George Boyd

Hull City 1-0 Swansea City: Boyd’s header enough for the Tigers (video)

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Hull City battled to a 1-0 win over Swansea on Saturday at the KC Stadium as Hull are all but safe from relegation, while the Swans are still only six-points clear of the drop.

The game-winning moment arrived just before half time, as George Boyd rose like a salmon at the back post and headed in a looping cross to give the Tigers a deserved lead. Swansea spurned several good chances to equalize in the second half, as Hull held on for a valuable win that sees them leapfrog Swansea and leave the South Wales side with still flirting with the relegation zone.

Hull moved up to 12th on 36 points after the win, while the Swans dropped to 15th on 33 points.

(MORE: Latest Premier League standings)

An early cross from Figueora on the left found Shane Long in the box and Michel Vorm made a superb save at the far post to keep the score level inside the first 10 minutes. Hull continued to press the Swans, and in the 17th minute George Boyd hammered a low shot towards goal following Long’s knockdown but Vorm saved well down to his right.

After that the game evened out, but Swansea’s Wayne Routledge got clear of Hull’s defense but took the winger too much time to have a shot and saw his effort blocked.

Just after the half hour mark Nikica Jelavic curled a free kick just over for Hull, as a nervy encounter played out in the sunshine in East Yorkshire. Then in the 38th minute Hull took the lead, as Liam Rosenior’s looping cross from the right saw Boyd rise highest and beat Angel Rangel to head home the opener. The Tigers pushed for another after half time, as Steve Bruce’s men aimed to stave off any lingering threat of relegation.

In the second half Swansea pushed hard for an equalizer, as Nathan Dyer spurned a glorious chance to put the Swans level but hit his effort tamely on target.Garry Monk cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines, as the rookie manager still has the threat of relegation breathing down his neck.

Jonjo Shelvey had another effort which failed to worry Steve Harper in goal for Hull, as the Tigers held on to their slender advantage and grabbed a crucial three points which has likely sealed their top-flight status for next season.

LINEUPS

Hull City: Harper, Rosenior, Figueora (Koren, 75′), Chester, Davies, Meyler, Livermore, Boyd, Jelavic (Sagbo, 91′), Long (Aluko, 64′), Elmohamady

Goal: Boyd (38′)

Swansea City: Vorm, Rangel, Chico Flores, Williams, Davies, Britton (Lita, 83′), Shelvey, De Guzman (Dyer, 45′), Routledge, Michu (Hernandez, 66′), Bony

Watch Live: Chelsea vs. Tottenham Hotspur (Lineups and Live Stream)

AP Photo/Tim Ireland
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Tottenham Hotspur’s thin hopes of winning the Premier League demand all three points from its visit to Chelsea on Monday (Watch live on NBCSN at 3 p.m. ET and online via Live Extra).

Spurs are eight points behind Leicester City, and a loss or draw makes the Foxes the 2015-16 champions.

[ MORE: Burnley clinches promotion to the Premier League ]

Reigning champion Chelsea, in an odd twist, can play the spoiler for either its London neighbors or the fairytale Foxes.

 

LINEUPS

Chelsea: Begovic; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Mikel, Matic; Willian, Fabregas, Pedro; Diego CostaSubs: Amelia, Baba, Loftus-Cheek, Kenedy, Oscar, Hazard, Traore.

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris (c), Walker, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Rose; Dier, Dembele; Lamela, Eriksen, Son; Kane. Subs: Vorm, Davies, Wimmer, Carroll, Chadli, Mason, Clinton.

“It’s magic” — Goal hero Vokes hails Burnley’s Premier League return

BURNLEY, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 02:  Sam Vokes of Burnley (obscured) scores their first goal past goalkeeper Matt Ingram of QPR during the Sky Bet Championship match between Burnley and Queens Park Rangers at Turf Moor on May 2, 2016 in Burnley, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images
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Sam Vokes‘ 61st minute header has Burnley back in the Premier League at the first time of asking, and there’s only one way to describe it.

Magic.

[ MORE: Bobby Wood to Hamburg for $4 million? ]

Burnley clinched automatic promotion thanks to its 1-0 win over QPR and Brighton’s draw earlier in the day. With Brighton facing Middlesbrough this weekend, only one could pass Burnley in points.

Take away the math, though, and Burnley is flying off the emotion of the 1-0 win.

From the BBC:

“It’s magic, it’s a great feeling. You could feel the anticipation around the place when we kicked off. We knew what we had to do after the Brighton result earlier. Magic scenes here today. Getting that goal sparked relief around the place. I missed a lot of the Premier League last season but hopefully I’ll get another chance next season.”

And here’s Sean Dyche, classically stoic in the face of extreme emotion:

“That was well off our performance level but the result was all that mattered today. The resilience, belief and character got us through. You can’t be brilliant every week, we don’t think we’re the real deal, but we’re a real group that sticks together.”

If you don’t know much about Burnley, we suggest Joe Posnanski’s SportsWorld piece from last season’s Premier League campaign.

Congrats to the Clarets.

Burnley clinches automatic promotion to the Premier League

PRESTON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 22:  Andre Gray of Burnley holds up one finger to indicate the score to opposing supporters as he is substituted during the Sky Bet Championship match between Preston North End and Burnley at Deepdale on April 22, 2016 in Preston, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images
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One claret and blue team has been relegated from the Premier League, but another is taking its place.

Sam Vokes did not score in 15 Premier League appearances last year with Burnley, but his goal on Monday boosted the Clarets back into England’s top flight.

[ MORE: Bobby Wood to Hamburg for $4 million? ]

Vokes, 26, headed home in the second half to give Burnley a 1-0 lead over Queens Park Rangers, and the Clarets held on to make sure their absence from the Premier League was a mere season long.

The win gives Burnley 90 points with one match to play. With Middlesbrough and Brighton & Hove Albion sitting on 88 points and playing each other on the final day of the season, only one winner can pass the Clarets.

Report: USMNT striker Wood would cost Hamburger around $4 million

COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 29:  Bobby Wood #7 of the United States Men's National Team controls the ball against Guatemala during the FIFA 2018  World Cup qualifier on March 29, 2016 at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. The United States defeated Guatemala 4-0.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
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There seems to be growing interest in USMNT striker Bobby Wood, who is having a sensational season for Union Berlin in 2.Bundesliga.

Linked with Liverpool in March, Wood is now said to be desired by Hamburg in Germany’s top flight.

[ MORE: Klinsmann calls up 40 for Copa America camp ]

Hamburg’s strike corps consists of young target forward Pierre-Michel Lasogga, ‘Gladbach loanee Josip Drmic and veteran Ivica Olic.

Bild.de says the fee is around $4 million, but that the club has yet to begin discussing terms with Union.

Wood has 17 goals and 3 assists in league play this season, and has also become a mainstay with the U.S. team under Jurgen Klinsmann.

[ MORE: Timbers striker wanted by Palace, St. Etienne ]

Union Berlin is sixth in 2.Bundesliga, while Hamburg is 11th in Bundesliga.

Fellow USMNT striker Aron Johannsson has faced a long injury lay-off with Werder Bremen, while a similar situation has faced Terrence Boyd. The latter is with Red Bull Leipzig and is set for a promotion to the Bundesliga barring extreme unlikelihood over the final few weeks.