Watch Live: Arsenal vs. Swansea City (Lineups and Discuss)

Leave a comment

Two clubs experiencing a crisis of confidence meet at the Emirates Stadium, but whereas Arsenal’s recent setback means the Gunners may have merely relinquished their title hopes, Swans’ Premier League survival is on the line as they visit North London. With only league win since firing Michael Laudrup, last season’s League Cup winners are only four points above the drop ahead of today’s 3:45 p.m. ET kickoff, with coverage available via NBC Sports Live Extra.

Since its 3-0 win in Feb. 8’s South Wales Derby, Swansea has gone winless in five Premier League matches (eight overall), taking only two points while giving up 11 goals. That span has also seen them out of Europa League and the FA Cup, burdens they may be fortunate to have shed as relegation becomes an increasing concern. Having lost to West Brom two weeks ago, it’s unclear Swansea are that much better than the teams they’re trying to fend off – form they’ll try to improve on today at the Emirates.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE VIA NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA

Compared to Swans’ plight, Arsenal’s is a relative one, though the Gunners’ 6-0 loss Saturday at Chelsea has sparked another period of introspection. After seven months that hinted Arsenal may actually be title contenders, cross-town rivals proved the Gunners are most decidedly not. Exposed as the fourth of three with a shot at the title, Arsène Wenger’s team is left reconsidering its place among England’s top clubs.

For two hours today, matters become more practical. Arsenal has one of the league’s struggling teams at home, a game it will expect to win. Swansea, on the other hand, will hope to spark a climb back up the table by ending its winless run.

LINEUPS

Arsenal: Szczesny; Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs; Flamini, Arteta; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rosicky, Cazorla; Giroud

Subs: Fabianski, Jenkinson, Bellerin, Kallstrom, Sanogo, Gnabry, Podolski

Swansea City: Vorm; Rangel, Williams, Chicgo, Taylor; Britton, Shelvey; de Guzman, Michu, Routledge; Bony

Subs: Tremmel, Amat, Davis, Canas, Dyer, Hernández, Vazquez

Minnesota’s Molino lifts Trinidad and Tobago to big win (video)

Leave a comment

Minnesota United attacker Kevin Molino has given Trinidad and Tobago life in the race to win a spot at the 2018 World Cup.

Molino’s 37th minute goal gave hosts T&T a 1-0 lead against visiting Panama at Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on Friday, and the Soca Warriors held on to win its first points of qualifying.

Panama had a Luis Tejada goal controversially ruled offside as Los Canaleros nearly pulled their fifth point of the Hex. Panama faces the USMNT on Tuesday in Panama City.

[ WATCH: Zaha scores wonder vs. Russia ]

Molino fooled long time LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo with a low shot across the body. The Panama backstop couldn’t get low enough or far enough with his dive to stop the shot.

The win has T&T in fifth place on the Hex table, behind Honduras on goal differential and three points ahead of the last place USMNT.

The U.S. needs a two-goal win to pass T&T, and a three-goal win to climb above Honduras.

WATCH: Zaha drives Russia nuts with mazy dribble goal

Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Wilfried Zaha combined balance, deft touch, and breakneck speed to score his first international goal for the Ivory Coast.

With his side leading Russia 1-0 on Friday, the Crystal Palace winger worked his way through four defenders before burying his shot.

[ MORE: Smalling hurt, Gibson called up ]

Zaha especially fooled with Ilya Kutepov, a harsh cut nearly tipping both to the field.

He’s just 24, and it seems much longer ago that he made his failed move to Manchester United in 2013.

Failed may be a rough verb considering it all contributed to making him the player he is for Crystal Palace and Ivory Coast today.

Everton loses Coleman to leg break on Ireland duty

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images
1 Comment

A horror tackle from Wales’ Neil Taylor snapped Seamus Coleman‘s leg in gruesome fashion on Friday.

Taylor was given a red card, and Coleman was stretched off the pitch in the 0-0 draw.

[ MORE: UEFA World Cup qualifying wrap ]

Ireland manager Martin O’Neill confirmed what was apparent from the match replay: the Everton man has a broken ankle.

“It’s a bad break. He’s a fantastic player and character. It’s a major blow for the lad, his club and us.

“Apparently it wasn’t the best challenge in the world – I haven’t seen it. He’s gone to hospital. I saw his reaction immediately and it didn’t look good. He was holding is leg up and it didn’t look good.

This is not only awful for the player, but causes stress as Everton mounts its assault on the Top Six. The right back has also manned right mid for Ronald Koeman this season, and has four goals and four assists in 26 Premier League matches.

Mason Holgate, Muhamed Besic, and Phil Jagielka have played some right back for Everton, while Ramiro Funes Mori has deputized at left back.

Emotional McClean speaks after honoring deceased teammate (video)

Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images
Leave a comment

After wearing the No. 5 to honor of his recently deceased teammate, James McClean met with the media following Ireland’s 0-0 draw with Wales in World Cup qualifying on Friday.

McClean played with Ryan McBride at Derry City, and left Ireland camp to attend funeral services after McBride died following a match last weekend. McClean was also mourning the death of friend and Sinn Féin politician Martin McGuinness.

Throw in a gruesome injury to teammate Seamus Coleman and, in McClean’s words, “I’ve had better weeks”.

[ MORE: UEFA World Cup qualifying wrap ]

McClean, 27, spoke with evident emotion following a Man of the Match turn in Ireland’s draw (video below).

“It was a really tough week. The lads here have been great. They rallied around me. The manager was first class as well. He let me go up to Derry there on Tuesday and say my goodbyes. It’s been a tough week with Seamus injury as well. It’d been nice if we had have got a win and ended on a positive note, but it wasn’t to be.

“(McBride and McGuinness) were going through my thoughts today. I wanted to put in a performance that would make them proud. In the national anthem and the moment’s applause, holding my wee girl, it was emotional but I tried to put that in the right way into my performance. Hopefully tonight I’ve done the lads proud.”