West Brom 1-2 Stoke City: Charlie Adam winner gives Stoke best-ever finish (video)

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Charlie Adam produced a goal out of nothing and Stoke City combined a win with a Newcastle loss to jump to ninth place on the final day, marking their best-ever Premier League finish.

The substitute weaved his way through a lackadaisical West Brom defense all by himself and gave Mark Hughes a fitting finish to a surprisingly successful season.

West Brom were incredibly close early on, hitting the bar with a header off a corner in just the second minute.  The ball bounced straight down but goalline technology showed the ball did not fully cross the line.

source:
Stoke finish the season in ninth as the Potters prevailed.

That was all the Baggies would have for a while, as Stoke brought their quality wing play to the Hawthorns and it began to go to work.

The Potters would eventually benefit from putting the touchline under pressure, as Marko Arnautovic powered down the left-hand side and crossed into the box, but his cross never found its mark. Instead, it nicked off Gareth McAuley’s heel and snuck into the bottom corner for an own-goal and Stoke’s lead.

West Brom had a few half chances, but the goal energized the visitors and things looked bleak for the Baggies in their last match of the season.

Stoke finished out the half in comfortable fashion, with the home attack offering little into the box and the visitors enjoying plenty of dangerous possession.

In the second half, things were the same for West Brom, finding themselves helpless in the final third and Stoke looking much more incisive.  Despite this, the Baggies would find an equalizer.

In their first real bit of quality, Graham Dorrans had options and found Craig Dawson, whose cross was passed up by Morgan Amalfitano before Stephane Sessegnon crashed it home.

With the game slowing down as the minutes ticked on, Stoke City searched for their winner and waited until the 86th minute before it came.  Substitute Charlie Adam received a ball from behind the halfway line and worked his way past four sleeping defenders to slot home the winner for Stoke.

LINEUPS:

West Brom – Foster; Dawson (O’Neil 83′), McAuley, Olsson, Brunt; Dorrans, Mulumbu (Vydra 90′), Morrison, Amalfitano (Anichebe 63′), Sessegnon; Berahino.

Goals – Sessegnon 56′

Stoke City – Sorensen; Muniesa, Shawcross, Wilson, Cameron; Arnautovic (Etherington 90′), Whelan, Nzonzi, Odemwingie (Crouch 77′); Ireland, Walters (Adam 81).

Goals – McAuley (og) 22′, Adam 86′

La Liga roundup: Atletico Madrid win first opener in four years

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Spain’s top flight is two days into a new season, and here’s a roundup of all of Sunday’s action.

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Atletico Madrid 1-0 Getafe

It wasn’t done in aesthetically pleasing fashion, but Atletico Madrid won their first opening season game in four years.

In fact, the first half was rough with both Atletico and Getafe loosing players to straight red cards. Getafe’s Jorge Molina saw red for a studs-up challenge in the 38th minute, while Renan Lodi was asked to leave the field in his debut for Los Colchoneros. 

Summer signing Alvaro Morata proved to be the difference for Atletico, however. Assisted by former Tottenham fullback Kieran Trippier, the team’s academy product scored early on in the 23rd minute – the goal made Atletico one of eight clubs to start the season with three points.

$140 million signing Joao Felix also made his La Liga debut, and impressed the home crowd with a dazzling run in the second half that ended drawing a penalty for Atletico. Morata missed.

Not the smoothest of games for Diego Simeone’s side, but like Real Madrid, they already have an edge on Barcelona.

Espanyol 0-2 Sevilla 

Julen Lopetegui can finally breathe (and coach) in peace.

Following a series of unfortunate events with the Spanish national team and Real Madrid, Lopetegui and Sevilla started their new era in a winning way.

Sergio Reguilon got things started for the visiting side with a tap in inside the six-yard box. And in the final minutes, no stranger to stepping up for Sevilla, Nolito slotted one past Diego Lopez.

With only two shots on frame to speak for them, Espanyol was one, two steps behind Los Hispalenses, who look for another top-six finish in Spain’s top-flight league.

Sevilla’s young quest for that continues as they travel to Granada. Meanwhile, Espanyol have no time to waist with a Europa League play-off bout against Ukrainian side Zorya lined up midweek.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Real Betis 1-2 Real Valladolid

Alaves 1-0 Levante

Report: Edinson Cavani set to join Inter Miami next summer

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Edinson Cavani is reportedly set to make a big splash in Florida.

According to Uruguayan journalist Alvaro Izquierdo, Cavani, 32, is set to join David Beckham’s Inter Miami next summer. The club will make their MLS debut next season.

The specifics of the supposed move are not know, but per the report from Izquierdo, Cavani will join Miami on a free transfer after his contract with PSG expires in June. Since joining in 2013, El Matador has been irreplaceable for the French giants, scoring over 160 goals and becoming the club’s all-time leading goalscorer. This season, Cavani is off to a perfect start -scoring in the first two games of the Ligue 1 season.

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The striker is one of the first superstars linked to Miami, but the general vibe given off by owners Jorge Mas and Beckham is that the club will look to spend big – similar to Atlanta United, LAFC and LA Galaxy.

Miami has signed three players so far ahead of their 2020 MLS debut – Christian Makoun, Julian Carranza, and Matias Pellegrini all currently makeup the squad.

‘But hey this is MLS’: Wayne Rooney slams MLS’ travel arrangements

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Wayne Rooney is not a fan of MLS’ travel arrangements.

D.C. United lost 1-0 to the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday in Canada, and had to fly back to the nation’s capital before prepping for a midweek showdown with visiting New York Red Bulls. To the 33-year-old Englishmen the trip should’ve taken six hours, not half a day.

MLS is notoriously known for the lack of charter flights it offers its teams, a mere four per season is the reported amount each team is allocated. Traveling on commercial flights has caused routine delays for a slew of team’s this season, with certain teams arriving only hours before the first whistle in some cases.

Players, however, will reportedly push for better travel in the upcoming CBA negotiations. Not only for Rooney, but for the majority of professional athletes around the world, flying charter is customary.

Upon his arrival to D.C. in 2018, Rooney turned down first-class flights offered by the Black-and-Red, among other fine accommodations. “If you are going to be part of the team, you have to be part of the team,” Rooney said on his decision to reject first-class flights and private hotel rooms. “All in and do the same things. I don’t want special treatment — I wanted to be treated the same as the players. I’m part of this team.”

Rooney, despite being on his way out of D.C. to join Derby County in January, is certainly a part of the team.

He is also now a part of the complex fight for better travel in MLS.

Vela scores 24th, LAFC clinches playoff berth

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SANDY, Utah (AP) – Carlos Vela scored his MLS-leading 24th goal of the season, Tyler Miller had four saves and Los Angeles FC beat Real Salt Lake 2-0 on Saturday night to clinch a playoff berth.

LAFC played a man down after defender Walker Zimmerman, who was shown a yellow card for time wasting in the 17th minute, was given a red for unsporting behavior in the 48th., Real Salt Lake’s Aaron Herrera, who blocked two would-be goals in the first half, was shown a straight red for denial of a goal scoring opportunity on Vela, who then converted from the spot to make it 1-0 in the 64th minute.

Vela, whose 15 assists are tied with Diego Valeri of the Portland Timbers for the league lead, broke the MLS record for combined goals and assists. Sebastian Giovinco’s had 22 goals and 16 assists for Toronto FC in 2015.

Miller has eight shutouts this season for LAFC (18-3-4), who have won four consecutive games and seven of their last eight dating to June 28.

Adama Diomande side-netted a rising right-footer to cap the scoring in the 82nd minute.

Salt Lake (12-10-4) had its six-game unbeaten streak, including three straight wins, snapped and allowed multiple goals for the first time since a 4-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls on June 1.