Swansea 4-0 Sunderland: Black Cats’ misery continues (video)


Steven Fletcher, just returned from injury, got things started for Sunderland with a strike off a ball from Adam Johnson, but Michel Vorm barely flinched as the shot went wide of his goal. Sunderland then proceeded to retreat back, not getting in another shot until the second half.

Considering the visitors’ reluctance to attack, it was rather surprising that it took more than thirty minutes for Swansea to threaten Sunderland’s goal. But Jonathan De Guzman’s 30 yard free kick went just wide. Minutes later, Keiren Westwood was forced into a save on a shot from Angel Rangel.

Sunderland came out of the dressing room clearly buoyed by Gus Poyet’s halftime talk. Within seconds, Emanuele Giaccherini had worked his way into the area, sending a lovely ball over to Phil Bardsley. But the Sunderland defender somehow managed to screw his shot horribly wide.

Bardsley’s day soon went from bad to worse. Nathan Dyer floated in a corner for Swansea, and Angel Rangel got his head on it. But it was Bardsley, trying to stop the ball from ending up in the back of Westwood’s net, that got the final touch.

Just a minute later, Swansea had their second — and no controversy over who put this one in either. De Guzman needed just one touch off a ball from Wayne Routledge to send in a screamer from 25 yards out. 2-0, and Sunderland were in deep, deep trouble.

It only got worse for the visitors. Craig Gardner, such a hero last time out against Manchester City, sent Leon Britton flying. A clear penalty, judged referee Craig Pawson, and it was Wilfried Bony that stepped up to the spot, putting the ball into the top left corner. Sorry, Sunderland.

The final blow was struck in the 80th minute. Sunderland’s typically awful defending was showcased as Swansea scored again from a corner. It was Chico this time that got on the end of Dyer’s corner, and his header needed no help from Bardsley.

It was a truly dreadful start for Gus Poyet, and it leaves you wondering: will it even be possible for Sunderland to save themselves this season?

Swansea starting XI: Vorm, Rangel, ChicoAmat, Davies (Taylor 51), Britton, de Guzman, Michu, Dyer, Routledge (Pozuelo 81), Bony (Alvaro 75)

Subs: Tremmel, Tiendalli, Canas, Shelvey,

Goals: Bardsley og 57′, de Guzman 58′, Bony 64′, Chico 80′

Sunderland starting XI: Westwood, Celustka, Bardsley, O’Shea, Roberge, Cattermole, Johnson (Borini 61), Larsson, Gardner, Giaccherini (Colback 61), Fletcher (Altidore 82)

Subs: Dossena, Vaughan, Cuellar, Mannone

Watch Live: Arsenal v. Brighton, Sheffield Utd v. Newcastle

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Matchweek 15 of the 2019-20 Premier League season wraps up on Thursday, with two more midweek clashes featuring two mid-table sides, and two more from much nearer to the relegation zone, in action.

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ] 

First up, PL new boys (and 9th-place side) Sheffield United will host 14th-place Newcastle United, who sit just two points outside the relegation zone ahead of kickoff. 45 minutes later, 10th-place Arsenal will host 16th-place Brighton & Hove Albion in Freddie Ljungberg’s first home game as Arsenal interim manager.

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The schedule for Thursday’s two games is below and you can stream each game live by clicking on the links.

2:30 p.m. ET: Sheffield United v. Newcastle United [STREAM]
3:15 p.m. ET: Arsenal v. Brighton & Hove Albion [STREAM]

Marco Silva fired by Everton

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Marco Silva has been fired as manager of Everton, making him the fourth Premier League manager to lose his job in the last 16 days.

[ MORE: Lampard: Pulisic can reach “top level of world football” ]

Silva reported for a regular day’s work at Everton’s training ground on Thursday, a day after suffering a 5-2 defeat to local rivals Liverpool, all while a conference call was expected to take place involving the relevant figures: owner Farhad Moshiri, chairman Bill Kenright, chief executive Denise Barrett-Baxendale and director of football Marcel Brands.

15 games into the 2019-20 PL season, the Toffees currently sit 18th in the league table with less than a point per game — relegation territory — on the back of three straight losses and just four wins all season. Silva’s only victory since mid-October came against fellow bottom-four side Southampton nearly a month ago.

[ MORE: Ole gushes over “the best performance Rashford has had under me” ]

It’s not just the number of losses for Everton (now up to nine) on the season thus far, but many of the sides to which they’ve lost (newly promoted Aston Villa, 12th-place Bournemouth, newly promoted Sheffield United, 11th-place Burnley, 16th-place Brighton & Hove Albion and 19th-place Norwich, to name a few) that forced them further and further down the table and made relegation a semi-serious threat, at least for the time being.

Atleti escapes major punishment for fans’ Griezmann threats

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MADRID (AP) Atletico Madrid escaped major punishment Wednesday after its fans made threatening chants against former player Antoine Griezmann during last weekend’s La Liga match against Barcelona.

[ MORE: Lampard: Pulisic can reach “top level of world football” ]

The Spanish league had denounced the club after some fans chanted “Die Griezmann” in Sunday’s match, won by Barcelona at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid.

The Spanish soccer federation said it would fine Atletico $333 because the game was disrupted, but it did not cite the chants against Griezmann. The fine was prompted mainly because fans threw objects — including an umbrella — onto the field.

The Spanish league had denounced the club to the federation’s anti-violence committee, saying about 2,000 fans from Atletico’s “ultras” section made the chants for about 20 seconds before the start of the second half, and again later in the game.

[ MORE: Ole gushes over “the best performance Rashford has had under me” ]

Griezmann left Atletico for Barcelona at the end of last season in a transfer worth more than $132 million.

The France forward was jeered nearly every time he touched the ball at the Metropolitano on Sunday. It was his first match at Atletico’s stadium since leaving the club.

Klopp to take first team to Club World Cup, leave youth for EFL Cup

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Jurgen Klopp has chosen his strongest possible Liverpool squad to take to the Club World Cup later this month, leaving a reserve- and youth-laden team behind to compete in the EFL Cup during the same period.

[ MORE: Lampard: Pulisic can reach “top level of world football” ]

Liverpool will head to Doha, Qatar, for the Club World Cup, where they’ll play their semifinal fixture against one of Monterrey (Mexico), Al-Saad (Qatar) or Hienghene Sport (New Caledonia) on Dec. 18. The day prior, on Dec. 17, the Reds will also play away to Aston Villa in the quarterfinals of the League Cup. With the club’s star-studded first team in Qatar, progression to the semifinals of the League Cup will be down to a team full of teenage prospects.

Only defender Joel Matip and midfielder Fabinho, both of whom are currently injured and unavailable, were left out of the Club World Cup squad.

[ MORE: Ole gushes over “the best performance Rashford has had under me” ]

Players suffering from illness or injury prior to Liverpool’s first Club World Cup game can be replaced in the squad up to 24 hours before kickoff.

Liverpool’s Club World Cup squad

Goalkeepers: Alisson, Adrian, Andy Lonergan

Defenders: Virgil Van Dijk, Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez, Andrew Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold

Midfielders: Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner, Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Neco Williams

Forwards: Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Xherdan Shaqiri, Rhian Brewster, Divock Origi