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MLS Snapshots: SKC start post-Dwyer era with win; RBNY run wild

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Sporting Kansas City 3-2 Chicago Fire

The game in 100 words (or less): Four days after trading away their leading goalscorer the last four seasons (55 goals during that period), Sporting KC showed no signs of missing Dom Dwyer en route to a 3-2 victory over the Chicago Fire. Daniel Salloi, Benny Feilhaber and Latif Blessing picked up the scoring slack on Saturday, as Peter Vermes’ side returned to the Western Conference summit. Matt Besler, Graham Zusi and Dax McCarty all returned from the U.S. national team and went straight into their respective side’s starting lineup; David Accam started another game on the Chicago bench, having reportedly requested a transfer after being left off the All-Star lineup by his own head coach, Veljko Paunovic, and for the second straight game came off the bench to score in the second half.

[ MORE: SKC trade Dwyer to ORL | Sigi back to LA | LAFC hire Bradley ]

Three Four Five moments that mattered

23′ — Salloi does it all by himself, makes it 1-0 — Aided by a bit of fortune on a pretty wicked deflection, Salloi is rewarded for his 50-yard run. A word of advice: keep an eye on this kid.

28′ — Besler’s clearance winds up in his own net — Sometimes you just want the ground to open up beneath your feet and swallow you whole.

45+1′ — Feilhaber bikes it home for 2-1 — Feilhaber didn’t have a ton of time think about how he was going to put this one over the line. He opted to invert himself, and it worked.

51′ — Blessing gets a touch as the ball is headed for goal — Diego Rubio did the heavy lifting; Blessing applied the poacher’s final touch.

78′ — Accam gets on the end of a cross for 3-2 — It’s usually Accam streaking down the left wing and whipping the ball into the box, but this time the Ghanaian international was on the receiving end of Patrick Doody’s cross.

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Man of the match: Latif Blessing

Goalscorers: Salloi (23′), Besler (28′ – OG), Feilhaber (45+1′), Blessing (51′), Accam (78′)


New York Red Bulls 4-0 Montreal Impact

The game in 100 words (or less): Total shots: 24-5; shots on target: 11-2; possession: 70-30; total passes: 553-241. Need I say more? Daniel Royer scored twice, and Bradley Wright-Phillips and Michael Murillo tallied one goal each. New York leapfrog Atlanta United for fourth place in the Eastern Conference, now two points back of New York City FC for third. Montreal, meanwhile, sink to 10th in the East, seven points out of the sixth and final playoff place.

[ MORE: SKC trade Dwyer to ORL | Sigi back to LA | LAFC hire Bradley ]

Three moments that mattered

23′ — Royer converts after winning the penalty — Win the penalty, score the penalty.

58′ — Murillo’s slams it home for 2-0 — Murillo happened to be in the right place at the right time, and that’s his first goal in MLS.

85′ — BWP applies the dagger late on — Alex Muyl’s cross left Maxime Crepeau in no man’s land, and BWP did what BWP does.

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Man of the match: Daniel Royer

Goalscorers: Royer (23′ — PK, 89′), Murillo (58′), Wright-Phillips (85′)

Juventus suffers blow with apparent Higuain injury

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The back-and-forth battle at the top of Serie A continued on Sunday as Juventus topped Torino at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, however, the visitors suffered a big injury scare in the process.

[ MORE: Man United draws Brighton, Chelsea gets Leicester in FA Cup ]

Alex Sandro‘s winner came in the 33rd minute, but the focus of the match will leave all eyes on Gonzalo Higuain — who exited after just a quarter of an hour.

The Argentine international was looking to latch onto a through ball from Miralem Pjanic in the fifth minute, before jumping over an oncoming Salvatore Sirigu — goalkeeper for Torino.

Higuain appeared to land awkwardly on his ankle, though, and while he attempted to continue on in the match he was substituted off for Federico Bernardeschi 10 minutes later.

The extent of Higuain’s injury is unknown to this point, however, it comes at a very bad time for Juventus.

The Italian giants are heavily involved in the Serie A title race, holding a two-point lead over Napoli at the top of the table.

Additionally, Juve has important fixtures coming up in both the Coppa Italia and Champions League against Atalanta and Tottenham, respectively. Higuain and Co. are level at 2-2 with Spurs heading into their UCL second leg in early March, and Juve will surely need the striker’s presence to have a shot at advancing to the quarterfinals.

Rochdale 2-2 Tottenham: Davies stuns Spurs late

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A valiant effort from a League One side has rewarded the minnows with a replay set to be played at Wembley Stadium.

Tottenham Hotspur looked on its way towards the FA Cup sixth round on Sunday, but a late finish by Steven Davies gave Rochdale a 2-2 draw with the Premier League club at the Spotland Stadium.

[ MORE: Willian stars as Chelsea routs Hull in FA Cup ]

Harry Kane — who scored his 34th goal on the season in all competitions — converted from the penalty spot in the 88th minute, however, Davies had the final say deep into stoppage time to send the two sides towards a replay.

Ian Henderson’s finish in the 45th minute gave Rochdale a gift at the conclusion of the first stanza, after the hosts capitalized on a Spurs giveaway near midfield.

Meanwhile, Tottenham managed to level the match at 1-1 on the hour mark when Lucas Moura calmly slotted his close-range shot past goalkeeper Josh Lillis after a timely through ball from Moussa Sissoko picked out the former PSG man.

The visitors began pressing on in the second half, with Mauricio Pochettino‘s side having trailed at the halftime break.

The two sides will now meet on either Feb. 27 or 28 in the reverse fixture to decide which team advances. The winner will either meet Sheffield Wednesday or Swansea City in the quarterfinals.

Scholes: Pogba didn’t earn Man United spot in 2012 before Juve stint

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Paul Pogba‘s young career has been bright, but a former Manchester United legend suggests that there was a time where the Frenchman struggled to find his way at Old Trafford.

[ MORE: Man United draws Brighton, Chelsea gets Leicester in FA Cup quarters

The 24-year-old Pogba is now in his second stint with the Red Devils, after spending four seasons in Italy with giants Juventus.

Former United midfielder Paul Scholes says though that back in 2012 — prior to Pogba’s move to Juve — that the physical player wasn’t pleased with the fact that he wasn’t getting regular minutes with the first team.

“Ferguson wanted me initially to come back and coach the reserve team with Warren Joyce,” he told BT Sport. “I said in September I’d come back. So I started helping Joycey, and I was training with the reserves.

“I was training every day with the likes of Pogba, Lingard, all these types of players. They were a really good side and I was really enjoying training. I was getting fit, I felt great, and it got to December time and the team was struggling a bit.

“They had a load of injuries, no central midfield players were fit. They ended up playing Phil Jones and Fabio da Silva in central midfield in a game against Blackburn at Old Trafford.

“Funnily enough that was the end of Pogba, because he thought he should have been playing instead of them. But he wasn’t doing well enough.”

Scholes, who had retired briefly in 2011, came back after just six months for the Red Devils, and ended up playing a year-and-a-half more following the decision to end his playing career.

It is widely believed that Pogba’s decision to head to Juventus was largely due to the impact of Scholes in the United squad.

Video: Rochdale puts Tottenham on upset alert at the half

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It’s been a tremendous season for Ian Henderson, particularly in the FA Cup, and now he and his side are one half away from upsetting one of the Premier League giants.

Henderson’s finish on the brink of halftime has put League One side Rochdale up 1-0 against Tottenham Hotspur, as the minnows aim to become the first non-PL side to advance to the quarterfinals in this season’s tournament.

A sloppy giveaway from Spurs near midfield created the attack for the hosts, and allowed Rochdale to capitalize on one of its few attacks during the opening stanza.