Tom Ince

PL roundup: Race for 2nd gets tight; Swans’ sad song

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Get caught up on all eight of the Premier League’s Boxing Day fixtures…

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Liverpool 5-0 Swansea CityFULL RECAP

No team in the PL (this side of Manchester City’s rabid pursuit of an unbeaten 38-game season) routinely overwhelms and engulfs opponents so casually as Liverpool. They did it to Arsenal last Friday (before giving it all back in five minutes’ time), just as they did to the Gunners back in August, just as they did it to a hopeless, destined-for-relegation (20th place, five points adrift of safety) Swansea side on Tuesday. Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino (twice), Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain bagged the goals and extended the Reds’ unbeaten run to 11 PL games (seven wins). More importantly, due to another result in the northwest of England, Jurgen Klopp‘s side is now just five points back of second-place Manchester United. The gap between second and sixth is now just nine points, and would shrink to six if Arsenal beat Crystal Palace on Thursday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com).

Tottenham Hotspur 5-2 SouthamptonFULL RECAP

Harry Kane‘s calendar year of 2017, following Tuesday’s hat trick:

  • 39 PL goals (in 36 games) — top PL scorer in a calendar year
  • 8 hat tricks (all competitions)
  • 6 PL hat tricks — five more than any other player
  • 1st player since David Villa (2009) to score more goals than Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in a calendar year

For those keeping track at home, he’s now just seven short of the century mark in the PL — his stated goal for the 2017-18 season — and the ETA isn’t moving forward in weeks anymore, but months instead.

Chelsea 2-0 Brighton & Hove AlbionFULL RECAP

Somehow, Chelsea appear to be the side to which no one is paying much attention right now — with the headlines being dominated Man United’s failed challenge to Man City, and the three-way battle for fourth, it would appear being comfortably the third- (coming for second-)best team in the PL this season is a bit of a non-story for some. Alas, Antonio Conte‘s side is cruising right along and moved to four games unbeaten with a comfortable victory over Brighton on Tuesday. Alvaro Morata and Marcos Alonso got the goals, and the Blues now trail United by just a single point for second.

Manchester United 2-2 BurnleyFULL RECAP

In an attempt to distract the public from his side’s failed PL title bid, Jose Mourinho, who this summer became the first manager in world football history to spend 1 billion pounds on players throughout his managerial career, has taken issue with the way Man City have gone about spending to build arguably the best squad in PL history. This, of course, occurred only moments after United came back from 2-0 down to draw Burnley at Old Trafford. Mourinho remains as predictable as his sides are expensive and stodgy.

Bournemouth 3-3 West Ham UnitedFULL RECAP

Bournemouth and West Ham began the day in 18th and 17th place, respectively, and that’s exactly where the two sides finished after a thrilling 3-3 draw at the Vitality Stadium. The game swing back and forth for the whole of 90 minutes, as the Hammers went 1-0 ahead early on, the Cherries responded and jumped out to a 2-1 lead then fell 3-2 behind, and the points were ultimately split following a controversial, 92nd-minute equalizer.

Watford 2-1 Leicester City — FULL RECAP

Watford’s bid for a top-half finish got a big boost on Tuesday, as Marco Silva‘s 10th-place side beat Claude Puel‘s 8th-place Leicester City at Vicarage Road and snapped a four-game losing skid that saw the Hornets drop from top-six contention down to the double-digit places. Leicester went ahead through Riyad Mahrez in the 37th minute, but Molla Wague equalized just before halftime and Kasper Schmeichel scored an own goal in the 65th. When you’ve lost four in a row, you’ll take a victory any way you can get it.

Huddersfield Town 1-1 Stoke City — FULL RECAP

Speaking of top-half dreams — no, not Stoke — 11th-place Huddersfield dropped a pair of points against relegation-threatened Stoke. Tom Ince put David Wagner‘s Terriers ahead after just 10 minutes, but Ramadan Sobhi equalized for the Potters right on the hour mark. At this point of the season, both sides will take every point they can get as the march toward 40 continues.

West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Everton — FULL RECAP

After a torrid start to the season, Everton are suddenly seven games unbeaten in the PL (four wins) and miles clear (up to 9th) of the relegation zone. Who says “the Sam Allardyce effect” isn’t real? Speaking of which, that’s back-to-back 0-0 draws for the Toffees — against Chelsea, and now West Brom. 18 games without a win for West Brom.

Huddersfield 1-1 Stoke City: Sobhi snares point

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  • Sobhi scores 2nd PL goal in four days
  • Ince nets first PL goal since Feb. 2014
  • Stoke moves 13th

Ramadan Sobhi‘s equalizer snagged a point for Stoke City against Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium on Tuesday.

Tom Ince scored for Huddersfield Town, which sits 11th with 23 points. That’s three points ahead of 13th place Stoke.

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Ince released his goal-scoring frustration by belting Collin Quaner‘s cut back into the goal, as the Premier League’s leader in shots without a goal saw his fate change early.

Jonas Lossl did his part to keep it 1-0 at the other end, as Town cleared the ball off the line at least two if not three times depending on how you qualify your chances.

A spectacular offering from Steve Mounie almost doubled Town’s advantage after halftime, with his overhead kick heading over the frame.

Town had the better of the chances at the game’s second goal, but Sobhi’s the one who found it. Joe Allen played a ball behind the backs and the Egyptian leveled the score.

Referee Anthony Taylor resisted the urge to call a penalty for Town when Aaron Mooy was taken down by Allen.

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[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

PL AT HALF: Burnley shocking Man Utd; Huddersfield ahead

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The goals haven’t been as free-flowing as they were in a seven-goal Boxing Day kickoff between Tottenham Hotspur and Southampton, but we’ve got some markers around the ground in England, including a pair of eye-opening markers at Old Trafford.

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Manchester United 0-2 Burnley

A lively start for the visitors coupled with poor set piece defending allowed Ashley Barnes to put Burnley ahead at Old Trafford, and United controlled play but had even less to show for it when Steven Defour curled his free kick past a flying David De Gea.

Bournemouth 1-1 West Ham United

James Collins‘ early headed goal has been answered by Dan Gosling playing trash collector in the box as we’re level at the Vitality Stadium.

Watford 1-1 Leicester City

The Riyad Mahrez Renaissance continues, with the Algerian scoring from a terrific Marc Albrighton cross. Molla Wague answered just before halftime for the Hornets.

Huddersfield Town 1-0 Stoke City

Tom Ince has the Terriers ahead, and goalkeeper Jonas Lossl has done a bit to keep them there.

Elsewhere
Chelsea 0-0 Brighton and Hove Albion
West Bromwich Albion 0-0 Everton

Southampton 1-1 Huddersfield: No win in six for Saints

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  • Saints have won just one of their last 10 PL games (D3 L5) and are winless in their last six
  • Southampton haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of their last 10 PL games
  • Huddersfield with 4 points from last 2 away games

Southampton’s winless run stretched to six Premier League games as they drew 1-1 with Huddersfield at St Mary’s on Saturday.

Charlie Austin gave Saints the lead but Laurent Depoitre equalized for the Terriers in a feisty festive clash.

With the point Saints move on to 19 for the season, while Huddersfield have 22 at the midway point of the season.

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Huddersfield started well with Tom Ince pulling the back to Aaron Mooy but the Australian took too much time to get his shot away and Jack Stephens blocked it.

The Terriers kept pouring forward and Christopher Schindler forced Fraser Forster into a fine save as he tipped the ball onto the bar and out.

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Saints finally woke up and they took the lead midway through the first half. Austin stooped in to head home the opener to continue his fine recent form and give the home side the lead. 1-0.

Following the goal there was then a long stoppage in play as Huddersfield goalkeeper Jonas Lossl was caught in the face by Austin’s boot, but referee Lee Probert decided to take no further action. Lossl denied Dusan Tadic before the break as Saints were worthy of their lead.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

In the second half Saints looked dangerous on the break with Nathan Redmond rushing clear but Austin fired wide, squandering a great chance.

Southampton were made to pay for that miss as Tommy Smith crossed from the right and Depoitre headed home after completely losing his marker. Terrible defending by Saints but the Terriers weren’t complaining. 1-1.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Huddersfield looked the most likely to grab the winner as Smith’s cross found Joe Lolley who then played in Scott Malone but his shot was saved by Forster.

Maya Yoshida saw a header hit the post, rebound of Lossl but fail to go in as the home side couldn’t find a winner.

Austin limped off with a hamstring injury late on to compound Saints’ misery as Pellegrino’s men now travel to Tottenham and Manchester United for their next two games.

Huddersfield 2-0 Brighton: Vital win for Terriers

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  • Huddersfield have won 14 of their 18 PL points at home
  • Brighton without a win in five
  • Mounie scores first goals since double on opening day

Huddersfield Town beat Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday in the battle of the newly-promoted sides.

The Terriers were 2-0 up at half time with Steve Mounie bagging a brace against a struggling Seagulls who barely threatened throughout.

With the win in front of their raucous fans, Huddersfield climb to 11th place on 18 points and move above Brighton in the table.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Huddersfield started well with Steve Mounie drilling in a low effort from outside the box which Mat Ryan saved well.

The Terriers took the lead after 13 minutes with a corner whipped in from the right by Chris Loewe, Christopher Schindler flicked it on and Mounie chested the ball home to put Huddersfield 1-0 up.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Brighton looked dangerous on the break but rarely threatened Jonas Lossl as Huddersfield always looked more likely to double their lead. They made it 2-0 just before half time and it was that man Mounie again.

A corner was half cleared by Brighton and Huddersfield whipped the ball into the box with Mounie heading towards goal and the ball somehow squirming past Ryan. The Brighton goalkeeper will not want to see that moment again.

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Huddersfield continued to dominate the game and should have extended their lead further in the second half.

Tommy Smith whipped in a lovely cross which Tom Ince met but Ryan saved well and soon after Mounie drilled over from a good position.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Smith went close himself as he curled an effort wide with Ryan beat, while Brighton never looked like getting back into the game as Ince smashed another effort over the bar.