Swansea City 3-0 West Bromwich Albion: Dyer’s double keeps Swans perfect (video)

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Swansea City momentarily went top of the Premier League table on Saturday as they made it three wins from three to start the season after beating West Bromwich Albion 3-0 at the Liberty Stadium.

Garry Monk’s men took the lead early through Nathan Dyer, then Wayne Routledge scored a stunning goal (watch above) to make it 2-0. The Swans bossed a poor West Brom side and went 3-0 up in the second half as Dyer latched onto another superb ball from Sigurdsson and slotted home.

In his first full season in charge of Swansea, rookie manager Monk now has nine points from nine as the South Wales side sat on top of the standings before the rest of the weekends games took place. West Brom are without a win in their first three league games.

[RELATED: Watch the full match replay]

For the second home game running, Dyer got the Swans off to a flier as the English winger rounded Ben Foster and slotted home in the second minute to put the home side 1-0 up. Jonas Olsson slipped at a crucial time following Gylfi Sigurdsson’s back heel, as Dyer skipped around him and delicately clipped the ball into the far corner of the net.

Soon after the Swans almost went 2-0 up as the ball broke to Wilfried Bony and the Ivorian smashed an effort just over the bar. After 15 minutes Jonjo Shelvey wriggled free and dug out a delicious cross to the back post which Bony headed just over. The Swans pressure continued to build.

[RELATED: Premier League stats]

[RELATED: Latest Premier League standings]

The Swans continued to press and went 2-0 up midway through the first half thanks to a superb strike from Routledge. A poor clearance from Chris Brunt saw Swansea regain possession on the edge of their own box and Routledge smashed a stunning improvised volley from 20-yards out into the top corner. Swansea were flying and were almost 3-0 up before half time as Routledge’s cross saw West Brom defender Olsson head the ball back towards his own goal and it clipped the crossbar and went out.

West Brom improved after the break but failed to carve out any real clear-cut chances as Swansea always looked more likely to score. Foster saved twice in quick succession following an in-direct free kick inside the box and then the Swans went 3-0 up as Dyer grabbed his second of the game. The winger was set free after a clip around the corner from Sigurdsson and the victory was all but secured for the Swans.

Late on the visitors tried to reduce the lead as Stephane Sessegnon smashed the crossbar with an effort from the edge of the box. However, that was to be the closest the Baggies came as Swansea recorded their third-straight win.

LINEUPS

Swansea City: Fabianski, Rangel, Amat, Williams, Taylor, Ki, Shelvey (Carroll, 84′), Dyer, Sigurdsson, Routledge (Montero, 66′), Bony (Gomis, 79′)

Goals: Dyer (2′ & 70′), Routledge (24′)

West Bromwich Albion: Foster, Wisdom, Dawson, Olsson, Davidson (Gamboa, 72′), Gardner, Mulumbu, Berahino, Dorrans (Sessegnon, 45′), Brunt (Morrison, 72′), Ideye.

Ligue 1: Falcao, Balde score to keep Monaco close to PSG

AP Photo/Claude Paris
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PARIS (AP) French champion Monaco got back to winning ways with a 2-0 home win against Caen on Saturday.

Monaco lost three and drew one of its previous four games in all competitions. But coach Leonardo Jardim’s side was largely in control against a Caen side that started brightly and faded after Keita Balde’s opening goal and first for Monaco.

“It was important to win, to get a bit of confidence back,” Jardim said. “We’ve been working hard and the players were very serious today.”

Captain Radamel Falcao scored his league-leading 13th from the penalty spot in the 59th, confidently sending goalkeeper Remy Vercoutre the wrong way.

The win moved second-place Monaco within three points of Paris Saint-Germain, having played one game more. Unbeaten PSG is away at bitter rival Marseille on Sunday.

Falcao’s partnership with teen star Kylian Mbappe was crucial to Monaco’s charge to the league title and the Champions League semifinals last season. Mbappe left to join PSG in a high-profile move — as did several other key players — but Falcao’s new partnership with the unselfish Balde looks a promising one.

“We’ve lost a few players and we need a bit of time, it’s been a bit difficult for us,” Monaco goalkeeper Danijel Subasic said. “I hope we can stay at the top of the table and that the young players can shine. We have a lot of quality here.”

Balde has been sharp in his handful of appearances since joining from Lazio in the offseason, but mainly as a link player and a provider.

This time, the Senegal forward finished off the move as he ran onto Thomas Lemar’s perfectly weighted pass into his path, cut across a defender on the edge of the penalty area and slotted the ball into the bottom left corner.

Lemar almost created another goal when his corner was headed against the crossbar by Brazilian defender Jemerson late in the first half.

Falcao put the game beyond doubt from the spot after Slovenian midfielder Jan Repas fouled attacking midfielder Rony Lopes.


After a tricky start to his tenure at Nantes, Italian coach Claudio Ranieri has turned things around.

Nantes beat Guingamp 2-1 at home to move up to third place, extending Ranieri’s unbeaten run to eight matches after losing the first two.

Nantes, which scored through defender Chidozie Awaziem and midfielder Abdoulaye Toure, is just two points behind Monaco.

The 2 Robbies: Terriers Triumph And Chelsea Leave It Late

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Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe start today’s show off by discussing Huddersfield Town’s surprising win against Manchester United (00:20), Jose Mourinho’s measured post-match interview (03:50), praise Manchester City again (10:30), discuss Sean Dyche’s next move (16:10), analyze that exciting match between Chelsea and Watford (18:30) and finally, weigh in on Slaven Bilic’s future at West Ham United (27:30).

Join Earle & Mustoe on The 2 Robbies Football Show, Saturdays at 5pm ET. Listen on the NBCSports Radio App and call 855-323-4622 in the U.S. for lively passionate debate.

All of the The 2 Robbies content can be accessed by clicking on this link:

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Follow them on Twitter @The2Robbies

La Liga: Barca win to maintain lead, but Valencia won’t go away

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona regained a four-point cushion atop the Spanish league with a ho-hum 2-0 win over visiting Malaga and surging Valencia dismissed Sevilla 4-0 at home on Saturday.

Barcelona faced last-placed Malaga in the closing match of the day, with added pressure from second-placed Valencia, which has won five in a row.

Barcelona is unbeaten after starting with seven straight wins and drawing with Atletico Madrid last week.

Seldom-used Gerard Deulofeu opened the scoring for Barcelona after just two minutes, and Andres Iniesta celebrated his first of the season in the second half thanks to a brilliant assist by Lionel Messi.

Defending champion Real Madrid hosts Eibar on Sunday.

Barcelona benefited from a flagrant referee misjudgment to get its go-ahead goal against Malaga. Left back Lucas Digne was allowed to center the ball after it clearly crossed the byline, and Deulofeu acrobatically back-footed it inside the net.

Despite the blow, the visitors got back up and managed to neutralize Barcelona for most of the first half, but lost striker Diego Rolan just before the second period. The Uruguayan import was forced off by injury.

Without Rolan, Malaga lacked bite in its pressure of the home backline, and Barcelona was able to polish ball circulation and find Messi with more frequency.

Messi received a clean pass from defender Javier Mascherano, drew the defense, and dropped a perfect pass for Iniesta, whose shot was deflected by defender Roberto Rosales on its way to the upper left corner.

Malaga surrendered and Barcelona dominated the rest of the way.


Gonzalo Guedes opened the scoring for Valencia near halftime with a majestic strike from outside the box after deftly outmaneuvering two defenders on the chase.

Simone Zaza added his eighth league goal after the break with a spin and low cross shot. Santi Mina came off the bench and scored the third with just five minutes to go, finishing off a speedy counterattack for the hosts.

But the show was all Guedes, and the Portuguese midfielder rounded off his great game with the closer, subtly poking the ball over goalkeeper Sergio Rico in added time.

Sevilla has lost three in a row in all competitions. Managed by Eduardo Berizzo, the team started off red-hot in La Liga but has floundered lately, ranking fifth.

 

Serie A: Napoli’s perfect season ends after draw with Inter

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MILAN (AP) Napoli’s perfect start to Serie A finally came to an end on Saturday in an enthralling 0-0 home draw with Inter Milan, the only other unbeaten side in the Italian top flight.

[ MORE: Saturday’s PL roundup | Sunday preview — Spurs vs. Liverpool ]

There were plenty of chances at the San Paolo, and Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic was kept busier than his Napoli counterpart Pepe Reina.

It was the first time since April and a 2-2 draw at Sassuolo that Napoli has failed to win in Serie A.

Napoli remained top of the standings, two points above Inter and six above Juventus and Lazio, which face Udinese and Cagliari respectively on Sunday.

[ TACTICS SESSION: Inside the brilliant mind of Kevin De Bruyne ]

Napoli was looking for a ninth successive league win. It was boosted by Lorenzo Insigne passing fit to start after injuring a thigh on Tuesday in the Champions League defeat at Manchester City.

Inter was full of confidence after Mauro Icardi’s hat trick helped it win last week’s derby against AC Milan, but it hadn’t won in Naples in 20 years.

Napoli almost went in front but Handanovic pulled off a stunning double save to deny first Jose Callejon and then keep out Dries Mertens’ rebound attempt from point-blank range.

Handanovic then kept out an effort from Insigne following a great ball over the top from Marek Hamsik.

[ MORE: Mourinho — “We deserved the punishment of defeat” to Huddersfield ]

Inter went close shortly before halftime but Reina did well to fingertip Borja Valero’s close-range attempt over the bar.

Insigne had more chances after the break, going closest with a curling effort just past the right post.

Hamsik also fired narrowly wide, and Handanovic parried a powerful shot from substitute Piotr Zielinski.

Mertens should have won the match for Napoli in the final minute but Handanovic was again on hand to keep out his close-range volley.