Hannover defeated Hamburg 2-0 to move three points clear at the top of the Bundesliga table, a wonderful start to the season for the newly promoted club. The table-toppers have conceded just one goal over their first four games, picking up three wins and a draw thus far.
On the other side, Hamburg still remains in the top half of the table, but they sorely missed their starting striker.
American international Bobby Wood was sidelined for the match, reportedly due to a knee injury he suffered on international duty with the USMNT. The 24-year-old scored a critical goal for the U.S. off the bench to earn a point against Honduras, but according to German publication Kicker, he has been struggling with a nagging knee problem suffered with the national team. The report says knee problems are something Wood has been dealing with since preseason.
He played for Hamburg two days after the Honduras match against RB Leipzig, but has not trained since then. It’s unclear how long or serious the injury is.
Wood is a key part of the U.S. attack, with the United States set to take on Panama and Trinidad & Tobago in a pair of critical qualifiers that will decide the country’s World Cup fate. The USMNT has already been forced to deal with a hamstring injury to striker Jordan Morris, and missing Wood as well would further thin the striker ranks.
For Hamburg, Wood is one of four injured strikers, completely exhausting the club’s attacking depth and forcing them to sign free agent Sejad Salihovic.
Don’t look now, but the Clarets have climbed into the Premier League top four.
Burnley found a way Stoke City late on Tuesday, picking up a 1-0 win at the Turf Moor behind Ashley Barnes‘ late finish.
[ MORE: Gremio reaches Club World Cup final, awaits Real Madrid or Al Jazira ]
The Clarets, who have now secured 31 points over their first 17 matches this season, leapfrogged Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham with the victory. However, all three sides will be in action on Wednesday.
Steven Defour nearly put Burnley ahead on 69 minutes, when the front man tested Stoke keeper Jack Butland — who had to make a sprawling save to his right.
While Stoke mustered up several quality chances, it was Johann Berg Gudmundsson’s blast in the first half that nearly found the top left corner.
Next up for Burnley will be a date against Brighton on Saturday, while Stoke travels to Huddersfield the same day.
One half of this year’s FIFA Club World Cup final was decided on Tuesday as Brazilian side Gremio topped Liga MX champions Pachuca.
Second-half substitute Everton proved to be the difference for the Brazilians, with the attacker scoring in extra time to lift Gremio.
[ MORE: LA FC selects Urena, four others in MLS Expansion Draft ]
Pachuca’s chances of completing a comeback were extinguished with 10 minutes remaining in extra time, as Víctor Guzman was sent off upon picking up his second yellow card of the semifinal.
Meanwhile, Japanese side Urawa Red Diamonds captured fifth place in the tournament after narrowly topping Wydad Casablanca, 3-2.
Despite going behind early, Urawa responded almost immediately in the first half, before building its lead to 3-1 at the hour mark.
A late penalty kick from Reda Hajhouj gave Casablanca a glimmer of hope in the dying moments, however, the Moroccan-based club couldn’t find a way to equalize.
Gremio will await either La Liga giants Real Madrid or Al Jazira in the Club World Cup final, which will be played on Saturday. The loser of that match will take on Pachuca in the third-place game.
Below are the scores from Tuesday’s FIFA Club World Cup matches.
Gremio 1-0 Pachuca (after extra time)
Wydad Casablanca 2-3 Urawa Red Diamonds — Fifth-place match
Los Angeles FC selected five players in the MLS Expansion Draft, including Costa Rican national team star Marco Urena.
Whether they’ll make their way to the City of Angels is another story.
The first pick from general manager John Thorrington was goalkeeper Tyler Miller from Seattle Sounders.
[ MORE: Benitez on NUFC struggles ]
Going next was Latif Blessing from Sporting KC, an electric attacker who netted thrice with an assist last season.
Next was Urena from San Jose and the Costa Rican national team, a huge addition, and then Columbus left back Jukka Raitala before closing up the draft with Raheem Edwards from Toronto FC.
LAFC has already announced the signings or acquisitions of Carlos Vela, Walker Zimmerman, Carlos Alvarez, Monday Etim, and Guillermo Vizcarra.
The club will also loan Omar Gaber from Basel and Rodrigo Pacheco from Lanus.
Chelsea visits the John Smith’s Stadium to face Huddersfield Town in one of three Premier League fixtures this chilly Tuesday in December (Watch live at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
The Blues are now 14 points back of Manchester City, and three points clear of fifth place.
Meanwhile there are a pair of matches on NBC Sports Gold: Burnley looks to keep pace with its Top Four ambitions when it hosts struggling Stoke City, while in-form Crystal Palace seeks a home win that would move it out of the drop zone. In its way? Dangerous, attack-minded Watford.
Burnley vs. Stoke City — 2:45 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]
Huddersfield Town vs. Chelsea — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]
Crystal Palace vs. Watford — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]