Swansea City 1-2 West Brom: Pepe Mel gets first win, likely saves his job (video)

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Better late than never, right? Well, it took until the 85th minute of Pepe Mel’s eighth game in charge of West Bromwich Albion for his side to finally secure a win, but the Baggies won’t much care. Those three points put them three points into safety, and they’ve still got a game in hand. Swansea, on the other hand, are now just four points clear of the drop.

The fans were still settling into their seats at the Liberty Stadium when Swansea took an early lead. Roland Lamah, getting his first Premier League start since November, put the Swans ahead, cutting in from the left to latch on to a pass from Wilfried Bony.

West Brom managed their first effort on goal after fifteen minutes, but Michel Vorm had no trouble dealing with a low shot from Victor Anichebe. Minutes later, it was Swansea that nearly doubled their lead, but Ben Foster was there to stop Bony’s close-range shot.

The Baggies got into the swing of things in the second half, and it didn’t take long for them to draw level. James Morrison set up Stéphane Sessègnon, who hit a lovely low shot from about 25 yards out. It sailed past Vorm to land just inside the post.

Swansea had a decent shout for a handball when Gareth McAuley appeared to handle inside the area, but referee Martin Atkinson wasn’t about to give it. That decision might keep Gary Monk up pacing the halls on Saturday night.

Because although both sides were pushing for the win for the final thirty minutes, it was West Brom that ultimately took those three precious points.Youssouf Mulumbu grabbed the ball and slipped through the Swans defenders, before sliding it through Jordi Amat’s legs to land in the corner of the net. Perhaps Amat was blocking Vorm’s sightline, because the Swansea keeper didn’t even move.

Swansea City: Vorm, Rangel, Amat, Williams, Davies, Britton (Emnes 87), Canas (Michu 62), de Guzman, Routledge, Lamah (Hernandez 77), Bony.

Goals: Lamah 2′

West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Dawson, McAuley, Olsson, Reid, Morrison, Mulumbu, Dorrans (Gera 75), Ridgewell, Sessegnon (Thievy 79), Anichebe (O’Neill 89)

Goals: Sessègnon 52′, Mulumbu 85′

2-year doping ban upheld for Finland, CSKA Moscow player

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LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) The Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld a two-year ban for CSKA Moscow midfielder Roman Eremenko for a positive test for cocaine.

[ MORE: Morata signs five-year contract at Chelsea ]

CAS says the ban imposed by UEFA was “appropriate” and dismissed the Finland international’s appeal.

[ MORE: Vertonghen says Spurs need to “level up” like rest of PL contenders ]

The ban will expire on Oct. 5, 2018, when Eremenko will be 31.

Eremenko tested positive after playing in a Champions League game for CSKA Moscow against Bayer Leverkusen last September. The 2-2 result was not affected despite Eremenko scoring CSKA’s second goal.

Born in Moscow, Eremenko grew up in Finland and has represented its national team 73 times.

Webb says De Jong would have been sent off with video review

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NEW YORK (AP) Howard Webb says he would have given Dutch midfielder Nigel De Jong a red card in the 2010 World Cup final if a video assistant referee had been in place.

The retired English referee showed De Jong a yellow card in the 28th minute for his karate kick into the chest of Spain’s Xabi Alonso. Hired in March to oversee video technology for professional soccer in the U.S. and Canada, Webb held a media seminar Friday ahead of its Aug. 5 launch in Major League Soccer.

Webb says: “Yes, it was a clear red card. It was a clear and obvious error on my part not to send the player off, and VAR would have been able to recommend a review to me, and I would have been able to make the right call.”

Now 46, Webb was a Premier League referee from 2003-14. He worked the Champions League and World Cup finals in 2010, became director of referees at the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, and started in March as manager of video assistant referee operations for the Professional Referee Organization.

MLS Snapshot: Orlando City 0-1 Atlanta United (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): Friday night’s effort at Orlando City Stadium wasn’t the prettiest for either side but Atlanta United will gladly take three points from the fixture as the Central Florida venue proved to be a fortress once more. The Lions were far superior in their attacking threats throughout the match, testing USMNT and Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan on multiple occasions. However, it was Hector Villalba that proved to be the difference when he blasted a long-distance effort to beat Joe Bendik in the 86th minute. Atlanta extends its unbeaten streak to four matches with Friday’s decision, keeping Tata Martino’s side in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, while Orlando City moves into fifth.

Three moments that mattered

36′ — Guzan stands tall, denies Rivas — Carlos Rivas thought he scorched this one (and he did…), but Brad Guzan acted like it was nothing as he held his ground to make the stop.

39′ — Spector gets ripped off by Guzan — The U.S. goalkeeper is at it again… What a save!

86′ — Villalba unleashes stunner to propel Atlanta — Sometimes it just takes one good hit as a striker.

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Man of the match: Brad Guzan

Goalscorers: Hector Villalba (86′)

Report: Man City adding Mendy to continue backline restoration

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Fresh off of completing a record deal to help bolster the club’s back line this summer, Manchester City is back at it with the Premier League season looming.

[ MORE: Alvaro Morata signs five-year contract at Chelsea ]

The Citizens are reportedly on the brink of signing Monaco left back Benjamin Mendy to yet another world-record fee — which will total over $67 million.

Confirmation of the deal has yet to be announced by either team, but L’Equipe is reporting that the Citizens are hot on the 23-year-old’s trail in adding to their pricy back four.

Manager Pep Guardiola and Man City have not been shy readjusting their defensive unit over the past year, adding expensive first-team choices John Stones and Kyle Walker.