Newcastle United 1-2 Swansea City: Bony’s brace seals crucial win for Swans (video)

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Swansea City secured a last gasp win over Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Saturday, as a double from Wilfried Bony did the damage in a stunning comeback.

Newcastle took the lead early on when Shola Ameobi slotted home, but right on the stroke of half time Bony headed home a sumptuous cross from the right to send the teams in level. After the break both teams searched to go ahead, but the pivotal moment didn’t arrive until the 91st minute when Cheick Tiote brought down Marvin Emnes for a penalty and Bony stepped up to coolly slot the spot kick home.

The 2-1 win sees Swansea move onto 36 points and all but secure their safety in the race against relegation, while Newcastle suffered a fifth-straight defeat as they remain in ninth.

(Premier League Roundup: Chelsea blow it, Swansea, Spurs and Palace win)

It was an even start at a sunny St. James’ Park, as both sides zipped the ball around but neither carved out clear cut opportunities in the opening stages. Referee Chris Foy was then involved in the thick of things, as a shot from Jonjo Shelvey was blocked by Fabricio Coloccini and the ball ricocheted straight into Foy’s face as he hit the floor. The referee received treatment and eventually saw the funny side of it, as the game continued with Foy getting plenty of ‘banter’ from the 50,000 plus fans inside St. James’.

Swansea pressed for the opener, as Jonathan de Guzman’s near post cross was cleared away by Mike Williamson just before Bony could pounce to shoot. However, the home side then went ahead with their first goal in five PL matches. Target man Ameobi flicked the ball on to find Luuk de Jong, who laid the ball back into Ameobi’s path for the Newcastle veteran to slot home just his second goal in 55 PL matches.

(MORE: Latest Premier League standings)

After early being smashed in the face by the ball, referee Foy had to be replaced after feeling nauseous as fourth official Anthony Taylor took control of the match. Then Newcastle lost both their strikers as Papiss Demba Cisse and de Jong had to leave the pitch through injury. For the rest of the first half Swansea tried to get back level and right on the stroke of half time they did just that. Ben Davies whipped in a delightful cross from the right and Bony rose like a salmon to nod home his 21st goal of the season to make it 1-1 at half time.

It was a subdued start to the second half at St. James’ as both teams felt their way into the second half. Newcastle went close in the 60th minute when Vernon Anita twisted away from his marker and rifled a 30-yard shot just wide of the far post. Newcastle were the better of the two teams and pushed to go ahead throughout the second half.

Yet Swansea went close in the 78th minute win de Guzman curled an effort towards the top corner that went narrowly over and landed on top of the net. In the final 10 minutes the Swans continued to push and Bony was played clean through but just as he tried to get control of the ball, Tim Krul rushed off his line to save Newcastle.

The game-winning moment arrived in stoppage time as substitute Emnes raced clear of Newcastle’s defense and was then brought down by Tiote to win a penalty kick. Bony stepped up to slot home the PK and send the traveling fans from Swansea into raptures, with the Swans holding on to secure a precious three points.

LINEUPS

Newcastle United: Krul; Coloccini, Williamson, Dummett; Anita, Gosling (Armstrong, 81′), Tiote, Gouffran; de Jong (Remy, 40′); Cisse (Debuchy, 21′), Sh Ameobi

Goal: Ameobi (23′)

Swansea City: Vorm, Rangel, Amat, Williams, Davies, Britton, Shelvey, De Guzman, Routledge (Bartley, 94′), Hernandez (Emnes, 81′), Bony

Goals: Bony (45′ & 90′)

USSF says nominations submitted for 8 president candidates

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File
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CHICAGO (AP) The U.S. Soccer Federation says it received the required three letters of nomination for eight candidates in its presidential election, one fewer than the total of people who announced their intention to run.

The USSF is conducting background checks on the candidates whose nominations were received by Tuesday night’s deadline. The governing body said the check is to ascertain that a candidate has “no conviction or no contest plea to a felony or crime of moral turpitude” and it will announce the candidate slate after completing the process.

[ MORE: Atlanta acquires Nagbe ]

Sunil Gulati, the USSF president since 2006, decided after the Americans failed to qualify for the World Cup that he will not seek a fourth four-year term.

The nine people who announced they are running include former men’s national team players Paul Caligiuri, Eric Wynalda and Kyle Martino; U.S. women’s goalkeeper Hope Solo; Soccer United Marketing president Kathy Carter; USSF vice president Carlos Cordeiro; Boston lawyer Steve Gans; New York lawyer Michael Winograd; and Paul LaPointe, Northeast Conference manager of the United Premier Soccer League.

The election will be held in February.

Madrid rallies to beat Al Jazira, reach Club World Cup final (video)

AP Photo/Hassan Ammar
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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Gareth Bale scored an 81st-minute winner as Real Madrid came from behind to beat Emirates club Al Jazira 2-1 on Wednesday and reach the Club World Cup final.

Madrid will try to win its third world title in four seasons when its faces South American champion Gremio on Saturday.

[ MORE: Premier League Weds. roundup ]

The match had two goals disallowed by video review, one for each team.

Madrid struggled early and allowed the local league winners to open the scoring with a goal by Brazilian forward Romarinho just before halftime.

But Cristiano Ronaldo equalized early in the second half and Bale netted the winner less than a minute after entering the match as a substitute for Karim Benzema.

Paul Clement admits helplessness at facing Man City

Nick Potts/PA via AP
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Swansea City manager Paul Clement may have the enduring quote of the season so far when it comes to facing the behemoth that is Manchester City.

[ RECAP – City hammer Swansea ]

The suffering Swans have had their share of poor performances this season — Clement later said January transfer spending “is a must” if the club wants to stay up — but he’s throwing his hands up in the air when it comes to Wednesday’s loss at the Liberty Stadium.

The man sounds exasperated, and sorry for his team. From the BBC:

“At times it was horrible to be on the sideline watching that, seeing my side trying but suffering for long periods. They’re not the games that will decide our season but it was hard to watch at times because they were so dominant. For me, one of the best sides I’ve ever come across. So many good athletes, so many intelligent footballers and it’s really hard to pin them down. We actually had some attempts on their goal so I’m disappointed we didn’t get on the score sheet but they were a far superior side to us. We’ve got to put it aside that game. We’ve got Everton away (next) and we’ve got to try and pick something up there.”

All that’s left is for Clement to pick up a clarinet, awkwardly blow into it, then point at Pep Guardiola and say, “He’s good.”

Free message board points to the first one to name the reference.

Premier League roundup: Reds, Gunners stumble

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The Top Four looks set for tumult on a weekly basis, and this week’s seen clubs move in-and-out at the lash of a whip.

[ MORE: Atlanta acquires Nagbe ]

Tottenham’s back in. Leicester City would like to come closer.

Burnley’s out. Liverpool and Arsenal, too.

First place might be out of the question, with unbeatable looking Man City 11 points clear of the pack. But nearly everything else is in play.

Manchester United 1-0 Bournemouth — RECAP

United didn’t have it’s A-game, but that was okay thanks to fine defensive play from star backstop David De Gea and some gutsy tackles from Phil Jones. The goal came when Juan Mata‘s cross was nodded home by Romelu Lukaku in the 25th minute, and United rode that marker for all it was worth to stay three points ahead of third place Chelsea.

Swansea City 0-4 Manchester City — RECAP

How good is Man City? Pep Guardiola‘s bunch have now won a Premier League record 15-straight in a single season, and have scored 52 goals while conceding just 11. Markers 49-52 came from David Silva (two), Kevin De Bruyne, and Sergio Aguero. Tottenham is next.

Liverpool 0-0 West Bromwich Albion — RECAP

A ball bounded off Ahmed Hegazi’s body, and off Dominic Solanke‘s body and forearm to give Liverpool its presumed breakthrough, but the call was intentional handball. The Reds had myriad chances to score before that, but instead hand a point to the visiting Baggies.

Newcastle United 0-1 Everton — RECAP

Mikel Merino and Matt Ritchie both hit goal posts as Sam Allardyce‘s Everton rode its luck and a Karl Darlow spillage to a 1-0 win. Wayne Rooney poked home the rebound, and the Toffees’ relegation worries are officially a thing of the past. Newcastle? Not so much, but money’s a-coming to Rafa Benitez at St. James’ Park.

West Ham United 0-0 Arsenal — RECAP

The chances were there for dominant Arsenal, but the winning goal did not materialize at the London Stadium. Marko Arnautovic did everything but score when West Ham did manage the ball, and Javier Hernandez rattled the cage late, but David Moyes men had to settle for a well-earned point.

Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 Brighton and Hove Albion — RECAP

Spurs are back in the Top Four thanks to a long Serge Aurier cross that fooled Mat Ryan and a Heung-Min Son deflection of a Christian Eriksen offering. Brighton’s just three points away from the drop zone with the loss.

Southampton 1-4 Leicester City — RECAP

Claude Puel‘s Foxes are flying, scoring goals for fun and encroaching on the Top Four after a horrible start to the Premier League season. Shinji Okazaki bagged his first Premier League brace, while Andy King and Riyad Mahrez also scored for Leicester, who is within five points of fourth and next faces Crystal Palace. Southampton’s goal came from Maya Yoshida.

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Manchester City 17 16 1 0 52 11 41 7-1-0 9-0-0 49
 Manchester United 17 12 2 3 37 11 26 8-0-1 4-2-2 38
 Chelsea 17 11 2 4 31 14 17 5-1-2 6-1-2 35
 Tottenham Hotspur 17 9 4 4 30 14 16 5-3-1 4-1-3 31
 Liverpool 17 8 7 2 34 20 14 4-5-0 4-2-2 31
 Burnley 17 9 4 4 16 12 4 5-2-2 4-2-2 31
 Arsenal 17 9 3 5 30 20 10 7-0-1 2-3-4 30
 Leicester City 17 7 5 5 27 23 4 4-1-3 3-4-2 26
 Watford 17 6 4 7 26 29 -3 2-3-3 4-1-4 22
 Everton 17 6 4 7 21 29 -8 5-0-3 1-4-4 22
 Southampton 17 4 6 7 17 23 -6 3-3-4 1-3-3 18
 Huddersfield Town 17 5 3 9 12 29 -17 4-2-3 1-1-6 18
 Brighton & Hove Albion 17 4 5 8 14 23 -9 2-4-2 2-1-6 17
 Bournemouth 17 4 4 9 15 20 -5 2-2-4 2-2-5 16
 Stoke City 17 4 4 9 19 36 -17 3-2-3 1-2-6 16
 Newcastle United 17 4 3 10 16 26 -10 3-1-5 1-2-5 15
 West Bromwich Albion 17 2 8 7 12 22 -10 1-5-2 1-3-5 14

 Crystal Palace 17 3 5 9 12 28 -16 3-3-3 0-2-6 14
 West Ham United 17 3 5 9 14 32 -18 3-2-3 0-3-6 14
 Swansea City 17 3 3 11 9 22 -13 2-1-6 1-2-5 12