Shane Long

Sunderland 0-4 Southampton: Italian ace Gabbiadini keeps paying dividends

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  • Black Cats shotless through 65
  • Saints shoot up to 11th
  • Gabbiadini three goals in two

Manolo Gabbiadini scored a first half brace as Southampton got a much-needed blowout win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.

The 4-0 result was the opposite of what Sunderland scooped over Crystal Palace last week, as the Black Cats are last in the Premier League table with 19 points.

Saints entered the day with a chance at falling into the relegation mix, but now have 30 points and sit 11th after a Jason Denayer own goal and Shane Long tally met Gabbiadini’s brace on the scoresheet.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Adnan Januzaj saw a promising sixth minute shot deflected out for a corner, but Saints cleared the danger from Sebastian Larsson.

Southampton found its footing as the half wore on, and Gabbiadini was awarded his second goal when Nathan Redmond’s cross deflected home off his arm.

The second was not controversial, as Gabbiadini beat Vito Mannone with a classy finish after taking care of Jason Denayer with quickness.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

It took more than an hour for Sunderland to put a shot on target, when Didier Ndong hit a shot directly to Fraser Forster.

Denayer then turned a goal into his own net before Long nabbed a late insurance marker to make it 4-0.

FA Cup slate set as Liverpool, Newcastle, Saints win

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The field is set for the fourth round of the FA Cup, as Newcastle United, Liverpool, and Southampton joined 29 other teams in the fourth round.

Newcastle United 3-1 Birmingham City

Matt Ritchie scored twice and Yoan Gouffran also scored as the Magpies clinched a trip to third-tier side Oxford United. David Cotterill scored in the 71st minute to provide an interesting finish, but Newcastle weathered the storm.

USMNT defender DeAndre Yedlin played 75 minutes for Newcastle before coming off for Isaac Hayden. Jonjo Shelvey had two assists in his return from suspension.

[ MORE: Depay off to Lyon ]

Plymouth Argyle 0-1 Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp chose another youth-heavy lineup, but a pair of Premier League vets got the job done for the winner. Philippe Coutinho assisted Lucas Leiva‘s 18th mintue goal to give the Reds a home date with Wolverhampton.

Divock Origi had a late penalty saved by Luke McCormick, but it didn’t come back to haunt the Reds.

Southampton 1-0 Norwich City

Saints got a much-needed albeit ugly win when Shane Long won a tussle in the box to score a stoppage time winner. Southampton will host Arsenal in the fourth round.

Full schedule

January 27
Derby County vs. Leicester City

January 28
Liverpool vs. Wolverhampton
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Wycombe Wanderers
Oxford United vs. Newcastle United
Lincoln City vs. Brighton & Hove Albion
Chelsea vs. Brentford
Rochdale vs. Huddersfield Town
Burnley vs. Bristol City
Blackburn vs. Blackpool
Middlesbrough vs. Accrington Stanley
Crystal Palace vs. Manchester City
Southampton vs. Arsenal
Millwall vs. Watford
Fulham vs. Hull City
Sutton United vs. Leeds United

January 29
Manchester United vs. Wigan Athletic

France 2-1 Ireland: Griezmann spoils upset bid with quick-fire double

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The Republic of Ireland put forth a valiant effort, protecting a surprising 1-goal lead for an hour against a sputtering French side, but ultimately the hosts advanced thanks to a pair of goals from Antoine Griezmann in a three-minute span

The game got off to a stunning start when Paul Pogba tripped Shane Long in the box despite attempts to pull back from the challenge, and the referee pointed to the spot just 62 seconds into the game. Robbie Brady, the hero of the Italy win, buried the penalty in off the post.

With an early deficit, France flooded forward. Pogba looked to atone immediately, with an eighth-minute cross to the head of Antoine Griezmann, who headed just over with a good chance. Griezmann had another opportunity in the 18th minute, flicking on a Payet free-kick with his head, but it was right at Darren Randolph.

As France pressed forward, Ireland began a physical approach, turning the game into a midfield slugfest. Seamus Coleman and Jeff Hendrick found themselves with first-half bookings, along with N'Golo Kante and Adil Rami for France.

Following halftime, there were plenty of changes for Didier Deschamps to consider, and he settled on a swap of Kingsley Coman for Kante at the break. It was Ireland with the first chance of the second half, with James McClain sending in a low cross that forced Hugo Lloris into a full-stretch dive to push it away with Long lurking.

France would finally break through with the inevitable goal on 58 minutes, with a heavy push leading to Griezmann heading in from a Bacary Sagna cross. The winner came just three minutes later, as Olivier Giroud headed to a wide-open Griezmann, who passed it into the back of the net for a 2-1 lead.

The wheels came off minutes later, as a French break saw Giroud feed Griezmann clear 0n goal. Shane Duffy brought the French star down, and was shown a red card for the last-man foul. The contact was minimal and probably oversold by Griezman, but there was enough for the referee to send off Duffy. The foul was just outside the top of the box, meaning the French were not awarded a penalty.

The French controlled the game from that point on, cruising to the finish line. The hosts advance to the quarterfinals, where they will take on the winner between England and Iceland.

Saturday transfer rumor roundup: Morata to Arsenal, Pelle to Juve

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After Southampton scooped up Charlie Austin from QPR on a shockingly low $6.5 million fee which begs oh-so-many questions, what else could be cooking this active January window?

Let’s start off with a weird one that could get some backing because of the Austin move. The Sun is a wild ride for gossip, but claims that Liverpool could be looking to take Shane Long from Southampton. To take a joke from The Football Ramble, is Liverpool’s only English scout stationed at St. Mary’s and unwilling to travel?

[ MORE: Angry Martinez slams “diabolic” refereeing in Chelsea draw ]

Saints could also sell Graziano Pelle, who won’t be talking new contract until this summer and is wanted by Juventus according to The Daily Echo. Ronald Koeman has said Southampton won’t sell anyone in January, but could Saints be tempted to cash-in given Pelle’s age (30)?

The Reds, however, are also linked with a younger and perhaps more intriguing striker in Athletic Bilbao striker Inaki Williams. The Guardian says Williams is also wanted by ban-facing Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, with the Telegraph throwing Arsenal in the mix. The price tag looks to be $22 million for the 21-year-old Spaniard with 10 goals across all competitions this season.

Newcastle United and West Ham are looking towards a Leeds United back despite Everton already agreeing a $5 million fee for Sam Byram. The 22-year-old is out-of-contract this summer, and has 130 Championship appearances despite his young age. Byram can also function as a right winger.

Italian outlet Tuttomercado says Arsenal might be ready to splash the cash needed to pry Alvaro Morata from Juventus. Morata is well-liked in Italy and on a two-year loan to Juve from Real Madrid, but the latter’s looming transfer ban could change things. What does Arsenal have to do with this? You’ll have to ask Tuttomercado.

Southampton 4-0 Arsenal: Gunners blown away; title race murky as ever

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Remember Monday, just five days ago, when Arsenal beat Manchester City and we thought, wrongly once again, that the Premier League title race was beginning make a bit more sense?

[ MORE: 3 things we learned

Here’s the thing about that: forget all of it. Southampton’s 4-0 hammering of the Gunners at St. Mary’s Stadium on Boxing Day puts everything right back where we started — Leicester City top, Arsenal two points back and Man City a point behind them — just a week ago.

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Southampton opened the scoring was opened with one of the goals of the season (WATCH HERE), scored by backup right back Cuco Martina. The Dutch defender unleashed a wicked, outside-of-the-right-foot strike on a bouncing ball more than 25 yards from goal. It swerved through traffic and Petr Cech could do nothing as Saints took the lead on 19 minutes.

Arsenal’s best chance to equalize in the first half came in the 39th minute, when Theo Walcott sent a header needlessly wide of the near post without a single defender within three yards of him. The ball into the box came from a corner kick, but Walcott altogether failed to put his effort on target.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

It was very nearly 2-0 in the 43rd minute, when Shane Long raced past Per Mertesacker are the Arsenal defense, and found himself one on one with Cech. The Irish striker went for the fancy chip over top of the Czech ‘keeper, but could only watch helplessly as the ball floated two or three goals’ height into the air and over the crossbar.

Not long after the halftime restart, Saints thought they had doubled their lead when Virgil Van Dijk headed the ball past Cech. The Dutch defender was (correctly) ruled to have been in an offside position when the free kick was taken, thus the score remained 1-0.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

That scoreline lasted just five more minutes, though, as Sadio Mane set up Long for a simple finish at the back post to give Saints a much-needed two-goal lead on 55 minutes. Mane burst down the right wing, played the ball through Mertesacker’s legs found Long all by his lonesome at the far post, where a simple tap-in past an outstretched Cech made it 2-0 in favor of the home side.

Jose Fonte made it 3-0 to Southampton in the 69th minute, when the Saints captain headed home Ryan Bertrand‘s in-swinging corner kick.

It was long who next went inches from making the score 4-0 in the 89th minute. The Irishman once again raced past Mertesacker, but his shot found only the front side of the far post after slipping by the onrushing Cech.

Long eventually did make it 4-0, on 91 minutes. Dusan Tadic played him through between the center backs and, from a similar angle to his previous chance, Long slotted the ball between the legs of Cech for a famous and emphatic South Coast triumph.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

With the defeat, Arsenal miss out on an opportunity to return to the Premier League summit, instead remaining two points behind Leicester. Southampton, on the other hand, remain 12th in the league table, still two points behind Stoke City for 11th, but also just three points back of Liverpool in 7th.