Sunderland 1-3 Swansea City: Swans start strong to finish strong (video)

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Sunderland’s great escape is remarkable, but they couldn’t give their home fans one more positive result as two early goals from Swansea put them through for all three points at the Stadium of Light.

Nathan Dyer and Marvin Emnes were the men to put the visitors up two inside 15 minutes, and Sunderland couldn’t pick up enough steam to get back level.

The three-point spoils for the Swans gives them a 12th-place finish, maybe not what they would have hoped for in the beginning of the season but better than things looked two months ago.

They also finish with an even goal differential, the only team below eighth place without a negative number.

source: AP
Bony bags another as the Swans win three of their last four.

Sunderland finish up 14th, five points off the drop and secure even before this match started.  The loss certainly won’t knock the massive mountain the club climbed in the final few weeks, and Gus Poyet will covet the ending despite the loss.

The first came in the seventh minute off a beautiful through ball from Wayne Routledge found a streaking Nathan Dyer down the right hand side, who had cut past Phil Bardsley, and Dyer flicked the ball over Vito Mannone and home for the first goal.

They’d quickly bag another, as a pinpoint dink from Wilfried Bony to Marvin Emnes found the attacker one-on-one with John O’Shea, and a quality 180-degree turn from the on-loan striker and he blasted the ball top-corner for the finish and a 2-0 lead.

It’s Emnes’s first goal for Swansea in his seventh appearance, having come over on loan from Middlesborough in January.

Both teams had their pops on goal, but Swansea appeared to be comfortably finishing out the half. Sunderland had one big chance, just a minute before the break when a distance shot from Phil Bardsley locked onto the underside of the bar, but it was kept out by a spectacularly acrobatic save by Gerhard Tremmel.

After the halftime break, Sunderland looked a changed side, and they were rewarded very soon. Fabio Borini headed a corner past the near post just five minutes into the second half and Sunderland had a lifeline.

But their comeback was short-lived, as Swansea restored their two-goal lead.  Emnes was brilliant down the left, and the ball trickled to Bony with space in the box, who took one step right and fired low for his 17th league goal of the season and a 3-1 lead.

LINEUPS:

Swansea City – Tremmel; Tiendalli (Davies 75′), Amat, Bartley, Taylor, Fulton (Britton 73′), Shelvey, Dyer, Emnes (De Guzman 55′), Routledge, Bony.

Goals – Dyer 7′, Emnes 14′, Bony 54′

Sunderland – Mannone, Vergini, Bardsley (Celustka 64′), Brown, O’Shea (Altidore 84′), Bridcutt, Larsson (Ba 71′), Colback, Johnson, Borini, Wickham.

Goals – Borini 50′

LA FC continues active offseason with addition of Laurent Ciman

Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press via AP
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It seems like Major League Soccer’s latest expansion team is taking a page out of Atlanta United’s playbook in its buildup to the 2018 season.

[ MORE: NYCFC provides stadium details for Belmont proposal ]

After selecting five players in Tuesday’s MLS Expansion Draft, Los Angeles FC announced that it will be sending two of those players to the Montreal Impact.

LA FC will be sending Jukka Raitala and Raheem Edwards to the Impact.

The return? Bob Bradley and LA FC will acquire Impact center back Laurent Ciman — who has proven to be one of the best defenders in MLS since arriving in 2015.

“Laurent is a top defender who provides leadership and great distribution,” Bradley said upon acquiring Ciman. “His experience in the league and with the Belgian National Team will be invaluable as we build our club.”

With the addition of Ciman now in place, LA FC has built a strong central defensive partnership after the club also brought in former FC Dallas defender Walker Zimmerman in a trade on Sunday.

The expansion side already made a major splash with its first Designated Player signing this year, bringing in Mexican international Carlos Vela.

Huddersfield 1-3 Chelsea: Blues bounce back on the road

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Chelsea picked up a convincing road victory on Tuesday as the Blues topped Huddersfield Town, 3-1, at the Kirklees Stadium.

[ MORE: Gremio reaches Club World Cup final ]

The Blues came out hungry following Sunday’s defeat at West Ham, and an unlikely goalscorer gave  Conte’s group the lead.

Sloppy passing at the back saw Willian with the ball at the top of the Huddersfield area, before the Brazilian brilliantly played Tiemoué Bakayoko in on goal for his second finish of the season.

Willian — who played a key role throughout the match — extended the Chelsea advantage three minutes prior to halftime when his header snuck past Terriers goalkeeper Jonas Lössl.

Chelsea was clicking on all cylinders after halftime, when Willian helped set up Pedro for his third goal of the Premier League season.

Meanwhile, Laurent Depoitre pulled a goal back late for the hosts, but it was too late to rescue a result for Huddersfield.

Crystal Palace 2-1 Watford: Eagles storm back late, move up to 17th

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All things were pointing towards Watford’s direction on Tuesday, but a late change in fortune gave the Eagles a share of the points.

[ MORE: Burnley climbs into Premier League top four ]

A pair of late goals gave Crystal Palace a 2-1 win over Watford at Selhurst Park, and pulled Roy Hodgson’s side out of the relegation zone.

Bakary Sako and James McArthur each found the back of the net after the 87th minute to complete an important comeback for the Eagles. Now, Palace sits 17th in the PL standings on 14 points.

The big moment of the match came in the 87th minute, when Tom Cleverley was sent off after picking up his second yellow card.

Three minutes into the match, Daryl Janmaat struck for the visitors after the Dutchman headed home Richarlison‘s cross from close-range.

Burnley 1-0 Stoke City: Barnes’ late strike guides Clarets into top four

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Don’t look now, but the Clarets have climbed into the Premier League top four.

Burnley found a way Stoke City late on Tuesday, picking up a 1-0 win at the Turf Moor behind Ashley Barnes‘ late finish.

[ MORE: Gremio reaches Club World Cup final, awaits Real Madrid or Al Jazira ]

The Clarets, who have now secured 31 points over their first 17 matches this season, leapfrogged Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham with the victory. However, all three sides will be in action on Wednesday.

Steven Defour nearly put Burnley ahead on 69 minutes, when the front man tested Stoke keeper Jack Butland — who had to make a sprawling save to his right.

While Stoke mustered up several quality chances, it was Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s blast in the first half that nearly found the top left corner.

Next up for Burnley will be a date against Brighton on Saturday, while Stoke travels to Huddersfield the same day.