Premier League Saturday Roundup: Chelsea win classic; Stoke stun Man City

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Wow. What a Saturday.

Seven games produced stunning goals, drama, shocking results and just a heck of a lot of fun. This is why the Premier League is dubbed the most exciting league in the world. PL, if you are listening, don’t ever change.

[RELATED: Watch full match replays]

Below are recaps, highlights, reaction and more from all seven games as 24 goals were scored. Enjoy reliving one of the best PL Saturday’s in recent memory.

A day like today is why we love this game. Heaven.

Burnley 0-0 Manchester United

Louis van Gaal is still searching for his first win as United boss and the Red Devils could have lost to Burnley. David Jones hit the bar and went close for the home side, while United failed to carve out any clear-cut chances. Angel di Maria made his debut as he impressed but ran out of steam. Work to do for United, as LVG is not a happy man.

Everton 3-6 Chelsea

Where do we start with this one? Chelsea went 2-0 up inside three minutes through Diego Costa and Branislav Ivanovic, then Everton pulled one back just before half time through Kevin Mirallas. Chelsea went 3-1 up thanks to Seamus Coleman’s own goal, but then Steven Naismith made it 3-2. Shortly after Nemanja Matic made it 4-2, but Samuel Eto’o scored on his debut against his former club to make it 4-3. Moments later, Ramires scored to make it 5-3 and then Costa grabbed his second and Chelsea’s sixth to seal an incredible win. What a game. This will go down as a Premier League classic. After the game Mourinho called his side “killers” while Martinez bemoaned the mistakes.

Manchester City 0-1 Stoke City

This game wasn’t a classic, but it was certainly the biggest shock of the season so far. Stoke City beat the reigning champions Manchester City 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium as Diouf scored a wonderful game-winner. The Senegalese forward ran 80-yards before slotting home past Joe Hart as the Potters stunned City.

Newcastle United 3-3 Crystal Palace

Goals galore at St. James Park as Palace jumped into an early lead as Dwight Gayle scored less than a minute in. Daryl Janmaat then equalized with his first Newcastle goal, but Jason Puncheon put Palace ahead after half time. Late on Aarons and Williamson scored for Newcastle to make it 3-2, but a last-gasp equalizer from Wilfried Zaha — following his loan move back to Palace from Manchester United — made it 3-3 as another entertaining match played out.

Queens Park Rangers 1-0 Sunderland

QPR are off and running! A strike from Charlie Austin right on the stroke of half time made it 1-0 and that turned out to be the game-winner at Loftus Road. Not as much drama as we saw in other games, but this result was hugely important for QPR as it marked their first win of the season.

Swansea City 3-0 West Brom

The Swans made it three wins from three after a stunning home display against the Baggies. Nathan Dyer scored twice, one in each half, and Wayne Routledge’s stunning volley was the pick of the bunch in a stunning win. The Baggies were bad, but Swansea were very, very good.

West Ham United 1-3 Southampton

First win in the Premier League for Ronald Koeman’s side who put on a stunning second half display to blow away the Hammers. West Ham went 1-0 up after Mark Noble’s deflected effort from distance but Morgan Schneiderlin  equalized right on half time. Saints then dominated as Schneiderlin grabbed another and Graziano Pelle scored his first PL goal to seal a deserved 3-1 win. The home fans were not happy, as Sam Allardyce is under pressure.

Foul or flop? Player “headbutts” referee, is sent off

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Well, there must be something in the water down in Brasilia, because things got a little weird this evening.

Flamengo drew with Vasco da Gama 2-2, but that was just the start.

In the 54th minute, with Vasco da Gama leading 1-0 at Estadio Nacional Mané Garrincha, 36-year-old Luis Fabiano was sent off for “headbutting” the referee. Headbutting is in quotes because looking at the video, it certainly appears there was little to no contact, and the referee flops.

Yes, the referee flopped. Take a look:

To be fair, Fabiano was already on a yellow, so getting in the referee’s face even without the headbutt/pelvic thrust would likely still have seen him sent to an early shower.

So the former Porto and Sevilla man was sent off, and Vasco da Gama was down to 10 men. Immediately after the red card, Flamengo took advantage, powering in a pair of goals via Willian Arao and Orlando Berrio to take the lead 2-1. But Vasco wouldn’t quit, and they earned a penalty five minutes into stoppage time, which Nene buried for the 2-2 draw.

To top things off, a player named Yago Pikachu scored the opener for Vasco da Gama, which was followed by a delay in the game seven minutes later after a power surge in the stadium. Go figure.

Lletget diagnosed with foot sprain, escaping further damage

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Word has arrived from the LA Galaxy camp that will see USMNT fans feel relieved as Sebastian Lletget has escaped the news many feared.

The young attacker was impressive in the first 18 minutes of the United States’ 6-0 win over Honduras, but was injured minutes after scoring the opening goal and could not continue. Replays showed that Lletget got his foot caught underneath a defender in the process of a hard challenge on the right wing.

There was concern that Lletget would be out for a significant amount of time, but the Galaxy announced that after testing over the weekend, Lletget did not suffer any structural damage and was diagnosed with a left foot sprain.

[ MORE: USMNT adds Paul Arreola to roster, drops Lletget, Brooks, Morris ]

Lletget will visit a specialist on Monday to determine a plan for recovery, and it’s possible that he will still have to miss some time in the near future. The Galaxy visit Vancouver on Saturday, and his status for that match has to be considered up in the air. They then host Montreal on April 7.

While Lletget obviously misses out on the next USMNT game at Panama on Tuesday having already been dumped from the roster, he will most definitely be available for the June games against Trinidad & Tobago and Mexico, and will likely be an option for Bruce Arena given the manager’s history with Lletget at Los Angeles.

The United States have been struck with a collection of injuries that all occurred just before the international break, hampering the squad significantly. Bobby Wood, Jordan Morris, and Fabian Johnson all went down in the days before reporting for international duty, and the team lost Lletget and John Brooks in the Honduras win. Lletget’s departure could see Alejandro Bedoya into the starting lineup on Tuesday, with the Union midfielder having replaced Lletget in the Honduras match. Also in contention is Jermaine Jones, who could come in after his suspension and push Darlington Nagbe onto the wing.

Southgate can see Defoe in England squad long-term

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Gareth Southgate praised Jermain Defoe after his contributions to England’s 2-0 win over Lithuania on Sunday, but accidentally put a condition on his position in the squad.

The 34-year-old scored the opening goal and contributed heavily to the buildup of Jamie Vardy‘s score, and Southgate was happy that his decision to play an in-form striker paid off.

“If he scores like he is in the Premier League, there’s no reason why he wouldn’t be,” Southgate said. “We’re never able to pick a full cohort, so it’s important we can call upon the likes of Jermain and he can have the impact like he did today.

“I think we’ve got to look every time we get together as to who is in form. I don’t know if we can have a distinct pecking order because players who are playing well deserve the opportunity. If we are going to be successful, we have to have that competition for places. The reality is we will always lose players to injury.”

[ MORE: Defoe walks out Bradley Lowery before England game ]

A reporter asked him to clarify why he specified that Defoe should be scoring in the Premier League, and with his club Sunderland under heavy threat of relegation, Southgate admitted he let one slip.

“I walked into that,” Southgate said. “I guess the ideal world for all our players is they are playing regularly at a high level. The flip-side is we don’t have a huge pool of players to pick from.  We have to balance off a few different things. I can’t constrain myself on selection entirely, but I know ideally what I’d like to have. His performances and his goalscoring form this season have counted for him.”

Defoe has 14 goals in 28 Premier League appearances for Sunderland this season, but he’s proved the Black Cats’ only threat as they sit bottom of the league table with 20 points. Defoe has become the center of opposition game plans, and as a result he’s slowed down, with just two goals in his last seven games, and the club has little else to pick up the slack.

Still, at 34 years old, many wonder how much longer Defoe can contribute, and if he’ll be a viable option for next year’s World Cup.

Group F gets messy as Slovakia and Scotland grab wins

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England is in control at the top of Group F, but below them things are beginning to get complicated.

Despite the absence of Marek Hamsik due to a last-minute injury, Slovakia defeated Malta 3-1. They took the lead just 97 seconds in as Vladimir Weiss put the visitors in front with a beautiful curling strike from outside the box. Malta struck back through domestic striker Jean Paul Farrugia in the 14th minute, but that was all Malta could muster.

Slovakia would go ahead just before halftime as FC Copenhagen midfielder Jan Gregus put them in front in the 41st minute. The speculative shot from Gregus came from a great distance out, and as it skipped across the ground, it appeared Malta goalkeeper Andrew Hogg saw it late, as his dive was poor and it skipped off his hands and in.

Both teams ended with 10 men on the field, as Farrugia was sent off with 16 minutes to go for a second yellow, and Adam Nemec saw the same fate in injury time, but before he was sent off, Nemec was there to kill the game off in the 84th minute.

That put Slovakia up to nine points, and it moved them into second place thanks to late drama in Glasgow. Chris Martin gave Scotland all three points with an 88th minute strike as the home side won 1-0 over Slovenia, who dropped from second to third with the loss. The Fulham striker got a beautiful feed through the back line from Stuart Armstrong, and while his shot wasn’t terribly accurate, it was enough to win the game as Slovenia goalkeeper Matus Kozacik gave it a poor effort.

The win for Scotland pulls them above Lithuania and into fourth, a point back of Slovenia in third.