José Mourinho surprised by Norwich approach

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In the late Sunday game, Norwich managed to hold Chelsea to a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge. The result leaves Chelsea dependent on upcoming results from Liverpool, who play Crystal Palace on Monday, and Manchester City, who play Aston Villa on Wednesday. Only if both sides drop points will the Blues remain in the race for the Premier League title.

Norwich, who recorded just six shots, three of which were on target, surprised many who watched the match. Despite having one of the league’s worst defenses, with 60 goals conceded, the Canaries focused on making sure Chelsea couldn’t break through – which leaves Norwich still in trouble, sitting two points behind Sunderland, who have a game in hand.

(READ MORE: CHELSEA 0-0 NORWICH CITY)

The approach employed by Neil Adams surprised José Mourinho as well. The Chelsea boss spoke about it after the match:

It was quite a day. We had one team that needed three points to have a chance to survive – but didn’t play to win and a team that needed a point to finish third and guarantee a Champions League group stage place that played to win. Norwich’s gameplan surprised me. We were waiting for a crazy game, especially in the second half, where they would gamble everything, but it didn’t happen. But we don’t have a right to criticise.

Mourinho, perhaps unsurprisingly, felt the Blues should have taken all three points. He referenced a better second half, after a double substitution introduced David Luiz and Eden Hazard: “During the first 45 minutes, our players were very slow. There was no intensity. In the second half it was different – the players wanted it much much more.David gave us more intensity as did Eden Hazard. We should have won, but football is about goals.”

Unfortunately for Chelsea, “should have won” doesn’t give them a boost in the title race. Barring major mistakes from Liverpool and Manchester City, the Blues will be left ruing the way that Norwich were able to catch them off guard at home.

Men in Blazers: Jurgen Klopp talks loss of Coutinho and more

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Roger Bennett talks with manager Jurgen Klopp about revolutionizing Liverpool, his Greatest Show on Turf-esque offense, the loss of Philippe Coutinho and how he keeps football in perspective.

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MLS: Higuain extends with Crew, Royer gets new deal with Red Bulls

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Two key midfielders earned new deals on Thursday, as two of the Eastern Conference’s recent successes helped solidify for their attacks for the next few years.

The Columbus Crew extended Designated Player attacker Federico Higuain through the 2019 MLS season.

Higuain has been with the Crew since 2012, when the Argentine joined the club from Colon de Santa Fe in his native country.

Meanwhile, the New York Red Bulls extended Daniel Royer’s contract, as the Austrian winger in the midst of his third season with Jesse Marsch’s group.

Thus far, Royer has tallied 17 goals in all competitions for the Red Bulls, including 15 during the 2017 campaign, where the former Midtjylland player finished second on the team in goals behind Bradley Wright-Phillips.

UEL: Griezmann nabs crucial away goal vs. Arsenal, Marseille cruises

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A game of back-and-forth at the Emirates Stadium set up an enticing second leg in the UEFA Europa League semifinals, while a Ligue 1 side positioned itself well to move into the final.

[ MORE: Prince-Wright’s Premier League picks ]

Arsenal and Atletico Madrid settled for a 1-1 draw in London, as Antoine Griezmann’s late strike leveled the match for the Spanish side.

The Gunners looked on their way to a victory when Alexandre Lacazette‘s goal just beyond the hour mark put Arsene Wenger‘s men in front.

The result sets up a strong showdown for the two giants in a week’s time, although Arsenal will feel it left something on the table after racking up 26 shots (seven on target) on the day, particularly after Sime Vrsaljko was sent off after 10 minutes for the visitors when he picked up a second yellow card.

Meanwhile, Florian Thauvin and Clinton Njie gave Marseille a 2-0 win over Red Bull Leipzig, giving the French side the edge it sought out ahead of the competition finale.

The two clubs will meet again at Red Bull Arena Salzburg for the second leg.


Arsenal 1-1 Atletico Madrid
Marseille 2-0 Red Bull Salzburg

Europa League, LIVE: Arsenal, Marseille host first legs

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Diego Costa brings a solid career record against Arsenal back to London in a bid to ruin Arsene Wenger‘s farewell season at the Emirates Stadium.

[ FOLLOW: Arsenal vs. Atleti ]

The now-Atletico Madrid forward returns to England on Thursday as his La Liga outfit aims to stop Arsenal from reaching next month’s Europa League Final in Lyon.

[ FOLLOW: Marseille vs. Red Bull Salzburg ]

That’s a 3:05 p.m. ET kickoff, the same as Marseille’s date with Red Bull Salzburg in France.

ARSENAL-ATLETICO MADRID LINEUPS

Arsenal: Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Wilshere, Ramsey, Welbeck, Ozil, Lacazette. Subs: Cech, Maitland-Niles, Holding, Chambers, Kolasinac, Iwobi, Nketiah.

Atleti: Oblak, Lucas, Godin, Gimenez, Vrsaljko, Saul, Thomas, Koke, Correa, Griezmann, Gameiro. Subs: Werner, Savic, Gabi, Vitolo, Olabe, Torres, Costa.