Swansea 3-0 Sunderland: Llorente’s double wins relegation battle

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  • Llorente scores twice
  • Sigurdsson nets PK
  • Swans off the bottom, now on 12 points
  • Sunderland slip back to bottom

Swansea City sealed a massive victory against relegation rivals Sunderland at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday with Bob Bradley‘s men winning 3-0 to seal his second win in the Premier League.

Three second half goals did the damage for the Swans as Gylfi Sigurdsson scored a penalty kick, then two goals from Spanish forward Fernando Llorente put the Welsh side out of sight.

With the win Bradley’s men climb out of the relegation zone and now have 12 points, while Sunderland slip to the foot of the table on 11 points.

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In the pouring rain in south Wales both teams started nervously with plenty on the line. Sunderland went close to taking the lead as Jermain Defoe worked himself into the box after linking up with Victor Anichebe but flashed his left-footed shot just over the bar.

The Swans then went close as Sigurdsson’s free kick from the left found Alfie Mawson but the center back headed over and should’ve done better.

As half time came closer, the Swans kept pushing forward and Lamine Kone was forced to hook the ball out for a corner under pressure following a dangerous cross from the right.

Jordi Amat then sent a header over from Sigurdsson’s right-wing cross as the home side looked more dangerous but Kone then headed over.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

In the second half Sunderland looked dangerous on the break as Patrick Van Aanholt played in Defoe and he raced clear but sent his effort off target.

Then came a huge moment in the game as Wayne Routledge tried to cross the ball in the box but the ball hit Jason Denayer‘s raised arm and a penalty kick was awarded. Sigurdsson put the spot kick straight down the middle to put Swansea 1-0 up.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Four minutes later the Swans went 2-0 up. Modou Barrow went close as his shot was saved superbly down now by Jordan Pickford and from the resulting corner a well-worked set piece saw Sigurdsson find Llorente who steered it home.

2-0, as Bradley and his coaching staff piled in and celebrated together on the sidelines.

Llorente then spurned a glorious chance as he couldn’t connect from six yards out and then Pickford saved superbly from Amat’s header with the Swans piling on the pressure.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

At the other end Defoe snatched at a half chance as Sunderland tried to force the issue but Swansea held firm and added to their tally with Jefferson Montero‘s cross headed home by Llorente. 3-0.

Late on Sunderland came close to pulling one back as Defoe’s acrobatic effort was deflected wide and then they hit the crossbar from a set piece situation but in truth it was an easy win for the south Wales side as Bradley secured his second win, and second clean sheet, in the Premier League.

Watch Live: West Brom v. Liverpool

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West Bromwich Albion host Liverpool on Saturday at the Hawthorns (Watch live, 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) as the Premier League’s bottom team aim to pull off another shock win to keep their faint survival hopes alive.

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The Baggies won 1-0 at Manchester United last time to delay their impending relegation as well as hand Manchester City the title and interim boss Darren Moore will want to grab another big win as the Baggies aim to try and pull off the greatest of escapes. Anything other than a win could see West Brom relegated this weekend.

As for Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp‘s men have cemented their spot in the top four and will have one eye on a big week of European action.

In team news West Brom have Jonny Evans back fit and on the bench but are unchanged from the win at Man United, while Liverpool rest several players ahead of their UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg against Roma.

Andrew Robertson, Roberto Firmino, Alexander-Arnold and Oxlade-Chamberlain are all on the bench with Joe Gomez returning to the starting lineup.

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West Brom

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VIDEO: Sporting KC’s Medranda scores wonder goal in win over Vancouver

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Sporting KC showed again on Friday night why they’re the rightful leaders at the top of the Western Conference, pulling four points ahead of the LA Galaxy and the Vancouver Whitecaps with a dominating 6-0 win over the Whitecaps at home.

Scottish forward Johnny Russell bagged a hat-trick in the game, all by the 48th minute, but the highlight of the night came off the foot of 24-year-old Jimmy Medranda. The Colombian scored an absolute worldie from a ridiculous angle, taking the space given to him outside the top-left corner of the box and sailing it over the head of Vancouver goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic and into the back of the net.

It was, of course, massively beneficial to Sporting KC that Vancouver went two men down in the 40th minute after a huge skirmish that saw Yordy Reyna and Efrain Juarez both sent off. Reyna earned his marching orders for throwing Russell to the ground, while Juarez reportedly used unacceptable language.

Still, KC was already up 3-0 when the incident occurred, and credit must go to teams that take advantage of what has been handed to them. Sporting KC certainly did that as Russell becomes the first Scotsman to score an MLS hat-trick since Colorado’s John Spencer in 2001, and Medranda’s wonder goal sealed the deal past the half-hour mark.

Jurgen Klopp already wants a piece of Man City next season

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Manchester City may have run away with the Premier League title this year, but Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp can’t wait for a clean slate to try and challenge City’s title defense next season.

The Reds are into the Champions League semifinals and also looking to finish the Premier League season strong in a battle for positioning in the top four, but when asked about next year, Klopp was giddy.

“Of course I don’t fear the challenge,” Klopp said in his prematch press conference ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League visit to West Brom on Saturday morning.

The German made it clear he wants a piece of Manchester City next season. “This year, if City plays a normal season – which they didn’t do – then it would have been really close until the end because we are now all close together.”

“United is four points ahead [of Liverpool], Tottenham is two points behind. It’s a real fight for these positions. All big six pretty much delivered this year but City delivered the best. We will see. It’s difficult to deal with success as it is difficult to deal with other things in football but I’m pretty sure they will be strong again.”

Liverpool is one of only two teams to beat City in league play this year, with Manchester United being the other. Klopp and company torched the City back line in a wild 4-3 victory that ended City’s 22-match unbeaten run. Ultimately, though, Klopp knows they have to look at the entire season as a whole to best the defending champs next year, not just their matches against each other.

“It’s not important how good City will be, it’s about how we can get all the other points, plus the points we got so far again,” he said. “That’s the job to do. That is why it is always possible that it is closer. But are they able to dominate? They don’t have a limit to spending and all that stuff so I don’t know.”

VIDEO: Goalkeeper sends Memphis Depay flying with skillful touch

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Former Manchester United attacker Memphis Depay has one of the brightest spots for Lyon this season that sees them battling with Monaco and Marseille for 2nd place behind a dominant PSG. He has scored 15 goals and assisted 11 others this Ligue 1 campaign, adding to his tally just four minutes into Friday’s 5-2 win over Dijon, the sixth win in a row for the club that pulled them within a point of Monaco.

However, there was a moment to forget for Depay in the victory as well.

With the score still at 1-1 in the 19th minute, Depay was sent high up the pitch to press Dijon goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet, owner of the leakiest net of the Ligue 1 season. Nevertheless, sometimes the underdog prevails, and that’s what happened as Depay flung himself at the ball to put Reynet under pressure.

One silky touch by the netminder was all it took for Depay to end up on his backside.

The 24-year-old Dutch winger has had a fantastic season and one that could potentially propel him back to the biggest stage and a bigger paycheck, but for now, we can all poke fun at his misery in the moment.