Mauricio Pochettino

West Ham 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur: Dier’s heroics give Pochettino first W (video)

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Dueling red cards couldn’t open up a dreary affair between London rivals until new boy Eric Dier gave Tottenham a 1-0 stoppage time win over West Ham on Opening Day at Upton Park.

Dier latched onto a Harry Kane through ball deep into stoppage time to give Spurs all three points.

Carlton Cole’s curling effort wide of the goal was the match’s first true chance in the 5th minute. And, for what it’s worth, the Hammers controlled a mostly uneventful first 15 minutes.

As it turned out, the half would feature a great deal of the Hammers parading through the Spurs box to no avail. Corner kicks, free kicks, low passes through the 18… nothing finished but plenty of chances. Kouyate headed just wide in the 26th minute.

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Then controversy struck, as Kyle Naughton earned a red card for raising his hand to block a chance. The PK attempt, however, was missed by Mark Noble. It remained scoreless, but Spurs were down to 10 men.

Here’s the miss:

Spurs, remarkably, held possession for much of the half and even more so after the red card. Yet the teams marched off for half with the score line 0-0.

Tottenham surged forward in the second half, and really had the better of the chances as West Ham boss Sam Allardyce looked for answers.

Yet Pochettino flicked a switch first, bringing on Lewis Holtby for Erik Lamela and Andros Townsend for Aaron Lennon (both in the 61st minute).

And the game was evened up with a second red card, as James Collins was given his second yellow for getting in the way of Emmanuel Adebayor. The Spurs striker seemed to leap into Collins once he pushed the ball too far ahead of his pace.

Townsend came close to sending Spurs ahead, but his 23-yard stinger was pushed over the bar by Adrian.

Then Dier capped the game with a match-winner at the death:


West Ham United: Adrian, O’Brien (Demel, 62′), Reid, Collins, Cresswell, Nolan, Noble, Kouyate, Downing, Cole (Valencia, 81′), Vaz Te (Diame, 69′)

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Rose, Kaboul, Lennon (Townsend, 61′), Adebayor (Kane, 83′), Lamela (Holtby, 61′), Dier, Naughton, Eriksen, Capoue, Bentaleb

Goals: Dier (90+3′)

Klopp to the Kop: Multiple reports say deal agreed at Liverpool

TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 24:  Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp shouts to his players during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Juventus and Borussia Dortmund at Juventus Arena on February 24, 2015 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp is on his way to Liverpool to sign a contract naming him the next coach of the Reds.

The celebrated manager, 48, has been on “hiatus” from football since leaving Borussia Dortmund last season.

[ MORE: Messi to stand trial in Spain ]

Reports starting emerging earlier today that an agreement was imminent, and now the BBC is among those reporting that Klopp will be rolled out Friday morning.

From the BBC:

No contract has yet been signed but that is viewed as a formality when Klopp arrives in Liverpool later on Thursday. He will be officially unveiled by Liverpool on Friday morning at 10:00 BST.

There’s not much to say besides this: Klopp’s addition to the Premier League will give more color and brilliance to the country’s footballing scene. Only a certain class of manager can be instantly expected to find a better system for an inherited group of players.

This could and should be a game changer on Merseyside.

Appeal rejected! Lionel Messi will face court trial in Spain

VIGO, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 23:  Lionel Messi looks dejected after the La Liga match between Celta Vigo and FC Barcelona at Estadio Balaidos on September 23, 2015 in Vigo, Spain.  (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Alex Caparros/Getty Images
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It was a mere 48 hours ago that Lionel Messi looked close to in the clear when it came to tax evasion charges.

Now the question is whether a Spanish court will lock away the greatest active footballer, as a judge rejected the prosecutors’ (!!!) request to drop the charges.

[ WATCH: Hilarious spoof pegs Messi, Ronaldo as “Friends” ]

Messi and his father have already made a $5.5 million corrective payment, but there’s principle in play here. And the judge wants to know how Messi can claim he had no idea what was being done with his money.

From the BBC:

Lawyers acting on behalf of the tax authorities demanded 22-month jail sentences for both defendants.

“There are rational signs that the criminality was committed by both accused parties,” wrote the judge in a court filing, according to the AFP news agency.

Can you imagine one of the world’s richer men ending up in a Spanish prison? It’s very difficult to consider. In some ways it’s more plausible that he would buy his own island and start the “Messi Isle Premiership”.

Still, we won’t laugh off the idea, especially with FIFA apparently going down. Messi in prison. That’s something. Sepp in Switzerland. Lionel in Spain.