alli’s goal recreated in hand-drawn crayon.