Diego Fagundez is breaking out of his slump in a big, big way.
The New England Revolution will have the visiting Seattle Sounders hearing musket shots all the way back to Washington, as the Revs posted a 5-0 win behind two goals from the 19-year-old Uruguayan.
Fagundez scored 13 goals with 5 assists last season, but had yet to find the score sheet before Sunday’s match.
New England improved to 5W-3L-2T and moves into a first place tie with Sporting KC, which has played one less game.
MLS-leading Seattle falls to 7W-3L-1T.
It started with Patrick Mullins playing “Johnny-on-the-spot” as the Hermann Trophy winner buried a rebound goal for New England in the 14th minute, and the shots on Stefan Frei did not relent.
Fagundez then struck in the 29th minute before Teal Bunbury netted in the 36th.
Bunbury then turned provider with a beautiful long cross that Fagundez chested down before putting a low shot past Frei.
At the other end Bobby Shuttleworth has made a number of strong saves to keep Seattle off the scoreboard, as New England has yet to concede at Gillette Stadium this year.
It wasn’t a good sign for the Sounders, and New England added a fifth just 35 seconds into the second half. Teal Bunbury’s shot from the right of the 18th hit Chad Marshall’s chest and went past Frei. It went down as an own goal.
Arsene Wenger thinks Alexis Sanchez will sign a new deal at Arsenal this summer, whether the manager changes or not.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s visit from Leicester City, Wenger did not offer any clues as to his future with the club. He also said it does not hinge on how the Gunners finish the current campaign, and that he is working on transfers for the benefit of Arsenal regardless of his future.
“I personally think he will stay and sign. First of all he is happy here, his desire is to stay, that is what I deeply believe.
“I don’t think you would sell him to any Premier League club, that is for sure. The question is why would you sell him to another club? You want to be as strong as you can be and not strengthen the other teams.”
The tiebreaker is head-to-head, which Lionel Messi lifted from Real with his thrilling stoppage time thriller on Sunday at the Bernabeu.
Here are the run-ins for both sides, with Real facing a more congested schedule thanks to its status as a UEFA Champions League semifinalist.
Only two of Real’s remaining five La Liga matches are at home, a boon for Barcelona considering Real boasts a strong home mark. The loss to Barca was Real’s first at the Bernabeu this season, and the Merengues only drew three matches at home (Villarreal, Eibar, Atletico Madrid).
Those home matches, however, are against teams that beat Real in the sides’ other league meetings this year, Sevilla and Valencia.
Wednesday – at Deportivo de la Coruna (16th)
Saturday – vs. Valencia (12th)
May 2 – vs. Atletico Madrid (UCL)
May 6 – at Granada (19th)
May 10 – at Atletico Madrid (UCL)
May 14 – vs. Sevilla (4th)
May 21 – at Malaga (14th)
Barca is home for three of its remaining five matches. The Blaugranas drew Villarreal and blew out Osasuna and Eibar ahead of the return visits.
As for the road matches, Barca has the Derbi barceloni with Espanyol, having taken the Camp Nou meeting 4-1, as well as a trip to Las Palmas (5-0 at home).
Wednesday – vs. Osasuna (20th)
Saturday – at Espanyol (9th)
May 6 – vs. Villarreal (5th)
May 14 – at Las Palmas (13th)
May 21 – vs. Eibar (8th)
May 27 – vs. Alaves (Copa del Rey Final)
Any whiplash Real faces from schedule congestion should be offset by Barcelona’s much tougher schedule. Real could lose again, perhaps versus Sevilla, but Barca will likely finish second thanks to dropped points against Espanyol, Eibar, or Villarreal.
That’s what’s on the docket for Wednesday’s PL matches, one day after Chelsea buried Southampton 4-2 t0 move seven points clear of Spurs in the race for the league’s 2016-17 crown.
Crystal Palace vs. Tottenham Hotspur — 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN
No team has looked better than Spurs lately, though Palace won’t be bowed by a big name or good form. Sam Allardyce‘s Eagles boast wins at Liverpool and Chelsea, as well as a home defeat of Arsenal. Those have all come in 2017, as Palace has leapt to within striking distance of the top half.
Spurs need to win at Selhurst Park to keep pace with Chelsea and sit four points back of the No. 1 spot with five matches to play. Lose, concede, and feel like last April all over again. It was a year from Tuesday that Spurs coughed up a home lead to Leicester and saw any hopes of catching Leicester fade into the sunset.
Middlesbrough vs. Sunderland — 2:45 p.m. ET
This Tees-Wear Derby oozes desperation, with Sunderland knowing it needs to win its matches-in-hand on Hull City and Swansea to have any hope of staying up, and Middlesbrough nearly as desperate.
Boro’s 24 points is three more than Sunderland, who has played one less game. Hull sits 17th with 33 points while Swansea holds 31.
Middlesbrough hasn’t won in the Premier League since Dec. 17, a run of 16 matches. Their only wins of the year are over lower league opposition, a trio of victories against Sheffield Wednesday, Accrington Stanley, and Oxford United.
Sunderland has just one league win since that same date in December, and that came at Crystal Palace. The Black Cats have lost six of eight, and look destined to join Boro in the second tier as Northeast neighbors Newcastle comes up.
Arsene Wenger will hope for the latter, because Arsenal’s Top Four hopes hinge on winning its matches-in-hand on Liverpool and getting significant help from Man City and Manchester United. Their opposition will also be rested, having rested since bowing out of the UEFA Champions League on April 18.
Leicester’s five match winning streak, part of Craig Shakespeare’s new manager bounce, has died down a bit. The Foxes lost at Everton and drew at Palace, and get a third tricky road test in a row at the Emirates Stadium.
Speaking from his club team in Qatar, Xavi claimed that Manchester City is going to bid high for Spurs’ young star Dele Alli.
Tottenham boss Pochettino says that’s just not true. Pochettino was joking a bit when he answered questions on the topic, but then told a story about Xavi diving for a penalty in the derby. Here are a few of his thoughts, from The Telegraph:
“It wasn’t a penalty but Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored for Barcelona and they won the game. After in the replay it was very funny because it was clear no one touched him. Come on! It goes from lie to lie to lie.”
“He is working for Manchester City, maybe? He wants to help Guardiola and [Vincent] Kompany.”