Manchester City v Sporting Kansas City

Premier League on tour, Weds roundup: Five play, only Liverpool loses


Liverpool’s opposition was the stiffest challenge for any of the five Premier League teams playing in North America on Wednesday night, and the Reds were the only team to fall.

[ RELATED: Schedule for PL teams on North American tours]

AS Roma 1, Liverpool 0

I Lupi’s Marco Borriello used a shot through traffic in the 90th minute to claim “Football at Fenway” over Brendan Rodgers’ bunch. The bigger story coming out of Boston was the shoulder injury to Fabio Borini, who was playing despite Liverpool having agreed to a fee with Sunderland for his transfer.

“It’s probably not as bad as first thought.  He’s had problems in the past with his shoulder, but he’s only bruised it.

“He’ll miss a few days of training. He won’t train now for the remainder of the trip here, but it’s only going to be a matter of days before he’s back training and playing again.”

Liverpool’s next match is 6pm ET Sunday against Olympiakos in Chicago.

[ RELATED — WATCH: Daniel Sturridge breaks down Liverpool expectations with NBCSN crew ]

Manchester City 4, Sporting KC 1

Four different Citizens tallied in a battle KC deemed the “Clash of the Champions”. Bruno Zuculini, 21, netted in the match, as did trialist Kelechi Iheanacho — the Golden Ball winner at the 2013 U-17 World Cup —  and more familiar names Dedryck Boyata and Aleksandar Kolarov.

City controlled the match, as new goalkeeper Wily Caballero was hardly troubled. CJ Sapong did manage to make things tight for a bit in the first half when he scored with help from Benny Feilhaber. Man City put nine shots on frame,while KC managed just two.

Manchester United 7, Los Angeles Galaxy 0

The Galaxy fielded a weakened lineup, and the Red Devils took great advantage in Louis van Gaal’s first match in charge. Los Angeles players used the term “embarrassing” after the game, and that’s no exaggeration.

The first goal came on a horrific giveaway, the second was a PK following a handball in the box and the third was an absolute mess, as Wayne Rooney tapped a ball over Jaime Pineda after a low, mediocre cross went through a defender’s legs.

It was a brutal match for the Galaxy, and not a good indication of where Major League Soccer stands.

[ RELATED: ‘Embarrassed in L.A.’, thrilled in Manchester; Reactions from a 7-0 blowout ]

[ RELATED: Louis van Gaal gives Antonio Valencia a shooting lesson (video) ]

United next plays Sunday in Denver against AS Roma.

Tottenham Hotspur 3, Toronto FC 2

BMO Field gave a warm welcome to Spurs, who opened up a two-goal lead on ex-teammate Jermain Defoe and the host Reds. Twenty-two-year-old Erik Lamela netted twice for Tottenham in the first frame.

But Toronto FC came back, poking holes in Tottenham’s much-changed second-half backline. First Andrew Wiedeman picked up a slick through ball from Daniel Lovitz to make to 2-1 before the scorer turned passer on a strong finish by 18-year-old Homegrown player Jordan Hamilton.

Alas, Andros Townsend pounced on an opportunity caused by a TFC giveaway to bend home a winner in the 85th minute.

Spurs finish their tour with a match in Chicago on Saturday.

Aston Villa 2, FC Dallas 0

Villa played two different formations and a boatload of players. Both were fit enough to easily handle the challenge for Dallas. Andreas Weimann and Charles N’Zogbia were your goal scorers in the match.

Dallas played the friendly game with a juggled lineup as well, with some youth getting experience and some injured players working back to fitness. Not much to be judged from either side here, so perhaps Aston Villa’s Saturday tilt in Houston can be a better indicator for Villa fans.

MLS Cup Playoffs: FC Dallas 2-2 (3-5 agg.) Portland Timbers

Fanendo Adi, Portland Timbers FC
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The game in 100 words (or less): The Portland Timbers are headed to their first MLS Cup in club history after defeating FC Dallas, 5-3 on aggregate, in the Western Conference finals (2-2 draw in the second leg). Fanendo Adi scored in Sunday’s second leg, giving Caleb Porter’s side a 4-1 aggregate lead before Ryan Hollingshead and Blas Perez scored inside the last 25 minutes to give Oscar Pareja’s bunch a late lifeline, but Lucas Melano’s spectacular tap-in sealed the Timbers’ trip to MLS Cup. The third seed heading into the playoffs, Portland bounced Sporting Kansas City in an epic penalty shootout in the knockout round and outlasted the Vancouver Whitecaps in the conference semifinals before knocking off the West’s top seed over two legs to advance to MLS Cup 2015. No matter who advances from the East finals later on Sunday, Portland will play away in MLS Cup, to either the New York Red Bulls or Columbus Crew SC.

[ MORE: Previewing the MLS weekend ]

Three Four moments that mattered

54′ — Adi fires past Gonzalez to make if 4-1 — Oscar Pareja elected to go with Walker Zimmerman at center back on Sunday, dropping regular starter Zach Loyd to the bench. On the game’s opening goal, it was Zimmerman who wound up on the ground as Adi received the ball, turned and fired a massive away goal past Jesse Gonzalez.

68′ — Diaz’s magical ball curled home by Hollingshead — Mauro Diaz is a wonderful magician capable of playing the kill through ball from anywhere on the field — this we’ve known for quite some time. His chipped through ball to set up Hollingshead’s goal was extraordinarily brilliant, even for him.

73′ — Perez heads home the free kick to pull within one — Would you be surprised to hear that it was Diaz who set up FCD’s second goal? His free kick was Perez-finding missile and found the head of the Panamanian striker at the top of the six-yard box, where 34-year-old headed home with ease.

90+5′ — Melano rounds Gonzalez, seals MLS Cup berth — Poor Jesse Gonzalez. Absolutely schooled and posterized by Lucas Melano. What a way to sew up a place in the championship final.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Mauro Diaz

Goalscorers: Adi (54′), Hollingshead (68′), Perez (73′), Melano (90+5′)

La Liga & Serie A: Real Madrid bounce back; Juventus on the charge

Gareth Bale, Real Madrid CF
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A roundup of all of Sunday’s action in Spain and Italy’s top flights:

Eibar 0-2 Real Madrid

Real Madrid bounced back from back-to-back La Liga defeats with a 2-0 victory away to Eibar on Sunday. Gareth Bale (below video) and Cristiano Ronaldo (penalty kick) provided the goals to keep Rafa Benitez‘s bunch (27 points) third in the league, two points behind Atletico Madrid and six behind leaders Barcelona.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Getafe 2-0 Villarreal
Rayo Vallecano 0-3 Athletic Bilbao
Sevilla 1-0 Valencia

[ MORE: Saturday’s La Liga roundup ]

Roma 0-2 Atalanta

Losing at home to sides currently in a relegation battle — rarely a good idea, especially if you fancy yourselves title challengers, but that didn’t stop Roma from doing just that on Sunday. Alejandro Gomez and German Denis scored the goals to knock off a 10-man Roma side (Maicon – 81st minute) and keep Rudi Garcia’s bunch (27 points) from gaining ground on any of the three teams currently ahead of them — Inter Milan, Napoli and Fiorentina — all of whom play on Monday.

AC Milan 4-1 Sampdoria

M’Baye Niang scored twice, while Giacomo Bonaventura and Luiz Adriano (below video) added single tallies for AC Milan (23 points) to keep pace with the top-five pack in Serie A. After 14 rounds of games, the Rossoneri sit sixth, a point outside fifth (UEFA Europa League) and five points out of third (UEFA Champions League).

Palermo 0-3 Juventus

Don’t look now, but here come Juventus. Sunday’s 3-0 triumph over Palermo makes it four straight wins in the league for Massimiliano Allegri’s side — a run that pushes them all the way up to fifth in the league (24 points), just six points off the pace of leaders Inter, who play on Monday. Mario Mandzukic (below video), Stefano Sturaro and Simone Zaza scored the goals for the world’s most frightening fifth-place team.

Elsewhere in Serie A

Torino 2-0 Bologna
Chievo 2-3 Udinese
Frosinone 3-2 Hellas Verona
Genoa 1-2 Carpi
Empoli 1-0 Lazio

Monday’s Serie A schedule

Sassuolo vs. Fiorentina (1 p.m. ET)
Napoli vs. Inter Milan (3 p.m. ET)

Arsenal’s injury crisis — add Sanchez, Cazorla, Koscielny to the list

Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal FC
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From title challengers to just hoping to hold on to a top-four place while Arsene Wenger is forced to play reserves and academy players because half of his star players are currently out injured — the annual story of Arsenal.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Oct. 27, when Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both went down with injuries in the same game, marked the unofficial start of Arsenal’s 2015-16 injury crisis, but things didn’t really get going full bore until the last seven days, when five more players — four of them full-time starters — picked up injuries that will keep them out of action for anywhere between three weeks and three months.

Added to the list last weekend: Francis Coquelin (knee – three months minimum), Mikel Arteta (calf – three weeks)

Added to the list on Sunday: Alexis Sanchez (hamstring – MORE DETAILS), Santi Cazorla (knee), Laurent Koscielny (hip)

Following Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Norwich City, Wenger said Koscielny “could not walk” due to the hip spasm that forced him out of the game after just 11 minutes. He also divulged that Cazorla, who could not be subbed off because Wenger had already used all three subs late on, played the second half “on one leg.” Sanchez came into Sunday injured after picking up a hamstring injury in Arsenal’s UEFA Champions League victory over Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday.

[ MORE: Sunday’s PL roundup — Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs all draw ]

Arsenal fans were up in arms during the summer transfer window — let’s be honest, the following is true of every transfer window the last five years — crying out, “We must buy, we must buy.” Have a look at Arsenal’s complete injury list at the moment, and try to say, “They didn’t need to buy in the summer.”

In chronological order: Danny Welbeck (knee – early 2016 return), Tomas Rosicky (knee – Christmas time return), Jack Wilshere (leg – Christmas time return), Theo Walcott (calf – December return), Mikel Arteta (calf – three weeks), Francis Coquelin (knee – three months minimum), Laurent Koscielny (hip – to be assessed), Alexis Sanchez (hamstring – to be assessed), Santi Cazorla (knee – to be assessed)

WATCH: PL Download — Crystal Palace: South London and Proud

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Check out the latest episode of Premier League Download, a look inside Crystal Palace and the club’s passionate supporters.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Win, lose or draw it’s always a party for the fans of Crystal Palace and Roger Bennett travels to Selhurst Park to learn how the beloved team went from Championship strugglers to a Premier League success story.

[ WATCH: Past episodes of PL Download ]