Newcastle United 0-4 Tottenham Hotspur: Magpie misery reaches new low with fourth straight home loss (video)

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Uncharacteristically soft goals allowed by Tim Krul in each half and a gorgeous strike from Nacer Chadli condemned Newcastle to its fourth-straight home defeat as Tottenham Hotspur eased into and out of a 4-0 win at St. James Park on Wednesday afternoon.

Emmanuel Adebayor scored twice and Paulinho added another as Spurs can now see their path to the top of the Premier League table. Chadli’s goal came very late, as Tottenham pulled with seven points of first place Chelsea.

Newcastle opened with a strike force featuring plenty of questions. Could Papiss Cisse find his form alongside an on-loan Luuk de Jong, who hasn’t played much for anyone this year?

The fifth minute saw the game’s first chance, as Paulinho worked down the right side and around Newcastle’s Davide Santon. He cut towards goal before feeding Adebayor, whose low curling shot went wide of the goal.

Spurs controlled possession for a while after that, with an in-tight Paulinho chance forcing Tim Krul to punch out for a corner kick.

Newcastle won a free kick and then a corner in the 12th minute. The Magpies are still sorting out their set plays with Yohan Cabaye off to PSG, but can be encouraged by Santon’s effort that pinged around the box before Spurs cleared.

The visitors struck in the 19th minute, as Nabil Bentaleb shook off Moussa Sissoko before trying a shot on Krul from the left. The keeper should’ve controlled it but instead pushed it into the path of Adebayor, who tapped home the rebound to make it 1-0.

Sammy Ameobi tried to counter immediately, leading to a throw-in. In fact, Ameobi was Newcastle’s threat for most of the half, providing prime opportunities for Yoan Gouffran and Cisse… both missed.

The hosts’ best chance came late, when De Jong laid off a nice ball for Sissoko that the midfielder sent screaming over the frame from just outside the 18. Though the match had its Magpie moments, Spurs unquestionably deserved the lead.

Tottenham doubled its lead in the 53rd minute. Paulinho made a deft backheel touch to Adebayor, whose low shot wasn’t dangerous but Krul couldn’t control off his dive. Mike Williamson stood and watched as Paulinho followed the shot to goal to tap in the loose ball, making it 2-0.

The introduction of Geordie boy Paul Dummett at half injected some life into the match and he lashed wide from the left just before the clock struck 70.

Hatem Ben Arfa also featured, sending a ball in that the Magpies headed over in the 74th minute as Newcastle poured forward.

Krul had been fantastic in the first meeting, but the big saves in this one came courtesy of Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris, who made several nice stops in the final third.

Adebayor limped off after tucking another rebound home to condemn Newcastle to its third straight 3-0 defeat. They’ve appeared a shell of a club since Cabaye’s departure, and one of the Premier League’s rowdiest venue was quiet as a mouse.

Chadli’s first Premier League was an absolute stunner. Staring at goal from outside the edge of the 18, Chadli tore off a curling shot into the top right corner.

LINEUPS

Newcastle: Krul; Debuchy, Williamson, S.Taylor, Santon (Dummett, 46); Gouffran, Sissoko (c), Anita, Sammy Ameobi (Marveaux 71); de Jong (Ben Arfa, 63), Cisse.

Tottenham: Lloris; Walker, Kaboul, Vertonghen, Naughton; Dembele (Townsend 64), Bentaleb, Capoue, Paulinho, Lennon (Chadli, 75); Adebayor (Soldado, 84).

Goals: Adebayor (19, 82), Paulinho (53), Chadli (88)

VIDEO: Portugal lead Iran at HT; Spain 1-1 Morocco

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We’re through the first 45 minutes of Monday’s Group B finales at the 2018 World Cup, and things are happening. A quick rundown…

[ SCENARIOS: Who needs what, to finish where, in final round of group games ]

Andres Iniesta and Sergio Ramos combined to commit a disastrous gaffe at midfield, resulting in a goal for Khalid Boutaib in the 14th minute. At this point, Spain would have finished second, behind Portugal, and headed to the far more difficult side of the knockout bracket.

Five minutes later, it was Iniesta who, with a little help from some slightly lesser geniuses, unlocked the Moroccan defense to set up Isco for an emphatic finish. La Furia Roja moved back to the top of the group, on goals scored.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

In the afternoon’s other game, Portugal and Iran appeared destined for a 0-0 scoreline at halftime, until Ricardo Quaresma unleashed a stunning, outside-of-the-foot curler from outside the box to beat the goalkeeper and put Portugal ahead — both on the day, and in the table. As things currently stand, Portugal would win the group and Spain would finish second.

Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show: Episode 4

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In the fourth episode of Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show, England players have been preparing for their next match in an unusual way, Argentina has a huge meltdown, and more.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ] 

Click play on the video above to watch the fourth episode in full.

Atlanta leads way with six All-Star Fan XI selections

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It may be hard to believe with all the World Cup festivities going on, but the Major League Soccer season is nearly halfway over.

[ MORE: Toronto FC’s 2018 has been far from their cup-winning 2017 ]

And that means it’s almost All-Star time.

The MLS All-Stars will continue their recent tradition of facing a European superpower in August, with Juventus being welcomed to the United States in early August.

But, which players from MLS will we see in action?

Last season’s expansion sweetheart Atlanta United leads the way in the fan voting with six players from the Eastern Conference side voted into the Fan XI, including attackers Miguel Almiron, Ezequiel Barco, Darlington Nagbe and Josef Martinez.

Goalkeeper Brad Guzan and defender/captain Michael Parkhurst also made the team from Atlanta.

In all, only five clubs were represented based on the Fan XI, with the LA Galaxy’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Los Angeles FC’s Carlos Vela and Laurent Ciman, Sporting KC’s Graham Zusi and Portland Timbers star Diego Valeri each rounding out the squad.


Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan (Atlanta United)

Defenders: Michael Parkhurst (Atlanta United), Laurent Ciman (Los Angeles Football Club), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Midfielders: Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United), Ezequiel Barco (Atlanta United), Darlington Nagbe (Atlanta United), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers)

Forwards: Josef Martínez (Atlanta United), Zlatan Ibrahimović (LA Galaxy), Carlos Vela (Los Angeles Football Club – EA SPORTS™ “More Than a Vote” Challenge)

Saudi Arabia steals late win over Egypt in Group A finale

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Saudi Arabia pulled off a late 2-1 win against Egypt on Monday in their Group A finale, as the two nations ended their 2018 World Cup run in the group stage.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

Salem Al Sawsari scored in the fifth minute of second half stoppage time to give the Saudis a late winner in the match, as the attacker struck the post in the dying moments before the ball crossed the line.

The Pharaohs took the lead in the 22nd minute, after a tremendous run from Mohamed Salah and lob over the Saudi Arabia goalkeeper.

Salah has two goals at the World Cup for Egypt, who were already eliminated heading into Monday’s match.

Saudi Arabia was granted a chance to equalize prior to halftime, however, goalkeeper Essam El Hadary brilliantly stopped Hattan Bahebri’s penalty kick in the 41st minute to preserve the Egypt advantage.

El Hadary became the oldest player in World Cup history to appear in a match at the age of 45.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

The Egypt keeper wasn’t as lucky the second time around though, with Salmon Al Faraj converting a penalty kick in the 51st minute.

Saudi Arabia finishes group play in third place on three points, while Egypt goes winless in its three matches.