White Hart Lane ready for fitting farewell

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After 118 years, the stage is set for the final 90 minutes of action at White Hart Lane this Sunday.

[ MORE: Tour around Spurs’ new stadium ]

Tottenham Hotspur host Manchester United (Watch live, 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) in their final game at the Lane with Mauricio Pochettino‘s men able to go the entire home season unbeaten if they avoid defeat.

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The Lane is truly one of the great soccer cathedrals in England. Cramped with fans close to the pitch at every angle, you can almost feel the history seeping through your flesh as you walk around and sniff in the dusty air and freshly cut grass. Like Anfield, Old Trafford and Goodison Park in the Premier League, or Fenway Park or Wrigley Field in the U.S., the design of the stadium gives us a glimpse of previous generations. White Hart Lane has been a constant for Spurs fans of every generation.

During a game you seem to hover over the pitch from any seat in the stadium and when goals go you feel the old place reverberate and shudder with ecstasy. Spurs’ current team will look to give their fans a few final moments to enjoy in their final game at the Lane.

Yet the game is just one part of the farewell to Tottenham’s historic ground.

[ MORE: Spurs’ plan to continue American connection

After the game a huge farewell ceremony is planned (which you can watch live online via NBCSports.com) where former players, the current squad and coaching staff and academy teams will all be present, plus a show featuring music and a video montage will take center stage. Plus, fans will be given special gifts on arrival and there will be a fitting mosaic to see off the Lane in style.

Spurs leaving their historic home has kind of snuck up on everyone for a few reasons. Firstly, they only announced it was happening on Apr. 28 when their move to Wembley Stadium was confirmed. And secondly, they’ll be returning in just after 12 months when their new 61,000 capacity stadium is expected ready on the site right next to the current home.

Yes, Spurs will be leaving behind their entire history as a club when the current White Hart Lane stadium is leveled but they’ll also be preparing the club, and the surrounding area, for a bright new future.

It will be a slightly somber occasion at the Lane given the fact that many fans adore the many quirks (perhaps they won’t miss the huge stanchions placed in front of seats that much…) and superb atmosphere generated at the Lane. Plus, the fact that Spurs look almost certain to come up short in the Premier League title race to Chelsea will make many think of “what could have been” during the final outing in one of English soccer’s oldest stadiums.

However, there is so much to be thankful to White Hart Lane for over the years.

From a League and FA Cup double under Bill Nicholson to magical players like Glenn Hoddle, Osvaldo Ardiles and now Harry Kane and Dele Alli strutting their stuff, this stadium has had a good run. A very good run.

Now, it will get one final sendoff before Tottenham make a huge leap into a bright future with their new home at White Hart Lane set to generate plenty of extra cash in ticket revenue, NFL games arriving on a purpose-built field and many more amenities that will benefit the local community for many generations to come. This is a game changer.

Obviously things will never be the same again, but the fact that Spurs will be remaining in their spiritual home will certainly help ease this massive transition for everyone at Tottenham.

ProSoccerTalk will be on site at White Hart Lane on Sunday to provide videos, photos, analysis and more from the final game.

Video: De Rossi, Roma make classy visit to Hillsborough memorial

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On many occasions there are instances where teams and individuals exemplify the fact that real-life occurrences are more meaningful than sports.

Ahead of Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League meeting, Italian giants AS Roma visited Anfield –where they will face Liverpool in the competition’s semifinals.

After walking around the venue where the two sides will compete in less than 24 hours, Roma captain Daniele de Rossi and the rest of the Roma squad visited the Hillsborough memorial at Anfield to pay tribute to the 96 victims lost in the 1989 event that rocked the entire country.

De Rossi was seen laying a floral arrangement on the site, along with a note from the club that read, “In memoria delle vittime di Hillsborough AS Rome.”

Liverpool, Roma ride major emotions into the UCL semifinals

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Four clubs remain in this season’s UEFA Champions League competition, and while two of the teams have been considered heavy dogs in the fight all year long the other two sides look to continue on their storybook run.

Liverpool, Roma, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have found themselves in the semifinals of this season’s UCL, creating a strong mix of storylines as the tournament heads towards its most critical point.

[ MORE: Everton gets past Newcastle behind Theo Walcott’s strike ]

Anfield will be the site for Tuesday’s first leg between Liverpool and Roma, with both sides still riding major highs from their victories in the last round.

The Reds enter the final four after having disposed of fellow Premier League side Manchester City in relatively dominating fashion. Meanwhile, Roma completed a seemingly impossible comeback against Barcelona to progress in the competition.

Liverpool is led by three of the year’s top goalscorers, including Mohamed Salah — who has scored eight goals in the UCL and 41 across all competitions.

For Roma, much of the side’s success has been predicated on finding defensive strength at the right moments throughout the tournament.

Despite falling behind 4-1 in their first leg defeat to Barca in the previous round, Edin Dzeko and Co. rallied for a 3-0 win at the Stade Olimpico to stun the Catalan club by holding Lionel Messi and his side in check.

Manager Eusebio Di Francesco will have to find creative ways to halt the Liverpool attack though over the course of two legs, with the Reds boasting the top attack in this year’s UCL.

Liverpool has scored 33 goals in 10 UCL matches, while only conceding seven in the process.

Keeper Ederson hopeful he can score this season for Man City

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The prospects for a goalkeeper scoring during a match are usually uncommon, but that hasn’t halted Manchester City’s number one choice from aiming to break the trend this season.

Ederson — who has moved into the starting role at the Etihad Stadium with relative ease in 2017/18 — has dreamt of scoring a goal of his own for the Premier League champions in waiting.

“I heard the fans chanting my name, asking me to take the penalty but Gabriel went there,” Ederson said. “Unfortunately he missed it and Bernardo happily scored. But if the manager have asked me to go there, definitely I’d score.

“I’m not sure if I would be able to do set-pieces, but I’m good at penalties, either using power or technique on shooting it. But City have [their] regular penalty-takers and we are well-served.

Citizen supporters chanted for the goalkeeper to take a penalty kick over the weekend in the team’s 5-0 win over Swansea City.

However, Gabriel Jesus was the man selected for the opportunity, but had his attempt saved by Lukasz Fabianski before Bernardo Silva was in the right spot to score the game’s fifth goal.

“If Pep asks me to take it, I’m there,” Ederson said of the penalty kick. “Hopefully it will happen [before the end of the season], I’d like to score.”

This isn’t the first time Ederson has discussed exploring opportunities outside of the net, though.

The Brazilian shot-stopper has long been a fan of former Brazil international goalkeeper Rogero Ceni — who scored 65 goals for club side Sao Paolo.

Earlier this season, the 24-year-old joked around with the media, saying that he’d be more than happy to fill a role in the midfield when City was experiencing some injury issues within the squad.

Everton 1-0 Newcastle: Walcott blast has Toffees up to eighth

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Everton earned a 1-0 win against Newcastle on Monday behind Theo Walcott‘s second-half strike at Goodison Park.

The victory puts the Toffees into eighth place, leaping over Leicester City for the time being — as the Foxes have an extra game in hand.

[ MORE: Sweden coach says Ibra must reach out to have shot at World Cup ]

The former Arsenal man broke the deadlock six minutes into the second half when Walcott blasted the ball into the roof of the net following a lofted cross from Yannick Bolasie.

For Walcott, it’s his third goal since joining Everton in 2017/18 from the Gunners.

The visitors had their fair share of opportunities on the day, particularly through Ayoze Pérez, who was active all throughout the match.

Perez nearly broke the deadlock after the half hour mark when he tested goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in the 31st minute with a diving save in the bottom left corner.

Phil Jagielka came close four minutes later when his close-range attempt narrowly missed the top left corner after Michael Keane‘s flicked header off a corner kick.

The Spanish forward was at it again in the second stanza, and nearly found the back of the net when his header was saved in the center of the goal off of a cross from Kenedy.

Newcastle pushed hard for an equalizer in the dying moments, and even played up a man for a few minutes when Leighton Baines was tended to for a head injury, but the Magpies couldn’t even the score.