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Post-draw Mourinho: PL needs VAR, Shaw needs maturity

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Manchester United’s dominance has, generally, not been rewarded this season at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils needed a stoppage time PK to take a point from visiting Everton on Tuesday, extending their unbeaten league run to 20 matches.

[ MORE: Recap | Zlatan reacts ]

United boss Jose Mourinho wasn’t happy with the finish, though, as his side fell behind 1-0 in a sloppy first half.

He loved the fight back in the second half, though, and spoke on that and a number of issues in a fascinating post-match presser.

On the issues facing his players: “The performance was not very good. The spirit in the second half was phenomenal. Some players are really in trouble. Some by the physical point of view. Some others, clearly with the confidence levels low and difficult to perform better, they fought until the last second.

On a Zlatan Ibrahimovic goal being ruled offside — “And with the VAR we win this game 2-1 because it’s not offside. Difficult one for the linesman, I’m not critical for him at all. When VAR comes it will help us all, particularly them. If they have any doubts, advantage to the team that attacks. From what I saw just now in the computer, for me it’s not an offside. Even so, if there is a big doubt, it’s a goal. But again I repeat not at all I am critical with the linesman. I just think it will be welcome with everyone.”

On Luke Shaw entering the game after a controversial week: “He has lots of potential but the football brain and the professional brain has to be also with the talent. In previous generations, it’s more difficult to be a big player, and rich after the career. At this moment they are rich when the career starts. I think he has to change his football brain. I was telling him just now, he was doing things in the second half because he was reacting to my voice. If he was playing in the other side, for sure he wouldn’t do it. He needs maturity, and maturity comes with responsibility. I think he has a future here, but Manchester United cannot wait.

On Shaw and Marcus Rashford“We are 20 matches unbeatable in the Premier League, but it is not enough. We need the kids to grow up. … I have to help him. I cannot kill him. I must try to accelerate the process again because this is Manchester United.”

Premier League TV, streaming schedule

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More midweek action is coming up in the Premier League. Let the festive fun continue.

[ MORE: Sign up for NBC Sports Gold ]

The full TV schedule for this weekend is below, plus you can watch every single second of every single game live online via NBC Sports.com,the NBC Sports App and by purchasing the new “Premier League Pass” via NBC Sports Gold.

Gold also includes an extensive selection of shoulder programming such as Premier League News, Premier League Today and NBC Sports originals such as Premier League Download and much more.

[ STREAM: Premier League live here ] 

You can also watch Premier League “Goal Rush” at for all the goals as they go in. Goal Rush is available via NBC Sports.com and the NBC Sports App.

[ MORE: Premier League “Goal Rush” ] 

If you’re looking for full-event replays of Premier League games, you can find them here for the games streamed on NBCSports.com and here for the games on NBC Sports Gold.

Here’s your full TV schedule for the coming days. Enjoy.


FULL TV SCHEDULE

Tuesday
2:45 p.m. ET: Burnley vs. Stoke City – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
2:45 p.m. ET: Crystal Palace vs. Watford – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Huddersfield Town vs. Chelsea – NBCSN [STREAM

Wednesday
2:45 p.m. ET: Swansea City vs. Manchester City – NBCSN [STREAM]
2:45.m. ET: Southampton vs. Leicester City – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
2:45 p.m. ET: Newcastle United vs. Everton – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: West Ham United vs. Arsenal – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Liverpool vs. West Brom – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Manchester United vs. Bournemouth – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]
3 p.m. ET: Tottenham Hotspur vs. Brighton & Hove Albion – NBC Sports Gold [STREAM]

Premier League notes: Wanyama, Bolasie return after long layoffs, Sakho injured

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Two Premier League clubs saw a pair of players return to the field after long spells on the sidelines.

Tottenham revealed that Victor Wanyama took part in training on Monday for the first time since suffering a knee injury in late August, which has kept him off the field since then. Wanyama started in both of Tottenham’s first two fixtures of the season before the injury.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

At the same time in the northwest of England, Yannick Bolasie returned to the field for Everton’s reserves for the first time since suffering a torn ACL last December against Manchester United. Everton manager Sam Allardyce hinted recently that Bolasie could even make the first team subs bench before the end of the calendar year as he continues his rehab.

(more…)

Report: Sporting KC on verge of signing French midfielder Croizet

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Sporting Kansas City could be adding some European flair to its midfield this offseason.

According to multiple reports, the MLS club is in negotiations to sign French midfielder Yohan Croizet, who currently plays for Belgian first division side KV Mechelen. Croizet, who reportedly cost Mechelen a transfer fee worth more than $1 million, has started all 15 games he’s played for his side this season but has been substituted off on seven occasions and Mechelen are currently struggling in the league, sitting in 13th place with 18 points from 18 games.

Croizet hasn’t played since November 17, and appears on his way out.

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Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes, a Hungarian-American, is no stranger to the European market and has brought over plenty of diamonds in the rough from Europe to star with Sporting KC. Some previous examples, though in different positions from Croizet, include current winger Gerso, Krisztián Németh, Uri Rosell, and Aurelien Collin.

It will be interesting to see where Croizet plays in the Sporting KC side should it sign him, and how he works with Benny Feilhaber, who is turning 33-years old in January.

Arsenal lands Ostersunds in Europa League draw

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Arsenal will face a team with an English connection in the UEFA Europa League Round of 32.

The Gunners were paired with Swedish side Ostersunds in the Europa League knockout stage draw Monday, with matches set to be played on February 15 and February 22. Ostersund are managed by Englishman Graham Potter, who played in the Championship and lower in England before starting his managerial career with Ostersunds in 2010 in the fourth tier of Swedish soccer.

[READ: UCL draw+analysis]

Ostersunds surprised many earlier this year winning the Swedish Cup to qualify for the Europa League, and then advanced out of a group that included Hertha Berlin and Athletic Bilbao.

It represents an interesting draw for Arsenal, which will have to balance the squad during a tough February. The weekend prior to the first-leg match is the second leg of the North London derby against Tottenham, and following the second match with Ostersunds is a showdown with Manchester City.

Here’s a look at how the rest of the draw shook out: