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West Bromwich Albion 3-3 Tottenham Hotspur: Sensational Spurs fight back (video)

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Tottenham Hotspur grabbed a stunning point away at the Hawthorns on Saturday as home side West Bromwich Albion let a 3-0 lead slip, with Spurs scoring deep into stoppage time to seals a remarkable 3-3 draw.

West Brom raced into a 3-0 lead after 31 minutes, with Matej Vydra, Chris Brunt and Stephane Sessgnon all scoring to stun Spurs. Emmanuel Adebayor had his penalty kick saved when it was 2-0, but before the break Spurs were handed a lifeline as Jonas Olsson somehow deflected the ball into his own to make it 3-1 at the break.

In the second half it was all Spurs and youngster Harry Kane scored for the second-straight PL game as he headed home Aaron Lennon’s cross. Tim Sherwood’s team threw the kitchen sink at West Brom late on, with the Baggies finally letting down the guard in stoppage time as Christian Eriksen smashed in a shot to level things up. This game was eerily similar to West Brom’s recent 3-3 home draw with Cardiff, as they let a 2-0 lead slip on that occasion.

With their latest demoralizing slip up, the Baggies are just three points above the drop zone with four games to go, while Spurs stay in sixth after their remarkable comeback.

(MORE: Latest Premier League standings)

West Brom were in dreamland after just 30 seconds of the game, as Morgan Almafitano set up Vydra to send the Hawthorns wild and stun Spurs. Minutes later it was even better for the Baggies as Steven Reid rampaged down the right and found Brunt at the back post with his cross. The Northern Irishman hammered home a volley, as he marked his return to the team in style.

source: AP
West Brom let a 3-0 lead slip at home to Spurs, as Pepe Mel’s team are still in the relegation picture.

Spurs were shell-shocked by West Brom’s incredible start but Kane was found on the edge of the Baggies penalty box, however the young striker dragged his effort just wide of the far post. Tottenham then had a perfect chance to pull a goal back in the 15th minute, as Vlad Chiriches was taken down in the box and referee Neil Swarbrick awarded a penalty to Spurs. Adebayor stepped up but saw his weak spot kick saved by Ben Foster as the Baggies held on to their two-goal advantage. That miss spurred the Baggies back into life and Sessegnon finished well to put the hosts 3-0 ahead after 31 minutes.

That advantage didn’t last for too long though, as Aaron Lennon’s cross from the right deflected off of Olsson and looped over his own ‘keeper and into the net to make it 3-1 at the Hawthorns.

In the second half Spurs started brightly as Foster saved well from Lennon and then Danny Rose flashed a right-footed shot just wide of the far post as West Brom dropped deeper and deeper. The North Londoners dominated the second half as wave after wave after Spurs attack pulverized the Baggies defense but they stayed firm and looked dangerous on the break.

Tottenham’s relentless pressure finally paid off in the 70th minute, as young striker Kane scored his second PL goal in as many games after heading home Lennon’s cross to give Spurs hope of sealing a remarkable comeback. Late on the away side bombarded West Brom’s goal, as Lennon went close and the Baggies continued to hold on for dear life.

Then deep into stoppage time, Eriksen popped up to smash the ball home and send the traveling supporters wild. There were gloomy faces from the home fans at full time, as their side let a big lead slip once again.

LINEUPS

West Bromwich Albion: Foster; Reid, McAuley, Olsson (Dawson, 78′), Ridgewell; Amalfitano, Mulumbu, Brunt, Dorrans; Sessegnon (Yacob, 58′); Vydra (Berahino, 72′)

Goals: Vydra (1′), Brunt (4′), Sessegnon (31′)

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris; Naughton, Chiriches (Fryers, 45′), Kaboul, Rose (Townsend, 85′); Lennon, Chadli (Sigurdsson, 78′), Paulinho, Eriksen; Adebayor, Kane

Goals: Olsson, Own Goal ( 34′), Kane (70′), Eriksen (90′)

Loss to Sevilla quickly puts Real Madrid’s Zidane on the defensive

SEVILLE, SPAIN - JANUARY 15:  Head Coach of Real Madrid CF Zinedine Zidane looks on prior to  the match against Real Madrid CF during the La Liga match between Sevilla FC and Real Madrid CF at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on January 15, 2017 in Seville, Spain.  (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)
Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images
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MADRID (AP) Real Madrid’s first loss after a 40-game unbeaten streak was enough to put coach Zinedine Zidane on the defensive.

Two days after Madrid’s unbeaten record was halted by a 2-1 defeat at Sevilla in the Spanish league, Zidane was forced to defend some of his players against criticism from fans and local media.

[ MORE: Klopp, Liverpool still consulting lawyers over absurd Matip situation ]

Most comments were aimed at goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who failed to stop Sevilla’s injury-time winner on Sunday. Navas got to Stevan Jovetic‘s long-range shot but was unable to keep the ball from going in.

“He’s having a really good season,” Zidane said on Tuesday. “You can always ask for more, but if up until now we had gone 40 games without losing, it’s for a reason, and he has been there all the way.”

There have been calls for Zidane to give reserve goalkeeper Kiko Casilla a chance, but the coach said there was “no need to go over this again.”

Zidane also dismissed talk about signing a new goalkeeper.

“These are rumors,” he said. “We are focused on what we are doing this year. Whatever happens next I’m not interested and it’s not the time to talk about it. The three goalkeepers we have are important, they’re doing well and I’m very happy with them. I don’t want to change anything we’re doing.”

[ MORE: How Sevilla hope to break up the Madrid-Barca duopoly ]

Zidane defended forward Karim Benzema, who lost possession near midfield in a mistake that led to host Sevilla’s winner on Sunday.

“Everyone can say and write what they want,” Zidane said. “On a field, playing 90 minutes, you can’t do everything right. There is talk of lack of concentration, but we only had five bad minutes and that happens in football.”

Benzema also missed a chance to score from close range in the game, but a few days earlier it was the French striker who netted in stoppage time in a Copa del Rey match against Sevilla to help Madrid set the Spanish unbeaten record.

Zidane downplayed the end of Madrid’s unbeaten streak. The club hadn’t lost since a 2-0 defeat at Wolfsburg in the Champions League in April.

[ MORE: Monday’s transfer rumor roundup | Sunday | Friday | Thursday ]

“These things happen,” he said. “Nothing is going to change in what I’m going to do. Those who are not Real Madrid fans will want us to lose, but we must be ready and think that what we’re doing is fine. We lost a game, something that happens, and now we have to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”

Madrid hosts Celta Vigo on Wednesday in a first-leg match in the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey.

Celta has won all four matches this year.

“I am not surprised by Celta’s record because they’re a very good team, they fight and play very good football,” Zidane said. “It’ll be another complicated match for us.”

FA fines Man City’s Sagna over “10 against 12” Instagram message

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JANUARY 02: Scott Arfield of Burnley (L) tackles Bacary Sagna of Manchester City (R) during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Burnley at Etihad Stadium on January 2, 2017 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
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LONDON (AP) The English Football Association has fined Manchester City defender Bacary Sagna 40,000 pounds (around $50,000) for an Instagram post about a referee.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Sagna posted a photo with the caption “10 against 12.. but still fighting and winning as a team” on the social network site following City’s 2-1 win against Burnley on Jan. 2.

Sagna later amended the post to read “still fighting and winning as a team” after a match that saw referee Lee Mason send off midfielder Fernandinho.

[ MORE: Klopp, Liverpool still consulting lawyers over absurd Matip situation ]

The FA also warned Sagna about his future conduct.

Klopp, Liverpool still consulting lawyers over in-limbo Matip

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 11: Joel Matip of Liverpool and Andre Ayew of West Ham United compete for the ball during the Premier League match between Liverpool and West Ham United at Anfield on December 11, 2016 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images
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Few footballing sagas will ever reach heights of absurdity comparable to that of the Joel Matip/Liverpool versus Cameroon/FIFA battle currently raging, as the Reds defender finds himself “ineligible” to play for his club due to an international call-up 18 months after announcing his international retirement.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

PST’s Joe Prince-Wright summed up the situation quite well, in full, right here. An excerpt:

Matip, 25, was called up by the Cameroon national team for the 2017 African Cup of Nations which is currently taking place in Gabon. However, the former Schalke defender has previously stated that he did not want to play for them and he had retired from international duty.

Cameroon called him into their initial 35-man squad for the competition anyway but did not include him in their final 23-man squad once it became clear Matip, along with six other players, had no interest in playing for them at AFCON.

FIFA has confirmed that Liverpool has been in touch regarding Matip’s status and it now appears that he will not be able to play in any other competition while Cameroon is still in AFCON action under Article 5 of FIFA’s rules.

[ MORE: Monday’s transfer rumor roundup | Sunday | Friday | Thursday ]

Fast forward a few days, and Jurgen Klopp and Co. have no further clarity regarding the situation. It’s so unclear, in fact, that Klopp said on Tuesday he may select the 25-year-old during one of two remaining games this week, and hope for the best — quotes from the Guardian:

“As you can imagine, we are in a lot of talks. We’ve done transfers quicker than this. It’s already long term but now it’s getting really tense on our side. We’ve tried everything but at the end I have to make the decision. Of course I have to ask [Liverpool’s lawyers] but the decision is for me to make. I could put him in the lineup. I don’t think the referee is going to say: ‘Stop, stop, you cannot go on the pitch.’ But I will do it when it’s OK from our point of view. Of course I need advice — I’m not a lawyer.”

“Most of the time in life you know if you do this, then you get this. But it’s not 100 percent clear what happens [if Matip plays]. We try everything to win football games. If this can happen — out of the tournament or whatever — then we have to decide about the risk. He’s ready to play for us and that makes it difficult.”

What an utter disaster of a situation Cameroon have intentionally created here.

VIDEO: Jeison Murillo’s incredible bicycle from a corner kick

MILAN, ITALY - JANUARY 17:  (R-L) Jeison Murillo of FC Internazionale celebrates his first goal with Geoffrey Kondogbia during the TIM Cup match between FC Internazionale and Bologna FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on January 17, 2017 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
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Look away now, Andy Carroll. Take a bow, Jeison Murillo.

[ VIDEOS: All in a week’s work — Messi free kick no. 1 | Messi free kick no. 2 ]

Just three days after Carroll scored the bicycle-kick goal of the year (so we thought), here comes Murillo, Inter Milan’s 24-year-old Colombian striker, to steal his thunder (below video). The fact he did it directly from a corner kick, with the ball traveling roughly 40 yards before flinging his body into the air and striking the ball so cleanly, (somehow) trumps Carroll’s accomplishment from Saturday.

[ MORE: PL Power Rankings — Tight at the top… and bottom ]

Sensational goals come in twos now, apparently, as Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Olivier Giroud scored stunning scorpion-kick goals (WATCH HERE and HERE) just days apart earlier in the season.