Newcastle United 1-2 Swansea City: Bony’s brace seals crucial win for Swans (video)

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Swansea City secured a last gasp win over Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Saturday, as a double from Wilfried Bony did the damage in a stunning comeback.

Newcastle took the lead early on when Shola Ameobi slotted home, but right on the stroke of half time Bony headed home a sumptuous cross from the right to send the teams in level. After the break both teams searched to go ahead, but the pivotal moment didn’t arrive until the 91st minute when Cheick Tiote brought down Marvin Emnes for a penalty and Bony stepped up to coolly slot the spot kick home.

The 2-1 win sees Swansea move onto 36 points and all but secure their safety in the race against relegation, while Newcastle suffered a fifth-straight defeat as they remain in ninth.

(Premier League Roundup: Chelsea blow it, Swansea, Spurs and Palace win)

It was an even start at a sunny St. James’ Park, as both sides zipped the ball around but neither carved out clear cut opportunities in the opening stages. Referee Chris Foy was then involved in the thick of things, as a shot from Jonjo Shelvey was blocked by Fabricio Coloccini and the ball ricocheted straight into Foy’s face as he hit the floor. The referee received treatment and eventually saw the funny side of it, as the game continued with Foy getting plenty of ‘banter’ from the 50,000 plus fans inside St. James’.

Swansea pressed for the opener, as Jonathan de Guzman’s near post cross was cleared away by Mike Williamson just before Bony could pounce to shoot. However, the home side then went ahead with their first goal in five PL matches. Target man Ameobi flicked the ball on to find Luuk de Jong, who laid the ball back into Ameobi’s path for the Newcastle veteran to slot home just his second goal in 55 PL matches.

(MORE: Latest Premier League standings)

After early being smashed in the face by the ball, referee Foy had to be replaced after feeling nauseous as fourth official Anthony Taylor took control of the match. Then Newcastle lost both their strikers as Papiss Demba Cisse and de Jong had to leave the pitch through injury. For the rest of the first half Swansea tried to get back level and right on the stroke of half time they did just that. Ben Davies whipped in a delightful cross from the right and Bony rose like a salmon to nod home his 21st goal of the season to make it 1-1 at half time.

It was a subdued start to the second half at St. James’ as both teams felt their way into the second half. Newcastle went close in the 60th minute when Vernon Anita twisted away from his marker and rifled a 30-yard shot just wide of the far post. Newcastle were the better of the two teams and pushed to go ahead throughout the second half.

Yet Swansea went close in the 78th minute win de Guzman curled an effort towards the top corner that went narrowly over and landed on top of the net. In the final 10 minutes the Swans continued to push and Bony was played clean through but just as he tried to get control of the ball, Tim Krul rushed off his line to save Newcastle.

The game-winning moment arrived in stoppage time as substitute Emnes raced clear of Newcastle’s defense and was then brought down by Tiote to win a penalty kick. Bony stepped up to slot home the PK and send the traveling fans from Swansea into raptures, with the Swans holding on to secure a precious three points.

LINEUPS

Newcastle United: Krul; Coloccini, Williamson, Dummett; Anita, Gosling (Armstrong, 81′), Tiote, Gouffran; de Jong (Remy, 40′); Cisse (Debuchy, 21′), Sh Ameobi

Goal: Ameobi (23′)

Swansea City: Vorm, Rangel, Amat, Williams, Davies, Britton, Shelvey, De Guzman, Routledge (Bartley, 94′), Hernandez (Emnes, 81′), Bony

Goals: Bony (45′ & 90′)

Roma’s American owner Palotta banned for three months by UEFA

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AS Roma owner James Pallotta has been punished by UEFA for calling the officiating “an absolute joke” after Roma were bounced by Liverpool in last year’s UEFA Champions League.

UEFA announced on Friday that Pallotta had been given a three-month ban for “improper conduct.” UEFA stated that Pallotta is banned “from carrying out his function during UEFA competition matches in which he would otherwise participate, starting from AS Roma’s first UEFA competition match of the 2018/2019 season. In particular, the official may not be in the technical area or communicate directly or indirectly with the team’s players and/or technical staff during the match and may not enter the dressing room or tunnel before or during the match.”

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Pallotta made headlines around the world for his reactions in Rome, including jumping into one of the city’s many famous fountains after Roma knocked out Barcelona in the Champions League quarterfinals.

However, against Liverpool, Roma’s dream run came to an end, with the Reds winning 7-6 on aggregate in a wild 180 minutes of action. Pallotta, speaking after Roma was knocked out, stated it was “an absolute joke” that UEFA didn’t have video assistant refereeing, which may have helped give Roma a penalty kick on two occasions.

While Pallotta may appeal, this suspension isn’t too serious. It appears that Pallotta can still sit in the owners box and attend UEFA matches, just not be in the technical area or in the tunnel before and during the game.

Messi, Mascherano confronted Argentine coaching staff at World Cup

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After two games at the 2018 World Cup, Argentina was in serious trouble.

With an aging team that lacked world class defenders, the Albiceleste managed just a draw with Iceland while eventual World Cup finalists Croatia reminded Argentina what it used to have in midfield with a dominating 3-0 win.

The defeat put Argentina in a precarious position, needing a win on the final group stage day and some luck to go through into the knockout stage past Nigeria and Iceland. Now, a new book by Argentine journalist Ariel Senosiain could shed some light on what happened between the match against Croatia and Nigeria.

According to Senosian’s digital book, called El Mundial es Historias, Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano ordered a meeting with manager Jorge Sampaoli and his coaching staff, and it did not go down well.

“We don’t get what you say, we don’t trust you anymore and we want to have an opinion,” Messi and Mascherano are reported to have said to Sampaoli, which surprised the veteran manager. When Sampaoli asked the players what they wanted an opinion on, they responded, “everything.”

Messi was reportedly also upset with Sampaoli for the manager asking Messi who he thought should come on as a substitute during the match.

“You asked me 10 times which players you wanted me to see on and which ones I didn’t and I never gave you a name,” Messi reportedly said.

In the days following the defeat to Croatia, many reports emerged out of the Argentina camp that Messi had essentially organized a mutiny, and he was going to select the squad and tactical instructions. The team made the switch from a three-man backline to a more standard 4-4-2, and it delivered some better performances, even though Argentina’s defense was still shambolic, especially in the 4-3 defeat to France.

With 15 members of the 23-man roster over the age of 30 and no head coach, the Argentina National Team is set for a huge upheavel, and there’s not much in terms of youth players who could replace the likes of Mascherano, Banega, Otamendi and of course Messi and Sergio Aguero in the lineup.

These alleged quotes are just the beginning of what should be a messy year for Argentina, as it tries to get itself back on track, renewing its youth development and forming the next generation of Albiceleste stars.

Spurs sign Son to contract extension

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One of the Premier League’s most underrated wingers is getting a well-deserved pay day.

Heung-Min Son has signed a new five-year contract at Tottenham, the club announced Friday. Details of the contract were not disclosed.

Son became the leading goalscorer from Asia in Premier League history last season, with 47 goals in 140 total appearances for Spurs, and he scored 20 goals last season in 55 total games.

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Coming off a somewhat disappointing performance at the World Cup, Son is expected to take part in Tottenham’s U.S. tour in preseason and play in the club’s Premier League opener against Newcastle before taking part in the Asian Games in August.

The Asian Games are of massive importance to Son, as well as his teammates.

In South Korea, players can only defer military service for so long, and if South Korea fails to win the Asian Games, it’s unlikely that Son will be able to see out his contract with Spurs, unless he wants to spend the rest of his life outside of South Korea.

If he’s unable to defer military service, which for Son would likely involve playing for the Army’s soccer team Sangju Sangmu, he’ll have to return to South Korea within the next year or two.

If South Korea wins, he can extend his European stay well into the future. A lot is riding on next month’s tournament in Indonesia.

Cahill open to offers for club football outside Australia

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SYDNEY (AP) Tim Cahill says he hopes to continue playing club football outside Australia despite retiring from national duties with the Socceroos.

The 38-year-old Cahill, who announced his international retirement earlier this week, said Friday he would also be open to collaboration with Football Federation Australia, serving as an “ambassador” to the A-League and beginning a potential career in coaching.

[READ: Report: Conte to sue Chelsea]

The former Everton and New York Red Bulls midfielder became the first Australian to play at four consecutive World Cups when he came off the bench in Australia’s 2-0 defeat to Peru in the group stages in Russia.

Cahill retires as Australia’s leading goal scorer with 50 goals from 107 appearances

“I’ve not really entertained anyone when it comes to football because I’ve been selfish enough to have some serious family time,” said Cahill, who plans to live in the United States.

“To live in America and try and play in the A-League would be impossible,” he said.

Cahill played only sparingly last season during spells with the A-League’s Melbourne City and English Championship side Millwall.