Manchester City v West Ham United - Premier League

Premier League Roundup: Man City clinch title, Chelsea, Liverpool win

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What. A. Finish.

The ribbons have been neatly tied on the 2013-14 Premier League season and a huge congratulations goes to Manchester City for clinching the title.

By beating West Ham on the final day Manuel Pellegrini’s side sauntered to their second PL title in three years, as Liverpool came up short in second place despite beating Newcastle on the final day at Anfield.

MORE: Final Premier League standings

Elsewhere Chelsea finished third, as they fought back to beat Cardiff City, while Manchester United drew 1-1 away at Southampton, Everton ended their season on high by beating Hull City, Arsenal won away at Norwich and Tottenham hammered Aston Villa at home. Plus plenty more happened during a hectic finale to a stunning season.

In case you missed any of the action from a extremely busy Championship Sunday which saw all 10 PL games kick off at the same time, we’ve got you covered here at PST.

Below we have recaps, analysis and videos on every single PL game.

Cardiff City 1-2 Chelsea

Craig Bellamy’s deflected effort put Cardiff 1-0 up early in the first half and they held that lead until 20 minutes from time when Andre Schurrle tidied up to equalize. Moments later Fernando Torres bagged the winner as Chelsea finished third and were four points off the top. As for Cardiff, they finished rock bottom of the PL.

Hull City 0-2 Everton

James McCarthy and Romelu Lukaku scored in either half as the Toffees finished in style, and in fifth spot, as Roberto Martinez’s men grabbed a record points tally in the PL. Everton were extremely dominant in this one as Hull had one eye on next Saturday’s FA Cup final. It has been a shocking finish to the season for the Tigers but they don’t care because they achieved their aim of staying in the PL. As for Everton, a terrific season which they will hope to build on.

Fulham 2-2 Crystal Palace

Two youngsters scored for Fulham as Cauley Woodrow and Chris David gave a glimpse of the future at Craven Cottage. Crystal Palace led twice through a Dwight Gayle double but David scored a late equalizer to finish Fulham’s season off positively. Palace finished in 11th place, while Fulham finished in 19th and four points from safety as they were relegated from the PL.

Liverpool 2-1 Newcastle United

The Reds came up short as they finished second in the PL, just two points behind champions Man City. On Sunday they went behind to Newcastle as Martin Skrtel scored a record-breaking fourth own goal of the season. However the Reds weren’t to see their sensational season finish with a whimper, as two quick-fire goals from Daniel Agger and Daniel Sturridge turned the game on its head. Newcastle finished with nine-men as Shola Ameobia and Paul Dummett were both sent off, the Magpies finished in ninth.

Norwich City 0-2 Arsenal

Two second half goals from Aaron Ramsey and Carl Jenkinson saw the Gunners ease to victory and Norwich relegated. Arsenal go into the FA Cup final against Hull next weekend in fine form after winning five-straight to finish the season. As for the Canaries, their three-year stay in the top flight is over and all is not well at Carrow Road.

Manchester City 2-0 West Ham United

Manuel Pellegrini’s side eased to the PL title as they only need a point against the Hammers… but took all three. Samir Nasri banged one in off the post just before half time then Vincent Kompany thumped home another just after the break as the party started early at the Etihad. 102 goals this season for the Citizens, as City turned on the style as they peaked at the right time. West Ham finished the season in 13th place as mystery still shrouds Sam Allardyce’s future.

Southampton 1-1 Manchester United

Saints went ahead early on through Rickie Lambert’s cool finish in front of England manager Roy Hodgson and the home side tore United apart in the first half. After the interval Ryan Giggs’s side were much better and Juan Mata curled in a wonderful free kick to level things up. Overall a draw was a fair result as Saints finished in their highest ever PL position of eighth, while United finished seventh and failed to qualify for Europe for the first time since 1990. The Red Devils’ nightmare season is over.

Sunderland 1-3 Swansea

Two early goals from Nathan Dyer and Marvin Emnes put the Swans in a commanding position at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland fought back as Fabio Borini made it 2-1 however soon after Swansea’s leading scorer Wilfried Bony made it 3-1 and that was how it would finish. Swans finished the season in 12th, Sunderland in 14th after their ‘Great Escape.’

Tottenham 3-0 Aston Villa

Tim Sherwood’s time in charge of Spurs may well be up but he’s done a superb job. Tottenham will play in the Europa League next year after battering Aston Villa at White Hart Lane. Paulinho opened the scoring, then there was an own goal from Nathan Baker before Emmanuel Adebayor made it 3-0 from the penalty spot before the break. Spurs finish sixth, while Villa finished 15th and five points above the bottom three.

West Bromwich Albion 1-2 Stoke City

What a season for the Potters who finished ninth after winning six of their last 10 matches. They went ahead after Gareth McAuley scored an own goal but Stephane Sessegnon equalized as the Baggies looked to have secured their 17th draw of the season. However Charlie Adam scored a late winner to give Mark Hughes’ team their first-ever top 10 finish in the PL. West Brom finished one place above the relagtion zone and Spanish boss Pepe Mel could well be on his way this summer.

China plans for 50,000 soccer academies by 2025

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 23:  China's President Xi Jinping addresses an audience of dignitaries including the British Prime Minister David Cameron (not seen) at Manchester airport on October 23, 2015 in Manchester, England. The President of the People's Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and his wife, Madame Peng Liyuan, are paying a State Visit to the United Kingdom as guests of The Queen.  They will stay at Buckingham Palace and undertake engagements in London and Manchester. The last state visit paid by a Chinese President to the UK was Hu Jintao in 2005.  (Photo by Oli Scarff - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
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BEIJING (AP) China plans to have 50,000 football academies by 2025 as part of an ambitious blueprint to grow into a soccer superpower.

The announcement, made by China’s football association Vice President Wang Dengfeng, more than doubles the earlier target of 20,000 academies by 2020.

Wang was quoted by state media on Wednesday as saying that each school would be able to train 1,000 young players on average, fulfilling the goal laid out in a plan announced last April of having 50 million competent players.

“This is a solid way to select football talent for our future reserves. Improving Chinese football is no longer just a dream,” Wang was quoted as saying on the website of the ruling Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily.

China’s men have only qualified for one World Cup and President Xi Jinping has made boosting China’s football fortunes a national priority. Plans call for again qualifying for the sport’s marquee event, hosting it and winning the title by 2050.

To that end, China last year signed Brazil’s World Cup-winning manager Marcello Lippi to take over the national men’s team. The government has also ordered the creation of 70,000 football fields to fill gaps in its youth program.

Teams in China’s professional leagues, meanwhile, have recruited international stars such as Alex Teixeira and Jackson Martinez on highly paid contracts, raising concerns that they are neglecting home-grown talent.

In response, China’s football association last month said it plans a series of measures in response to “irrational” spending by clubs. It also reduced the number of foreigners who can play per club at any given time from four to three and required that each team’s starting list must include at least two Chinese players under age 23.

UEL: Saint-Etienne hope Beric comes to the rescue vs. Man United

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 16:  Paul Pogba of Manchester United and Kevin Monnet-Paquet of Saint-Etienne in action during the UEFA Europa  League Round of 32 first leg match between Manchester United and AS Saint-Etienne at Old Trafford on February 16, 2017 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
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PARIS (AP) While Zlatan Ibrahimovic was scoring a hat trick in Manchester United’s win over Saint-Etienne in the Europa League last week, Robert Beric’s 11-minute substitute appearance at Old Trafford was barely noticed.

Still reeling from a hamstring injury, Beric’s cameo had little impact as Ibrahimovic ended Saint-Etienne’s 10-game unbeaten run in Europe by 3-0.

[ MORE: Man City win in epic comeback vs. Monaco | Atleti blitz Bayer ]

Beric’s condition has improved since the heavy loss, and he featured in a French league game in Montpellier last weekend. The 1976 European Cup runner-up is hoping that’s enough for Beric to help it overturn their deficit against United on Wednesday in the last-32 return leg.

Beric, a versatile center-forward capable of playing with his back to goal and creating, joined Saint-Etienne last season. He’d scored 27 goals in 34 matches in his final season with Rapid Vienna, but was unable to replicate the feat in the French league because his progression was abruptly stopped by a serious right knee injury.

He is expected to start at Geoffroy Guichard Stadium after his teammates managed to force United goalkeeper Sergio Romero into only a single save from 14 shots last week.

“Beric is so skillful and astute in front of goal that we all want to give him a starting nod,” former Saint-Etienne striker Herve Revelli, now a club ambassador, told L’Equipe.

[ MORE: Rooney left out of Man United’s Europa League squad (again) ]

United was carved open at times, but the French club was made to pay for its blatant lack of efficiency. Revelli insisted Beric can make a difference.

“He is likely to put our chances into the back of the net,” Revelli said.

With an estimated budget of close to 70 million euros, Saint-Etienne simply can’t afford the services of a world-class striker. When he joined the 10-time French champion for a reported six million euros, Beric became the third most expensive player signed by the club.

A humble player and a man of few words, Beric is somewhat the opposite of the self-infatuated Ibrahimovic.

Unlike Ibrahimovic, who once said he will be “God of Manchester,” Beric rarely speaks about himself and his rare comments on social networks are limited to praise of his teammates and Saint-Etienne fans.

Beric, who scored the last of his three league goals this season back in September, is not yet fully fit and should not be able to last the whole match. But Revelli is counting on his instinct for goals.

[ MORE: Guardiola “so happy” to see Man City “achieve another step” ]

“With him in a finisher role, I firmly believe in our chances,” said Revelli, Saint-Etienne’s all-time best scorer.

Saint-Etienne needs to find a way to stop Ibrahimovic, but history does not favor the home side.

During his time in France with Paris Saint-Gernain, Ibrahimovic was the scourge of Saint-Etienne, scoring 14 goals in 13 games in all competitions. He now has 17, including three hat tricks.

“It’s difficult to neutralize him. There is a possibility that we will set up an anti-Ibra plan,” Saint-Etienne coach Chirstophe Galtier said. “I don’t know what’s inside Zlatan, but for sure he likes to play against us. It’s not easy to score a hat trick in a European Cup game.”

Champions League Wednesday: Leicester’s last stand; Porto-Juve

SEVILLE, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 21:  Claudio Ranieri, manager of Leicester City looks on during a press conference ahead of the UEFA Champions League round-of-16 first leg against Sevilla FC at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on February 21, 2017 in Seville, Spain.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
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Previewing Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League round-of-16 action…

[ MORE: Man City win in epic comeback vs. Monaco | Atleti blitz Bayer ]

Leicester City vs. Sevilla

There’s no two ways about it: Leicester’s season — and perhaps their status as a Premier League club — is quickly spiraling out of control. The Foxes, just nine months after winning the PL title, sit 17th in the league table, one point clear of relegation, with 13 games still to play. Chances are, they won’t be back in the Champions League anytime soon, making Wednesday’s round-of-16 first-leg clash away to Sevilla all the more a monumental moment in the club’s history.

Where has hasn’t it gone wrong for Claudio Ranieri‘s side this season? If you’re of the mind that one player — N'Golo Kante in Leicester’s case — doesn’t make a team himself, then we’ll have to go one step further in diagnosing the stunning regression seen at the King Power Stadium this season: Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, who combined to score 41 goals in the PL last season, have managed all of eight together in 2016-17. It’s the loss of Kante, though, that has left the defense forever exposed (43 goals conceded in 25 PL games, after conceding 36 in 38 all of last season), and the goal-getters forever feeding on scraps (24 goals scored, compared to 68 last season).

[ MORE: Rooney left out of Man United’s Europa League squad (again) ]


Porto vs. Juventusfrom the AP

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci will be left in the stands for Wednesday’s Champions League match against Porto as punishment for his outburst aimed at coach Massimiliano Allegri.

Allegri announced the move on Tuesday at the pre-match news conference, saying he had agreed it with club officials as “a fair decision, out of respect for the squad, the fans and the club.”

Bonucci became embroiled in a heated argument over substitutions with Allegri after a 4-1 win over Palermo on Friday.

Allegri also will punish himself for his angry reaction to Bonucci, announcing a donation to charity.

U.S. U-20s awaken in 2nd half vs. Haiti, keep WCQ hopes alive

USMNT U-20 team (Photo credit: U.S. Soccer)
Photo credit: U.S. Soccer
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With many thanks to the hat trick scored by Brooks Lennon (Real Salt Lake, on loan from Liverpool), the U.S. U-20 national team’s hopes of qualifying for the 2017 U-20 World Cup remain intact.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage | MLS ]

After dropping all three points in their opening group-stage game against Panama on Saturday, Tab Ramos’ young Yanks faced elimination from CONCACAF’s U-20 Championship in Costa Rica with a defeat to Haiti on Tuesday. After 15 minutes, the Americans found themselves a goal down, the prospect of winning zero points from their first two games a terrifying possibility.

Then, Lennon struck from the penalty spot. A draw wouldn’t be enough, realistically, though, as they’d still trail Haiti by three points ahead of the final group game, against Saint Kitts and Nevis, with the top two sides from each team advancing to the classification stage.

The score remained 1-1 until halftime, after which point the Yanks roared to life with three goals in a seven-minute span. Luca de la Torre (Fulham) scored the first of the bunch, an empty-net finish after a failed punch by the goalkeeper. Lennon quickly followed suit with two more to make it 4-1.

With three points from two games and a goal differential that now sits at +2, the Yanks are second in Group B, just ahead of Haiti on goal differential (+1). Panama sit atop the group with six points and a +5 goal differential. A U.S. victory over Saint Kitts and Nevis, to go with a Haitian upset of Panama, would see the Americans finish top of the group go into Group E in the classification stage, which would see them accompanied by a pair of second-place sides. The first-place side in each classification group qualifies for May’s tournament in South Korea.