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Burnley 1-1 Chelsea: Robbie Brady free-kick holds Blues

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Chelsea gains ground on the rest of the Premier League, but maybe not by as much as they would have hoped.

The Blues pummeled Burnley through the final 20 minutes in the snow at Turf Moor, but could not find a winner as Robbie Brady‘s free-kick strike past the half-hour mark was enough for the Clarets to continue their fine home form with a point against the league leaders.

Chelsea forced the hosts onto their heels straight away, and Eden Hazard forced the first save on six minutes as Diego Costa threaded him through but the low shot was in range for Tom Heaton to collect. Just a minute later, the Blues had their opener as a counter featured beautiful movement to ease the ball into the Burnley half, and Victor Moses fed Pedro who beat Michael Keane one-on-one and passed the ball into the back of the net.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

It was all too easy for Chelsea, who following the goal seemed content to sit back, let Burnley possess, and hit back on the counter. That strategy would haunt them, however, as the hosts struck to even things up in the 24th minute. An exquisite free-kick from January signing Robbie Brady in his first start for the club beat Thibaut Courtois and buried into top-left corner to bring it back level the score at 1-1.

Burnley continued to look dangerous, forcing Chelsea to take back the initiative. The Clarets nearly went in front in the 36th minute as Joey Barton delivered a brilliant ball to Matthew Lowton who had snuck free near the right post but Courtois saved well. The Blues had a chance of their own minutes later, as a ball into the box by Marcos Alonso screamed just millimeters above the head of Diego Costa who rose high to meet it.

[ MORE: Burnley fan stops shot from hitting baby ]

The Clarets seemed in to take the lead just minutes after the halftime break as Ashley Barnes skipped past Gary Cahill on the right wing and then fed Andre Gray, and while the ball scooted through the legs of David Luiz embarrassingly, Courtois was there to save the poor effort on goal.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Chelsea gained control through the final 20 minutes, as they pushed for an opener with substitute Cesc Fabregas pulling the strings, but they could not find a way through a well-organized and hard-working Burnley defense. The point pushes Chelsea 10 points above Arsenal and Tottenham, while Burnley pulls 10 points away from the relegation zone, jumping Watford into 12th position. The draw snaps a five-match home winning streak for Burnley, without a loss at Turf Moor since November 26th against Manchester City.

Another American heads to Schalke: Zyen Jones

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Schalkamerica?

Bundesliga mainstays Schalke have added yet another American, this one 17-year-old Zyen Jones of Atlanta United. Jones is a forward with the U.S. U-17 national team.

Like Josh Sargent, who signed his deal with Werder Bremen on Tuesday, he’ll head overseas and sign a pro contract on Aug. 25, his 18th birthday.

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

Jones will join several potential USMNT teammates in Gelsenkirchen, including injured senior team midfielder Weston McKennie and youngster Nick Taitague (19). Forward Haji Wright is on loan at Sandhausen.

Report: Simon Dawkins making move to Minnesota

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The Loons are taking a flier on Simon Dawkins.

The London-born Jamaican international hasn’t done a ton since returning to MLS from Derby County, and turned 30 over the offseason, and Paul Tenorio says the player is on his way to Minnesota United.

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

Dawkins scored 14 goals between 2011-12 with San Jose, but scored just five times in his return to California and was blanked in 14 appearances last season. He registered just 10 shots in those matches.

The left winger would join an attack with Christian Ramirez, Kevin Molino, Ethan Finlay, and a pair of Generations Adidas forwards: Abu Danladi (2017 SuperDraft) and Mason Toye (2018).

Champions League Weds. preview: Sevilla-Man Utd, Shakhtar-Roma

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Jose Mourinho says Manchester United is one round away from having legitimate hopes of winning the UEFA Champions League.

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

That makes the Round of 16 tie against Sevilla — beginning Wednesday in Spain — a bit of a dream qualifier for the Red Devils.

“I normally say that Champions League dreams start around the quarter-finals and not yet in the last 16,” Mourinho said on ManUtd.com. “Last 16 still looks a long way to go. When a team reaches the quarter-finals, I think it’s the moment where even the teams that are not favourites – which is our case – they start realising that anything is possible.

The injury-hit side got a bit of a boost on Tuesday in Sevilla, where Paul Pogba, Antonio Valencia, Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera all trained ahead of the first leg.

As for the hosts, manager Vincenzo Montella admitted that he hopes Pogba won’t play, and joked that he’d prefer to tie up and “padlock” Alexis Sanchez in a bid to defend against the Chilean star.

The final Round of 16 tie to start will be Roma’s pairing with Shakhtar Donetsk, with the first leg taking place in Ukraine.

Shakhtar hasn’t played in some time, but the great equalizer is the bitter cold at Donbass Arena, where the temperature is set to be between 21 and 28 degrees Fahrenheit come kickoff.

Don’t worry, Roma fans, Daniele De Rossi is busy breathing fire into any teammates angling for excuses:

“The cold weather could affect things a little because we’re not used to it but at the end of the day it comes down to how well you perform out there. We must be mentally ready from the get-go because the cold might hit us in the opening minutes.

“If it was that much of a factor, these teams would win the Champions League every year. You don’t go through because of the weather.”

Villarreal opens probe into Semedo’s reported arrest

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MADRID (AP) Spanish club Villarreal says it is investigating the actions of defender Ruben Semedo after reports that he was arrested for a violent incident.

The club said it is “highly concerned” about the issue and “will take the appropriate disciplinary actions with utmost rigor based on the seriousness of the events.”

[ MORE: Chelsea-Barca recap | JPW’s 3 things ]

The statement was released after Spanish media reported that the Portuguese player was taken into custody early Tuesday for allegedly being involved in a hostile confrontation with another man last week.

Police did not immediately confirm Semedo’s arrest.