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

1 Comment

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′)

Malta captain mutes goal celebration after journalist slain

AP Photo/Elisabetta Baracchi
Leave a comment

Malta captain Andre Schembri says the car bomb slaying of a Maltese investigative journalist prompted him not to exult after scoring an historic goal.

Schembri’s temporary equalizer for Cypriot club Apollon in a 3-1 loss to Italian side Atalanta in the Europa League on Thursday made him the first Maltese player to score in proper European competition – excluding qualifying.

[ PL PREVIEW: Saints vs. West Brom ]

But instead of pumping his fist or leaping in joy over the achievement, Schembri hung his head as teammates mobbed him.

Schembri wrote on Facebook on Friday, “Celebrating my goal didn’t feel right after what happened in Malta this week.”

Malta has been stunned since Monday by the slaying of Daphne Caruana Galizia, an anti-corruption reporter whose targets included Malta’s leading politicians.

“When they killed Daphne I wasn’t able to sleep for three nights,” Schembri told the ANSA news agency. “Malta is Europe, it’s not the third world. We need to be united when faced with grief like this, to say that we’re better than all of this.

“I love my country and with that goal it came naturally to me to think about a reporter’s freedom and the life of a mother of three children.”

Premier League Preview: Southampton vs. West Bromwich Albion

Getty Images
Leave a comment
  • West Bromwich Albion hope to choose from goalkeepers Ben Foster (back) and Boaz Myhill (hamstring) for the trip to St Mary’s. Hal Robson-Kanu (strain), James Morrison (calf) and Oliver Burke (hamstring) will all be absent for the Baggies.
  • Southampton are again without Jeremy Pied but have no other injury concerns.
  • Of all teams to have met in at least seven different Premier League campaigns, Southampton v West Brom has the lowest goals-per-match ratio in the competition (21 in 14 matches, 1.5 per match). 
  • Dusan Tadic has been directly involved in a goal in each of his last three PL appearances against the Baggies (one goal, two assists).

Two mid-table sides meet up in the south of England as Southampton hosts West Bromwich Albion at 13:20 p.m. Saturday afternoon. (Watch live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Both teams are struggling for form heading into the match. West Brom is winless in its last seven games while Southampton has just one win in its last five, coughing up a chance to defeat Newcastle a week ago.

It’s a big boost for Southampton though that Manolo Gabbiadini is back on the scoresheet after scoring twice against Newcastle. It was Gabbiadini’s first goal since the second week of the Premier League season.

At the other end, West Brom have a worry with both of its top two goalkeepers, Ben Forster and Boaz Myhill. recovering from injuries.

What they’re saying

Southampton manager Manuel Pellegrino on his team: “The reaction of the team was really good, but we have to start from the beginning with this spirit. Sometimes you have to be patient, because at the beginning teams have more energy, they are fresher and they can press you better. I think we feel comfortable with the ball. If we are precise with the ball and with our tempo, we can create more problems – it doesn’t matter who we are playing. We know that West Brom are really strong physically, and dangerous from set plays and on the counter-attack. That’s something we’ve been working on this week. Every single week we are learning from our last few games, and I feel that my players are better prepared.”

West Bromwich manager Tony Pulis on facing Southampton: “They’re a good footballing team. Pellegrino has come in with his own ideas and the way he wants to play. From watching them in a couple of games away from St Mary’s they seem a little more relaxed. They look a little more uptight at home. But I’m sure they’ll become the team everyone knows they can be.”

Video Preview

Prediction

West Bromwich doesn’t look closer to stopping its slide down the table, especially on the road. Even with Jay Rodriguez returning to his former club, Southampton should find the offense to put Tony Pulis and West Brom away. Southampton 2-1 West Bromwich Albion

Watch Live: West Ham vs. Brighton and Hove Albion

Getty Images
Leave a comment

West Ham and Brighton kick off the weekend’s Premier League action at the London Stadium on Friday afternoon. (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN an online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE ONLINE HERE

Both teams have just eight points from eight games, and are looking to move up in the table with a win.

Manuel Lanzini makes his second consecutive start, playing behind Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez in West Ham’s 4-2-3-1 formation. On the other side, Tomer Hemed sits his final match of his three-match suspension, with Glen Murray playing atop the 4-4-1-1 Brighton formation.

LINEUPS

West Ham United: Hart; Zabaleta, Fonte, Reid, Masuaku; Kouate, Obiang; Antonio, Lanzini, Arnautovic; Chicharito Hernandez. Subs: Adrian, Cresswell, Ogbonna, Byram, Ayew, Noble, Fernandes

Brighton and Hove Albion: Ryan; Bong, Duffy, Dunk, Saltor; Izquierdo, Propper, Stephens, Knockaert; Gross; Murray. Subs: Krul, Goldson, Suttner, Schelotto, Molumby, March, Brown.

Report: FIFA considering updating international rules

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Under current FIFA rules, once a player plays a senior international competitive match, they’re cap-tied permanently to that nation. But that rule could be changing.

That’s according to a report from Reuters, which quotes CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani that FIFA could look into updating some of its nationality laws. Montagliani is the head of FIFA’s stakeholders committee.

“There are so many issues that have popped up over the years because the world is changing, immigration is changing,” Montagliani said. “There are nationality issues that pop up all over the world, in Africa, there are issues in Asia and CONCACAF, so its a good time to have a look at this and see if there are solutions, without hurting the integrity of the game.”

Changing the rules would have a big impact on nations with diverse populations or nationalities with large diasporas.

The report states the Cape Verdean FA requested relaxing the rule of cap-tying a player after playing a competitive game, if that player drops out of the player pool and likely wouldn’t be called up again. Cape Verde relies on a lot of Portugal-based and raised players with Cape Verdean heritage.

A relaxation of the rules could have an affect on U.S. Men’s National Team players as well. In theory, if Kenny Saief decided he wanted to play for Israel again, under a relaxation of the rules, and some sort of proof that a new USMNT coach wouldn’t call him up, Israel could potentially use him. In addition, players such as Cristian Roldan or Jesse Gonzalez could in theory be lost should they fall down the depth chart and other countries they’re eligible for.