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Wembley Stadium to host more games in Euro 2020

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An additional four games at the 2020 European Championships will take place in the North London suburb of Wembley.

With delays to the construction of a proposed stadium in the Belgian city of Brussels, UEFA has made the decision to move the group-stage matches that were originally set for Belgium to Wembley Stadium, as well as a Round-of-16 matchup. Wembley Stadium was already set to host the semifinals and finals of the tournament.

“Due to the Eurostadium project’s failure to meet the conditions imposed by the UEFA Executive Committee during its meeting of 20th September 2017, the four matches initially scheduled to be held in Brussels will now be allocated to Wembley Stadium, London following a vote by the committee,” UEFA wrote in a statement on their website.

The decision is a blow to the Wales FA and Swedish FA, which had lobbied UEFA to take Belgium’s place as a group-stage host nation.

The UEFA executive committee did make a number of other decisions, including deciding which groups for Euro 2020 would be located in which cities, as well as deciding that the Stadio Olympico in Rome, Italy will host the first match.

Here’s where the group-stage matches will be played.

Group A: Rome and Baku
Group B: Saint Petersburg and Copenhagen
Group C: Amsterdam and Bucharest
Group D: London and Glasgow
Group E: Bilbao and Dublin
Group F: Munich and Budapest

UEFA also had an interesting note, stating that each qualified host country will play a minimum of two matches at home in the group-stage.

That likely means that if England qualifies for Euro 2020, they’d be placed into Group D and would have at least two games in London. Same for Italy, Russia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, the Republic of Ireland, and the other host nations in the groups where their nation is hosting matches.

VIDEO: Alonso’s artful free kick a fitting goal for Chelsea at Wembley

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Marcos Alonso‘s left-footed free kick goal is a thing of beauty.

It’ll go down as the Premier League’s first goal at Wembley Stadium, and deservedly so.

[ STREAM: Spurs-Chelsea on NBCSN ]

Alonso spun his shot over the wall with vigor, missing a leaping Toby Alderweireld‘s head by inches before dipping hard to beat a flying Hugo Lloris.

The goal gave Chelsea a 1-0 lead over hosts Tottenham Hotspur, and came after Alvaro Morata missed the match’s first best chance with a free header wide of goal.

It’s Alonso’s seventh goal for Chelsea, and could spur them away from the gloom and doom of last week’s season-opening loss to Burnley.

Spurs and the Wembley factor

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Tottenham Hotspur faces an obstacle this season in its pursuit of an elusive Premier League title, and that’s home matches at Wembley Stadium.

Or do they?

Yes, it would be better for the North London club to play at White Hart Lane or to have their new home ready one year early, but there’s an argument to be made that Spurs’ Wembley stumbles are a whole bunch of nothing.

[ MORE: Real 2-1 Man Utd | Mourinho reacts ]

Since 2007, Spurs have won just two of nine matches at Wembley, losing six and drawing versus Gent in the 2017 Europa League.

But digging a little deeper begs forgiveness for Mauricio Pochettino‘s men. Consider:

— Only one of those six losses came against a team that would be considered clearly inferior to Spurs (Portsmouth in the 2010 FA Cup semifinal).

— The other losses to English clubs were in FA Cup or League Cup semis or finals, two coming to Chelsea and one to Manchester United. Spurs beat Chelsea in the 2008 League Cup Final.

— Spurs went 1W-1D-1L in a decent UEFA Champions League group with Monaco, Bayer Leverkusen, and CSKA Moscow last season. It cannot be argued that the results weren’t disappointing, but Monaco ran deep into the tournament and Spurs outshot and outplayed Bayer in a 1-0 loss (Spurs beat CSKA).

So perhaps this is about expectations more than performance. If observers expected Spurs to rejoin the Champions League for the first time since 2010-11 and run riot, then yes the Wembley results were dismal (and no one’s arguing against the brutal draw against Gent in the UEL).

But if the UCL is a process, which it surely seems to be, then maybe Wembley isn’t a huge concern (at least in the sense that it’s competition was good more often than not).

We’ll posit that Wembley is more of a concern for the Premier League, where — especially given expectations — we saw West Ham United stumble big time at a new home last season.

But that is quickly redeemed by Spurs’ North London rivals at Arsenal. The Gunners went 14W-3D-2L in their emotional final season at Highbury, and went 12W-6D-1L to open life at the Emirates Stadium.

That’s three fewer points for Arsenal, who finished fourth both seasons. Spurs went a remarkable 17W-2D during an unbeaten 2016-17 at White Hart Lane, only drawing Liverpool and Leicester en route to winning its last 14 home PL fixtures last season.

That’s really, really good, and certainly a cause for concern. But it’s also worth noting that a step back should probably be expected regardless of venue. And perhaps, really, the concern should be that Spurs’ disappointing road record is what blew a massive opportunity presented by its near blemish-free home run last season.

In terms of past champions, Chelsea lost a pair of home PL matches in its title run last season, and Leicester fell once while drawing six in its miracle run of 2015-16. The Blues went 15W-4D at home to win the 2014-15 championship.

Being good at home is important, obviously, and that’s why the uncertainty of a new venue for home PL matches strikes fear into some Spurs’ fans hearts. But should it? Have you say in the poll below:

Spurs confirm Wembley as 2017-18 home

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May 14 will indeed be the last time Tottenham Hotspur takes the field at White Hart Lane.

Club chairman Daniel Levy has announced that Spurs will play all of its 2017-18 home matches at Wembley Stadium, and that WHL will be demolished in the offseason.

Spurs have a new venue under construction next door to WHL, calling the venue “the heart” of regeneration plans in the region. From TottenhamHotspur.com:

“This marks a momentous day in our Club’s history as it is the day we formally agreed the demolition of our beloved White Hart Lane.

“The Lane means a huge amount to each and every one of us and we needed to gain greater certainty on the delivery of the new stadium before we made the final decision to commence with the decommissioning of our iconic, historic home for some 118 years.

‘We shall ensure that we give the Lane a fitting farewell when we play our last match here on May 14.”

West Ham’s final match at Upton Park was a memorable one last season, thanks not just to the off-field but the on-field as well. The Irons came back to beat Manchester United 3-2 on a Winston Reid goal.

With Manchester United coincidentally (?) serving as the visitor on May 14, with Top Four if not title implications likely still in play, sign us up for a comfortable seat in front of TV.

WATCH: Nemanja Matic pummels net with distance goal

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Bar-down.

Nemanja Matic insured Chelsea’s FA Cup semifinal lead by hitting a ball so hard it barely rotated.

The thumping came from distance, as Chelsea built the first two-goal lead of a thrilling tie with London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

[ MORE: Ibrahimovic, Rojo out for season ]

Willian gave Chelsea 1-0 and 2-1 leads with a free kick and penalty kick, as Harry Kane and Dele Alli nabbed equalizers for Spurs.

Eden Hazard subbed into the game and buried a good-looking goal of his own before Matic added this one.