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Premier League roundup: Big boys all drop points

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The Top Four teams in the Premier League table picked up a total of three points on Tuesday, opening the door for Manchester United and Manchester City to make the race a bit more snug.

[ MORE: Burnley breaks its transfer record ]

Man City is off to West Ham United on Wednesday, while Manchester United hosts a Hull City side which saw its three closest competitors gain points in the race to avoid relegation on Tuesday.

All that, and more, below…

Liverpool 1-1 ChelseaRECAP

David Luiz netted a free kick early, catching Simon Mignolet by surprise, but Georginio Wijnaldum provided an equalizer before Mignolet stopped a late Diego Costa penalty kick to save a point for the Reds.

Arsenal 1-2 WatfordRECAP

Younes Kaboul and Troy Deeney put their names on the score sheet before the match was 20 minutes old at the Emirates Stadium, and the out-of-sorts Gunners could only find a 58th minute goal from Alex Iwobi in failing to take advantage of Chelsea’s draw with Liverpool. Speaking of Chelsea, a trip to Stamford Bridge is next for the Gunners.

Burnley 1-0 Leicester CityRECAP

The Clarets dominated this one, though their game-winner came via a goal that shouldn’t have counted on the scoreboard. Sam Vokes handled the ball off a corner kick before slotting it home, but Mike Dean didn’t see the offense.

Sunderland 0-0 Tottenham HotspurRECAP

Spurs could’ve moved to within seven points of Chelsea, but couldn’t find finish against a Black Cats side which had the hatches battened down at the Stadium of Light.

Bournemouth 0-2 Crystal PalaceRECAP

The Eagles came out lively, and took the lead through Scott Dann before Christian Benteke‘s first Premier League goal since Dec. 10 lifted Sam Allardyce to his first win as Palace boss. The Eagles, however, remain in the drop zone because…

Swansea City 2-1 SouthamptonRECAP

Alfie Mawson! The oft-maligned center back summer signing gave Paul Clement‘s side another Premier League lead, and Gylfi Sigurdsson made sure Swans didn’t die when Shane Long briefly equalized at the Liberty Stadium. Swansea remains two points clear of the drop zone, and its 21 points are level with 15th place Middlesbrough and 16th place Leicester City.

Middlesbrough 1-1 West Bromwich AlbionRECAP

James Morrison scored against his former team, only to see Alvaro Negredo put the hosts on level terms. There wasn’t much to like in the final 70 minutes.

World Cup-bound Saudi Arabia fires coach Edgardo Bauza

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) World Cup-bound Saudi Arabia has fired coach Edgardo Bauza nine days before the draw.

The Saudi Arabia Football Federation announced the Argentine coach’s exit after only five friendlies in charge. The team lost to Portugal and Bulgaria this month.

[ MORE: Big American Soccer Survey results ]

Bauza has been fired twice this year by teams in the World Cup lineup. He lost the Argentina job in April, after eight months in charge, when the two-time World Cup champions risked missing out on qualification.

In September, Bauza was appointed by Saudi Arabia to replace Bert van Marwijk, who was fired despite leading the team to its first World Cup since 2006.

Saudi Arabia joins Australia without a coach for the World Cup draw in Moscow on Dec. 1.

FOLLOW LIVE: Chelsea kicks off Champions League day

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There’s a Premier League side in action to kick off another day of UEFA Champions League action.

Chelsea is in Baku for a Noon ET match-up with Azerbaijan side Qarabag. A win boosts the Blues into the knockout rounds. CSKA Moscow and Benfica kickoff in Russia at the same time.

[ FOLLOW LIVE: Champions League scores ]

Here’s Antonio Conte‘s Starting XI: Courtois; Azpilicueta, David Luiz, Rudiger; Zappacosta, Kante, Fabregas, Alonso; Willian, Hazard, Pedro.

Manchester United is in Basel as one of six 2:45 p.m. ET kickoffs

Full schedule
Qarabag vs. Chelsea — Noon ET
CSKA Moscow vs. Benfica — Noon ET
Paris Saint-Germain vs. Celtic — 2:45 p.m. ET
Juventus vs. Barcelona — 2:45 p.m. ET
Atletico Madrid vs. Roma — 2:45 p.m. ET
Sporting Lisbon vs. Olympiacos — 2:45 p.m. ET
Anderlecht vs. Bayern Munich — 2:45 p.m. ET
Basel vs. Manchester United — 2:45 p.m. ET

PST Survey results: Most exciting USMNT prospect

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The results of PST’s Big American Soccer Survey are in, and our staff will be walking through the results of thousands of votes in a series of posts this week.

We didn’t realize you could acronymize it to BASS, or else we would’ve done it sooner. Today’s question: Excluding Christian Pulisic, who’s no longer a prospect despite being just 19, who is the most exciting USMNT prospect.

[ MORE: All Big American Soccer Survey posts ]

Exciting performances in the U-20 and U-17 World Cups have given United States men’s national team fans plenty of hope for the future.

The most-mentioned write-in, collecting across all attempting spellings, was injured Arsenal playmaker Gedion Zelalem.

As for the serious contenders, Jonathan Gonzalez, Andrew Carleton Tyler Adams, and Lynden Gooch lagged behind this pack of four:

Cameron Carter-Vickers — 14 percent — He had a howling back pass in Sheffield United’s 5-4 loss to Fulham on Wednesday, but the on-loan Spurs 19-year-old center back is playing every minute for a club very much in the mix for Premier League promotion.

Weston McKennie — 18 percent — Another 19-year-old, McKennie was one of the Men of the Match as Schalke went second in the Bundesliga this weekend. He’s been a regular starter when healthy, and played advanced, central, and set back in Schalke’s midfield. Next up: a Revierderby meeting with Pulisic and Borussia Dortmund.

Josh Sargent — 21 percent — Off to Werder Bremen when he turns 18 in late February, Sargent has four goals in five matches for the U.S. U-20s, and 14 in 29 for the U-17s. That includes four goals and two assists in his last three outings, against Paraguay, England, and Hungary.

Tim Weah — 24 percent — The son of African legend George Weah, Tim turns 18 two days after Sargent. Unlike his countryman, Weah has been in Europe for some time. The Paris Saint-Germain prospect is slated to get his First Team bow some time soon, having scored four goals and added an assist for PSG in the UEFA Youth League.

Yannick Bolasie finally returns to Everton training (video)

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Among my most quoted coaching lines comes from former University at Buffalo and current Canisius College men’s basketball coach Reggie Witherspoon (and pretty sure it didn’t originate with him).

“It’s more about Jims and Joes than x’s and o’s.”

[ MLS: Seattle wins | Stalemate in Ohio ]

So if Everton rebounds from its rough start to the season to reach its preseason potential, there’s a good chance we’ll credit the return of one of the most electric attackers in the game and not necessarily their new boss.

Yannick Bolasie returned to training on Wednesday, and not a moment too soon following a near one-year layoff due to an ACL tear.

There’s no guarantee the 28-year-old Bolasie will have the same burst, of course, but he has the potential to be a season-changer.

Everton was 5-4-4 when Bolasie went down with his injury last season, and improved on the mark the rest of the way, but are a moribund 3-3-6 this season.