José Mourinho surprised by Norwich approach

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In the late Sunday game, Norwich managed to hold Chelsea to a goalless draw at Stamford Bridge. The result leaves Chelsea dependent on upcoming results from Liverpool, who play Crystal Palace on Monday, and Manchester City, who play Aston Villa on Wednesday. Only if both sides drop points will the Blues remain in the race for the Premier League title.

Norwich, who recorded just six shots, three of which were on target, surprised many who watched the match. Despite having one of the league’s worst defenses, with 60 goals conceded, the Canaries focused on making sure Chelsea couldn’t break through – which leaves Norwich still in trouble, sitting two points behind Sunderland, who have a game in hand.

(READ MORE: CHELSEA 0-0 NORWICH CITY)

The approach employed by Neil Adams surprised José Mourinho as well. The Chelsea boss spoke about it after the match:

It was quite a day. We had one team that needed three points to have a chance to survive – but didn’t play to win and a team that needed a point to finish third and guarantee a Champions League group stage place that played to win. Norwich’s gameplan surprised me. We were waiting for a crazy game, especially in the second half, where they would gamble everything, but it didn’t happen. But we don’t have a right to criticise.

Mourinho, perhaps unsurprisingly, felt the Blues should have taken all three points. He referenced a better second half, after a double substitution introduced David Luiz and Eden Hazard: “During the first 45 minutes, our players were very slow. There was no intensity. In the second half it was different – the players wanted it much much more.David gave us more intensity as did Eden Hazard. We should have won, but football is about goals.”

Unfortunately for Chelsea, “should have won” doesn’t give them a boost in the title race. Barring major mistakes from Liverpool and Manchester City, the Blues will be left ruing the way that Norwich were able to catch them off guard at home.

Ronaldo explains his new chin hair at World Cup

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Now that Cristiano Ronaldo has taken to sporting a reasonable hairstyle atop his head, people are talking about the foliage on his face.

[ RECAP: Morocco 0-1 Portugal ]

Ronaldo, 33, drew speculation when he stroked his chin following a goal in his hat trick performance against Spain in the World Cup opener. Some said he was demonstrating defiance against Lionel Messi posing with a goat (Greatest Of All Time) in a recent photograph.

Ronaldo scored again on Wednesday, and there was seemingly little doubt his goatee was a wink to the speculators. But what did it mean, CR7? From ESPN:

“This goatee? It’s a joke I had with [Ricardo] Quaresma. “We were in the sauna [before Friday’s match against Spain] and I started to shave and I left the goatee. I said if I score tomorrow, I would leave it for the rest of the tournament. And it gave me luck.

“I scored in that game, I scored in this one, so it stays.”

Personally, I like to imagine Ronaldo starting to get as wild with his facial hair as he did his head hair.

Perhaps a beatnik style, or something like Serj Tankian from System of a Down. Get nuts, C-Ron.

Report: Southampton could sell Tadic to Ajax for $20m

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Could Southampton be selling one of its most creative forces?

Dusan Tadic, 29, is in the middle of a World Cup run with dark horse Serbia, but the Saints star is also being talked about as a purchase item for Ajax.

[ MORE: Serbia tops Costa Rica ]

The celebrated Eredivisie has traditionally been a selling club for the Premier League, but could be a $20 million buy for Ajax.

The report says director of players Marc Overmars and financial director Jeroen Slop have flown to Southampton to work out a deal.

Tadic starred for Dutch sides Groningen and Twente between 2010-14 before moving to St. Mary’s for a reported $12 million.

He’s scored 24 goals with 35 assists in 162 appearances for Saints, 21 and 30 of which came in the Premier League.

Toronto locks down USMNT backstop Bono with extension

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Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono is going to stay Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono.

[ RECAP: Morocco 0-1 Portugal ]

The newly-capped USMNT backstop, 24, has been attracting interest from abroad since breaking past Clint Irwin to win the TFC job and guiding the club to multiple MLS Cup Finals.

Now general manager Tim Bezbatchenko has locked down his young goalkeeper to an undisclosed contract extension. From TorontoFC.com:

“Alex was a big part of our success last season. He set club records for wins and clean sheets and was a critical piece of our championship team,” said Toronto FC Sr. Vice-President, Soccer Operations & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Since joining the club as a first round pick in 2015, Alex’s ability to make key saves in big moments has been critical to our success.”

The Syracuse-born product of Syracuse University has made 64 appearances for the Reds.

WATCH: World Cup, Day 8 — Argentina on the edge; France aims for berth

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France, Denmark, and Croatia can clinch knockout round berths on Thursday in Russia, the last nation also holding the opportunity to help deprive the World Cup of an extended Lionel Messi run.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Messi’s Argentina drew Iceland in its opener, the megastar infamously missing a penalty, and will look to beat a Croatian side that looked quite good in dispatching Nigeria.

That’s the final match of the day, which begins with Denmark facing Australia and continues with a tasty match-up between France and Peru.

Below is Thursday’s schedule in full.

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


2018 World Cup schedule – Wednesday, June 20

Group C
Denmark vs. Australia: Samara, 8 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE
France vs. Peru: Yekaterinburg, 11 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE

Group D
Argentina vs. Croatia: Nizhny Novgorod, 2 p.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE