Hull City v Newcastle United - Premier League

Hull City 1-4 Newcastle United: Magpies win shrouded in controversy as Pardew sees red (video)

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Newcastle United beat Hull City 4-1 at the KC Stadium on Saturday, as two goal from Moussa Sissoko and strikes from Loic Remy and Vernon Anita bagged a second-straight Premier League win for the Magpies.

However their stunning away display was overshadowed by manager Alan Pardew being sent off, as the Newcastle coach was involved in a coming together with Hull midfielder David Meyler and Pardew looked to have landed a headbutt on the Hull player. Pardew was sent to the stands, and will surely be reprimanded by the English FA.

On the pitch, Newcastle deserved their win as they overpowered Hull in every department, leading 2-0 at half time thanks to goals from Sissoko and Remy they were cruising but Hull came back into things thanks to Curtis Davies’ header just after the break. But another strike from Sissoko and a late clincher from Anita gave Newcastle three crucial points.

The win sees the Magpies just five points behind Everton in sixth, while Hull stay in 11th and are just six points off the drop zone.

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Newcastle started brightly as Remy looked to get in behind Hull’s defense and Yoan Gouffran rifled an effort just over after three minutes, as the Magpies pushed for an opener.

In the the eight minute Hull almost scored as a set piece saw Alex Bruce and other Hull players close to bundling the ball home but Tim Krul managed to keep it out on the line. Seconds later Newcastle were ahead as a sweeping move saw Mathieu Debucjy set free on the right and his pull back was met by Sissoko who hammered the ball into the top corner to put the Magpies 1-0 up.

Hull battled hard to get back into the game and strikers Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic looked lively and caused plenty of problems with darting runs. In the 27th minute Jelavic went close to equalizing as a right wing cross from Elmohamady was headed just wide by the Croatian striker.

Just before the break Hull continued to push and Jelavic curled a wonderful free kick up and over the wall from 25-yards out but the ball cannoned off the bar and Newcastle managed to clear the danger. Then in the 40th minute Elmohamady somehow headed wide when left completely open at the back post, after Long’s terrific ball had found him.

After that huge amount of pressure Hull were made to rue those misses as a terrible mistake from Maynor Figueroa saw the defender leave his back pass short and Remy latched onto it and calmly finished to put the Magpies 2-0 up. The first half finished with Newcastle leading 2-0 as Hull were punished for missing several good chances.

But seconds after the interval Davies headed Hull back into the match as Newcastle’s ‘keeper Krul came off his line but missed the ball and Hull’s defender nodded into an empty net to reduce Hull’s lead. But just when you thought Hull were about to draw level, Newcastle extended their lead as Gouffran’s shot was saved but Sissoko reacted first and poked home his second goal of the match to make it 3-1.

Controversy then reigned in the final 20 minutes at the KC Stadium, as Newcastle boss Pardew was involved in an altercation with Meyler, as the ball went out of play the two collided and Newcastle’s manager seemed to put his head in on Hull’s player and referee Kevin Friend sent Pardew to the stands. Remarkable.

The rest of the match played out with Hull trying to get back into the match but Newcastle added one more goal after Anita made it 4-1 in stoppage time, as Pardew’s side made it two-straight wins which sees the Magpies aiming for a top six finish.

LINEUPS

Hull City: McGregor, Bruce, Davies (Chester, 86), Figueroa (Koren, 62), Elmohamady, Rosenior, Meyler, Huddlestone, Livermore (Aluko, 62), Jelavic, Long.

Goal: Davies (46)

Newcastle United: Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, Yanga-Mbiwa, Dummett; Sissoko, Tiote, Anita, Gouffran; de Jong (Gosling, 90); Remy.

Goals: Sissoko (9 & 54), Remy (43), Anita (90)

Robbie Keane still entertaining offers ahead of return

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 12:  Soccer Player Robbie Keane arrives at the Premiere of IFC Films' "Pele: Birth Of A Legend" at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on May 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
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Robbie Keane is still sorting out his future, and it seems unlikely he’s heading back to the past.

Keane is training in Dublin ahead of a return to the pitch. The 36-year-old striker left the LA Galaxy this offseason, and says he’s had several offers from Championship squads in England as well as a few clubs abroad.

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Although he’s starred for Wolverhampton and Leeds, destinations where fans would welcome his arrival, Keane says not to hold your breath.

From TalkSport.com:

“I’ve had a lot of people asking me about coming back to Leeds and Wolves, and they’re great clubs I’ve played for, but you can’t go somewhere if people actually don’t offer you anything.

“Until it’s actually in writing to me I can’t comment much on it, but I definitely haven’t heard from Leeds or Wolves.”

Whether Stateside or in England, Keane can still have an impact on a team’s fortunes. We look forward to seeing him back on the field, and to hear some more quips as well.

Consider his answer to whether he’d entertain an offer from China:

“If they gave the money Diego Costa was offered, I’d walk there now,” Keane said.

Galaxy adds center mid from Portuguese top flight

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LA Galaxy’s roster reformation continues with the addition of Joao Pedro, a day after formalizing a deal with USMNT midfielder Jermaine Jones.

The 23-year-old center midfielder was with Vitoria Guimaraes in Portugal’s top flight, and comes to the club as a “Special Discovery Player” with Targeted Allocation Money.

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Pedro has a goal in 17 appearances this season, as Vitoria Guimaraes sits fifth in the Primeira Liga.

From LAGalaxy.com:

“Joao is an extremely talented midfielder who has experience playing at a high level in Portugal,” said Galaxy general manager Peter Vagenas in a written statement released by the club.

“He is only 23 years old and has the best years of his career front of him. We identified him as a top target this offseason and we think he can immediately help strengthen our midfield. We look forward to welcoming Joao to Los Angeles as we continue to prepare for the upcoming season.”

Pedro was a regular for Vitoria Guimaraes but is far from a certainty to star for the Galaxy. We do know that Vagenas has probably done his research as to whether Pedro fits with Jermaine Jones.

AFCON wrap: Senegal clinches first knockout round slot

Senegal's, Sadio Mane, right, is challenged by Zimbabwe's, Willard Katsande, left, during the African Cup of Nations Group B soccer match between Senegal and Zimbabwe at, Stade de Franceville Stadium, in Franceville, Gabon Thursday Jan. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
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Senegal has advanced to the knockout rounds of the Africa Cup of Nations, leaving three teams to work for the second Group B slot come the final day.

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Senegal 2-0 Zimbabwe

Sadio Mane (Liverpool) and Henri Saivet (Saint-Etienne) scored within the first 13 minutes as Senegal clinched Group B with a win over Zimbabwe. There were 48 shots between the two teams, 24 for Senegal, in a fairly open affair. As for the Warriors, they’ll need to beat Tunisia on Monday.

Algeria 1-2 Tunisia

Tunisia rebounded from a loss to Senegal without scoring from the run of play. Lille mid Naim Sliti scored a penalty after an Algeria own goal made it 1-0. Anderlecht midfielder Sofiane Hanni scored for Algeria.

Friday’s matches
Ivory Coast vs. DR Congo — 11 a.m. ET
Morocco vs. Togo — 11 a.m. ET

Wenger concerned Chinese wages become benchmark for players

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 15:  Arsene Wenger manager of Arsenal looks on during an Arsenal press conference ahead of their UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match against Barcelona at Camp Nou on March 15, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
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LONDON (AP) Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is hoping the high quality of competition in Europe will keep players from leaving for the financial gain in China.

Wenger is facing regular questions about the future of both Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, and the big money on offer in the Chinese league can complicate negotiations.

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Argentine striker Carlos Tevez joined Shanghai Shenhua last month in a deal worth $40 million over two years.

“The danger (is) that the Chinese offers become the benchmark for Europe,” Wenger said Thursday. “You cannot compete with that, but I still think that, when you’re a footballer, the first thing is that you want to play against the best players in the best teams.”

Wenger said players that want the best compensation for playing in the best quality league need not look to Asia.

“I think that combination is the best in England at the moment, so I don’t see why the players should leave the English Premier League,” Wenger said.

Wenger, whose team is fourth in the standings, has made only one signing in the January transfer window, picking up defender Cohen Bramall from non-league club Hednesford.

Arsenal has also decided to keep captain Per Mertesacker for another season. Wenger announced Thursday that the club has taken up a one-year option to extend the contract of the 32-year-old German, who has not played this season because of a knee injury sustained during a friendly in July.

Mertesacker faces a fight to get back into the team because Shkodran Mustafi, an offseason signing from Valencia, has built a strong partrnership with vice captain Laurent Koscielny at the heart of Wenger’s defense.