Swansea City 1-0 Burnley: Dyer’s strike wins it for the Swans (video)

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Swansea City made it two wins from two to start the season as Nathan Dyer’s early goal was the difference at the Liberty Stadium.

[MORE: Watch the full match replay]

The Swans took the lead in the 23rd minute as Dyer broke free of Burnley’s defense and slotted home what turned out to be the game-winner.

To their credit Burnley pushed the home side hard but Sean Dyche’s men wasted several good chances as Lukas Jutkiewicz put a header over from close range in the second half when he should have equalized.

Burnley pressed for the crucial goal late on and were the better team in the second half but Garry Monk’s men continued their impressive start to the new campaign by grinding out another win. Swansea prevailed in the first ever top-flight meeting between these two sides.

[RELATED: Latest Premier League standings]
[RELATED: Dyche bemoans lack of belief]

Early on Swansea nearly took the lead as Wilfried Bony’s header was cleared off the line by Jason Shackell in the 5th minute following Wayne Routledge’s pinpoint cross.

source: Getty Images
Dyer’s goal was enough to sink Burnley.

After that early scare Burnley settled down as Danny Ings went close twice in quick succession. The England U-21 striker smashed just wide, then forced a great reaction stop from Lukasz Fabianski soon after as the Clarets pushed for the opener. In the 18th minute Routledge again caused problems down the left and his ball found Gylfi Sigurdsson but the Icelandic saw his shot saved well by Burnley’ keeper Tom Heaton.

In the 23rd minute Dyer put Swansea ahead as he beat Ben Mee, accelerated away from the Burnley defense and calmly slotted an effort into the bottom corner which Heaton should have done better with. The Swans were 1-0 up. Both teams huffed and puffed during the rest of the first half but it was the home side he had a comfortable lead at the break in South Wales. After the interval Burnley almost drew level when Jutkiewicz capitalized on a bad pass from Jordi Amat but Swansea’s skipper Ashley Williams came to the rescue as he blocked Jutkiewicz superbly.

[RELATED: Premier League stats]

Burnley continued to push for the equalizer in the second half as Ings had a shot blocked, then Jutkiewicz missed their best chance of the game so far. A cross from the right found Jutkiewicz who beat Amat to the ball but sent his header over the bar from six-yards out. A great chance squandered by the  Clarets.

Late on Swansea came close to doubling their lead but Ki drilled an effort over after Bafetimbi Gomis battled for the ball in the box. The match played out with Burley trying to press but the Swans held on to make it two wins from two to start the season.

LINEUPS 

Swansea City: Fabianski, Rangel, Amat, Williams, Taylor, Ki, Shelvey, Dyer (Montero, 66′), Sigurdsson, Routledge (Tiendalli, 90′), Bony (Gomis, 64′)

Goal: Dyer (23′)

Burnley:  Heaton; Trippier, Shackell, Duff, Mee; Arfield, Jones (Sordell, 90′), Marney, Taylor (Wallace, 72′); Ings, Jutkiewicz (Barnes, 82′)

Henry, Aguero discuss playing up top under Pep

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One great striker got another one to open up on an up-and-down year at Manchester City.

Thierry Henry — one of the greatest of all-time, it must be said — sat down with Sergio Aguero ahead of Thursday’s Manchester Derby at the Etihad Stadium, and asked the Argentine about Pep Guardiola, Gabriel Jesus, and more.

[ PL PREVIEW: Manchester Derby ]

At times, it’s a fascinating discussion on playing lone striker. Even apart from the obligatory questions regarding Jesus’ arrival at City, Henry and Aguero speak their craft in a manner you don’t see too often.

That’s helped by the fact that Henry played for Guardiola at Barcelona, and can relate to the positional demands of Man City’s boss. Consider this exchange, from Sky Sports:

HENRY: When I was at Arsenal, I played up front and if I wanted to drift out to the left, I could. But when I got to Barca, I had to stay out wide and press. Sometimes doing that can be hard.

AGUERO: The thing I’ve found the hardest has been getting into my head the fact that I have to press the centre-back and the goalkeeper in matches. That’s what Pep asks me to do. It may not be a big deal, but in terms of processing it, the two of us speak a lot. He knows what I’m like.

I’ve been gradually learning and adapting to that style of pressing over the last few months. The first thing he taught me was how to press and how to do it well. Obviously there are times when I might drift out of position or I might press in an area where I’m not supposed to be, which might make it hard for the wingers or midfielders.

In the game itself, I may not realise because I’m so immersed and you can’t stop yourself. I’ve learnt a lot from him in terms of zones. He asks me to play as a No 9 and to stay in that position. I often drift out wide during matches and he looks at me and says, “If there’s a player out wide who wants to cross it in, who’s in there? Nobody.”

HENRY: I know all about that, believe you me.

I love this, because it shows how difficult it is for an elite striker to adapt his mentality. Both Henry and Aguero found world-celebrated success by playing in a certain fashion, and Guardiola understood that and still demanded a change. Earlier this season, the manager somewhat famously spoke of improving Aguero.

Aguero has been linked with Real Madrid given the tumult at City.

PHOTO: Liverpool unveils 125th anniversary kit for next season

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Liverpool rolled out its 125th anniversary kit, featuring a special crest to celebrate the occasion.

The Liver bird has 1892 on one side and 2017 on the other, with “125 YEARS” spelled out underneath the club’s emblem.

[ PL PREVIEW: Manchester Derby ]

The red shirt with a gold crest has a white V-neck and white at the ends of the sleeves. The goalkeeper kit is green.

The jersey will be available on May 19, and was announced last month.

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Jara’s goal lifts Pachuca to CONCACAF Champions League crown

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Hirving Lozano’s dipping shot rebounded into the path of Franco Jara, who scored the goal that won Pachuca its fifth CONCACAF Championship early Thursday morning.

The Argentine’s goal was the only one of the win over UANL Tigres, and gave Pachuca its first continental title since 2009-10. USMNT veteran Omar Gonzalez played for the winners, while Jose Torres started for Tigres.

[ PL PREVIEW: Manchester Derby ]

Major League Soccer teams were eliminated in the semifinals, with FC Dallas falling to Pachuca and Vancouver Whitecaps losing to Tigres.

Beginning with the 2017-18 tournament, qualified MLS and Liga MX teams will not enter the tournament until the Round of 16. The entire tournament will be held in the same calendar year.

USMNT: Brooks out with hip strain; World Cup qualifiers loom

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John Brooks is out of Hertha Berlin’s lineup “for the time being” after scans revealed a hip strain suffered in this weekend’s win over Wolfsburg.

That’s all Hertha has said, and that makes it hard to imagine whether American fans should be a little concerned or very concerned ahead of the USMNT’s World Cup qualifiers against Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago in early June.

Brooks was unavailable for two weeks with an adductor strain in September, missing a month before returning to the starting lineup.

The U.S. center back pool isn’t teeming after Brooks and Geoff Cameron. Matt Besler, Tim Ream, Omar Gonzalez, and Walker Zimmerman were called up for the last World Cup qualifiers, and Gonzalez struggled but is a Bruce Arena favorite from their time in L.A.