West Brom 0-1 Southampton: Race for eighth place is on

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  • Jordy Clasie‘s fine strike wins it
  • Saints move on to 44 points
  • West Brom in eighth on 40 points
  • Back-to-back wins for Southampton

Southampton beat West Brom 1-0 at the Hawthorns on Saturday as Jordy Clasie’s fine strike was enough to separate the teams.

The Dutchman rattled home his first goal in the Premier League in the first half and despite late pressure the Baggies couldn’t break through against a stubborn Saints defense.

Saints have now sealed back-to-back wins in the Premier League, moving them on to 40 points for the season and they sit just four points behind eighth-place West Brom with two games in hand. The race for eighth (if that’s a thing) is on.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays

Southampton started the game well with some surging runs down the flanks but West Brom looked dangerous with Matty Phillips whipping in some crosses for Salomon Rondon.

The Venezuelan then had an effort which went woefully wide as the Baggies looked a little off the pace, while Fraser Forster kept out James Morrison‘s effort and Nacer Chadli fired the rebound over.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Just before the half hour mark Southampton deservedly took the lead as the ball was cut back to Dusan Tadic on the edge of the box and he set up Clasie who smashed a wonderful effort into the top corner to score his first goal in the Premier League and put the away side 1-0 up.

Before the break West Brom battled back into the game with Rondon having a header at the back post well saved by Forster and then Phillips fired the rebound over.

Shane Long also felt he was clipped when clean through on goal but didn’t get the decision and he also missed a diving header which he should have scored as Saints only led by one at the break.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

In the second half West Brom struggled to get back into the game with Saints looking dangerous on the break.

Nathan Redmond hit a shot at the back post which Ben Foster saved well at his near post and then Tadic curled a wonderful effort just over.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score

Late on West Brom threw the kitchen sink at Saints as Hal Robson-Kanu fired, then Forster denied Dawson superbly and kept out Evans as Southampton held on for a big three points to solidify their spot in the top 10.

Miguel Almiron knew nothing about MLS, everything about Tata

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Miguel Almiron’s future is going to be a big part of the story for as long as he’s in Atlanta United, but his past is in focus following another cool post in The Players’ Tribune.

It’s a cool read, for sure, to examine Almiron’s rise from “too skinny” kid without a club to one of the top prospects this side of the Atlantic Ocean, but the story of why he came to Atlanta is an argument for the “big name” manager (Tata Martino in this case).

[ MORE: Liverpool fan trouble in Sevilla ]

Before the Paraguayan youngster was the talk of the transfer market, MLS Newcomer of the Year, and the No. 1 jersey sale in the league, he was being recruited to the Georgian expansion outlet.

“I didn’t know much about MLS. I didn’t know where Atlanta was. I didn’t know anything. But Tata was manager, and that was all I needed to know.”

Given that Martino arrived not too long before Almiron, the following Tweet makes the point I’ve been trying to make as well as anyone:

Sevilla manager reportedly told team of cancer diagnosis at half

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When it comes to locker room tales, few compare to this one.

Any big comeback, especially one as high profile as Sevilla’s stunning second half against Liverpool, inspires the question, “What was said in the team room at halftime?!?”

Down 3-0 at halftime and in danger of bowing out of the UEFA Champions League, Sevilla manager Eduardo Berizzo gave his team some very serious news.

[ MORE: Liverpool fan trouble in Sevilla ]

According to Spanish reports relayed by The Telegraph, Berizzo informed his players of his prostate cancer diagnosis.

Sevilla confirmed that Berizzo is battling adenocarcinoma, saying, “Future medical tests will determine a course of treatment. Sevilla FC wants to show maximum support to its manager in these moments and wishes him a prompt recovery.”

It adds extra weight to Ever Banega’s postgame comments:

“We have to go out there with that attitude, for the fans that always back us and for the coach who has turned this around. He is the most important of all of us, he has us on the right path and we are with him to the hilt.”

Our best to Berizzo, and — sorry Reds supporters — it’s pretty cool Sevilla was able to rally after such stunning news.

Liverpool releases statement after Sevilla stadium supporter outcry

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Liverpool has proffered a strong and cautionary statement regarding its supporters’ treatment at Sevilla on Tuesday.

Claims of police punching a woman in the back and throwing her “political” flag at her, a Liverbird with the word “Defiance” on it, are just the tip of the iceberg.

[ REPORT: Palace to get new digs ]

Fans claim that many were either delayed or denied in entry to the stadium, with “police in riot gear not letting you get to your seat” in some cases.

The Reds have released a statement, from LiverpoolFC.com:

Following detailed and troubling accounts given by Liverpool supporters attending the match against Sevilla last night, the club is seeking to establish the facts regarding their treatment at the hands of the host stewards and local police force.
The safety and security of our supporters is our paramount concern and we intend to gather all the relevant information before responding further.

Supporter treatment away from home is deservedly a hot button issue, and especially at Liverpool given the horrible Hillsborough disaster that killed 96 and wounded almost 800 more in 1989.

As for the match, the Reds squandered a 3-0 lead at Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium, drawing 3-3.

Sounders in firm control after Leg 1

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The game in 100 words (or less): The Seattle Sounders took full control of the Western Conference finals with a resounding 2-0 win over ten-man Houston. The Sounders already had hit first in the 11th minute through Gustav Svensson but the red card to Jalil Anibaba changed the game. Houston had some chances later but fatigue meant the focus and control was off. Former Dynamo striker Will Bruin’s goal may have put the tie to bed.

Three moments that mattered

11′ — Gustav Svensson Goal — The Sounders wanted to set the tone early and they picked up an early goal off a corner kick, as Svensson redirected a header past Dynamo goalkeeper Joe Willis. The goal changed the complexion of the game to that point, until our next big moment.

28′ — Jalil Anibaba red card — Joevin Jones was a menace to deal with tonight and after getting past Anibaba, the latter pulled Jones down and as it appeared to be denial of a goal-scoring opportunity, Anibaba was given his marching orders. Suddenly, Houston, down a goal and down a man, had a lot more to do to stay in the tie. Nicolas Lodeiro missed the subsequent penalty kick but Will Bruin picked Lodeiro up later.

42′ — Will Bruin goal — The former Dynamo man scored a massive goal against his former club on a great cross from Jones on the left wing. While the tie isn’t over, the Sounders are in firm control and look set to repeat as Western Conference playoffs champions.

Man of the Match: Joevin Jones