Britain Soccer Premier League

Stoke City 3-1 West Ham United: Odemwingie dazzles in Potters comeback win (video)

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Stoke City beat West Ham United 3-1 at the Brittania Stadium on Saturday, as the Potters continue their climb into midtable.

West Ham went ahead early on through Andy Carroll’s header, but Stoke came surging back as Peter Odemwingie equalized (glancing in Peter Crouch’s acrobatic effort) before half time, and then two goals in the space of 10 second half minutes from Marko Arnautovic and Odemwingie sealed the crucial comeback win.

Stoke deserved the three points as they got better as the match went on, with the Hammers struggling to create any clear cut chances throughout. With their win Stoke move into the top 10 on 34 points, while West Ham are in 11th on 31 points.

(MORE: Latest Premier League standings)

The Hammers took an early lead as a beautifully flighted cross from Mark Noble found Carroll who headed home on his return to the first team, as the away side went 1-0 up at the Britannia.

After that opener Stoke peppered West Ham’s goal with long-range efforts, as Arnautovic went close, but the Hammers were holding off Stoke’s advances with ease.

But then in the 31st minute the Potters were level as Crouch flicked towards goal, after his initial header from a corner was flicked onto the crossbar from close range, and the ball flicked off Peter Odemwingie and into the net to make it 1-1.

Before half time Carroll turned and struck just over from distance, while Stephen Ireland burst through from midfield but hammered his shot straight at Adrian in goal for West Ham.

After the interval West Ham continued to look for Carroll in the box, as the bruising England international couldn’t quite connect on a cross that almost found him at the back post in the 49th minute.

Stoke were pressing forward well, as both sides weren’t content to sit back and settle for a point. And it was the Potters who made their pressing count as they went 2-1 up in the 68th minute. Fluid build-up play from Ireland and Odemwingie saw the latter play in Arnautovic and the Austrian bundled his way through West Ham’s defense and slotted home coolly.

Ireland and Odemwingie then combined again to seal the game, as Ireland burst through from his own half and ran over 70-yards with the ball before slotting in Odemwingie to slam home his second of the game in the 78th minute.

The rest of the match saw Stoke pressing for more goals, as the Hammers couldn’t get a grasp on the rampant Potters with Adrian forced into several good saves to keep Stoke from winning more comfortably.

LINEUPS

Stoke City: Begovic; Cameron, Shawcross, Wilson, Pieters (Muniesa, 14); Odemwingie, Nzonzi, Ireland, Whelan, Arnautovic; Crouch

Goals: Odemwingie (32, 79) Arnautovic (69)

West Ham United: Adrian, Reid, McCartney, Nolan, Tomkins, Carroll (Armero, 83), Noble, Demel, Diame, Downing (J. Cole, 62), Nocerino (C. Cole, 76)

Goal: Carroll (5)

Conte not going to sell Matic, enjoys quality midfield headache

VELDEN, AUSTRIA - JULY 20: Nemanja Matic of Chelsea reacts during the friendly match between WAC RZ Pellets and Chelsea F.C. at Worthersee Stadion on July 20, 2016 in Velden, Austria. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)
Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images
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Antonio Conte feels he has a bit of an embarrassment of riches in his midfield, not that it’s a problem outside of deciding who hits the pitch.

The Chelsea boss does not plan on selling Nemanja Matic despite the acquisition of N'Golo Kante — in fact Conte thinks Matic can be one of the best in the world.

[ MORE: New club for Pato ]

That’s not surprising, given that Matic was one of the keys to Chelsea’s 2014-15 PL title run.

Conte says he has some tricky selections to make in the coming days, as Chelsea prepares to open its Premier League season Aug. 15 at West Ham United.

From ChelseaFC.com:

“Kante is a good player and he was a target of our market. I am pleased the club took this player, it’s fantastic,” said the 46-year-old. “The players in a great team like Chelsea must know there are many players that can play. It’s important for me to have a good choice to try the best solution game by game. It’s important for me to see always the right attitude and behaviour from the players.

“When I have players like N’Golo, Nemanja, Cesc, Oscar and Chalobah, and Mikel who is in the Olympics, it is not easy to choose. I want to have this problem.”

For a manager who loves to keep it tight in the midfield, it would be far from shocking to see Matic and Kante behind two attacking mids (Willian and Hazard?) or even three.

Regardless, Chelsea’s match day tactics will be one of the more fascinating subplots of 2016, especially when Conte matches up against the Blues’ former boss Jose Mourinho (Oct. 22 at Stamford Bridge and April 15 at Old Trafford).

Spain’s Villarreal signs Brazilian striker Pato

SWANSEA, WALES - APRIL 09:  Alexandre Pato of Chelsea in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at Liberty Stadium on April 9, 2016 in Swansea, Wales.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images
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MADRID (AP) Brazilian club Corinthians says it has agreed to transfer striker Alexandre Pato to Villarreal in Spain.

Corinthians says on its club website that it has “agreed to the final administrative details of the negotiation” for Pato’s move to Villarreal.

[ MORE: MLS All Star Game preview ]

It adds that both clubs have agreed to not release the financial details of the transfer.

The 26-year-old Pato played for AC Milan from 2007 to 2013, before returning to his native Brazil with Corinthians. He played the second half of last season on loan at Chelsea in the English Premier League.

Roberto Martinez linked to Atlanta United gig by Taylor Twellman

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - MAY 11:  Roberto Martinez, manager of Everton gives instructions during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Everton at the Stadium of Light on May 11, 2016 in Sunderland, England.  (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
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When news of Sigi Schmid’s departure from Seattle broke, there were plenty of folks wondering who could be the second coach in the Sounders’ MLS history.

One of those doing so publicly was ESPN writer Marc Connolly, who asked whether former Wigan and Everton boss Roberto Martinez could be interested in the gig.

[ MORE: Sounders, Schmid part ways ]

Fellow media member Taylor Twellman is obviously well-connected, and his reply raised some eyebrows, especially given the news that technical director Carlos Bocanegra is closing in on selecting the first manager in Atlanta United history.

Ryan is the quarterback of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, for those unaware. Martinez and Twellman worked together for ESPN this summer.

Is Martinez to MLS really a thing? He’s also been linked to the vacant Hull City job, and would be one of the highest profile coaches to make the switch in the history of the league.

Premier League preseason: Everton, Burnley win; Spurs fall to Juventus

MILTON KEYNES, ENGLAND - JULY 26:  Muhamed Besic of Everton celebrates after scoring the third goal during the pre-season friendly match between MK Dons and Everton at Stadium mk on July 26, 2016 in Milton Keynes, England.  (Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)
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Four Premier League teams were in action on Tuesday, with two picking up wins and not a clean sheet in the joint.

[ MORE: Sounders, Schmid part ways ]

MK Dons 1-3 Everton

Ronald Koeman‘s men got goals from Gerard Deulofeu, Ross Barkley and Muhamed Besic, but wasn’t entirely pleased with every facet of their game.

From EvertonFC.com:

“The team, the players, we need to press better. The pitch in some stages of the game was too long. If you press up front, it means the midfielders they need to push up as well and it’s the same for the defenders.”

Bolton 1-2 Burnley

Andre Gray will likely be a well-known Premier League entity when his career is done, and the way he’s playing it could be by the time this season is complete. The Burnley man scored for the fifth time in four preseason games, and Josh Ginnelly also scored for the Clarets.

Barnsley 2-2 Hull City

Adama Diomande and Jarrod Bowen scored as the Tigers stayed unbeaten in preseason play.

Spurs 1-2 Juventus — RECAP