Premier League Roundup: Man United fall to Stoke, wins for Sunderland, Cardiff, Saints

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A truly mesmeric day of soccer in the Premier League took place on Saturday.

Comeback wins, red cards, penalties, upsets, derby delight and sorrow… we had it all.

Stoke City sealed their first-ever victory over Manchester United in the Premier League, as David Moyes’ men slumped once again. Elsewhere Sunderland sealed a massive 3-0 win away at Newcastle in the Tyne-Wear derby. What a victory.

(MORE: Latest Premier League Standings)

Basement boys Cardiff City and West Ham United to congest things even more in the bottom half of the table, (like, we really needed that) while Southampton and Everton beat Fulham and Aston Villa respectively.

All in all, it was yet another pulsating day of action across the PL.

With the match recaps,, video highlights and brief analysis, here’s your Saturday Roundup from the Barclays Premier League.

Enjoy.

Cardiff City 2-1 Norwich City

The Bluebirds scored twice in three minutes at the start of the second half to turn the game on its head. Debutant Kenwyne Jones bagged the winner, after Craig Bellamy cancelled out Robert Snodgrass’ opener, to give Cardiff a huge three points. While Norwich are sliding towards trouble once again. Have a drink tonight Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, enjoy your first Premier League win as a manager! Skål.

Everton 2-1 Aston Villa

A comeback win that showed real character, as the Toffees overturned a first half deficit against plucky Villa. Leandro Bacuna opened the scoring for Villa but Steve Naismith equalized, before Kevin Mirallas’ sublime free kick grabbed all three points for Roberto Martinez’s side late on. A good way to finish off the week for the Blue half of Merseyside.

Fulham 0-3 Southampton

The Saints ran riot in the second half at Craven Cottage, as Adam Lallana, Jay Rodriguez and Rickie Lambert all scored to pile more misery on Fulham. Will the Cottagers go down? If they keep playing like this it’s almost nailed on, no matter how well they did in the transfer window. As for Southampton, England internationals Lallana Rodriguez and Lambert are a shoe-in for the World Cup squad, right?

Hull City 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur

Hull are a tough team to beat at home, and Tottenham found that out after a debut goal from Shane Long but the Tigers in front. But Spurs dug deep in the second half and Paulinho bagged the North London side a point they deserved to take back down the M1. Both sides were happy with the draw.

Newcastle United 0-3 Sunderland

Derby Day delight for the third time running… this is all getting a bit too easy for Sunderland now, isn’t it? For the second-straight season the Black Cats waltzed into St. James’ Park and delivered a damaging 3-0 defeat to Newcastle, as the Mackems went 2-0 up early on through Fabio Borini and Adam Johnson. In the second half Newcastle tried to pull one back, but a late Jack Colback goal gave Sunderland their third successive league win over Newcastle. The last time they did that? 1923.

Stoke City 2-1 Manchester United

A massive win for Stoke down the bottom, as the league is so tight they started the game off in the relegation zone… then beat United to go 11th in the standings! It was a gritty display from the Potters, who have never beaten United in the Premier League. Two Charlie Adam strikes either side of half time did the business (the second was a real beauty) despite Robin van Persie’s equalizer sandwiched in-between. David Moyes tried to put on a brave face, but that’s eight defeats in the PL this season for the Red Devils.

West Ham 2-0 Swansea City

Two Kevin Nolan goals from two Andy Carroll assists, that’s West Ham alright. The Hammers ground out a typically dogged win at Upton Park, as they eased relegation fears with a robust performance against Swansea. Although their was one downside, as Carroll was sent off for an apparent elbow on Chico Flores. It looked a little harsh. Meanwhile the Swans are in trouble at the wrong end of the table.

Rodgers excuses Maddison’s behavior after England departure

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Leicester City and England midfielder James Maddison made headlines for the wrong reasons after he was pictured last week watching the England match at the Czech Republic from a casino.

Despite the negative attention from Maddison’s decision to watch the game at that venue, he has the backing of his club manager, Brendan Rodgers.

“The kid went away with the international team and took ill while he was away,” Rodgers said, via the Guardian. “He wanted to stay and hopefully be ready for the second game. But the England medical staff – which I can understand, as he had flu and they didn’t want that to spread to his teammates – decided it’s best for him to leave the camp. So he leaves, gets some tablets with our guys at the club, then he feels better.

“He watched the game at home on his own on the Friday and then goes out at half-time – probably he’ll make better decisions in his life but he went to a casino on his own to sit and watch the second half by a poker table. The suggestions are he left England purposelessly and then goes to a casino but that’s totally not the case at all. But his eyes have been opened now to the wider world in terms of what he did. He knows in hindsight he’s made a mistake.”

Considering all that went on during England’s international break, from the poor performance in Prague to the horrible racism endured in Bulgaria, this is a bit of a silly scandal. To be honest, as long as Maddison is taking care of his body and himself, why does it matter if he was at a casino, or a pub, or anywhere?

However, there’s no denying that the optics look bad. Folks didn’t know that he arrived to England camp with the flu, or a flu-like illness at least, and the England medical staff are right to send him away to make sure no one else gets sick. He may have been feeling better by Friday and wanted to get out of the house. I think we’ve all been there after being sick for a few days.

The most important lesson for Maddison is to learn that his actions, out of context, can be misunderstood. In terms of soccer, after Ross Barkley’s performance for England, Maddison will have to prove in his club form that he should still have a place in the England team for the near future. There’s only two more international dates left before the 2020 Euros, so time is running out for Maddison to make an impact to Southgate.

 

Tierney, Lacazette available for Arsenal

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Arsenal are edging closer to finally having a full-strength squad.

Ahead of Monday’s prime-time matchup with Sheffield United, Arsenal manager Unai Emery confirmed that Kieran Tierney was in line to make his Premier League debut, while Alexandre Lacazette was back in full training and should be in the gameday squad.

“Today is Lacazette’s first training back with us,” Emery said in a press conference on Thursday. “He finished it well and he’s feeling well with his injuries. Tomorrow we will be training again and he will be with us. We will decide.

“The most important thing is that first he is training, then secondly it’s whether he can be with us and it depends how he can feel in the next days training with us, whether his ankle is not giving him any more problems.”

This is a huge boost to Arsenal, which has had to rely on some youngsters and have made some lineup changes to accommodate not having Lacazette on the field. Tierney meanwhile could step into a position where there’s already a decent starter, Sead Kolasinac.

Lacazette’s return also couldn’t have come at a better time. In Premier League action, Arsenal’s high-powered offense has been stymied, scoring just two goals in the last two league games. Meanwhile, against weaker defenses in the UEFA Europa League and the Carabao Cup, Arsenal has bagged a total of 12 goals.

The veteran Frenchman has scored two goals in three appearances so far this season, including a big goal just before halftime in the 2-2 draw with Tottenham. However, he suffered a long-term ankle injury in that match that has kept him on the sidelines for more than a month.

“[Tierney is] ready to play,” Emery later said. Now we have two options in that left-back role with Sead Kolasinac and him. We’re going to play a lot of matches after Monday. We will need every player. It depends how he comes into the first training with us, Sead, after his international matches. We now have two players in that position and we can use one on Monday, it depends how they are, one or the other.”

Tierney, the 22-year-old Scottish left back, has made two appearances for the Arsenal first team since recovering from a double hernia operation over the summer. Signed from Celtic for around $32 million, Tierney adds a skill that Kolasinac has struggled with – expert crosser of the ball into the box, where the likes of Lacazette, Nicolas Pepe, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can score when given a decent chance.

USWNT star Rapinoe, boxer Shields win sportswomen of year

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Soccer star Megan Rapinoe and boxer Claressa Shields have been honored as Sportswomen of the Year by the Women’s Sports Foundation.

They won in the team and individual categories, the awards coming at the foundation’s 40th annual Salute to Women in Sports.

Rapinoe led the U.S. to victory at the World Cup in France and earned the FIFA Player of the Year award. Shields is a two-time Olympic gold medalist and middleweight champion.

Sheila Johnson, part-owner of the Washington Wizards, Capitals and recent WNBA champion Mystics, won the Billie Jean King Leadership Award. Marta Vieira da Silva, star of the Brazilian national soccer team, won the Wilma Rudolph Courage Award.

Rapinoe thanked her teammates Wednesday night and lauded Marta, a six-time FIFA Player of the Year, calling the Brazilian the greatest of all time and an “absolute hero in our sport.”

John Burke, president of the Trek Bicycle company, received the inaugural Champion for Equality Award.

MNUFC’s Opara wins MLS Defender of the Year

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For the second time in three seasons, Ike Opara has been named MLS Defender of the Year, this time as the foundational piece of Minnesota United’s much-improved defense.

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Opara becomes just the fourth player to win multiple Defender of the Year awards, joining Carlos Bocanegra (2002, 2003), Robin Fraser (1999, 2004) and Chad Marshall, the only three-time winner (2008, 2009, 2014) in MLS history. Opara won the award going away, nearly doubling the percentage of votes received by second-place Walker Zimmerman.

Defender of the Year Player % Club % Media % Final %
Ike Opara  25.75% 27.27% 44.88% 32.64%
Walker Zimmerman 20.40% 17.17% 12.20% 16.59%
Miles Robinson 19.40% 13.13% 15.75% 16.09%
Maxime Chanot 1.67% 16.16% 4.33% 7.39%
Eddie Segura 4.35% 9.09% 5.91% 6.45%
Aaron Long 2.34% 5.05% 1.97% 3.12%

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This time last year, the 30-year-old was a member of one of the league’s stingiest defensive units as a member of Sporting Kansas City. Following a contract dispute with Sporting, Opara was traded to Minnesota in exchange for $900,000 of targeted allocation money, plus an additional $100,000 after Minnesota qualified for the playoffs for the first time since joining MLS.